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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Race Report: Muskoka Grind

I was really looking forward to this race, but instead of a triumphant finish I had the opportunity to suffer the humiliation of a DNF!  Not fun.

I'll still go through the blow by blow, as one tends to learn more in failure than success.  Unfortunately 2012 has been a tough one with a lot more learning than I care for.

The Preamble

I was sick last week, and still had some lingering symptoms this week.  Despite that, I managed to get in some biking and running and mostly felt OK doing it.  I figured I was good to go!

Last night I was not good to go - I had a lot of sinus pain, that kept me from sleeping.  I've now gone to the doctor and have antibiotics for what turned out to be a sinus infection!  Kind of wish I'd known that before driving 200km up to DNF a triathlon... but we'll get to that shortly.

The Swim

This went kind of OK.  I'm always pretty slow, this was unusually pokey even for me, but I haven't been in the pool much this year (literally 4 times I think).   So chalk that up to the lack of swimming and maybe a hint of what was to come...

I emerged from the water and as I jogged along I felt completely wasted.  Flush and exhausted... this was beyond normal fatigue, but again, I thought maybe I could get through it.

The Bike

The bike course starts out on a few easy roads, then goes straight up a long incline.  It wasn't actually that bad, but I found myself completely unable to do anything useful at all... the back-of-pack folks I was supposed to be making up time on were passing me!  It was really bad, that's when I realized for sure this wasn't normal fatigue.

I tried hanging in there a bit longer, hoping things would improve.  I even stopped completely just hoping if I took a break and nursed my heart rate down I could continue, but it wasn't coming down and I was now feeling nauseous.   A fellow competitor asked if I needed any help because I looked "really pale".

That's when I decided it was over.

Sometimes there's a reason to fight through things, like when my knee pain struck during the NYC marathon.  But this was not an A race, just finishing wasn't going to bring me any joy, and feeling dizzy and nauceous while bombing down mountain bike trails isn't a good combination.

The Rest

Headed back to transition, handed in my chip, and went home.  Then went to the doctor and got some antibiotics.

I'll be back to fight another day!

One last comment on the event, so I properly describe it!  First, the location is beautiful, the lake is gorgeous and despite the strong winds, quite calm.  The trails I managed to stick around for were hiking trails that don't see much bike traffic, so they were bumpy and soft, without any banking or anything you might expect on a true mountain bike trail (or have experienced in their other race, Mine Over Matter).  Still beautiful, but hard to get any flow in my short endeavour.  Your mileage may vary!  I will try do this one next year to exact my revenge!

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