After the Huatulco World Cup I planned to stay put for a couple days. Originally this was so I could train and recover from the heat before dehydrating myself on another airplane. Instead, I spent Monday and Tuesday whining about how badly my back hurt, changing bandages, and riding my rollers indoors. It did seem like I was recovering quickly, but I was definitely not getting in the water with such massive open wounds on my back, hip, arm and hands. Also, running hurt like crazy thanks to the contusion on my hip and the raw skin under my armpit.
Tuesday evening I flew to Puerto Vallarta where I would spend the next 8 nights. At that point, I really didnâ€™t think I would be healed enough to race in a dirty harbor in Mexico before Sunday, but change fees and late cancellation for the hotel would have cost me almost as much as staying. Besides, Rory and Mojdeh were flying in from Colorado to spend the week with me, and I wasnâ€™t about to miss out on my end-of-season vacation (post race) just because of a little pain.
Wednesday afternoon my friends arrived. I was studying for an accounting exam, so I told them to go enjoy themselves while I stayed in the air conditioning. Rory brought fishing equipment and was out on the beach catching fish within an hour of landing while Mojdeh found a sunny piece of sand and thawed out in the radiation.
That was pretty much par for the week. Rory fishing, Mojdeh fishing until she got bored then reading a book in the sun, me studying, changing bandages, and keeping out of the sun and water. By Thursday I was running again, though I couldnâ€™t swing my right arm and my hip was painfully causing me to limp. Friday I took my exam and reluctantly agreed to spend Saturday morning at a time-share presentation in order to get a discount on a fishing boat trip the following Monday. Mainly I wanted to get out of the hotel room for long enough to feel like I was getting ready to race.
The presentation turned into a humorous morning. We met the guys who organized the trip for us that morning outside our hotel and were briefed on the protocol we needed to follow. Rory and Mojdeh were asked to wear wedding rings that were purchased for them on the way to the resort. The cab ride was much longer than expected, and by the time we arrived at the resort I was already starting to feel the â€œIâ€™m racing tomorrow and things need to go my wayâ€ primadonna attitude coming out. Luckily, there was free food, which always makes me happy. Our guide spent about an hour asking us questions, though she was mainly interested in Rory and Mojdeh and had very little to say to me. They asked where I like to vacation and I told them â€œhomeâ€ because I rarely get to spend any time there anymore and thatâ€™s where my friends are. Rory told them straight up that he hates resorts and would never buy into a massive place like that. Mojdeh told them she wouldnâ€™t be interested in anything like that until she was a mother (I think she nearly said â€œuntil Iâ€™m marriedâ€ but caught herself). I looked at the offer and figured out that what they were offering could provide a 30% annual return on the investment, and started asking lots of questions. The salesmen ignored me, and told Rory that the reason he doesnâ€™t like resorts is because he doesnâ€™t feel he can afford them and subconsciously he would rather believe he doesnâ€™t like the resort than admit that itâ€™s a financial situation. I donâ€™t think he knew his audience very well.
After the presentation we hurried back so I could do the bike course preview. Iâ€™ll summarize by paraphrasing Jarrod Shoemakerâ€™s tweets regarding the course: This is the most dangerous course ever. Cobble 180s, freshly paved sections with loose blacktop, and tire eating cracks in the center of the road. We werenâ€™t able to ride the entire route, however, because they were still paving part of it.
Saturday is when I finally made the decision that I was healed enough to race. I hadn’t swum since the previous Sunday, but I was healthy enough to give the race a shot. It didn’t go so well because of that, but I learned a few things about how to keep myself prepared when I can’t train. Two words: core strength. That’s what I should have been working on during the 6 days of rest.
Next up, a full race report for my 8th place finish at the Pan-American Championships.