My report from the World Cup in Mexico on Sunday where I DNF'ed; :(
I was feeling pretty good for most of the week, able to find great places to train up in Santa Monica and recover from the Philippines race. But when I got to Mexico the Jetlag of crassing 10 time zones finally hit me. On the Friday night I slept around 4hrs off and on which wasn't ideal but would have been ok if I'd had a full night the following night. Unfortunately I found myself wide awake from midnight till 3am tossing and turning the night before the race. Eventually I cracked and took a sleeping pill, which I would normally avoid before a race, as you don't get as deep a sleep and I always feel weird for half the next day. At least it knocked me out and stopped me lying there worrying about it.
I tried to push this to the back of my mind and think positive going into the race. I went for my morning jog and felt average, but then my swim warm up was ok. It was a nice day and the course would be interesting. We swam in a massive chlorinated pool about 2km long and 1.5m deep that snaked its way through a parked area. The bike course was flat but quite technical on a motor racing circuit. The field was good but I was ready for another solid points score to set the rest of the year up.
I had a good ranking and chose the middle of the pontoon. It was important to have a very good start here as within 150m the course narrowed to about 25m across. I got away well as usual and was easily into the top 5 for the first 300m, but just didn't feel right. My arms were very heavy and my stroke rate got slower and slower. Not a good sign...
We had to get out and dive back in at 500m, and I was in 10th at this point usually a great place to be and means the rest of the swim would be no problem, but I got worse as things went on and slipped back to around 35th out of the water. The furthest back I've been in a long time. I got onto the bike and was with Bevan about 20 secs down on a lead group of 20 guys. I was feeling terrible and thought I'd just try to help Bevan get up to the lead group and think about pulling out after that. We got there and I refocussed, got some recovery time and had a good drink. I felt better as the laps went on.
The course suited me with the tight turns and a lot of the guys making a meal of it. It made it easy to move through the pack which had grown to about 60. There were lots of crashes. I got stuck behind one pileup and then soon after there was a split in the bunch. I crossed a big gap on my own which is always a good feeling but then went down round one of the U turns. I got my chain back on and again solo'd up to the bunch. I'd dealt with the heat pretty well and was starting to think I would have an ok day.
Onto the run and the legs weren't there. I slipped back through the field and couldn't do anything about it. I got back to about 45th or 50th where the points are thin and couldn't see myself improving over the 2nd 5km so stepped off the course. I didn't like the feeling though so started jogging again. But about 100m down the road decided that yeah I was done. I haven't pulled out of a race in a long time. Its horrible thinking about the money you've just wasted, the points you have missed that will have to be caught up later, and everyone supporting you you've let down.
Bevan also DNF'd after struggling with a cold. The other Kiwi racing Tony Dodds had a great day coming home in 10th. At least one of us got something out of the trip! We had a pretty cool night after the race put on by the organisers with a boat trip along the 'pool' to a restaurant, then a ride in the back of one of the Mexican athlete's utes around the city to a couple of bars. Monterrey is a pretty dodgy place with an average of 4-5 murders a day, so we were pretty happy to get back to the hotel and out of there the next morning.
Now I'm on my way to France to start the European summer with the next race in 2 weeks; a French GP in Dunkerque, then my next opportunity to add to my ITU points ranking at the WCS race in Madrid.