Out at Mattoon, IL, for the "Mattoon Man" (1/3 Iron). I had just finished the bike at about 3 hours. The heat was insufferable (at least mid-90s F) but I had hoped to summon enough energy to make the 8.5 mile run.
(Long time fans of CC know that the absolute tri goal is: don't stop running -- no walking. )
I was definitely knackered by the 38 mile bike, but generally things were looking good: I was ahead of schedule, hydrating/fueling well, and had a few CC tri fantasies in my head for the inevitable blog posts. The goal was not to run hard: just to run. I had seen Vic's comment: don't kill yourself. A good plan.
At mile 2, I noticed that the strips of black tar over the cracks in the road had sneaker prints in it. By mile 3, the tar was beginning to blister. I don't know if I have ever competed in such heat. I shuffled along at a glacial 11 minute pace. I was becoming disoriented. Many other competitors were walking.
At 3 1/4 miles, so was I. Game over. I walked several miles and tried to shuffle along for segments but it was unbearable. I remember having a gel packet that I couldn't open because of sunscreen on my hands, yet in the weird calculus of my mind, I couldn't ask anyone to open it for me.
At mile 7, I had some water. It would be the last time I could keep anything down for hours. At mile 8, I was ill. Somehow, I managed to shuffle to the ignominious finish (56th of 58). I rested in the shade and had some more water: no go. Sick again.
Incredibly, I managed to arrange my stuff and go back to the motel for a nap. 3 hours later, I spoke to BryGuy on the phone; he watches out for his friends like no other, and was calling for his patented "check in". Concerned, he recommended a hospital. Bah! I'll be fine.... We agreed to talk later in the evening.
In the evening, I still haven't had anything... I spoke to BryGuy again, who thankfully enlisted medical advice (from an extremely well trusted source) and laid out the situation. There was no arguing: I knew he was right and took a cab to the ER.
Before long, that weird sensation of getting refueled by IV was underway.... I laid on the bed for 2 hours while listening to surprisingly detailed conversations at the nurses station.
And now, back home, all is well. I hate to disappoint the legion of loyal fans of CC dot com but no witty recaps. Mattoon beat me (since I walked) and the real story here is friendship and people who look out for people.
ps. Thanks to everyone for their pre-race support. JAK sent an e-card but I haven't been able to see it yet since Hallmark's site is down.
pps. Mattoon Man was very well-run. Safety was paramount and there were friendly volunteers throughout the course, and at every mile of the run. Finish time was 5 h 10 min.