Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Don't Get Mad, Get Glad!

Triathlon is a sport in which a lot of things can go wrong. The fact that there is the swim, bike, run as well as transitions means there's a lot of opportunities for something less than ideal to happen. I haven't been doing triathlon for too long now, but I can tell you that so far in every single race something has either gone wrong or could have gone better. Although this may seem as a negative to the sport it is actually something that I love about triathlons.  Most of the time I'm not even upset with how I did, because mistakes in one race always show me places to improve and cut time in the next race. In some races I have competed in I have had small mishaps: forgetting my number belt going onto the run (could have been a big mishap but none of the officials saw...phew!), not knowing where my bike was in the transition area and racking my bike the wrong way to name a few. In other triathlons I've had bigger issues such as trying to dismount the bike while I was still clipped in or coming into transition too fast and biting it while also losing my wheel.

 Most recently at St. Anthony's last weekend with about 10 miles left in the bike a cable snapped and so my wheel rubbed for the last half of the race. When this happens it is pretty much like having your brakes on and trying to ride; not effective and not fun. However, it is mishaps like these that you have to try and get past in the moment and look for the good in other parts of the race. Rather than dwell on the outcome of my race in St. Anthony's (I ended up getting 19th) I look forward to how much better I can do in upcoming races. At St. Anthony's my biggest race determinant was my cable breaking but I can also look at my race in its entirity and tell you other things I could have done better. For instance, my transition two could have been quicker. I had another one of those bike racking issues as well as slow foot insertion into the shoe. It is how you handle the events and mishaps that make you better. You see even though there are a lot of things that can go wrong in a triathlon, there are also a lot of things that can go right!

 At one point on my bike after realizing that my brakes were rubbing and everyone passed me I considered stopping and dropping out. Then I decided if I wasnt going to have a good bike I might as well try to have a good run (lately that hasn't been happening). So I struggled my way through the bike and got off minutes behind the main group. However, when I got to the run I ended up having a good run! I caught people and am so happy that I didn't stop or give up when my bike started malfunctioning. Had I gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel I would have had even less to be proud of; being happy with only one of two events rather than two out of three (I was 7th out of the water and had the 6th fastest run split).

Although it is never fun to have mishaps or make mistakes in a race they're awesome learning experiences and are only going to show you how to be even better in the future. So next time you have a "bad" race don't just get mad because things didn't go your way; learn from your mistakes or even series of misfortunate events but also be proud of what went well in your race!

St. Anthony's Race Results: