The race in St. George left me empty and not sure how to feel. While I wasn’t terribly upset, I also wasn’t incredibly happy with my performance. I like to take some time to reflect before writing a blog.
I was so impressed with the ladies with whom I had the opportunity to share the racecourse last weekend that I would rather start with their performances. In brief, Meredith Kessler was a class above – and showed it all day. From the gun, she took charge and controlled the race pace, leaving the rest of us to try to keep up. Jodie Swallow is always an aggressive competitor and as I expected she was out front and fighting as usual. But, she also showed something I haven’t seen before. She showed patience and tactical acumen that will serve her well in her Ironman races: Frankfurt and Kona. Heather Wurtele showed that her stellar form at the start of 2014 was no fluke as she battled on her own all day and didn’t give an inch. I venture to guess if we backed off a hair that she would have flown in to taken the title. Julie Dibens always impresses me, and she’s one of the toughest, hardest working ladies I have ever had the privilege to train alongside. I have no doubt that she will continue her rise back from injury, and I expect to see her atop many podiums in the next few years. And, then there’s Bek Keat who showed that she is one of the toughest ladies mentally and physically. After a bad day on the bike, she battled back with the fastest run of the day, showing her resilience. The rest of the top ten — and event top 15 — includes a who’s who of current and future triathlon stars. It was on the best women’s race mid-season that I have ever seen.
As for my race, the swim was solid. I was happy to exit the water in the lead pack with some of the top swimmers in the sport. I know full well that in the swim, anything can happen, and I know that even if training is going well it doesn’t always translate in open water. On the bike, my legs felt mediocre and I struggled all day to find my rhythm. Whether I am not as good as the other ladies or if I just had an off-day, I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to dictate the pace, especially on the climbs where I like to be aggressive. Onto the run, my best wasn’t good enough whether my legs were sluggish or my mind wasn’t focused, it wasn’t enough. My best netted only a 4th place finish on the day.
In reflection, the race gave me plenty to absorb. While it is only May, this race was a perfect benchmark. My current performance is not good enough to win. It showed that there is work to be done before September and October. For me, races hold up a mirror and show exactly where I am and where I need to go. Let the journey begin.