I traveled out to Puerto Rico over the weekend to race San Juan 70.3. If you follow me on twitter, you'll know that I posted about having a cold over the weekend as well. Unfortunately that turned out to be the main the story line on Sunday. I woke up on Friday morning at 4:00 a.m. to catch a 6:45 a.m. flight(s) to PR and I was about 12+ hours into a new head cold. I was a little hesitant to even go the airport as I really wasn't feeling too well, but I thought there might be a chance that this would be short-lived and I might feel better by Sunday morning.
The trip was long and tedious (about 11 hours+ from door to door), but I got to PR and got in bed as soon as I could.
I woke up on Saturday morning and felt even worse (terrible really), but I tried to just stay positive and proactive about getting better. I was drinking lots of fluids, using the nasal wash, everything I could to get better. I didn't do any normal pre-race workouts throughout the morning as I really wasn't up to it. Eventually around noon I went down to the hotel gym and did a very light spin on the exercise bike, just to get moving again; that went alright, so I followed it up with a quick 5-10 minute swim as the gym is right next to the swim start.
After a pro meeting and a couple other things, I went back to the hotel room, ate dinner and was in bed early (around 8:30) to try and get a little more extra pre-race sleep.
On Sunday morning I woke up and hadn't fully recovered, but I decided to give the race a shot, as you never know how things might turn out.
The swim kicked off and I didn't feel too bad, eventually settling into the second pack. Around 300 meters-to-go, someone in front of me got gapped off and I tried to go around and close, but I really just minimized the loss and came out about 15-20 seconds behind those guys. All in all, I thought it went alright and that the cold didn't seem to show itself much at all. Although, the long run to transition (about 500 meters) felt pretty terrible (but when does that ever feel good?)
The bike, however, was a mixed bag. I never really felt great, but never felt terrible either. And most of the ride, I had the good fortune of riding with some other strong riders so I could focus on racing with them, as opposed to how I did or did not feel. I was tiring out in the last 1/3, but that can easily happen in good-health racing as well.
As I came into T2, I saw I was actually a couple minutes quicker than 2011 so I thought the day might end up being better than I might have expected in the end. However, within only a few hundred meters of the run I knew that probably wasn't going to happen. I really started to feel lousy and the run quickly turned from a normal stride into a jog and stayed that way to the finish line.
I didn't really want to go to PR for a learning experience, in fact I would have happily learned nothing (or even unlearned something!) in exchange for a good race, but that's what I ended up getting.
Until next time,