Second Series of Penting, In the Americas This Time

A few weeks to catch up on here. I would have hoped to get the updates Blog-wise happening faster, but I’ve been on the run.

So, last bit that I didn’t share was CANwest Track Champs in Saskatoon. I ran there 1. For fitness and 2. For fun. I think I achieved both.

I ran the 1000m, 4 x 800m, and the 1500m. So again, a lot of racing in a short period of time. It came with a long bus ride I’d have skipped if the team would have allowed me to fly. But, and I can appreciate this, their preference was that I travel with the team. My legs were pooped though because I landed around midnight Monday night and then hopped on the bus to Sask on Thursday. Anyway, races…. Races were good. The 1000m was going excellent until 700m. I was positioned well and on a fast pace. There was a lot of jostling – elbows and feet everywhere for most of the race. Some guys messed with the pace and made clear efforts to protect their team. It was interesting. Anyway, all was great, until I was boxed in hard core at 700m. I was happy with the finish, but that split second, bumped me back, leaving me with a 2:33. So, not ideal. Happy with the fitness I knew was there. The 4 x 800m relay was by far the most exciting race though, that evening. If we placed in the top 2, the team would go to CIS (Nationals). Sadly, I knew I wouldn’t be going if we did qualify, but my goal was to contribute and then the fifth guy would take my spot (as it was the same weekend as the first pent World Cup). We finished second to UVIC, and it was a truly exciting race. I wish I could find the video. I did my part, catching two guys during my leg (going a 1:56). I raced the 1500m for fun more or less. I knew I wouldn’t score points to contribute to the team. I went a season best of 4:07 which is ok considering it was the 3rd race and “for fun.” For fun… sounds odd.

So, all this work in the past months to prepare for the World Cup season – Edmonton, Montreal, Edmonton, Portland, Winnipeg, Paris, Hungary, Saskatoon. Sport at the high level is about big gambles. I don’t even want to consider the math in the ratio of time training/travelling to time competing, or dollars invested to each incremental performance improvement. Ahhh. But that is how it works here. I put in a lot of effort to get fit and competition ready and then put it down for this season, hopefully earning a spot in London. … And then this first World Cup in Charlotte stunk. I was not mentally present or inspired (discussion for another blog in the future). It was disheartening to stumble through the day. I ran well, but that was little solace. Like most World Cups, I needed to be in the top 12 to make the Final. So, the goal at the second World Cup in Rio a week later was to get out of that rut which would require mostly a different mental approach. I was really discouraged last week. It was unsettling. I couldn’t believe how much preparation I had put in to show so little on competition day. Today, I didn’t make the Final, so ultimately, it was a failure. But, on the positive side, each event was better. I swam a bit quicker (although my swim is still off the mark this year). I fenced well – best fence in a year at this level I believe. And I had a great combined, where I left in 16th, needing to find a spot in the top 12. In the first two series, I shot clean with no misses. I took seven shots the last series. I ran hard, although the humidity was ridiculous.

So that was World Cup 2. A step in the right direction. The level is so high right now and everyone is vying for Olympic points. There are few easy targets and when I look at the field, there are way more than 36 men well prepped to make Final’s. I compete in Guatemala in two weeks at an Americas Meet, and then two final World Cups right after that. Send me good vibes please. I need them. Thanks for checking in.