Success doesn't come to you, you go to it."
The Horizon League Championship were almost two weeks ago for the UIC team. It has taken me that long to finally put my thoughts down about the meet.
Our men's team came into the meet as defending champions. As it is with every year you never get to the championship meet exactly the same team as the year before or even a few months prior to the meet. People get injured, sick, quit, etc. We had all of that leading into the meet. However, all you can do is stay positive, execute your personal race plan and see where the chips fall. As a coach, I am constantly emphasizing those key points. I believe that worrying about the things you can't control takes your mind off what you can control and can affect your performance negatively. Therefore, my goal was to keep everyone as calm and as happy as possible so they would be relaxed and ready to race fast. All and all, the men did very well. We finished in 3rd, 3.5 points out of second place. However, I don't think the finish tells the whole story. We had 9 NCAA "B" cuts, school records and multiple event champions. And, just like last year, we took 1-2-3 in the 200 fly. It is the last individual event of the meet and it is always super excited to watch Steve, Schmitty and Evan take it to the field. I hope the team was not too disappointed with not repeating as champions, because they really had an outstanding meet. Especially given the fact that the "fast" suits were outlawed this year. We had best times all over the place---it was truly inspiring.
The women's team had a great meet as well. They were in the mix in every relay, we had multiple events where we had more than 1 person in the top 8 (100 back-4 people!), and several event champions. We even went 1-2 in the 200 fly. I was so proud of all the women, they really raced well.
The team is now enjoying a break from training while I am focusing on the Oceanside in less than 3 weeks. Yikes, it certainly sneaks up on you. The first race of the season always makes me a little more nervous. The last triathlon I did was at the beginning of September. I know that I have not forgotten how to race since then but I always feel out of practice with the whole preparation thing. By the end of a season getting ready for a race is simple. I know exactly what to grab, how to arrange everything, etc. Plus, you need less stuff when the weather is warmer. I always seem to overpack for this one--I don't want to make the mistake of being too cold. I did that the first time I raced in Oceanside and it was miserable. Now I know to take a super warm coat, gloves and hat.
'Tis the season for racing and I am getting ready. Here's to new beginnings!