Last night was a perfect example of the benefits of a good training group. First, on Monday, one of my teammates, Beth, emailed me asking how my race had gone. I told her about it, and my reply to her actually prompted me to write my ITU race report.
I was dreading going to the group OWS last night because I was still upset and embarrassed about my DSQ. I was hoping everyone had forgotten I had a race. ;) I was the first to arrive at the lake, and Beth arrived shortly afterwards. We talked about the race a little bit, and she was so encouraging and supportive. As the other ladies came in, the race was pretty much the topic as we donned our wetsuits.
The more I talked about the race, the better I felt. No one said, "You should have paid more attention to the course map." No one said, "Its your fault- you missed the course talk." No one said, "I can't believe you messed up!" (Not that I expected anyone in my group to actually say things like that, but I'd seen many comments like that on ITU's Facebook page.)
Everyone was so kind, supportive, and encouraging. Coach Libby told us about a couple other extremely experienced triathletes that had made the same mistake at ITU and been disqualified. I was in good company. The ladies oooo'd and ahhh'd over my swim and bike times, and congratulated me on my "unofficial" sub-2 race time. By the time we were wetsuited up and getting in the water, the general consensus was that I had a great race with a bad run course. :)
I came to practice feeling like a failure and left practice feeling like a triathlete, and it was all due to the wonderful ladies I'm training with.