6th in Tongyeong WC

October 24th, 2015 by

Photo: Delly Carr

Photo: Delly Carr

There could have been a post here wishing the girls good luck and showing me spectate at Cyclocross nationals back home instead. 

I was really close not to come here, as a fact I had already flown back home and thrown in the towel. The small strain that occurred on my last track session before Alanya didn’t feel good. It forced me to pull out of the race at kilometer 2, and it hurt the following day. With Tongyeong WC being just a week after I couldn’t see how the time was going to be enough to see me running. Do you travel across the world with a sore calf? Do you start races if you aren’t sure you can run. I felt like it was too far fetch and I didn’t want to put me through that again. I have been there. Of various reasons I have been forced to race when I really shouldn’t and it isn’t fair. Not for you, the spectators or anyone. So I went home.

But you know when you made a decision you aren’t sure of? It plays on your mind and you keep wondering, thinking if there was another way of doing things. I had an appointment with my physio at 1pm the following day. At noon I’d have to withdraw my name from the startlist. At midnight I did have a flight leaving for Pusan via Beijing – from Istanbul.

What if….

What if I saw my physio before noon and let him decide, then if, just maybe if he gives me a chance of running I’ll try to get back down to Istanbul. This is what ran through my head as we landed in Stockholm at 02:20 Monday morning.

I got an 11 appointment, we had a meeting, the meeting gave me a 65% chance of running. Odds I can take. I made a phone call to the travel agent, they booked me a flight down to Istanbul a few hours later – and I was on my way.


Its fascinating how easy my mind can change and grab onto small glimpses of hope. Give me a chance of making something – I’ll take it and embrace it.

The spirits had definitely by the time I arrived in Tongyeong. The calf was improving by the day and with help from the Irish physio Marty it got the treatments and rehab needed. I wasn’t allowed to run on it before the race so it was always unsure whether I was going to be able to complete the whole 10k’s. Marty had upgraded my chances to 85%.  There was never a question but that if anything came up – I’d have to stop. At this stage and with everything improving formwise I was to take no risks leading into the prep training this winter. No more setbacks allowed.

And the race?

It all went pretty smooth actually. 

One of these races you can tick off the targets one after one. I had a great start and the best first lap in a swim I had in a long while. Found myself on Oliveras feet at the first buoy, and was reminded of how nice swimming is when you don’t have to fight other girls. Out in 2nd position by the halfway mark then slotted into the group that had formed for the last lap. Transition was quick and uneventful and I found myself in a smallish front group about a minute ahead of any chase group. We increased that to just over 2mins and I was in a very good position to make some points. I was instructed to run carefully and not with full gas. I tried to focus on using my glutes not loading up the calfs too much, also taking the corners smooth and not turning on a load. One lap went by and I was still in 5th, 2 laps, 3 laps… and it still felt good. I was passed by a quick running Ueda but it dint concern me too much. Keep it grounded – keep it safe. And get some points.

With the 6th place finish I did indeed secure some well needed points. 

I’m yet to see how many places I climbed on the ITU pointillist but it should be enough to get me on the startlist in Abu Dhabi.

With the olympic points from the past two races I have also improved my olympic ranking, which I’m aiming to further improve at the first four World Series races next year.

I just brought me back in the game.

Thank you calf. I very much appreciate it.

Now lets get ready for some fun racing in the Bahamas. The Island House Invitational is my next – and last stop for the 2015 season.

Photo: Delly Carr

Photo: Delly Carr

Photo: Delly Carr

Photo: Delly Carr

Photo: Delly Carr

Photo: Delly Carr