Life in between goals…

This Summer, I set myself a bit of a vague goal:  Approach training with a ‘healthier balance’. I set this goal to avoid over-consuming myself in training and to make sure I don’t compromise too much from other important aspects of life.

But what exactly is a ‘healthier balance’? Was I not healthy before?

For 10 years, I have consumed myself in specific functional goals in preparation for “Race Day”. It is something I’m really proud of, but sometimes I struggle to find enough meaning behind it all… a reason to dedicate so much time to it.
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So this is what I was trying to accomplish by training with a ‘healthier balance’… less compromise to train and more time with friends and family.

It almost backfired! … I started questioning things way more than before.

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My first DNF in Triathlon

The Monster Triathlon just isn’t my race. Two years in a row… Year 1 – DNS (did not start), Year 2 – DNF (did not finish)…

IMG_6039Last year I came down with the flu a few days before the race and was unable to compete. This year I planned on racing the Monster Triathlon as my main focus race and my last triathlon of the season… There’s nothing worse than dedicating time and effort in training and then ending up with a big fat DNF!

The last time I got a DNF was in rowing when I raced at the Royal Canadian Henley with Becca. We were in the under 25 women’s double final and the collar on my oar wasn’t fastened properly; it slipped right off at the 1250m mark leaving us unable to finish the race; equipment malfunctions are the worst!!

So what happened this time? Well here’s the very short race report and a few silver linings from the experience…

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Who cares?

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.54.28 PMLately, I’ve been questioning myself a lot… wondering things like: Why do I care so much about healthy living? Why do I care about something that can seem so superficial on the surface and that in the grand scheme of things, is so insignificant in comparison to “real life” and “real problems”? I even started to question why I spend so much of my time in preparation for a race? Who cares?

I haven’t been posting regularly over the past few weeks because I’ve struggled to find a meaningful answer to these questions.

Healthy living in comparison to lets say… living with an illness, or living in a war torn region for example… just does not stack up and I started feeling silly for sharing ways to maximize a privileged first world way of living. But though it is important to have perspective, I’ve been reminded over the past few days that it’s OK to care about it… That even though it may not ‘stack up’, it does matter, it is something I’m passionate about, and sharing my honest approach to healthy living actually does have a positive impact.

So, thank-you to the people who have reached out and reminded me of that. I am officially no longer lost in my thoughts and seeing the Olympics come to a close this weekend has definitely confirmed it for me…  it has been amazing watching the best athletes in the world do their thing and it has been such a nice change of pace seeing positive headlines in the news too.

Just a few days ago I was questioning why I bother racing at all and what the meaning of it all is, and now I’m searching for another race to sign up to. I love competing and I thrive off of keeping an active lifestyle. Is there meaning behind it? Maybe not… but it keeps me sane, it gives me something to work towards and I simply enjoy it. So why not?

In saying that, I have a race report post coming up next and an exciting announcement to make too. Onwards and upwards…

Run London – Racing the 2016 British 10k

In preparation for the British 10k this year, I wrote a post about setting executable goals. Personally, I was worried that I would approach the race with an expectation to finish faster than last year, and for it to take just as much effort as I recalled it did last year (recalling effort is rarely accurate… a tough race always seems easier in hindsight).

But it turns out this was the least of my worries as there is one crucial thing this year that I didn’t do last year and which I totally underestimated… Crew the Race Across America. I was knackered for about two weeks after RAAM and only started feeling myself again by the weekend of the British 10k. So having an expectation to feel the same during the race as I did last year and finish in the same time or faster was no longer a concern. I do love racing though, so I approached the British 10k last weekend with an open mind and figured it’d be a good test to see how fit I am given the circumstances.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with my result! Only 30 seconds slower than last year I finished with a time of 45:41. I was pleasantly surprised that is, until I saw my potential…

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Crewing the Race Across America

2 weeks, 2 flights, 5 time zones, 3000 miles on the road and countless Red Bull’s crushed… where do I even start? Crewing the Race Across America was an experience unlike anything else.

I thought I set my expectations fairly well going into the race, but there are something’s in life you can’t prepare for without first hand experience… and RAAM is one of those things.

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Thorpe Park Sprint Triathlon Race Report

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THE SUMMARY

I had a disappointing swim performance but because of it, I was really motivated to push myself on the bike and run. Overall, I am so pleased with the result — I finished third of all the women which is a major milestone for me, my first podium in triathlon!

Total Time: 01:21:07
Gender Position: 3 / 42
Category Position: 2 / 15
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More detail on my race below and on what’s coming up next!

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The Transition from Year 1 of Triathlon into Year 2

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Last year the 2015 Crystal Palace Tri was my first triathlon EVER and I remember being absolutely terrified for about a month leading up to the start.

One year later, I face the race again. This year however, I had a busier than usual social calendar leading up to the race last weekend and as a result I ended up approaching the 2016 Crystal Palace Triathlon all very nonchalantly. It was kind of nice knowing I could just turn up and enjoy a fun race.

It really goes to show how comfortable I’ve gotten in the triathlon scene and how quickly you can adapt. I never thought I’d be able to race triathlon ‘for fun’ but I guess a lot has happened over the past year…

Last year was a year of firsts… My first wet suit, my first open water swim, my first Sprint triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon and my first Half Ironman. No wonder I was so motivated and focused — it was the fear factor. I enjoyed racing last weekend, but if I want to keep seeing improvement this year than I’ll need to re-focus. With fear clearly out of the equation, I need to find a new source of motivation to keep me on track.

So I’ve taken a step back and come up with some new goals and benchmarks for my 2016 focus in triathlon….

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