It's been almost a month from my last race in Yokohama. The race report in this blog is a bit overdue, so I will try to summarize it the best I can. There is not too much to report from this race, but it was a bit crazy!
I finally started to feel good the week of the race after training in Wollongong, Australia. I had a solid block of training, and by race morning I was excited to get going. I even did the bike course preview in the rain, and had a huge smile on my face the whole time.
The swim was probably the most surprising part of my race. I warmed up well, and once the race started, I got out well and had decent position. Then everything seemed to go in slow motion, and from the first buoy I was falling back. I was not too worried since I usually have a better second lap than first lap. But again, I continued to fall backwards and just could not understand why. I felt a bit off, but this is the first swim in my career where no matter where I was, I was being passed consistently.
So after my embarrassing swim, I decided to move on with the race and focus on the present and not the past or future. I was in the third pack coming out of T1, and went to work moving up in the group. Then I started taking some pulls and helped bring back the second chase. Soon after that we caught the lead pack and everyone was together. I felt good, and I decided to play a game of how close I could stay near the front and not do any work at all. I do not think I won the game, but I played it pretty well. I made sure I worked hard going into T2, and set myself up very well going out onto the run.
I was third out onto the run right behind Gomez and Akos Vanek. I felt really good, and before the race I wanted to be aggressive out of T2 because I felt like I was not aggressive enough in the Gold Coast. However, a few hundred meters in I figured this was suicide and backed off. It cooked me a bit, and I ended up falling from group to group. I feel like a couple of the groups I got dropped from I could have run with, but that initial effort did a number on me. That second loop was a bit of survival, and I attached myself to Wian Sullwald. I actually felt great during the third loop of the run, and felt like I was going to pick it up even more in the fourth. However, it was not meant to be, and all that hard work earlier caught up with me and I limped in. Even though my result was not what I wanted (32nd) I ran a decent time considering everything. I know once my pacing is down I am going to be able to throw down a good run. Overall, while this race was a bit of a rollercoaster, I feel like I handled it well and learned a lot.
After Yokohama, I got to have a bit of a mental break. Training was a bit more relaxed for the following couple of weeks, and I got to visit friends and family in Arizona and Illinois. It was just what I needed after the first half of the racing season. It refreshed me, and I am currently back in Santa Fe preparing for the final half of my season.
I plan on racing Hamburg WTS, Rio Test Event, Stockholm WTS, and Chicago WTS Grand Final. The focus is on Rio at the moment and of course the Grand Final in my home town. I am also hoping to be on the roster for the Team World Championships in Hamburg. It is going to be an exciting few months, and by the last race in Chicago, the US could potentially know a majority of the Olympic team! The first chance to qualify for the US Olympic team is in Rio on August second. The first two US athletes will qualify as long as they are top 8. If the two spots are not taken there, one will be available in Chicago as long as the first American finishes top 8. For these reasons, I am targeting Rio and then Chicago as the two most important races on my schedule for the second half of the season. It is getting real now, and I am happy to have to opportunity to race and attempt to qualify the Olympic team.