I lost my mojo in PD.
During the 2008 PD International Triathlon, on my way to a personal best, I hit a pothole and crashed hard onto the tarmac 1.5km from transition 2. Among the things scattered on the road was my mojo. As i got going again, pushing the bike to transition, I must have left my mojo there.
In 2009, I returned to PD to look for my mojo after a season of dismal results. It wasn't to be. Thanks to a knee injury and some drama that had me driving all the way back to KL and back to PD again in the middle of the night, my mojo was nowhere to be found.
Fast forward to the PD International Triathlon 2010. The search for my mojo continues. A friend said, after screwing up in PD two years in a row, you better do well this year. Talk about added pressure! I was more determined than ever to find that elusive mojo.
But already the dramas had begun. On the way to PD, the airconditioning in the car broke down. Not a big deal really, except that since the aircon runs on the same belt as the water pump, and other vital systems, it made the problem terminal.
As I sat there waiting for the car to be fixed (courtesy of a bunch of mechanics who roam the highway looking for car trouble), I started to wonder whether it was a good idea to race the next day. Could today's incident be a sign of things to come? Will I never find my mojo?
Or is this simply a case of getting all the bad luck out of the way today, so I can have good luck tomorrow?
Four hours and RM800 later, we rolled into PD. At this point, I have to say I was really glad I had Senn with me. She kept calm the whole time and helped keep me from pulling my hair out. She said that whatever I wanted to do the next day, she will support. Thanks, babe, I needed that.
We skipped the carbo load dinner. As much as we wanted to catch up with old friends, the thought of fighting for food with 1200 other triathletes turned us off. So we had a quiet dinner near the apartment and then went to go buy water and breakfast for the next day. On the way, we found a mamak shop that was showing the Tour de France final time trial on TV (earlier I had been fretting about how I was going to catch this). What luck! And while walking back to the car, Senn found a RM10 just lying there on the road. Even more good luck! Maybe I had gotten rid of all bad luck. Maybe my mojo was coming back to me. Maybe I should race tomorrow. Funnily enough, these two good luck incidents happened a few metres for where I crashed two years ago!
So race I did. And I have to say, it was the best race I've ever had.
We got there late so didn't really have time to mingle. Set up transition and headed straight to the start. Managed to take this picture though.
The swim was decent. I was in the battles all the way. Which meant that I was keeping pace with the others. When I had calm water, I thought I had strayed off course. As it turned out, I had dropped the group of swimmers I was battling with and was moving towards the next group for more battles.
Out back onto the beach and only 33 minutes had elapsed. 35 by the time I crossed the timing mat (running on the beach is not easy).
On the bike, I started looking for a train to latch on. For about five or six kilometres I kept looking, then I realised there was a short train behind me! OK, game on. As soon as a faster rider overtook me, I latched on and so did my little train. We went forward, tagging on to the next train in front of us, then the next and the next. Pretty soon, we had a decent sized pack. From then on, It was an easy ride back to transition.
Off the bike in 1:09.
A quick transition and it was off on the run.
My legs felt a little jelly like and I had trouble finding a rhythm. The athletes in the train I was with were starting to drop me one by one. And the side stitches came. I thought this was going to be a tough run. Fortunately, the weather was overcast, so that helped things quite a lot.
3km in, I started to find my rhythm. Stomach cramps were still there but not to severe. I started passing people again. Coming back I saw people who would normally be ahead of me on their way out. That gave me the motivation to push that little bit more.
Crossed the line and my watch said 2 hours and 40 minutes. The run had been done in 52 minutes. A personal best! I was shocked! Elated! Happy!
I had found my mojo.
Photos courtesy of Aileen/Stupe, Yit Thing/Zabrina and Keni K.