I know what it takes to be world class, and finish at the top. It takes dedicating everything you have, the majority of your time energy and thoughts towards racing to to top. Many sacrafices are made along the way and you become 1 with your goal. I know this because I have followed this path in my triathlon career and had much success making it to World Championships and tops of podiums. Right now though I do not have the time or metal focus to follow such a narrow road. Mostly because I have been there, done that for a lot of years and now there is a lot more going on around me with kids, work, and an Ironman training 20+ hrs a week. In fact someone asked me this weekend when we were geting ready to race in Racine, "I thought you retired". Well I guess I sort of did from that kind of racing/training. But it got me really thinking.
I started this season with no particular goal or accomplishment that I was after other than I was motivated to train and race and see how fast I can go without tipping over the balance point where it stops being fun... my kids say, "mom why do you have your bike clothes on AGAIN"... the house collapses in a hole.... I miss out on too many other things that look fun.....or I have to just invite a babysitter to live at the house because the 2 of us are training like crazy. I've made it to soccer games and practices, hosted a block party and acutally gone to a couple other of our Flamingo Fridays in our subdivision and met our neighbors without workout clothes on. I had a fabulous long vacation that was actually a vacation in which I had fun playing with my kids and family and not stressing about fitting in training. I actually signed up for Racine while on vacation when I was out there without a bike, barely swimming and really not training much ! (mostly because I didn't want to just spectate that race again)
I raced hard in the HOT steamy conditions in Racine and after bad swim. The start was so shallow you had to dolphin a bunch on the way out my goggle filled up, I had to stop and fix them, then I was in a bad position and then I was just plain slow. This started me too far back from the front of my AG. I road strong but smart and caught a lot of girls in my AG. Simon and I have been working on a strategy of not biking my brains out so I can run better off the bike. It has worked but I was about 7 min slower than my best time there. So was I too conservative or ...maybe some lack of saddle time. And BTW I am not exactly sure why everyone loves this race so much. The roads are terrible. They must have run out of orange day glow spray paint in Racine marking all the holes and cracks. I came off the bike feeling great right away and ran strong in the heat and a torrential downpour which was a blast and caught a few more girls. I was happy with my race know I gave it my all and felt strong even on a sticky hot day and knowing haven't tipped the balance point. I gave it all I had with what I have done training, but to be at the top...I know I haven't put in the time. And I am ok with that.
But...I am competitive and it is sometimes hard to accept finishing a few places lower than you'd like.....knowing very well you have the ability to be a few places higher up if you put in the time. So I guess I am my own kind of world class right now..... training and racing, but doing what it takes to keep life in check, and not miss out on some of the fun things going on around me that I would have said no to before.