This is part of a series of posts in my special coverage of Challenge Roth. Check out Thoughts and Thanks Before Challenge Roth, Challenge Roth (1 of 3), and Challenge Roth (2 of 3).
What counts in sports is not the victory, but the magnificence of the struggle. — Joe Paterno, Penn State football coach
I hobbled out of the stadium into the athletes’ tent to retrieve my after-race bag, and changed immediately into a dry Mizuno sports top, my Endure shirt, and Zensah compression tights. I had another pair of Wave Sayonara shoes to change into, but my feet were so waterlogged I needed to dry them out in flipflops. The pain I’d experienced throughout the race had been a dull one in the background, drowned out by the flow of adrenaline through my veins. But now I could feel every little bit of soreness not just from my gaping wounds, but also from my beaten-up muscles. I could barely lift my arms to slip into my top, and nearly fell over trying to get into the compression tights. I also knew I needed to eat something, but just a small bowl of the vegetable quinoa porridge they were serving and I was done.
After my wonderful welcome to the finish line and seeing familiar and friendly faces, the stark reality in the athletes’ tent was I was by myself, couldn’t find anyone I knew to sit and have a chat about the race with, and couldn’t move around to look for anyone. It was then I missed the close-knit Philippine triathlon community. I also didn’t have a data connection so I couldn’t get any word out about how I was, even though I knew my friends and family had been following the race over the live results site.
I hate to admit it but I felt alone and empty. Is this all there is? I wondered. Fourteen hours of pain for one magical moment at the finish line? It just didn’t seem worth it.
Continue reading “Challenge Roth (3 of 3)”