Sunday was a very tough day for me in Cancun. My pre race warm-up seemed to go quite well and I ended up helping a lot of people in transition. I’m not sure what it is about me, but people were asking me to pump up their tires, asking what pressure to run tires at, nutrition, run, bike questions, etc. I guess because I’m white and blonde, everyone, including the pros expected me to know english.
The swim was one big loop that started in a swamp. The water was quite calm, but we had to run out 50m in a mud bog that was to shallow to swim. I got around the first buoy with the group and then we all were about to miss the second buoy. I went to correct myself, but part of the way they let us go ahead and I found myself having lost the pack. The rest of the swim I tried to play catch up but was not able to pump up the speed.
There was a long run to transition and I had a quick transition. I tried to settle in right away on the ride, but was quickly aware that my watts were a little low. The ride was pretty flat, but there was enough wind to make the bike a little slower than expected. Already the air was hot and humid. I went through almost 6 1/2L bottles on the bike as well as 4 salt tablets, which seemed to be enough. Nutrition wise, I tried something different during the race and it seemed to do the trick. During the ride I just felt like I wasn’t able to get my body up to speed. I averaged about 250W for the ride and would have liked to be more around the 280W, so something wasn’t right. I was getting very frustrated as the group rode time into me. About 60km in, my left hip started getting really sore and felt like the joint was locked/swollen. For the last 20km I really couldn’t get comfortable on the bike and was counting down the kms till I got off. I had to stand quite a bit to try and open up the hip, but nothing seemed to help.
I rolled into transition and as soon as my feet hit the ground my hip collapsed. I was still fairly quick in transition and headed out on the run desperate to run myself into top 8 (where the money was). Reality struck about 2km in when I knew my body not getting any better. By this time the heat was into the 40C territory and my body was in serious hurt mode. I felt like I was handling the heat well, but my body was just not there on the day. The run was 2 laps and it never ended. I debated dropping out the entire run, but realized I had 11th place locked down and at the slow pace I was running, I wasn’t going to do much damage to my body anyways. I finished in 11th place, not what I was hoping for, but not a bad result.
Triathlon has a funny way of breaking you down. Before the race I was incredibly confident that I could place top 5 and had no doubt in my mind that I could run quick, not just finish. As a pro, many of my training days are longer in duration than a half ironman, so the distance doesn’t seem that daunting. However, during that run, the cold harsh reality of a possible dnf snuck up my spine. Any race, no matter the distance, can crumble an athlete to the point of not finishing. Every half I have done hurts, but this race was just suffering for a poor result.
There are many positive to take away from the weekend. I’ve recovered quicker than expected because of my slower run, which should allow me to have a good race this weekend at Augusta 70.3. I learned a valuable lesson that socks are a must in half ironmans. The heat didn’t destroy me in this event (although it made everyone’s day quite hard).
Thanks for the support,