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Florida Challenge Triathlon - Triathlon

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Clermont, Florida
United States
Sommer Sports
95F / 35C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/48
Pre-race routine:

Drove down all night Thursday night because I was a idiot and thought the race was on Sunday (like every other tri in america). Got to Wendi's and Mike's house at 5am and slept in car till they woke up, went inside slept in house till 1030. Mike and I drove to race site, rode bike around lake for a training day, all ready it was going to be a hot one. Met cool BTers at Outback. Went back to condo and was asleep by 10 and slept good. Woke up had a bagle (that would haunt me later) and we went to race site.
Event warmup:

Got Transition area figured out and all ready. Put on wetsuit and went to potty. Swam 100 yards in lake to see how water was and actually was feeling god about the race.
  • 49m 46s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 22s / 100 yards

Swim went well, I felt really on the first half. My goal time was 45 min or less. Made first turn and felt really good, felt I was rotating well, reaching and pulling in the water great. Breathing was good and navigation was great. I focused on my swim stroke and high elbows and counted buoys as I went by. When I made last turn, things started to go a little down hill. I started to get tired and my stroke started to faulter. Plus we were coming back into the sun on the shore and I would have to stop and hold my hand up to block the sun to see the buoys and that really slowed my time down A BUNCH. I was swimming a little to the right so I would have to stop to check my navigation every 4 strokes and that really slowed me down... Got to shore and was very fatigued, just walked out of the water and up to T1.
What would you do differently?:

not sure why I was so tired the last 500m, but my arms were not here. I could have had better navigation coming in to shore or just have swam straighter. Blocking the sun really slowed me down.
Transition 1
  • 05m 26s

I was so tired after the swim and a little dizzy I had to sit down for a minute after they stripped my wet suit off of me.
Then I got up and walked to my bike where Wendi was "whoop whoop" for me. I put on helmet and glasses and took off.
What would you do differently?:

not sit down but I was dizzy so not sure what the deal was, not walk to my bike.
  • 3h 30m 52s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.93 mile/hr

Well after what I thought was a hard swim and a dizzy T1, I was ready to get on the bike. I was 4 minutes down on my goal time for the swim and new I could make it up here. I love the bike and I was looking forward to making up some time here.
The first part of the ride was pretty flat with some short steep climbs. I stayed in the big chain ring and would stand and peddle up some of the hills, also to stretch out legs. I was passing a ton of people that swim way faster than I do .... I caught gator Mike about mile 6 and tried to get close enough to smack him on the butt but yelled for him to pick it up instead. I had my watch set to remind me to eat and drink on 15 min and would drink some inbetween. Ride was going really well, felt great and I felt like I was flying. My goal time was 3 hours and at the hour and hald mark I had 29.5 miles in and I knew I was in good shape. But this is where things started to go down hill.
Up until this time all of the water stations had warm water. So everytime I took a drink I could feel it just sitting in my belly. I kept burping up that damn bagel from the morning and when ever I took a gel I had to really choke it down because it was nasty; I knew I was going to have some issues. At somewhere around mile 32 the next water station didnt have anything at all and I knew that was not going to be a good sign with the hills coming up. I had at this time totally abandoned taking in gels because of the taste and was taking perpetium and water/gatoraide. I also ad my cheer pack in my back packet, along with a probar but I did not feel like eating. I was still going pretty hard on the bike.
When I got to the first hill, I really attacked it. got up stretch out back and legs and pumped well, passed a bunch of people walking, pedded hard going down the other side and hit 40 mph which carried me half way up the other. I repeated this two more times. The last hill to go was sugarloaf which is about 2 miles from the last hill. Still feeling good, I looked down at one point and noticed a ton of sweat dripping from my helmet and I thought to myself, that could not be a good sign. I continued to drink as schedule and my belly was starting to feel a little better but I was starting to get a little tired.
When I made it up to sugarloaf, I switched to the lowest gear. This is a huge hill, like some huge hills back home. I knew I could climb it but was unsure if I could after doing 39 miles and already climbing 4 other hills. well half way up I noticed my quad starting to shake a little so I got off and walked. That kind of bothered me but there was a lot of other people walking also so I didnt feel as bad.There was a lot of support with people standing around and cheering you up the mountain. At mile 40 was a aid station and they actually had cold water. I filled up my aero bottle and grabbed an extra one and stuck it in my pocket after squeezing some on my head and back. I could really feel the heat now as it was getting close to 11 or so. I went back into attack mode and started riding hard again. I came to the last aide station and they had no water and hot gatoraide so I grabbed a gatoraide on the fly and opened it to start squeezing it in my aero bottle but nothing came out. Then it came to me and I stopped and had to take the safty seal off the inside of the bottle... how dumb I thought. Got to mile 50 and took my cheer pack, I was feeling good but was starting to get tired and I thought why am I so tired but I thought well I did just ride 50 miles pretty hard. There was one little hill to climb to get you onto old hwy50 and back into town to the finish. It is a little silly hill, so I kept it in the big chain ring, and stood up to pedal, well this is were it went down hill. My right quad siezed up and started cramping bad... I had to stop my bke and fall off and I rolled around the road moaning in pain and trying to get the spasm to stop. A few people passed me and ask me if i need help and I said no. after what seemed like forever I finally got the pain to stop and I got back on my bike. I rode the last 4 mile a lot slower, 14 mph I think and we had to go up on last challenging hill by the middle school, then it was on into the bike finish. I remember thinking to myself, god I am glad I dont have to do 2 loops of this damn thing (what they do for the full). Was glad to get off the bike, I knew I was tired but I told myself I could always walk a little bit of the run until I felt better.
What would you do differently?:

