First off, I was so impressed with how fast Liz Blatchford, Mel Haushilt and Leanda Cave were at the Boulder 70.3. That was such a hot and difficult race that they made look so easy. Very impressive racing by all of them and everyone that finished that day should be happy with their effort.
It is amazing how much your mind will affect your body’s ability to perform. I have experienced both sides of the spectrum now.. my mind taking over and pushing me harder than my body can handle and now the opposite, my mind taking my foot off the gas and inhibiting my ability to perform with whatever I have on the day.
This past weekend I had the worst race of my 70.3 career. It was very crappy. I had some problems for sure but none that would have created the result I earned. I squandered a lot of time that day reviewing my season and the decisions I have made which made it impossible to perform to whatever my ability was that day. I also wasted extra time contemplating whether I should finish the race. It was clear I completely lost the plot. I like to fancy myself as the triathlete with balance and frankly, the frustration I have been feeling over how some of this season has gone has been tipping my balance and disrupting my perspective. This race was not well planned or executed and I certainly set myself up for failure… but I still could have done better.
I enjoy incredible privilege and opportunity every time I get to a start line and I am so angry with myself that I didn’t maximize that opportunity on Sunday. I wasn’t going to win that day as I was decidedly off form and not being in strong race form wasn’t the problem. I ended up losing it mentally because of too many negative thoughts about little problems I was having that I couldn’t do anything about that started compounding. It was a character building/embarrassing/devastating/uninspiring/humbling day but ultimately totally it was necessary to finish that race. I wasted a lot of time looking around for reasons why it wasn’t going my way and not enough time looking inside to see what I could do to salvage what I could from the day. I think I went at least 8 spots further back than I really needed to mostly because I lost it mentally very early on a very hard day physically and it was a good reminder to keep it together when things get tough. I don’t want that to happen again. I made myself finish ensuring that I know that I don’t have the option to drop out. If I want to be a sissy and go slower than I need to again I will know exactly what it is going to feel like to let myself down. It was not a proud moment on a very bad day.
The most frustrating part of all of this is the knowledge, with the benefit of hindsight, that changing my plans to try to make up for setbacks earlier in the season has all been fruitless. That was going through my head over and over during the race. I never meant to do the race in Boulder, Calgary or in Beaver Creek. The chain of events goes back to April and the 5th place I earned in Vegas when I wasn’t healthy and although I am sure the Beaver Creek XTERRA race might have gone well, ultimately 3 flats meant I only matched that 5th place performance and as a result I wasted my time going. Going to that XTERRA meant I had to find another 70.3 to get qualification for Worlds so my last choices of races were the only ones left before the cutoff and those were Calgary and Boulder (Boulder only being an “extra” points event). Sometimes you need a bit of luck with your preparation and unfortunately, I haven’t created the luck I was looking for.
I didn’t stay in Colorado before Calgary and Boulder 70.3s because I felt I can train with better quality for later in the season at home. I underestimated the altitude in Calgary and overdid it before that event which resulted in a tough last 10km. After that race I was pretty tired going into the next race at altitude which never works out for me. I felt like a bag of crap in Vail and not much better down in Boulder from the start gun and it showed. I need 2 weeks of focused effort to race with any ability at altitude and that didn’t happen so my result was terrible. However, the ONLY reason I did those two altitude races was qualification for Vegas.
Chasing points for XTERRA and for 70.3 is making my racing absolute crap and it is super frustrating for me. Next go around I will just stick to the plan to go to races I want to be at that I think suit my ability. I will not travel around to a bunch of events that don’t make sense. The fields at 70.3 in particular are too strong and the effort it takes to go well at that distance is wasted if it isn’t thought through and planned properly. I am not happy racing with this kind of form and unhappiness does not make you fast.
Back to work. I fully intend to turn down the suck and turn up the rock.
Thank you to all the amazing competitors and volunteers in Boulder. You guys were so great and thank you to the athletes I was running with on Sunday. You guys were fun to be around… even if there were moments where I definitely WAS NOT! Thank you to Doug and Sara for being awesome hosts… we did have a lot of fun that week with you even if that day was average. All the best in your upcoming wedding! xx