Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bideford Triathlon... races cant always be good.

This race had been doomed from the start. I had travelled down on the Friday with kids and dogs and hoping to have a great weekend away with a little race on the Sunday. The weather had be so horrid and we got flooded AGAIN(it seems to be a habit when I'm out in the bongo) so we returned home on Saturday morning. I was so peeved off that I had given up on the race.  It wasn't until I saw Celia that I regained any motivation to do  the race so I travelled down again and it's not a short trip. I felt really good and wanted to get a faster time than last year and beat the 4th that I got in my age cat last year.  It was also the d├ębut for the "bad boy" (my new speedy bike).

So ready for the off, the swim had been changed and I was in wave 2 with all the really fast swimmers, not quite sure how that happened.  We didn't have time to  get used to the temperature of the water and before I knew it we were off.  I knew pretty early that I was in trouble, even though I had used my inhaler the water was so cold, I couldn't breathe and was forced to stop swimming.  I knew that I could get over the attack as I had many times before when I didn't know I was asthmatic so I took a breather tried to get my breathe back before continuing.  The safety crew were straight there, they asked if I was OK and I held onto the surf board for a few minutes.  I thought I was OK to continue and the guy on the surf board said don't worry I'll follow you up.  This gave me a bit more confidence so I let go and started swimming again.  I didn't get very far before it hit me again.  I just couldn't breathe I was wheezing and I felt my lungs being compressed.  The guy on the board was right there and he advised me to hang over the surf board so that I could get more oxygen into my lungs.  We were right under the bridge and I was very aware of everybody looking down at me and I started to feel very concious having an asthma attack in full view of everyone.  The dude was great keeping me calm talking me through it and I was ready to try again.  At any point I never wanted to give up, I just wanted to get to the slipway and out on the bike.

I'd forgotten how hilly this course was and I still wasn't breathing right and as I tried to get going I was overwhelmed with the urge to puke.  I must have cycled 5 miles before the puking stopped.  Again I never thought of stopping I was just worried about getting sick on the bad boy.  There was a huge flood which we had to go through and that was quite worrying but it was just another obstacle to cross.  I slowly got into the groove and started to pick it up a bit.  I was overtaking lots on the bike and began to feel better.

Once back into transition and out on the run the first kilometre was really fast but I soon started to lose it after that.  I was fighting more sickness urges and just wanted to get through it.  Jo caught me back up on the run after I overtook her on the bike.  I tried to hang on to her tail but couldn't and just slotted in behind her.  After crossing the line I was f**ked, I needed my inhaler and I needed it fast.  Once I stopped I got really emotional and my breathing was all over the place.  It took me a long time to recover and a long time to stop feeling sick. When I finally got into the car, I burst into tears and felt so emotional.

My bike was slightly faster than last year as was the run and the swim was but I think the course had been cut short a lot. I know I am capable of a lot more than today but I was completely blown away by the asthma attack.  That's the first attack I have had since having my inhalers and I wasn't expecting it at all.  Cold water hasn't bothered me recently but it just goes to show that you shouldn't take anything for granted. I should be proud that I did it 3 minutes faster than last year and I still finished 4th or 5th in my age group out of 18.

It has been a massive learning curve for me, which is always a good thing and I now know that before completing in the Bristol Olympic I need to remember to take my brown inhaler  every night and morning as I have been missing a few and I need to warm up properly before getting in that water and I need to get my body ready for that cold temperature.  I will be honest and admit it wasn't the result I wanted but I have learnt a lot from that race and more importantly I have learnt that I will never give up but I guess I knew that already!!!!

One bad race makes us appreciate what we are and what we are about.  If I can achieve that result after suffering a huge asthma attack then I know that I am capable of something quite special.

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