Confidence & Patience – chasing a special performance and finding myself?

Good morning! How’re you? I’m assuming it’s morning, I have no idea what time all three of you read this… but it’s fun to write none the less.

4BF64B19-58B3-4AB2-876D-6BD1CB9168AEI’m back! Back from Nice, back in your life, back writing. Lots has happened since I last put fingers to key pad (pen to paper) and I’m excited to give you a brief summary of highlights, plus the usual overly dissected fairly deep summary of where I’m at in my life. 

Though it has taken me 2 weeks and 4 attempts to actually write this, so even more has happened. And I’m still not sure I’ve put my finger on what I’m trying to say. 

71413FC4-E52B-40AB-9398-BA07C5A18017Luckily since Hamburg I’m mentally in a much better place. I’ve started to really drive my business which is incredibly exciting, and there’s much more going on behind the usual swim bike run.

Though that’s why we’re all here… not to hear about what I’ve been taking photos of this week.

So what’s happened. Well I got myself into an absolute hole with training, ran a 16:02 5km, then managed to crawl out and string a fairly solid race together at the Ironman 70.3 World championships in Nice, France. 

6EA9678A-9170-4257-9C9F-E0F3B898C606I’ve then bumbled through a few more sessions and tried to avoid my body going into a melt down or accidentally waltzing down one too many confectionary isles. The shopping list awaits… I’ve knocked out some incredible sessions, and some have knocked me out.

One thing is for sure, my body and mind are ready for some time & space from this swim bike run malarkey. 

I’ve got one last red carpet to run down this season, it’ll happen between now and mid October sort of time, and we’ll go from there!

I’ve not been subtle about saying I’ve been disappointed with my racing this year. Out of line with my usually subtle character I know. But I’ve spent the whole year chasing a special performance, and I’ve felt I just haven’t delivered one.

Now I’ve had some time to reflect, I think the performance has been there. It just hasn’t happened on the same day.

4A096BE5-162D-4883-A640-683A55F18C4BThe 2nd fastest Amateur bike split in Hamburg, a 2:06 90km bike in Slovakia, four 1:20-1:22 halves off the bike, two a week apart. Leading the age group in Africa until my back pinged… among lots of crazy sessions that have pointed towards some real form. Overall I’ve shown that the fitness is there and I’m still developing.

Every Ironman I race with my heart & pour every ounce of energy, physical and mental, into both training & racing to allow me to do that. I’m not one for half measures, I’m all or nothing.

C27435E7-A4C8-47E3-ADD2-27428640733EOver the year this has certainly taken its toll, and I’ve still got a chip on my shoulder from the race in Barcelona where the time didn’t reflect my performance. 

So in this last race, I’m forgetting about performance, speed, ambition. I’m going to race hard, race passionately, but above all, love racing again. Love turning the dials & twisting the screws. Hurting the packs on the bike & seeing how long I can keep my running legs together before I go pop. Hopefully 42.2km of course. 

The last couple of months since Hamburg I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve relit the fire for the things outside of triathlon, and remembered to keep a more grounded perspective. 

I’ve learned that I’m most alive when I’m out running on the quiet roads of Eaton, feet hammering the concrete, heart beating out of my chest & legs screaming to stop. When I’m turning the pedals, chewing the stem & praying my legs don’t slow up. When I’m in the pool fighting tooth & nail for the extra 0.5 seconds an interval, whole body in pain but desperate for more. 

531C0EFA-D6FB-484A-93FD-B50331694268But equally I get the same buzz when I’m locked away in a corner of a cafe editing shots and adding value to other people’s journey. When I’m planning the next move for myself and business and how I can be more efficient driving forward. When I’m faced with a new challenge that I have no idea how to solve.

These are the moments when nothing else in the world matters to me, I’m completely fulfilled, at the edge and on the rivet. And these are the moments when nobody else is around. There’s no audience. Nobody checking in to see what’s going on, nobody to account to. I’m not trying to prove myself, not seeking some strange external validations. I’m just comfortable in working hard and seeing how far I can stretch my own limits. 

8C0044D6-FAEA-4E76-BCAC-DAFA80C0EBA2This then means I have the joy of sharing this amazing journey with the people close to me. I’m more bearable to be around and I’m not seen mumbling about watts/kg or what splits I ran for 10km before breakfast. And I’m much more present when I’m around those closest to me.

I’m the version of me that’s excited and inspired. Mischievous and giddy. Moving forward, this is who I want to be. Pursuing the best version of myself, regardless of where it takes me. 

And it’s taken me a long time to realise that. Going fast is fun and I’m sure I’ll continue to achieve that, but it’ll just be at stopping points on the journey; rather than the end destination. 

“Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey”.

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