I'll make this one somewhat short. Don't race when you're sick. That's right after 3 months of decent training I was set to fly through the bike course, but unfortunately got sick early in the week.
After a sleepless night camping at Lake San Antonio coughing and blowing my nose (in my tent with the air bed that flatted) I woke up and took to the water for a shockingly decent swim (considering I've barely swam the last month.) I mounted the bike and as soon as I hit the first little climb knew this was gonna be one long day. Sheesh. The moment I started to work the pedals I would start coughing uncontrollably. The only way I was going to be able to continue was to go easy the whole way --- REALLY EASY. It was endless, the wind was terrible and I got hot in my Aero helmet on my flashy bike watching people on cheap road bikes go by me. Very humbling. The only really happy moment on the bike was when I saw a bald eagle (yes!) perched in a tree right before the infamous climb, Nasty Grade.
I finally got of the bike and as if being sick wasn't enough my back seized up. I was reduced to a measly shuffle, then walking, then coughing. I ended up walking 80% of the run and it took forever. I ended up crossing in about 90 minutes past my time goal, but alas it was not my day. I am proud I finished as this one was likely the hardest race I've ever done given how I felt. The big news is that with the finish under my belt I officially "validated" my entry into Kona! Yes, if you haven't heard, I got in the Ironman Lottery and will be doing the World Championships in October! The road to Kona begins in a week after several days of much needed rest! For you, dad. We're going back to the big island. That was really the only thing that kept me from dropping out yesterday.