Last year I intended to use this blog as a weekly journal on my Ironman training. I wrote one post at the beginning of my journey, and then like the blog itself; I stopped updating. Here’s my update if anyone cares!!!!
When I arrived in New York last July for the event I was feeling a little run down from a sinus infection I had no idea I had. We flew into New York City, so we could take in some sites, before driving up State to Lake Placid. We got in really late, so we went strait to bed; that is once we finally got to the hotel(NY traffic.) When I woke up the next day I noticed what appeared to be a bite on the side of my face near my right eye. I thought it was a spider, or some kind of insect bite. It didn’t appear to be spreading, so I wasn’t too concerned. We stayed a couple of days in NY City, and then drove up to Lake Placid. I think we got there on a Wednesday? Since the Ironman wasn’t until that Sunday I had plenty of time to acclimate myself to the course. I’ve had a few sinus infections in my time, so I made sure to get plenty of rest, and really concentrated on drinking extra fluids. This was my first mistake, as I probably should have spent more time studying the course and working out stratagy. Sunday morning rolled around in a blink of an eye. I got a good nites sleep, I woke up rested, and strangely not the least bit nervous. I double checked everything I had set out the night before. I was worried about how food might affect my stomach, so I ate lightly(another mistake). My wife and I strolled to the swim start area, where I got marked up with my race number, and dropped off last minute items.
A day earlier; race veterans had warned me about going for the line too early. Stay back and waitout all the faster swimmers, then make your move, but did I listen? Hell no! Before the start everyone gets in the water, and while I was warming up I got the bright idea to get up towards the front and just go for it. Bad idea!! I spent the first 10 minutes just trying to survive while 1900 other swimmers took turns trying to drown me. During the mayhem I got kicked in the face, which isn’t that unusual, but lacerating your cornea is. At the time I just figured my eye was stinging because of the anti-fog application I had applied to my goggles before the race. It didn’t hit me(no pun intended) that something was wrong until half way through the second lap. The sun was really starting to beat down, and every time I turned for air it stung my eye. I was in a real grove though, and I was now exacting my revenge on some of the participants who had run me over at the start. I finished the swim in 1 hour and 21 minutes; better than I had anticipated. As I exited the water a volunteer striped off my wet suit, and I ran to the transition area for my bike.
I had a lot of adrenalin when I exited the transition area and I was passing people like they were standing still. That is until I hit that first hill! I was grinding it out though; then someone standing on the side of the road yelled out spin! I didn’t care for his advice, so I kept grinding it out, and frying my legs. Half way up the hill my back tire began to rub, and I stopped to check it out. I had it tuned up the day before, but I didn’t feel like testing it out, and now I realized that was a bad idea. I got back on thinking I had gotten it fixed, but about a half a mile down the road it happened again. I was so frustrated with the mechanical problems I made a critical mistake. I passed the first aid station without taking anything to eat. I did grab a water, but I was so paranoid about littering, and being penalized, so I held on to it as I started down the first big descent. I was really trying to hit the hill hard, but my eye was stinging so bad I couldn’t hold it open. Holding the water bottle with one eye open; I was helplessly out of control. I hit the brakes and flipped over my handle bars. A volunteer asked if I was ok, and even though I was hurting pretty bad I kicked my bike, grunted a couple of times and jumped back on for more punishment. I stopped at the halfway point of the first loop, and I thought I was actually doing ok on time. I stopped to eat a very ripe banana, and chat with a volunteer who had given me said ripe banana. I said my goodbyes, and started to pedal when the friendly volunteer noticed my rear tire was flat! I changed the tire with the help of the volunteer,I decided to really crank the wheel down, so it wouldn’t rub anymore. My bike performed pretty well after that, but I didn’t. When I came around the first loop I thought about quitting, but I was stupid and continued on. I downed a little soda, and surprisingly caught a second wind, but I was running out of time. I pushed my body until the 103 mile mark; where I pulled over on the side of the road and collapsed. A state trooper helped me into the shade and pored water over my head, and gave my half his sandwich. I had an hour to get 9 miles, but I knew I couldn’t make it. They called for a volunteer, and he took me in his car back to the start, he even offered to let me out near the finish, so I could ride in and see if I wanted to continue, but I was done. I went to the medical tent where they diagnosed me with Hyponeutremia, and of course I had that lacerated Cornea. A couple of days later the bite started spreading, when we landed back in Denver I went directly to the emergency room where they verified the Laceration, the sinus infection, and shingles. It took about a month before I was back to normal. I was so depressed that I failed to finish. I had trained for a year, and I had nothing to show for it, not even a lowsy t-shirt.
After all that you’d think I would never try it again, but shortly after returning from NY I signed up for Ironman Idaho. The date is June 25, 2006. This time I will finish, or die trying.