Washington Olympic/Fun in an Ambulance

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It was quite an interesting experience at the Washington Olympic distance triathlon run by FS Series yesterday.  This was my first time down there and the venue was fantastic with some good fast competition toeing the line.  The morning was beautiful, if a little muggy, and the water was 83 degrees.  Just a little hot, but not too bad.

I felt really good on the swim, probably the best that I’ve felt in a race in quite some time.  Coming out of the water and into transition, I realized that I had a big lead as no one was in transition yet by the time I was on the road and around the corner on my bike that I could tell.

There was a pretty decent headwind for much of the beginning of the ride, but I kept it steady and strong.  I never felt great, but pretty good and enjoyed the course.  I drank a full bottle of infinit and about half a bottle of water, which is about right for an hour and 26 miles.  I bring that up because of what happens later.  Of course, I had no idea what was going on behind me but have been riding pretty strong and figured I likely didn’t lose much time if any.

Starting the run, I didn’t feel great but not that terrible either.  I did joke to Bri Gaal that I would pay her to run the two laps for me if I could run the one lap for her, but she wouldn’t take me up on it.  The course is a two loop out-and-back, so on the way back in I saw that I had a big lead of at least a mile and was really pumped about that.  On the way in toward the end of the first loop my legs started to really get oddly fatigued and I slowed considerably.  But having such a big lead, I was fine just backing off and cruising it in.  The next mile and a half didn’t feel good, but still not absolutely horrible.  However, after making the last turn toward home I started to really feel off.  I thought it was just excessive fatigue, but the distance and pace shouldn’t have been a problem at all so I should have realized it was more than that.  Someone told me later it was in the 80s maybe, but also 90% humidity, which certainly contributed.

Then, it hit me fast.  With about a half mile left, going over a bridge, I went down.  I remember grabbing the guard rail, but not much after that for a while.  I found out afterward that Paula Brennan saw me go down and I asked her to get help, which she gratefully did.  Thank you, Paula!  It’s weird to not remember much.  I have vague memories of some people stopping and I told them to go on and to not call 911.  Really, the next thing I remember was getting ice dumped and thrown all over me.  Brent Dorenkamp was incredible and I owe him a huge thank you as well.  I do remember throwing up a good amount, but don’t remember being put into the truck or the fact that they moved me.  The good news, though, is that while that is the case I do now remember answering questions and knew everything except the date, which I wasn’t too far off from :) .  However, I did have an issue remember my social security number later.  I know that I owe others for stopping as well, and am very sorry that I don’t remember who was there.

It seems like it happened very shortly after I passed out, but the next thing I know emergency crews are asking questions and taking care of me.  I remember hearing Kari Wilkinson and Suzie Hosman, and thank you both for being there.  When they tried to move me, I couldn’t stand on my legs and they put me on a gurney, although the order of events may have been different on that as I’m not sure who asked or when they tried to get me to stand.  As they moved me into the ambulance, I threw up several more times including while in the ambulance, which was not fun at all.  However, I did start to feel better and come to at that point.  That’s why I was a little surprised when they checked me over and the guy told the driver to ‘go hot’ and the sirens went on as the driver stepped on the gas!  They said they had to put me on oxygen and I’m not sure what my blood pressure was, but a while later while at the hospital it was still only about 100/55, and they had a little trouble getting an IV needle in b/c I was ‘dry’ and it took a couple of veins to get right.

In the ER, they were still keeping me on ice and started the IVs while also taking a lot of other tests.  It’s odd, because by that point I was starting to feel much better so I was surprised when they came back and told me that they wanted me to stay overnight because my kidney function was way off, while my electrolytes were as well.  Other numbers were also off, which I found out later, and which I was told was basically like poisoning my body.  They told me more than once that I’m not 21 and have to take added precautions!  I know that, and thought that I had, but just didn’t have enough liquid/ice on the 10k run.

It was a very pleasant surprise to get visitors down there, and I owe Doris and Kari big time for bringing me my stuff and driving my car home for me.  Thanks Paula, Frazier, and Brent for the visit as well.  Also, poor Monette had to get the messages while training with a client and was very gracious in making the trip down to be with me.  I can’t tell you how big of a lift it was to have her there.

My functions have stabilized back into normal ranges and they have allowed me to come home.  So, now I just need a lot of SLEEP!  It was scary and embarrassing, but I’ll learn from it and move on.  Thank you to everyone that helped and sent nice messages, it means a lot.  And, it was great to see many of you killing it out at the race!

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