When last we left our intrepid heroine she was sitting in a chair just past the finish line holding up her finisher shirt and medal and smiling. The finish line EMT had already offered to take her to the medical tent to be checked out and possibly treated but she declined preferring to go with her own people – her daughter Erin and son in law Marcus.
Another volunteer at the finish line asked if I might like to go to the warming tent which sounded great because it was cold and I was shivering. I stood up and was immediately and spontaneously assisted by Erin and and Marcus who held on to me while I staggered over to the warming tent. I sat down, looked around and realized that this is where the food was and this is where the water and the Gatorade were and that I was supposed to be hungry and thirsty and want to consume something. I was just tired, though. Very tired and rather nauseated. I was totally loopy, too.
Someone turned on the fans and as the hot air blew through there I turned to Erin and said, “I think they’re trying to cook us” so we decided to go. They had already put my stuff in the car but I needed my head lamp and gloves which I had ditched just before the finish line so the picture would come out better and I sent poor Erin off to fetch them. Meanwhile Marcus and I started to head over to the water taxi stopping only to look at the results. It showed that one other woman in my age group had finished but it hadn’t been updated for a while so I didn’t pay too much attention. I was in no shape to pay attention, anyhow.
Erin came back and we all headed to the water taxi which was right there, ready to receive us and then take off. Perfect timing! I was barely able to stand. Most of the people on the taxi were spectators and someone asked me how my race was and I replied “That was hard!” which gave everyone a good chuckle and someone said, “you think?” My sense of humor was admittedly a little thin at that point.
When we got to where the car was I didn’t even want to wait for them to go get it and fetch me at the curb – I just wanted to keep moving until I got there so we did. As soon as I got in the back seat I lay down, put my head on a pile of books and decided I just didn’t care about the seat belt. This is remarkable as I am a seat belt fanatic but I was pretty sure Marcus could get us the 2 miles or so back to the house without crashing and I just didn’t care.
When we got home Marcus assisted me up the stairs because I was incapable of walking without assistance and I headed straight for my bed where I flopped down and shut my eyes. Unbeknown to me, my daughter was a little upset seeing me like that. Then my friend Sharley called and I was telling her about the race and telling her I felt sick and she said, “yeah – you’re slurring your words a little” and I said “uh oh – gotta go – I have to puke!” And I did.
Once I got back on the bed the bargaining started.
Erin told me “Mama – you need to take a shower”
“No – I can’t”
“Okay – you can sleep for 5 minutes if you will take 2 sips of water” So I took 2 sips of water.
Five minutes later, “Mama – you need to get up and take a shower”
Somewhere in there Sharley called back after calling every triathlete she could think of to figure out what was wrong with me and what we should do. Only problem was it was Saturday night at 8 PST and almost no one was around – go figure. Carrie was home and she thought maybe I was severely dehydrated and needed an IV so I told Erin I might have to go to the hospital. That made her feel so much better *cough*
Anyhow, I still couldn’t get up and take a shower so Erin told me that if I took at least 5 sips of water I could sleep for an hour and then she would wake me up and was that okay? And I said yes and drank the water and fell asleep.
At midnight Erin woke me up and I was finally felt well enough to stand so I got the gross clothes off and got clean and then I went back to bed. I probably had to drink some more water – I don’t remember.
In the middle of the night I got up and peed about a gallon. Then I went back to bed. Then it happened again. When I got up in the morning I realized that my kidneys had totally shut down during the run and that’s why I was so sick. Oops! (update – thanks to Anne’s comment below I just checked the ‘tylenol’ bottle and discovered it was not Tylenol that I took on the run – it was ibuprofen. Dang! Never again!!!! and thanks Anne!)
I was fine in the morning, though and finally able to start appreciating my accomplishment, something that alluded me in my bloated, unbalanced, nauseated finish line state. As days rolled by and the congratulations rolled in I felt better and better about it until finally I groked the enormity of what I had done. I think if I did it again I could do it better.
to be continued in the ‘lessons learned’ post…..