Friday, January 20, 2012

Running Around #4: Florida, 9 IVs and a Sub10 Ironman

I've had the pleasure to run a number of times in the great state of Florida and so I have many stories I could tell.
1. Running South Beach where there is little left to the imagination.
2. Running through Disney World.
3. Running along the various water ways of Tampa.

The best story comes from one of the most interesting towns I think we've ever been too, Panama City Beach. The beach is as white and you can imagine a beach to be and the sand is so fine it squeaks when you walk on it. Just across the street from the beach sits many establishments flying the South colors. I think you have to go there to appreciate it's flair. Anyway it was Ironman Florida 2000. Billed as a fast course but with no breaks. Dead flat on the bike and run means you better keep your focus. Anyway I got through the swim and 3/4 of the bike ok. Towards the end of the bike it started to rain hard. Water everywhere. Because I was getting rained on and cooled down I didn't drink. By the time I got to the run the sun was out and the wet roads were steaming. Everything seemed fine on lap #1. I was on my goal pace and all was well with the body. Things started to crumble as I neared the final turn around. I could feel things were not right but my running was still in good shape. As I got close to the finish I ran up along side a guy and urged him to run with me. He did. We both hit the tape in 9:57. A really good day.
Mary was there to meet me at the finish. Her concern as always was that I would die right then and there. I assured her that I was fine but that I needed food and something to drink. When that came around I realized something was wrong. I couldn't drink or better I couldn't swallow. Same on the food. I found the medical tent and told them what was going on. I was shivering by this time and couldn't get warm. The doctor in the tent checked me out and said "you are not that bad off and besides we need these beds for people who will come in with a much worse condition". So I left the tent, found Mary and we headed to the condo. In the condo I sat in a warm bath trying to get warm. Mary tried feeding me potato chips and sprite. Nothing doing I was still cold and could not consume. Finally at 9pm a full 4 hours after finishing I ask Mary to take me to the hospital. There they run test after test and finally come back and tell me this:
"Your body has begun to feed on itself, you are going to need IV and monitoring to make sure it doesn't get worse. Because it's now midnight you will officially be checked in tomorrow. Florida state law requires that you stay over night which means you will be with us for the next two nights"
By the time I woke up the next morning I had gone through 9 IV bags. That's quite a few if you didn't know. For the next day I was bouncing off the wall. I had just gone Sub10, my wife was already back in California and I was 100% recovered (9 IVs will do that) and still in a hospital. Now I was sure my bed could be used for someone in worse condition then me.

The lessons learned:
1. Continue to drink and eat when it's raining.
2. Go as fast as you can, it's fun to push the limits.
3. Don't let the doctor tell you how you feel. 1 IV in that tent and the entire problem would have been solved.

It's a good life....
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