About 5 minutes later Andrew came rolling up next to me. WTF?????
I knew I wasn’t feeling well but I didn’t expect Andrew to catch me until at least half way through the second lap! To see him looking so smooth, taking it easy before we hit the turn around in the first lap shocked me. Questions started running through my head,
- How slow am I going?
- How fast is Andrew going?
- My heart rate is fine, why did he catch me so quickly?
- Why do my legs feel like lead?
- When am I going to come out the other side of this slump?
My back started to hurt, my legs started to hurt, my shoulders started to hurt, my stomach started to hurt my brain started to hurt… “What is wrong with me?”
Thinking it was just a low patch I started to take it even easier, making sure I took on nutrition exactly as planned.
30km later I got another shock as Vinnie came steaming passed, he went by so fast he didn’t even see me, or so I thought. I later found out he did see me and made sure he went past me quickly. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to see him doing so well but normally I swim faster and ride faster than Vinnie then he pulls some time back on the run. To see him go past before the end of my first 90km loop was a killer blow.
Coming through town for the turnaround onto the second lap was a bright point on the ride and actually a point where I started to think that I may not be getting out the other side of this slump and may have to try to “just get to the finish line”. Turning left onto the Taupo Napier road we started to climb out of town again and the support on the hill was awesome, here Nina and the rest if the Waitakere Tri Club support crew were waiting. The screaming was amazing and the enthusiasm was second to none, thanks guys because it was a great boost for me.
Unfortunately it only lasted about a minute as Bryan (another of the Three Coaching crew I normally ride quicker than) climbed the hill passing me at a great rate of knots.
Ben really got the crew firing at the right time!! So what was happening to me??
Half way back to Reparoa my stomach started to get a lot worse, it felt like all the food I had eaten in the ride was sitting in my stomach and I was about to burst. I had to pull over at an aid station and stop in the portaloo. Nothing happened!
Back on the bike again with 3 cold bottles I stuck to the plan of eating as much as I could on the bike but it became harder and harder as I went. On the way back from Reparoa the lights started to go out, all too familiar dizziness and closing vision meant it was again time to dismount. Hanging over the bike all the food I had managed to stuff down through the ride managed to make its way back out again.
Feeling a little better I got back on the bike and thought it might be time to get back into this but unfortunately it wasn’t, there was no strength in the legs and cramp started to set in any time I put a little effort in. Ahh, ‘cramp stop’ I remembered.
This stuff is gold, a couple of squirts under the tongue and cramp disappears for a while. Well, normally for a while. Today it worked for only a little while. What was wrong with me??
Coming back into town was painful but amazing at the same time. You really start to see the amount of support out on the road in Taupo and what you are about to see on the run. Heading into T2 you dismount your bike and someone takes it out of your hands, run to the bag grab point where someone hands you your bag then into the changing tent where someone is waiting for you to give you a hand to get your running legs on!!
A dark, demoralising bike ride over and only a marathon to go, thank god, almost there!!!