For my first race back from injury, I found myself at the foot of the podium this last Sunday in the Sprint European Cup in Riga. Inside, I had mixed emotions:
- Rational Claire says: After the string of injuries you’ve had this year, you should be happy
1) to be racing 2) to be healthy and 3) to have earned valuable points.
- Competitive Claire says: Fourth place, that’s the first loser! You can do better!
If my race were a monologue, here’s how it unfolded:
Swimming the long way around
I watched first ranked Yelistratova choose a position far to the left, while number two went far to the right. I had start number three and, in hesitation and despite knowing that the right side was a more direct line to the first bouy, I lined up on the left and then watched everyone one else file in to the right; I chose the wrong side. After a slow start I felt like I spent the rest of the swim zigzagging around swimmer after swimmer trying to move to the front pack.
The overly cautious biker
Again this bi-polar inner dialogue transgressed with Competitive Claire yelling at herself for not staying in the wheel, wasting energy and giving seconds away as if it were monopoly money. Meanwhile, Rational Claire was saying don’t take any unnecessary risks, don’t get in a crash and make it to the end, you need the points. We came into transition 45 seconds down from the leaders and I was in 13th overall.
The Run: Not enough road
Visit the following links for a full results, video highlights and a complete ETU race report for the male and female race. My big congratulations go out to fellow Belgian Simon De Cuyper who came in third with a great sprint finish!
In the end, I will listen to my rational voice to remind myself that I’m headed in the right direction. But, I will also listen to my competitive voice as motivation to do better and work harder to climb onto bigger podiums in the future.
Thanks again for all the support and a special thank you to my sponsors: Zerod, Mathot, Alii Sport and Jolly Sox.