My first Triathlon
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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman
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World Triathlon Corporation
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01m 40s / 100 meters
A DNF STORY
Going in to this race I was remarkably calm. I was actually worried that maybe I was not taking it seriously enough. I actually got to bed at a decent hour and slept well. The weather, which had been over 100, was going to be about 90. Hot but an improvement. Everything seemed to be starting well for me. I was looking forward to racing on Sunday. Considering the nutritional meltdown I had in 05 in Lake Placid, I was in a good state of mind.
I got in transition area about 5:10am, checked my bike and dropped my SN and dry clothes bags off and walked the ¾ mile to the swim start. I thought I’d be plenty early, WRONG! There was a huge line. There was no seeding for that swim start. The plan was 1 swimmer jumping off the dock every second. I finally jumped in at about 7:30. The swim was decent. I ran in to the back of a lot of people as I tried to pass them, that held me up. Once I made the turn down stream, the current really boosted me. I was out of the water in 1:04. Not bad! I felt good. My transition was pretty fast and I was off on the bike.
From the start, I felt like I was working a bit too had for the speed I was going, I just thought to myself that I needed to warm my legs up. I continued on meeting my nutrition plan as I rode. On the up hills, when I slowed, I hear something rubbing, it sounded like it was my front wheel so I opened my breaks. It kept up so I got off to look at my wheels. My rear wheel was rubbing the frame!! I was fighting that for 45 miles. I adjusted it and took off again.
I noticed I was feeling full. I was eating and drinking according to schedule but I was very full and it was difficult to consume everything I should because I was so full. At mile 62 cramping in the inner part of my upper legs hit me. I tried to consume the salt off the pretzels and drink the chicken noodle soup in my SN bag to hopefully help the cramping. By this time I was well aware that I had not urinated all day and my stomach was absolutely FULL to overflowing! I know not much, if anything I was consuming was making it in to my system, The nutrition plan that had served me so well in training was
(for some reason
) suddenly not doing it for me. The cramping came in waves As I rode on. If that was not bad enough, on a steep climb, I came out of the saddle to crank hard and my rear wheel shifted sideways and locked against the side of my frame…I went into the ditch and over the handlebars. I guess I didn’t tighten the skewer enough when I fixed it the first time.
I dusted myself off and rode on.
By mile 90, I was still full, crampy and feeling so dizzy I thought I might wreck. I was glad I was on the flat and straight part of the course. I still had not peed…It was hot, I was very sweaty and really starting to worry about myself. IT WAS HAPPENING AGAIN, LIKE IN LAKE PLACID!!!! I struggled on and finally entered T2, I dismounted and walked my bike….I saw Jenee and my friends cheering me on….I shook my head at them and told them I was going to the Med tent to get checked out. Changed in to my running stuff end entered the tent. They sat me down and cooled me off. Jenee came in to talk to me, it was good to see her. Over the next 90 minutes I consumed 1 Gatorade and felt a little better. I was still full and I knew that if my GI track shut down on that bike, odds were it was going to stay that way for the run. I walked around out in the heat, I talked to my Family and friends, they were all worried. I went back into the tent and I told Jenee I would to the little 1 mile out and back section of the start of the run to see how I felt. I got back to where the course headed south for 7 miles and Jenee was there waiting on my. She walked next to me. As the course turned to head out she stayed on the sidewalk next to me, keeping me company. I tried running….I was still full, the food was not going any place. Jenee, who was in flip flops, ran when I ran, walked when I walk and kept me as positive as I could be….”You can still make it by midnight” I’m with you the whole way if you want me to be. There was sidewalk the entire way, It was nice to have her there. As I walked/ran….I tried to consume anything I could fit into my already full stomach…that was not much. Finally at about mile 10, I was still full and resigned to the fact that this condition was not going to change. I still had not peed all day and I was staggering around, I was getting worse and I knew it. I knew where this road went if I chose to follow it and finish, I would likely spend time in the hospital as I did in Lake Placid.
Finally, I sat in the shade under a tree…Jenee sat there with me, telling me what ever decision I made, she was supportive she never told me to quit, even though she know I should. The decision was all mine, it was the hardest thing be she knew it had to be She saw, for the first time, How it was out on the Ironman run course and she saw what it had done to me. I sat there and sobbed like a baby for a minute
(emotions can be uncontrollable at times like this
). I got to my feet, walked to the next aid station and told them I needed transportation for me and my wife back to the medical station, “I am out of the race”
Those were very hard words to say I rode the 6 miles back to the medical station in a golf cart. We picked up another guy who was quitting. I spent the rest of the ride watching people struggling through the run. I looked in their eyes as they continued on, knowing the determination they had to keep it going. I felt so demoralized at one point that I could not even look them in the eyes. It was as I was letting them down as well as myself. I wondered if I was less of a competitor because I was in that cart and they were continuing on. I wondered How I could handle seeing DNF next tom my name. That had never been an option to me before.
I checked myself in to the medical tent and they filled me up with a few bags of IV fluid. I lay there shivering, I tried to tell myself I made the right decision. I have a little baby daughter now….
(I later learned she took her first steps while I was racing
Today, the taste of quitting the race is still bitter. I have had friends and Family tell me how they think more of me because I made a smart decision. I listened to what my body was telling me and stopped the carnage before I did real damage. I did make the right decision to stop. I know that now.
Ironman never fails to teach you things about yourself and human nature in general. It also teaches others who witness athletes aiming to do such a thing. IN Lake Placid, I learned that I was able and willing to put myself through hell if necessary to finish the race. I proved to myself that pain was something to be pushed aside in order to reach your goal. Back then, I really didn’t know what was happening to me and I could have driven myself to death if that’s what it took. This time, I learned what to do if I find myself in a situation where no amount of trying changes reality. I learned to deal with the day I was given in the best way. I leaned that, sometimes, Effort does not matter. That’s a real hard one for me. Sometimes you just cut your losses and move on. I also leaned about my wife, even though this training got in the way of family things, she was totally in it with me as a team. I learned that she really knows me and supported me to attempt to finish that race at almost any cost, because it was important to me. And she knew me well enough to know I would make the right decision, even though she knows the pain of making that decision was worse than the pain of finishing the race. I may not have finished the Ironman Sunday, but I certainly realized I won.
Last updated: 2007-08-03 12:00 AM
01:04:00 | 3862 meters | 01m 40s / 100meters
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:24:00 | 112 miles | 17.50 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles | min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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