Those who know me well, know that for me to DNF a race it takes more than a bike crash, blood & pain and unbearable blisters. In Hamburg, I ran 5k on a stress fracture before I pulled off the course, in South Africa it was a frantic/desperate dash to the bathroom due to a case of food poisoning, today I was coughing. Not just any cough, a deep-phlegmy-ab-busting one. I knew I picked something up coming over here, I haven't felt 100% since Wednesday, I just tried to deny it, took some vit-C, told myself it would go away, it's just a little head cold. It didn't. Doesn't sound like much but it sure is hard to run when you have to cough the whole way!
Here's how it went: the swim: brutal, and uncharacteristically slow for me, it was one big fight to the first buoy, I had successfully blocked out what an ITU swim was like, the memories all came flooding back after the start. I got punched in the face my first breath, lovely. I managed to work my way closer to the front on the second lap after losing time on the first. Mental note: need to work on start speed (Bart, get ready). My head felt like I was scuba diving and couldn't equalize my ears.
Onto the bike: again little slow to get going so I ended up in the chase pack. Started coughing but figured out that if breathed shallow, I was ok. Our group was scattered and we made up some time but held it to 45seconds, I'll admit I wasn't much help, so not like me, just tried not to bust a lung!
The run: went out of T2 fast, figured it was worth a try. At about 3k into it I took a deep breath and it was game over. I stopped just after 5k and coughed for 30min straight. The little Korean ladies in the recovery tent were torn between trying to keep their distance and trying to feed me water and cherry tomatoes (totally random, I know, but maybe they are onto something, I'll do some research and let you know).
Now, I'm just frustrated, I hate not finishing what I start and it was a long way to fly only to DNF. Ahh, the ups and downs of racing. I can almost here my coach telling me to focus on the positives, so here they are:
- I got a really high-intensity workout for 1hour and 40 some-odd minutes
- If I ran what I know I can run (and not had a brutal swim), I would have had a great finish
- I felt really strong on the hills, thanks to hill repeats on the springbank hill
- I stayed relatively calm while being thrashed, kicked, pulled, dunked in the water
- I've been getting a killer ab workout out of this, so all is not lost.
- That that don't kill ya, can only make you stronger. It also makes me hungry for more, I'll get this one back!
That's all for now.