Admittedly I did not train as intensely for this event like I had for other races in the past. That is not to say that I wasn’t in shape. My level of fitness hasn’t changed much in the past 4 years, so I was optimistic that I would finish this race, albeit it was a cautious optimism. Why?
It was 7 years ago when I first attempted this triathlon distance at Vineman. I was 60-some pounds heavier then, slower, and inexperienced. I also had a DNF that time too. I suffered from nutrition problems on the bike which ultimately affected my run. I had put that DNF behind me by finishing IronMan Lake Placid 2006, faster and lighter than I was at Vineman 2003.
Why the DNF at Vineman 2010? I woke up with a sore throat. My throat and chest were burning during the swim, and I found breathing to be labored. I finished the swim in 2 hours; 40 minutes slower than normal. The bike wasn’t too bad, which I finished in 7 hours. My throat was raw and the roof of my mouth was swollen from spitting more than usual. My cold got worse throughout the day including a sinus infection (which would plague me for the next 4 days).
When I got to the run, I was feeling pretty bad. My body ached more than it should. I had close to zero energy. Yes, I smiled for the cameras, but I might have run about 5 miles of the distance and walked the rest. I tried everything I could to will myself forward into a run, but my legs did not want to move. I ate as much as I could at the aid stations, trying to get sugar to my brain, but it might have been too little too late.
At the end of the day, I missed the third loop cutoff of the marathon. Of the 140.6 miles, I had only covered about 131 miles. Like Vineman 2003, nutrition ultimately did me in. Unlike Vineman 2010, I was pretty devastated by the turn of events that lead me to this DNF. After about 10 minutes of feeling sorry for myself, I started thinking about how I would train for Vineman 2011.
Thanks to all the well-wishers and all the people that cheered for me on the course. You did provide a great boost to my spirits. Next time, you’ll see me crossing the finish line!
Stay tuned. I’m currently in a new training program. I will give you more details as I try it out!