September 4, 2010

My First Triathlon / Ambulance Ride

I expected to finish my first tri, but I never imagined it would end in the ER! We'll get to that...

The day started off well. I'd gone to bed early the night before, and was wide awake at 5 a.m. Had a banana and some toast, drank a bottle of water, and got dressed. Molly got the kids ready, and we were out the door by 6 a.m.

It was quite windy and only 55 degrees on the way there. The kids stayed in the car while I set up my transition area. The crowd was growing, and my nerves were building.

Previously this week, I had not felt well. I stayed home from work on Friday with some pretty nasty G/I issues. My stomach was still not settled, but I assumed most of that was nerves. I had not eaten well the day before just a bowl of soup and some spaghetti. But this morning I felt pretty good.

We headed down to the beach and I found a familiar face, my friend Brian Riggins was doing his second race, and I thought I could trail him on the swim and feel pretty good. I was right. Got a strong start, felt pretty good. The water wasn't bad at all. In fact they say the water temp was 74, and that was much warmer than the air temp.

My swim split was 8:31, and which was 49th out of the 69 finishers.

Spotted the fam on the way to T1. And felt great.

Only spent 2:19 in transition, and I was off on the bike.

The wind was strong, and the temps never came up much, so I was pretty cold most of the time. I was getting passed by many most of the way, but I didn't let it bother me because I knew there were multiple events going on at the same time. Sprint Tri/Olympic Tri/Sprint Du/Olympic Du/Aqua Bike, so I just went as hard as I could. I only passed a handful of people on the bike, but my splits were what I was expecting. The bike course goes right past my good friend, Chuck Reynolds' house, and they were outside watching, so when I yelled at them, they went crazy cheering me on! I got a huge boost from that. Shortly after that, another friend of mine, Terry Glidden, doing the Sprint Du caught me and I went hard to chase him, but then...

THE CHAIN CAME OFF! I was shifting the big gear before the biggest hill on the course and it jumped right off. I unclipped and got off to fix it. I know at least 8 people went past me while I was working on it, and where that mile would have been a little over 4 minutes for me, it ended up being over 6. I was fired up at the top of the hill, and ran my fastest mile at 2:58.

Finished the bike with a split of 50:03, 63rd of the 69 finishers.

Into T2, I spent 2:12 changing my shoes, and somehow found a slow jog to get me out on the course.

The run was painful to say the least. I ended up walking far more than I ever imagined. I saw many of my friends running back in while I was on my way out and they were all so encouraging. Each time I saw one, I could go just a little more, but when I got to the turn around, I was about ready to quit. Another friend, Josh Shirey, that I've met through training caught me. He was doing the Sprint Du, and had had bike trouble also. He jogged me in for a bit, before I let him go. I had pretty bad lower back pain and abdominal cramps at this point, but when I got to the bottom of the last hill, I could hear my kids cheering for me. I found it in me to jog up the last hill and to the finish line holding hands with my girls.

Run time was an embarrassing 42:00, 66th of the 69 finishers.

Final time was 1:45:41. 66th overall. My goal was 1:45:00 so I know without the chain incident, I had it. And even with that 2 minutes, I would've only improved one placing.

Upon getting my finishers medal and hugging the kids, I sat down on the ground and started to eat a banana, but within 3 minutes something very bad was happening.

I began shaking, shivering, convulsing uncontrollably. Molly got me a blanket, but it didn't help. She thought my blood sugar was low so she tried to give me some M&M's, but my mouth was so dry I couldn't eat them. Others began to take notice of my condition and volunteers were quick to assist. I was taken to a pick up truck where the owner had turned the heat on full blast while I awaited EMT's. Molly was wonderful and strong, but I think the kids were terrified about what was happening to daddy.

The EMT's loaded me pretty quick into an ambulance and covered me with blankets and heat packs while they checked all my vitals. I was in extreme pain, particularly in my lower body as all of my muscles were tight and locking up while I was flexing them with every passing shiver. The official diagnosis was HYPOTHERMIA with DEHYDRATION. My body temp was 96.1 and my Heart Rate remained over 130.

They started and IV, and called for transport. Yep, I was going for a ride. Couldn't believe it. Have never had an ambulance ride in my life. They moved me from one ambulance to another, and Molly rode shot gun with me. I finally stopped shivering about the time I we arrived at the Hospital.

With my body calming and the first bag of IV nearly in me, I became very tired and exhausted, nearly falling asleep. But once I got into the ER room, I was very aware of what was going on. The reality of it all was setting in. Where was my bike? Who has my kids? HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST ME?

My physician, Derrick Williams, is a great friend, and showed up to check on me as they started the second bag of IV, they ran some blood tests and everything came back normal. I was already feeling better, and my body temp had warmed to over 100, but they wanted to put a third bag of fluid in me just to be sure.

We were checked out shortly after 1:00. And then I get the rest of the story.

My bike and all my gear were picked up by volunteers. A volunteer drove one of my vehicles with my kids in it to the hospital to meet my mother-in-law there so she could take them. My other vehicle was stranded at the reservoir with a dead battery.

It's now 4:00 and I feel great. The boy is napping. The girls are playing. My wife got a ride to the reservoir, got the vehicle started and is on her way home. It's a pretty day outside, maybe I'll go for a jog! ;)

In sticking with my I ADVISE U blog...