By ed on Sunday, January 27, 2013
Just recently I went in a race and walked away with no answers to why I felt bad and paddled not as good as I would have liked.
I had just raced in a race that I prepared for, for many weeks and raced the race of my life. It was over a distanced I had never raced before, my training had gone to perfection and I couldn't have been happier with my result. I came out of that race thinking I knew everything about racing the 24km distance, I had used a race plan that worked and kept to my training pace, so why when I raced again would that not work.
3 weeks after my big race I entered another race, same distance way different conditions, what I had learn't from my preivous race was that you need to be at the front of the pack at the start to race to race well. I got off to a great start, I felt like everything was going well, at 3km mark my good friend and local told my to change my line and head slightly to the shore to get better runners. I tried as hard as I could to get the runners and work the ocean to the best of my ability. I had nothing. This went on for the next 7.5kms, I was paddling at about 30-40secs slower then my training pace. I felt techincally correct, my mind did start to wonder and frustrate me lots as to why I couldn't go any faster. I paddled the the last 12kms on grit and determination and came home with my highest ever finish in an oceanski race. When you finish a race you should be able to shake the hand of those in front as they were better on the day, I did that with ease,as the paddler in front were better.
It was a long drive home with an empty feeling of why did I feel so bad, was it the training I was doing?, no as I had been up at the race venue training with the paddlers in front of me and I was keeping up and at times in front.
I just put it down to sometimes you have a bad race, you can get down about it or you stew on it, but that will never change the result.
I what I found I did was go back to training and and paddle with the same intensity I was at before the race, because it's the love of paddling that makes me feel good and if I didn't have some ups and downs I wouldn't have a challendge, no challendge then no point in ever trying to better yourself. I will not tell you that I don't still think about it because I do. One thing is for sure I have stepped up the training.
So for us who just love being on the water, racing, pushing yourself and setting goals, there are many ups and downs that I had forgotten about from being out of compettition, one thing is for sure none of us are changing the world out on the water , so lets still enjoy it and race on.