Monday 30 July 2012

A run of bad luck.

Just to warn you this blog could end up sounding like a bit of a moan and I will probably go off on a rant but anyway here goes.

I will start with last weekends race; my first senior European cup in Geneva. This was always just a bonus race, with not having many ranking points I was never sure if I would get a start but after I returned home from Osaka I got an email saying I was in, I had actually forgot I had entered it.
I got put up in a homestay with Bryan Keane which was great fun and I learnt a lot just talking with someone with much more experience, it was a great relaxed environment running up to the race, I was feeling ok, just hoping that I had recovered ok after my trip in Asia and if my winter training was enough to carry me through a 4 weeks of racing and little training.

On the day of the race it was very windy causing the lake to be very rough. Ten girls got rescued from the water, 10 professional triathletes, I think that gives an idea of how rough it actually was. Due to this the organisers felt that our swim had to be made safer. At 1st they decided that the swim would be changed to 2x 500m loops instead of 2x 750 loops, but the guys complained that if it was safe for us to do 2 small loops why could we not do 3 small loops and keep it a 1500m swim, and that is what it ended up being.

With a strange swim start. A pontoon start onto a rocky beach start. The swim was hard with the water conditions, as the waves where being caused by the wind and not like sea waves which would be regular, these waves were very irregular and made for a tricky swim. The only benefit of this type of swim is that nobody wants to be near each other therefore no fighting but also no drafting. I continued my form in swim legs of late and exited comfortably in the front pack.

Geneva Swim Course. #rough
On to the bike, a 6 lap 40km with a hard hill each lap. My group worked very well and we put time into the other packs every lap. I was happy with my cycling I was able to copy with this new level of racing I just need to work on it more aiming to just be fresher come the run leg, unfortunately it wouldn’t have mattered what state my running was in because I didn’t get to make it that far. At the end of the 5th lap a spoke in my rear wheel snapped and my wheel buckled got jammed in my frame and I skidded to a halt. I ran to the wheel station, which was close by. But with not having any spare wheels I was hoping for a set of neutral wheels which are available at most races at this level … but not this one. I was assured that they would have them for next year, as if that would help me. I just stood at the side of the road with a bike that didn’t move watching the other bike packs pass by, that was the end of my days racing.
I was extremely annoyed as everything was going so well. A great swim, in a lead pack of 11 with a 2min lead over the next pack. I know my running still needs work but I don’t feel I would have lost 2 mins on the chasers. Should’ve could’ve would’ve, that’s racing for you.

I came home knowing that I had six weeks to get as much solid training as possible to be ready for European U23 Championships. 1st training session I was going out for a spin on the bike with a friend only to get to the bottom of the road, and without warning my rear hanger shredded in half, mangled my rear de-railer as it was pulled through my frame.

So a good start to a big block of training as I am now wheel-less and bike-less.

They say bad luck comes in threes so I was just waiting for the next one, that came today at the Lisburn City Triathlon. So on a borrowed bike and borrowed wheels what could happen now.

Thought I would give it a blast.
Pointing to my flat tyre :(
Swim was awful,  people that don’t let you past when you touch their feet at the end of the pool, and lapping athletes in your lane. I made it out and on to the cycle, to realize I had a very soft tyre, I decided I would just ride on it, trying to keep the bike as upright as possible and went around every corner with a foot unclipped.

There was one set of lights on the bike course that turned amber as I went through them so I gunned it to get across the junction as I didn’t want to slam on the brakes with the flat tyre and I felt I could make it, unfortunately the marshals didn’t see my rational as I got disqualified after the race.

Lisburn Run leg.
I made it back to transition and got a good run in, 14.19 to be exact, (something tells me it was a bit short) running well but not that well, regardless of time it was a good run and one I was very pleased with, ended up posting the fastest overall time by over 3mins 45secs.

Very disappointed with getting my first disqualification. A DNF and a DSQ in my last two races, seem to just be collecting letters rather than results. Disappointing after my good results in World Uni games and Osaka. 

Sport is cruel yes I know but I feel that I am just not getting anything easy and little reward for the hard work I am putting in.

I am finding it hard to get any sponsorship at the moment, fair enough I know I am new to the sport but I am competing at a very high level, and I have some good results to my name and showing a lot of potential.
Its times like this when things go wrong with my bike with nothing to fall back on that I need a helping hand.

When the Irish junior squad are all being giving bikes when I have only moved out of that squad this season and some of the recognition that they have got is through results that I achieved in the past two years, they are reaping the benefits, most of them are having to choose between current sponsors bikes and these new bikes. I would be happy with the chance of one.    

With all my kit and these past trips all being funded by my parents it just makes everything much harder. What more do I have to do???
Fair enough you can say just keep getting more results, well I have heard that enough times what more do I need to do, how about getting a break? A bit of help can help me get more results that bit easier.

Rant Over.

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