I have really thought about this, I had never done a HIM so I really didnt know what to expect. Maybe my goal time of under 6 hours was a little steep and of course factor in the 95 degrees. I know I should have drank more, I drank what I trained for (70 degree TN weather). I just didnt know enough about the sport to know to alter my drinking to take n much more. Other than that, it was a good ride, I am happy with it. It is a very tough bike course. So what would I change? more MORE drinking, not as hard as on the bike, the wisdom to know if it is 95 degrees to back off a little.
Transition 2
  • 04m 5s

T2 was good, I felt good coming off bike, ran with it. Racked it good and got on shoes. I did feel a little dizzy when I stood up after putting on shoes. I walked out the shute to start the run and told myself to walk the first mile and then we would go from there. I hit the first aid station outside the shute and grabbed everything. Talked to Windi and Sue for a minute. Mike came up and said he DNF'd on bike. They took him to med tent and I took off.
  • 00m
  • 13.1 miles
  •  min/mile

Well this is well things go down hill... I was toast and just did not have energy at all. I started off walking and every once in a while would try to run or shuffle and I would manage maybe 30 seconds of that. Then I would be back to walking. I looked at my time and I knew I still had forever to go, so I was resolved to walking it all if i had to. It was at this time blistering hot outside, you could feel the hit weighing you down. At the first aid station they were filling up the jugs with someones water house and I knew that was not a good sign. I took some water and drank some gatoraide, I didnt feel like eating at all. I walked with some of the water and drank it as I went. I noticed my bottom right muscle outside of my shin was killing me and it made me almost have to hobble. At mile 2 the mental games really started. I was very tired and my legs were really starting to ache, it was damn hot and you would pass people along the way that the medics had to get and it was demoralizing. My mind wanted me to quit but I kept saying no, I can walk this thing. I tried to run some more and I think I made it 2 minutes this time. I hot the next aid station, more water, more gatoraide, and I took a bananna this time because it looked good. I stopped a minute to try and stretch my legs and my calves were shaking on their own, it looked very odd like I had some alien going back and forth thru my calf muscles where they were twitching on their own. I began to walk again..
I really began to wonder why I was doing all of this. Why am I punishing myself like this??? It is stupid, I knew normal people do not do this. I thought about all of the people I know that think I am crazy for doing this sport and I was beggining to see their point. I mean no normal person would be out here at 1230 in the heat of the day and be walking to finish 13 miles. Hell no one I know would even say they would walk 13 miles let alone in the heat after swimming and biking 57.5 miles already. Maybe I was or am a little crazy. I started to think about the mental struggles I was going to have next year when I do IMWI and I thought man if I had to do the full today I knew there was no way I could have finished it. Again my mind said quit, wendi and Mike are waiting on you, it is hot, they are tired. It would be better to just quit and let's all go back to the room, shower then go get something to eat. I continued to fight and would try to run, everytime I had thoughts of quitting I would puish myself by making myself run, even if it was only for 30 seconds. around mile 4 I passed this woman who said "bet you thought you would not be walking right now did you" and I said fuck you under my breath... I thought what a thing to say and besides you are walking too... around mile 5 I passed Sue and she was walking, told me she had a bike wreck, and was very tired. We both agreed that we may be walking the whole thing. It was around this time that the pro's for the Full began coming by, I would root for them and call out their numbers (go number 2 was one of the women). they looked very tired not very fresh at all and it was just the start of their run. mile 6 and still walking, I would go thru the aid stations walking and not stopping because I was afraid that my legs would not make it from there. I actually ate 3 cheese goldfish and they tasted like crap... lol My mind didnt want t quit as much anymore and I thought I can actually make this... I also thought strangly enough about Jim (run4urlif) RR from when he did a half last year, he said he thought a lot about his mother during the run and how it pushed him thru. My mother is deceased also and it made me think of her, how proud of my son she would be. I wondered if she would think I was as crazy for doing this sport as everyone else does. It is funny how you think of different persons RR for inspiration during moments like this. I thought of Dan Marvenetts IMWI one, Karl Motivated IMFL, and some lady's RR from earlier this