I usually like to get my race recaps up within a week, but two 14 hour flights in 6 days plus a race really wiped me out. So I got a little behind on everything here at home. I’m sorry for the delay!
Dubai and the race were spectacular, my performance at the race…not so much. The travel, which I was most worried about, went quite well. I landed in Dubai on Wednesday morning and hooked up with my host family. I’m still amazed at how lucky I was to be set up with such great people that made me feel completely at home. I’m someone who definitely prefers to stay in a hotel and avoid the unpredictability of staying with strangers. But considering I was flying into a city I had never been to before for only a few days, I knew I needed someone that could take me around and tell me everything I needed to know. So thank you to The Boys Family, and Aimee Wright! I know things would have not gone so smoothly without you all.
The race came up quite quickly, I got myself racked and ready to go on Thursday (race on Friday). The night before the race I had a ton of trouble sleeping, and this is coming from the person who doesn’t sleep much before races, so yeah…it wasn’t a good situation. But I figured it was only a half, so how much sleep did I actually need?
The entire time before the race was a comedy of errors, which I think is common the first race of the season. But one thing you should NEVER do is forget body glide in a wetsuit swim, in the saltiest water ever, in whipping wind and ocean swells. The skin on the back of my neck is still flaking off!
Like I said, the swim was rough, and while I’m not particularly good at swimming in rough water, I love it. For better or worse, it makes me forget about racing and ends up just being a game trying to hit the buoys and then seeing if I can actually catch a wave into shore. I exited the water feeling like I was getting out of a washing machine but I managed to stay with a small group of women so I was feeling ok about the swim.
The bike is where we started to have problems. My only explanation for this is I had been on antibiotics up to the day I left for the race, dealing with some stomach cramping on and off, and this is basically what happened five miles into the bike. Being in aero was so painful but it was windy and I couldn’t afford to sit up. I tried stopping at a port-a-potty for a while and this didn’t give me any relief. I’m not willing to drop out of a race that I travelled 15 hours to get to, so I was in it for the duration, but I admit I was in full panic mode wondering what the run was going to be like. I just kept being thankful that it was only 5 hours of my life.
I was pretty pathetic pulling into T2, but I put my shoes on and off I went. The first mile did not feel great, but it also wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Each mile after that just got better and I actually started feeling normal on the second lap. In the end, my run wasn’t so bad, and I was able to finish on a positive note.
So, I didn’t win any prizes for this one, but I’m happy to get a race in before we head to IM South Africa in April, where I will also be traveling only a few days before the race. Traveling to Dubai actually gave me some confidence about surviving such a long flight without total body meltdown, the key is to just not worry about it.
But for now, back to training!