Last year after the MDDU, Erik sent these questions out to TB3 team members who had raced.  Since this was the one of the first things I thought about after racing in 2014, I thought I would do a side-by-side from last year to this year:

What were your goals going into the race, and did you achieve them?

2013:

I’m still chasing the elusive top 3 Overall podium! But besides that, I wanted to push myself a bit further out of my “endurance pace” comfort zone and really challenge myself mentally and physically to push through a good, hard effort, and I felt like I did that.  I’m really happy with how I ran the race overall so I’m not too upset over missing the podium :)

2014:

Right after finishing the race this year, I remembered this post from 2013, recalling the chase for top 3 overall.  That was still an unfulfilled goal going into this race.  I did manage to finally accomplish it (goal: check!); but, I also don’t feel the race went very well for me overall, or relative to 2013, making for a mixed result.

For the positive, I knew going into this race that I would need to use the bike leg to my advantage, and I was happy to feel I could execute on that and close the gap from the first run.  It’s good to know that my cycling legs are starting to come back to me, and that I can still ride with confidence after being rattled by crashing back in September.

How did MDD move you towards achieving your big goals in 2013?

2013:

It reinforced that I am gaining fitness, which is a good confidence boost, and helped put me into a competitive mindset.  I also am now mentally aware that I *should*, for all intents and purposes, be able to hold faster paces than what I might be used to  on longer duration efforts, and that even though that might come with a bit more feeling of suffering, I should be capable of achieving it.  So, I need to work on getting used to that feeling.

2014:

It was interesting to be so aware of how a goal can change contextually — though hitting the podium on Sunday technically fulfilled a long-standing goal of mine, the race almost served more to expose some key areas I want to improve in not only as the season progresses, but as I continue participating in the sport in years to come.  I think that will be important for me in making the most of training going forward, so even though I was somewhat disappointed in my overall performance in this case, hopefully the experience leaves me with a clearer focus and new mentality to work from and improve with.

What are you most excited about for this season?

2013:

Ironman Lake Placid. (Or maybe my beer / wings / burger afterwards.) Can’t wait to put the work that’s going in back out onto the course, seeing so many faces I know and love out there and being able to do it all while giving back to a cause that’s really important to me.

2014:

I missed out on a lot of racing last year, so it will feel great to finish the first real tri of the season.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

2013:

I have a few, but in order:

1. Crossing the finish line knowing that I pushed through all the way to the end, even though I really wanted to back off the pace a mile earlier.  (And then another 1/2 mile after that. And then pretty much every step until the end.)

2. Team time on the lawn on a beautiful day!  Such a great group of people, those TriBy3er’s are.

3. Actually having the thought to myself in T2, “that was too easy, what am I forgetting??” I know it’s only a duathlon transition,  but I have never felt that way in my entire life so I really appreciated having that thought in the moment.

2014:

Seeing the incredible number of TriBy3 kits in action, all killing it, and sweeping the awards!

Oh, and of course… cupcakes! Thank you, Kalim!