2017 world triathlon championships - rotterdam
It’s been the wildest weather leading up to the World Triathlon Championships here in Rotterdam – I saw three people on our Team Canada ride get completely blown over (bike and all) by the powerful wind, and another freak gust of wind blew the bathroom door off in our apartment and broke a lamp. Otherwise it rains hard and sideways. It’s one of those trips where you end up wearing everything you packed to walk around outside. So needless to say – everyone was nervous for what Sunday would hold.
I wrote this Instagram post prior to race day:
“I know tomorrow’s race day and the weather may be highly questionable but don’t bother telling me to keep calm. I’m Canadian. We invented that $hit. So as for this drizzle? Ain’t as cold as having to wear my snowsuit underneath my little mermaid Halloween costume. We Canadians are bringing our ‘eh’ game. ‘Sorry’ (not sorry).”
But the triathlon gods answered. We had a completely dry race day. Temperature started at 6-degrees in the early morning and rose to a high of 15-degrees later in the day.
As much as we planned, race morning was slightly nerve racking. The race course had two separate transitions – one location for your bike, one location for your shoes – this is not normal – 99% of the time there is only one location for transition. This meant we had to shuttle and ferry between the two transitions to get our running shoes placed and bike prepared, whilst 2,000 other athletes (visiting a foreign location) are doing the same thing. I know you’re thinking “that’s a horrible idea…what time?” between 5 to 6 AM.
I was in my corral at 7:40 AM. I was ready in my wetsuit and was wearing my two different shoes my parents got me to keep my feet warm. They were shocked and laughed when I opened the box for the first time after coming home from the store… never have done that before! At least one was a righty and one was a lefty. So random. I’m sure my competition definitely wrote off the loonie with two different shoes on in the corral. But hey – my feet were dry and warm.
At 8:23 my age group lined up along the dock. All 103 of us from various countries all over the world (3 Canadians). And at 8:25 exactly – the horn blew and we were off (water temp was 16-degrees). I had a good swim. The cool water energized me. I came out near the top girls.
I couldn’t wait to get on that bike course. The most technical course I’ve ever seen in a triathlon. However only 6 or so minutes into my ride I felt ‘rim on road’… and looked down to see my back tire flat. I’ve never had a flat in a race! I got choked up, knowing my chance of being on the podium was done right there and then. What a sucky feeling! But I jumped into action and had my spare tube changed and up and running pretty quick. I continued on for a short ride and then my back tire was flat again. Seriously?! Because that was it. I had two flats and no more tubes… my day was done. On the side of the road in Rotterdam.
I walked back in disbelief. Gutted. Here I am feeling energized and ready to kick some a$$ – but with no means to do so! Man that’s frustrating! I walked almost an hour in quiet but I had so much on my mind.
It took me a couple hours to finally let go of that deep breath I took when I first looked down at my flat tire. It sure takes longer for your heart to accept what your mind already knows. Coming out here to race – my last big race of the season – and I’ve had a solid season – but to be not even halfway into this exciting finale and have it stop there… is hard to swallow. Because we say we’d rather have something than absolutely nothing, but the truth is, to have it halfway is harder than not having it at all.
My 2017 triathlon season is done now.
Time for a couple of weeks of recharging the body and getting ready for next season… already! “Triathletes’ years” don’t run January to December. They run according to the triathlete season – which currently is September to October for me.
I end this season being patient, trusting the process, and letting go of what I can’t change. I chop my own wood – but thanks – this minor speed bump just added more fuel to my fire.