A month or so ago, I received a confirmation on my wait list registration for Cobra Ironman 2014. I was so excited cause I felt the need to do one more “A” race since it would have been too soon to call the season off after Cairns Ironman 70.3. Training had been fun this time! I thought of the fishes in Shangri-La when I swam, hoped the pot holes of Cebu would be flattened or at least fixed and wished trees grew bigger in Amisa for a better shaded run.
A few days before I flew to Cebu, Zell dela Cruz of Dans Bikeshop called to let me know that my crash replacement helmet was ready for pick up. That was perfect timing!
But to make things a little complicated, for the first time, I joined the Cobra expo under the business name of Atleta Ako, mainly to advertise our future store in the Makati business district coming very soon. Aside from introducing our products that are mostly female specific brands, it was a challenge having some of the souvenir items of Cobra 70.3 designed, produced, marketed and sold! While manning the store, I kept my excitement mellowed and did my best conserving all possible energy for race day!
Noelle de Guzman passed by my booth and after some chit chat on how tiring yet fun it was to work during race week, she suggested to consider Sunday’s event as my day off. Truly did I kept that in mind and looked forward to my off from work!
So on to race day…
After making sure my gears were in the right arrangement for a methodical transition, me, my husband and his relay mate Doc Renan headed to the swim warm up area. It was such a beautiful early morning swim on a perfect Sunday weather!
Our wave was the last to start at 6:45 a.m. with the female participants and the relay swimmers. I managed to stay on the left then coursed thru the middle to avoid the congestion of swimmers aiming to swim nearest to the small buoys. Getting to the first turn was difficult because of the current! I told myself – o-oh it’s the same current heading back! But once we turned around the swim was easier, slightly faster!
On to the bike – There was a slight variation on the course this year due to some road repairs further down Talisay. It was harder because of the 8 loops of the semi lighted tunnel plus the wind factor which made it gruesome for all. Well, that’s Cebu’s strong winds which made the the course challenging! The pot holes I hoped not to see were very present and this time worse! Cebu must have been confused on what the race was last August 3. They thought the event was Xterra! hee hee 🙂
Honestly, I felt strong on the bike. I wasn’t fast but I saw negative splits on my Garmin. I accepted that I will not beat my previous years bike splits due to the change of route and the worse road condition. But, I knew I’ll do an awesome run based on how I felt physically.
However, immediately after I made a u-turn on my 7th loop, I saw 3 locals in white shirt crossings the street. I was managing my gears and shouted to give way but they continued to run. 2 of them were able to cross the road’s island but the slowest girl did not make it! I ran over her and I fell on the island hitting my butt. The girl shouted of pain. But she also received the most curse she would remember for the rest of her life!
The race marshals helped me stood up. I felt something hurting on my right thigh but told them it could be just muscle strain. I took immediately a pain reliever and asked if I could continue my ride to finish. Initially I asked for 10 minutes but the medicine didn’t seem to have any effect. Then 20 minutes… 30 minutes … 40 minutes … an hour and the pain became unbearable.
The ambulance team in that area (Baranggay Tinago) was the worst medical crew I met. The event marshals were insisting an initial assessment. The paramedics (if they really were one) didn’t even know where to start nor how to assess. They only took my blood pressure and personal details. They said cramps lang po yan! (she’s only cramping). I told the lady in the ambulance this isn’t cramps! If it were cramps they should have treated me for cramps right? They just stared at me waiting maybe for my pain to go away! Cobra’s race marshals even commanded the ambulance crew to give me some ice. That’s only when they moved!
The baranggay captain of Barrio Tinago came to apologise. He said his community had been “practicing” for the event and was surprised why they still crossed the streets. His apologies were very sincere but he should be very vigilant next year. I told him I only wanted to finish because it is my goal to do five 70.3s before 2015 and that day’s race should be my fourth. He mentioned how remarkable my iron will was! But no matter how my heart was set to finish, my injured body had found its limit.
I prayed before I submitted to a DNF. I thanked God that I was safe and I have called the season off.
Later on I was driven back to the medic tent at Shangri-la where I asked to be brought. I wanted my husband to diagnose me first. However, he had me sent to the events designated medical institution – Chong Hua Hospital for an X-ray to be definite of a medical finding. I was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, 2 to 3 weeks of bed rest, 6 weeks recovery, MONTHS in crutches.
I have not gotten over my DNF of course because it has just only been two days from race day as I write this post. It is more painful to have a DNF than finish a 70.3. It may be more painful to have a DNF than finish an Ironman.
But after two consecutive bike crashes, I am glad that I am still in one piece.
I am a toughie, I am not an Ironman, I am an Ironmom.