It’s been about 11 days since racing in Kona. In that time I have read a few blogs from other athletes, most of which reported that their race was more or less not what they had hoped for. The athletes in question all beat me, and I was not even in the ball park by the time I crossed the finish line. So this is not going to be another one of those blogs. Put simply, my result sucked. But in the great scheme of things, I have reflected on my race and I happy that I overcame the demons in my head and crossed the finish line.
We have all had “those days” where we wake up and feel like a pile of poo. We try to struggle our way through a training workout, but it continues to go from bad to worse. Most of us would bite the bullet on “those days” and call it a day. On a training day, that is normally a no brainer. I’ve done it, and it has enabled me to come back and nail my workouts the days after. But when it happens on race day, you have to face it head on. And in the World Champs, there is no hiding. You can’t just exit out the back door or slip away quietly.
I dropped off during the swim from the lead pack as I found myself splashing around like a pig in mud, unable to hold on to the pace and the feet in front. The time defect out of the swim doesn’t seem like much from a spectators point of view and often does not reflect much on how an athlete will perform throughout the race. However, dropping off the pace in the swim does not happen to me, and it was a clear indication it was going to be a rough day.
The bike proceeded to confirm how I felt. A number of athletes passed me, including the runner up, Daniella Ryf, 3rd place finisher, Rachael Joyce and eventually the winner, Mirinda Carfrae. Everything hurt. Nothing felt good. I could have sworn my tires were flat, but nope. The legs pushing them just didn’t turn up to the party.
I barely managed to pedal my way back into T2. Again, no hiding. Thousands of people were watching live. Others online. There was no way I wasn’t going out on the run. I continued to fight the good fight. In the position I was in, I was never going to win the race. In fact, any hopes of making the podium had far left my mind. But part of me did believe a top 10 finish was within reach. And at about 6 miles into the run, I was moving pretty well and I was feeling ok. I passed Heather Wurtelle and ran into 11 place just before the Energy Lab. I could see Liz Blatchford not too far ahead in 10th pace. I put a target on her back and found myself a new goal. This was rather short lived. As I started to run back out of the Energy Lab, I started to fade. My legs went to jelly and my run became a shuffle. Girls I had passed earlier on in the marathon were running by me as if I were standing still. I was now in survival mode. I was telling myself to just make it to the finish line. I was ignoring all the voices in my head that told me to stop. Keep running. Keep running. I will cross the finish line……..eventually. And I did. It was as good as I could on one of “those days”. And there is part of me that cries inside. But there is also a part of me that feels proud to have my name on the results sheet. For another year, Kona is over and there will always be some satisfaction to have once again finished the toughest race in the world.
Congratulations to the all my competitors, and a special mention to Mirinda Carfrae who had an amazing 3rd victory in Kona.
Next race for me is IM 70.3 Miami. Then a week later Ironman Florida.