I drove all afternoon on Thursday, and got to Milwaukee in time to pick up my packet on Thursday evening. Pretty awesome swag!! Got a jacket, a cinch sack, and a SweatVac hat. After packet pick-up I headed to my friend and sorority sister's house where I would be staying for the weekend. A huge shout out to Lesley for opening her home to me. I would not have been able to go otherwise! We went to one of her favorite restaurants for dinner that night. Milwaukee is a pretty cool town.
|Lesley showing me a bathroom with a view in downtown Milwaukee
|We walked along the water while we waited for the Super Sprint to start
|McCartly won the female Super Sprint
|Olympian Shoemaker won the men's race
Once the men's race was over, it was time for me to check-in my bike. So weird to leave it overnight!!
|Bye-Bye Bike. See you in the morning.
My favorite part of race day is always the sunrise. This big race certainly delivered with a big sunrise for me! Here are some pre-race pics:
Bike: 20k/38:51.5 The course was very nice. I was happy to average 19.16 mph with the hills that were involved. They closed I-794 so that we could climb the Hoan Bridge. That was a pretty serious climb. I passed 5 people on the three major uphills, and was feeling pretty good about my training. I had forgotten my watch, so I had no way of knowing how fast I was really going. I did see a woman fall on her bike on the downhill. Her face was badly bloodied, which gave me a pretty big scare. I don't think it affected my time any, but I had a good cry on the bike after I saw her. I had hoped for 36 min on the bike, so I only missed that by a few minutes.
Run: 5k/26:29.6 I don't really know why, but I thought I would be significantly faster on this run. I averaged 8:31 min/mi, which is pretty good for me. I really wanted to be closer to 21 or 22 minutes for the 5k. It was a very flat course with a nice breeze off the water. I really did give it my all and know that I couldn't have run any faster on that day. It was during the run that I knew I was not going to make the team.
I felt pretty good about the race for a bit after I crossed the finish line. I still had that "I feel like a million dollars" feeling when I crossed, but I did feel a bit let down as the morning went on. Honestly, I felt foolish for thinking that I could potentially finish top 25.
One of my favorite things about racing triathlons, is that (until this race) I was never focused on racing others. I went into every race wanting to do the best I could do on that day. Hoping to PR or at least improve one leg of the race or another. I have been placing this year, and I do love the BLING, but it truly was not about competing with others... for me. I let myself get caught up in that this race. Everything about this race felt different because of it.
What I learned: Know what I love about my sport and embrace it. I do not need to measure my ability against anyone else. I have improved a lot since I started two seasons ago and I will continue to improve as long as I continue to love doing it. I will be back at nationals next year. I will qualify for the olympic distance and I will race it - regardless of how my times measure up to the field. I will race it next year without worrying about anyone else and embrace what I love. AND I do love me some bling: