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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lake Geneva Triathlon - Anatomy of a DNF/DQ

Well that makes two races in a row where I was both DQ'ed and DNF'ed, pretty hard to swallow for someone who has the refuse to DNF motto. But that motto comes with one exception and that is for medical reasons. Today was the day where that situation came about.

For those familiar with Frank Dobbs and the Lake Geneva Triathlon, it is correct to say that his races can be very interesting. I will skip that segment for another day, and trust me I have some very negative feelings for this race after the lack of safety that I saw on the bike course and the near misses that occurred. Anywho the race...

The swim was a simple out and back swim, and of course, it looked long, but seemed to be a GPS spotted 1.2 miles. As we went off two guys tore off the front and I knew that chasing them was pointless. I also quickly saw myself seperate myself from everyone behind. I started my own pace and seemed to be leading the pack in 3rd place. Halfway through the out portion a couple guys who were sitting on my hip took off and I let them go. I was feeling great, had a good rhythm and saw no point to push that in that part of the race. Just before we turned to come home I saw one of the more impressive sites I have ever seen in a swim. 5 guys working in tandem swimming in the "V" formation that you can find in the Might Ducks movie. It was an awesome site and they were moving! I latched myself on the side for a bit to join in this massive draftfest, but once the turn was made we were all seperated from each other. The return was mostly uneventful, besides the fact that we swim in the Olympic race, and Sprint race so it became somewhat chaotic coming to shore and I just swam wide as no one really knew where the exact swim in point was.

Transition was a mess and disorganized...and long. I took my time and got to my bike and leisurely got everything ready. My preclipped shoes really had no validity today, except for my perfect 10 mount that got the attention of some! Once on the bike I struggled with the same problems I have had all year, heavy legs, low rpm, high HR. We hit a big climb in the first mile and once I muscled my way over the ride really started. Some guys were just blowing past me and all I could think of was "here we go again, a great swim, ruined by a sub-par bike." "Wait a minute there are multiple races going on, and it looks like these guys are all Olympians (distance not the athlete)". "rock on" I thought and carried on my way. I told myself to focus on the ride and ride the first loop and just let my body to come me. I knew if I was patient it would and I could start smashing away when that happened. Sure enough 15 miles in and I was ready to go and took off from the group I was trading places with. Just like that I was gone and in the open on my own. It felt great to get a break off a pack and ride solo. First loop done and I was feeling amazing. I was on pace to go under 2:40 and keeping my HR right where I wanted it (150). Nutrition was on and I was ready to knock out the second loop.

Second loop was quiet and no one was around. I was either at the front of the race, or somewhere in the middle in a bubble with no one around. Then it happend, my right aerobar came loose. "F---!" I knew I should have carried that multi-tool with me! Oh well it was time for some McGyver-esque rigging and after about 10 minutes of tries, it seemed that I would have to ride on the bullhorns and get in an aero-tuck from there. Then it happened again. I was suddenly out of breath, like Tyson gave me one right in the belly. I looked down saw my HR at 152 and knew what was coming. 162...166...172...175...181. "Really? right now? When it's going this well?" I knew I had to compose myself and asses the situation. Mike your help is not needed here.

I knew I had to lay off the gas some to get my HR down back to at least 150. So I waited...and waited...and waited. I rode a solid 20 minutes with a 170 or above HR. "well f--- I thought" My ride simply turned into a "lets roll easy into T2 and see what I can do" Just then I made a left and moments later cyclists came from the right. "Well sh-- I did it again, and this time it's completely my fault." The olympic course and half seperate for a mile and I missed that segment, BOTH TIMES. Now I knew that no matter what if they didn't notice my race would have to be a DQ anyway. As I spun back home the realization came to me more and more, minute after minute that I simply had to take the DNF. Why?

Well in a post coming up I will go into further detail, but right now I am being tested for SVT (Supraventricular...whatever...tachycarida I believe) They performed a stress test on my Thursday and found my BP to be at 240 when I was at a 160 HR. Ok now I am at a 170+ HR. I am going to play the safe card here and call it a day, not knowing what my BP is, and that scared the hell out of me.

So that was it, decision was made that I cannot race until my SVT is diagnosed or corrected. I firmly believe that every race should be finished, but in a case like this, safety and health take precedence. So with that said I will take what I can from the swim and first loop of the bike and go from there.

As for my season, well it's the hardest thing for any athlete of any sport to do, but the best option is to sit out the rest of the year, or at least until I get a full diagnosis, or correction to the issue at hand. I have no regrets, some frustrations, but know that I will be back next year hungry for me, just in time for Ironman Wisconsin...which means one thing.

See you on September 9th 2012!




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