So this week was a bit of a mess. I knew going in that trying to stay keto would be tough with anniversary dinner at one of our fav restaurants, and the Escape The Cape triathlon over the weekend. I hung in there for awhile, but quickly fell off the back of the keto-truck and back into the comforts of bad habits.
Training was also a bit of a mess. I wanted a bit of a taper going into Escape The Cape, but not as MUCH time off as I had. Some family stuff popped up that I let derail some sessions.
Escape The Cape was FUBAR. I thought I had signed up for the Olympic distance race. So I show up for packet pickup on Saturday afternoon, get my stuff, sticker and rack my bike and head back to my hotel. Only when I start to lay out my gear for the morning do I notice that my bib says SPRINT on it. I’m standing there scratching my head wondering if I just got the wrong packet, so I look over the envelope and it also says SPRINT. When I checked the envelope at pickup, I was concentrating on my NAME and AGE GROUP, but never checked the actual RACE! I went to my computer and looked at my registration confirmation from February, and it too says “SPRINT”. So I guess I’m racing the sprint in the morning.
Race morning went smoothly. Up at 3:00am, over to Wawa to get coffee, mixed up the Bulletproof powder (blech) and loaded up the car. Off to the parking lot, through the security screening (including bomb sniffing dogs!) and then on the busses to the race venue. As usual, Delmo Sport had everything very well organized.
I met up with Yana, who was racing her FIRST Olympic, and Jennifer who was doing the Olympic Aquavelo for her 5th time racing this event. Yana & I got everything set up in transition, and we made our way to the boarding line for the Ferry.
Escape The Cape has a great start, where all the athletes leap off the ferry into the bay for the swim start. It’s about a 12 foot drop into the water, and they let athletes go 3-4 at a time, making sure everyone is off safely. The Olympic athletes go first, then the ferry is repositioned for the Sprint athletes.
Race morning was great. Clear skies, no wind, and relatively warm. Delmo Sports chooses the race date based on the tides, to ensure that the athletes have an outgoing current to swim with, making the swim very, very fast for most athletes.
I hit the water about mid-pack of the sprint athletes. The jump was just a wee bit intimidating since I’m not a fan of heights, but off I went. Once I was in the water and moving, I started passing a lot of folks. The current was very strong, and we were advised to consciously pull to our left. While the Olympic athletes were swimming we could see the pack veer way off to the right, then way back to the left as they hit different eddies and currents in the outflowing tide.
As I swam along, I notices I was getting pushed and pulled in different directions, but basically kept a fairly straight line. I finished the swim in just a tad over 9 minutes for the 977 yards, so about 30sec per 100 faster than my normal pace. I guess the tidal current was REALLY strong.
T1 was a long run/walk into the bike area. I got my stuff together and was off on the bike pretty fast. My race plan was to push the bike relatively hard, keeping a solid Z3-Z4 HR and just let power and speed be what they were. It was a bit slow and congested at the beginning, but the roads were closed to traffic and I could get around folks pretty easily. The course was a bit technical, with some sharp turns that scrubbed speed, but also had some longer stretches where I got aero and applied power. I finished up the bike in 36:58 for the 11.7 miles, avg speed 18.9, 160w NP, 150 avg HR.
I got off the bike and out of T2 pretty quickly, and off on the run. My plan was to keep HR 145-150ish for as long as I could hold out. The run has several sections of sand, which keeps speeds down and jacks HR, so my plan was to walk them if needed. I came out of T2, and was on the road in my HR zone, and running at 11mpm pace. But very quickly HR became really high, I had chest tightness and seemed to be cramping in my left shoulder to mid-back. I’ve had symptoms like this before, and can usually walk them off and get back to running, albeit at a slower pace. But these started right before the 1st, and longest sand stretch, which I walked. When I got to the end (about 1 mile into the run) I noticed that I was a bit dizzy and having problems walking a straight line. I would jog for a bit, the dizziness would get worse, so I’d walk until it got a bit better. At the turn around, I was VERY dizzy and had to stop at the water station and lean against a vehicle. When I got to the last sand section I was extremely dizzy and someone had to help me up to the road. I had to sit down a couple of times headed back into the finish as I was really dizzy. I ended up with a miserable 52min 5k time, since I was walking pretty slowly toward the end. I did manage to run the last 50yds into the finish.
At the finish I was really dizzy, so I sat in the medical tent and explained what was going on. They gave me some diluted Gatorade and some water. I sat there for several minutes, and the vertigo dissipated a bit, but I still felt unsteady. I decided to get back to transition, and get my gear together. I was sitting at my bike, sipping my water and eating a bar when Yana found me. She was really happy with her results, and I was really happy for her as well. She helped me get my stuff together and I met her husband and boys. As I was headed back to my car, just steps out of transition I began to feel really nauseous and had to stop. I moved into the shade, leaned my bike up against the wall of the ferry terminal and threw up. I knew at that point that something wasn’t right with me, and I should probably get medical attention. Another athlete got an EMT who helped me back to the med tent. My BP wasn’t bad, pulse was ok, but the vertigo woud not subside. Given my cardiac history, the advice was to get to the ER and get checked out. While I really didn’t want the hassle, I knew it would be best to do so. So I got my first ever ambulance ride.
Once in the ER, they initial EKG didn’t show anything wrong. As I was sitting there I became nauseous again, and threw up once more. I got an IV drip started and some anti-nausea meds and started to feel better. Got blood & urine samples tested and they also came back clear. After a few hours, and two bags of IV fluids, the vertigo was gone. My friend Jen had stayed in contact with me, and graciously offered to come get me out of the ER. The Delmo Sports team had taken good care of my bike, getting it into the ferry terminal and secured, and had contacted the vineyard where my car was parked to let them know I’d be delayed. They also stayed in touch with Fran to make sure that she also knew where all my stuff was. I can’t say enough good things about the Delmo Sports folks.
Jen & her friend Marcia picked me up and shuttled me back to my car and lead me back to the ferry terminal. I quickly got my bike, stopped to thank the Delmo team again, and was back on the road and home by late afternoon.
This morning (Monday) I’m feeling pretty good. No vertigo and no nausea. I’m not really sure what happened on race day. I didn’t do anything really different on race morning, I had plenty of fluids before the race, perhaps it was too much plain water that threw off my electrolytes. The race wasn’t really hot, nor did I feel overheated on the bike. I drank a bit on the bike, but since it was only 30 minutes I didn’t drink more than 1/2 a bottle. But I’m used to going for over an hour on the run w/out fluids. Really odd and I’m going to try and sort this out over the next few weeks.
This coming week will be back to full-keto diet. The week will culminate in the Revolutionary Ramble 100 miler. I’m riding in support of my friend Rob, who is training for IMLP in a few weeks, so this will be a big test day for him. I’m taking my road bike, since I DON’T need to climb hills in the tri-bike quite yet. But I’m also not trained up for a fast 100. I should be able to make it through the distance, but it will be slow.