August 12, 2019
My big event this year was to be Castle to Coast triathlon. RideLondon last weekend was my final big training event, so I was cautious and saved my energy. Sadly, the weather conditions meant that the event was cancelled. What a disappointment.
I feel disappointed that I wasn’t able to take part as it was to be my only triathlon this year, as well as being my A race.
I’ve had many previous disappointments as a triathlete, and I’m sure many of you can empathise with at least some of these. Here are some of the disappointments that I can remember:
- withdrawing from Ironman Weymouth 70.3 because of being pregnant
- injuries (including not being sure whether I’d make the start line of Paris Marathon)
- poor weather on race day (Milton Keynes Marathon and Weymouth Half Ironman)
- cancellation of Reading Half Marathon because of snow
- public transport delays making me miss the start of a race (London Landmarks Half Marathon)
- bike theft just before Stu was due to do Ironman Copenhagen
Seeing the positives
I’ve been trying to be more positive recently and to look past disappointments. I rode conservatively at RideLondon, but not taking part in Castle to Coast has given me more time to recover. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take part next year as the inaugural event was going to be amazing.
Another year to plan for this event will give me more time to lose weight and train. I can also plan how to get to the event in more detail as M will be a year older and it will be easier for her to stay with a relative.
I’ve ridden in gusty conditions before and it can be frightening. I’m glad that the organisers were not willing to risk participants’ safety. If the event hadn’t been cancelled, I would have taken part and risked injury.
I feel incredibly sorry for the organisers of Castle to Coast who must be even more disappointed than me. An event on this scale takes a huge amount of planning and organisation. Consider showing your support by signing up for the 2020 event when entries open.
An alternative event
With our original plans cancelled, Stuart and I considered having a lie-in on Saturday morning. However, we knew that we would feel disappointed in ourselves if we didn’t make the effort to take part in Southampton parkrun.
Kate, the Run Director, had been keeping a close eye on the weather. It was agreed that the run would go ahead. However, a fallen tree on the usual route meant that the alternate course had to be used.
We left home fairly late and it wasn’t easy to find a parking space. That meant we didn’t have long to make our way over to Southampton Common. It also meant that there was no time for a warm-up.
Getting ready for Southampton parkrun
Stuart and I spoke to a few friends, most of whom said, “Isn’t someone missing?” as it’s so rare for us to be seen without M. Then it was time for the briefing. I got into the crowd fairly near to the front. I didn’t want to be on the right-hand side of the path as I didn’t want to risk falling into a ditch!
The alternate course is quick, but I don’t enjoy the long uphill stretch near the start as I rely on the first 500m as a warm-up! I ran with fellow Run Director Lynn Allen for a section of the run, but towards the end of the second uphill, I encouraged her to run on without me.
Although it was breezy, the weather was surprisingly warm and humid. After panicking that I wouldn’t achieve another sub 30 minute 5k, I realised that I was in sight of the 29-minute pacer. I pushed really hard as I’m desperate to get back on form.
I crossed the line and looked at my watch. It clicked onto 29:00 as I pressed the stop button. To add to my disappointment, I realised that the queue wasn’t moving very quickly and I was feeling faint. If I keep moving, I’m usually OK, but if I run hard and then suddenly stop, my blood pressure drops and I pass out.
How did I do?
I was hoping for sub 29 (or even 29:00), so was slightly disappointed. However, on reflection it was a season’s best, beating my time from Heartlands a couple of weeks ago, so I am improving.
When I looked back on my results, I also realised it was my 9th parkrun anniversary.
This week I was 461/858, so I didn’t make the top 50%. However, I was 99/323 women and 15/49 VW40-44, so it wasn’t a terrible result.
Have you encountered any sports setbacks? How did you deal with your disappointment?