Short race report:
On race morning I still didn't have the certainty it was gonna be a non-wetsuit swim. But I was almost sure, as it was very hot in Vichy! And at 5.30am the confirmation: wetsuit forbidden.
Ok ... it will be ok, I told myself, I can do it!
6.50am the start is given. Water was not cold but pretty ugly: I couldn't see a thing underwater, I kept crashing against people I didn't see, I know I'm not a good swimmer so I found it quite messy! Finally the swim was over (1h12') , not a very good time but i was glad it was over.
Bike was great instead. Tony made me do lots of long training, so I felt pretty confident. Important was to remember to drink and eat properly. I had all my nutritional scheme clear... but somehow I wasn't able to follow it properly: I missed the special needs aid station so I had 2 bottles less to drink: i tries to compensate eating a couple of extra gels. I was feeling strong and good when I got off the bike!
As I approached the marathon I grabbed my gels and drinks and off I went. I felt great for the first 6-7 km , but then tiredness started to creep into me, my muscles got sore and my strength started to fade away. I tried to eat gels and drink water but I felt it hard for my stomach. I knew I had to eat something so I tried with coke! And it worked a treat. I trodden on from aid station to aid station for the last 10km trying to be constant and trying to focus on what was waiting for me at the finish line: qualification for kona. I wanted it madly so I went and grabbed it! 10h14' was the time. 1st of my category and 5th overall, overwhelmed by happiness!
I have to thank you Tony and Natasha for this achievement, it wouldn't have been possible without you. You gave me such a boosts and mental strength that all the pain I felt during the race was just like a piece of cake! Ready to rock for more!