Thanks to Blogland. You're comments were so warm and heartfelt. Sometimes it takes someone who's been there to understand. I know that for many of you, you have been here and know what it's like to see your race, your goals, your hopes get flushed pretty quickly down the loo.
My plan was to stay in Clearwater and enjoy the sun and sand a bit before heading back to cold and wintery PA. Either way, it is the off-season and I wanted to start it out by getting tan - I mean what can I say storing Vitamin D for the long cold winter is important to me (I'm a dietitian for heaven's sake!).
Now, I'm sitting in my hotel room with a bum arm wondering if I should take an earlier flight back. Most of my friends and gone at this point and with them gone I'm fighting off the tears a couple of times a day. I'm not trying to be dramatic, I'm just a cross between seriously disappointed and really pissed. Maybe I should take my sling outside, go find someone to mark 13.2 miles off with their car and then run it as hard as I can to find out..well, I'm not sure what. Something..something more than I know right now. Then again, I can barely move when I sleep without wincing so maybe not. I can't believe it's over and I can't believe this is really the way it ended.
I was realistic about what Clearwater was before I got here (and even more so once I talked to the other athletes here). I knew there would be fast times based on a bit of drafting and I knew I would do my best to ride a clean race. I did, and that I feel good about. I keep replaying the accident in my mind and thinking about what I could have done differently. Was I letting myself lose focus? What it the fact that I had to go for about 17-20 miles with NO aid stations in a 56 mile race with very little fluid because I threw both my bottles within seconds, maybe. Either way, I've got to accept what happened and that is not easy.
I read what I wrote the day before, "It's the journey, not the destination" Well, ok...I mostly agree with that... but after 11 months of training I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit interested in seeing how things turned out. I wasn't unrealistic in my goals, I was hoping for a top 10 or top 7 if I had a good day. Do I think it was possible - yes, Will I ever really know - noper.
Many people said "Oh, I'm sure you'll qualify next year and get another chance."
Then again, I think ELF said it best about this race:
Which brings me back to Clearwater. Or the 70.3 World Championship. Until they move the location or change the format, I would not waste the time. You only have so much life energy, so much money, and so many miles you can race. Spend them wisely. There are better races out there. Maybe experience it once but be prepared for some dishonesty out there. If you cannot reconcile with that, then go out and race a different race. I’m not accusing, I’m just saying. And along with that just standing by and laughing with the other spectators as the pro men’s field moves farther and farther from the start line before the race starts….
I'm about to call the race director to called to check on me and I'm going to let her know my thoughts. They did an excellent job running the race (which wasn't easy), but was I happy with this race - not so much. I don't think I'll be back for round two. It's just not the place for me, World Championship or not.
So, that's the breaks. I'm going to get some breakfast and try to forget about all this non-sense for awhile...
Thanks again for all the thoughts.. I do appreciate them and I know you are all with me!!