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Game over « Erika Csomor's Blog

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Game over

Every athlete is searching his/her own limits and for their biggest annoyance –eventually they find it.

Ironman Malaysia was supposed to be a “fun training race” for me. However these worlds; “fun, race, Malaysia” never appeared in the same page in my history book, this year I decided to forget everything about history and resolution.

So alongside my teammates we made the short trip, staying in the same time zone. We settled down in a luxury (in Asian standard) hotel with a magnificent view for the swim course and the giant eagle hovering the finish gate. I had an impression it was not an eagle but a vulture searching for victims with eager eyes. No wonder why the nasty vulture occupied this spot, the “dropping out” rate on IM Malaysia is 35% according to Alex, our team manager. Unfortunately our little troop with Rei and me not finishing the race- stabilized the statistics.

Well, the race started smoking. Soon I found myself in a small group and I was on holyday, the swim course a very simple out and back course, well marked with flags. It was long and boring.

On the bike I faced with some temptations. Well it was a devilish day for me J The bike course was not separated from the weekend traffic, heavy traffic with scooters are coming along. You could draft anything you want, scooters, cars, donkeys, whatever….In every single loop I saw muslin ladies riding a scooter (if you drive in chador I guess you do not need helmet on the moto) following their husband racing on the course, just to make sure they are not cheating on them? 5 hours a big time without your loved one…

I practiced the left riding, picking up bottles with left hand. You would think for those who has two left hands on the bike (like Donna and me) it is all the same, well I have a lefter hand, dropping all the time the right bottles (those ones are containing the isotonic drink, just to not mention brand here) and ended up with water at the “back up” table….I guess my dehydration problems started here. I was still ok, expect the last one and half hour when it was not fun anymore and started to melt down like an ice cream in the hands of a monkey. Well, it was familiar, happening to me every second day here in the tropics. No worries.

I left the transition on Jelly O legs, what is different from the “normal” elephant legs feeling, but still quite normal after 6 hours hard effort. After few kms usually they are coming along. Usually. On my devilish day I was facing new temptations: First of all: Slow down, slower, walk! Then went on and on: STOP! jump into one of those huge ice bucket at the aid stations….

I felt like a pilot trying to navigate a plain with the fuel stick in the empty zone, grabbing any food and drink (mostly coke-that always helps) and stabilize the dizzy plain.

Very soon, too soon, all red lights was on: fire, empty tank, oil, electricity. The ground was approaching very fast. I looked aside, you do not want to finish in a Malaysian ditch, believe me. There was only one thing to do for a pilot who is not a kamikaze and loving his/her own dear life- pushing the catapult button. (sit down on the roadside)

I was landing in an isolated deserts. I felt relieved, safe. Just for a short distance apart I saw a little devil cursing and kicking the smoking crashed plain. My EGO and my body.

Oh, well, familiar scene, once in a while it is happening to me. Instead of the little prince, Bedouins (inhabitants) were coming to help. They brought some can of petrol, blanket whatever. I was smiling weakly to the gels and salt tablets handed into my palm by Amanda. There was no way to eat those gels, but eagerly put my face into a bowl of soup carried by a guarding angel called Eric (our very own TBB staff). I was sitting there for a while in a referee shirt (black and white stripped) also inherited from Eric, then escaping from the pity fest, I went up into my hotel room. After few hours watching the crack on the ceiling, my ego decided we have to do something! So I took a shiver (shower) and went down to the finish line to check on my teammates fighting hard and finishing great.

The cereal killer (Donna) was having fun in the ice bath with huge smile on her face (what is eventually disappeared when she stood up), Maki with a painful but forever smile on her face, and Hiro like a real samurai shoving no pain or emotion. Matt was already put in some food somewhere. I was proud of their effort and envy them. In the rest of the day and second day they were moving slowly like snails, I did not envy them.

We made a challenging trip back and I try to forget fast the disappointment and learning from the mistakes.

Triathlon is my work, hobby and life. Still have to no forget it is just a game no matter how serious we take it. In games we can make risk, we can win or we can fail. A real player HAS to try everything.

Cheers, Choco

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