Expectations – Musselman ITU Pan-America Cup

image I had a lot of expectations for myself today. I went into this race thinking that there would be a small break out of the water, and I assumed I would be in it. I’ve been putting in some really good swim workouts lately, and riding strong too, so I figured an early break on the bike would be my ticket to a great finish.

Unfortunately, none of the work I’ve put in lately came out.

Right from the swim start I didn’t have the speed to get in front of the pack, and when we were crunched into the first buoy I was right in the middle of the crunch. I ended up being in the main pack when a few guys gapped us, and by the end of the swim I was only able to lead the chase pack out of the water in about 6th or 7th position overall, but about 20 seconds down on the next athlete.

I flew through transition, which (and this is foreshadowing) was the only fast running I did today, and then put everything I had into my pedals for a little over five minutes until I caught the group of riders in front of me. It was a dumb tactic, but at the time I was thinking if I could just catch up to the break then it would undo the mistakes I had made in the swim. It took me almost a lap of the bike course to catch the group, but it turned out to only be three guys. Brian Fleischmann and Cameron Dye had gone off the front and were putting time on us. I, however, was no help to the group of three for almost another lap as I tried to recover from my effort, and by the time I was ready to pull again another large pack of athletes had caught us, including Jarrod Shoemaker, and a bunch of other runners. With them along side me it didn’t make sense for me to try to catch the leaders because it was those runners that I would be trying to get a lead on. I had missed my shot at an early break, so I sat in the back and did as little work as I could. Not no work, but I wasn’t too worried as the gap between us and Cameron and Brian slowly grew to about 2 minutes in the final lap.

Onto the run, I finally had a decent T2, and came out with three other runners. I tried to hang on with that group, but fell off a bit in the first half mile before settling in with two Canadians. My first lap of the six lap course was ok, but by no means fast. My second lap was slow, my third was pitiful, and at mile 3.5 I shut it down, finished the lap and turned over my timing chip. I was probably still in the top 15, but I was too hot to run fast, and clearly running well over six minute pace was not a good sign.

Brian lapped me on my jog back to transition, and wen ton to win by about 10 seconds over Jarrod. His break worked, which is awesome, and it was pretty clear that Brian was the strongest guy out there today.

I could blame all of the race on the heat, but that’s just an excuse. I went out with really high expectations of myself and when my performance was below those expectations I panicked. I didn’t understand how I could train so well and still be dropped in the swim. That has nothing to do with heat. I’ve prided myself on being able to step it up on race day and outperform anyone’s expectations, but today I was off in every way. I’m bummed, but there’s always next week…

For some good news, Anna Blume, of my generous host family came in 8th in her age group this morning in the min-musselman sprint triathlon. Great Job Anna!! Tomorrow her husband, John, will race the Musselman half Iron Triathlon. I’m planning to go out to on of the aid stations and pass out water. Hopefully I’ll see John run by and I can cheer him home in his first long distance triathlon.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. Ben,

    Everyone has days like this so don’t worry about it. I can attest to the fact that your swimming and cycling are very strong, and you are more than capable of leading out an ITU swim. Maybe you need more rest from the intense training? anyway, get some R&R and keep your confidence high.


  2. I’m sure this was an extremely challenging decision… but I think it just shows the musselman you are. Be proud of knowing when you’re working against your body instead of with it, That way next time it knows you will support it’s effort! Enjoy upstate while you’re there 🙂

  3. Sorry kid. I would agree with Greg and that you’re probably just a bit under-recovered from your solid but intense training. nice job on knowing when to conserve energy for next week and to call it a day. Enjoy the long race today and recover well.


  4. you gotta have some hard days so you can fully appreciate it when you excel. otherwise, you’d start to feel unsatisfied with your awesome days. now, the next time you have a perfect triathlon, you’re really going to feel like a superhero! 🙂

    when are you coming to the city?

  5. Sorry to hear you didn’t race as well as you wanted. We are always toughest on ourselves, so learn from your mistakes and try not to make them again.

    Good luck in the next one… I’m sure you’ll Crush!

  6. Translation: “Boo hoo! I travel the world on someone else’s dime and swim and bike and run all day and get paid to screw around with elite equiment and live at my parents’ house by the lake in my rich white gated community and I didn’t have the perfect race for once and woe is me!”


  7. Wow, that’s harsh.

    Just so everyone understands that Brian is trying to be funny, I don’t actually live in a rich white gated community, and I paid for my own flights to Geneva, and there’s no way I could swim bike and run ALL day. That would be an ironman.

    I do get to swim bike and run all day. That’s cool.

  8. Aw, Ben, sorry to hear about your tough day. I actually had wondered if you were going to take some real rest – your week in Marin last week sounded pretty brutal. I’m chalking this up to not enough recovery.

    Now REST and go get some redemption next week!!!

  9. I’d be less harsh if you were here training with me, not sleeping at strange houses in strange cities far from my trembling fingers.

    I desperately miss you in a purely platonic way.

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