"I Want to Quit!"...but, I didn't!

"I want to quit!" I can't go any further!" "Putting my bike in the back of the sheriff's (police) car that is following me would be so easy!"

NEVER have I ever felt that way, said those things or seriously contemplated doing that. Marine Corps Marathon was tough. It took my body to the extreme limit, but NEVER wanted to quit. My first and so far only sprint triathlon, which I was not well trained for at all, NEVER thought of quitting.

This past Saturday, March 11, at the Hagan Stone Park Duathlon in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, I wanted to quit.

Let's backup to last weekend when Merrill say's, or something similar to this, "There's a duathlon and a 10-miler next weekend! We don't have any children that day. What would you like to do?"

I chose the duathlon, Hagan Stone Park Duathlon (5K run-16 mile bike ride-5K run) and she chose the 10-miler. For her it was going to be a simple taper run for the Tobacco Road Marathon next weekend. Remember in previous blog posts I have said that I do things because they are there? Well, that was the case with this. It's running and bike riding. I've done that before. There was no goal besides finishing. I set a finishing time as a backup goal.

I will say now...I did finish! I wasn't even close to my backup goal time.
Getting ready for a race that has a transition like a triathlon and duathlon is always nerve-wracking. I needed a list to make sure I had everything. I did make sure I had my extra hydrocortisone, solu-cortef act-o-vial, Endurolytes and most importantly for the ride, my Infinit hydration drink.
Hello Kitty is ready to leave.
On Saturday morning, Merrill went her direction and I went mine. It was a two hour drive north of Charlotte. It was cold. The predicted temperature was to 38 degrees/feels like 33 degrees. It turned out to be 32 degrees. My warm clothes were ready and I had two pairs of gloves, one for the run and one for the bike ride. I knew the ride would be colder due to the breeze generated while riding. My plan was to wear my cap for the run and then under my helmet while riding.
Transition is ready! It is easier for a duathlon.
For the first run I knew that I needed to maintain an even pace because there was a lot more ahead of me. With Hello Kitty strapped to my back with the solu-cortef act-o-vial in her pack, we set out. It turned out to be a true trail run - dirt, roots, leaves. I wasn't expecting that, but it was a well-groomed three wide trail. I knew I would be towards the back. That is fine with me.
Screen shot from video.
I finished the run and got to transition. Took off my cap and gloves. Put my helmet on and dry gloves. Took my bike (33-pound mountain bike with knobby tires and all!) out of transition, mounted and rode away. I knew it would be a ride over an hour, so I had a bag of hydrocortisone pills on my bike and Infinit in my bottle.
Another screen shot.
What lay ahead of me I was NOT expecting. I had been on the trainer, done some outdoor rides, so I felt prepared enough to trudge my way through the 2 loop (8-miles each) 16 mile ride.

The first mile was mostly in the park before a right turn onto streets around the park. Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to the road approaching the park. Probably because I was driving downhill. Leaving the park on the bike the road went uphill. Not just a little bit uphill, but more than I was prepared for uphill. Even switching into my lowest gear didn't help. I got winded, but smartly I stopped to catch my breath. This was my first moment when I thought, "I want to stop." If the rest of the ride was like this, I felt I couldn't do it. After a couple of minutes I put my feet on the pedals and restarted. I made it up that hill.

Right about this time the leaders were coming around for the second lap. This didn't bother me at all. I expected it. All of them were extremely polite. It was nice seeing all the different bikes, road and tri. I got to see how people rode and how smooth they were. Some said that they were coming on the left. Another one said, "That must be a lot of work!" I know that was regarding the bike that I have. I said, "But I am doing it!" It was meant to be a positive, but probably came out a little snarky.

The best comment was about Hello Kitty. A gentleman passed me and said, "This is a first! Passing a Hello Kitty!" It made me laugh and when I tell others about it they laugh also.

I knew that it was cold. I had taken my cap off and felt the wind through the vents of my helmet. The gloves I switched to were perfect!

On my bike I had my Infinit formula. Looking back it seems that it worked out perfectly. I may need to tweak the sodium levels down.

The rest of the ride was much more than I expected or had trained for. I did have to stop several times. It is what saved me. I could re-focus and push on. The first lap was completed and I went on to the second lap. I didn't know how people were behind me, but I knew there was at least one. It was during this lap that really began the self doubting. I wanted to stop and call it quits. I even began to question my Tri-ing By 50 goal. If I couldn't even do this, how could I consider a half-IRONMAN? Keep pushing! And, that's what I did.

Around mile 13 a sheriff's car passed me that had been helping with the race. He stopped ahead and talked with the volunteer working the turn. Once I passed him, the sheriff fell in behind me. I knew what that meant, or at least I thought I did. Everyone who races knows what this means. For those that don't, it means you are the LAST participant in the race. It didn't bother me becasue someone has to be last. I had done it in my triathlon. With the sheriff following me I kept going. It may have been the slowest the car had ever gone. I stopped once and honestly contemplated getting off my bike, walking back to the car and putting my bike in the back and being driven to the finish. I am proud to say, I DID NOT DO THAT!
Bike course elevation chart.
Mile 16: Rack my bike in transition. There may have be a profane word said to express what I was feeling. (I am human. It happens when your body and mind are exhausted.) I took a moment to rest. Asked for a bottle of water from someone waiting for the awards. Took off my helmet and gloves and then went out on the last 5K run. Funny thing is that my transition time was in the middle of everyone that participated. Yay, I was good at that! Everyone was so encouraging that was still there. That is what I love about the multisport world.

I tried running, but my legs said no. I walked the first mile or so. I was quite fine with that. I knew there may have been someone still behind me, so I kept going. I was so close to the finish. With every step my legs got better. Eventually, I could move quicker. There was some running. It was not a pretty run, but I finished. I wasn't the last finisher. There were two more behind me.
Negative splits! LOL
At least something positive.
I can add duathlete to my half-marathon, marathon and triathlete titles. Pretty could never be used to describe what I did.
My beautiful post-duathlon look.
Isn't my hair pretty?
Hello Kitty and I back home.
That's a packed car.
What did I do?
-I proved that someone with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia can do a duathlon. On my bike ride I did take some hydrocortisone as my endocrinologist had told  me to do for the Marine Corps Marathon. It's part of who I am.
-I realized that my mountain bike is not even remotely conducive to doing what I have plans to do.
-I realized that I need to train. Not that I ever thought I didn't need to do that.

I realized that I can do it! I may not be the fastest and never will be. I will finish what I start no matter how long it takes me. My joke is that anyone who sponsors or supports me will get the best exposure because of how long I am out on the course.

Merrill finshed her 10-miler. She said it was hard. More than she expected, also.

What is next? On Sunday, March 19, Merrill and I will be traveling to Cary, North Carolina for the Tobacco Road Marathon (Merrill) and Half Marathon (Me and Hello Kitty).


If you could help, no amount is too small, please visit: Go Fund Me.