All I for from Boulder was a smudgy sunburn.
I don’t even know how to write this. I am ashamed, disappointed, embarrassed, sad, angry, and really bummed. The day was mine to take and it slipped out of my shaky hands for something that was/wasn’t in my control. That’s the worst part. I might have been able to prevent it, but then again again maybe not. It was a crap shoot. The dice was rolled and it decided to land on a number I apparently didn’t prefer.
Let me start at the beginning even though I’m sure you don’t care much for the gnarly details.
Btw I’m listening to pandora right now and the song on Bens video just came on. When you try your best and you don’t succeed, stuck in reverse. I might be crying.
I woke up at 4 feeling nervous but fairly relaxed and rested, ready to take on the long day ahead of me. We gathered our gear and headed to the reservoir. I ate oatmeal and a bar and a 5 hour energy. I had some powerade, no water. Maybe mistake 1? The transition closed and before I knew it I was lined up with other girls 18-29 and we were given two minute, one minute, 30 second, and 10 second warnings—simply intensifying the anxiety I already had about how damn far those buoys were.
We were off and I felt alright. I took it one yellow buoy at a time, then a red turn, then more yellow buoys, and the final red turn buoy. I started to get emotional feelings at the last turn. I was so happy, the shore seemed to never get closer. I was incredibly undertrained for open water, and I really felt it. My time, and my triceps, back, and neck suffered deeply. I switched between breast stroke and freestyle, so much breast stroke that my elbows hurt from the constant backward pulling motion—not great. I got passed by so many stupid different colored caps it was embarrassing. Every time I got smacked or swam into it only made me exhaustion intensify. I was sloshed around too much I guess.
It was me and the three yellow buoys, it seemed like forever but eventually I made it to the shore. I was ecstatic, overjoyed, and fairly exhausted. As soon as I switched from a horizontal position to vertical and tried running up the beach, nausea and dizziness hit me right in the face. I had to walk to transition and sit down with my head in my lap and when I felt a little better and stood up, it came rushing back and I took a trip to the porta potty to dry heave into an already disgusting shit storm. The few heaves made me feel better for some reason and I got on my bike cautiously and warily.
The first few miles were awful. I felt nauseous and really slow and all in all just really off, not good, and not ideal. I was dizzy, which wasn’t great for the bike obvs. I got through some aid stations and stopped to drink and take my time since my condition was clearly compromised at this point. I didn’t know what was the problem but I willed myself to push forward. However my body didn’t agree with my persistence, so it decided to show me it’s disapproval by making me pull over several times to rid my stomach of all it’s contents. This was a two loop bike course, so at the fork for finishers and second lappers I made a decision to keep going, made it about 50 feet and got off my bike, sipped water, tried to convince myself to keep going…I stood on the side of the road straddling my bike for probably five minutes and just decided I couldn’t continue.
I rode back to transition and sat there, wilted on the ground, for 16 minutes approx trying to make sense of what I’d just done, and I was really distraught over it. I felt better sitting down so I had a stupid idea to do the run. I went out and made it .22 miles and quit again. Number one, it’s unethical and unfair to only do one loop of the bike, and number two, I couldn’t stand getting that medal, lying to everyone about my finish…the guilt and disappointment I would have felt, shame, everytime I talked to someone about it would be too overwhelming to me. I can’t start something like that and cheat when so many around me are completing the full distance. It’s not right.
I am a really competitive person with myself. I like to push my limits, I like to do hard things. I am stubborn and strong willed and I HATEEEE quitting. I’ll do anything to not quit. I walked/ran the last 17 miles of my marathon with a really hurt foot for goodness sakes. This absolutely was the worst I’ve felt about myself and my abilities in a longggggg time. I don’t just quit… I don’t just give up and throw in the towel if I can help it.
I’m angry at myself for not training more thoroughly, not training more in heat and on hills…for not perfecting my obviously way flawed nutrition plan. I’m angry for thinking I could skip long rides or runs or swims and thinking I could handle the distance no problem. I am angry at myself for quitting…so many tears and regrets over how I just gave up. I’m angry at how my body revolted so obviously, just like my marathon, instead of injury it was sickness. Why today?
I’m angry that I spent so much time and money on something that I was so clearly not prepared, mentally or physically, for. I’m devastated that I spent 10 or more months thinking about this one day, just to have my own body turn on me and ruin it all. I’m angry that I walked away without a medal…when everyone around me was collapsed in the grass celebrating a body that carried them to the finish, when I was collapsed in the grass cursing mine and willing myself not to throw up.
Would it have happened if I trained more? Did more rides in hot weather..eaten more on the bike..learned to take my hands off the bike so I could eat and drink on the go instead or losing momentum and spirit by stopping. Would it have happened during a 70 degree day? What if I had prepared more for the swim?
