Whether I have a good showing in the DEs or not, I always seem to struggle in Open Epee pools at Atlanta Fencers Club. It is not terribly far from my place, and I usually grab breakfast on the way - but no dice on Saturday.
After two weekends of climbing out of pools undefeated, I serve up a record of 1-3. One of those losses to a fencer who falls forward and remises at the same time. Ugh.
My first DE was difficult, I couldn't control the distance and reliably land touches when timing and the attack were on my side.
My thought is that my legs were more fatigued than I could feel, which caused me to move slower. I might take a page from John Normile and keep a chair near the strip for resting during the breaks. He seems to have good results.