This weekend, I was due to race in our club road champs. A short low stress 7Km race that through different reasons I’d never won before.

My preparation wasn’t entirely bad this year. I was fit, although not as race fit as I could be, but expected to do well enough to push for the win.

However, the day before the race, I was checking my online credit card statement and discovered I’d fallen victim to a fraud! Someone had illegally used my credit card to purchase airline tickets in a country on the other side of the world. Total cost to my credit card was close to $3000. Ouch!! Needless to say, my attention switched from the race to trying to sort out the credit card fraud.

A phone call to my bank and the credit card was cancelled and I was informed that despite this fraud, I could be waiting up to a month for it to be cleared from my credit card. So, taking matters into my own hands, I stayed up late, called the airline showing as the recipient of my money to get their opinion on this fraud, only to be told to simply email them the details and someone would deal with it. Not really that helpful. All the time, my stress levels and concern were building up.

The following morning, I realised this was in the hands of the bank and the airline company and I needed to get on with my life.

Had the stress left me in a state where I could race though?

Stress and Racing

So despite the negative stress, could I race and get focused?

Leading into the race, I was acutely aware of the incident that had occurred but tried to think about how I could use this stress to get more focused on racing.

Because I was so intently set on getting race focused, it actually worked. I was able to focus on the job I had to do and set about racing for the win.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. The downside of the stressful experience had left me physically drained and despite trying my best, I faded at the 6Km mark to eventually finish 2nd by a good 20 seconds from the race winner.

The lesson learnt though was that despite my circumstances, I could refocus by using the stress.