Everything For Nothing

This is a new place for me to exist in.  The place of having absolutely given all and in turn, receiving nothing. 

On Sunday I raced in the Baylor Tom Landry Sprint Triathlon.  I chose this race because three years ago, it was the first race I podiumed in as a triathlete.  This year, my season is all about building to Copenhagen mid-August, so I thought an easy early season sprint, that isn’t a large or well known race, would be a good place to boost my confidence, and grab a piece of that podium again.

I’ll go ‘head and cut to the chase, I did not podium.   

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I pushed hard through the whole race. Posted a 19.3 mph average on the bike, negative split mile over mile on the run. Kept screaming to myself as I redlined the run: NO REGRETS, and pushed harder as I told myself: “oxygen is for the weak.” But, my best wasn’t enough.  I got 5th place in my division.  Two minutes and 30 seconds was the difference between the top five finishers for my age group.  

Now, as a matter of comparison, with the same time, I would’ve placed 2nd last year with the 3rd place finisher being a full six minutes behind me.  

I did the math.  I planned the attack.  I knew I had to win it on the bike.  Which I did.  I was ranked 33rd out of all competitors on the bike.  The four women in front of me were 69th, 93rd, 94th and 87th.  None of them were even close.  I knew I had to burn up my lungs on the run, which I did.  But still it wasn’t enough.  I PR’ed my time that won me second place three years ago by over 16 minutes.

It wasn’t enough. 

How the numbers broke down: I was 5th out of 17 in my age group; 29th out of 91 by gender; and 89th out of 222 overall competitors.

Did I have a stellar race?  Yes.  Did I execute according to the plan? Hands down, no shadow of a doubt, YES.  Should I be proud of the effort?  Heck yeah! There were just four other people who were a few seconds faster than me.  Coach said he’s pleased and I should be pleased.  I am, but it’s slighly darkened by a bittersweet memory of having fully given everything without a single regret, yet falling short nonetheless.  

Gimme a couple days, I’ll shake it off, and train on.