Luckily for me Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines exactly one week ago was not my last race of the season. It was by far the biggest focus of the year, and probably the biggest race of my life thus far but at least not the last.
Anyone who knows me or knows how my racing has gone knows that the season started great and was going along perfectly until my untimely incident in MN in July. After a couple weeks off and a couple weeks back on track the focus remained to tear it up at Hy-Vee. Going into the race I felt good physically, but mentally was a bit frazzled after my less than amazing performance in Chicago the week prior. I knew my numbers were where they should be in training but the lack of a solid ride in Chicago, the one thing I always do, had been a bit of a mental set back.
Now when you have a bad race there are plenty of reasons. You can be unfit. You can be tired or sick. You could be injured. You could just have a bad day. Or you could absolutely fry yourself with nerves in the days leading up to the race, which is more of less the diagnosis my coach and I have come to. I always put huge expectations on myself, and for the most part it is a good thing. But there are times where the weight of the world does nothing but break your back, and in this case that seems to be the outcome.
The race itself started well with a good start and a solid swim leaving me in 2nd heading out of T1. It is exactly where I wanted and expected to be and as I rode away thought it was gonna be a good day. However, as soon as I started riding I felt like I had no pop in my legs. Almost as though I was stuck in 2nd gear, and when guys started passing me and my best effort did little to stay with them I realized it was gonna be a long day instead. Despite my best efforts to chase on the bike and then run hard throughout the 10k my best was simply not good enough. In a field of 30 of the worlds best, racing for huge money, if you are just a little off you are out of the game, and I was at best just a little off.
This blog is a full week post race and to be honest it is simply that I spent the first half of the week in a depressed funk about the race, and the second half actively trying to determine where it went wrong. Gotta say a huge thanks to my wife and family for supporting me, and to all my friends that came to the race to cheer me on.
I love Iowa. The fact that the biggest, richest, most well run professional non-drafting race is in Des Moines doesn’t shock me a bit. Iowa knows what’s what, and they showed it again last Sunday. The fans were amazing, the course was great, and the athlete support was second to none. At this point I am chomping at the bit for next years race already, but in the mean time have to get in some good training and try and race myself into better position in the Toyota Cup. I am still in 2nd with 2 races to go including the double points finale in Dallas. Catching Andy is not likely, but it is possible, so for now its back to the grind. Like Jay-z says, “It’s on to the next one…”