For the first time in my career I stepped off the bike and was in the game! I wasn’t just participating in Ironman France, I was finally in the thick of things having arrived into T2 with the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th placed athletes. I had played every move up until this point perfectly! I fumbled quite a bit getting my shoes on and once out of the transition I realized that my fellow competitors were gone up the road. I didn’t think it would matter because I truly believed and felt this was going to be my day to run like so many know I am capable of, I quickly started to rethink think my run strategy at just 5km in when the heat of the day was already taking its toll on me. By 10km I had lost a place falling back to 11th when I started to cramp in my legs thus forcing me to walk the transitions and take in as much fluid as I could. At some points I would come around and find my rhythm and think, “well, if I can keep this up I will run 3hours, and that should put me top 8!” Soon after I put in a surge, the nausea would return with cramping in the hamstrings. I played every game I could think of both mentally and nutritionally but theses were only temporary solutions, like putting a band aide on a bullet wound.
Bananas would help for a bit as well as spending a few seconds standing under the cold showers on course but all in all from kms 10-42 it was the toughest running I have done in my life! After crossing the finish line I spent a good hour and a half vomiting in the bushes while fighting cramps all over my legs before finally being taken to the medical tent to get an IV, thank God for that as I don’t think I would have been able to ride my bike back to my home stays house!
Thinking back I don’t have any regrets nor are there any excuses. For what ever reason, and it is not mental, I melted on the run today! I swam and rode my heart out, at 2 hours into the bike I swallowed a bee, which stung the inside of my throat on the way down…I didn’t care as today was to be my day….But after 3 hours and 25minutes of torture on the run I lay in agony not of victory but defeat!! There needs to be a discussion about why I seem to crumble when the temperature rises into the 90s but this is not an excuse as others ran wonderfully out there!
Two years and 4 months ago when I first met Brett Sutton and he agreed to give me shot on the team, he said that it was going to take 3 years to make me a real Ironman athlete. He asked if I was willing to put that amount of time in…Well, here I am closer than ever before but I thought today I would be writing to say that I beat his time prediction but you know what? We don’t call him the “Doc” for no reason as he is usually right 99% of the time. And I am coming to grips with the hard truth that it will in fact take the entire 3 years until I have successfully put together the Ironman that we have been working so very hard towards!
Over this 28 month period, many people have come into my life that would have never if it were not for Team TBB and our growing network of fans and athletes. Some are disappointed tonight not in me but for me as they have followed my progress and some too believed today was to be my coming out party!! I have received some wonderful messages and I thank you guys for your thoughts and positive energy! It is coming my friends I know it, just going to have to be a bit more patient that I like to be…. Thank you so very much for following me as the climb up the mountain is getting steeper and steeper as I get closer to the top……
My home stay host, Pierre, asked me last night if I will return to Nice for a 4th time next year?? I responded, with, “Yes! I must come back to Nice, even though it puts me through so much pain, I will figure this race out!” He said I was crazy Thank you to Pierre and his family for having me once again this year! I very much enjoy my time with you all and for the second year in a row I arrive to your home post race defeated but you treat me like family and that is nice to come home to when you are shattered like I was this evening!!