Friday night i emailed JH, telling her I was not excited to race. I was feeling tired, and had a long week and just not really excited to race. Maybe last weekend was such a great weekend i was kinda in a funk about having to get up and do it all over again. Much to my surprise she said " No biggie, do what you want, it isnt a big race."
Um. ok. That was all i needed. It was like i just wanted it to be ok to not race. And then I decided I would race. Smile on. Pressure off. It was a short race for goodness sakes, why not just go and see how I did. The problem is that I have a hard time not EXPECTING alot from myself. So after "talking" to JH ( i didnt, but i could hear her voice in my head...hahaha) I knew i would regret not going. Even tho it was a great night friday night, cool, sunny, and my sister was riding her bike with her friends, and I was home prepping my stuff. Oh well. It was worth it. Forecast was great, HOT even. and i like HOT!
Saturday dawns, I am up and out the door early and ready to go. I rack in the elite rack and there arent many people there at all. I know nobody. Hmm..So i sit, talk to Jerry a bit, hang out, and decide to warm up. Do all that and then wander to the swamp, I mean LAKE, and get in to warm up. Thank goodness it was 80 and wetsuits were not legal. First off, the lake was so green. I did a warm up lap ( it was 1/4 mile, cough. Ok I am learning what distances i like and what i dont, this is a dislike) and was stopped in my stroke about 3 x by massive clumps of greenery. Serious weeds. Ok then lets just say in this case i was glad to get out. But 1/4 mile swim was just painful. Literally I took the worst beating i have ever taken in the elite field this year. The line was straight. One Buoy. I lined up in the front. I was where i should have been ( no the REALLY FAST people, both men and women, were not there) but how in the world can a guy ( and yes i know it was a guy, bc i know where the other top 2 women were) hit me repeatedly in the left head and shoulder for the entire first 150 yards without realizing or stopping? I guess i could have dropped back. I was sandwiched in there, but i was determined to keep pushing. And at one point i did sit up ( hahaha, sit up on those weeds) and say "would you CUT IT OUT!!!" wow, that worked. The turn at 200+ yards was clear and i had a clear swim back into shore. Heck. I did think of people telling stories of IM, ouch.
Out of the water, and it was raining. It had begun to rain about 7:50 and it was now a steady stream of rain. Onto the bike and i took a lesson from CY and tried my best to GET OUT OF SIGHT as fast as i could. At that point i knew i had a slight lead on #2 and #3, but in a 1/4 mile swim it wasnt enough. It was now pouring and my thought was that hopefully the conditions would favor me. I thought about riding in crap and winter and low visibility and at each corner i could see nobody. I thought maybe i had a good lead. Suddenly out of nowhere i got passed about mile 7-8 of a 13.5 mile ride. Nobody else passed me tho so i knew i was in a race for 1st. I got back into T2 and she had racked her bike in my place. Ok. not sure what that was all about. But i hoofed it out of there, wet shoes and all.
The Run is sorta rolling on park trails. Good thing is that you cant see anyone bc its winding, bad thing is you cant see anyone. It was still raining pretty good, but doable. I had my new Kiwami 008 openback on and my new Saucony Kinvaras and i was as dry as i could have been. Love both those products. I ran as hard as i could, there was one guy i heard behind me and then he was gone. La dee dah, running hard, running hard, wishing i had a target. Finally about 1/2 mile from the finish ( it was a 3.3 mile run) I saw her up ahead. She had someone running with her looking back and he saw me. This gave me motivation to ran harder. She got me by 30 seconds and i took 2nd OA, and broke the masters record.
I was pretty happy but at the same time disappointed. You can agree or disagree with me on this, but i go to races assuming i am going to win. I dont mean that to be cocky or arrogant. I just know that when i used to play tennis, that is what i had to do. I would do what i knew, take care of business and make prudent choices along the way TRUSTING my game and in this case TRUSTING my fitness and my coach and I would do well and IF i was lucky, too, I may win. So it is a catch 22. I didnt win. But at the same time had i gone into this race with my friday night attitude of "I dont want to race," well that isnt so good either and i would have been REALLY disappointed in myself. I am not disappointed in my effort.
I am not disppointed in my performance. I am just disappointed bc i think i had a chance to win a race. And ya know I learned some stuff. Cant go wrong on that. Having re-written this blog as of monday i also learned some stuff about what i can and cant control. Thanks for the input, kari!
I hung around for awards, got a nice plaque, got my ALL TO WET stuff into the car and headed home to my honey who was waiting! HE got totally soaked riding in the AM too, so we compared notes and called it a fun, wet day!
Just a few more races to come, lots still to be learned. But i will tell you I am looking forward to some more races with a longer swim and a longer run:) I know i can gut out the bike as well, but those 1/4 swims. Well, they are for the birds!