Feeling Devastated

Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Training

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a lump in my throat which, after brushing my teeth twice and drinking a gallon of water, eventually subsided.  The rest of the day felt like a normal one; I went to the pre-race briefing, got the information pertaining to my specific start time, got my free T-shirt, found a take-out place for pasta, and settled down back at my friend’s apt to prepare for the race.  All seemed well until the evening when I found that my body temperature was becoming difficult to regulate and maintain.  Turns out, I later realized, that I had a fever.  I barely slept and managed at best an hour at a time between long bouts of being awake, and sported a headache that bordered on what migraine must feel like.  Worse yet, I didn’t have anyone to complain to!

I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. with plans of leaving the apt. at 5 a.m.  While my race was supposed to start at 8:41 a.m., the transition area closed at 5:45 a.m. which meant that I would have to sit around for nearly 3 hours. C’est la vie for a race of this size; the Chicago Triathlon is said to include 8,000 or so competitors!

In any event, I had been awake since 3:30 and at 4:15, I finally decided to get up and do some last minute prep stuff with my race gear.  I then stood in front of the bathroom vanity as I brushed my teeth and looked at a dreadful image in the mirror; I was pale, had droopy eyes, and felt like my equilibrium was way off.  I thought to myself that there’d be no way I could race feeling dizzy like that.  Up until 4:50, I was still 50/50 about racing; I pride myself on toughing through the worst situations but I realized that it would be a serious mistake to put myself through the physical rigors of a triathlon feeling so ill and uneven.  I have no doubt that I’d finish, but I knew it would not be fun for me and that my zeal and enthusiasm would be non-existent.  So, I made one of the most difficult calls in this “career” by deciding to bail.  My 150+ dollar entry fee, the 933 mile drive, the training, etc. was all for naught.

The rest of my day was on the couch.  I had the full monte; headaches, sweats, chills, a sore throat, the fever, and a stiff neck.  Where this came from is anyone’s guess especially since I’m known for rarely if ever getting sick.

My friend Helene who raced today, and whose bike I drove from NYC, called me after the race to say that the bike course was terrible since there were hundreds of potholes which, along with so many cyclists, made navigation incredibly difficult.  So much for my pre-race strategy of putting forth a max effort on the bike had I actually raced.

So, for now, the plan is to not feel like a sewer drain and hope that tomorrow brings me better tidings.

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