Heather’s Abu Dhabi un-race report

The past few days have been a roller coaster for sure. First, we weren’t sure we’d make it over to Abu Dhabi at all, and were stuck in Chicago for two days.  Canadians need visas to go to the UAE, but our sources said that we got visitor visas on arrival like pretty much every other country. Nope.  Hugely embarrassing mistake on our part. It was devastating to get to the gate in Chicago and not be allowed to board. Like really? How did we get his far without knowing what we needed to know. We’ve been planning on this race for ages, we could have applied for visas no problem. The fact that every other Canadian obviously had the correct paperwork made us want to just crawl in a hole to hide from the glare of our stupidity. But thanks to the tremendous efforts of the race organizers we got visas sorted in a mere two days and we were on a plane. Arriving Wednesday evening was super surreal.

I didn’t really sleep on the 13 hr flight so I slept thru the night we arrived and seemed to get on Abu Dhabi time easily.  Unfortunately, Trevor got a bug in Chicago and was a sniffling, sneezing, sore throated mess. I tried not to touch anything of his, sanitized my hands every two seconds, and seemed to be okay. That is until race night. I told myself that I was just imagining my sore throat, and that the fact that I was sweating thru my sheets was just race nerves and a too warm hotel room. I think us over achievers are really good at trying to rally and hoping for a miracle. I slept maybe 2 hrs, and felt kind of off, but still really felt like a good race was in me. I’ve slept little and felt off, before and won an Ironman, so you never know.

Our fantastic new run sponsor Saucony, in a major time crunch to get our custom kits made, even shipped them all the way to Abu Dhabi. The odds that they’d make it on time were pretty low, but miraculously, they made it on Friday morning – and they even fit perfectly!! We were so stoked and it just felt like more motivation to race well.

Everything went smoothly in transition, and I had a great beach start, and rocked the first lap of the swim in a lead group with Caroline Steffen, Rachel Joyce etc. I fell off a little on the second lap – a bit surprised with how tired I was, but got on the bike 3 min down from the lead, with no one close behind.  I was stoked to be so close to the front and in my element. There are always a few minutes where your heart rate is jacked from transition and it takes awhile to get in a rhythm. Usually though, I have to hold myself back from hammering 300 watts and settle down. Instead I found myself struggling to get the watts up over 200. I told myself to be patient, I took in more calories, I tried to push for 5 minutes harder to wake the legs up, but I had a whole lot of nothing. I tried to rally for the loop of the F1 circuit but by then I was getting passed by people, and I had no answer. I’ve never really had a complete physical failure like that. I just rode my wobbly-legged, dizzy-, feeble- self back to T2 (so about 2hrs in) and dropped out. I wanted to be throwing up or passing out or something more drastic, but was simply just shaky and weak and devastated about not being able to perform.

I was really under the radar before this race, and I felt determined to prove something. I know I can race at the front, and the top of podium was my goal, as always. Alas… nothing was to be proved.

It’s life, it’s just a race, just a sport. Things happen. True? Yes. Consoling? Not so much. I’ve been training so well, was super fit, but it all comes to naught without results on course.

I guess all there is to do is 1) sleep for the rest of the day 2) try to enjoy some time in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. I think Trevor will forgive me for not going back down to the race site…

Thanks SO much to all my sponsors and to the whole team of people that helped us get here! Sorry I couldn’t represent on the podium, but it’s early and there will be lots of races to come!



~ by trevorandheather on March 3, 2012.

9 Responses to “Heather’s Abu Dhabi un-race report”

  1. I know how disappointed you must feel and there’s probably not much anyone can say to make it all better, but you are still Super Woman in my mind and going over to Abu Dhabi at all was a feat in it’s self. You put so much effort and heart into what you do, and that is something to be really proud of. xoxo

  2. Sorry you got sick Heather. The next win will be that much better.

  3. Just blame Trevor – it will make you feel better.

    Just kidding… super bad timing to get a bug, i feel for you! hope you are better soon!

    love you both,

  4. Temporarily disapointing but many great races ahead ! Long plane flights are a recipe for catching something. Saw that Leanda Cave was stricken with something before the event too. Caca Pasa ! Enjoy a bit of time as a tourist on your way home.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I do feel that you did prove something…that you must listen and take care of your body no matter the circumstances. To stop when you did for the reasons you did take a lot o courage and demonstrate the meaning of loving and caring for your body, that works so hard everyday for you. Godspeed and Safe Travels.

  6. That just sucks! I guess next year thing will be different 🙂 I got nervous not seeing you in the results- thanks for the quick report!

  7. At least you got a really cool photo shoot in Abu Dhabi. Nice to know you were super fit and ready to roll, just a little virus. Yes, you have a whole, amazing, fantastic, exciting year of racing ahead of you. We’ll be cheering from Vernon!

  8. I know it sucks now but plenty of more races to be your awesome self!!! Hope you both feel better soon!!! 🙂

  9. Thanks for honesty. I was in Iroman Placide as an age-grouper and heard your brilliant victory speech. Saw you also in Vegas and know how not having 100% must make you feel. But of course you – both of you – will shine later this season. Lots of gas left in both yer tanks…so great that you can move on, “visaschmisas” as they say, those P5’s’are going to be carrying smiling riders at Ironman Canada and Kona. Etc. From my snowy montreal to your sunburned ears.

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