What was your major surprise fail / pitfall this year in your sport?


The year is coming to a close and as is normal, we all had ups and downs… the downs being the shittiest place ever and yet the place of potential and breakthroughs. And the ups… wow, a place you should be proud of. I wish for you that ups far outweighed the downs…

However, in the shitty fails…

What did we learn?

I learnt that you can train your ass of all year, focus on the process, write the goals, review the goals, do the strength and weakness evaluations and take as large a dose of mindfulness and perspective into it all and still FAIL… haha. World Champs 70.3 was the race that never was because i fell ill, 2 months worth of ill.

what did i really learn?

That it is actually tricky to not wrap your identity up into it all when it is something that feels really important despite all your awareness and intentions

Failure hurts - inside. it is gutting and heart breaking… the fun bit never happened.(nor the holiday)

Failure is confusing; you did all the bits and added all the pieces yet the jigsaw was never seen never mind completed. This probably is a personality thing for me and many as we learn hard work gets results. It does, it always gets results… but perhaps not the race speaking personally.
This is the second time i have missed out on a very important (to me) race, the first was torn ligaments after an unfortunate accident in taper week, and this time epic stomach damage and bugs. Neither were over training, personal sabotage (in my heart i know this), or anything i can blame myself for. this is a strange place. it doesnt make sense, yet it does, you got sick, shit happens… so what next…

I used the time to find silver linings, to strive for some positive outcomes and personal growth and experiences within the shittiness of illness, and professional growth as my illness was related to my work. I am sure that Nate will educate me on how this may have been part coping skill and part controlling the process?

last point - is it the nature of us type As to somewhat without even realising it try to control the process even within the spiraling disappointment of what we couldn’t control?.. i was in equal parts letting go in the process and also trying to control the ill-health into health into return to training process. It took far longer, far greater patience and many more forwards and backwards than i anticipated so this taught me a lot also. P A T I E N C E and that some things take time. no matter how much knowledge i may have!

enough about me… what about you… did you grow in the fails this year? its a good time of year to reflect… but please please… spin it positive :slight_smile: for your own hard working doing your best self…



Thanks for sharing this Andrea. I would like to share something… when my kids allow it. :slight_smile:


June was my third attempt to finish the Dirty Benjamin, a 100 mile local gravel race. The first year I didn’t finish due to heat exhaustion. The second year I didn’t finish because the 30 mph wind gusts across flat farm fields and falling over 4 times was so demoralizing. This year I was ready for heat, mentally prepared for wind, and dragged @meganherzog along with me for moral support. We were going to do this!

Even after having to pull over because the rain was falling so hard we couldn’t see and then getting lost for a 10 mile detour we kept going. We then got caught in a severe thunderstorm and took shelter under a barn overhang. After 45 minutes with no let up in the rain and lightning, we were both shivering and called for a rescue. The weather forecast for the day had been slight chance of rain. :rofl:

Failure? No way. I had a blast. This ride has now become so ridiculous that the disappointment might actually be crossing the finish line. I will be doing it again in 2019 and fully expect a blizzard or some other completely wild and random thing to happen. Looking forward to the adventure!


Oh no. It can’t be true - For me, it was the Pacific Crest Olympic Tri late June. At T1, I got on my bike to discover I had no Di2. I debated to continue or call it quits. I decided to give it a go anyway. Worse case was the wagon following the last rider would be following me. I road the flats pedaling furiously as other athletes passed me and complemented me on how well I was doing.

What did I learn - Let it go. I can now laugh about the ordeal. I did my best with what the gods handed me that day. I really learned to have my Di2 checked and firmware upgraded annually. Upgrading the firmware may not have helped anyway.


oh goodness!!! i think you should do it next year; i think we are all waiting for locusts next time!!


I’ll be there @cullenac! :smiley:


@cullenac Andrea- Thank you so much for sharing your season and disappointments with us. It’s no surprise that both of us are pharmacists with our type A, perfectionist personalities.
Like you, I have had to deal with disappointment due to health issues. I am still trying to find the balance between increasing my training and power and doing too much which brings on my neuro symptoms. I am very frustrated when I increase my cycling efforts and then spend 7 to 10 days with weakness, pain, numbness, dizziness and blurred vision.
I have had to lower my expectations of myself (which is not easy). I remind myself to stay grateful that I can still ride. I concentrate more on the social side and riding adventures while still improving my fitness. I was such a competitor in my younger years, so my challenge is staying in the moment and accepting where my body is now. You can have fun racing in the back of the pack.


Last year I set a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I had only run one full marathon before that and that had been nowhere near the pace I would need. I decided I needed help, so I started working with Ian. After overcoming a torn quad, my first attempt was late September 2017. Everything was going well in that race…until I hit the proverbial wall at km 26. Chalked that up to inexperience, refocused and started training again in January.
It was a bad winter here in Canada last year, and that was my undoing, I guess. One morning I had to pull up short to avoid a car that wasn’t paying close enough attention and started sliding through an intersection. I landed hard on my hip, but my frustration was high and finished the run–about 30k total. Got home to a bloody leg, a badly bruised hip, and a heaping helping of denial. I carried on with the training because of how far into it I was. The hip was a constant nuisance but I carried on, managing to stick with the plan.
I signed up to do a smaller, early season marathon. I needed to a time of around 3:27 to qualify. At km 30, my pace had slowed a bit and I was starting to feel the effects of the hip injury. It was a bitter pill to swallow–knowing my plan was dissolving with each step. I finished in 3:32.
I took 6 weeks off of running, and tried an easy run. I could feel the hip. I’ve only run 5 times since the marathon in May. Nothing over 5 k, and all at an easy pace: still sore. Yes, I have had extensive physiotherapy and I regularly do strength training. I have started making a space in my mind for the idea that I will not be able to run like I did before. That’s always been a way for me to deal with disappointment, even if it’s not inevitable. I’ve shifted focus to the bike, and I’m happy with that, but that urge to run is still there, lying dormant for the time being. I can usually distract myself from it, but friends and colleagues–wanting to make small talk–will often bring it up because, to them, it is a major part of my identity.
Hope springs eternal.


Oh wow, so sorry to hear about the hip injury! Thank goodness for the bike. I am not a runner so your desire to run is beyond my understanding, but I do hope you are able to find some satisfaction in running again even if qualifying for Boston doesn’t factor in. I can imagine it must be a real struggle sometimes. All the best to you!


never say never… the body may need time NOW, ans you just never know. if you LOVE running. then there is always a chance. I believe in the power of the mind and body in healing. however, you may need to change your expectations and also appreciate that you as a person and how you perform isn’t one and the same… we are so hard on ourselves… so much to learn from in your journey. spend time there, there is always gold to be found… and then chase what feels possible.
amazing and tough journey.

it think 2018 tried to kill us all!!!