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Death walk in Cozumel « Caroline Koll's Blog

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Death walk in Cozumel

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There is no shame in walking. I swore that I would never walk, I mean how hard can it be not to even just shuffle along? Well, on Sunday, even walking became hard, there were times I even had to sit on the side walk, so sick, but I never thought how hard it could be just to finish – especially when things are going horribly, horribly wrong! The truth is, failure is only failure if you believe it to be so.

As you can gather, IM Cozumel did not go exceptionally well for me! While some in the Pro ranks would turn their noses up at finishing last Pro (6 chose not to go all the way), 12th place, and in a whopping time of 12h20, I swallowed my pride and did just that!

The day started off well enough, I just simply loved the swim – no wetsuits, beautiful warm clear waters that gave you the impression of swimming in a tropical fish tank! I felt good and was swimming comfortably in a small group of three which included Bella, which was a good thing for me, given my poor eyesight, I could count on her to swim straight, and I think we pushed each other well to a good swim time.

Onto the bike, and it was going to be tough! The wind was blowing very, very strongly, all the time and in every direction it seemed to me? I felt very thristy and sucked up two bottles within the first hour, a little surprising considering that it wasn’t really that hot at all? At the 30k mark I stood up briefly to stretch my legs a little, and wham! Both hamstrings cramped up! I have no idea why, but it was so painful that I was unable to push on the pedals with any kind of effort. This went on for the next 20k, all I could do was ease up and try to get the cramping to subside. By now, already, this early, I knew it was not going to be an easy day at all! I continued to lose positions while I tried to get my legs to operate sufficiently while not cramping, and also trying to get my thirst under control with endless amounts of Gatorade! 

At the end of the bike, I knew that I had lost a considerable amount of time, but I thought that I may just come to life again on the run, which is usually my favourite! I started off not feeling good at all, but somehow running at a fairly good clip. I then tried everything in terms of food and drink to try and make myself feel better, but to no avail, I just felt worse and worse, feeling  dizzy and nauseaous. Just after the first loop of three, I suddenly came to a dead stop in my tracks – the worst stomach pain I had ever had! It literally felt as though something inside of me was completely malfunctioning! I tried to walk a bit, convinced it would ease up, but eventually had to sit hunched over on the side walk to ease the pain..

I had many discussions going on in my head, but somehow, I kept thinking, that if I could keep moving forward, it may just get better? In the end, I was never able to run, although, until the very last kilometer, I always thought that there may be a chance! On Sunday, I walked 28kilometres, ended up with very blistered feet, urinating blood for a day, feeling disappointed for my Sister who had come to watch me for the first time ever, only to look at a guy, way back behind me, with one leg who took the same opportunity as I just to compete…

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