year where she did IMAZ I think and she talked about how big she was and how amazing it was she made it to the start and as she stood in the water, she felt like she already had won. About then someone started talking to me and it was the woman that said that comment to me about walking; she had caught me. Well we walked together and talked. She was from Melborne FL and this was her second HIM, she was married and had 3 older kids in college. We walked past mile 7 and I said wow just 6 more mile to go... now we were on the loop around the lake... we talked somemore and after a while I noticed I could not hear her anyore. I asked her to speak up and said I can not hear you. She looked at me and told me I was stumbling everwhere and did I feel ok. I told her no maybe not and said maybe I need t sit down for a minute. I just kind of crashed on the grass. well immediatly my legs started cramping again and I begain screaming. She stopped some EMS person that was going by and the girl asked me if I was ok. I said I couldnt hear her and no I was not going good. She asked me if I wasnted to go in and I thought about it... I thought I only have 6 miles and I get that medal. then I thought, what the hell am I putting myself thru this for a damn medal for... I knew my not being able to hear was not a good sign, so I said yes. I got up got in the golf cart thingy and road back to the medical tent. This is where is goes down hill bad...
Get to the medical tent and go in and sit there, no one comes over for like 10 minutes. Finally some woman comes over to me and says what do I want. I told her I need some fluids bad, she says well you need to go down there to the athletes tent and I looked at her and said no, a EMS person brought me in here. She said who and I said hell I dont know I really wasnt on a first name basis with the person. She told me to calm down and about that time someone else came over and asked if I wanted a cold towl on me and I said yes. I sat there and sat there... I think 20 minutes went by and no one helped me so I said screw it and got up and walked out (BIG MISTAKE). I knew I could not find Mike and Wendi and would have to call them, my cell phone was in my bag at transition. so I took off my shoes and walked the 1/2 back to transition, it was still so damn hot. It was like 230 now and not a cloud in the sky. I got to T1 and called Wendi and told her what happened to to come get me with the truck. I was ready to go home... I started trying to pack my stuff up but my legs would spasm on my and I would have to stop and deal with that, those are so painful. It was so damn hot... Mike got there and said he would go get me some cold water and I tried to pack the rest up. When I sat down my legs siezed up and when I stood I felt dizzy. We collected our stuff and walked out to where Wendi had the truck. We started putting the stuff in the truck and Mike told me to get in the truck and sit down. I got in the back and tried to sit down and got this painful leg cramp and I tried to get out of the truck, Wendi came running over and I just remember yelling and screaming how painful it was. Mike said to go sit on the bed of the truck and I hobbled around and when I reached the back I went fuzzy. I woke up with my head in Wendi's lap and she told me they called the EMS becaause I passed out. My legs cramped and I had to keep my legs contorted and stiff because I couldnt relax. Someone nice brought us a cold towel and I laid there. EMS came put me on the board thing and took me back to the med tent. Doctor came to see me this time. talked to me and they helped me up to weight me, asked me what I weight yesterday and I told them on Thursday I weight 187, my legs spasm again. They put me on the scale and it read 169 and one doctor yelled out "we have a new leader"... They checked my blood pressure and it was 116/60 but my HR was 158. They stuck me and put a IV in and I think it was empty in 10 minutes. The doc came back over and said well it looks like you need another one. they switched bags, half way thru I started feeling a lot better and could drink some water. when the bag was done, my HR was back down to 63 and I felt a world of difference. They let me set there a little longer then I got up and walked out to Wendi and Mike. Got in the truck, my legs felt so sore.... I knew they would hurt for a while
What would you do differently?:

Not really sure... my first melt down, I just know I dont want to experience that again. I was ashamed at first for quitting, I felt like a loser but after going back to the med tent and all that transpired, I really wonder what would have happed if I would have not had stopped. there was a guy next to me in the med tent, he passed out at mile 12 and had a gash on his head from hitting the pavement... could have been me I am sure.
Post race
Warm down:

go back and get shower, went and got smething to eat. I was so starving.
I think I finally pee'd at 1030 that night.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

fluids, water, fluids, the heat. My poor decision making skills.

