2015 is almost upon us. Before we know it we’ll be setting up transition before a race and another season of racing will be underway. Not long now until we’ll be peeing in wetsuits as we realise it’s worth it to keep warm in the open water in April. The wait is almost over and soon the New Year will give us all a chance to prove ourselves once more. We’ll have the opportunity to fix our mistakes of 2014 and make new ones in the process. I know I’m going to fix a lot of mistakes I’ve made in 2014. I’m also aware that I’ll make mistakes this year too. But that’s what it’s all about, making these mistakes and learning from them. Working hard until you get out of it what you’ve put in. That’s the same for everybody.
I’d be lying if I said I had a great 2014. Although we can only ever do so much as our circumstances allow and on reflection I’m satisfied with how the year panned out. It started off with the usual few dodgy races as I got myself fit by getting my ass kicked at some early duathlons. The start of the year went great with a decent performance at Joey Hannon which I enjoyed. It’s always satisfying when you execute a good performance. I finished 2nd at the Sprint Distance National championships in June. I would have been a lot happier finishing 2nd if I had raced as well as I knew I was capable of but it didn’t go so well on the day. It was a pretty average performance but it was nice to know that that’s where my average performance put me, behind only Ben Shaw.
The day after that I started my work experience for college. It wasn’t long before I understood what people meant by 9-5! Where does the time go!! I went from 20 hours of college to 40 hours of work. A bit of a lifestyle change really. And to think I thought it would be grand. I raced the week after in Windsor and punctured out. Next up for me was Kilkee. A crash the weekend before on a training spin wasn’t a great start. Still though, I didn’t get hurt from it much. Kilkee was a write off. I’ll be honest and say that I wanted to win. 2nd or 3rd wouldn’t have meant much to me that day. I gave up when I knew it was gone. If I had kept going I could have been on the podium. I let a lot of people down that day but most of all myself.
I bounced back the week after winning in Athlone. I had a solid race and it reminded me of why I train. Con asked me before the race what way the bike course went, I told him to follow me. He laughed and I laughed. Both of us thought we would be ahead of each other. I was buzzing afterwards unlike after the previous couple of races. You really can’t beat the feeling of getting back up after you’ve been knocked down. It’s being knocked down that makes succeeding all the more special. I found out a week later that my thumb was still dislocated from that training crash. I really don’t think it made a difference!
I won the Aquathon National Championships in August. It was the first race since Joey Hannon that I really felt good in and felt that I was in form. I swam steady enough and then ran tempo all the way through the 10km on my own. It was nice to race in the laps as the spectators had something to look at. It was my first National Title which was also nice in a way. I went to the merries in Salthill afterwards and nearly lost my life. I guess I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to rides on funfairs!! If I’d gone beforehand I’m not so sure I would have won!
I finished 3rd in the Munster Championships at home in Fermoy. I had another medium performance. This working craic is bloody hard!! Lucky for me we had a great barbeque afterwards I was putting all my eggs into one basket and aiming at the Lost Sheep in Kenmare. Unfortunately I got plantar fascia before I got that far and didn’t race again.
So 2014 wasn’t a great year. It was alright like. Although not all of my performances reflected it I have improved a lot from last year. My swim times are down, my bike power is up and I’m running faster than I have ever before. All that was missing was a bit of consistency and putting out the numbers I was doing in training in the races I wanted to. I put this down to work taking more out of me than I could handle and probably trying to train too much while doing so. 5am starts before working 9-5 doesn’t really help and isn’t very sustainable. I found this out the hard way. Those of you who work know exactly what I mean when I say it’s tiring and takes a lot of effort and energy.
That’s why ye’ll all despise me when I finish work in 2 weeks time and go back to the good old ways of the student life I’ll finish working, head to Spain for some sunny miles and then get back into the 20 hours a week routine, Don’t worry though I’ll make up the missing 20 hours and a bit more with training I’m gunning to start racing again in 2015 and fix a lot of mistakes from the past 12 months. We don’t have long to wait now until we can show the work we’ve done over the winter. It’s great to see so many of the club training in the great weather we’ve had recently. The training days get such a turn out its no wonder we’re officially the best club in the country. Triathlon is simple, you get out what you put in. I’m looking forward to seeing us all reach the goals we’ve set ourselves and helped each other work towards. And remember it’s acceptable to pee in a wetsuit. Assuming it’s your own!