A little post- race debrief/update for you all following on from yesterday’s European Sprint Championships.
I think most of you have probably seen where I placed after posting a few things on my personal page(s). But for those of you who don’t, I placed 18th.
Top 20 ranking in the whole of Europe for my Age group.
I know that sounds great, and I also know I am my own worst critic and give myself a hard time, but it is a little tough to take with that placing.
I think what makes it hard is looking back post race (I had a 7hour journey to do all of this so you can only imagine what was going on in my head, running it all through for 7+hours 😂). But looking back and seeing that there really wasn’t anything that went wrong in any of the three disciplines is probably what’s making this all hard to swallow most.
I held my own and worked hard throughout the whole race. I knew I was up against some really really good girls and knew I couldn’t afford to waste any time whatsoever. It was by far the hardest race I have ever been in (I know this isn’t many). And I don’t mean this in terms of physical ability, I felt really strong, I felt like I could of gone on for way longer on the bike and also on the run (shock) but this only backed up my decision in wanting to race longer distances next year, as this is clearly where my strengths lay. This distance for my is too short. I’m fully aware that I didn’t train for this race (because my goal and main focus is on the longer distances) and it was my choice to go into this race that way and know I would be up against it and girls that had trained for shorter racing. I accept that.
The past few months since joining my squad has all been about building me into a stronger athlete. I have done zero speed work and all of my training has been very much endurance based. So I knew I wasn’t “race ready” for a Sprint Distance but I still believed I could go and contend and race well and I do feel I did. I did what I could.
However, it still hurts to race a race and place where I did regardless of the above comments. I still wanted and dreamed of a top ten or even better winning it (you have to believe in yourself and I really really do believe I can win).
I know I can’t have it all 😂 and this was mine and my coaches decision and I trust that this is all how it should be going and right now this is where I am. But eventually it will all fall into place and all of this will make sense and I will be at the top when the time is right, but that time is not now.
I’ve worked so hard and that race wasn’t a reflection of that, not because I didn’t perform well, but because it isn’t the race I am training for. It’s all experience and it’s all a test to see how far I am willing to go with this. I know why my coach is doing this to me and I will only gain from this. As he said to me yesterday… “ don’t get yourself down on this one race, yeah your gutted but this is small fish for you, trust me”. “You need to put things into a bigger understanding, and for me you are improving all the time, experiences like this are a must in order for you to develop”.
On a lighter note of yesterday…
The feeling that I felt when running down that blue carpet towards the finish line was nothing I have ever felt before. I actually found myself choking up whilst coming to the line because suddenly everything hit me. I was here, at my first ever European Championships racing against some of the best girls in the sport, wearing my Great Britain kit and having people cheers and scream my name from the grand stand as I ran down the blue carpet.
Yesterday was exactly a year to the day that I completed my first ever Sprint Distance Triathlon in Portishead. Where it all began, where I fell in love with this sport and knew I had finally found my “why”.
So I can only look back on this past year and feel a huge sense of pride. If I can achieve all that I have in a year, what can I do in 5? That’s so exciting to think!
One thing I do know, I am in the best possible hands to make my dreams become a reality. I have the most amazing support group and team around me who are going to help me get there.
So today I rest, I do what “normal” people would do on a Sunday and chill. But tomorrow I restart and build back into it. I still have a few races left of my season. I am racing right up until mid October so I’ve still got a few things to tick off this “ to-do list” of mine ;).
And finally, to end this. A massive thank you to each and everyone of you who wished me well and luck for yesterday. It was Spine tingling to read and I’m very lucky to have you all in my life.