One of the hardest things to do is fence someone you know as they improve. Their mistakes are obvious, but their adjustments and improvements aren't - especially in the middle of a bout. Which is how a 9-2 lead turns into a 13-15 loss with 0:01 left in the match. That loss was in the round of 16 at the latest Dunwoody tournament, and I was so exhausted after that bout there wouldn't have been much hope of winning the next bout in the round of 8. Part of the problem was my 2-2 pool record, mostly due to weapons problems - although I had a close call in my first bout. Coming back 5 unanswered to win 5-3 is impressive, but it's also symptomatic of the fact that I didn't warm up.
And even though I was angry enough to murder for the 30 mins after the loss (unless you are a close friend, clubmate, coach, or relative - do NOT approach someone right after they are knocked out of an event if you want to keep your teeth or your composure), I made the 16 which is an accomplishment - as meager as that seems. Since I earned my B in late 2007, I've competed in 18 local tournaments (22 total) in foil and epee - and in only five of them (A2 level) have I made the round of 8 or better. Two of the 18 were foil (Div 3 events) events and I made the 8 in both of them. If my interest is stacking up medals, it seems foil would be the way to go until I place out of Division 3 in that weapon too. Unfortunately, my interest is improving in epee - which means that my expectations should better match reality.
So while winning is the overall goal everyday, and touching without being touched is the immediate goal - the realistic stretch goal at this point is to at least make the round of 4/8 and to win enough pool bouts in every event to make the top 75%. It will be tough, but the good news is that I am have lately been hitting these targets.