You always have your good days and bad days. Unfortunetely once in a while you have those bad days ON RACE DAY! I was feeling great coming into the Long Course World Championships...workouts went very well, rest was being taken, and proper nutrition was put into place before this race. Even with all of my efforts, the race was a disappointment. I'll go into detail about the race:
The first run of 15k (9.3 miles) was 2 loops of 7.5k. The top Pros always take off flying, and I wasn't going to make the mistake that I have made at previous world championships by trying to go with the leaders. I stayed back but put myself into a good position within the first 800 meters. After that, for the strangest reason, I had nothing. My body basically shut down and was refusing to move. I kept telling my body to move and stay with the guys that I was running with. I knew that I was able to run with these guys because I typically run with most of the people up front with no problem. But there I was struggling to maintain a stinkin 5:25 pace...ridiculous! I was planning on running the first lap conservatively in 5:20 pace and then pick it up from there, but that definitely wasn't going to happen. I have taken notice that many pros just stop the race right then and there if they know its not their day. A few of them just started walking and dropped out of the race on the first run. Man o man was I jealous of them. I reallllllllllllly wanted to just stop and call it quits..but then I think I would feel like a failure. If I am able to finish a race, then I am going to. The only reason I would not is if I had a serious injury or mechanical issue. Since this wasn't happening, I was going to finish. Sure its pretty embarassing to be one of the last to finish..but heck, I'm doing the race to finish as best as I can. If its a bad day, I wont finish high...but if I'm feeling good, watch out. So all in all, I came into the last run in about 30th out of the 45 male Pros. I knew from the first mile that it wasn't going to be my day.
Onto the bike, I had nothing. The course was very technical and consisted of 4 19k loops. On that first loop I had no power and watched as a few more Pros come flying by me. I was spinning by bike and it was difficult! I just don't understand how days like this happen! But anyways, I came flying down a hill resting up by not pedaling and my water bottles flew out of my cages as I hit a monster bump. So much for nutrition! But seeing as I was not going to finish high..I took my time on the next few laps to stop and pick up my water bottles. I stopped every lap, stretched, and took in fluids. I was so drained of energy that I wasn't even sure if I could finish the race! Many of the racers complained that the course was awful with the rough roads, constant turns, and huge potholes, but I just enjoyed the scenery as I pedaled along. The course was really neat with all the bridges, ponds, and parks. I'm sure I would've have a different mind set if I was actually racing hard and feeling good. I know a bunch of people ended up getting flats due to the awful road surface conditions. (In my mind I was actually hoping for a flat so that I could just stop!! But to my "luck" there were no flats for me.) There were actually times that I was going to stick a sharp rock into my tire just to stop, but I couldn't bring myself to do something like that! Anyways, I finished up the bike loops somehow and made my was off to the last run.
I just trotted along at a 7:10 pace, haha and finished up the race. It was quite embarassing to finish with such a slow time, but I was out there and I feel that it takes a lot more heart to stick it out through the end to finish a race then just to call it quits when you're not feeling your best. I think it will make me stronger in the long run because I can push through the times that I'm struggling. All in all, it was a disappointing race..but there are plenty of races to come (well not this year), and I know that I have much more potential than I showed in this past race. I'd also like to shout out a big congrats to Aksel Nielsen who finished 5th overall in the Pro race. He is from Denmark, and I finished right behind him at Powerman Ohio 3 weeks ago. He gave me a lot of info and support, which is always nice. I just wish I was able to finish right behind him again!!
Lastly, big thanks to my dad for coming with to all my races this year. Its great having someone like him who is there to support me with all of my athletic events and who cares as much as I do about my racing. Without him I wouldn't be able to do any of the races that I've done this year.
Well that is it for this race report. I have a bunch of studying to do for a big Chemistry exam tomorrow! Man I wish I was not in school anymore and could focus on other things! I'll make sure to update during these next few cold winter months even if I'm not racing, so make sure to keep checking back!