I had heard some pretty amazing things about the Hamburg World Tri Series race so ever since I saw it on my race calendar at the start of the year I had been excited to get to experience what so many call the highlight event on the ITU calendar. I have been keeping pretty busy racing in some French GPs and local Basque races here in Spain since my last ITU race in London. I had some lingering health issues since London but was still able to get in some good training so was really looking forward to the upcoming races.
Two weeks out from Hamburg I missed seven days of training as I had developed a chest infection and needed to rest. I looked on the positive side and figured the forced rest may have helped me freshen up for the race. Tuesday morning before the race weekend I was bitten by a bee while doing my first bit of speed work in a week and a half and last before the race, and by the way my leg reacted I think I must be somewhat allergic. My leg doubled in size, or felt like it anyway, and was pretty uncomfortable to move so I had another few days struggling through some unpleasant training sessions. Looking back it was a pretty rough fortnight..
I got to Hamburg full of confidence from the training I had done before the health issues. I’m not the kind of person to worry about taking a day (or seven) off if I need, I’ve worked hard all year and I don’t think one week out is going to make much of a difference. Although it seems the Antibiotics I was on through until race day eve and fighting hard for my body to try and fight off the infection was going to affect me more than I would have thought.
Come race day I went through everything as normal, but when the horn went off and we were away and racing I knew right away everything wasn’t normal. Everyone has off days every now and then, I’m not sure if this was my problem or if it was closer related to the 2 weeks leading in but I was in for a tough battle all the way to the line.
I was aggressive through the swim and did everything I could but I felt like I was swimming against the current and everyone else was heading downstream. Running through transition from swim to bike I was firstly glad my arms were done for the day hoping they were the issue holding me back in the swim, and secondly was glad to see some good names around me who could establish a good bike group and ride ourselves back into the race. I lasted one lap of six with the group, and then I couldn’t hold the wheel any longer and found myself solo in no man’s land. The bike is a real strength of mine and I got dropped by a pack of thirty(ish) on a straight piece of road… clearly wasn’t just my arms struggling today. I’ve never pulled out of a race before, and didn’t plan on doing so now so pushed through doing what I could for the remainder of the ride and run.
Next up Rio, the Olympic test event. I’ve always wanted to go to Rio, long before it was a country of consideration for the 2016 Olympics so am really looking forward to getting to see and experience the place, even if it is just outside my hotel window as I rest up for the race! Most of the work is done already, I just have to get the feel back and get back to my normal self and I’ll be ready to go, can’t wait.