Thursday, October 20, 2011

Learning from the Unexpected

I have been avoiding an update from the Chicago Triathlon. It's been nearly two months since it happened, and I think I'm going to let this one go. I don't have much to report on that I'm proud of, not that I didn't try hard, but the unexpected circumstances really drove my attitude into the ground and destroyed any chance I had of doing well (mentally).

The temperature was nice, but possibly due to Hurricane Irene the water in the harbor was insanely choppy and incredibly hard to manage. People were giving up just as the swim began and it was hard to keep my head in the game. The water was so choppy that the water was all stirred up so even with the minimal visibility under water it was all lost with the water conditions. I couldn't see the swimmers ahead of me, and in turn kept getting kicked in the ribs. Normally I could avoid this if I could see the swimmers, but alas, it happened. I tried to play this game where I wouldn't allow negative thoughts into my head, but it wasn't happening. I checked my time when I excited the water, it was a few minutes slower than I had hoped. I was so exhausted from the swim that the long transition distance seemed like an eternity.

The conditions on the bike weren't any better. I felt like I was going to get knocked off my bike from the gusts on Lake Shore Drive. I don't train in these conditions so I was scared. I knew going northbound the wind is always harder than southbound, but good grief...

Long story short, here's the three disciplines:
After going back and looking at my posts from DailyMile it seems like the run helped my time but it still wasn't what I hoped for.

Since it has been nearly two months I'm going to officially let this one go. I'm in a better place about it and there's no sense hashing it out online. This post has been in draft mode since the race and I'm putting it to bed.

I've learned over the past five seasons that to a degree there is a lot I can't control. Not every race is going to be good. I put each season and all my races up on a pedestal and expect to have a total blast at all of them. I cram in so much and expect so much. Hey, four out of five races isn't bad and it was a big season for me. I'm proud that they're all sprint distance races but I'm not any less proud than longer distance racers. If I'm smiling and feeling good that's all I care about.

I'm 95% sure I'm going to spectate the Chicago Triathlon next year and maybe try another race sometime in September. But who knows... there's always that email in December or January luring me back in with their $10 off discount (by the way, the race registration fee is more than the Chicago Marathon, so even with my USAT discount it's nearly $160). Another reason to chalk it up and let others enjoy the course.

I'm No Ironman, But I Still Tri.

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