16 September 2008

Projectile Potomac...

Sunday was the third annual Nations Triathlon (first year being a duathlon that I did not participate in; however, I raced last year). The Nations Triathlon was my first olympic distance race, and I did so on essentially zero training. I had completed two other sprint distances earlier in the year, but complications from improper healing with my broken leg (snapped the bone, damaged my Achilles, and tore all ligaments on the outside of my foot). Work picked up, and I didn't have any time to train through August/September. I hadn't joined Team Z yet, and at that point in my life, I was planning on returning to Ohio in a few months anyways, so I was out doing as much as I could in the city outside of work as possible instead of training. I posted a time around 4:18 or something of the sort. Flipped out on the swim and had to swim parts on my back, couldn't battle the headwinds coming back around Hains Point, and was just overall exhausted by the time the run came around.

This year, I had a few goals in mind for the race. The morning started very warm, and I knew I was in for a rough day. I took down most of a bottle of Gatorade AM, suggested by a friend of mine. I stood in the swim pen forever, until my race started at 8:20 or so. Hopped into the water quickly, swam around for a few minutes to get accustomed to the water, and lined up right at the front of the pack. Started my watch at the 30 second countdown (otherwise I forget..), and then we were off. I was easily leading the pack at first, dealing with a bit of contact. The girl next to me couldn't swim well, and was flailing into me. I gave her a kind push to get her out of my water... first time I've ever intentionally moved someone in a race. It felt slightly empowering. Water was wide open, and I continued my trek towards the Memorial Bridge. About halfway, there was a good deal of wake in the water from boats going to pick people up. I turned to breath on my left side (bilateral breathing..), and got slammed in the face with a wave. I swallowed a good deal of water, but continued on, rocking back and forth in the continual wake.
And then it happened.

I felt sick... Oh my gosh... I don't GET sea sick, EVER... whats going on??? I make it to the turnaround buoy, and promptly get rid of all the gatorade and potomac water I had drank. I'm not sure how many people have thrown up while in the water, but it is not a pleasant experience. Matter of fact, it made swimming in the already murky river a little less nice for me. 2 or 3 minutes go by, and I decide I'm okay to move on. Surprisingly, no kayak came up to me to see if I was alright, as I was spewing orangish red liquid all over. The rest of the swim remained uneventful. Passed back under the bridge, and had a hard time sighting the final buoy; however I made it back without too much issues. My swim was far slower than it should have been, coming in around 34 minutes or so. It should have been down around the 25ish minute range. No problem up the ladders, and out to transition. I fumbled through my bag for a minute to find some anti-nausea chewables I had still in my bag from a while ago. I ate one of those on my way out to the bike. Hop on, no issues, and I was feeling okay.

And then I tried to eat a cliff block and some gatorade.

I think I permanently scarred the woman from the wave infront of me, as I began to hurl Gatorade right back up while riding shortly after passing her. I didn't have the reaction time to stop and unclip, so I just kept trying to pedal to keep speed. This continued for a majority of the ride, and I realized that there was no way I was keeping calories down. Excellent. Finished the bike, and headed out on the run. Ran a 7:50 for the first mile, and my legs felt great coming off the bike. Unfortunately, my head decided this wasn't a good idea, and I became extremely light headed and felt like I was going to throw up again. I was reduced down to a pathetic 45 second jog, two minute walk. I was pouring cold water over my head to cool down, and tried to eat some ice. Came back up. At this point, I completely gave up on putting anything else in me, I just wanted to finish. By about mile 3.5, I had stopped sweating, and I was completely covered in goosebumps. A medic on wheels came by me and asked if I was okay. I explained to him the situation, told him I had raced a lot and I know my body pretty well, and that I was sure I would be okay to finish. He didn't really like my answer as I continued to shake like it was 15 degrees out instead of 95, but I wasn't being pulled off course.

My parents came into town, and I saw them around mile 5, and my mom knew something was wrong since I was walking. They walked along the sidewalk and I explained everything that happened, and told them I just wanted to be done. My dad jogged (I don't think I've ever seen my dad jog in my life...) along with me for about a half mile, and I was tearing up a little under my visor with that support. I hurt bad and from lack of any calories, salt, fluids, etc, but I kept pushing because my dad was out there jogging with me. Amazing what a simple act can do. :) I finished at a miserably embarrassing 4 hour time. Somehow, inbetween all the puking... I still managed to finish above 10-12 other people. And slightly ahead of my time last year.

My oly's this year have generally been around the 3:10 mark, so this was a complete failure in my book. Lessons learned. Third times a charm, right? My goal for next year will be top 10 in my age group. I'm sure post Ironman, it shouldn't be much of an issue. My bike time is what kills me on the oly's... so that will be this winter's focus. I think a proper fit on a new bike will also assist in my goals.

I'm taking this week off from the bike and run while my blisters heal up. I'll most likely be swimming only this week in preparation for Savageman, where I'll be relaying the swim portion for the half. I'm looking forward to a pure swim segment, as I always feel I need to hold back so much on the swim to get through the bike. I have a running VO2 Max test scheduled for Thursday, which will help with the winter marathon training as well. Anyone up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon?

All for now.


Sarah said...

I'm sorry that you had such a rough race! Hopefully you'll be able to just make a solid learning experience out of it. And hey, next year, nowhere to go but up!

Rainmaker said...

Sorry you had a rough day. :(

But, I try to look on the positive side, starting with this:

"I was spewing orangish red liquid all over"

Really - that is SOOOOO much cooler than my puke. Mine was just beige color. I LOVE the idea of orangish red. I want to trade. :)