You see, where I place in terms of other people is not as important to me as where I place in terms of competing against myself. My focus is always on kicking my own butt and improving.
Thus, even though I had the fastest bike split by about 2 minutes, and improved on my run by another minute, my slower swim left me extremely disappointed. I was 2 minutes slower than last year!
You have no idea the depths to which I sunk last night. My chest felt so heavy, I was so disappointed in myself. Why haven't I improved? I am training full-time, I have no excuse for this slower time. I didn't focus on the bike or the run times, I was totally immersed in my swim time.
Now, I did have the sense to realize that these negative emotions and fears (namely: No matter how much I train I will not get better because I suck so bad, etc.) were stemming from race fatigue. I knew if I could not get too lost in the emotions that I could ride it out.
This morning, I got up early to go to the pool for a recovery swim. The heaviness had lifted and I felt back to my usual self. I decided to see what drills I could do this morning to determine what I might have done wrong swimming yesterday.
When I do drills, I like to do the same one over and over and over again until I start to *get it*. I'll do the drill for 50m then swim 50m -- I'll do this until time is up and lose total count of meters swam.
After the first catch-up drill, I timed myself for an easy 50 m swim. I noted the time, then did another catch up drill. This time I really focused on flicking my catch powerfully back like Peanut kicking up kitty litter. Then, I timed myself for an easy 50m again. This time it was 2 seconds faster. Did it again, then it was 3 seconds faster.
I feel a little bit closer to understanding what the water is supposed to feel like -- I know I can do this.
Here is the SWEET transition backpack every competitor received instead of a race shirt! It is a proper triathlon transition bag -- and I JUST ordered one for over $100 -- this one came with the race -- so AWESOME!!!
Couple of side notes:
- A cop directing traffic waved a car through right in front of me -- I screamed and slammed on my brakes. Oh man. Cop yelled out "Sorry!"
- Traffic control was a gong show -- there was a gap between racers, I was out there alone. Two cars again were waved in front of me, I had to pull over into the left lane of traffic (4 lanes on divided highway, so I wasn't biking into oncoming traffic) and was riding beside them until the one car slowed down so I could get back onto the right shoulder again. Very scary.
- I was THAT athlete who tried to get on the bike with the shoes clipped in already...let's just say I won't be doing that again. Hahahahahahaha!! And yes, I looked like a total idiot.
- Wind was nuts even by my standards. Bike times were slower across the board. Came this close to asking a volunteer to take off my helmet, my hands were frozen.
- Iced latte, cups of fruit, a yogurt, maple salmon (lasted Mike's picking -- LOL!) and some hardware made a great day. :)