>> Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Fellow blogger Tea was racing in IM Coeur d’Alene this past weekend. She was sick, coughing, and exhausted, and she took herself out of the race half way through the bike. Here’s what she said on her blog:
“...I decided that I would ride to the halfway mark and turn in my chip. I was ok with my decision until I had to tell one of the race guys. I couldn't even get the words out because I was crying so hard...”
I can totally understand that exact scenario because of my experience this past weekend. Now, on with my story.
So, I ended my last post with photos of me balled up in the fetal position, wallowing in my own crapulence. Borsch had snapped those photos of me in the distance. Then he came running up to me along with someone from the Medical Tent that I was heading towards.
“Steve...here, do you need this?” Borsch held out my “emergency” Power Bar that he had in his backpack. He said it quickly, as if all I needed was that Power Bar, and then I’d be off to my BQ race.
“No... I’m good... I’m done. My day is over.” I was still choked up and not speaking real clear. “Borsch, when you see Pharmie and Steph, do NOT let them know that I dropped. They don’t need to worry. Don’t tell them until they’re done. OK?”
“OK... yeah... they don’t need to know right now,” Borsch replied.
The man from the Med Tent walked me the last 100 feet to the tent. We were on a little embankment, and he walked on the lower side of me, expressing his concern that I was going to topple over. I assured him that I was going to be fine. I got to the tent, and I was offered a pickle. I almost laughed at the time, but now it makes sense (good way to get some salt back into a body). “No thanks,” I said. They offered me a seat, but I wanted to see if I could spot Pharmie, Steph, or any of our other friends running by.
So I went out near the course, behind some volunteers and spectators, and squatted down. I wanted to try to spot Pharmie, but I wanted to be out of sight so she wouldn’t see me and get worried. I waited there, going in and out of teary moments. The young man from the Med Tent kept coming over, touching me on the shoulder, and asking if I had seen my wife yet. “No,” was always my answer. Then, each and every time, he would offer me a pickle again. His persistence in offering me a pickle started to make me feel better. I mean, how many times can you offer a guy a pickle in an hour? He was really trying to be helpful, but all he had was pickles. (Wow, that last sentence was weird...)
I never saw Pharmie, Steph, or any of my other friends go by. I think I just missed them all from my low, obstructed view. I finally went and sat in the shade in a camp chair at the back of the tent. People were running in and out, needing Vasoline, pain killers, band-aids, etc. Someone radioed in my number: “1749, male, hates pickles.” OK, so he didn’t say “hates pickles.” I was officially out of the race.
When I was feeling pretty much back to normal, I walked back through the tent and thanked all the Med Tent volunteers. Then I walked out the back of the tent and hopped on the bus. There were only about 5 people on the bus, but it filled up quick (including a wheeler and a pro).
We only had about a 15 mile drive back into town. The first 8-10 miles were fast. The last few were really slow because of detours around the race. The entire ride was about an hour and a half. We got dropped off, and I went along the last half mile of the course looking for Pharmie to come in. I didn’t know that she was nearly an hour off her goal time, so I just kept looking. I was walking toward the finish line, just off the course. Apparently, one of the event photographers thought I was still trying to finish, because I found this photo of me on the event website:
Walking to the right, looking to the left
Pharmie, looking strong
Steph, looking a little beat
A little later, Steph came in, and the 2 sisters sat and rested in the finishers area:
Pharmie, Jess, and Maddy
After the race, I felt fine. I actually jumped down and did a few squats to show Pharmie and Steph that my legs weren’t even fatigued that evening. I had a mondo headache for the rest of the day and in to the next day, but everything else was A-OK. Including my spirits. It sounds geeky and stupid, but I DID learn a lot from that DNF. It seems so generic, but I think it HAS made me stronger. When I got injured nearly 2 months ago, I almost threw in the towel and stopped training for Grandmas. I’m very proud of the fact that I trained around my injuries and at least gave the marathon a run for it’s money. Something is learned at every race, finish or not.
Would I have loved to finish? Of course.
Am I second-guessing my decision to drop out? A little.
Could I have walked my way to my first marathon finish? I think so.
Do I get annoyed when people ask and then answer their own questions like I’m doing right now? Damn right I do. So I’ll stop.
The next morning, Pharmie, Steph, Borsch, and I got up to go to the Black Woods Bar and Grill. We went there the night before, and it was DELICIOUS. So we thought we’d hit the Sunday morning brunch. We pulled into the lot about 2 minutes before they opened. As soon as I put the car in park, the “Immediate Seating” light turned on. Borsch and I exulted in unison: “The ‘Immediate Seating’ sign just lit up! LET’S GO!” The girls laughed at us as we ran to the door.
Plate 1: omelet, french toast, bacon,
sausage, potatoes, and kielbasa
Plate 2: ribs (that’s right: RIBS!),
roll-up thing, and french toast
Plate 3: bread pudding, muffin, and another omelet (I thought
I was doing dessert, but there was no line at the omelet chef...)
Plate 4: chocolate mousse
I had WAY more melon and salsa
(and notice, I finally had that pickle... HA!)
“All’s well that ends
So true. So very true.
Well, now I’m off and training for the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon that Pharmie and I are doing together in a few weeks. I hit the pool this morning for a good 24 lap swim, and I’ll be hitting the bike tomorrow for my first ride since the Apple Duathlon (yikes!). And Pharmie and I can’t wait to head out to WI this weekend for WIBA (Wisconsin Ironman Brick Adventure). I’ll have photos and stories from that as soon as I can! Happy summer!
p.s. Thank you all so much for all the encouraging comments on my previous post. It really means a lot to me to have so many of you stopping by to make sure everything is OK. Words really can't explain. Thanks again!