There were 2 factors that I was worried about going into this race: triggering a migraine and the cold swim. Well, the water temperature was 67-68 degrees and I was in a full wetsuit. I was extremely cold coming out of the swim. Something that I was expecting but didn't actually think would happen-I raced with a motherf&cking migraine. Yes, I just said it. My migraine triggered the day before shortly after the practice swim. This was not going to be a good one because this was the type that caused me to throw up. This means hydration and nutrition is all off, especially in dry, hot conditions.
The swim was a rolling start so you seeded yourself accordingly. I finally jumped in the water, did a few bobs and started to s
wim. I had a nice rhythm going out. The water was okay temperature wise, murky as expected and I experienced a few collisions, but nothing that I couldn't handle. Now, let's talk about the back half. There was a chop and the buoys were not in a straight line and I may have inhaled some diesel flavored water (gross). Around this same time, my calves decided that they were going to take turns cramping/seizing up on me. My motto: just keep swimming. I ignored the pain in my legs, the pain in my head and how cold I was getting. I finally saw the finish and I was so happy. That swim took entirely to damn long. Later, I would realize that I swam 4600 yards vs. 4200 yards.
Wetsuit off, glasses taken out of my sports bra and I am running for the changing tent. Once I got to the change tent, I still could not warm up but I was determined to get the hell out of that tent in under 10 minutes. Mission accomplished. All I had to do was put on my socks, shoes, sunglasses, helmet, sunscreen, drink some water, stuff a larabar in my face and get my bike.
Once I finally mounted my bike, it was go time. I have worked damn hard this year on the bike. We get on Rio Salado and I here/see Angel, Terri, Chris, Von and Shannon cheering me on. Where did this wind come from? You are not suppose to show up until Bee Line Highway. I just thought of the bike as a long as CompuTrainer session with better scenery. Roughly near the 2nd aid station, I was in trouble. Not my bike because I put Beeker back together like a boss, but my migraine was telling me I needed to throw up. F&CK!!!!!! Pulled over, went into the porta potty, threw up, rinsed my mouth out, continued on. I tried to stay on my nutrition and hydration plan but this was not going to be the case. I threw up 3 more times on the bike. No nutrition, no electroytes, no hydration and my throat felt like sandpaper mixed with me gargling with acid. I was not going to give up because I am hard headed and stubborn (I'm a Leo). On the final loop, I was literally racing on fumes. I probably lost about 5+ pounds at this point but I was doing Ironman math in my head and I started smiling because I knew I would make that cut off. Made the damn bike cutoff and now it was time to attempt to run.
Once I made it to the changing tent, I took off my tri shorts to change into my running skirt and tutu (yes, I finally brought it out to a triathlon), visor, fresh socks and running shoes. Oh, and don't forget the lipstick. I tried to do a 4:1 run/walk but that went out the door because my calf was saying hell to the Naw! I ended up walking. I tried to take in nutrition but it was not going to happen. Ice was my friend/enemy. It felt good but it was hurting my throat. Doing the math in my head, I knew that I was not going to make the first run cutoff but I was going to fight until the end. I felt like sh$t and mentally, I was not trying to go into that dark place. That place is very scary and no one should open the door their unless it is absolutely necessary. When I was pulled at mile 13, I was not upset. I was actually at peace with everything. I tried my best and my best was not enough for that day. I should have not raced with a migraine, but I never know what will happen or how everything will work out. I am proud of what I did this year especially with dismantling my bike and putting it back together I think 3 times within a week with everything working, tackling a "hilly" course (Chatt 70.3) and just trying to be a better version of me. You do what you can do and then you move on. I am not going to say what will happen in 2018. I am going to be very quiet about it right now. I have a lot of contemplating to do before then. I am moving better except I am still having difficulty walking down stairs and I have a lovely cough/upper respiratory infection going on (pass the cough drops).
So that is it, but I need to thank the following groups/places/thangs:
- FFC (my place of employment, my home away from home)
- The #SharkSquad (because Sharks get shit done)
- #TriMonster and all of the #IronMonsters
- Howard Logan
- L & A
- Southwest Airlines
Peace, Love and AFROS!