First, I’ll focus on the positives:
U23 National Champ!
4th place in US Nationals!
3rd race in a row staying upright on the bike!
I did have a great start in the swim, which is a very positive change. I was in a good position pretty much the entire time I was wrapped in rubber and was out of the water in the smaller front pack, even if I was at the very back. That position proved unfortunately problematic when I wasted about 5-10 seconds extricating myself from the left leg of my wetsuit.
Combined with the fact that I can’t average 600 watts for 5 minutes, my poor preparation for T1 made me miss the front biking pack. After a couple laps in a futile hunt to catch the leaders, Paulo Sousa gave me the wise suggestion to surrender. My small group of riders and I were promptly enveloped by much larger chase pack. After that, it was just a question of waiting for T2 and being careful on the corners.
It was surprising to not feel stupendous during the run and things could have turned out much worse had Paulo Sousa not been there. Even though he didn’t wear the aviators I brought him, he definitely helped me refocus during the run. I was able to perform my best for the day, even if I didn’t finish where I had expected. It was great to have a practical reminder that especially when races aren’t perfect, I still need to relax, have patience, and make the most of my opportunity.
My preparations weren’t what they should have been and coach Paulo certainly made that clear. I’ll undoubtedly be practicing my wetsuit transition before my first World Cup in Tongyeong. I need to rethink my prerace routine and make sure that I have it down pat, especially because everything is a bit more complicated in foreign countries.
The week after Buffalo was probably the best segment of triathlon training I’ve ever put together. I swam well, was running a lot with intensity, and still logged hard time in the saddle. This year it’s great to be able to continue racing triathlons well into Autumn, even if I do miss running with the all guys back at Wake Forest (except Garret).