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. I’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 – 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 responses »

  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! 🙂

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

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