Of course finishing is the goal, but to feel the way I felt wasn’t nice.
A month ago I’d already decided that I wouldn’t take part. It was too late to get a refund or swap to another race. I’d done absolutely minimum training, to be honest, I believe I’ve only exercised! There was a lot going on in my life and I just couldn’t focus how I wanted. I had a new bike which I only rode 40km on before the race (Mistake number 1).A terrifying sea swim which was scaring me since the day I’ve signed up. So, I wake up and it’s race day.
It was a freezing morning.
2.500 athletes on the beach ready to go. Just standing there with bare feet on that freezing sand was taking my energy away. Nearly 30 minutes until my wave got in the water. 2 min I’m the water and my head started to hurt so much. After 5 min I’ve stopped and nearly put my hands up for them to get me out of there. Waves were so high I couldn’t see!! I was swimming and there was no water under me! I was so petrified and couldn’t imagine myself lasting in there for 45…50 min. Then somehow I carried on and swam in 37min! survival mode: get me out of here quick!!!!
Went to transition and I couldn’t open my bag from shivering. Was already feeling very weak and low energy and talking to myself trying to make a decision. I sat in there for nearly 5 min thinking and analysing how I was feeling and what I could do. Got changed and went to my bike to tell Bijan I was going to stop. I was determined to go home and didn’t care.
When I saw his face everything changed and he shouted: you go and do this for me!
Got on my bike and I froze! I had that headache for hours. Got sick twice so literally everything went. Never felt so cold like this before.
Then the battle began. Very technical course with forever climbs and sharp bends descending. It was windy and my bike is a crazy machine. I didn’t know how to handle from not practicing and I was scared about the way it behave. Well, that’s what a tt bike it’s meant to do. To be honest I don’t know if I would do any better on my road bike, maybe I would go down faster as I know how to handle it, but it’s those things I will never know. At the end it was a good experience, I love the bike I just need to make friends with it. It’s a beast!
I was eating as much as I could to have some energy for the run but nothing was working. My mind just wasn’t agreeing and I was exhausted and unwell. Beautiful bike course, one of the nicest I’ve done. It was a shame I was feeling so bad because the run, it is a lovely flat one. My legs were fine just had no juice. Nothing could make me jog for more than 300m without feeling like: am I dying or something? I was on auto mode just like a zombie trying to get to that finish line. Very close shave but I’ve made it. I just couldn’t let it go.
It’s not that I regret racing, as it’s always awesome and makes you stronger like hell, but I don’t ever want to feel this way again. Yes you can finish with minimum training but why? Lesson learned. I’m back next year to face it all properly. #nevershowweakness
As raced and reported by Lilly Morgado