I almost didn't make it to this one - even though it was in town and my club was the host. The night before I lost my keys and faced the prospect of having my car towed and rekeyed right before the event. Instead of hoping for the best and going to sleep, I had a few and passed out around 11pm. Turns out that I locked my car keys in the dash, and made it to the tournament in time for check in - but not in time to warm up.
My pool should have been easy - there were only 2As in a 40 person event, which means I should only have one tough bout to worry about. I ended up 2-3, and dropped two losses on a slow kid from Wintrop and another kid who earned his C that afternoon. I didn't even feel like myself until the final bout - which I lost 4-5 (including a touch where the guy managed to try three times to touch me after I left the strip AND fell over in the process when the ref was staring at the scoring box). It was embarrassing, but my DE tree wasn't daunting. Unfortunately, I lost my first DE (second round) to the same guy as in my final pool bout, even though at one point I had a 14-12 lead with 1:00 left in the 2nd period.
Lack of competing and practice probably contributed to my decision to force a swift conclusion to the bout, instead of resting on the 14-12 lead, and sticking to my strong defense. Fencing can be like riding a bike, you don't really forget, but the gamesmanship is what helps you win when faced with even or ususual odds.