This past weekend racing in DCCX was not the best for me in every aspect; physically, mentally, etc. It was in fact the worst performance I have had so far this season. The week leading into the race I went for a routine physical and found out my ferritin was a little low (not anemic yet, just slightly iron deficient). This news was a bit of a nightmare to me because almost 4 years ago to the day I found out I was severely anemic right in the middle of cyclocross season. I have routinely gotten blood tests since then and it has always been pretty normal. Therefore, with this past history of suffering from anemia, it was very hard to not let this get in my head this weekend.
So anyways back to the race weekend. Friday, I felt pretty good during my openers. Kerry, Becca, and I did some sight-seeing on our spin which was cool but made me convinced I never want to live in a big city. On Saturday, I had a decent start but then on a root filled turn someone stopped in front of me causing a huge bottleneck! Tons of racers went by and there went my good start. I fought as hard as I could to get back up there, I even remember passing 4 people on one downhill, but it wasn’t enough. The gaps had formed, and I just couldn’t get back up there. I fought to 12th place but was not happy with this result but tried to focus on having a better second day.
On Sunday I had an amazing start! I was shocked to be so far up near the front. I remember being behind Becca in 4th place or so and I told myself, “just stay here Em”. However, after that I just went backwards. It was absolutely terrible. I finally had an amazing start and now I was speeding backwards through the field. I had no snap in my legs and could barely make it up the steep little hills. Other racers would ride right by me and I could not get on their wheels. I started to panic thinking about what could be wrong with me, which made the situation even worse. I rolled through the line in 14th place.
So many thoughts were going through my head after the race. Why is my iron low and why during this season? Why couldn’t it have happened last year or a year when I wasn’t solely focusing on racing? However, after talking and discussing the issue with many people who support me, I think it will be okay. Since only my ferritin was low and everything else was normal I think I have caught the problem before I have dug too deep a hole. I am tweaking some things in my training and nutrition and I am hopeful that next weekend in Cincinnati will go better and I will feel normal again. I just don’t want to waste the season with an unidentifiable problem, coupled with all of the amazing support I have from the Amy D Foundation and all of the amazing sponsors this season, but I am hopeful it will be okay and I can turn things around.