NAVIGATION

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Onwards and upwards

April 6, 2015

I’ve been in sunny SoCal for the past week, enjoying some time in the Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, my old stomping ground.  I absolutely love it here and it has been wonderful catching up with friends and hitting the beach. I’d always planned on taking a mini break after racing 70.3 Oceanside and after the race turned out disappointingly this past week has definitely been a welcome break and a chance to reframe my perspective on things. I’ll be making some changes to my approach and my training going forwards, which I’m hugely excited about.

I’d felt good going in to Oceanside and was excited to beracing my second race of the season, looking to build on the 4th place I’d scored at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey. I had an OK swim and around mile 15 of the bike, I was starting to get my pedaling legs.

In Ironman and 70.3 racing, it is non-drafting, that is, you must keep 12 metres between your bike and the bike in front. When you overtake, you have 20 seconds to make the pass. When you have a line of riders and you go to overtake, you must overtake the entire line. At around mile 15, this is what I did; passing two girls and moving back in, deeming the third girl too far up the road (i.e. beyond 12m) to be part of the line.

But the referee considered this girl to be a part of the line and my move to be an illegal one and gave me the standard penalty – five minutes at a complete stop.

When you should be hitting high speeds on your bike, it can be an incredibly frustrating time watching all of your competitors zoom passed, but you have to use the time well. I had something to eat, took a drink and stretched out.

Then I took some deep breaths, got back on my bike and refocused, knowing that all I could do was concentrate on my race and my cycling. If nothing else, this could still be a great training day and good race experience. It was not without its mental challenges and I’ll admit to having a few choice words with myself, but the only thing you can do is press on and keep pushing the pedals.

 

Churchill failureOnce into T2, I decided I would enjoy the run 100%. There was such a great energy coming from the crowd – and so many teammates from both Tower 26 and purplepatch spectating – that it was just impossible not to be grinning from ear to ear, even though my race was falling so short of my hopes and expectations.

Afterwards, I couldn’t help but feel deflated and frustrated, but what’s done is done and no amount of analysing or berating is going to change that. I was mistakenly disqualified after the race – the referees thought I did not serve my penalty, but later realised I had so I was reinstated – so the weekend was not without its drama!

There’s no better way to put one race behind you than to look ahead to the next, which for me is 70.3 Texas on April 26, a race I won in 2013 and finished second at last year, so I’ll be damn sure to be ready for that one.

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