Well...it's not in my character to drop out of races even when things are not going to plan. However, sometimes it's the best decision. On Sunday that was the choice I made, and a day later it was reaffirmed it was the right choice as I became very ill.
I felt so good and confident going into Texas 70.3 after a great camp on Maui that I didn't even let the small warning signs of GI distress take me off my mindset. The tune up workouts going into the event went well despite having some GI issues so I felt I was good to go and would be able to use all that great fitness.
However, those issues only get multiplied when putting your body through the stresses of a race. I started the race with things going smoothly and I was comfortably at the front of the swim where I wanted to be. A good quick transition got me onto the bike in second and within 5km I had separated myself from the group behind and was solo in the lead, again, where I had planned and wanted to be. I built in my gap as the as the uber bikers such as Starky would be coming and wanted to be settled in a groove and able to try and move with them as they came up. Not long into the bike I wasn't settling in and I was stiff and moving around a lot. I then started to tighten up more and thought I needed calories or sodium so I took both on. I continued to try and press forward and Starky had moved passed by this point and I was slowly letting him ride away but I couldn't lift my game. Eventually calories or sodium were clearly not working and I starting cramping in my stomach and my legs and even shoulders. I kept pushing but less and less watts were being produced.
By the far turn I was leading the group I had ridden away from but Starky, Dreitz, Weiss and my main contender Lionel Sanders were gone up the road. I couldn't take more calories and was only taking on water and my stomach started to turn and churn. The closing 20km of the bike were very uncomfortable but I managed to stay with the group and actually go to the front and get a gap in the last 5km in the hopes of giving me a time buffer in T2 to hit the porto potty and get back going on the run.
Oh how I had hoped. Things were definitely not going to my plans anymore. After a lengthy stop and not having any calories I started on the with the intent of having a go a fast run despite where it would place me now after a self induced time out.
Within a few kilometres is was clear a fast run wasn't happening and that a run at all was going to be difficult. I don't mind difficult, challenging or even near impossible, that's what I love and why I do this sport. But when your health isn't good, you are going backwards quicker then forwards in the race and you have important goals ahead, you have to look at the big picture. I shuffled my way back to transition giving encouragement to my fellow athletes and headed home where I proceeded to curl up in a ball and sleep the rest of the afternoon.