Just for fun, I thought it would be cool to revisit what went through my head at last year’s Nationals and how my mindset changed this time around.
Last year: ‘Friendly triathletes and great atmosphere—I don’t want to leave!’
This year: I really tried to avoid the hoopla this year. My flight landed in Milwaukee earlier, and I took care of the expo and pre-race stuff on Thursday when most folks were still trickling in. I also opted out of the Friday afternoon practice swim in an effort to avoid the nervous energy. Overall, I came to Nationals with a different mentality—I wanted to fly under the radar, do my own thing, and stay out of my own head. Yes, I wanted to enjoy the experience and have fun, but putting together a solid race was my primary focus.
Last year: ‘Milwaukee is a great venue.’
This year: Milwaukee is still a great venue. Going back to a familiar place gave me an increased sense of calm confidence: I knew the city, the course, and exactly what to expect. Before the race, I visited the Milwaukee Public Market several times, which was a foodie’s paradise.
And I went to Kopp’s post-race for some life-changing tiramisu custard.
Last year: ‘Everyone looks so fit.’
This year: Everyone still looked fit, but I didn’t have the jaw-dropping reaction I did last year. This is partly because I came into the race leaner and fitter, and I also knew everyone else would be chiseled.
Last year: ‘I need a new bike.’
This year: Hello, race-ready Slice!
But I still experienced some bike envy. My teammates and I were talking during bike drop-off, and we estimated transition was probably worth $10 million. And one of my teammates who has a custom bike said even his eyes were wandering.
Last year: ‘I can’t believe how far I’ve come in one year.’
This year: I’d been looking forward to this race all year; I could not wait to take on the same course with another year of training and see how much I’ve improved across the disciplines. My swim was three minutes faster, and I shaved seven minutes off my bike split. (Based on my training and racing, I was hoping to take four minutes off my run, but we know what actually happened.)
Last year: ‘I have the best team ever.’
This year: Still true!