This week was all about Florida 70.3. Half ironman distance that I was dreading so I just thought of it as just training so it wouldn’t seem so daunting. All my workouts this week were just sluggish. It was like I could not move. Thursday I did my workouts went home to get ready to go to a meeting when it hit. The worst stomach flu or bug that I could imagine. No wonder I was so tired all week. It had been lurking.
I cancelled my meeting and hoped for the best. As the day progressed it only got worse so I started to panic. Called Coach Andy to see what I should do. He told me to relax, wait to see what happens in the morning and in worse case scenario I can drive up by myself on Saturday. I now had a plan (not the one I wanted but a plan none the less).
Friday I woke up and managed to leave the house for 3 hours without having to make a pit stop. I thought ok I can make the 3 hour drive later in the day. With some advice from my friend Karen I stocked up on very bland food so the next 3 days consisted of chicken, chicken broth, eggs, rice and potatoes.
Saturday we got up for our pre-race brick.
I managed it but did run out of energy. I needed some food. Robert had some issues with his bike so we had to stop at a bike shop. It did not take long but I was getting weak and needed to get back to the house to eat. So he took me back while the others went and got breakfast.
After breakfast and showers we headed to Haines to check in and drop the bikes off.
The plan was to go home and cook dinner but everyone was hungry so we stopped at a Carabbas. I thought I would be able to get some grilled chicken with mash potatoes. Not the case. They only had garlic mashed potatoes. I asked if they could boil potatoes the waiter said no. After a few minutes of the waiter saying no to all of my suggestions I got a little testy. Surely they could come up with something. The manager finally came to the table and asked what the problem was. I explained and he said they could bake me a potato or boil some. I said boiled is perfect. I also said I could not have any of the herb mix on the chicken just salt. He said the would bake it to make sure no herbs got on the chicken Chicken came out grilled. It tasted fine but I could tell the herbs got on it. I paid for that later.
I basically did not sleep all night. We had to get up earlier than usual since Haines was an hour away, which wasn’t a big deal since I was already awake. We got to the race start, set up transition then it was time to wait for the start.
The swim was ridiculous. The water was so murky you could not even see your hands, which meant you could not see the other swimmers. That caused a lot of hitting of other swimmers and other swimmers hitting you. It was a slow swim to say the least.
Got on the bike and felt ok. I was trying a new nutrition mix that consisted of honey water slat tabs and magnesium. The recipe came from my friend Karen. I think it was a good mix for the bike. It tasted like candy so I gave myself a treat at very 5 mile mark.
As I came up to the halfway mark I saw that it was 1:30 into the bike and thought I could do this in 3 hours. That would be amazing. Then that dream ended when I turned and started with hills and wind in the face. Ended up with 3:49, which was my best bike time at this distance. So I felt good about it. Then it was time for the run.
The run, that was just plain horrible. Every time I started running my intestines hurt. I thought they were going to explode. I was thinking I would quit after the first of 3 loops. As I was getting close to what ended up being the last water stop my friend Thomas (who I never see on the run) came up behind me and I ran with him until the water stop. He was hurting from the heat. Seeing him did get me motivated to keep going even if it was his last loop. On the second loop I decided to run really fast on all the down hills and use gravity to move me forward. It seemed to help because I started passing people. At some point I passed Victoria during one of my down hill fast runs. After the last water stop I ran into Andy. I do not think he liked the fact that I was walking but just the fact I was still going was as good as it was going to get. He told me to just keep going so I did. I started my 3rd loop and did the same thing and again I was passing people. Then people were yelling looking strong or good job so that just motivated me even more. If they only knew I just wanted to cry. I finally made it across the finish line and all my team mates were cheering me on. Thanks Christy, Robert, Liz and non-team members Carlos, Emily and Jose. It was great to finally see you at the finish.
What I learned this week is:
That as in every journey it only takes on moment to go from feeling great to feeling completely freaked out. I am back where I started on this journey. Even though I had a great bike I felt like there is no way I would finish my ironman.
On the other hand when I finished I thought I can power through anything.
I am proud of what I did even though it was a terrible race. I should have stayed home and gotten over the flu/bug but my brain said no you need to get the training in. I am glad I did even though this race filled me up with self-doubt.
Will not show my training stats. They were horrible this week.
Quote for this week is exactly what happened. Just when I was getting ready to quit I kept going and the tides did finally turn.
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe