Greetings from Norway! We landed here on Saturday morning or was it evening? I can't tell with this bloody time difference, after a long series of flights. Along the way we realised that some of our stop overs were a little short which caused me and Dez a little concern as to whether our bags (and my bike) would be meeting us in Oslo. It was with huge relief when we boarded our final flight to Oslo from Zurich that I saw one of our bags being loaded onto the plane. They had made it! The main reason from my concern was that I was signed up to race an Olympic Distance the morning after we landed and wanted to get everything ready. Of course when we got to Olso and waited for our bags for over 45 minutes we had to accept that they did in fact not make the trip. Not because of timing but instead because Swiss Air decided the plane was overweight (Even though it was half empty) and chose to leave our bags in Zurich. We were told they may be on a flight later that day but it was unlikely they would be delivered to us until the following day. We did however have the option of driving back to the airport (a 40 minute one way trip) and collect the bags ourselves. So the night before my race, after next to no sleep for nearly 2 days we drove to the airport at 9:30pm to collect the bike and bag. Not the ideal prep before a race. I got the bike home and set it up.
The next morning we drove an hour South for the Østfold Triathlon. We loaded up the car and hit the road at about 7am. When we got down to the race area I jumped on my bike to make sure everything was a-ok and discovered that my di2 system wasn't working. One of the chords probably disconnected during the flight. Then I saw that one of the cables was frayed and barely even connected. The system was broken. I could not shift gears. I came incredibly close to pulling the pin on the race. I was quite tired and not feeling awesome and now I was going to have to do the race on a fixie TT bike. I think that if it was just me and Dez there I probably would have withdrawn. But my in-laws also came down to watch so I decided I would roll the dice. I think the last time I wrote about a race it was how I lost the mental battle. I am happy that despite my less than stellar start to the trip I did not give up this time.
So I went and registered and racked my bike. The weather was a bit dodgy but I was looking forward to dusting out the cobwebs. To summarise the race quickly, I really felt the jet lag in the swim. I was tired and my arms felt heavy. The lack of gears frustrated me on the bike because I could not pedal hard enough on the downhills or flats and had to get out of the saddle for most climbs. The run I was quite happy with. I didn't go balls to the wall but instead wanted to treat it a bit like a brick session and try and run a nice and consistent pace.
But despite the short summary of the race there was much more that happened. On the bike course my hydration system came loose and fell off at the 28km mark. I knew I was going to turn around soon so I decided to collect it on my way back. I had to stop 2 times to collect all the pieces and get them back in place. Looking back it is actually quite funny that almost everything that could go wrong did (I also nearly crashed at a turn around). My bike is at the mechanic being fixed and they are not even sure if they will have it ready before this weekend. Like I said, it is hilarious. But to be honest, I am actually glad to get this out of the way. I have had a series of races where either through my own stupidity or no fault of my own, something has gone wrong. I am hoping that by having a disaster on the weekend I might be blessed with some luck this weekend.
There were times during the race on the weekend when those usual voices started rationalising my less than stellar performance. But after all the messages and tips I got from people after my last race I was able to put them into action. One of the best things I have been told which I reminded myself of on Sunday was that life is too easy! We aren't used to facing adversity. Sunday I embraced it. I savoured it. I accepted the adversity and I came out the other side determined to keep going. In fact I could almost say that on the weekend it was my turn to win the mental battle. I accepted that there were lots of things out of my control. So instead I decided to focus on those things I could control. It worked well and I was able to finish within a minute of my PB.
So now all attention turns to this weekend. It would be fantastic to get there with a perfectly working bike. I am yet to race on my new TT at 100% and I am excited to see how it rides. I had a really good bike fit done last week at 3D Bike Fit and the new position will make me ride faster. I also definitely noticed the difference when I ran off the bike on the weekend. What I do know is that whatever happens this week, whatever challenges are faced, I will be lining up on Sunday excited to race the first ever 70.3 I raced all those years ago!
Have a great week, tusen takk and remember to TRI!