THE IRON LADY: Picking up the pieces after Vegas
6:00am Saturday 21st September 2013 in Latest Sport News
IT’S been a fortnight since the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas and I’m not exaggerating when I say it has probably been the toughest two weeks of my triathlon career.
I was perfectly prepared for this race and, as I said in my last column, I simply could not wait to race and was excited about what I could achieve.
My previous best finish at the worlds was eighth in 2011 and I was so confident I could better that. A top five finish was well within my grasp. Or so I thought.
Race day did not go to plan. A foolish mistake in the swim and a complete lack of energy and power on the bike put me way out of the race.
Although there were aspects of my performance I was pleased with and can take positives from, I was bitterly disappointed to finish 14th.
It was a long, long way from the result I was capable of. It hurt.
When days don’t go to plan, we often despair, agonise, criticise, reflect, ponder and drink too much beer (something I learned when I worked at the Adver). And when a race is set in the party capital of the world, it’s not hard to drown your sorrows with beer, wine, sambuca and whatever else looks good through race-weary eyes at 2am.
But, as we all know yet sometimes forget, the answers to difficult questions and disappointing outcomes do not lie at the bottom of a beer glass.
Of course, you can kid yourself for a day or so that they might and have a darn good time partying in the process. And then you wake up and have to deal with the raw, gnawing disappointment as well as a raging headache and tides of nausea.
You can torture yourself, lick your wounds, wallow in self pity and wonder what if until you drive yourself half-crazy. Or you can stop the bleeding, box it up, conduct an audit, learn and move on.
As hard as the latter has been, I did it within three days post-race and soon felt remarkably better for it.
This year has been great for me and I desperately wanted to shine at the World Championships, but it didn’t happen. I can’t change that now. All I can do is learn.
As the weeks pass the disappointment will subside and new challenges and experiences have already regained my focus, but buried deep within me it’ll always be there. Not in a bad, bitter or negative way, but as fuel to continue sparking a fire that burns and burns.
There is no extinguishing that. There is a champion in here dying to get out. And just watch out when she does.
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