I tend to think of myself as a warrior. I love to race and sometimes back to back and usually I am fine. However, on this occasion I had to listen to my body.
Last weekend I completed my first ultra, 48kms + 1714m of elevation in Exmoor, North Devon. I have yet to write about it but I will. What I can say is, it was bloody hard and the loneliest event I have ever done. I am very glad that I did complete it however and that I did the whole route, as many others actually missed about 6kms due to bad signage. Anyway, that is for another update.
Now what I had already entered in the diary is the debut event, Long Course Weekend in Mallorca. My hubby, Happy and I absolutely love Mallorca, so this was a no brainer. Plus what a cool event.
For those who don’t know, the Long Course Weekend allows athletes to race various distances on each day up to the IM distance. So for me, I was entered in the 3.8km swim which is held on the Friday, 172kms bike which is held on the Saturday, followed by the marathon held on the Sunday. PERFECT! (Ps we are so coming back next year. It will be held on the last weekend of October and I highly recommend it.)
So here we are in Mallorca and I am like I can do all three of these events no problem. I feel fine, I feel like I have recovered enough from the ultra.
WELL HELLO, NO I HAVE NOT.
Friday was fine. I took the swim thinking it would take me about 1:30hr roughly, as I have not swum properly or consistently in at least 2.5 months. So when I came out of the water 26th female out of 47 and I managed to do my second fastest swim time over that distance (which included an Australia swim exit and a run to the finish chute) I was absolutely stoked, so stoked I was crying when I saw Happy. Such a confidence booster and I’m pumped to get back into the pool and simply get consistent with my training.
This morning, I woke early and sat in the Normatec boots for about 30 mins. Anything to continue freshening up the legs.
Got my Stomp the Pedal (Flor Flor) kit on and made my way down to the start line. If you have completed the Mallorca 70.3, the start line is where we usually rack our bikes in transition. I was feeling pretty jovial.
There are not TT bikes allowed on the bike day, only road bikes. That should have been my first warning sign. I have not really ridden my road bike in over 2 years. I have pretty much ridden my TT bike and love it.
172kms, broken into 2 laps, on an undulating course……not a problem, I thought.
After seeing some friends, wishing them well, saying bye to Happy and loving myself in my kit, I was off.
By 10kms in to the bike leg, I knew I was in for a tough one, as my left ITB decided to remind me why I am not strong. I managed to positively talk to myself for a great deal of the way, but I had to stop many times to stretch my back, hip and legs out.
During the first lap, I couldn’t understand why I simply wasn’t able to hang onto any of the packs. The road was flat, I am strong and I can hold up to at least 30kms per hour. My legs were not firing. All I wanted to do was get into aero position and go go go, but even in the drops, there was simply no power.
I manged the first lap with a lot of positive talk, using every opportunity to descend like no man’s business and push as hard as I could on the flats, I even managed to set a new PB on Muro Hill! BOOM!
As I was coming into the last 6kms, I sent a voice message to Happy, letting him know that I was in a lot of pain. By the time I reached him, I stopped and explained what was going on. He was like ‘are you sure, you sure you can’t push through’. Now I am no quitter, so I was like I am going to go chat with the race directors and see how I feel.
By the time I got to the race director, I was having a discussion in my head going back and forth as to whether I could push the body to finish. I asked the guy, how long do I have to complete the second lap……he was like ‘4 hours’. I was like ‘ah fuck it, I will be slow but I will get back out there’.
So off I went. Heading down the road. I rode past Trav and yelled, I am going to try and finish it. Just a lot of positive talk and I will take it easy. All was going well in my head.
5kms down the road and I had to stop. My body was definitely saying no to moving forward and I had to listen to it. With such a big season coming up for me next year and Ironman training actually starting in 2 weeks, I had nothing to prove other than to listen to my body and pull up stumps.
Rang Trav and gave him the update. Rode back to the race director and gave my number. No more for me I said to her with a sad face. They were most kind and I said I would definitely be back next year to complete the whole event.
So, where does that leave me…….I have decided that I will not race the marathon (today) at time of writing this post. My calves are still in a lot of pain from the Ultra last weekend.
I will spend the remainder of my time here enjoying Mallorca, cheering on friends and taking the Stomp the Pedal gear out for some photos.
Thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement. Over the next couple weeks, I will be focused on my brand, light training and letting the body recover, in preparation for my 20 week block of training for Ironman South Africa!
Till next time