Monday, August 19, 2013

Making the tough decisions...

First the good.  I think I still have some fast in my legs, as I finally broke 38 min at a Murphy TT.  That is the fastest it has ever been done and a good sign that my legs and high end are there even w/ the frequency of racing down. If you haven't been to a Murphy TT, come on out for a great time with free beer, pop and food after!

Now the not so good.  I DNF'd Maah Daah Hey 100 on Saturday after ~105 miles due to heat stroke sypmtoms that were getting bad (my race would have been ~113 miles given some "detours"....about 35-40 minutes total through the race is what Erik Tonkin and I figured).  Temperatures reach 105-110 on the trail and we had a 20mph headwind. 
I was in the lead comfortably riding w/ Kelly McGelky and Erik leaving checkpoint two (55 miles or so) when we took another 15-20 minute detour...the guy that was supposed to flag us onto the trail off a gravel road wasn't there ;(   My impetus left as we found out that the 4th member of our group, who had fallen off a little prior to the 2nd checkpoint, didn't miss the turn.  Erik and I soldiered on, dropped Kelly, and then got lost again for 5-10 minutes.  At this point, I just wanted to finish, and  I was more than a little frustrated.  After I lost that 25 minutes on Section 3 and sat up a bit, Kevin Ishaug caught up to me.  We rode together in the final miles to the 3rd checkpoint and beyond, and we were still on pace for a 10 hour finish.  About an hour after the 3rd checkpoint, I had the tell tail signs of heat stroke as did Kevin.  It sure felt hot, but I had no idea how hot it had really gotten...
I got to Interstate 94 and knew that there was 8 miles to go in the race and very few options to bail after that.  I laid down in a tunnel underneath the interstate to cool down a little, got up, tried to find cell service but couldn't, ended up riding down 94, almost convinced myself to turn around and get back on the trail, and finally did the smart thing and called for help.  My wonderful Father came and picked me up.  It was very strange having plenty of leg power but such debilitating cramping, dizziness, inability to focus my eyes, and near vomiting.  In the end, I think this decision save me from heat stroke (I think...haven't confirmed that but have felt ok since re-hydrating..if I did avoid heat stroke I am sure I was only minutes of riding away from it).  Kevin did finish but I had to have the race directors call an ambulance after because he could barely utter a word even sitting inside an air conditioned bar.  He ended up with heat stroke.

I got this from Mike Pfeiffers GPS (he finished strong and looked the best of anyone!)  On this chart, I dropped out at about the 10 hour mark.   My issues started at about the 9 hour mark.  OUCH!

About an hour after I got to the finish line w/ my dad, they called the race due to heat.  I think 8 racers or so out of 160 finished...crazy.

Will I go back?  Maybe.  Will I do it in heat like that?  No way.  I think that with lower temps, not getting lost, and a little different nutrition strategy, I can do it in near 9 hours.  This is the 3rd DNF I have ever had in 11 years of racing and only the 2nd non-mechanical DNF, so it is a little hard to take.  I am sad that I didn't finish, but glad I pulled the plug when I did.

Finally, Thank you DAD and TEGAN for your support!  You guys were phenomenal!!!


Anonymous said...

Dang Brendan... sounds like you made a wise choice in trusting your instincts. There will always be another bike race.


Amery Calven said...

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