It's not really fun to write yet another race report about a poor performance, but after stewing over it for a few days I am starting to come to terms with it not being the biggest deal in the world. I have to be fortunate to have even started the race (two people didn't) and not to have crashed (at least 6 I know of) during the race. It still stings pretty badly to not be able to take advantage of big opportunities - Hy-Vee only comes along once a year!
I have a few explanations as to why I was so off, and I'm going to try to address and eliminate them one by one. One thing I need to not do is an extra workout sprinting through airports with a suitcase and a backpack. Anyone ever run the length of a crowded Detroit airport in 10.5 minutes?? And then another interval in Minneapolis an hour later? Maybe that should be my greatest athletic feat for the weekend! It's not an excuse, but just one of the things to fix in order to make my next race a good one.
Depsite the distractions, I really thought I'd be able to focus and have a good finish. I actually felt great in warm up and was ready to go. Two strokes into the swim, one of my competitors decided to grab my head, pull off my goggles and push my head under the water. It wasn't one of those flailing, trying to swim, washing machine mayhem moments - it was an intentional dunk! How lame is that?? I know it's common in ITU races but doesn't make it any less annoying. I tried to collect myself and put my goggles back on my eyes but by that time I was second pack...so I guess the tactic worked! I'm sure I would have been able to recover and just swim away if I were feeling good, but I just couldn't get going. The race continued like that for two hours... And then I finished in 20th place.
There were some really great performances and also some really bad luck (Laura Bennett crashed, hit her head hard and got up and finished the race with a decent run). It was really fun to be a part of the race and to race against the best athletes in the sport. I will have to wait until the next one to prove I belong there.
Before Des Moines and after Maine I got to spend the week in New Paltz training and visiting with my mom and dad. Bec and I put in some solid hours together swimming, biking, running, cooking and photographing. We tested new recipes - some failed and some were great. We will share them on the site soon.
Thanks again to my sponsors and for everyone out there cheering (in person, online, etc). All the positive vibes are so helpful and I really appreciate the support.