Well, I made it. I got through this season, and honestly I am so glad to take a break. It was a hard mental and physical push to make it from March to October. It truly felt like the 2013 season blended into the 2014 season. With everything that happened after moving back to New Mexico, I felt like I was constantly in a fight or flight mode in the offseason.
I put together a decent season on the non draft short course circuit, but the last two months leading up to Lifetime Oceanside were very hard for me. I struggled to stay focused and to truly give 100% to each workout. I pushed so hard to move past the death of a close family member and keep my head in the game, and keep myself together in my life. Initially pushed though the situation and made it through ITU Clermont, ITU Sarasota and Lifetime Miami in March and April. But then I struggled with motivation as I worked through some grieving. Thanks to the camaraderie of team mate Sierra Smith, and the guidance from my coach Trista Francis, I stayed a float and managed to keep some hours up in training . I’d say the peak of my season happened at Lifetime CapTexTri. I was in the best spot mentally and physically for that race. Or at the very least I look back, and am most proud of that day. I made it through the rest of the season. Boulder Peak in July, Lifetime Chicago in August. And Lifetime Oceanside just this past weekend.
I predicted that I would place between 15th and 20th in this race. I finished 18th in a field filled with the like of Javier Gomez, Ben Collins, Cam Dye, etc... The swim was probably my best of the season. I held onto the pack longer than normal and the gap developed slower than usual. Despite being the last pro man out of the water, I still had clocked a strong effort. I got on my bike and set my goals on the two men I saw leaving the transition ahead of me. I cranked and laid the hammer down on the first of two looped sections of the bike course. I caught up to those two men, and passed them. I felt like I burnt myself out on this portion of the bike and I slowed a bit on the rest of the ride. One man I passed caught back up to me and started to make some distance ahead of me. Once I made it to the run, I passed this chap from Brazil again and hoped to catch a few more competitors. I caught one, maybe two. I can’t remember at this point. Even though my bike wasn't as strong as I’d hoped, I still felt burnt up from it on the run. On top of that, I started chocking up a few times. I was so anxious to finish the race, and to finish this season. I held down so much emotion this season, it was coming back up during the end of this race. So I held myself together, and finished as hard as I could.
Sierra and I met with Trista to debrief the season and the Lifetime Oceanside race. We are so lucky that she came out to support and cheer us on this weekend. We chatted about what worked and didn't work during the race, highlights and lowlights of the season, and made some tentative plans for the 2015 season. But honestly I am thankful that the last thing Trista left me to ponder was whether or not I want to just participate in the professional races next year, or commit to actually racing and competing. Right there, in that question, she summed up my 2014 season. It took all my energy to just make it to the start lines this year, so of course all I could do after the gun went off was participate. I am not upset or ashamed of this revelation, I gave all I could this year. And I am proud of that and the results I managed to post. I am still left with some hard thinking to do and some bad habits to break from this year.
But that is that, I am off to take some naps and sleep in for a few weeks. I will rest, regroup, and come back and prep for the 2015 season with some fresh motivation. Thanks for all your support. That is directed to anyone who cares. It does mean the world to me.