To add to my excitement, Wattie Ink sent me a new custom speed suit to really put my mark on the race. I really appreciate their quick turnaround and ability to get my sponsors on the suit. When I stopped in Syracuse for the night, it was waiting.
I was READY.
I had a smooth pre-race lead up with a great group of guys from RVA and felt more and more confident that it would be my day on Sunday. We swam on course Friday and despite a bit of soreness I was able to rev the engine and summon the swim speed I'm used to. Another 1k swim workout in the books... perfect. Everything was going well as race day approached with cool weather and a perfect day to race.
|So focused... So serious.|
The next 50 miles were a terrible war between my competitive spirit and my rational mind. I knew I was doing myself no favors by pushing on as my back and hips started to ache with my altered position. Each minute that went by was agony between my body rebelling and my mind torn in two about what to do about it. By the time I hit the end of the first lap, I knew my day was done. I was cramping in my ribs, hips, and calves. My heart rate was barely 130 and I was losing heat at a rapid rate. I was compensating my pedal stroke continuously to try to find power and it was very simply a downward spiral. Despite coming through in 2:20 and potentially still within my sub 8:30 goal, there was no way I was going to escape the day without doing some serious damage to my body. Fighting through the small problem of my cracked ribs created a cascade of issues that could have potentially ended my season or worse.
|Ten seconds before pulling out...|
In my last post, I stated that I had qualified for 70.3 worlds and was confident I could pull off a decent race post IM. Now I know that won't happen. My ribs are not something that I can fix with training or rehab, they just take time to heal. I have withdrawn from the race and will hopefully be healthy and ready to go in 6 weeks for Ironman Chattanooga. The sting of the DNF has been amplified by my inability to mix it up at the highest level when I know I have the ability to compete. Racing is my job and simply participating in the race to check the box is not an option. I've got unfinished business from this race, but it will have to wait until my ribs heal and I'm back to 100%.
Congratulations to everyone who was able to finish the race this past weekend. I was able to watch the race day unfold and cheer on the other athletes who poured their heart and soul into the race. I must admit it was difficult to watch the pro race unfold, but as the day wore on it was easier and easier to put my DNF behind me and support the athletes on the course. By the time midnight came, I was more than inspired by the athletes that could do what I could not.