Sunday afternoon I competed in the Remenyik Open at Northwestern University. I’m not especially happy with how things went, so here’s some reflection on the day.
One thing that I’m still not very good at in fencing is tournament preparation: I am never quite sure when or how much I should eat on the day of my event. If I too much or too late before I fence I feel heavy and sluggish, but if I eat too early or not enough I start to run out of gas early in DEs. I think I got the combination almost right on Sunday. With a noon event, I ate two waffles and a sandwich around nine; it was the right amount but I could have eaten maybe an hour later. What I should do in addition to that is eat a Clif bar or similar as soon as my pool was done. I think that would help give me the energy to stay sharp through DEs.
My biggest mistake this time, I think, was following my doctor’s orders… I did several sets of calf raises on Saturday afternoon because that’s my homework from physical therapy. Unfortunately, the homework was harder than I expected and it hurts to walk even as I type up this draft on Monday! Bending my knees feels lots better than straightening them. I’m not sure how much it hurt my fencing, but I know it didn’t help.
Pools: The loss was in my first bout, with Eleanor Leighton. I pushed too much and didn’t adjust my distance; she got me 5-2. My second bout, with Christina Allen from Northwestern, was also challenging, but I was more ready to adapt this time. I was down a couple points (1-3, I think) and came back to win 5-4. The rest of the pool was less eventful. I finished with four wins and one loss, a +5 indicator, and a 9th place seed overall.
DEs: My second DE was with Christine Dominick, who fences out of Rocky Mountain Fencing Academy in Colorado. It was a really close bout from start to finish: 5-6 at the end of the first period and 11-11 at the end of the second. I was definitely running out of gas by the last touch, though, which is very bad because it was only my second DE and I hope to be fencing rather more than that at my NACs this season. I am going to cut myself a very small amount of slack this time because of the month I lost to my ankle injury, but I’m going to add running back into my routine, make extra sure I’m fencing as many bouts as I can at practice, and also make sure I’m bringing the same level of work to every touch that I want to have at 14-14.
Last year I would have been pretty happy with this result… But last year at Remenyik I was on fire, had a great DE path, and finished third, so I feel a little let down to not have even made the eight and qualified for summer nationals. It’s okay, though. No one tournament can be taken as an accurate estimation of one’s ability. Remembering that helps keep me humble about my victories, keep my chin up in my defeats, and keep my confidence growing as I see a years-long trend of improving results.
Also – I am not qualified for div 1A. I’ll probably travel to another ROC a little later in the season to make sure that happens.