Then I found out I had a big lead – around 6 minutes… but I didn’t know who to or where they were. The run course was 4 laps and twist sand turns, very few opportunities to see opponents and my lead bicycle man spoke no English.
I knew there were good runners behind me – but surely no one could run 6minutes into me?!
By lap 3 I felt no better, in fact worse. My right quad was like a block of wood and my ankle seemed to creak with each step. I could see my Km splits dropping and even tried to convince myself that it was ok, it was just windy, despite feeling like I was jogging, not actually running at all. I still had hopes of the win and the crowd were shouting ‘Number 1’!
This isn’t how its supposed to feel. Winning my first Ironman race and I feel like crap… I had hopes of feeling like Pete Jacbos winning Kona when he was full of joy and emotion and LOVE… I was just questioning whether I would actually be able to hold up the winning tape when I crossed the line!
Know those dreams where you need to run and run fast, but you can’t something is holding you, harnessing you, legs are moving but you’re not going forward. I was living this dream.
Last lap and someone shouted that I had 2.5 minutes to the girl behind whom I could see at one point was Erika Csomor and she had her battle face on. She was closing, but surely not 2.5minuntes in 5km. My homestay chap had cycled by on the last lap and was telling me to relax as I had the win, and he could see I was in a lot of pain. I really wish I hadn’t heard him, because I did back off a bit, took some deep breaths but then I heard someone shout something in Italian and next then I knew Erika was behind me. I have imagined these moments in training and I kick, respond, sprint...… its only metres. pain is temporary... glory.... etc...
But nothing worked.. Erika has had a few incredible sprint finishes and she is a tough tough athlete. Very experienced and really really wants to win. Sounds strange right… we all want to win right?? Winning is an art and its new to me as a Pro.