I gave this advice to a friend of mine who had a bad race recently while everyone was watching.
sh$t happens, it is what you make of the pile that matters
Look at me. Look at the pile. Now back to me. No one was watching me in Vegas because I was so far back, one advantage I had on said friend I offered that advice to. Now I plan to utilize it myself.
The top performances at the Worlds aside, there were highlights that stuck with me personally from the race in Vegas. Watching Leanda win another World Championship 5 years after her last, after a season of up and downs, punctuated with a super dominant performance was excellent. She was a favorite to win for sure but she blew the doors off that sucker. Kelly Williamson powered to second place with a phenomenal run and I heard some doubts from her the day before. All of us sometimes waver in our confidence but I know she was game face only by race morning. Lastly, seeing Angela Naeth finish the race after sliding down a cheese grater at mile 19 was most excellent. They grow us chicks tough in Canada and that Angela makes me proud of our culture of triathlon in Canada.
My performance was forgettable and as a professional I have some people to whom I owe an explanation and there are some people are just interested in WTF. In hindsight I have learned it is better to just know when to pause and re-evaluate. I have made a series of decisions this season that left me injured for weeks and ultimately unprepared for Worlds. An overstuffed schedule continually alternating between XTERRA and 70.3 meant I disregarded warning signs in my body until I left myself little time to get prepared for one of my biggest races.
When the injury was finally diagnosed and changes to my cleats and time trial position were made, I pursued therapy aggressively. I experienced over the top effort of Jamie Grimes at Synergy Health, Paul McIntyre at Broadmead Orthopedic Physiotherapy and massive amounts of massage from Markus Blumensaat and Alex Forsythe. I had 2.5 weeks post Trekworld to salvage the Vegas worlds and XTERRA Canada. There were rays of hope that pushed me down this path. Those people worked so hard to get me back on track and I was energized by a good performance in Canada. However, I couldn’t get it done. It isn’t because I am not capable of riding at the front, as I have done so numerous times this season with these same phenomenal athletes. I just couldn’t on Sunday.
To be honest, injury management aside, I did learn something which was positive. My preparation for the extreme temperatures was not ideal and I won’t go straight from Victoria to the burning inferno of Vegas next year. Certainly feeling like dried roadkill did not speed me up at all. I was headed backwards before the heat got me but it did and that is bad. A bit more time would have made the experience a lot more comfortable.
Scheduling this year has been an issue. I like racing EVERYTHING and that isn’t working out that well. Some girls did about 5 races. I multiplied that by about 5 if you include all my training events so maybe I found the breaking point? It did not work up to now, anyway.
Not finishing and earning the rotton finish waiting for me would have meant compromising my XTERRA season, finishing a bunch of races in a terrible position to qualify, earning the confidence of sponsors and friends and leaning on my awesome boyfriend Mike (who sat in the boiling temperatures cheering for WAY too long) would have been for absolutely NOTHING at all. I never quit if at all possible and I think being a somewhat graceful loser gives me an opportunity to be a better winner. I think dropping out gets easier every time you do it so I avoid it. Everyone struggles out there… so embracing the struggle is important to me.
My main goal in racing 70.3 was to challenge myself at the highest level and push my limits. I want to win all kinds of events including 70.3, mountain bike and XTERRA events and getting out of my comfort zone has been good. I am just having trouble finding my way right now and am a bit frustrated with the half Ironman stuff.
XTERRA is a much different sport but like all triathlon it has a cast of super strong characters. Knowing that, it is time for me to do everything I can to be ready for the US Nationals and the XTERRA Worlds because those races are going to be FAST. I think this last race is a poor reflection of my ability which includes winning the Oceanside 70.3 with the top girls from Worlds in the field, earning a top 3 and fastest bike split at the Calgary 70.3 with an injury and winning Richmond and Canada XTERRA events this year. I am stronger than the long workout I performed in Vegas might indicate.
My next opportunity to race the best in the world happens to be on the dirt… just where I like it. I did work really hard this season and all these disappointments, although tough to swallow, are motivating me. I’m looking forward to finding my fastness again. I am going to make it a bit easier on myself though…no more riding two horses with one ass….it is all my Trek Superfly, Bontrager monster truck 2.2 tires and Shimano XTR shifting from here to the end of October.
Thanks to AVIA, Polar, Rudy Project, Powerbar, Esi Grips, Powertap, Champion System, USANA, Genuine Innovations, Nineteen Wetsuits and Trigger Point Technologies. Big thank you to my local supporters: Trek Procity Victoria, Synergy Health Management (Jamie Grimes and Kate Button in particular), Broadmead Physio (Paul McIntyre) and Markus Blumensaat, RMT and new supertalent: Alex Forsythe, RMT. I am really well supported by phenomenally talented people and spectacular products so I look forward to showcasing this advantage properly.