I was feeling a bit off early on during race week, and was anxious about traveling and getting sick right in time for the race. Being based in Subic is great, but the downside is I have to drive to Manila (anywhere from 2-4 hours) for meetings, sponsor events, and flying through Manila airport. I knew the smart thing to do would have been to postpone the dinner and early morning meeting I had scheduled before my flight, so that I could get more rest. But stubborn me kept the appointments, and by the time I landed in Bangkok I was feeling really sick. I finally listened to my body and just rested as much as I could in the hotel before the race. I didn't have a fever on race day, but it was definitely a struggle.
All in all, it was not as bad as it could have been, and I enjoyed my time in Pattaya and catching up with my triathlete friends. I was aiming to get a podium spot, but just came up short on the day and finished fourth.
Lesson (that I should have) learned (a long, long, time ago): Don't underestimate the power of Manila traffic and stress in f***ing you up. Listen to your body, get enough sleep the night before your flight, and hydrate!
I had my first DNF in a triathlon because of some bike mechanical trouble. I actually cried about it for a minute, took a selfie in tears, laughed, sent the selfie to my friends, and went on texting them about my shit day. It was my first time in Korea, and I was very excited to finish in a quicker time, given the perfect weather conditions on a beautiful course. It was really disappointing and frustrating not being able to finish. Anyways, big thank you's to my friends who were so human about listening to my drama that day!
And despite being super unlucky on race day, I actually felt quite lucky having a good group of athletes to hang with on the 4-hour drive back plus the 6-hour wait at Incheon airport. Hellos to the Naude bros from South Africa, and Mitch Kibby and Katy Duffstar from Aus! I learned quite a bit from you guys in our little cultural exchange. :) Thanks for not making me want to shoot myself in that 10-hour wait.
Lessons learned: Shit happens. Life goes on. When in Korea, stop and smell the kimchi and make new friends. Air BnB is awesome. Also, Incheon airport is great for layovers. They've got good shower and massage/spa facilities, and day beds/ reclining chairs for passengers to have a rest.