Time to recover, reflect, enjoy, and plan for improvements
After a fantastic experience at the Commonwealth Games I didn't know how I would be afterwards and well to be honest thought I'd be fine and carry on as normal. Then I get an email from Darren saying it's ok to feel flat etc after a BIG goal has been achieved. What's he on about???? Then I soon realised it wasn't going to be as easy as just clicking my fingers and getting back into training.
I was highly motivated mentally, and ready to finish off the year as best I could, but my body had other ideas and just didn't want to push with me anymore. It's almost like it was saying, "no you've pushed me hard enough for this year thanks", and I started to feel exhausted. So with only 2 weeks in Morzine before Stockholm I just tried to focus on every session and getting though each day the best I could, which I managed to do, so I thought "ok I can do this."
I arrived in Stockholm all ready to go, no issues, no problems, and ready to race, but I dived in a felt terrible, I felt I'd already done a hard swim session, felt like I was going backwards and I found myself chasing, chasing, and chasing, for the whole race. I can imagine a lot of people thinking "what's happened to her?" so just to answer a few questions I had a few issues on the bike, basically involving another girls handlebars getting stuck in my wheel, me having to throw her bike out of the way (sorry), meaning I was stuck in a high gear that I couldn't get out of. Imagine trying to drive a car in 5th gear constantly, that was me. Then onto the run and it was just about whatever I had left, which wasn't a lot. I put it to the back of my head, well, tried to, and thought ok one more push lets finish well.
Edmonton Grand Final I went in ranked 3rd behind Gwen and Sarah, with Andrea in 4th. My main goal for the race was to try and get on the podium for the Series. Again I'd got the training done in the week, but not feeling good in any swim sessions at all I was just hoping I'd be ok on race day. NAH! I felt the same as Stockholm, drained and had no energy, I felt like I needed my arm bands on to keep me afloat! I had no energy to be able to fight for my own water space, and I just couldn't get going. Out the swim well down again and I just went into fight mode.
It wasn't over yet! I biked as hard as I could, maybe looking back a little too hard, and was pleased to have 2 girls who were willing to work on the bike with me; Flora Duffy and Sarah Haskins. I wasn't expecting Gwen to work, as Sarah was there for her, but the other girls in the group had no excuse and I really struggled to understand how they could be happy just sitting there and not wanting to catch the leaders. I know some of these girls can ride, and they just chose not to, but that aside if I hadn't have had such a bad swim, I wouldn't have been in that position in the first place.
Onto the run and the lead group had done a great job and got 1 min 15 sec on us, so I ran out with Gwen and well that didn't last long, but I gave it all I got on the run and really left it all out there. There were 18 in the front group and 8 or so in mine, I crossed the line in 13th, catching some of the girls in the lead group, and blowing up on the last lap of the run. Not my finest day again, and not the way I wanted to finish the season or Series in 4th.
Gwen, Sarah, and Andrea did a fantastic job, and really put great performances together for their season. Congratulations guys (and also to Nicky Samuels, what a way to end the year)!
As I write this blog yes I'm pi**ed off with the last 2 races, but as coach Daz and Head Coach Ben reminded me after the race "it's mission accomplished for the year Jode, your goal this year was the Commonwealth Games, and you are the Commonwealth Champion. And if someone was to say to you at the beginning of the year, you win 2 WTS races, you be a double Commonwealth Champion, and you'll get 4th in the series, would you take it?" OK, when you put it like that, I am pleased with my season and I also know I am in need of some rest. I'm going home and spending as much time with the people I love family & friends.
Me and Darren, my fantastic coach, have got loads to work on over the winter, and anyone who knows Darren knows how he likes a challenge, so challenge on coach!
I've got to end this blog by thanking people that need thanking! Mum, Dad, Carrie and the Von Trapps, Clare, Amy and all my family and friends who have given up their time to come and support me at my races both in person and over the red button. Thank you to my triathlon family; all of the D-Squad.
Every triathete that has supported me and believed in me.
British triathlon for their time and support.
Of course my sponsors TYR, PowerBar, Oakley, Zipp, Saucony.
My amazing coach Darren Smith, who has really put up with me again for another year. I can see some more grey hairs coming from me each year and he sticks with me no matter what, come rain or shine.
Thank you everyone, and sorry if I've missed anyone, I love you all.
Until next year ;-)
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