after 3 long weeks of heavy training by myself (no thanks to the abandoner - gered), a week of recovery, and a somewhat disappointing race, i'm definitely feelin' another one of those valleys i talked about. valleys are the most crucial time in training. james (from the bible) says, "consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverence. perseverence may finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything." a wonderful lesson for life and developing character, but also a fantastic lesson for developing the mind and attitude of a triathlete. training when you're down is what will seperate you from the chumps. anyone can go out and push themselves when they're feeling good and ready to go, but only successful triathletes can get off there patooties when they're sore and sick of training.
that said, i do show up for every practice... but that doesn't mean i have any inspiration for writing this blog... it's just been a month since i've done it and gered is getting naggy. so i'll share my NYC tri experience.
navigating NYC - eh. who likes driving into the city? i'll answer that. no one. i went in on saturday afternoon for a 20 minute pre-race meeting, and to drop off my bike in transition, and it took 6 and a half hours. my least favorite part of this race. of course, if i had stayed in the hotel, none of that would have been an issue. the next morning, i got up at 3 and was out the door at 3:15 (AM) so that i could get to transition, and then walk the mile and a half to the swim start by 5:56 when my wave went off. i knew that was coming, so i got good sleep for the three nights leading up to it. between my sleep and the adrenaline, i felt good and awake for the race start.
the swim was, as usual, the highlight of the race - i love coming out of the water first! :-) it was my first dive start, which went off without a hitch. apparently, most triathletes don't know how to dive off of a pontoon, because i came up from the dive head and shoulders ahead of everyone around me. there were 3 or 4 guys on the other end of the pontoon that kept up for about 400 yards, but had trouble sighting the course. they veared toward the shoreline, and i stayed the course as close to the middle of the hudson as we were allowed. i looked over a minute or two later, and the current worked to my advantage... they were no where in sight. i came out of the water 30 or 40 seconds ahead of the next guy, and ran the quarter mile to transition barefoot in a wetsuit (more exhausting than the swim)
i wasn't on the bike long before the two guys that won (and got second) rode by. a little later a group of 4 or 5 guys came buy at a little more manageable pace, so i tried to hover behind that group - close enough to keep my motivated, but far enough that i wouldn't get penalized for drafting. that effort really drained my tanks, and the last 6 or 7 miles were a bit slower than the first 18 or so. i came in from the bike in around 7th.
i felt smooth out of transition on the run down 72nd street, but when i got in the park, things started to fall apart. by mile 2.5 i was hurtin pretty bad, so i tried to latch onto the heels of a guy that passed me. i stuck on for about a half mile, and then i really bombed. i fell back another 7 places in the run, to finish 15th. the winner finished 9 minutes ahead of me.
it wasn't really the result that got me down so much as the let down from the hopes i had for the race. i hadn't raced since mid june, and i had done a LOT of hard work since then, so i was hoping to see a lot of progress. maybe even achieve my goal of 3rd for the pro license. knowing how much faster those guys went, and how far i am from what i had hoped to achieve this weekend is what really brought me down.
down, but not out.