"My finish" standing at the sidelines looking for my friends to cheer on...."
You know, what happened in Arizona hasn't really bothered me too much until tonight, five days later and I can't sleep mulling it over, knowing that my friends race reports are up and not being able to read them. So what did happen????
I went to Arizona on Friday to get checked in, Craig was working and had a hike/campout planned with Brad and was flying in on Saturday evening. All was going well, I met up with Linda Friday night for the athlete dinner and was just chillin' at my hotel, all the HGTV I wanted! Saturday I started to not feel very well, I was nauseous and no food sounded good. That's not like me on a day when I usually would eat anything that sounded good in any amount that felt good. I finally decided I wanted In N Out, I hopped in the car and got to the exit--it was closed, the next exit I got caught up in the ASU post game traffic and couldn't get into anyplace. I really didn't care, food just wasn't sounding good anyway. I was slightly worried though because I knew I needed to eat. I picked up Craig at the airport and it was time to go to bed. I slept pretty well until midnight and then it was useless, I couldn't sleep anymore. I tossed and turned until it was time to get ready, still fighting nausea and chalking it up to nerves, I forced down some food and we headed off to TTL. I finished setting up in transition, added two bento boxes to my bike and filled my fluids. Went out of transition and hung with Craig and got my wetsuit on.
SWIM: I hung back and didn't get into the water very early, it was cold, but I knew it was from doing the practice swim on Saturday. It is amazing how much colder it was than just a month before at Soma. The cold didn't really bother me too much, I had some goggle fogging problems but better than Soma. One of the kayakers told me to sight into the sun and that really helped. My goal was to come out of the water at 2:00 hours, not a lofty goal but realistic and it proved to be right on. Out of the water, whew!
BIKE: Onto the bike where I knew it would be a long day, but I was excited that the weather was perfect, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I was anxious to see how much better I could do on the bike compared to 2010 when the weather was so bad. That year I did 7:17, certainly I could make some big improvements this year. I started out about 16-17 mph not trying to push it, just trying to get a Clif bar down, doing well and catching my breath still from the swim. I'm not sure when it started, I think before I got to the Beeline, but my back started to hurt, I had a dull ache during the swim but just thought, oh well, you're swimming 2.4 miles. The back pain radiated to the side and I was becoming increasingly nauseous. Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling. Maybe it's gas...increasing nausea and weakness, I finally stopped just past an aid station and vomited, I reassured the volunteers I was fine and got back on my bike. My back was better for a few minutes and then the pain would hit again in waves, again I was trying to ignore it and thought if I could just make it to the turnaround I would be fine when I started downhill, my speed slowed ridiculously (especially when you consider my "fast" is ridiculously slow) but I made it to the turnaround, I wanted so much to stop but was sure I'd be ok going back, the pain in my back and side never got better, aero or upright it was getting worse. I finally got to the turnaround for the first loop, went around the cone and pulled over to sit on the curb for a minute. One of the volunteers asked if I was ok and I said yeah, I just needed a minute, he said ok but he was keeping an eye on me. I was getting shaky and nauseous and accidentally dropped my bike, another volunteer came over and decided to escort me to the med tent, at that point I was hurting too much to argue, in fact I didn't even mind at all when they took the timing chip off my ankle. I was in tears, tears of pain and probably tears of relief.
MED TENT: So every year for the last three years or so we go to dinner with a good friend who works the med tent, my personal doc, so the year I end up in the med tent is the year he is in Rhode Island doing a rotation! Anyways I was very well taken care of and as I suspected but was trying to deny I have a kidney stone (still). Craig was about four miles out and by the time he got to the tent to claim me I was much better, with the stone having moved.
POST RACE: I was feeling pretty good, I checked the Ironman store for a DNF shirt, hmmm no such thing, though really I wasn't embarrassed and would have bought one, something to the effect I would be back with a vengeance. I cheered on my friends and hung out with Craig and knew I made the right decision, heck it really wasn't a decision it just happened.
POST POST RACE: Well my DNF has finally caught up with me.... This was going to be my last Ironman, but I have such conflicting feelings. I want to go out with a finish, not like this. I am excited for my friends great races but I am missing that "I finished" high. Kind of a melancholy feeling about the whole thing. I look at my bike average for the first loop and even with my slow splits my averages were good enough, couldn't I have just toughed it out?????
PLANS: I don't know, I really don't want to go out like this, I know it will always bother me. Annette cramped up on the swim and has a comeback to make also, she's thinking Lake Havasu next year, volunteer 2013 and comeback 2014, I think I'm with her.