Into the great unknown
Into the great unknown
As far is I can tell this triathlon business is 90% in the head. I'm really good at some bits, not so good at others, and mostly it's a great ever unknown. This is my experience of managing mind, and body, to be the best triathlete I can be.

On retirement

ritatrisby ritatrisDec 23rd 2014
It has been a long time since I last posted, which is because since the World Championships in Edmonton, I have largely retired from competitive triathlon.

There comes a time for most interests and occupations when things have run their course. Maybe circumstances have changed so you don’t have to do that thing anymore (your pension kicking in at work), maybe you have achieved everything you set out to (completing a DIY project) or maybe the balance of getting out more than what you put in has tipped. I feel I have arrived at all three of those points with triathlon.

In the last four years I have made some fantastic friends, met my lovely partner, found an excuse to talk more to my brother, accumulated a few trophies, raced over nearly every distance and represented GB at the Age Group World Championships. The challenges of mind and body management in achieving all this have helped make me a wiser person. I am in fantastic shape. What more could I want?

I feel well and truly satisfied with my life as a triathlete over recent years. But it has been just that â€" a lifestyle. I have been up at 5am to do turbo sessions before work in January, I have spent whole weekends either training or an exhausted recovering mess on the sofa, I have endured significant grief and frustration over injuries and swimming. In all honesty, for the core three years my head space was filled with little else. And it has been great. What I got back was so very worth it.

But now I have achieved what I wanted to and more, and putting in all the energy in the world isn't going to make it any better.

So now I want other things. There are different joys and different wisdoms to be had from life's other challenges, however big or small. Like being the best partner you can be, or best parent, or best professional, or best gardener, or best friend, or best cook, or best artist, or best piano player, or best carer. Or maybe even go crazy and try NOT being the best at things, a challenge for a lot of us in its own right. You might not get given any medals for these things, your achievements might not be as timeable or measurable, and your colleagues might not be as impressed, but they are at the very least just as tough as anything sport has to offer.

So the race calendar is clear for 2015, and contending with 50 miles of cycle commuting a week seems to be more than enough for fitness. There might be an unspectacular 10k, or the Swimathon mile, and maybe one day I'll have a crack at the vet categories, but no racing for now. I'll give you a cheer from the sidelines, so good luck for next year and see you out there!
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