Sometimes mistakes while racing are our greatest training moments.  Martha Sylvestre had one of those experiences this past weekend. Caught up in the heat of the moment led to a few wrong turns. Martha works very hard and always races her heart out. She has a great outlook on her racing and why she does it.  She is competitive and loves to reach her personal goals. She finished  4th overall for the women, and 2nd. in her age group. Fantastic results!  This is her recap of Last Saturdays DKH Sprint Triathlon.

Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve… The hard lessons of Triathlon. This weekend I had the pleasure of racing close to home for once. It’s nice when you only have a 10 minute drive and can actually sleep in!! This was a sprint and once it got underway, I decided to just race it!  I was feeling great, having completely trained my ass off so was more than prepared physically. The swim was awesome and on the bike, I quickly realized I was hammering it, right up there near the lead!! Then something I’ve never even thought about happened.  Coach is always saying know your course, well, of course, I know this course, this is my home turf and wasn’t my first race here! Totally in the zone and in what later, a Tri friend referred to as “Tri brain”, a physical exertion lack of mental acuity or brain mush, that can ruin you or make you, it ruined me. I blindly followed the pack in front of me to a total dead end off the course…? The profanities that came out of my mouth were really a waste of energy and now to me, rather embarrassing.  Unfortunately, Tri timing calculations are not linked to actual mileage but true course mileage.  I was well screwed at that point, my dream race shattered by a mental error and a good two minutes off course.  Could this get any worse?  I put myself back on course spinning madly up the hills and mumbled angered thoughts to myself regarding my stupidity the whole way back to the run. On the run I see a girl ahead of me so I reel her in just like coach taught me, and pass her!  Yeah, I think I’m back in. Just as we round a corner there is a hill; people seem confused as to which way to go. I see a kid point and say up the hill. We take off up the hill and as I get toward the top, about 50 yards or so, the boy at the top says “you’ve run up the wrong side go back! ” apparently there were two sides to the hill! Are you kidding? It’s the same distance what’s the difference?  In the heat of the race, I retreat and run back down just as the girl I worked so hard to pass, runs past me up the other side of the hill having seen my error!  This is a nightmare!  I watched her from the distance, this time totally unable to make that distance up.  I finish just glad the nightmare has ended. Not my brightest moment but surely one that I’ll never forget and the lessons I learned will be invaluable in the bucket of my Triathlon future. I was awarded first in age group, was fourth overall woman finisher, and had a race pr of like 4 minutes 2015 1:26:06 2017 1:22:19  Nothing to scoff at for sure, but hard lessons learned. Once again your always right coach!  Know your course….