Penrith Oceania Champs Report
In the days leading up to Penrith Oceania Champs I was pumped. I was coming off the back of a solid run in Subic Bay the week before and with a swim that suited me, I was certain I was going to swim better than I had in the last couple of races. If those two things happened I was sure I could shake things up a little with some of the more well known Australian ITU athletes. With the caliber of some of the swim-bikers in the field, the buzz around the start line had been about taking the bike out hard to try and split the field in what otherwise would have been a relaxed bike followed by a running race. As the minutes ticked closer to start time and the wind speed increased, so did the importance of getting out of the water in a good spot. In a nice change from the previous week I felt relaxed throughout and came out of the swim right where I needed to. So far, so good.
From there it was on. After hammering the first 2kms of the bike, a group of 11 of us were off the front. Working with some of the stronger cyclists in the field ensured the gap kept extending to a smaller chase group that included some of the better runners in the field. As we came to the last lap I was determined to be up near the front to ensure I accomplished my only goal of the race- be one of the first athletes out of T2. In what were a good couple of lessons learned I absolutely made a meal of that goal and was 11/11 from our group out of T2 as my frustrations began.
Heading out onto the run I was annoyed but still confident. I had done some run sessions focusing on this exact scenario and soon pulled myself up to the group. The next km was a struggle. My lungs began to feel like they would explode and my body was screaming out for my air than I could supply it with. I was so determined to run with the group that would produce a podium spot but my body just wouldn't allow it. I spent the rest of the run trying to hold off two of the boys that were flying out of the chase pack and eventually gave up those spots with 500m to go, finishing in 11th.
I'm not going to sugar coat this. Crossing the finish line in Penrith stung. Not because I had finished 11th. As Corey reminds us- the result is merely a reflection of how well you have executed the process. I had executed so well in the swim and bike to put myself in a great position only to have the slowest T2 in the field followed by what I consider to be a disappointing run. This is where my frustration lies. Finishing last would be fine with me if I had executed well and was happy with how I performed. That's not the case and I feel I can do much better. For that I am left with a burning desire to go out and fix the mistakes I made... but that will have to wait. After thrashing my body for a couple of months it is time for a week off. For now it's time for some consistent training before attacking some Asian races in July.