Pro nat's was a disaster. I had three straight 12 hour days of travel from France to DFW to Portland combined with 2 days on either end of no pool time. To sum it up, I have been swimming the best I have since college, but with the preceeding 6 out of 7 days before the race with ZERO swimming, I was in for a shocker.
I was a little jet-lagged and fatigued from the travel, but nothing that I couldnt handle (I thought). I felt reasonable leading up to the race and had felt great last week in France at my last race. Well, like the stock market, a lot can happen in 7 days...
I dove into the water and was struggling like I never have from the get-go. My stroke felt aweful, and the body was tired. I never recovered and things actually got worse throughout the swim. I was swimming so hard I was loosing my lunch and was quite cold and dizzy, but going nowhere. I came out WELL behind the leaders in the second pack. It took me about 3 of the 8 laps to feel a little better on the bike, but this was more like going from being on death's doorstep to aweful. Onto the run our group was well back of the leaders, my heel hurt, my motivation hurt, and I didnt feel like killing myself just to slug through to the finish. I stepped off the course. I am still debating whether it was the right decision up to now. Looking back, a 12-15th place (my estimation on my place if I would have finished) would have garnered me nothing but a few measely ITU points which I dont really need right now, and would have required me to limp for at least 3-4 days. I thinking packing it in was the smarter choice, although I have to deal with the emotional ramifications of that choice now.
What really frustrates me is that I havent had a solid ITU race on American soil. Every single ITU race I have done in the last 3-4 years in the USA has gone terrible. There are myriad different reasons for each of the races. I just want to have 1 good race in the US! Is that too much to ask? Oh well. It is time to focus on the next one. This time the next one happens to be in China again. This week (as in 5 days from now). So as I sit and type this blog, I am in Vancouver on the way back to the Orient. Hopefully the body can hold together and I can put together a solid race. We shall see.