…So, I woke up at 4 am to fix my own breakfast of oatmeal & raisins – HAD TO HAVE MY COFFEE – I also had a piece of fruit, croissant w/peanut butter and proceed to wait for my morning constitutional.
I am always like clockwork – breakfast, coffee, constitutional. ALWAYS. And before every single race (run, duathlon, triathlon – EVEN long training sessions) I am regular & right on time. NOT THAT MORNING. NOTHING. NADA.
Time to get on the bus to get to T1. I packed some wipes figuring that I would have to brave the porta potties, grabbed my Silver Post Swim bag (you had to put EVERYTHING in the silver bag after the swim or you would not get your stuff back at end of race…NOTHING was to be left on ground or it was theirs) and headed to the buses with my Spectathlete Support Team (QueenMum & Princess Erin).
We were told that the busses all filled up and there were no more so we had to take a cab to T1. Okay. Found out later that we were scammed…cabbies wanted to make money. Whatever, I wanted to get to the Swim Start, set up my bike nutrition and get in line for the potties.
Here I am about to walk into T1. I’m thinking…OMG…this is it, KEEP SMILING. I get everything all set up and get in the rather short potties line. I stood there until 15 min before I had to get in my corral – NOTHING. I shrugged thinking –well, there is a first time for everything – and left to line up on the dock.
It was SOOOO COOL how they got all the swimmers out to the entrance point. They had a parade of caps and walked us all, lead by someone with a flag the same color as our caps, past all the spectators across the dock and around out to the platform. The cheering and screaming was unbelievable. People were yelling “GO TRIUNIFY” or “VAMANOS VERDE” (Let’s go green), shaking bottles filled with rocks or something. Some people had conch shells that made the loudest horn sound ever. AWESOME!!!
While we waited for our wave to get in the water, we were entertained by the resident dolphins. Much fun. Then it was time to get ‘er done.
SWIM 1.2 MILES:
The swim was pretty much like the morning before. warm & beautiful with awesome visibility, except there were a gazillion people in the water with you with only 2 min between you and the next wave. As usual, since I am a slow but steady swimmer, I was over taken again, and again, and again. However, this time, I could see you approaching (or your bubbles) and it was pretty easy to adjust and stay out/get out of the way. I felt pretty damn good right up until we got to the first turn (the course was shaped like a square) and the current was unbelievable. You basically had to swim away (30 degrees left of buoy) and just drift back towards the buoy and next turn. The was also pandemonium at the second turn as the race officials were trying to keep the buoy in place – it was drifting bad and swimmers were literally fighting each other to get around the buoy, hang onto the buoy or the surfboard/kayak. I definitely lost some time navigating that madness but once I made the turn, I was swimming with the current and cruising in. The goal was under 60 min and I got out in 58 min. WOO HOO!
T1 – 7 min
Longer than I had planned. I tinkled (Oh man, You made me ink – Finding Nemo), rinsed, and stood there for a minute thinking “is this gonna be a 30 min transition? Do I have to GO or is it something else?’ I just stood there, feeling bloated and uncomfortable and then someone yelled at me to “VAMANOS!” and I figured I’d be okay once I got going.
I look at these pictures now and I can see it on my face. I’m worried that something is wrong but I gotta get moving. Grin & bear it. Suck it up. Execute.
NOT SO MUCH. GI FAIL!
BIKE – 46 of 56 miles
I was doing great for the first 12 miles and then it fell apart. I kept telling myself to smile, you can do it. Breath through the cramping, it will pass. I was avg 15 miles/hour (slower that I wanted but I would finish before the cutoff). Then I had to stop at the aid station and no matter how fast you think you can get off your bike, try and just hurl or poo or just die and ride as a zombie – it takes forever and do that at every aid station and try and make up the time in speed (particularly in the wind tunnel side of the island) and you WILL NOT get ‘er done.
At mile 46 after ignoring the race official motorcycles & medic van – No hablo Española – a van and two police cycles cut me off and I was gently yet firmly removed from my bike whereby I collapsed into a heaping ball of sobbing snot.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I can do it! I can finish. You can’t do this to me! You have to let me go! GET OFF ME! LET ME GO!
*iCan’t…my eyes start welling up. I start crying and sobbing all over again writing this*
“Senorita, it is for your safety that we do this. You live to race another day.”
I went through the probably all the steps of grief and disappointment. I sobbed through feelings of humiliation & embarrassment on a apocalyptic level (FUGGGGG – EVERYONE IS GOSH DAMN WATCHING) ---AND not to be outdone – I FAILED! EPICALLY and in front of my friends, family, coach, training buddy. PUBLICALLY & GRANDLY.
As I sobbed, wailed & sent a two line text (Pulled of Course.Humiliated. FML) to my Spectathuletes & the FireMarshall, another competitor was in the van and he just laid his hand on my shoulder and kept saying it’s okay, it’s okay – we will come back. Stuff happens and we just gotta step back up to the line. "*Sniff, Sniff*
Of course, TheFireMarshall rallied the troops from thousands of miles away and organized an attitude adjustment intervention…and via FB and texting – even a phone call from Prince Jordan..I was able to pull my ish together, turn off the fountain head of tears and self-pity, beat that byotch of wrongly imposed humiliation/embarrassment & kick to the curb the notion that I failed. I smiled and started looking for a registration desk to get back on starting line.
I picked myself back up, dusted myself off, squared my shoulders, lifted my head up --
I LIVED TO RACE ANOTHER DAY!
I even made it onto the hotel electronic bulletin board competitor wall of fame.
We spent the rest of our time in Cozumel chilling in the hot tub and topping it off with a wonderful dinner out with my race buddies. I arrived home to a surprise dinner with cake, balloons and libations.
I LIVED TO RACE ANOTHER DAY! I AM A TRIATHLETE!