I had pretty high expectations for myself going into the race at St. Anthony's last weekend. I had raced well in my two previous races which were half ironmans, I had done well at MIT, and this race had the largest point total for the 5150 series. (Because of the high point total this race did end up being one of the most stacked fields ever for a non-drafting olympic distance race). I knew that a strong finish here could set me up for Hy-Vee qualification.
Unfortunately, I somehow managed to hurt my back on Thursday morning before the race. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, (nor does my back feel right), but I was about half way into a ride when my back started to tighten up. By the end of the ride I couldn't stand up straight. I had a couple of massages and some ART therapy in the two days prior to the race and my back started to feel a little better. However, the familiar tightness came back again when I was trying to transition from bike to run. I was able to hobble through the first few miles of the run but by the time I was able to run again I had given up a lot of spots. I actually felt really strong at the end of the run, possibly because I wasn't able to push myself early, and I ended up finishing 16th. Which was not what I was expecting or planning on; but with the hurt back and shortened swim I will take the 100 points for Hy-Vee. Hopefully I can get my back figured out, get a little training, and perform the way that I know I am capable of in Memphis. (assuming its still happening with all the flooding that is going on right now).
After this race I was very open about my frustration and disappointment. It has been a tough year for me in racing so far. I have had a few results that have not been indicative of where I believe I can perform and it was really starting to wear on me. Even with the troubles I have ad so far this year, I realized that triathlon is what I want to do with my life right now. After the race, I was sitting in my homestay's hot tub (after taking and ice bath), I noticed that in my short time as a triathlete I have met so many amazing people that all share the common bond of being involved in triathlon. I truly enjoy training, competing, racing, coaching, and being immersed in this sport. I am extremely excited about the opportunities that are ahead of me and look forward to being able devote myself to something that I truly love.