Racing with Team USA this year was an experience of a lifetime! The certainly rolled out the red carpet for us.
Traveling during the COVID -19 restrictions made the visa application process much more difficult and stressful but everything came through just in the nick of time. One big perk of traveling during COVID restrictions was the empty transatlantic flight! I had an entire row to myself! And with a plane that seats several hundred people and with only about 20 of us on the flight, I practically had the entire plane to myself too!
I went several days early to get acclimated to the time change. Being able to get out and do some sightseeing helped keep me busy so I could get used to the local time.
It didn’t take long to get into race mode. I scouted to course and did a few workouts to familiarize myself with the lay of the course.
Before I knew it, race morning had arrived.
The swim went great! I set a personal record.
The first transition came and went effortlessly.
Heading out on the bike felt great too. But shortly after doing so, my stomach started feeling bad. It kept getting worse and worse and I kept getting slower and slower.
T2 was a relief mentally because the bike portion was over but little did I know, the toughest part of the race was just ahead.
Once I started the run, the bouncing of my stomach was too much. I visited every porta-potty for the first half of the marathon! Not only was it physically taxing to just complete the race, but the added complications made it excruciating. On top of that, I was fighting the mental and emotional battle of not quitting. Many of my teammates gave me encouragement and support. I was also fortunate to have a couple of personal friends that made the trip with me that provided a lot of support.
In the end, I finished. It wasn’t the race I wanted or planned for, but being able to focus enough to persevere through the darkness moments taught me a lot about myself.