After training and racing triathlons for over 7 years, this was the hardest race by far. I took the last couple days to process and try to figure out what went wrong. It was a challenging course (Swim in 83 degree water, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles on rolling terrain in 100 degrees with little to no shade). I made sure to consume extra fluids and electrolytes the 2 days leading into the race.
I had a solid swim that put me in a good position. I felt good thru the almost half mile transition and the first 23 miles of the bike to the turn around. I snugged my watch before the swim and noticed it getting looser as the bike ride progressed. Then things seemed to go from bad to worse. My neck started to hurt, left tricep cramped on and off, and my power numbers dropped considerably. This all occurred during the easier part of the ride as we had a tailwind back to town. I felt very hot and got off my bike for a few minutes to try and cool down. I actually thought about going back to the hotel as I came up on the turn. I was not in a good place. I struggled to produce power. I finally got into transition to pass off my bike. My legs would not run, so I walked through transition. I heard an athlete yelling at the volunteers to find his bag. I yelled, "Look down at your feet!" The guy finally looks down and sees his bag. I walked into the tent and sat for several minutes. I decided to get on the course. I saw Karen and she gave me a few words of encouragement. I tried to run. My legs and heart wouldn't comply. I walked almost all of the race. I made it to the finish line almost 7 hours after the gun sounded. It was my slowest half-ironman ever. I guess I looked awful. Lindsey and Karen told me to head over to the medical tent. My blood pressure was a little low, eyes were sunken, I could hear my voice echo in my head when talking, and no urge to use a bathroom. I consumed 100+ ounces on the bike, another 100+ ounces on the run, and another 100+ ounces after the race. It took me 15 hours to pee.
A big thank you to all of the volunteers who stood out in the heat!
View from room at the Westin
Night before the swim
Run out of T1
Relaxing in my XTERRA SPEEDSUIT
Pre-swim in my OOMPH RACESUIT
Post race, 15lbs lighter, half dazed and confused.