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Flats, Failures, and KOs « Mary Beth Ellis' Blog


Flats, Failures, and KOs

It was a tough day at the office for me on Sunday at Quassy.  While two flats derailed me on the bike, the race was pretty much over for me at the gun.  Before I had the first flat tire, I was flat and struggling to race.  Heading into the event, I caught a virus that knocked me out on Wednesday and Thursday.  I literally didn’t leave bed.  While I thought that I had recovered in retrospect I may not have been ready to race by Sunday.  But despite the fact that I tend to dwell and hang my head at such a complete failure of a performance.  It is important to learn from this experience to take something constructive away but also to then leave in the rearview mirror.

As important as it is to analyze success, it is also important to review failures.  This race is one that I need to review to ensure that I don’t have another performance like this.  From making sure that I avoid glass on the roads to bringing appropriate supplies to deal with multiple flat tires, I need to be more conscious of taking care of mechanicals quickly and effectively and preventing those that I can.  In addition, I didn’t deal well with the cold conditions.  Despite putting on arm warmers and gloves, I was still have difficulty.  I had similar issues with cold conditions and a borderline but non-wetsuit swim in a race last year.  In the future, I need to come up with a better and more comprehensive plan to deal with these conditions as they are a weakness for me.  Finally, I need to be more realistic in the future when dealing with race week setbacks.  In retrospect, I should have skipped the race when I was struck down with the virus.  But in the least, I should have not tried to squeeze in the workout sessions that I did during the week.  If I had truly let myself recover, then I may have rebounded in time for the race instead of sabotaging myself by trying to get the last few workout sessions done race week.

The Knock Out was my hard head hitting the dock on the swim course on Saturday.  While now it seems quite funny, I was sprinting away head down and BAM ran straight into the dock.  The Dock 1 KO, MBE 0 The real lesson is that sometimes I get so set in my path and stubborn that I just try to burrow through obstacles without taking the time to take break let myself have a rest, adjust a plan when I am sick or tired.  As important as it is to be dedicated and determined, there is also a time to be flexible, look up, alter the course, backtrack, and retreat to regroup for the next assault.  This is me regrouping for the next assault.  I may be beaten in this round by better athletes on the day (many great performances by some of my favorite female pros and friends) but I will be back to fight another day.  The battle may be lost but not the war.

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