Its taken me a while to write this – I’ve been back from Mallorca over a week now and I feel like I should write this down for my sake and my memories rather than from exhilaration and pride.
Quite simply Mallorca sucked – I’m not supposed to say that, I’m supposed to say it was tough but I had an amazing time and there were good times in it but honestly for the most part I felt alone, useless and incapable.
I was really hoping that, coming back from Mallorca, I would have a new found confidence and drive towards my training and although I feel a desperate need to dive right back into training again it comes from fear rather than an urge to improve.
I’m a very new cyclist – I cycled a lot when I was a kid with my Dad who was also a keen cyclist but I fell out of it during my teens and throughout university I walked everywhere. So my first time getting back on a bike was actually a couple of days before my first triathlon on my new shiny road bike and maybe I’ve tried to go too fast as in I’ve already installed clip in pedals and got shoes with cleats – I don’t know but I fell, a lot, in Mallorca. A couple of times not due to my actions but I seemed to bear the brunt of it anyway being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ending up lying in the road feeling battered and embarrassed and it’s completely knocked my confidence on the bike.
I felt like I didn’t fit in at all and although that’s something only I can change it didn’t help matters feeling alone and stupid with a huge feeling like you weren’t supposed to be there with everyone else.
The rest of the guys were lovely, really lovely, and like I said I think it’s more to do with my own mindset than how they actually treated me but as the week went on I just didn’t want to go out with these people on group rides and, yet again, make a fool out of myself!
Other than that I felt like I was failing in a lot of the other training sessions too – the runs were hot and hard (yes I KNOW I was in Mallorca) and during the swim sessions (which were undoubtedly my favourite) we were videoed to have a look at our swim technique which meant that all the things you were doing wrong were pointed out. Yes, this was in an attempt to improve but in a week of doing, what seemed like, everything wrong it was a tough pill to swallow.
My favourite part of the week was the open water swimming – I absolutely loved it and it gave me the pick up I needed to go out again on the bike the next day, there’s just something pretty awesome about swimming in and out of the waves even if sometimes you get a complete face full.
Luckily I had a pretty good ride on the last day of camp which made me feel better when I was leaving but boy was I ready to go home!
Now I’m determined to get out on my bike, build my confidence back up again (I’ve bought new Look Keo pedals in the hopes that they’ll help) and I can work on that on my own without other people I’m likely to see again seeing me fail over and over again. My mission this summer is, without a doubt, to make the bike my friend – most of the people I see look like the bike is an extension of themselves whereas I feel like it’s this flighty thing underneath me just wanting me to get off! By the end of the summer this won’t be me anymore, I won’t allow it.
So, Mallorca was horrible, this year for me but i’m determined that if I go again next year it’ll be more of the enjoyment side of things.