Where do I start with the IP? I can give a bunch of excuses eg, upset tummy early in the week, legs tired, flat and heavy, self-generated mental pressure, misplaced focus during the race etc but I won’t (although.. I just did!). The bottom line is I didn’t pull a PB, but close to PW (personal worst). I felt ok in the first half of the race, controlled and steady with breathing in good shape, but the seconds were sliding away from me by the middle laps, and although I tried to lift in the final 2 laps, nothing happened, my legs failed to respond and I was shot. The only positive thing I can say is that asthma didn’t hit me, although my breathing was overextended in the final 2laps, and I had that classic metallic/bloodied taste in mouth and throat afterwards (and struggled to walk for several minutes after). I made my breathing a focus during the whole 8 laps, but perhaps (likely) to the detriment of watching my cadence. I just wasn’t up to it on the day, probably chose the wrong (too small) gear and lost my cadence by focusing too much on my breathing.
I was completely devastated when I saw my time. One of my (novice) fellow competitors tried to make me feel better as I staggered back to my seat by saying “O! but you’re a sprinter Lawrence.” Hmm, that’s news to me! Her timing was bad, her comment terribly misjudged and grossly inaccurate – I won’t say what I thought when she said it. I must have looked bad, because very few people came near me. HourofPowerWoman summed it up well in noting it wasn’t a time I was after, but her delivery indicated she understood how I felt, and ... what the hell can you say to someone who just failed themselves miserably and is demolished by it?
That evening Coach and I had an excellent debrief, proving how much quality coaching is about communication and empathy. The following day I received some very supportive sms, and words directly, that helped me out of my bucket of self-pity and back into a forward-looking, positive frame of mind. It’s a seriously good feeling to know that people do believe in what you are doing, even if, momentarily, you seriously doubt it yourself. Thanks guys :-)