After a day of traveling back from Huatulco, Mexico, I am back home in Colorado Springs.
The race did not play out as I would have liked and I am extremely disappointed with the outcome, especially since this was my final race of the year.
Unfortunately, I experienced a mechanical on the bike and was unable to finish the race. This has only happened to me one other time in my career, my first world cup back in 2005.
This was hard to swallow, considering there were only eight women that finished the race...so if I could have just been able to finish the ride I could have broke even for the trip and earned world cup points.
More upsetting, is that I was not able to go out there and execute the past few weeks of hard training and also cross that finish line. I do wish I had another race scheduled for the remainder of the year to let out my frustrations, but I am going to continue with my regularly scheduled off-season plans. I am headed to St. Louis tomorrow to visit the family and enjoy my break from training!!
I always look at the positives from the race and try learn from my mistakes. The race began with mistakes from the get go----not only just mechanical on the bike!
The race began at 8:00AM, and the temperatures were already very warm!! We had a short run into the water with a beach start, and I got into a good position very early into the swim with a lead after the first 100 meters. Prior to the race start, I misjudged the layout of the swim course and did not make an appropriate turn about 400 meters into the race. I swam about 50 meters out of the way, before I realized my mistake and looked back and saw the entire swim pack 50-100 meters ahead of me. I worked the next 800 meters catching back up to the front group before exiting the water for T1. A positive in this aspect is that I stayed calm, and did what I needed to do in catching back up to the front. However, once out on the bike course I dwelled on my mistake and should have been more focused on the race at the moment.
About half-way through the bike course, I was shifting in the middle of a small hill and my chain stuck. I got off my bike, fixed it, and then hopped back on (2 min behind the lead pack of four I was riding with). I was very disheartened, but after a lap or so I got back into it. Unfortunately, my chain/shifting stopped working again and I was not able to continue.
I learned two very important skills----no matter what happens, DO NOT dwell on what happened in the past. I did a great job reacting in the water, but I was not present on the bike.
Could my mechanical been avoided? Who knows? Maybe if I was more in the present on the bike, my shifting would not have been so terrible? I do know that I need to be more smooth in my shifting and more aware of putting my bike in the correct gear before climbing, turning, etc. This course was very, very challenging, with one very steep hill. This course required mental and physical focus and I was physically there, but fell short on my bike skills, bike mechanical issues, and mental mistakes. I am going forward with what I can take away from this race and be stronger for next year.
I do have to say congratulations to all the men and women who had great days out there who raced on not only a challenging course, but racing in temperatures around a 100 degree heat index!
I have not quite figured out my race season for 2009, mainly because the ITU World Cup schedule has not yet been posted. I am looking forward to time with my family and a break to let my body recharge both physically and mentally. The past few days this race has been on my mind and my mistakes have been eating at me, although I know a mechanical is not completely in my control.
Have a safe and happy Halloween this Friday!