So what has happened over the last 6 weeks? 4 races, lots of flying, jetlagedness, positives, negatives, sickness, more sickness, and the end of my season.
The whole focus of the second half of my season was on Huatulco World Cup and Tongyeong World Cup, which didnt go up to snuff....but more on those in a bit.
Sept 11th, I raced in wonderful Pacific Grove. I love the race and the place. Just like last year, struggled with my wetsuit and missed the front pack. You would think I would learn. Finished the day in 8th and finally felt like my running legs were coming around.
Two weeks later it was off to Alabama for our national championships. It was easily 896 degrees on race day, so I was excited. So excited that I drank and drank and drank and drank until I was like the purple fat kid in Willy Wonka. I thought I was well hydrated. My stomach was wondering why I was trying to drown it. Off the bike and onto the run with all the big boys and the stomach just said no. Lesson learned. Keep it simple and do what you always do. I shuffled to 15th place (13th american), which (for whatever it is worth) was my highest finish at pro nats. still longing for what could have been.....
Which brings us to our last 2 races. the double. Two World Cups, Huatulco (Mexico) and Tongyeong (South Korea), separated by 6 days and 15,000 miles. This was the main focus for my second part of the season. Do well at both, move up a funding level, get magical Olympic points, and finish 2010 with a bang! Instead I finished with a shart.
Two days before Huatulco, my stomach sent a message to my brain that it had stamped return to sender on the food I had just deposited. I sat on my bed all night trying to will the sickness away, but I could not. I stayed in bed the whole next day, and it got bad enough I even thought about coming home. I couldnt eat, just sit and moan. Not fun.
The cramps, nausea, and port-a-loo trips subsided enough on race day that I thought I would try and swim. I ended up a little better than I though and made it to the run before calling it a day. 6 days in later in Tongyeong I made it 500meters into the swim before I realized that I was in even worse shape then the week before. Dizzy, exhausted, and feeling like I may not make it back to the pontoon I stopped after the swim.
So the season did not even end poorly....there was no conclusion at all. It just stopped. So now I am on my "break" and that was a great decision. Immediately after South Korea (maybe 30min) I felt a chest infection coming on. It came on, and rather frustratingly, has been on for the better part of two weeks. Sometimes you look back at what you could have done differently to change the outcome, but this time there was nothing I could have done. I can take at least some solace in that fact.
Not scoring any points in these races has put me in an uphill battle for Olympic Qualification Rankings, but there is still quite a bit of time and plenty of opportunities.
Now I just need to pull a Foster at the beginning of the year, and a Sexton at the end of the year. Or I guess you could just say pull a Gomez......
Some pics from Pacific Grove....courtesy of Derkacs Photography