Hy-Vee Elite Cup 2014
It has been a while since I can say I was really disappointed with a race. The conclusion that I came to in Des Moines was that I finished, I am healthy and I got to do what I love. For that, the day is never that bad. If the race had ended at the first turn buoy I would have been very pleased. I was sitting nicely in the lead few guys around the first turn right on Ivan Rana's feet and feeling like I was going to have a great swim. Then everything went downhill-fast. I began to get really light headed in the water and felt for a second I might pass out. Obviously swimming in a large pack of guys in open water fighting for a lot of money is not the place you want to be when you start feeling faint. I panicked and kept screaming at myself to just BREATHE. Thankfully I was able to regain some composure and push on. I swam with Rudy Von Berg until just before the next turn buoy but then started slipping fast. Things never recovered from there and I ended up exiting the water in 29th and feeling absolutely terrible.
Having the confidence from some good bike splits this year I was hoping to bike hard and pick up some places. Unfortunately that didn't happen. It became apparent pretty quickly that today wasn't going to be a great day in the water or on the bike. After pushing 25 fewer watts (8%less) than my last Olympic Distance race on a similar flat course, I got off the bike feeling really dejected but trying to convince myself maybe I could run fast and pick up some places. Instead, I spent the next 34 minutes desperately looking for mile markers and pleading for the finish line to come closer. At the end of the day I finished 29th in 1:54:23.
Race results here
Although I am extremely disappointed with my result in Des Moines, I also understand that bad races happen. Racing 10 times this summer has been a lot. Getting tired at some point was inevitable. The amount of travel and the stresses of missing my bike and luggage finally caught up with me and put me in a hole, but that's OK. This year has been a huge learning experience for me. There are absolutely things I can do better in the future to ensure I erase some of those stresses and I am looking forward to continuing to learn, grow and get better. I can take a lot of pride from qualifying for such a prestigious event in my first year as a pro and as the second youngest athlete on the start line and I am extremely driven to get back there. For now, it's time for a small break before I reevaluate the end of my year.
I would like to give a huge thanks to Hy-Vee for continuing to support the sport of triathlon. Finally, to everyone that sent me a message this week wishing me the best or talking with me post race, as always, I really appreciate it.