Ok ok so I know I promised Kyle’s Loch Ness marathon recap a LONG time ago, but for those of you who know the Babez, he isn’t the best at timekeeping, reading, writing, prioritising, despite being chased up *hint hint, Kylie!*.
Meanwhile. he sends his apologies but to make it up to you I will tell you that news that I had mentioned previously.
I have not been selected as a member of the Scottish Squad this year.
Yep. You read that right. Your Scottish Champ is not on the Scottish team. Interestingly, no female Scottish champion from this year’s races (there is also the Aquathlon, Sprint, Duathlon, etc) is on the squad. Weird, huh?
I have been told a few reasons, but I have heard quite a few things, from a lack of swim potential, lack of cycling skills, lack of run potential, lack of transition skills, lack of decision making skills (isn’t that the entire triathlon race??). Way to kick me when I’m down.
Lack of swim potential: I used to be on their national team. I competed at international level and was aiming for Commonwealth Games 2006
Lack of cycling skills: I had a horrible crash just last year, that I am still improving from. Since then, I have come on leaps and bounds and am constantly improving
Lack of run potential: I haven’t been running for long, and I have never done track, but I have broken 3 hours in a marathon and won a few local races. Surely more work on speed would make me a lot quicker.
Lack of transition skills: Fair enough. But had I known that was a factor, I would have practiced a helluva lot more, and entered more races to practise under pressure
Lack of decision making skills: At the British champs, I had a horrendous swim. However, watching ITU races, those that have a weaker swim but are awesome cyclists work together and usually catch at least the chase pack. There weren’t strong cyclists in the 2nd chase pack and I did 99% of the work myself, therefore losing time on the chase pack and having to run past as many people as possible to even get a top 20.
However, at the ITU qualifier, I didn’t want anyone drafting me on the bike saving themselves for the run, so I would smash the swim and lead the whole thing. Little did I know, the decision for the squads was made pretty much on Liverpool alone (these were the only draft legal races I did), and so doing the race on my own meant that I had had zero draft racing practice beforehand. So the British was my first drafting race, and surely I can only get better with practice?
Anyway, I made myself very clear to Triathlon Scotland in a
novel letter to them, and the CEO came up to meet with me. The whole thing is a joke and instead of encouraging me to keep working on my weaknesses, but that the sporting body was still behind me, I now feel like a massive loser who would have had a lot more confidence had I not been on any team in the first place. The London Olympics theme was “inspiring a generation” but leaving athletes feeling useless, disheartened, and telling them they lack potential (despite what I have achieved so far), is not a team I wish to be a part of.
To be honest, I’m not missing out on too much. Any training holidays I can do with KB (any swimmers out there who want to keep me company for that element?), meaning he wont be left with more holidays at the end of the year than me 😉 , and I can have proper training weekends, without the waiting about and travel time when I was going down to Stirling a lot. Not to mention the petrol money I’ll save 🙂
I’m sorry if this sounds like I am too big for my boots, but this whole drama has left me angry that I got involved in it at all. Yes, it would be amazing to still qualify for the Commonwealth Games 2018, but at least now I can do some of the races I wouldn’t have been allowed to do on the program, and have a bit more fun with it.
My team up here is amazing: for swimming, I have COAST that are ridiculously fast (faster than when I could properly swim) and keep me young (the majority are teenagers), coach Gregor (who I shared a lane with for 26 hours per week when we were swimmers, so knows exactly what works for me) and Patrick Miley (my friend Hannah‘s dad/coach combo) has just joined as performance coach to being a new eye to it. For cycling, I enjoyed going out with Torphins Typhoons over summer (they have a couple national champs up their sleeves to give me guidance!) and like to annoy them with my questions, so I shall be keeping that up. And for running, well I can’t seem to get rid of Kyle, so I guess I should utilise him! He has done all distances and is phenomenal at them all. For gym work I have a friendly open invitation from the guys at the Institute of Sport – they really looked after me as a swimmer and I still keep in touch with them. Now I just need to find the time to squeeze that in around a full time job and a 50 mile daily commute! Speaking of work, they are amazing too! So supportive and encouraging 🙂 Oo oo and I can’t forget Scott – we still annoy each other almost daily, but I do really appreciate his help.
So basically, in summary, I have felt unwanted and just lost in general recently. BUT that is natural after a tough season and having no serious races planned. The goals for now are to stay healthy over winter (although an ankle niggle is not helping this right now), get some running PBs, and then smash some triathlons in the summer. The distance of said triathlons are not decided yet, but as long as I still love the sport (and the sport loves me) then it will all be ok… *insert cliff hanger music here* 😉