Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cozumel Race Report - Part 1 - Pre-Race

Let the madness begin. We left Boston on Monday morning, to avoid the Thanksgiving craziness and to hopefully get used to the Cozumel heat/humidity at least a little bit.

Bags for two of us, no I wasn't moving to Cozumel 

The travel to Cozumel was pretty seamless even though I had to give up my papa’s when going through bag check at customs. I really tried to hide them well, but those x-ray machines don’t lie, and I had to say good bye to some of my bike race day nutrition. I heard horror stories of people getting sick in Mexico from food on race day and so I didn’t really want to risk anything and brought my own potatoes. Mission smuggle papa’s to Mexico was a fail! (Spoiler alert – I was later able to find some butterless, oiless papa’s for my race but more on that later). Once we made it through customs, and the bag check, we stepped outside into what can only be explained as VERY hot/humid air with way too many cab/bus drivers offering to take us wherever we wanted.

Come with me, come with me ... 

We had pre-booked a ride to the ferry in Playa del Carmen, but our driver was nowhere to be found for a while. For a moment I felt like I was on the show Amazing Race and I was losing! We eventually found our driver, who dropped us off in Playa where we had just missed the 3pm ferry to Cozumel and now had 2 hours to kill before the next one at 5. Playa del Carmen is a very cool spot with tons of shops, restaurants which we got to check out the week after the race, but it’s not so friendly to triathletes lugging their luggage and bike bags on what I call the Mexican cobblestone.  As a result we parked ourselves at the nearest Mexican restaurant, and had our first Mexican food paired with a margarita! Yes – I got talked into a margarita but that was the extent of my drinking before the race.

Buses, planes, automobiles, cab rides and one ferry ride later, we finally made it to our final destination for the week – Occidental Allegro hotel in Cozumel, MX and we all crashed for the night exhausted from a full day of travelling. The next morning we woke up to our new neighbor for the week – Mr. Iqqy! 

Mr Iqqy waiting for food! 

Mr. Iqqy liked bread and bananas just like me!

I am pretty sure  Iggy was the best fed iquana on the island, and he would wait by our door every single morning! That dude LOVED to eat – coincidence? ;)

Our resort was all inclusive, and also had a great beach. Too bad, we didn’t really get to enjoy all of the all inclusive perks, nor the beach because the weather the week before the race was crappy – lots of wind, not much sun, and thunderstorms. 

Yes! That is some serious rain/wind and right before the power went out!

Check out the lightnening about 13 seconds into the video

When the weather was nice, our beach looked like this:

This was taken the day after the race

It was still warm compared to New England, but the heat acclimatization really wasn’t happening.  We relaxed a bit, checked out the town a little bit, ate at a local Mexican spot which had amazing tacos and I am sure much more than I was willing to try the week before the race, found a tequila boutique, and free internet at Starbucks! 

 Read the menu closely! 

 High heels or tequila? 

Oh and yes, we did a little bit of swim/bike/run. The pre-race week was dragging a bit. I really dislike the week before the race, because no matter how ready I know I am, I always feel like I will get sick, hurt or something will go wrong. Last year before Hawaii, I had a ridiculous head cold and couldn’t breathe. This time around, two days before the race I was visiting the bathroom every 30 minutes which really wasn’t ideal. Ugh! Imodium to the rescue, and I now wasn’t going to the bathroom at all – with all the carbo loading the day before the race, probably not all that ideal either. I was starting to have imagines of myself racing and looking like a pregnant woman except full of eggs/pancakes/bread/pasta/more bread  OR going on empty, looking for a porta potty every 30 min … you get the picture. Since I really wasn’t sure how much of Imodium I should take, I got talked into calling an on-site doctor to confirm. Bad, bad, VERY bad move! That dude made me feel like I just slowly killed myself by taking Imodium, and proceeded to tell me I needed antibiotics instead. Few panic attacks and tears later, I calmed down, and decided against antibiotics or anymore Imodium until I was able to take care of business, and I was going to wait till race morning to decide whether more Imodium was going to be needed. (You will have to find out to my next blog to find out what happened) 

Aside from that, registration went smoothly on Thursday before the masses arrived. I had all my bags lined up and organized two days before the race, and all was left to do was check in on Saturday.

 Shoes, helmet, sunglasses, gels (missing papas), chamois butter, and vinegar instead the jelly fish was out in full force

Shoes, socks, visor, race belt with number, and gels for the run 

The actual check in process was a bit long due to two separate transitions and the transportation to and from both spots but we got lucky as we had a car available to get us to and from because otherwise the process could have been even longer.

It went something like this: Get on a bus with your bike to go about 4 or so miles to T1.
 Yes my Fireball has his own seat! 

I guess this was more efficient, but I like our idea better! Fireball deserves the whole row of seats anyways!

Welcome to Chankanaab Park. 

The entrance to Chankanaab Park

Stand in line, get a pic taken with your bike so it doesn’t get stolen post race – not sure how that really worked but I got my Fireball back so no complaints.

 Rack Fireball for the day/night 

We checked out the swim start for the first time ever since both swim practices were cancelled due to rough conditions. We later learned the swim start venue has been changed, and the swim has been altered (more on that in my next post)
 The original swim start at Chankanaab Park that only turned into the place where we finished

Hop in a car thanks to Tyler’s mom who had one, drive downtown to T2 to drop of “run bag”.
Get back in the car, and drive back to the hotel. By the time all this was done, it was almost time for dinner, and yes I still haven’t gone to the bathroom. Let the panic continue. I may have not eaten as much as I normally would have because carrying extra 20 lbs around with me on race day really wasn’t in my best interest, but deep inside I knew I was ready. I just wanted to be 100%. It was also the time we learned that the swim was changed from 2.4 miles and about half the swim with and half the swim against the current, to a 1.95 mile straight line swim with the current only. Yes, I may not be known as a swimmer, but I really didn’t want the swim to be cancelled, so I was glad they were able to alter it and let us swim. Shorter swim was an advantage for me (less time to hopefully lose on the swimmers), but I do wish they were able to keep it 2.4 miles.  As it turns out the bike was 1.2 miles too long so we got in the full 140.6 plus some anyways.And with that all that was left was sleep, and I think I actually did sleep through the night.

Next up: THE SWIM! 

1 comment:

  1. So did you go with the chopped tongue or sliced tongue? It is always a tough choice. Or did you go rogue and go for the brain?