All these questions bombard my thoughts, and yet the only answer is a big fat question mark. I can’t help but think…what if I had finished? What if I would have pushed to my absolute breaking point. Would I have passed out on the bike from lack or fluids and nutrients?…causing some kind of horrible accident…being bussed away by an ambulance? Or would I have made it? The what ifs are the worst part..the most haunting part of the day is wishing I would have finished.
I chanted a saying shortmom gave me the other day…not dead? no quit….why couldn’t that have just worked. So in part it’s my fault I decided to quit..but I really couldn’t have done much else TODAY with the circumstances I was given.
It’s upsetting and so disappointing. I feel like I let you all down. I let myself down. I let my friends down. On the bike, when I thought I was still going to finish, I thought about how I was never doing this again..how I would be selling my bike and wetsuit and anything else I feel like I wasted big bucks on for the last 10 months…I still kinda feel that way. I don’t think I’m meant for triathlon. I am a horrid swimmer, a slow biker, and by the time you get to the run, my favorite part, you’re so delirious and exhausted that its not even fun. Is this fun for people? Apparently it is, and I thought it was fun to me, but maybe it’s not so fun after all.
Why do we pay money to suffer? I’m searching for that answer within my heart right now and probably will be for a while. This was a devastating one for me—a really huge blow to my spirit and my ego. It sucked me dry, this race. It used all my strength to keep going as much as I did, but deep down I still wish I would have continued. Better safe, unscathed, sunburned, with no medal and no pride? Or better possibly with an IV in my arm, in the medical tent, but with a medal around my neck and a tired smile on my face? I still think the second…but that doesn’t matter anymore. It puts me into a crying fit to think that way but it’s true.
This has kinda dug me in a hole. How will I get myself out. My friend suggested a do over on September 9 but I don’t think I could do it. I’m too scared now of the outcome. Maybe summer after next I’ll be brave enough, and maybe I wont. I want to sell my bike and never think about triathlon again…
…But that’s also not my character, so in time…eventually I’ll take another leap and make this mine. It may not be soon, but payback is a real bitch..so I’ve heard.
- happyfitrunnergirl likes this
- robbsrunning likes this
- lifechangeneededaisle3 said: Never fun to dnf. But it was the smart thing to do. You’ll be back! Rest up!
- irontoby said: always heartbreaking to hear of a DNF on a long distance tri :( sounds like u may have been getting burned out though. take a break from it & the answer will come to you. you HAVE to love doing it. this experience will make you stronger!
- runningwithaltitude said: I feel so bad for you. My wife saw a thermometer, 105F in the sun. It was brutal out there. You did the right thing, maybe you were dehydrated and got some heat stroke. Trying to push on normally means a ride in an ambulance. You’ll be back!
- tribander said: Ok, time to give yourself a break. You made the right choice to stop the bike and then the right ethical choice on the run. 1/2iron is about more than the miles. You weren’t prepared AND there is nothing bad or wrong about you! Time to regroup! Xoxo
- regainingmymoxy said: I am sorry. But you know what - you did the right thing. You absolutely did the right thing. you’ll be back. And you’ll be ready. It wasn’t a waste - it was an opportunity to learn. Do a few Olympics next year, then revisit the half IM for 2014.
- mr-smit likes this
- jeepnbaseball said: First of all I APPLAUD you for even trying. Do you know how many people want to but never do! In my eyes you did amazing!! Now this may sound weird! Be hard on yourself!! TRAIN HARDER next time and kick its ass!!!! YOU CAN!!! I know you CAN!!!
- lifewithkim said: Thank you for sharing your day with us. Often times, there are races that do not go the right way. Give yourself some time to reflect on what happened, then pick your head up high and move toward your next goal.Moving forward is sometimes the hardest part
- rookcanrun said: You deserve great credit for getting to the starting line. Don’t get hung up on not getting the result you wanted. Take a few days to rest and recover. Then figure out what to do.
- chrisbiketri said: Valuable lessons for all of us. Bottom line, you did something not many people would even consider! I think I can safely say we are all proud of you! Take a few days to think and plan your next move…in the meantime don’t do anything too rash!
- cantstopcristin said: So proud of you one way or the other. You tried, you learned, and you came out if this realizing these things aren’t to be taken lightly. This post was an eye opener for me. Thanks!
- cantstopcristin likes this
- shortmom said: I think you left with more than a sunburn! You learned a lot about yourself and endurance races. A plan will come from this — whether to build up to the distance over time or just be healthy and happy!! Stomach issues remind me of Rachel’s ultra.
- shortmom likes this
- pattidoestris said: Glad you are ok. A great lesson to share with all of us: the training plan and nutrition are just as important before the race, if not more important than the race.
- pattidoestris likes this
- milemarkersoflife posted this