The swim was down stream in the Savanna River and so my goal was just to stay in contact. I had a good warm-up and was excited to go. After trying to hover in place with the current for the start the horn finally went and the day had begun. I never really settled into the swim, but was very conscious of my position and my effort. I came out of the water with a descent swim and not having lost any significant time.
It was raining as I started my bike ride and I tried to stay in contact with the guys in front of me. There were some uber bikers at the race, and a very strong pro field overall. I knew I would lose time to some of the guys, but I wanted to stay in contact with the group of 6 guys just ahead of me. This plan worked for about 15km, and then things went down hill. There just was no spark in my legs and I felt as if I was 1 or 2 gears easier then what I needed to be pushing. The air temp was 25-28*C with 100% humidity and pouring rain. I made sure to stay hydrated knowing that I was still sweating a lot, even if I couldn’t feel it. The rain was torrential and in a couple sections, I actually sunk my front wheel, which is a 58mm deep 404! The course was a little slower with the rain, but there was only one corner that was really sketchy, considering I didn’t know it was a 180* corner. As I approached the end of the bike, I kept telling myself to look forward to moving on the run. My hip had been hurting for the past 50km, but I viewed the run as starting fresh.
When I got to T2, everything was soaked. I slid on my sopping wet racing flats and headed out on the course. I tried to push the pace and settle into my rhythm, but I knew I was running slow. Then, the mind games really began. As I was running, I realized how uncomfortable I was. My entire body ached and I was incredibly fatigued with the effort. All my mind and body were telling me to do was to stop and drop out. After the first mile, I started counting down the mile. However, I mentally couldn’t stand to count down every mile or km on a half marathon, so i decided to count to half way and then start counting again. Mentally I had to keep telling myself “You don’t quit Grant”, “This is what you came here to do”, “You are stronger than this”, “You can finish this G-Force”. Pretty much any motivation I could muster up, I used. Nutritionally I needed to get an extra gel in me and I really started to hurt. I tried to grab one at an aid station, but the gel got knocked away. I though I could grab a gel at the next station, but there were none at the next 2. This is when I really knew I was screwed. By the end of the race I had no spark left and just wanted to finish more than anything. After 45mins in the med tent, I finally was able to grab some food and bike home in a very disappointing 15th place. It’s nice to know that on a bad day, I can still crack top 15 in a field of over 3000. Now it’s time to gain weight and look toward next year.