Tuesday, April 24, 2012

USAT Collegiate Nationals 2012

Going into this race, I had a feeling I was in for an interesting weekend. For the three and a half weeks prior to racing, I had not been able to run or bike without a lot of pain. Thankfully, with lots of stretching, I was able to get to the start line. I got down to Tuscaloosa, Al the Friday before the race to find my ITU road bike (courtesy of USA triathlon) had been cracked irreparably by the shipping company, and my bike box was destroyed! This was the icing on the cake, injury plus broken bike, all I could say was wow. I tried to keep my mind positive despite planning on focusing on the short draft legal relay since I knew my knee was not up to par to do a full OD triathlon. Ironically, it was the bike I needed to use for that relay that got broken.. so I was left to scramble and try to find a replacement. Thankfully, Korey from N. C. State came through in the clutch and let me borrow his.

The OD race: I started the swim with the full knowledge that I would probably not be able to complete or race competitively. This was partially realistic, but also too negative of an attitude to have- and is something I can't let happen again. After having a sub par swim and exiting my wave about 16th, I got on the bike and felt okay at first, riding with a  group keeping the average over 25 mph. However, around 10K into the ride (1/4t of the total) I felt my knee seize up, and all the muscles were making my knee track incorrectly. I had to just ride back into town, and relinquish my goal of winning collegiate nationals in 2012. Very tough decision, but something I had come to copes with before leaving for the race when I could not even bend my knee the Thursday before the race.

The Draft legal relay: This was honestly a perfect way to cap off the weekend. Although my team had some tough times with cramping, I was really happy to have the 6th overall fastest leg with the fastest run split overall.  Using Korey's bike was great, except my cleats did not fit into the pedals, so I basically rode without much efficiency (as shown by my disproportionately slow bike split), I am confident I could have ridden with anybody that day if I had my own bike, and possibly a pack to work with. I was super happy to finish the weekend with plenty of new friends from N. C. State, and get home to try and heal my knee before Dallas Continental Cup in early June, where I will be attempting to earn a birth to Under 23 World championships this coming October!

My relay team for the first ever collegiate draft legal relay
My poor Blue RC4 frame. Put a damper on the race upon arrival.

Plus the bike box. Ouch, they are pretty sturdy usually.

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