Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IMFL Race Report - Part I

Let me start by saying I am thrilled with my race, I think I posted it in FB or on an email to somebody before but in a few words it really was an unbelievable experience, I learned more about myself that I thought possible and at the end of the day I did the best I could, and I am proud of that. I had up and downs not only on the last year but during training, at work and of course on race day, but overall I am proud the way I handled it and I am looking forward to be back on the IM circuit soon.
With that said, if you are reading this long report is because you want details and that I will give you (the good, the bad and the ugly).
Leading up to the race I felt ready, since Augusta I put some of my best runs to date. Talking to a friend of ours right after Augusta I realized I needed to change my nutrition plan. I did so and it seemed to work VERY well! As soon I finished my last long weekend (two weeks before the race) I felt tired and achy, but of course I knew that was just from the long weekend and my body was ready for some rest.
On Monday I started feeling sick, my throat hurt and had a temperature. Again I thought it was just from the long weekend and I decided to ignore it. By Tuesday I knew it was no joke so I decided to go to the dr’s, they told me it could be strep but they wouldn’t be sure unless they sent cultures in, but even so he recommended I started with antibiotics and steroids to make sure I was healthy by the end of the weekend and the medicines were out of my system by race day.
If you know anything about me, you know: 1- I do NOT like to take anything (medicines) and 2- I like to do my ‘research’ about EVERYTHING. So I started reading about antibiotics and the effect on long distance racing, everything seemed to say ‘STAY away from antibiotics unless they are completely necessary’. When the dr gave me the prescription he recommended I waited 48 hours if I didn’t want to take them, if by then I felt better I should be ok for the race, if not then chug it up and take the antibiotics.
The day after I felt a bit better, and 48 hours later I decided I was not taking them. I took Tues to Thursday completely off and by Friday I decided to go for a run. Throughout the weekend I was still not 100% but I could feel I was getting better. This continued until Tuesday, all of the sudden it wasn’t my throat anymore but I was completely congested on my chest and my sinus.
Tuesday evening I went for a run, came back home and cried my eyes out, all that hard work I put in! hours away from my family, soccer games missed and so close to race day and things weren’t looking too good for me. Everybody kept telling me ‘don’t worry, you’ll be ok’, of course I would have said the same to them. Thursday I was worse and I started debating if I should race or not. As I was laying on the back of our car on our way down to Florida I came to terms that I was not going to let all that hard work go to waste, I was going to do my best and enjoy the day as much as I could.. of course I have to recognize that on the back of my head I kept thinking ‘maybe by Saturday I will be fine.’

 Comfy on your way down to FL

I mentioned before here how there was a big group of us racing, there were so many things to celebrate and I somehow changed things around and started looking forward to a great day out there.
At the last minute I decided not to go to the IM dinner, I wanted to make sure I was rested and hoped to feel a bit better the next day. By Friday the whole town was breathing IM, you could sense the excitement and I made sure I took in every minute of it.
The day went by pretty fast, went for a group picture, racked my bike and gear bags and headed back to the apartment to rest til the next day. I had run through the race on my mind a thousand times and did it again before I went to bed; The plan was very simple: I wanted to take the swim easy, my words to Jeremy were ‘the swim is my warm up’. I wanted to set myself up for a strong run and I knew that pacing myself on the bike was crucial, I read somewhere that you are better of coming off the bike thinking ‘I took it too easy’ and have 26.2 miles to make up for it, than thinking ‘I just blew it’ and having a long marathon ahead of you.

 Rob and after dropping our gear off

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