Two blogs in two weeks. Whoah! ‘m in danger of becoming a regular blogger. It was tempting to brush my visit to Galveston last weekend under the carpet. I don’t really want to shout about my DID NOT FINISH. It’s a result I am finding hard to swallow but my 24 hours is up: time to stop beating myself up, feeling sorry for myself and get my butt in gear for the next one.
I’ve only not finished a couple of races in my life and they were under very different circumstances. The first Ironman UK in 2008 and the major difference there was that not finishing was the plan. I had a running injury so had decided to leave my Ironman debut to later in the year at Ironman Florida. However, I wasn’t able to transfer my race entry to another event or year so being the spend thrift I am, I decided I would use it as race experience and do the swim and bike. Even then I found it really hard to stop: I was literally pulled off the course by my coach. The second was IMAZ in 2010: I got knocked off my bike 110km in and separated my shoulder pretty badly. I did get back on my bike and made it half way through the run before my bouncing collar bone got the better of me.
In Galveston there was no plan to DNF and there was no dramatic event. I wanted to race well, believed I was in with a shot to win and I certainly wanted to finish. Preparation hadn’t been smooth but that’s part of the game and I’m pretty good at putting hiccups out of mind and getting up for race day. The same applied this weekend. Come race morning I felt the usual nervous anticipation and was committed to having my first good, hard hit out of the year. When on the bike I felt weak, achey, sleepy I still believed that a bit of self talk would see things improve. Keep pushing. Minimise damage on the bike. Your legs will come round. You can run up some places. To cut to the chase: my body just didn’t come round. I rolled into T2, handed in my timing ship, found my car and fell asleep for 30 minutes. I was bloody frustrated with myself. I’m not one to quit just because a day hasn’t gone my way. My approach has always been to go to the finish as something positive will come of it.
I’ve been pretty hard on myself the last two days but in a nutshell, while DNFs suck they aren’t the end of the world. I am taking a look into why things went the way they did on Sunday but I have stopped asking myself whether I shold have finished, even if I had to walk it in. Although most of racing is about not listening to your body screaming at you to let up, I’m happy I made the right decision on Sunday to listen and stop.
Congrats to everyone who battled some tough conditions on Sunday to get to the finishline and the volunteers who were dealt a rough one by the weather gods! I want to say a big thank you also to my sponsors who support me on the good days and the bad: Cervelo, Newton, Louis Garneau, Biestmilch, ROKA , PowerBar, Shimano, Oakley, ISM, and XLAB. Next time I’ll represent 🙂