I'll go ahead and get it out there...I DNF'ed. First time ever and I can report that it sucked! As I sat on the side of the road waiting for the SAG truck, I actually cried. Yep, I cried. Don't really know why, just the emotion of it all hit me. I despise quiting. I walked 20 miles of the marathon of this very race 2 years ago, because of GI issues. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I quit something. But my body decided that Sunday was going to be a first. The night before, I had a few stomach issues, but didn't think much of it and kind of chalked it up to nerves. Looking back, this was probably the first sign of the issues to come.
The swim went ok. I planned on taking it easy and was shooting for a 1:20 swim. I came out of the water with a bruise on my ear from getting punched right around 1:24. Pretty much on schedule. I then had a plan of taking the first 20 miles of the bike easy until I got my legs going. As soon as I got out of the water, I noticed my stomach was already feeling somewhat queasy, but the first 20 of the bike went pretty well. I averaged around 18.5 mph up until the turnaround. This is where it all started to unravel. In Louisville, there is a long downhill at the turnaround where you can hit speed of over 40 mph. Right before this turnaround, is a water hand-off. I had started drinking water only for the first 20 miles, hoping to settle my stomach. I ditched my water bottle and grabbed a hand-off as I started the downhill. After placing the water bottle in the cage between my handle bars, I reached for my nutrition in an effort to start that aspect of the race. As soon as I had my nutrition in hand, I hit a bump and lost not only the water that I had just picked up, but also ended up dropping my nutrition that I was holding. So, now I am without food and water. Not what I had planned!
After making it down the hill, I quickly went into plan B mode. I still had my First Endurance EFS, but it was not sitting well on my increasingly angry stomach. It was as if, I was not digesting anything at all and it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I made it to the next bike aid station and grabbed a water and banana. I was determined to try to get as much nutrition down as my stomach would allow. I continued this plan up until special needs at around mile 70. By this time though, I was feeling very nauseous. At special needs, I took some pepto that I had placed in my bag. Unfortunately, this only stayed down for about 2 minutes. I tried to go to the port-a-john, but nothing was coming out. It had now been about 4 hours since I had peed and I should of had to go by now. My trip in the port-a-john quickly turned from a restroom break into a full on vomit fest (sorry for the gory details). I quit counting at 11, with the last few being dry heaves that resulted in the worst stomach cramps ever. I now had absolutely nothing left in my stomach and still had 42 miles to go. Not good.
I spent about 10 minutes in special needs trying to get some water down and a bit of food in me, but as soon as I got back on my bike, it all came back up again. This is where the cramps in my legs also started. I made it about 5 miles and had to pull over again. At this point, I was an absolute mental wreck. I said I would try to back it way off and see how that went, but every little rise in the road, felt like Alpe de Huez. My legs had nothing in them. I stopped a second time, and had my quads and hip muscles seize up. As I sat on the side of the road, I had my come-to-Jesus moment and decided that today just wasn't meant to be. I was in terrible shape and just getting back the 32 miles I had left was going to be a monumental task, not to mention that little marathon I would still have to tackle. About that time, a bike tech official road by and asked if I needed help. I rehashed the fact that I couldn't keep anything down and was cramping severely. From this info, he radioed the bike SAG and from there I was loaded up and taken back into transition (by the way, the phrase...can you hand me your chip is the worst question ever).
At transition I went to the med tent, where they packed some ice on me and had me lay down. They took my blood pressure (they didn't give me that info though) and asked how I felt. At this juncture, I was still nauseous and cramping a lot. After about 30 minutes in the med tent, I was transferred to the convention center, where the IV ward was located. Once I got there, they hooked me up to a magic IV that also had some nausea medicine in it and took my blood pressure again. At this point, almost 2 hours after I called it quits, my blood pressure was 102/56 which is pretty low for me. The IV started helping pretty quickly. I was up and at em' by 4 and back in the hotel by about 30 minutes later.
I relaxed for a bit, grabbed some dinner with my wife and oldest daughter and then put my big boy panties on and went back down to the finish line to cheer on some folks and to watch my brother finish his first Ironman (way to go Bubs!). All in all, it was not how I had planned, but I realized that plans to always go the way you hope. Yes I DNF'ed. No, I still don't like it. But I will be back to race the 140.6 distance again.
Congrats to my Trakkers teammies Jill and Andree who toughed it out and got their finisher's medal at Louisville and to Trakkers pro's Big Sexy McDonald, who just happened to win the whole she-bang, and Hillary Biscay who crossed the finish line to record her 50th 140.6 distance race.
Good luck to those that have races coming up, I am taking a short break to eat some Doritos and some other junk, before I start getting ready for 2012, the revenge season:) Keep smiling and keep working hard.
Bringing it Back
5 months ago