It is always potentially hubristic to figure that you don't need much swim training before a tri, and this time (it was more of a calculated risk than a true bit of overconfidence!) it bit me hard. Race director reported 20mph wind coming from the south, and warned that the current on the first leg of the swim was going to be horrible (2 x triangle). This was indeed the case, I was basically working as hard as I could to progress by inches (wasn't sure either time I was actually going to make it around the first buoy!). I didn't look at my watch, but if they'd been enforcing time cut-offs I would have gotten pulled, and I knew it would be touch and go thereafter. I felt truly dreadful for the first 10 miles of the bike - I don't think I've ever felt so bad in a race - was still riding into aforementioned headwind so there was no way to take it easy, my heartrate was at top of Friel zone 3 and I was working very hard and only going about 12mph because of the wind!
I hung in there as long as I could, but I was feeling very sick to my stomach - I made it to the Rum Point turnaround and back past the Frank Sound Road junction, but my stomach and general feeling of wobbliness/shakiness made me decide to stop for a rest to see if I could settle things down. Instead I threw up horribly by the side of the road and basically couldn't even stay standing up - some minutes of sitting by the side of the road and doing self-assessment told me that my day was done! It was around mile 22, I was about 3 hours into my race and the whole thing had just been incredibly too strenuous - I wasn't having overheating as such but the heat really doesn't help.)
(It was about 6 more miles to transition, and if I'd been on my second loop I think I would have decided to ride it in myself, but I was very sure I didn't have another 35 miles in me!)
No regrets on this one. Doing a little more swimming in the last couple weeks wouldn't have helped, I would have needed much deeper swim fitness for it to be OK (I'm a slow swimmer even in good training). I prioritized powerlifting and running in December, hot yoga and running this month, and it was as much as I could do to add in six to eight weeks of adequate bike training - November and December are two of the three busiest months of my work year (the other is April). And I had no second-guessing about the decision to stop - I never have felt so bad before in a race, and I had nothing at stake in terms of finishing!
Note to self: two out of the three times I've done this race, the swim has been really challenging - if I am going to attempt the aquabike again in future, I need to put other things aside and have eight weeks of proper bike AND swim training!
c. 1.5hr very arduous swimming into current (1.2mi only - the "easy" time I did this race my swim was :50, the other "hard" time was 1:10, this wasn't rough water like last time but the current was unbelievable!), c. 1.5hr bike - before I called it a day!
Got a long night of sleep, didn't run but went to 8:45 hot yoga which was great - my favorite teacher, and I finally got a good camel on the second set. Flying home tomorrow but not till mid-afternoon, should have a run first thing and there's a 9am massage appointment too (my knee is worse again today after strenuous exercise yesterday).