Oh Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Ixtapa...
Saturday was a hot, unrelenting day in Southern Mexico. So unrelenting in fact, the swim was canceled due to the abnormally large surf! The triathlon was turned into a duathlon - 3K run, 40K bike, 10K run. Not your conventional duathlon as the long run is normally before the short run, but as a triathlete, you roll with the punches and take on the conditions for what they are.
On one hand, I was excited because the duathlon basically took out my weakness - the swim; and emphasized my strength - the run. On the other hand, I had traveled down and prepared for a triathlon, not a duathlon. Needless to say, there was nothing I could do about it and again, I just had to roll with the punches.
I'll tell you right off the bat - it was not a good day. I guess in triathlon lingo, you would call it a complete BONK. I came into T1 with the lead pack of 5 or so. Since I didn't have time the day before to inspect the bike course, all I knew was that the road conditions were tough, lots of speed bumps, and rolling hills. After a grueling bike, I came into T2 with the leaders and headed out onto the run. Through the first of four laps, I remained in contact, and then the BONKing started happening! I might as well have been running the course backwards, because that's what it felt like as probably 15 guys passed me.
I wound up finishing 22nd in a time of 1:48:29. It is very hard to pinpoint why my second run was so disastrous. I don't like making excuses for my sub-par performances, but results like this don't occur for no reason. What I will say affected me the most was the fact that it felt like we were running in an oven! I had heard that temperatures got up to 36 degrees Celsius (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit). For me, it was so hot that I felt claustrophobic in my race suit. No amount of water from the aid stations could cool me down. It was an uphill battle and I was rolling backwards. While I had a terrible day at the office, I wasn't the only one, as there were 19 guys who wound up succumbing to the conditions and were not able to finish the race. I certainly felt like stopping a few times on the run, but I kept moving forward one step at a time and eventually found that finish line.
I have four weeks before my next race. During that time I need to return to the drawing board and figure out what I need to tweak in my training.
Thank you for all the support, as usual. I can't do this without you. Check back later for training updates, and perhaps an answer to how/why I BONKed so hard!
Sorry about the length! I needed to vent somehow..!
Race results: http://www.triathlon.org/results/results/2010_ixtapa_itu_triathlon_pan_american_cup_and_patco_junior_triathlon_pan_a/5351/