It’s a bitter sweet taste feeling when I look back to all the time I put training to Race in Hawaii and the result is not what I expected. I did everything I could to get in my best shape. Endless sessions riding or running alone. So what happened? I was having a pretty good race. My swim was ok, my bike was fast. I had a good nutrition plan and followed it correctly. When I started the run I knew from the first few kilometers that my legs were not there. The heat was too much to handle and my mind was not solid to manage the feeling of uncomfortableness. Seriously, I had to fight the worst demons to not quit. Many times this idea went through my head.
The truth is that I have a lot of trouble racing in warm conditions. This is not my first time having a bad race in extreme heat. Acclimatizing to heat is not something to take lightly. Arriving 7 days before the race was not enough time for my body to adapt. Studies have shown that it takes 14 days for the body to fully adapt to heat. So in the end, no matter how many Sauna sessions I did before arriving to Kona. The only thing that works is arriving 2 weeks earlier. If I ever consider racing in Kona again or another hot humid destination, I will arrive with enough time to acclimatize properly.
I’m not happy with my performance in Kona, but I do feel proud that I didn’t quit. There were really dark moments during the marathon which really questioned my will to finished the race.
The quest for Ironman WorldChampionships is over. My interest in coming here again is now done. I needed to prove to myself that I could be at the competitive level again and qualify. Now that I have fulfilled this promise I made years ago, it is time to move to other challenges.