It Beat Me


WEEK 22 – August 14 > August 20

This week was a taper week that was leading to a half-iron distance race on Sunday in the training plan.  The week went really well with no issues, and I chose to do the 70.3 at home on Saturday instead of Sunday for a couple of reasons, first being my daughter Ashley was leaving for her sophomore year at school on Sunday and I needed to be around on Sunday.  Secondly, Saturday was looking to be a nicer day temperature-wise than Sunday.

So Saturday came and I got an early start to my half-Ironman day.  The swim was great.  It took me 40 minutes and I felt really strong.  Before leaving on the bike I ate a Clif Bar and drank a glass of water.

The bike was awesome.  I headed south toward Elwood and hit 23 miles when I turned around at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.  I went back east until I got to the little forest preserve entrance and went in for a bathroom break.  Knowing that I had turned around at 23 miles, I would need an additional 10 miles for a total of 56 for the ride, so I headed back west for 5 and turned around.

Had to wait for a train for about 10 minutes approximately 4 miles from home.  This train would later come back to me on my run and run me over.

With about 2 miles to go, I felt a stinging sensation on my foot.  Some sort of wasp/bee/hornet thing had lodged itself in the opening of my shoe and stung me.  It hurt like heck for about 10 minutes.  But it was just the beginning of my suffering.

Once home I noticed that I had a great split on the bike ride.  Averaged just over 19 mph, which was faster than my Ironman Muncie 70.3 time from 2014.  I was pretty happy with that.


I jumped in the pool for a quick cool down, and then changed into some running clothes. I took a look at my stung foot and didn’t notice any swelling, but it was a little sore to the touch.  I put on fresh socks, refilled my Gatorade bottles and hit the trail.

My plan was to do two loops of my normal route, which would be very close to 13 miles.  At about 5 miles into it I ran out of Gatorade and stopped at the water pump to top off my bottle with water.  That got me back to my trail entrance spot at 6.6 miles and I grabbed a new bottle of Gatorade that I had stashed in the tall grass and refilled my bottle.  But at this point the heat of the day was getting to me, and I knew I was starting to cook.  I started heading back up the path for another loop and made it to the other parking lot where I used the bathroom and realized I was starting to have heat exhaustion.  I went to the water fountain and ran cold water over my head and proceeded to the intersection to keep going on the loop.  But as I pushed the crosswalk button and stood there I realized there was no way I would make it through the remaining 5 miles in one piece.  So at 8 miles into my planned 13 miler, I turned around and started walking for home.  A walk that would basically turn out to be an Ironman shuffle for 2.5 miles.

My head was down, my arms were heavy and it felt like just breathing was an effort.  I felt like that train I had seen earlier was barreling over me.  I kept licking at the last gel I had along with some Base salt and started to at least have enough energy to power my brain and move at a slightly faster pace.  I ran/walked another mile for a total of 9, four shy of my goal.

I have never DNF’d (did not finish) a race before, and honestly I can’t even remember a time in which I didn’t finish a training run that I had set out to do.  But today I realized that I was defeated.  It beat me.  I made it home and recovered with plenty of fluids, some salt, and some rest.

So what happened?  I’m guessing I was dehydrated.  I had taken a salt capsule every hour on the ride, but I was sweating heavily.  I had eaten well, taking a gel every half hour.  I never felt sloshy or had dry mouth.  I weighed myself after a shower and found I weighed 160 pounds.  I had probably lost about 7 pounds of water weight on that journey.  Lesson learned.  I need to drink more.  The trouble is, there really isn’t any place to refill on that route.  I will need to figure something out for the next time.  And maybe I needed more fuel.  One gel every 30 minutes has always been my nutrition plan.  I may need to up it a little.



2 Swims – 5600 yards this week / 74950 yards total

3 Bikes – 86 miles this week / 9684 miles total

7 Runs – 34 miles this week / 680 miles total

Lesson learned.  Know my limits and adjust.  Keep moving forward.