EagleMan 70.3

(Race Date: June 13, 2010)

I thought it would be cool to do a half-ironman 3 weeks before my wedding.

In reality, I had signed up for the race before I got engaged (and started planning a wedding). It just happened to fall pretty close to a pretty important event. Since I hadn’t been training properly, BJ and a few friends tried to persuade me not to do the race “No one will think anything of it” or “You can always do it next year”. I paid $300 for the race. I was going to do the race!

Anyway, it’s just a half ironman. No big deal, right?


Let’s just say I almost died 3 weeks before my wedding.

Every year the race takes place in Cambridge, MD. EagleMan is known as an extremely flat course – but also extremely HOT and windy. There isn’t even an area of shade the size of a small leaf on the entire course. June 13, 2010: 104 degrees, with an even hotter heat index. KMS.

At 6am, the morning temperature was already so hot that wetsuits were completely illegal. Race officials wouldn’t let you in the water if you had one on. (Note: Some races allow you to wear a wetsuit, even if the water temperature is above the “wet suit legal” temperature. However, your time doesn’t count if you win or place. This race wouldn’t even allow that!)

1.2 mile swim without a wetsuit: Yikes! I’d never done that before. (Rookie mistake #1)

9:30am, I am the last wave to start. The water was nice and warm. I felt pretty good for the first 30 minutes, but the last 28 were brutal. I knew right away I hadn’t trained enough. Swim time: 58:44

Out of the water, complete outfit change in transition and I was on my bike. (Right now I should point out that I was 1 of about 10 people who didn’t have a triathlon bike. In real life, a completely flat course is not made for a road bike. Rookie mistake #2). Initially I felt great on the bike. This was the only part of the race that I had kind-of taken seriously. But at mile 40 I completely hit a wall. Couldn’t wait to be off the bike. So hot that I had a massive heat headache. And just plain angry. Bike time: 3:20:30

F-i-n-a-l-l-y made my way into transition, complete outfit change and I was on the run. (Right now I should point out that I had consumed 3 bottles of water and a handful of jolly ranchers on my 3 hour bike ride. Rookie mistake #3). I ran the 1st mile and felt okay. After the 1st mile, the heat headache that I talked about before, came back with a vengeance. I knew I was dehydrated but couldn’t stop. I kept telling myself, “You don’t start a half-ironman and not finish”. I also told myself it was okay to run/walk/run 13.1 miles (a VERY hard thing for a runner to come to grips with). So, that’s what I did. I ran and walked the 12 miles. Then, as I approached the last mile and looked down at my watch, I thought: “if I run the last mile, like I know I can, I can finish in 7 hours”. So, I sprinted my heart out, crossing the finish line in 7:00:32. Run time: 2:32:44

After I finished, I posed for a couple of pictures (Duh, I had a bad-ass medal and I just finished a half-ironman). About 1 minute later, I was throwing up and being rushed to the medical tent.

2 IV bags, an ambulance ride, and 2 more IV bags later, I was good enough to be discharged from the ER. Diagnosis: severe dehydration and nausea. To this day, I still can’t eat an orange.

Turns out the swim was 1.6 miles instead of 1.2 (thanks race director) but other than that, I’m out of excuses. I just didn’t train enough…
Swim: 58:44
Bike: 3:20:30
Run: 2:32:44
Total: 7:00:32

Recap: I’m down for another EagleMan – as long as I have a tri bike!
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  1. Let me guess, you ate the orange then immedietely ralphed it! Same thing after my first HM in 13 years. And, yes I still cannot eat organges and it has been over a year now.

    Great effort though and sorry for all the post tri drama! I just learned a lot from your tri report. thanx! Congrats again on all your happiness!

  2. DAMN girl!! That is an intense story!! I am super duper impressed that you finished the darn thing even though it was so intense and very scary how ill were you were afterwards! Your stats are impressive, seriously – especially considering you didn't "properly" train for it. I bow to you!

  3. You are one tough cookie! No way I'd attempt something like that and not train. Just goes to show how much MENTAL toughness is really involved in distance events. Wow the PR you have coming after you correctly train!

  4. dang! thats one hell of a race report! i'm glad you stuck through all that and finished like a champ.. even if it meant riding in the ambulance and getting some fluids! 🙂 you rock!

  5. You're a rockstar lady! Now, relax and enjoy that upcoming wedding!!!

  6. Man you are hard core. That sounds brutal. But you did it. You can say you are a half ironwoman!

  7. WOW! You are totally my hero! 7 hours of intense swimming, biking & running is seriously hardcore! Congrats on completing your race & getting married!

  8. Holy cow! Heat is no doubt a silent killer 🙂 Glad you are ok!! After this killer summer, I'm NEVER going to bitch about how cold it is outside!

  9. Holy smokes!!!! That's like a summer day in Hades! I am so glad you made it through ok but holy smokes… I'm speechless. You are bad@ss for sure!!!

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