Going into Rev3 Maine, I was coming off one of the best races of my life in Wisconsin and 7 days in Aspen working with sponsors and watching the US Pro Challenge cycling event. For the first time I felt like I was the one to beat and I had a few more nerves than I would typically have before a race.
The days leading up to the race were flawless and I felt really comfortable because I had raced at the same venue in 2012 and knew the course, places to eat, and was familiar with the hotel. These things sound trivial, but honestly these minor things are what stress me out the most at events.
Its seems that I have lost my primal-like attitude this year in the swim. Last year I felt like I had total control over the swim and I felt confident and never doubted myself. This year, even though my times are the same in the pool, that drive to go crazy in the water and fight for a good position is missing. I am more relaxed and feel a bit lazy in the water. On the bike, however, I am the total opposite. I am full of confidence and I feel strong. I enjoy the chase and working so hard to catch other people. My run feels as it always does. I love running, so I am always happy to work hard and suffer.
With this, I had a terrible swim, a great bike, and a standard run. Unfortunately, I crossed the center line on the bike leg and I received a penalty at mile 10. This happened simultaneously as I was taking over the lead. I immediately felt my stomach drop and got so angry at myself for making a stupid mistake. After standing down and serving the penalty I really tried to block out the negative noise blasting in my head and focus on grabbing a podium spot. This may have been one of the hardest things I have ever done so far in my career.
I finished the race in 3rd place but it will go down as one of my best personal victories. I did not get the win, but I did add a very valuable tool to my toolbox of achieving my goals. I have dealt with bad swims, cramps, poor nutrition, heat, cold, rain, mechanicals, and now getting a penalty. I walk away from Rev3 Maine knowing I am now prepared for anything on race day. Overall, I had such a great time meeting new people, racing the girls, and greeting some of the amateur athletes at the finish line with medals. Seeing some athletes cry of joy for finishing really put everything in perspective. I love what I do and if a penalty is the worst thing that happens then I am in a good spot!
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