Tag Archives: USAT National Championship

My Last Race of the 2012 Triathlon Season

Burlington, VT is beautiful.  It’s so green and lush and far from commercial.  I made a point to enjoy all of this as I rode and ran the USAT 2012 Age Group Olympic  National Championship course on Saturday.  Lake Champlain was really choppy so I wasn’t able to enjoy this part of the race at all.  Also I encountered a lot of physical body contact in the water; the most I’ve ever experienced in a triathlon.

I naturally talked to Noah (both silently and out-loud) while I raced.  I’ll instantly connect with him as I’m pushing myself and digging deep.  I’ll automatically think of him as I grasp for oxygen and endure pain.  I found myself exclaiming, “we can do this!”  several times during the race.  Or, just like the bike leg in Hawaii,  I’ll look to the side and take in the scenery with Noah.  It’s actually a bit amusing:  I had cyclists aggressively passing me while I looked at all of the acres and acres of green meeting the mountains which in turn reached up to meet the few clouds and blue sky.  The run started off with a very steep incline and all I did was smile as I climbed it.  Throughout the run I felt like the harder I pushed myself the bigger my smile got.  I think Noah and I make an awesome team.  I am grateful for this.

I did not come in last place but I was close.  I overheard fellow athletes talking about the pressure they put on themselves, especially during the bike, to qualify for the World Championship in London.  I kept thinking I’m just happy to be here.  Although I admit I was slightly disappointed in my swim; I wanted to shave off a decent amount of time.  But even if I had I still would have found myself towards the bottom.  As expected athletes at this race are super fast.  I did improve my bike and run.  I didn’t set specific goals for this race so I am fine with how everything went and appreciate having the opportunity to compete at a National Championship.

My results:

  • Swim – 33:39.4 (place – 1589) / Bike – 1:21.38.3 (place – 1685) / Run – 47:24.0 (place – 1192) / Overall – 2:47:50
  • Division place: 103/142 / Gender place: 543/851 / Overall place: 1558/1989

Crossing the finish line on Saturday officially ends my 2012 triathlon racing season.  However I’m not taking a complete break during the off-season; I simply can’t.

I’ve got a training weekend planned for September and I’m running a half marathon with MLH in November.  I’m working with my coach to maintain a strong base as well as improve  in specific areas.

Also, I already have a triathlon on next year’s calendar.  I’ll race my first Ironman on September 22, 2013!  With Noah’s help I’ll swim 2.4 miles, bike another 112 and finally run 26.2.

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Expectations

Tomorrow’s race will be my last triathlon of the 2012 season. And I have this strong urge to set the expectation that I will most likely come in the bottom half of my division; I may very well be last. It’s not that I’m trying to sandbag or anything. This urge is based on the data: last year’s USAT AG National Championship results and my current splits. However after thinking about this I’ve decided setting this type of expectation messes up my race mindset. Besides what real competitor thinks this way?

So what should I expect from this race?

I expect to push myself harder than ever. (Yes even harder than in Hawaii.). I expect to enjoy my short swim and ride today. I expect to find inspiration from fellow triathletes. I expect to feel gratitude that my body can support me as I push it; that it can easily breathe hard, increase (and decrease) my heart rate and endure pain. I expect to cherish my connection with Noah as I swim, bike and run tomorrow morning. I expect to honor my son by leaving it all out there and crossing that finish line. I expect to have an amazing experience.

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