Woops - doing more facebook now and neglecting this blog. This is basically my race report from IMAZ 2010. Sigh
There are many factors that contributed my DNF and trip to the med tent (and hospital), but essentially this event, plus the anemia, plus possible onset of arthritis?, plus generally getting more sick these past months is a way of my body telling me - TAKE A BREAK!
I didn't feel top peak performance for this race, but pretty sure I could complete it and hoping for a PR. I had a base from full Vineman, and though didn't do the complete IM training, kept up regular training and endurance work.
The swim was fine - 1:31, which was about what I expected. A little faster than 2 years ago (1:37), so I was satisfied. I don't know if this was a sign, but the swim felt longer than it was. Also, for some reason, I was pummeled a lot more in the water than ever before. Mostly by men who were not swimming straight! The water was cold, but nothing too bad and I warmed up quickly.
The day was looking beautiful out of the swim. It was predicted to have rain, but in T1, it was sunny, clear, warming up. I took my time in the change tent. It was great to see Michelle and Dina!
The first loop of the bike was great. I took it kind of easy, hoping to go harder on the 2nd and third loop. I think I averaged 16-something mph, my nutrition was on pace and I felt happy.
On the second loop, all hell broke loose. Okay, that's a bit melodramatic, but the temps dropped, it started raining HARD and the wind kicked up - headwind at that. I actually started laughing initially, thinking "it's Coeur d'Alene all over again! [referring to bad conditions in that race last year]." The Arizona bike course is 3 loops of about 37 miles each. There is a slight incline on the way out and downslope on the way back, so I was prepared to be going 20+ mph on the way back. How disheartening it is to be pedalling hard, into the wind, downhill and doing only 11 mph! It seemed that every turn we made was just into more headwind! Maybe it's because I'm littler now, but I also felt the crosswinds tossed me around too.
The temperature was deceiving too. I had a shirt on top of my jersey. I started to warm up at one point, took it off and left it at an aid station, but the course felt it had different temperature zones, so I got cold again.
So, my hopes for a bike PR (which I really hoped for because I've gotten much stronger on my bike this year), dwindled and I finished in about the same time as 2008!
FYI - I almost cut off Chrissie Wellington! I was passing a guy on his left, and there was no one there. But she is so dang fast that in 3 seconds, she was there! I think she shouted something like "oh hey!" and I quickly moved over. I think she owes her world record to me, cuz I probably pissed her off so much, it fueled her fire. heh
Finally finished the bike. Now planning, to try to do well on the run (which also was possible, since my running has definitely improved), and finish between 14 and 15 hours. The first loop went well - did it in about 12 minute miles, felt steady, so I felt good. Wore the boa and got lots of cheers!
I started the second loop and started hurting. Not normal "I'm doing an f-ing ironman, of course you're going to hurt" hurting, but really hurting all over. So I started walking more. Everytime I tried to run, I hurt again. I was STARVING during the run (probably a sign) and at each aid station, I was eating everyting - coke, broth, cookies, pretzels, chips. BUT - and this was a big sign - I did not pee once on the run for 11 miles.
I was really feeling bad, then was calculating that well, I could walk the rest of the race, could walk 16 miles in 4-5 hours. Ali passed me and said something and I think I just grunted something in reply- another bad sign that I was mentallly losing it.
It looks like I made it about 12 miles (last split marked was 11.9 miles). I was feeling dizzy and kind of confused. Not exactly hallucination, but really not quite there. I figured maybe it was because I was cold, so at special needs, I got my shirt and gloves. I had a hard time putting on my shirt (it seemed really...confusing). Then I just sat and asked the volunteer to get a medical person. Someone came and walked me to a tent until the medics came.
It was little amusing; the EMS guys were asking me mental status exam questions and I kinda laughed (because they didn't know I was a psychiatrist). They asked me my name and who the president was, etc. My blood pressure was fine. When I got up to go the the little golf cart to get to the medical tent, I felt dizzy, so they had to carry me. Eeeps!
In the med tent, they started one bag of IV fluids. The doc said I had nystagmus (which means my eyeballs were shaking and not tracking well.) Then the head medical director came over and said I had to go to the hospital because of that and my altered mental status. Oh - and my temperature was 95.2!
I kinda remember this in a haze. I recall someone talking about taking off my chip, which is ironic because I remember working in the med tent the year before and having to make that call for other athletes and it's a sad thing. although I remember being more relieved than sad.
I was transported to Tempe St Lukes Hospital. I must have been in and out of it. When I was discharged, I had all these leads on me and do not remember at all them being placed. The nurse later said that I passed out the second time she took my vitals. My blood pressure was "good" but this means low, because I usually run a little high.
I received another bag of IV fluids and started to feel better. Then the nurse came in and hung another bad and I said "I need another one?" and she said my CK was elevated! CK (or CPK) is a sign of muscle breakdown. There is always some muscle breakdown in sports, but paired with dehydration, your kidneys can't clear it out, potentially leading to renal failure. The ER doc later came in and said that if my next lab value was not trending down, they'd have to admit me. Yipes!
It was a big ordeal to contact anyone. My only gripe about the whole medical process was that they did not contact David when I was tranferred to the hospital. So he waited the whole race to see me finish and knew something was wrong when I didn't. He was really worried :( but someone suggested to check the med tent. He said it was packed and first they couldn't find my number, but they rechecked and I had been there, albeit 4 hours prior. He ran back to the hotel with Toby (not an easy feat!) and got to the hospital. I am very grateful he was there and happy to see him.
They finally discharged me around 3:30 A.M. with instructions to drink plenty of fluids.
THANK YOU T3 team and sherpas for waiting and again, sorry for the worry. I know you guys were looking for me on the course.
What happened medically was probably this: I sometimes have high blood pressure and sometimes take medication. That morning I checked it and it was high 150/100's, so I took half a pill. Now in hindsight, I realize it was probably high because of all the salt and fluids I had the day before, which would have flushed out quickly. My med is an ACE-inhibitor which makes one a little more prone to dehydration. In addition, during the bike, I took about 600 mg of Ibuprofen, not the worse thing in the world, but can also contribute a little to dehydration. Plus, although I though I drank and ate enough, with the more difficult conditions, I should have eaten and drank more. Because it was cold, I didn't think about drinking more. It was a real big sign that I was not peeing.
I was feeling down for the past few days, especially after the DNF at Vineman. I'm 0 for 2 this year! Can't seem to get past 130 miles! At first I felt like a failure, but then realized that attempting these races is much less of failure than not starting at all. Still, I think I've learned my limits. There is something very valuable about rest and recovery and I don't plan on doing an Ironman distance in 2011.
To my T3 teammates - all of you did great! it was a harder race day than usual. Some of you did phenomenally well (eh hem, ms. yvonne....) So congrats. Sorry I was not there to celebrate with you guys. I still have that margarita mix to share with you later!