So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Duathlon FAIL

So, that duathlon did not go so well at all.
In fact, I did not finish.
They call such a situation, "DNF" for "did not finish".

You can DNF in a race for a number of reasons - in my case, it was medical.

Everything started off fine.
I felt pretty good at the start, had a nice warm up and I was definitely in the mood to race.

The gun went off and I flew.
I wore my Garmin but I did not look at it.  Maybe I should have, turns out, my first Mile was 5:46.  I cannot believe I made such a rookie 5K mistake by going out too fast.  On the other hard, I felt really good and it was the easiest 5:46 mile I ever ran.  Mile 2 was at normal pace, 5:58.
Mile 3 is where stuff went wrong.
The mile was uphill and it was hard.  And it didn't feel good.

"Just get to the transition area," I told myself.  A few woman passed me: I went from being in 3rd place to being in 5th place.  My transition was long because I had to regain composure.
"You have the entire bike ride to recover," I told myself.

The problem was I did not recover on the bike.

It was very warm when the race started at 8:45am.  The sun was blazing.
I was thirsty and I drank my entire water bottle within the first few miles of the bike ride.  The course was hillier than I expected and I was just SO THIRSTY.  A few times, I tried to drink water from my water bottle even though I knew it was empty.  I kept thinking, "Maybe there is one last drop!"
I wanted water so badly....a drop sounded heavenly!

There was not a single water station on the bike course.  I began fascinating about water.  I couldn't stop thinking about.

I was passed 5-6 times (or maybe even more, I didn't count) on the bike...everyone had really fancy tri bikes.  I was expecting good cyclists to pass me.
I was also expecting to put up more of a fight, but I was just too thirsty and miserable.

I managed to average 20.1 mph (according to my bike computer) and I was actually OK with that.

Since I was still in the front of the pack at the end of the bike, the transition was empty.  Without the bikes, and coming in from the opposite direction, I felt discombobulated and could not find where to rack my bike.
I ran up and down each isle, feeling lost and confused.
I bet I had the longest 2nd transition.
But hey, at least I put on my shoes on fast!!  They slid right on.

I gulped the water I had stashed on transition but it did nothing for me.  Once you become dehydrated, it's too late to fix it.
I run out and easily pass 2 people.

My legs felt heavy - but that is expected.  That is OK.
However, I could no longer hear out of my right ear.  It was as if it was clogged with water - or, like when you are descending in an air plane.
I stopped and shook my head furiously.
I tilted my head and banged my ear - in the pool, that tends to work.
I opened my jaws wide, as if I was yawning - in the plane, that tends to work.

But my ear remained clogged so I kept running.
Eventually, things started to spin and I started to cry.

I didn't know what to do but someone made the decision for me by calling attention to the cops, who notified the paramedics.  Once the paramedics are notified, you cannot continue the race until you are checked out.

They gave me a lot of water, took my vitals and offered to take me to the hospital for an IV.  I declined, and signed a paper saying that I was responsible for myself - even my own death.
I knew I was not going to die.

Anyway, so that was that - it was an embarrassing and humbling experience to not finish a race.

I do ask myself - if I did things differently, would I have been OK?

For example, I drank plenty of water the night before but NO water in the morning.  What if I stocked my body with water and electrolytes?
What if I had a 2nd water bottle on my bike?
What if I wore a hat?
What if I did not have that glass of wine the night before?
What if I did not start that 5K so fast?
David snapped this photo of me on the live steaming:

Maybe I should have started in the second row and let the others pace me?
I knew that a lot of the girls were better cyclists, so I wanted to take advantage of the run.
I had a 5:49 mile in my last 5K - not that much faster - and I ran 7 additional miles after that race (in the same heat) and felt great.

So perhaps I was just destined for a bad day - which was exasperated by the lack of water and fast start.

I am okay with not finishing the race.
I am not proud - but I'm chalking it up to a learning experience.

I am upset, however, that I lost my camera.
I think I left it at the transition area.  I am not shocked - I was so out of it that I would have left my head if it was not attached to me.  But it was a new camera, and had pictures on it that I was excited to share with you guys.

I am still recovering - I have yet to muster up the energy to get dressed, even though it was now Sunday evening.  I am really really really hoping that despite a cough and scratchy throat, I am not sick.

Hayden is not feeling well either....
you may not notice it when glancing at this picture:

But if you take a closer look, you can see that he has snot dripping into his mouth:

It is awesome how someone can be so happy even when his nose is force-feeding him mucous.

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