However, the Wednesday before the race I came down with a bug and spiked a nasty fever. Thursday I layer on the couch all day and just never felt quite right, Friday I tried taking something for relief but this led to a night on and off the toilet, and Saturday all I could do was chill in the hotel room. I really didn't want to race, but with the point series my choice were race Sunday, race Lakeside in between Muskoka and Barrelman, or give up on the bit of cash available for the MSC series. I told myself I would start the race and see how I feel, if I needed to drop out I would.
Sunday morning came and I didn't feel bad, but I didn't feel good either. I heard the bike course was narrow and could get hectic so Andrew Taylor, Cody, and I hit the course to scope it out. For some of the horror stories I have heard about this race I think MSC did an excellent job this year spreading the race out with larger time gaps between waves. I didn't do a run warmup because this is what was aggregating my stomach the most, instead I put on my 2XU wetsuit and went down to the swim start. The water was a balmy 13 degrees and the swim was shortened to 375m. With the water being so cold I wanted to get in early so it didn't shock the system. A lot of people make the mistake of not getting into the water until the race starts and when you hit the cold water it takes your breathe away.
Well even getting in early, I didn't feel ready to go when the gun went off. Usually, I can get out fast to avoid some of the thrashing, but with the strong field at the race I was right in the thick of things. After taking a couple bumps to the head, I needed to get to the outside, aggressively made a path to the inside of the buoy and got some clear water. On the back stretch Cody and Mikael pulled up beside me and I sat in until the finish. I haven't had many races this year with dolphin dives, and lost a bit of time on the exit. I was about 10s back of the group leaving transition.
Once on the bike I could see Mikael, Andrew, and Aaron up the road with Cody a bit further up on them. I knew I had to catch this group or they could possibly ride away from me so I put my head down and focused on catching that group. Cody rode away from everyone in his typical fashion, but I was able to catch the rest of the group by the 5k turnaround. The 5m draft box is really to small in my opinion, but I will take every advantage given to me so I sat in a bit to recover before launching my move. I went to the front of our group around 7k to see if I could get away, but when Mikael was still there I eased up a bit and let him take the lead back. At this point I was getting a little nervous it would come down a running race, and I wasn't sure how my stomach was going to react.
After a little bit of confusion in T2 Andrew, Mikael, and I hit the run hard all leaving transition within a couple of seconds of each other. I went to the front and told myself I was going to run as hard as I could and either blow up spectacularly (legs and stomach) or take 2nd place. I managed to hold on for 2nd and had the fastest run split.
I was really happy with the way the race played out in the end despite stomach issues leading in. I'm still not feeling 100%, and I have a drs appointment on Friday. Hopefully everything will be figured out then, and I can get in at least a couple days of training before Muskoka to get a feel. I'm not to worried about loosing fitness in this time, and I am telling myself a little extra rest leading in is what I need.
|A sigh of relief as I crossed the finish line without an "accident"|
|I kept the top of my wetsuit on as long as possible to warm up after the chilly swim|