Hannah's triathlon race report and reflections: being a winner.
Hannah sent us her race report from a triathlon that she entered recently. However, this is more than a race report, it's about keeping going when things are tough, it's about overcoming the little voice in your head that can give you negative thoughts and it's about taking time to reflect on your performances to highlight the positives and take action for what you are going to improve next time. What a great blog!
"Today I did a pool triathlon. I am not a massive fan of pool swimming as I find I go a lot slower than when I am open water swimming, the idea of having ‘lengths to go’ seems to slow me down as my brain starts telling me that I can’t do it.
For this triathlon I had to swim 125m (5 lengths), cycle 2000m and finally run 1600m (2 laps). On the day of the race, Saturday, I woke up super excited and raring to go. Everything was going smoothly, I had swum three of my five lengths. But as I turned to swim my fourth, I started to struggle. I pushed through and tried to tell myself that I was fine and needed to carry on.
I clambered out of the pool and sped into transition where I was greeted by cheers and encouragement; I couldn’t properly hear them though because the voice in my head was telling me that I was too slow and would never get a good time. The bike went well, I held my ground and as I returned to transition I felt happy. The final stage was the run, I set out with a steady pace but things took a bad turn at the end of my first lap.
The second lap was in sight when someone overtook me. I stumbled a little, which made my ankle hurt a bit. This worried me but I didn’t stop running. Starting my second lap was awful, I was tired and felt as if I couldn’t breathe. Panic started to set in. My dad was marshalling and saw I was struggling, he told me slow down my breathing to let the air flow more easily. At this point I was in panic mode and felt like I couldn’t go on. I didn’t want to finish the race but my Dad said that he would not let me stop. So, I kept going. Another marshal offered to walk around the rest with me. It was then that I realised that I am not a quitter. I gritted my teeth, focused and picked up the pace.
A few minutes later I was over the finish line with a medal around my neck. Sadly, I felt that I had failed. I was disappointed with myself. Why hadn’t I run well? Why had the swim drained my energy? I was confused why everything had gone so wrong. People were telling me I had done so well. I was angry with myself. I was a failure.
A few hours later, I began to see sense. I’m not a failure; a failure is someone who doesn’t turn up to the race. I am a winner because I have completed it. In temperatures of 25°C it is understandable that you don’t run your best race. And everyone has their good and bad days in sport. Next year I am doing it again. Next year I am going to race myself. Next year I am going to beat my time.
Earlier today, I wouldn’t have dreamed of writing this. Earlier today, I was considering not finishing a race. But now I have realised that I can’t be ashamed of today, that I have to be proud that I got out of bed and finished that race.
In September I have a bigger triathlon, it has a 300m open water swim and I have promised myself that I will train hard and be confident in myself. It just goes to show that you can pick yourself up and carry on even when you feel defeated. Today has made me even more determined to carry on with what I love, triathlons.
You are always a winner, whatever your time or position… because you finished it."
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