To tri or not to tri

As I type, I am trying to decide whether to participate in the next triathlon I have entered.

I earned a free entry into a Sprint distance triathlon on 23rd May by volunteering at Challenge Forster. It might be free but it was hard-earned! I had everything arranged (training plan and accommodation) but now I’m not sure I want to do it. The mental games (Olympics?) have started in my head.

If I don’t turn up, I’m not out of pocket because I didn’t pay the entry fee anyway. Instead, I can save the money I would spend getting there and put it towards my birthday trip to Hobart with my BFF in just 26 days.

26days to go

I emailed my coach:

I am not coping well with trying to fit everything back into my life that I gave up while training for Coffs. I have decided not to do the Port Stephens triathlon. It being in the middle of the day and the fact that I have only swum once since Coffs, and my poor nutrition every day, and lack of exercise this week have all led me to that. Iโ€™d rather finish the season on the high of Coffs than what is likely to be an afternoon of misery.

I then told the aunt I was planning to stay with that I wasn’t going anymore. Then I pulled up the registration information so I could let the organisers know I wouldn’t be there.

I typed the email but I couldn’t send it.



I think I might buy one of these. Click the image to go to


Part of me wants to head into the off season (it’s hard to believe I know what an off season is, let alone that I have one โ€“ albeit filled with training for a half marathon) on the back of my Olympic Distance triathlon back in March.

Another part of me is worried that the swim leg in that race was a one-off and my next attempt could end up like my attempted swim near Port Macquarie. Since my next planned swim race (if I don’t do this one in two weeks) is for a team at a half ironman event, I’d like to know I can repeat the successful swim.

Yet here I am, considering throwing in the towel for Port Stephens because I think I might not enjoy the race. Before I even start.

There’s still another (small) part of me that wants to attempt the triathlon to prove to myself that the Coffs swim was not a one-off, and that despite my lacklustre lead-up and preparation, I can still suck-it-up (as the saying goes) and have a crack at it. Who knows, it might be a cold day and I won’t have to deal with the heat? The sprint race starts at 11.30am so I’m likely to be hitting the run at about 12.45pm.

  • Will I regret it if I don’t go?
  • Will I even fit into the borrowed wetsuit since my diet for the last month or so has pretty much consisted of fast food, cake, chocolate and diet coke?
  • Will it be too warm for a wetsuit at that time of day?
  • Can I do an ocean swim with a wetsuit?
  • Was it the ocean or the wetsuit that freaked me out?
  • What are the odds of having a good swim vs a bad swim?
  • Would I be able to get over a bad swim (that might not even happen) and re-focus soon enough that it doesn’t impact my half marathon training?
  • Who knows?

The biggest question, and the hardest to answer, is am I going to be more annoyed with myself for not having a go at all than I would be if the swim goes badly?

On a brighter note, when I actually do my training, it is going well. I’ve managed to work some of my runs so that I can run with some friends who are also training for the same event but following a different plan.

Yesterday marked the start of my “marathon in a week” challenge. I ran 5km from home to parkrun early in the morning, had about 45 minutes break, then ran the 5km parkrun. And only a minute or two difference between the two 5km runs.


This morning I did the Mothers Day Classic fun run as well. Another 5.5km down.

Aside: Can you believe I’m less than 150km from my virtual journey to WA?



5 thoughts on “To tri or not to tri

  1. For me, a DNS is much worse then a DNF. The only reasons for a DNS is injury, illness, family emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflict. If there is a true safely risk then that should be considered as well (race organizers are continuing with the swim despite unsafe swimming conditions, lightning, etc).

    BTW, I disagree with that shirt. Nothing wrong with walking. I walked the final 7 miles at IM Wisconsin. It should say “Don’t Stop”.

    • I think you are right on both counts. By not starting, I’m robbing myself of the chance to have a great race. And I walked most of the run in my last race too.

  2. I’m sure you’ll regret not giving the event a shot more than struggling through it – although I am so anxious about water that I probably wouldn’t listen to my own advice on that matter! ๐Ÿ™‚

    (There’s nothing wrong with walking and I agree that “Don’t stop” would be far more appropriate!)

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