Nationals!

It was odd coming into a race of this magnitude without having tapered.  I mean there is some TOUGH competition here and I wanted to race well.  But, I also had to keep perspective as the World Championships in October is my main race this season.  Still, it didn’t take away from the desire to do well, really well and I was quite nervous as usual.

The first wave started at 7:30am and my age group didn’t go off until 9am!  Grrr!  I do not like waiting around that long, however, it actually helped me and Betsy, Bruce, and Vachee as we were able to see what not to do.  There were some mighty winds and waves and several swimmers were WAY off course.  Due to the rough water, some had trouble sighting, others just got shoved to the shore as they weren’t sighting enough, many were simply taxed from fighting the waves and rested on the kayaks.  Sadly, one swimmer had a cardiac issue and passed away.  My heart breaks for him and his family.  He wasn’t newer to the sport either, he was rather experienced.  Many condolences…

By the time my age group started, the waves had diminished some, but it was still quite choppy.  I didn’t mind that at all, but with the odd shape of the course and difficultly sighting, as usual, I stopped 4 times to seek out the buoys and I’m glad I did.  My fear was going way off course like so many others.  I did ok there and didn’t do too many extra yards, but certainly could have done better.

I knew I was out of the water in 3rd at 21:46 and did my best to hold that position on the bike, to no avail.  I felt pretty good, but managed to get passed by 4-5 ladies in my age group.  I tried to keep up with each one of them, but I also wanted to stick to my race plan and not blow up too early and die on the run, which often happens to athletes in every race. Overall I had a mediocre bike – 3 minutes slower than last year on the exact same course.

Ugh, the dreaded hill coming out of T2 is nasty!   Actually, I was somewhat looking forward to it as I remembered it well from last year and knew to not push it.  I didn’t, but regardless of pace, even walking, this one would still hurt.  The entire run hurt though.  I tried to embrace the pain and I did, yet my breathing/wheezing didn’t allow me to push as hard as I wanted. I took my inhaler prior to the race, but perhaps I need something stronger!  😉  Regardless, I was content with my run time as it felt so much slower.

All in all, I’m not pleased with my performance.  No, I’m not being hard on myself.  It’s perspective as last year my bike ranked much better and I placed overall better as well. I ended up 13th in my age group versus 10th last year and 7th the year before that. (I did qualify for the World Championships next year so I’m happy about that).  I’m keeping my eye on Worlds though and have faith it will all come together then!

Congrats to Vachee on racing his first Nationals and placing 6th!  That qualifies him for the World Championships in London next fall!  Woohoo!

The best part of the weekend?  Hanging with good friends & clients (Bruce & Betsy Noxon, Mark & Kim Morgan, Stephen Ban, and Vachee Loughran), seeing old friends, fine dining, and going to the amazing swimming hole in Bolton.  We bought some beverages and hung out there for a few hours, it was simply beautiful. (Google Bolten Potholes and you’ll find it).   It was great to see Kari, Jen H, Griff, among others too!

A HUGE shout out and thank you to Filipics, Sangers, and Palmbergs for taking such good care of Sarah and Courtney!  We could not have taken this trip without you!!! (We had some sitting coverage issues arise the day before we left so I was incredibly stressed)!  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

To wrap this up, below are a some pics:

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9 Replies to “Nationals!”

  1. Congratulations Mary!!! What an accomplishment to qualify for World Championships. I appreciate your sending me the link to your blog. Bruce is my podiatrist. What an athlete!!

  2. Good rehash of the race. Since we had been there last year, I really knew what you were talking about with the waves and the big hill. Welcome home!

  3. Congratulations Coach! You totally rock! You’ve inspired me to get back into the water and possibly leave early only a few times! Let me know when we reconvene and I’ll see you poolside! xoxo

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