The A-race of the year quickly turned into a C-race. The main issue started the Friday a week before the race when we flew to see my parents and I came down with a cough/cold something. Two tests later we confirmed it wasn’t COVID, but it was still something. After a run on sunday (that was 7 min miles for 7 miles!) I basically was down and out the whole week. I gave the bike a test ride but that was at best achy and un-productive. So going into the race I was still sick.
The race itself was a slog. The swim I played my normal game of start light and grow into it. This field was different than any other group I had raced with though. They started like a lightening bolt. The downside was I was slow in comparison, but the advantage is I actually had plenty of folks to draft off the whole way. So while not near my more target goal of 26-27 min, I’ll take the solid sub 30 which for me is still an improvement.
After the swim it went downhill though and not in a good way. My foot was cramping pretty bad and it quickly became clear that the salts in my body were out of sorts. The other issue I discovered was that my 2009 Shiv had not been my training bike and that proved to a huge mistake. I couldn’t get comfortable and basically rode on the bars most of the way. The cost was a significant aero penalty and probably 1-3 mph ave speed. The second issue is I quickly discovered I had no reserves or gas. So the bike had no extra overage to push up hills. While not a terrible issue on the bike itself it was a bad omen for the run.
At T2, that’s when I knew the suck was on. My foot was fully cramping up and I didn’t have much left. So I pondered giving up, but being a dumb triathlete I decided to keep going and just enjoy the view. The pace was slow, and I had to walk aid stations and a few stretches in mile 5, but the views were amazing and it was great to be back home. At the end I really paid for it, spending an hour in the medical tent getting salt into my body to relieve my fully cramped up legs. But it was done! My family convinced me to try again next year though and hopefully with a little better bike preparedness and definitely no sickness I should have a better outing. I’ve raced sick and achy before, and every time I regret it…. someday I’ll learn to just give up!