This wasn’t my greatest race result by a long shot, but it was the result that I deserved. As I mentioned in my last post, my body has been a house of cards this year. Maybe a teetering stack of Jenga blocks is a better metaphor with each race being like pulling out another supportive block from the bottom. Any way you look at it, I’m frail this year; one tiny mistake and everything comes toppling down. That happened in Avilés when my back went out and boy did it cost me. This time everything held up—consequently, Nationals were definitely easier and faster than Avilés even though it was at about 3,500 feet of altitude. But I was also definitely racing well within my already compromised limits.
I’m going to write this race report a little differently because I don’t want to focus as much on the actual race as much as what I’ve learned from doing the race and what I’m doing about it. Even though I’m not in ideal shape, I am excited and I have a plan. Also towards the end, I’ll mention some of the longer term challenges that affected both this race and Avilés—as well as what I’ve learned from going through this darker period. So let’s dig right in! Continue reading