Last updated: 2006-10-23 12:00 AM
00:49:46 | 2112 yards | 02m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 42/48
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: Helix Blue70
Course: Reverse Triangle,
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:26
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
03:30:52 | 56 miles | 15.93 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/48
Overall: 0/
Wind: Little
Course: Course was all on nice paved roads, out and back 1 loop. There were 5 big hills back to back with the last one being the infamous Sugarloaf. There were some good technical turns, some right after the down hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:05
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:00:00 | 13.1 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/48
Overall: 0/
pretty much I avg 20' miles, since I walked pretty much the whole thing
Course: a 6 mile out and back on a side bike pedestrian walkway. With a really good hill in it. Then one loop around the lake.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2006-10-30 10:55 AM

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Subject: Florida Challenge Triathlon

2006-10-30 11:48 AM
in reply to: #582907

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Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon

Wow, Chris. What a nightmare race. it sounds like you did everything humanly possible to try to struggle through, but it seems like it just wasn't in the cards. A lot of people would no doubt have bagged it a lot sooner than you did. This experience will make you stronger for IMMoo. shitty is it that you got to the med tent and got no treatment?

2006-10-30 11:59 AM
in reply to: #582907

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Sherman Oaks, CA
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon
Wasn't meant to be for that one day.

Being served warm water on a hot day! Brutal. I am surprised they were not more prepared for the heat at the aid stations.

Go get them next time.

2006-10-30 12:06 PM
in reply to: #582907

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molto veloce mama
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon
sorry the race didn't go as you'd hoped. hope you are recovering. it you been able to push ahead, you would have been in even worse shape. hope you didn't suffer any permanent damage
2006-10-30 12:39 PM
in reply to: #582907

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon
It was brutal weather for racing and I think the main thing is to come back and fight another day. . Your description of leg cramps hitting just as you got out of the saddle on a hill sounded just like what happened to me! Yeah, I'm with you: A good day to try and forget. . Way to stick it out as long as you did.

2006-10-30 12:49 PM
in reply to: #582907

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon
First of all you made a really good choice.  You could have died.  You don't have 18 pounds to lose sweetie    Better to come back and fight another day.  BTW I wrote a letter to the race director reaming out the shitty medical tent.

2006-10-30 7:38 PM
in reply to: #582907

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Estero, FL
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon
Hey Chris,

It was great to meet you at outback!!! Sorry to hear about your run. You were not alone that day. There were people going down all aver the place from the heat and apparently inadequate hydration. It was a tough day (even for my little sprint). I wound up cramping and walking my run as well! It did not kill you and you are now stronger.

I hope to see you again next season.
2006-10-31 8:20 AM
in reply to: #582907

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Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon

It sounds to me like something was wrong from the very beginning in terms of you physically.  I am pretty impressed with how far you made it given the description.  It is a good lesson to learn from because you are in really good shape and you have put a lot into your training. 

It also sounds like the race was not adequately prepared, which is a surprise as it is such a huge race.  The medical tent thing is absolutely inexcusable in my opinion...

 Anyway, it will make your IM that much better when you cross the line.

2006-10-31 9:15 AM
in reply to: #582907

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Queen BTich
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon

Yeah, things went downhill WAY before the run Chris. Don't beat yourself up, its one race and your body wasn't there that day.

Hopefully you learned a great deal. I think when anyone ramps up a distance for any type of race the only goal should be "finish comfortably" not "go hard on the bike to make up for the 4 minutes lost on the swim." Altering your plan to fit your condition for the day is extrememly important and I'm sorry you had to learn that the REALLY hard way.

Its a tough course and the heat is a huge factor in this race. LIVE and learn. Thankfully you stopped when you did.

Get back at it and you'll kick a** at your next one!

2006-10-31 12:32 PM
in reply to: #582907

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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon

I really don't see your problem.  The doctor said you WON the weight loss contest!  Man...some people are just not satisfied. 

It says a lot that you mentally stayed in it until your body gave out.   IM MOO will be your revenge.

2006-10-31 7:47 PM
in reply to: #582907

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Florida Challenge Triathlon
I checked your log and it looks like you're back at the training and ready to get 'er done.    That's the way to go..I am guessing that nearly everyone who did that race wanted a better outcome.  We'll all come back stronger next time!

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