Thursday, 17 July 2014

Osaka ASTC Sprint Triathlon

Sometimes misfortunes occur outside of you control, leaving you with nothing but a powerless feeling not being able to do anything about it...

Leading up to the Osaka ASTC Sprint Triathlon, I had been feeling great and confident. A small lung irritant arouse the Wednesday before my weekend race which I just shrugged off, thinking it was just a little discomfort (or fatigued) from all the hard track runs and Vo2 swim sets. Telling myself it was temporary and would dissipate soon so long as I watched my health as usual. It was a dry, lung emptying cough which started to immerge on the thursday however, that had me worrying. I soon had my bags packed and headed for the airport for what was to be an uncomfortable 6hr, midnight flight with no sleep, constantly disturbed by my own chain of coughing.

We were greeted immediately with warmth by Ms. Kiriyo at the airport, who took amazing care of us. She drove us straight from the airport to the pool for a swim, then to the supermarket for grocer shopping, and then to the hotel for check-in.

My condition remained the same for the next 2 days I was in Osaka. I felt alright during easy swims/rides only a little hard to breath during runs, although I had not realised how much it would have affected my performance at high intensity. (I didn't get much solid sleep too, waking myself up constantly by my own loud moaning caused by the need to cough... (Sorry Aldrian and Barry for being so noisy throughout the nights!).

On the race day itself, I felt good and confident, yet somewhat a little uncertain of my confidence. I has a quick warm-up with an Aussie who I met and trained with for a bit in Perth. The race began at 11:30am in a wet, post-rain condition. As the horn blasted, I set off for a solid start towards the first buoy hanging at the back of the chase pack. As we hit the turn however, I started to fade and was unable to inject any power. I felt very held back with the inability to use the full capacity of my lungs with only shallow breaths (lungs felt tight and breathing deep caused me to choke up). I dropped off the chase pack halfway through the swim, where I then joined the 3rd pack that caught up to me not long after. I felt this to be a disappointing swim considering that in my swims the past few weeks I had been clocking my fastest splits ever. The swim exited on steps which stretched out the large field of 75 or so men (which was good!).

Onto the bike, I was caught by the 3rd pack behind me which I then worked with together on the very hilly "up-and-down the bridge", 4 loop bike course. By "working together", I meant hanging on for dear life as I constantly broke into rhythm shattering coughs! The legs felt very inactive and did little to respond to my 110% effort. It was physically demolishing me, which again I suppose had a lot to do with not being able to breathe normally! Despite that, I grit my teeth and powered down with what remained of me. By the last climb of the last lap however, I had faded to the point of no return and dropped off before the peak, and was left to ride the remaining 3km back into transition solo. I had not lost hope... Well at least not yet anyway...

A quick (but shaky) dismount, popped on the shoes, and I was off for the run. Immediately I felt the worst I'd ever been, with stone-heavy legs and the inability to control my posture, nor my breathing. Mainly breathing though... I was attacked with waves of coughing. As one broke out, another would take it's place, and another, and another, and another-Until I had to pull up by the side and cough my lungs out and pose there to catch a breath. Determined to get back into the field, I got back on the road and drove one foot after the other. Things got harder from here as the coughs got worse and I would be so winded and unable to run from such tensed up abs. I dug deep and kept going. However, it got to the point that the sessions would take so much out of me that I would feel faint, and realised that I had done more than I could handle, and the day was at an disappointing end. I walked back (painfully and breathtakingly) to the medical tent and got myself checked up (thank god I didn't have pneumonia or anything!) and that was that.

- Coming back to KL, I was diagnosed with Bronchitis, which probably explained everything. I would say that it help subside the disappointment with the race, but only angered myself more for not listening to my body and pushing the boundaries.

We did enjoy our time however in Kyoto post-race, sight-seeing and experiencing the culture (half of which should be mine!). Stuffed our faces with sashimi, ramen, cold soba, and just about everything else. Got quite a workout walking the entire area the whole day too.

Back in KL now, and unfortunately still unable to get back into training just yet as it's still and ongoing fight with my bronchitis. Hopefully it'll go soon so I can get back into some quality blocks leading up to Port Dickson Tri, Singapore ITU and hopefully Edmonton Worlds and Incheon Asian Games!

Massive thanks to Azran (AirasiaX) for flying us, DSA, Rudy Project, Kenanga, High5 Sports Nutrition, and of course TIME for the support!

Very special thanks to Ms. Kiriyo and the organisers for putting such a fabulous event and such and amazing hospitality throughout the entire event. They event went as far as to personally drive me to a drug store to pick up some medications for me, which I think deserves some recognition.


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