Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ironman Louisville: Part 1 - The Rematch

Ironman Louisville - August 25, 2013

Last year, August 2012, Cliff competed in the Ironman competition in Louisville, KY. He swam 2.4 miles, rode the bike 112 miles and ran 18 of the 26.2 miles of the run course. It was as hot as you know what and he didn't handle it well. He got overheated, dehydrated and threw up multiple times. His nutrition and hydration was his downfall. He can not tolerate drinking warm liquids and you can imagine how warm and even hot his drinks, gel and whatever else he was eating or drinking were after sitting in 90-100 degree temps all day. Long story mile 18, he just gave out of gas and couldn't go any further.  It was also a mistake that he did not get IV fluids from the medics to replace what he lost. He suffered with cramps that night and looked like he lost 10 pounds that day and the next. I was worried. But as Cliff does, he decided that beast was not going to conquer him. He would come back the following year for a rematch. And so he did.......

Ironman Louisville, 2013.
Picking up his race packet.
The hopeful finish.

Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 Ironman Louisville. I was still worried. Although we had experienced cooler temps for sometime leading up to the Ironman, the hot humid weather returned the very week of the Ironman competition. I could sit here and give you his goals and stats, his nutrition and hydration plans for this year, his swim times and bike times and the whole satire of how he again got overheated and dehydrated. I could sit here and tell you about how he was escorted to the medic tent and then taken by van to a separate venue to have IV fluids and of course, how this took him out of the competition before he even started the 26.2 mile run. But, I'm not. Something definitely went wrong and I'm going to leave that story for him to tell. He tried his best that day and I could not be prouder of him.

The sea of bikes at the transition area
with the Ohio River swim course in the background.
Cliff in the center, after finishing the 112-mile bike ride.

Something funny did happen at the medic venue, though. Cliff was hooked up to the IV and it didn't take long to empty. He watched as the last drops were going in and then saw air coming down the tube. He started getting very nervous. All he could think of was 'air embolism'. Cliff was about to pull the IV out of his arm when I asked the nurse to come over and explain to him that the air would not go into his vein.  He was clearly done, he didn't want any more and asked her to go ahead and take the IV out.

Saturday night, the night before the Ironman, Cliff did not sleep a wink. He thinks it's because of a new energy drink mix that we picked up from the expo that evening called ZipFizz. And he also thinks the energy drink contributed to his dehydration the next day. Anyway, even after not sleeping the night before and all that he experienced on competition day, Cliff still could not sleep Sunday night. I'm sure his mind was going over everything that had happened. He actually woke me up at 2 a.m. to ask me how blood pressure was measured. Gah!! He was still trying to figure out how the air in the IV tube did not get into his vein. ~Ha!~ That man's a mess.

Come back tomorrow for Ironman Louisville: Part 2 - My 8 Miles and the Fourth Street Live Incident

Til then,


  1. I didn't want to read his next journey didn't end at the finish. Does he have a blog too?

    1. Thank you. It was tough. No, he doesn't have a blog but writes reports of his events occasionally. I'll ask him if I can post it.

  2. He sounds like a determined man who will reach his goal one day. Is there an Iron Man race in an area that isn't so hot and humid?

    1. He has actually finished one close to home and it was definitely cooler. Thank you for your nice comment.

  3. Aww, the poor guy. All that work and not like an ironman competition is easy peasey... but heat is heat and everyone responds differently to it. Tell him he is not alone, I used to be a distance runner and biked, not 100's of miles but 30 and 40 mile rides but in my mid 40's I started having problems with overheating and feeling wicked sick. It, along with fibromyalgia ended my running and biking adventures (er, maybe don't tell him about the fibro part even though men rarely get it don't want to give him something else to fret about, all that training is hard enough)! He is certainly tenacious and I give him credit for making it as far as he did! Most in this world will not even come close to his accomplishments.
    Beth P