I'm not sure what my problem is but I seemed to be overly anxious about this race. The way I'm feeling one would think I'm going for the World Championship. Oh yeh, I'm doing that a few weeks later. The difference is with the World Championships I know I have no chance of placing high. I just want to finish high enough among USA finishers to be accorded official Team USA designation and be scored by ITU. Anything else I do there will be pure gravy.
So what's with Westchester this year? Why am I on edge? I guess as I mentioned on my 9/15 blog entry the prospect of not one, but two serious threats to defending my age group title has me a little unnerved. It really shouldn't matter. After all there have been plenty of races I've done where I known coming in that I would not place. Sometimes I've surprised myself. Saint Anthony's is a prime example of a surprise Top 3 finish. Last year's Nationals with the 9th place finish was another pleasant surprise. So I know I can sometimes pull rabbits out of hats. I guess I've gotten spoiled with my successes as a fifty something.
What makes Westchester so different for me this year? I guess it's the expectations I've put on myself, and those of my teammates both from USI and Team in Training. I love being able to stand up on the podium wearing my TNT colors and say to those watching, "TNT has fast members too!!! Go Team!" Not that I say the first thing out loud. I let my actions say that, but I've been known to let a "Go Team" whoop as I leave the stage. I guess being a mentor puts me even more in the forefront of team consciousness. Maybe it doesn't and I'm placing too much importance on how I do. Though my mentees do talk about how awesome I've done this season.
The next thing that totally set me on edge was the wave assignments. I swear whoever did these assignments was on drugs! WTF where they thinking about when they put the 15 women that comprise the 50-54, 55-59, and 60+ female age groups in the same wave as the 113 men who comprise the 45-49, 50-54 and 55-59 male age groups? Not only that the 60+ men are in the wave in front of us which is mostly women! Why not make wave 8 all women, and wave 9 all men? I'm not sure if it's the prospect of all those guys in my wave that's bugging me, or the wave number.
It sucks! My wave is the next to last wave. Relays are behind us. With almost double the entries from last year the bike course is going to be seriously crowded when I hit the road. I hope the USAT folks are up at the front. :-Þ I hope they're not going to be hanging out on Claire's hill when I have to pass the sea of purple from NYC. I remember passing a lot people on the three climbs on the route. I remember climbing out of Port Chester was a bit of a cluster f#$k with people staying out to the left when they should have been to the right. This may be as big a pain in the ass as Mossman in terms of passing and making time on the bike course.
Okay I feel better now having put my thoughts down on "paper". I don't know how many people out in cyberspace are actually reading this. Even if it's just one person then at least I've been able to blow off some steam without somebody actually having to hear me ramble, or tell me to shut up. Journals have always been a good release for me. The only things that are different are I'm typing instead of keeping a handwritten notebook, and others get to read what I have on my mind. I'm not sure if that's good or not, but I've often thought about wanting to write a book. This is the next best thing.