Everything went smoothly leading up to race day. I was feeling confident and prepared for this race. I was completing all my training sets as provided by coach and I was generally feeling fit. Thursday before the race, I had my bike serviced, charged my battery (as I have electronic shifters) and gave the baby a wash. We drove down early Friday morning…it rained heavily for most of the way.
On Saturday we did our team pre-race run and swim and then relaxed for the rest of the day. At about 2pm I washed my bike again (one cannot race on a dirty bike you know)! When attempting to lube my chain, we discovered that my gears wouldn’t shift AT ALL!
So there I was, panic stricken, trying to contact every person I knew to try to assist with the problem. Long story short; nobody in the entire East London knows anything about Campag, let alone EPS!!! Our bikes were to be checked in at 5pm so I knew my race was pretty much over. After pleading with the referees, they agreed to let me keep my bike over-night to try and fix it.
So back at home, we discovered water in the battery area. My wonderful hubby somehow seemed to get things working again at about 9pm. So much for a relaxed day!
Due to my anxiety issues, I started having a migraine as soon as my shifters wouldn’t work. My body completely shut down. I was getting sick repeatedly on Saturday due to the stress, which as you’ll see, didn’t help me at all on race day!
So 5AM on Sunday, I checked in my bike and was ready to go. The body was feeling quite weak after everything, but I decided it would pass. I lined up for the swim, reminding myself that I have done all the training and I now just had to enjoy the experience.
The first 1KM of the swim felt good, I was in a nice rhythm and the arms were coping. Turned the second red buoy and everything changed. It was like a sudden wave came over me and I felt so sick. Without too much detail, I’ll just say that the rest of the swim entailed a lot of nausea and getting sick. I decided that I would get out of the water and withdraw.
But, as the adrenaline was pumping, I got into the transition tent, fell over (blacked-out), got back up and felt determined that I wouldn’t give up. So there I was, in my tri-bars, legs barely able to turn the pedals, yawning my head off. I had to stop twice to get sick again. So finally at the first aid station, I decided to call it a day.
Admittedly, I feel really disappointed as I had put so much into this race. I wanted to make Luc proud and show her how hard I had worked. My heart is still broken as I know I am not one to give up easily.
So all I can say to anyone out there who has ever had a DNF, yes, it sucks! But on the bright-side, there are always other races. And as my team-mate Ty reminded me this morning, “WE DO THIS FOR FUN”. So I recon we can cut ourselves some slack sometimes and just resort to trying again.
I am now more motivated than ever to give it my all at Durban IM70.3 this year. And can I please encourage everyone out there who is too nervous to give it a shot…GO FOR IT! It is definitely worth all the ups and downs!