Well that’s it for 2015…
My last blog after my final race of 2015 calls for a very honest one after an emotional year. It has been the toughest of my career and not one I would like to repeat anytime soon! At the beginning of this year I was set on trying to qualify for Rio and have the box ticked, but this wasn’t the case due to the injury I picked up in the early part of the year. All year I have felt like I was playing catch up, but the Rio test event showed I was moving forward. So after Rio, I decided along with my coach not to race and get a solid block of training in. And so this is what I did…not missing a session, not getting sick, not getting injured and doing things well. Don’t get me wrong…we always tread the line in our sport. I was pushing my body and mind to new limits, which doesn’t just affect you, but those around you. So thank you to my coach Darren Smith who has had to deal with a stroppy Jodie when I haven’t been able to do what I love. But nonetheless he was always there trying his best for me.
Chicago…The Grand Finale…
Going into the race knowing that Non (Stanford) and Vix (Holland) had done phase one of the criteria for Rio was kind of a weird scenario. I knew I couldn’t qualify having not podiumed in Rio but these two great athletes could and I knew they were in great form. They just had to keep doing what they had all year and they would be very tough to beat. I had to really concentrate on just focusing on what I wanted to do and trying to get everything out of myself on race day to finish the season on a high. I was number 67 on the pontoon and so had all of 10 spots left to pick from and I ended up on the far left of the pontoon, not a great starting position. It was a tough start to the race trying to move through the bodies and it made for a hard 1500m swim. Not even the TYR FON wetsuit could help me get a better start but I did manage to make up some time when I could actually swim and wasn’t fighting with people. I had a bad t1 and maybe the lack of races came into play a little but I should have been better. I jumped on the bike and was about 30 plus seconds off the lead bunch. Head down, I had no choice but to go catch up, it was such a tough lap and a half but I managed to catch up. I made a move to have a clear run into transitions and came in first but then missed my slot – again not the best transition – but didn’t loose too much time and was out running. The run packs were made quickly with Non, Vix and Gwen out in front and myself, Sarah, Andrea and Rachel running together. So this is it… this is me running as hard as I could go and I just had to focus on what I needed to do. I had my coach in my head the whole time… “cadence, core, focus” and always questioning what I can do better. I knew I had to catch up sensibly with 3.5k to go but I got back and tried to settle a little. Andrea had gone by this point and was running solo and Rachel made a move on the last lap so it was me and Sarah tousling on the last lap. I could hear her breathing heavier and made a move that put me into finish 6th, which I am happy to finish the season on. A race where I was able to give it my all and have nothing left to give, which is a great feeling
Well done to Non and Vix who got the podium they needed to have met the criteria for Rio. They couldn’t have done it in more style and they are fantastic athletes and people which makes it hard not to be happy for them qualifying! I am happy I had the race I did and was able to fully push my body to the limit of what it had on the day. It wasn’t good enough for the podium but as my coach says, you can’t control what others do in the race, as long as you have ticked off your own checklist you have had a good result no matter what number you cross the line! BUT… there is only 1 spot left for Rio next year and this makes me hungry and excited for the challenge to go and get it!
I have had a hard year but I have learnt a lot and I couldn’t have had a better team behind me. Thank you so much to everyone at my management team at ARETÉ, my family of course, my coach Darren Smith and my sponsors Columbia Threadneedle, Cervelo, TYR, PowerBar, Oakley, Asics and to everyone who has stayed by me this year through the tough times. I’m looking forward to the challenge that is ahead of us to make that start line in Rio next year!
But for now time to chill with Mum and Dad in Chicago for a few days before heading home and having some time with my fantastic family and friends.