MY FIRST IRONMAN!!! IM COZUMEL, MEXICO

After loosing the opportunity of competing in the IM of Niza two years ago due to work, I have finally been able to compete on my first Ironman in December first at Cozumel (Mexico).
I’ve always being competing in Xterra and this discipline is totally different, so I needed to learn to dose myself and not give it all since the beginning.

Sadly the preparation for the race hasn’t been as I expected:
In September a fall with the bike in Dubai made me stay with my arm casted for 3 weeks…so no trainings!
I should have arrived in Cozumel 26th of November but again due to work I had to postpone my departure, the worst thing is that five days before the race I have been doing many night flights: Dubai-Abu-Manchester-Abu-Singapore-Abu.
Finally on the 28th arrived to Cancun after 24h flying, tired and thinking that I haven’t trained or touched my bike for 1 week!
I am used to jetlag but I was really tired and even on Saturday I was falling asleep everywhere I was going.

I received mails from the organization that due to strong currents the practice of swimming were cancelled, they were optimistic for the day of the race though. So I decided to go to try the water on my own, I got in and 2’ later a felt a strong familiar pain on my arm, yes, stung by a jellyfish, I couldn’t believe it! 2’ and I was already stung, it seems I brought them from Dubai!

The night before the race, we received another mail from organization saying that due to the strong currents, they were changing the swimming course and had to be shorter of 700m.
Due to this last minute change they organized buses to take us to the new swimming course.

The race started on time 6:40 for the elite and 7 am for the AG. As I had not idea how hard would be to swim surrounded by thousands of people, I decided to start behind not with the whole mass. It was a really nice swim, the water was beautiful, the temperature ideal and I could see some really nice colorful fishes. At our arrival to T1 we had some dolphins jumping next to us, very nice thing to see.

I was pretty scared of the cycling part for several reasons, one, because I never did that distance and second because of the strong winds that Cozumel have all the time. Anyway at the end I took it as Johan recommended me, as three laps in AlQudra and all went well. On my second lap, when I was fighting against the wind, I turned around and saw behind me a whole group of at least 30 guys, I couldn’t believe it! I thought drafting was not allowed! They stayed confortable there for a while so I decided to slow down and move to the left as I could see that staying on the right they were not even trying to overtake me. When they finally decided to overtake me and of course I was there on the left keeping pedaling one judge passes with the scooter and says that the whole group have to stop in next penalty point…. Silly of me and 2 other Mexicans the only ones who stopped! I was fuming! Starting against wind and with little uphill wasn’t the easiest thing but as I was so upset that I had enough strength.

Finally I arrived to T2 after 6h 40’ of total racing time, I was told I was 12th of my AG, unbelievable first IM and me thinking will be the last of my AG, I was feeling mentally and physically good. I knew that I could do ok if I would do my normal speed in the marathon but here is where my inexperience hit me! I had drunk and ate too much on the bike (I am not used to and I was recommended to do so) so I had really strong cramps in my stomach during the whole race, but the first lap was in agony so made me stop for a long time many times, so this made my time go messed up! Then suddenly starts pouring rain, and as in Dubai, the draining system doesn’t work that well so we were running in areas with water till our ankles.

I have finally made after 11h21’ thanks to my strong head, I did 17th out of 94 of my Age group and 538 of 3000 participants.

I am super happy because finally I can say. I am an Irongirl!!!