Monday, August 30, 2010

Baked, Broiled and Broken...My Louisville Race...

Today, I feel like I have been worked over with sledge hammers.  Already, I have sucked down about 4 gallons of fluids with nothing on the return (if you get my drift).  And, I am dazed and scatter brained.  (More than usual even!)  Yesterday's race took me down as far down the hole of mental and physcial exhaustion as  I have ever been

The heat sucked the energy out of me about 1/2 way through the bike leg.  By midday it was 96 degrees with a heat index of 106 on the course. I drank and drank and drank, but could never get in front of my hydration.  I estimate I drank 20, 20 oz water bottles yesterday.  I knew I was in big trouble when I was unable to pee (not to be indelicate) on the bike leg.  Usually, for that distance, when I am ahead of the curve I can usually count on 3 trips to the weeds.  I knew then, this was going to be a special day.

To start from the beginning...

My swim leg was slow, but I knew it would be.  I did not focus on it as much.  I was figuring my bike and run would pull me along.  I swam my race and never got touched by another racer.  The water was hot (84 degrees) for swimming, but I got out of the water in relatively good shape.  Happy!

I hopped on my bike and had a sizzling first 50 miles.  Super speeds...I averaged 22 MPH for the first hour and nearly 21 miles per hour through the first 50 miles.  There was a down hill where I flew over 44 miles an hour down...I was calculating that I was going to have a 5:30 bike.  Then the wheels fell off of my day. 

Hills and heat slowed me down.  I could feel the starch leaving me.  Then, a stupid move...I was not paying attention pedalling up a hill, went off the road, attempted to jerk it back and ended up on my back looking at sky with my bike on top of me.  Golly Gee (Insert your favorite swear word here, I likely said it.  In fact, I patented a few new swear words I am sure.)!  Rider down!  Rider down!  People were calling back to each other.  I was so flipping embarassed.  I did not even have honor of getting a large war wound I could brag about...just a small cut on elbow and one on my hip.  Getting back on the bike, I resumed even slower.

The back half of the bike was slow.  The heat, lack of hydration and hills combined to slow me down to about 16 MPH for the second half.  6:00 hours on the bike and I pulled into the transition to the run.  Usually, the bike to run transition is the fastest.  However, it took me nearly 13 minutes of hydrating, dumping water on my head and self talk to get me on the run course.  I was not alone, it looked like a Civil War hospital tent.  People were laying around, dazed, moaning and you could tell many were considering why they came.  Self included.

I could bore you and give you a sense of the 26 mile run.  I can sum it up by saying:  I walked.  I was violently sick with gastro issues (your body stops processing things when you get that dehydrated) and I could not get cool enough to do more than walking with occasional shuffling.  It was ugly, ugly, ugly.  I considered quiting every 5 minutes...there were a number of folks who did.  However, I told myself it was the finish line or an ambulance.   There were ambulances hauling off people everywhere.  People in the SAG wagon were driving by looking like I felt...sick. 

21 of 43 professionals did not finish, I suspect the heat did them in.  You know it is bad when a pro gets of the bike and calls it a day or starts running and pulls off. 

I ended up finishing 1,437 out of 2,997 starters.  Top 50%.  In many ways, I am more proud of this Ironman, even though at 14hours, 35 minutes it was my worst time.  I am more proud of this one, because I did NOT quit....even though that would maybe have been the wisest.  I manned up and finished what I started.

Thanks Christine for supporting me on this effort.  Thanks Granicus for all the well wishes!  Thanks JT for all of the great help along the way.

Back to SF and 10 days of slothfulness!  No training for ten days and then the run training starts!


PS...sorry for the typos if there are any.  I proof read this several times, but am not on top of it!


  1. Way to go for crossing that line! Carolyn

  2. Your time is still something to be very proud of and impressive. Don't beat yourself up too hard (yea right) - and get some recovery in!

  3. Ed,

    Great update...I remember last year, you almost had to go 10 rounds with some guy who jumped on top of you at the swim start at that race. (And wow...84 degrees for the swim??? ouch!)

    As for the time, it will be hard for most to process what that means until they have actually "met the demons" at mile 1,3,5,7,....21, 23, 25 of the marathon.

    Crossing the line of any IM is an accomplishment, especially in those conditions. Heck, I remember our first discussion about these's all about the "warm up"...right?

    Enjoy the next 2, pasta, beer, bread, beer, hmmmm...a loaded baked potato, and beer! (And I'm not talking that 64 calorie beer either!)


  4. Good job man, great report. I was there too and it WAS a hot one. My transition times were longer this year as well. Just sitting and cooling down was a luxury...

    Keep at it and respect!