Forewarning: this will be a race report of what not to do, but I suppose these are the ones to learn the most from! Oh, and it’s a long one!
Started with a terrible nights sleep, I was camping but after the torrential rain and forecasted storms overnight, I decided not to put my tent up but to just sleep in my car and not so shockingly I woke up exhausted. I ate a bagel, forgot to take on any caffeine, drank about 8oz of water (at best) and set off to the race venue. I arrived with an enormous sense of dread, I really really didn’t want to be there or to race. I waited to catch up with Jamie (my coach) by body marking, hoping that he’d let me switch to Olympic or Sprint distance. If I had I found him at that point, he likely would have had to deal with me in full nervous breakdown, tears and all. Luckily for him, and probably me too, I didn’t find him and it was getting very close to transition closing so I went and set up.
I saw Jamie in transition and he said he wasn’t ok with me doing Olympic or Sprint distance but he would have okayed Aquabike option (just swim and bike). It was too late to switch now, so I went to the swim start, saw a few people, including the Heaths who are always encouraging. Kristen gave me some music to listen to which did help. I set off in the swim and it was choppy which I never really mind, I always feel like it slows everyone else down. My swim was uneventful but like last week (Syracuse 70.3) it was slow. In the last two years I’ve gone from a 1:50/100yds to 2:20/100yds which is so disheartening. I got out of the water, looked at my watch, I was 5 mins slower than last week. Again could have cried, why have I completely lost my swim advantage? I used to come out the water towards the front.
Anyway, f&#ked around a bit in T1, and set off on the bike. I quickly realized that although I had filled my speedfil, I had in fact left the tube that I drink from at home…what a nob (British insult). So I had my hydration attached to my bike but no way to access it. Luckily I did have 24 oz of coconut water in my bottle. At about mile 12, had a flat on my back tire, and I have no idea how to fix those. I probably would have given a front flat a go, but not a back. So just stood by the side of the road for a while assessing the dumb ass life choices that got me here. I was pissed off, getting sunburnt, paying $200+ to drag my ass through a race I didn’t want to do.
After about 20 mins a nice young chap, pulled over and changed it for me, at the same time race support showed up so they got me back on the road. By this point every man and his dog had passed me. What little fight I had in me had long gone. So I trundled away, got to the turnaround, chatted to a volunteer, ate a banana, and set off back. I had already made my mind up that there was no way I was going to do the run. Jamie said I could aquabike so that’s that I’d do, this was just my way of justifying finishing this race as soon as possible. So I finished with a slow swim time and an even slower bike time. This was not a good race.