Strive for progress not perfection

Well it’s nearly one week on from Noosa Tri, most of the 8000 competitors have cleared out of Noosa, the fences have been dismantled, the blue carpets rolled away and the tri dust has settled for another year. There were so many stories of success and triumph over the weekend it was phenomenal and inspiring.

Swim start at Noosa Beach
Spectators lining the swim exit at Noosa Beach

To everyone who had the courage to even sign up to swim 1.5km, ride 40km and run 10km then step up to the start line to give it a red hot crack, congratulations, you did something many people wouldn’t even dream of. For the first timers, how magical was the experience? You got a PB time and whether it was faster or slower than you expected that is irrelevant, I bet the sense of satisfaction and achievement will last a lot longer than the memory of your exact time.

Keep calm and hava a banana... Channeling my inner monkey.
Keep calm and hava a banana… Channeling my inner monkey.

For me I had a pretty good day out, got a decent PB and had so much fun catching up with friends. I loved seeing all my tri clubbies, fellow Fohettes and instafriends out on course, but the highlight of my day was seeing my friend and training partner reach her goal time. This year was Sue’s 7th Noosa Tri and she has been aiming to crack the 3 hour mark for a while. Last year she was sick, vomiting on the drive to the race, but competed anyway and narrowly missed her goal. Another year of consistent training later and her aim going into the race was a time of 2:59, she finished in 2:56, blew it out of the water! I was actually estatic when I heard the news, I was in the recovery area and saw a mutual friend who told me, she was equally as excited. So forget the post race watermelon I was on a mission to find Sue to congratulate her, then I came across another friend Sarah who had just completed her first Olympic distance race, she was standing at the top of a kids playground with a grin from ear to ear. She had absolutely nailed her goal time as well, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. Judging by her race photos that smile was there ALL day. There were a few more stories like this that touched my heart over the weekend and made me realise just how awesome this sport is.


On the flip side there were also a few stories of disappointment, slow and off course swims, flat tyres or penalties on the bike and heat and cramping on the runs leading to slower than anticipated times or DNFs. I’m not going to lie I was left with a feeling of disappointment after the race. I managed a 12 minute PB on last year but I set 3 goals for the race and didn’t achieve any.
My 3 goals were
1. Top 10 in the swim. With a time of 24:10 I placed 15th.
2. Top 20 in my AG overall. I placed 22nd out of 134.
3. Overall time of 2:35- I finished in 2:37:17.

In hindsight maybe the goals weren’t realistic, or maybe if this race had been my primary focus I would’ve trained more specifically to Olympic distance and been able to achieve them. But narrowly missing out on each of them left me feeling downhearted after the race. I couldn’t really explain the disappointment because I knew I should’ve been ecstatic.
Lucky for me I have some pretty rad people in my circle, they know when to pat me on the back, pass me a tissue for my issues or shake some sense into me when I’m being ridiculous! I’m training for an ironman, all my training has been long and slow, this race was there to shake out the cobwebs and prep me for Malaysia. My race plan literally just said to have fun!

But it got me thinking, which brought me to this post (even though it’s taken me a week to write it). They say set your goals high and don’t stop til you get there. Or if your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough. But if we set our goals too high and don’t achieve them will the constant disappointment be off putting? Or will it serve as motivation to make us want to achieve them even more? Is there a happy medium between setting sky high and achievable goals? Or is that just playing it safe and settling for mediocrity? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but would love to hear your thoughts.


Ironman Malaysia is now just one short week away and everyone has told me that you can’t go into the race expecting a PB… It is hot, humid and brutal, you have to race to the conditions and finishing is an achievement in itself… I’m not going to make any rash claims before the race buts lets just say I’m striving for progress not perfection… And I’m not going there to be mediocre.

Until next time may you shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.

Chloe x

4 thoughts on “Strive for progress not perfection

  1. Chloe,
    Great post, your self reflection is inspiring.
    Also your support for your friends is so good to see.
    But, there’s no stars between here and the moon!
    Love, Arlo.


    1. Dear Arlo,
      Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated 😊 if you weren’t so damn cute I would say something about you being too smart for your own good.
      Love Coco


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