MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




Kona Ironman 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I’ve got a bit of time prior to heading home later tonight, so I thought I’d do a quick update on the old race. It’s not the fun play-by-play, nor are ALL the gory details included, but it sums up what I finally have found out happened to me. The long story short goes like this:

I spent quite a while on Tuesday speaking with Dr. Bob Laird, the IM medical director about my symptoms. It turns out that prior to race day, I was suffering from an intestinal viral infection. It did not affect me muscularly, or physically speaking, and allowed me to still feel fresh and ready to roll. However, I did have some abdominal pain in the six to eight days prior to the race. Once in the swim, I took on a bit too much sea water which (combined with the virus) caused my gut to begin shutting down. Over the last 15-20 minutes of the swim, I got quite sick, and took T1 to ease back into feeling ok. Once on the bike, I immediately attacked, in an attempt to catch the next main group. However, I struggled along behind the chase group chasing the lead group. I never questioned that I would eventually gain ground, and make my way; however, at mile 40 I ended up on the side of the road vomiting up everything I had tried to take in (including the sea water). I figured that was my chance to start with a clean slate, but it turned out I was quite weak for the next thirty miles. At that point, I turned things around and rode well for about twenty five miles.

Starting the run, my goal was to replace all the calories I had not gotten on the bike: big mistake! I pushed through ten miles at a decent effort, struggling but thinking I could still salvage the day with a 3:05 marathon. However, once on the Queen K, my inability to get calories in (I was bloating and burping my way along), I hit the bottom. I ended up walk/ running the rest of the marathon… ultimately teaming up with Heather Fuhr, who was also way off pace.

In the end, my diagnosis was that I suffered from mild intestinal esquema, as a result of my gut not allowing anything to enter. In a bad case esquema results in what happened to Chris Legh in 1997… my case was nowhere near this bad, as I did not push myself through the discomfort on the run.

I spent the three days post-race unable to eat and getting VERY familiar with the toilet.

After one day of liquids only, I have progressed to soup and rice. I am feeling much better, and Dr Laird has told me that I will likely be back to full-speed and totally normal very soon.

i have opted out of racing Xterra (for obvious reasons), and am spending a few down-time days here in Kona. I’ll be home on Friday morning, and will be back in the swing of things soon enough.

1 Comment(s)

ginny on 10/21/05 said:

Your Austin fans are proud of you and happy you are ok!

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