Hy-Vee 2012: When things don’t quite go as planned

September 8th, 2012 by

Photo; Paul Phillips

There are good days and bad days.

Days when things go smooth and follows the plan. It feels easy, the control of the situation and confidence in the execution.

Then there are the other days. When you stuggle to get into a rhthym, you make misstakes or miss important moments.

Like the other day in Des Moines.

I came in with some worries about my body. A dysfunctional muscle that threatened to shut down or go into spasm. Equipment that had been delayed coming into Stockholm and therefor had to be replaced days leading into the event. Jetlag and last minute scramble to get things into place.

But most times when the gun goes I’m ready. Switched on and focused and ready to get into battle.

This time I never found my groove until the very last stages into the race.

I made a bad decision early on in the swim. Swam like an age grouper according to my dear coach. Missed valuable time and was forced to start chasing from the minute I got on the bike.

I quickly got myself back in the race. Passed the main chase pack and was within comfortable reach of Sarah Haskins, the race leader.


Good things are back on track.

The situation was under control and i liked the scenario of what laid ahead.

Next thing i start to feel a give in my right hand. The bar extension was a bit loose and i could feel it move with the bumps in the road.

Being optimistic i tried to ignore it. It will be ok. I can ride with a loose bar extension.

Within the next couple of minutes i realized thing werent going to get better.

I made up a plan B. Untying my gels saving the tape and using it trying to fix the loose left bar to the right one.

It was quite tricky doing this while trying to keep up with Haskins on a technical part of the course. But, as it was my best option i figured it was worth a try.

It was a fail.

The tape wsn’t strong -or sticky enough to tie A to B.

Ok, what else?

Brain went on to convince myself i could do dthe whole ride down in my bars. Holding it in place with my left hand.

This would probably have worked if it wasn’t for the technical course and the hills…

Half way through lap 2 i gave in to the fact i would have to stop and get it sorted. But where? Who would quickly be able to give me an allen key?

Wheel stop? Surely they must have one.

Plan C then came into place. As i rode past the neutral wheel stop going out towards the U-turn i slowed down a fraction and shouted out that i needed an allen key. I did the U-turn, came back and stopped on the other side.

Bless the mechanic who was standing there waiting with an allen key.

With adrenalin up to my hears it wasn’t easy to quckly explain what i needed to get done.

I saw Haskins disapear into the distance.

I saw the chase pack go by.

I felt the frustration and anger with myself growing my the second. Would i loose out on this just because me neclect of tightening the bolts properly? It would possibly be one of the most expensive misstakes in my career.

I got back up determined to take some time back. Not to let this bug me down or take me out of the race.

But i was also aware of the fact i could possibly blow myself to pieces.

Already having done the big chase effort once, now a second time – and with the heat of the streets of Des Moines being more prominent for every lap.

I knew i had to ride hard – but not too hard.

I knew i had to remember to look after myself.

Drink, gears rhthm, and not be too caught up in the chasing hard.

If i could get close enough by the time T2 came around i migjt still be able to catch Haskins on the run.

Knowing the effort this was going to cost me – i realized the pacing on the run was going to be cruicial.

Don’t take it out too hard – or i’d blow well before the half way mark.

So with the first problem solved I now became aware of an ever increasing noise from my bike. The more power i generated – the more noise it made.

I seriously started to doubt it was going to take me all around the 40k’s – but decided to face the potential breakdown once it was there. Not worry about it as long as i could ride my bike fast and somewhat smooth, not ponder over a potential scenario including a 2nd stop.

The effect that would have over the remainder of the race.

“Clear your head Lisa. Bike, drink and stay focused on the things you can control.”

I got within 20 seconds and i knew that i (once again) had ridden myself back in the game.

I ran quick, but conservative, looking hydration and the early warning signs of spasming muscles. Kilometer by kilometer my confidence and feeling of control came back to me.

It had been a disastrous race so far – yet here i was running at the front.

I still felt cautios, heat does funny things to people. Sometimes that big wall comes from nowhere, cramps sets in, and i still didn’t have confidence in that spasming muscle of mine.

Stay focused. Think of the things you can control. How is my form? Can i do this any easier? Am i breathing correct?

It was such a relief to enter that blue carpet leading up towards the finishing gantry.

 To see the finsh line knowing i was going to get there first.

It had been a tough race, much tougher than what it had to be – but i only had myself to blaim for that.

I felt incredible proud of myself that i had managed to make up for my misstakes and optimized the new, and not optimal, scenarious.

Sometimes it’s the though days that makes you proud of yourself.

I was superproud over this win.

I had managed to come back from the Olympics with a medal. Get the training done for stockholm. Win the Stockholm race infront of a 100 000 people home crowd.

Then pick up the pieces of myself and defend my Hy-Vee win.