“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
It’s hard to find some words for what I feel now. I am kind of feeling being between the chairs, juggling my emotions, being totally overwhelmed. What I’ve felt on Big Island summarizes it up pretty much what I’ve been through the entire year. It was the worst and the best of times. I’d always said I aim for the podium because this was just what I was feeling I was ready for, but I’d be happy whatever the outcome was if I did myself justice. Well, that didn’t happen, but part of it did. I have to admit I am disappointed. I can do far better than what I’ve put together on that day, on the one and only day that did really count for me, the day that really mattered. But guess, I am happy and relieved as well because I was able to let my A- and B- and C-goals just go when I had to do justice to the weather and my body. The former wasn’t that hard, the latter even more.
Not only me but my family and friends and my great medical team had made sacrifices and although it doesn’t help I now look at all the time and effort I spent all year long in the run up to the race and wonder if it was it all worth it? ‚YES‘ is what I say immediately and don’t even hesitate for a second. I (and I doesn’t mean just me but all the people who have been on my side, supporting me, being there for me or even just let me do what I wanted to do) know everything I could do to prepare for this race I’ve done and still believing in me, despite all the odds, will make me proud to think about, at least I hope, in years to come. Sometimes you get good days, sometimes you get bad days, some get more good days and some have to work harder to get a good day, but dealing with the bad ones is part of it and I believe, makes you even stronger. Just if you don’t try you won’t know, so I’d rather fail than wonder ‚what if‘.
As I got lots of positives from 2017 I got lots of positives from the trip and the race. Having had a mechanical and more than a couple of punctures, which really made me a bit nervous in the beginning, helped me to relax again and find the right balance for my mental state going into the race. Each and every session, no matter swimming, cycling or running, went smooth and even the harder ones I did hit on every second and each Watt. Happy, not having any issues which had to make me take some extra rest days, well plenty of rest days and periods this year. Come on race day I did believe in myself still being aware of having one of the hardest days in triathlon-life ahead of me. Before the canon went off I remember having a nice mixture of excitement and coolness.
Despite having a crappy race I know I have been on peak. Why I didn’t put it together? Well, thats‘ hard to tell.
My swim was one of the best I ever had in Kona, still missing my goal to beat my time of the H’oala Swim from one week before. The plan was to go out the first 10k a bit harder on the bike and then to settle the pace but trying not to get dropped by a group if I am in one. So that did work well. I concentrated to drink and eat consistently and stay with my Watts. I didn’t want to push too hard too early, so I had to let some girls go on the way up to Hawi, they were really pushing hard. Still feeling strong and fit I did believe I would benefit thereof on my way back to Kona. Then it did hit me hard in my back. But soon I was at the turnaround and did hope to get rid of the strange feeling in my sacroiliac joint and gluteus which I knew very well from some months ago. Being back on the Queen K it did hit me hard again. I even wasn’t able anymore to hold my pace together, trying hard I felt the weakness in my right sacroiliac joint which from then on bar me from pushing my Watts any longer. I had to ride more conservative because it did just hurt too much.
So I messed up the bike massively but even I’ve wondered what I should have done different, I can’t tell you. The run did start surprisingly good. Still feeling a bit hot and being anxious about my gluteus I did start conservative but managed to find my rhythm and a nice pace soon. I used every aid station to drink and get some ice to cool myself down. And there I was again, back in the game, not feeling my sacroiliac joint anymore. I knew that being patient and putting a solid run together could still bring me at least a TOP 10 finish. I took Palani easy because from this point it is still 26km to go and I was feeling great. Just to get hit by the pain in my sacroiliac joint again on my way on the highway. Still trying to hold my body together, it was a force and back in finding my stride. Soon the Energy Lab was to come and it was just another 4 km down there and then just running home. Remembering some of my long runs, with a 10k of picking the pace up in the end, motivated me to keep pushing. I knew the podium was almost unreachable but you never know who did risk too much on the bike or in the beginning of the run, so you better keep going until you cross the finish line. And running out of the Energy Lab I really felt the boost and felt a nice stride coming back, but only for seconds, then I felt like I would collapse by pain. So it wasn’t me passing my competitors but others passing me, still giving me words of encouragements for which I was really thankful. I met a guy from Switzerland and I was able to motivate him to stay with me, which motivated myself as well to just keep going. I mean, Chris was there as well, he tried to stay with me as often as he could, which did help a lot as well. I just really wanted to finish, no matter what, so I had to dig really deep. Approaching Palani I saw one of my competitors again, I was gaining on her. That made me push myself even harder and even if I wasn’t going TOP 10 I kept pushing for every second out there, knowing I would regret, if I didn’t. So I passed another two fellow pro women. And then I was passing the finish line as if I had won. Well, I did win, I did win over my inner self, I’ve never lost so much, being that far away from my goal and what I know I am capable of but I NEVER GAVE UP and that is what has given me the smile and joy on that finish line until I collapsed into the arms of two volunteers.
Thanks for the great support! Family, friends, sponsors and just everyone out there!
I’ll be back!
#followmypassion #performingperfect #believe