A lot of people were asking why I chose to race 70.3 Los Cabos. It was risky, I was "rolling the dice" and I knew that going into it. The reason behind it was quite simple, we had to come back to the US for Hila to attend a military class. It was only $100 more for flights to fly to Florida via Los Cabos, so I took the chance. Los Cabos is a late season race, you don't really know who on the start list would actually show up. It is also a pretty brutal race with the temps and tough bike course, so I figured I would give it a go. I had a good race in China 2 weeks prior, was feeling good and had bounced back quite well from Hefei.
I showed up into Los Cabos after a lengthy travel day (34 hours door to door), but had 2 solid nights of sleep before the race. I felt ok once in Mexico, not great, but not completely horrible. I thought I would come around by race morning and was hoping my body would be ready to go.
There were no issues leading into the race, well other than some slight mechanical issues on my bike rear hydration mount, and my front bottle cage semi breaking, but other than that everything was ok. Come race morning the bike was ready to go and I was feeling good.
The swim was a bit chaotic as the intermediate turn buoys and the actual turn buoys were the same color, although different shapes. When swimming and sighting it is quite hard to tell the shapes apart from a distance. And to make matters worse they had the full IM course buoys out as well, which just extended on past our buoys. Needless to stay there were a few guys that went off course and had to correct themselves to get back on course. I was happy to stay with the first big "chase pack" in the swim. We were strung out pretty long but came out of the water with 10th - 21st within 60 secs of each other and I was at the tail end of that bunch and 3:45 off of Andy Potts (of note I lost 5mins to him in 2015 at Galveston 70.3), and 60secs off of Cody Beals (who I had lost 3:05 to in 2015 at Galveston).
Onto the bike I felt good early on. I started making up ground on some guys and was in the process of bridging to Justin Metzler and one other guy. Around 10k they were just hanging out anywhere from 50-100m in front of me and I couldn't quite close the gap. I knew at that point that something was wrong, it should have been fairly easy for me to close that gap, but it just wasn't happening. At 30mins I went to take my first big drink of Precision Hydration, and I realized that it tasted quite bland. I thought maybe I had forgotten to put both packets in the bottle and maybe only put one in. I didn't think much of it and just kept drinking from it, this is mistake #1………….
Around 40K I started to lose power on the bike and just didn't feel right. I couldn't hold the watts, Justin and the other guy slowly drifted off into the distance. Around 70k one of the guys I had passed early on came by and I couldn't even go with him. Then we passed Potts on the side of the road as he was dealing with a flat. He came by shortly after and I couldn't go with him, my body just wasn't responding to the effort I was attempting to put out.
At that point I knew my day was over and the odds of getting into the money (it paid 8 deep) were over. I came off the bike in 15th and got out on the run course to see how the body felt. I didn't feel horrible on the run, but I knew with Xiamen 70.3 2 weeks away I was better off calling it a day and resting up for that. At 4.5 miles into the run I called it a day and headed back to T2.
What did I learn?
Well come to find out in the early morning prep I had failed to put either packets of Precision Hydration into my main water bottle. When I somewhat realized this on the bike, I should have immediately started taking in Precision Hydration Salt tabs, which I had with me. I failed to correct the problem, and although this was one part of the problem on the day, it could have made things a bit better.
I typically make my bottles the night before, but the hotel I was staying at did not have a fridge or freezer, so I made them race morning. I also had to get water on the way out to the bus, rather than from the room, so maybe that played a part into my "brain fart". Either way, I screwed up, I didn't react to the problem in the moment, and I paid for it in the end.
So off to Florida I go for 10 days and then it is off to China for Xiamen 70.3. I got out for a short run before my flight out of Mexico, and the body feels pretty good. So Onwards and Upwards it is……………………