There’s a unique feeling I get when I am about to approach the starting line with World Champions. Nausea? Admiration? Pride? Breathe! All I think of is, “I hope I can still see them when I get out of the water!” At St Anthony’s, I didn’t see much of them, but I hope I looked cool in my new SLS3 Fobic Speedsuit at the very least. St Anthony’s was an eye opener that I need to refocus and get serious if I want to continue racing. With my PhD in full swing, I severely slacked off training and was stressed out from school and it showed at St Anthony’s. My mind was not in it. My heart was not in it. I lost my “digging deep” as Lori (GOTribal Ambassador put it: http://ht.ly/4Rqyg). You never know what can happen on any given day. Even with the best-of-the-best at the starting line, we must race against ourselves and not let others’ keep us from giving it all we’ve got! For some reason, I was sight-seeing at St Anthony’s Triathlon. Who wouldn’t! Sarah Haskins, Sara Groff, Matty Reed, Nina Craft, and on and on and on!
My goal was to not finish last – what kind of goal is that?!? BAD! As I exited the water knowing how far behind I was and how long the swim to bike transition was, I didn’t feel like I wanted to continue. I knew that was a bad reason for pulling out so I hopped on my bike and took off. The first group of men rounded the corner like a peloton! I wondered, what did I sign myself up for? Although I managed a negative split on my run, the day felt like I missed a huge opportunity. I need to sit down and really re-assess my training and racing both mentally and physically if I want to continue. I DO want to continue.
Heading into Gulf Coast Triathlon in a short time, I had made a plan to start attending the local high school swim training and to let my husband, Steve, beat me up on the bike. I knew I wouldn’t be at my peak by Gulf Coast, but maybe I’d make some progress by Columbia Triathlon in Maryland later in the month. After the first high school swim training, I thought I broke a rib. I forgot how much abs we use to do the butterfly stroke. My legs were wasted from trying to hold onto my husband’s wheel during a 42 mile ride. I went into Gulf Coast Triathlon a little sore, but bearable especially for a relay. Approaching the race start was very different then I was used to. As a pro, I usually go off first and without a wetsuit. This time I would be going off an hour after the first wave. I barely warmed up and tried to not feel too nervous. I got kicked in the face and could feel my wetsuit rubbing my neck raw. I felt like I was giving it a good effort but that I still had a little more if the swim was shorter. As I struggled to exit the water and run up the beach, I didn’t even unzip my wetsuit. I wanted to get to our biker as soon as possible! My lungs were screaming! Why don’t I do this for my own races? Why just for relays? I handed off our timing chip to our biker and tried to ask how long my swim was, but no one really knew. I thought it was about 32 minutes, but wasn’t sure and didn’t see the actual times until the next day. 26:31!!! A new PR! Heading into Columbia Triathlon will be a learning experience as it’s been a while since I had to fly with my bike, but my goal is to push it to my limits and then work on changing those limits.