2nd overall (1st non-elite) Results
I am a creature of habit and I find disruptions to my routine stressful. In particular, leading up to a race, I like to have complete control over every aspect of my life. This is one reason I prefer to race locally. (The main reason is that the local competition is 46% middle-aged moms, 34% weight loss plan devotees, 12% senior citizens, 7% children and 1% legitimate athletes. I can crush lots of dreams.)
I’m occasionally forced to travel to a race. I have to suck it up and deal with sleazy restaurant food, unfamiliar beds, snoring roommates and cramped, smelly vehicles. In Grade 11, I shared a bus with 50-odd teens for 34 hours to/from OFSAA XC Thunder Bay. Cruel and unusual for an introvert. I credit my survival (and felony-free record) to my iPod, deep breathing and my little sister, who has given me a vast tolerance for annoyance.
I spent the night before the race tossing and turning on a two-small couch in a bright, stifling living room. It was a harrowing experience. I even wrote a poem about it, but everyone knows that posting poetry on your blog is the height of pretension. Maybe I’ll put it up later. Caffeine pills saved the day.
The race: After a really graceful dolphin-dive-turned-bellyflop at the start that half-filled my goggles, the swim was pretty good. I was relaxed and aware of my position. I didn’t even get too upset about some weeds (my archnemeses). Exited the water in 3rd.
Entering T1, I was dismayed to see a dork-cycle racked on top of my bike again. These hybrid bike riders are clearly delusional about their swimming abilities.
Out on the bike, I quickly caught 2nd place but the leader continued to pull away. I realized pretty quickly that I was in for a hurtin’ day. An unsheltered, windy course favours big, powerful riders. I am not big, I am not powerful. I think I was also feeling the fatigue of 4 races in 6 weeks. Now that the excuses are on the table, perhaps my bike split seems slightly less pathetic. Maybe people will assume that I had to change a flat tire.
The great thing about triathlon is that a poor performance in one discipline does not preclude a good performance in another. The run course was a ridiculous cross-country obstacle course around the park. I alternated between screaming at pedestrians to get out of the way and asking them for directions (not a race official in sight). I ran about the same as the past two races (16:43) but the leader had an insurmountable lead off the bike. I spent the run in no man’s land; no one to catch and no one to pressure me. 
I fell short of the triathlon hattrick, but the race was qualifier for the 2012 Age Group World Championships. I may have qualified because the winner was an elite. The problem is that the Championships are in Auckland, New Zealand. Remember how I feel about travel?