Cozumel Ironman - The Run
Just too bloody hot!
Someone grabbed my bike. I looked at my time of 7:07. Crap. Must have really slowed on the last lap.
Got my Run Bag and stumbled into the change tent.
No idea what to do with all this gear. Dumped it on the floor and just stared at it.
Another very helpful volunteer got me dressed; like a pre-schooler.
Shoved me out the door, and steered me to the run course.
Surprisingly the legs actually worked! Muscle memory is an awesome thing. Cuz Nothing else worked! Certainly not my brain.
After about 3 km on the waterfront stretch I realized I was in major trouble with heat stress. My Achilles was A-Killing me and I had no chance of finishing the run. But a great chance to doing serious damage.
Time to call it quits. At least my brain understood that much. I limped back to the park and dropped down on the sidewalk, trying not to throw up. Unfortunately the damn concrete kept moving up and down in giant waves. I was seriously nauseous.
An official saw me, asked a few questions, correctly evaluated my unintelligible mumbling and dragged me to the Massage Tent.
Huh? I don’t need no sticking’ massage. They stripped me of all but my shorts, pushed me onto a table, and piled bags of ice on me. In my armpits and between my legs, right in the crotch.
Yikes that's cold! But awesome...
One senior masseuse was directing two volenteers. They kept my blood circulating, while the ice cooled me off quickly.
20 min later my core body temperature was close to normal.
I had regained my comprehension of English, albeit not Spanish, and I felt almost human. I briefly considered restarting my run, but decided that was just stupid.
My Race was Over - I had to Accept It.
I had started the race with very little chance of completing the run. So psychologically, I felt OK with the outcome. Everything went according to plan. Except the heat stress, which was also expected.
I would have loved to become an official finisher, especially when I met Arwynn after finish, saw the photos, the medal and felt the excitement. So it feels like a challenge not quite met.
But that regret was tempered by seeing guys in the medical tent or ambulance. I really didn't want to be that guy….again.
It's been an awesome adventure and tough challenge. And after 4 years of injuries, I'm now in the best shape I've been since my early 20’s. Rather than giving in, I proved to myself that can still do this. That was my motivation.
(And maybe I'll be back…..)
A huge thank you to Arwynn for her support. We trained together, prodded each other to push harder, raced together. And grew even closer together. What more could I ask for? I'm very happy!
BTW - Arwynn's side of the story is here.