ADC: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s

Benjamin and I finished the the fourth race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) today. In truth, we were both idiots for running it given how we felt just a few days earlier.

Wednesday evening Benjamin’s stomach was being odd. Things must have gotten worse overnight ’cause he called me just as I was leaving the gym on Tuesday morning (I leave the house around 5:30am so he was still asleep when I left) asking me to work from home as he was feeling really bad. He was throwing up and having diarrhea attacks every five minutes or so with major periodic stomach cramps thrown in for good measure. We ruled out food poisoning since he and I had the exact same thing for dinner Wednesday night and I felt fine. At 1:30pm when we couldn’t get him to keep anything down I called and got him an appointment with our PCP, Dr. Steve Loeschen, for 2:20. The doctor took one look at him, asked a few questions, and said ‘we need to get some fluids into you or I’m sending you to the ER’. Yikes. Dr. Loeschen tried to start a saline IV but was unable to do so (said he only starts an IV once every two years or so) and said that he could either give B an anti-nausea med and B would have to rehydrate orally or he could send us to the ER. B opted for the anti-nausea meds and we went home to gradually bring him back to normal. By Friday evening he was feeling well enough to eat a full meal although he still looked pale. Saturday morning he felt back to normal, enough that he went to work in the morning and went shopping with Nicole that evening. As a side note, Dr. Loeschen is awesome and I would recommend him to anyone. While in his office he gave us his after-hours pager in case things got worse. He called Thursday evening and again Friday afternoon to check on Benjamin and see how he was doing.

I, on the other hand, came down with something Thursday evening. No clue what it is/was (still note quite over it). It may be allergies, which would be reasonable given the massive cold front that blew in on Thursday, or it could have been a bug of some kind. Regardless, it was a nose/respiratory issue which comes free with a hacking cough, runny nose, sore throat, and feeling like blah. I felt ‘ok’ but not actually well Saturday night and this morning but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a respiratory problem stop me from missing a race and thereby forfeiting the distance challenge! (Insert: you’re an idiot here.)

The weather today was cold (in the mid to upper 30s) and windy. Between the cold wind, airborne allergens, and my compromised respiratory system it was a very hard and painful race. We had to stop and walk at least every other mile for many yards – sometimes at every mile. Once I got into the flow around mile 4 things seemed to improve a bit but I felt like I was only able to make use of 50% of my lung capacity. To make it all worse, the last 0.25 mile, when I could see the finish line, I got a major, almost incapacitating, stitch in my side that B encouraged me through (poor B, I don’t think he’s ever heard me cuss like that in quite some time!) B on the other hand, felt pretty good. He had some knee and hamstring pain in the last mile of the race but otherwise felt pretty good. He was a phenomenal encourager to me through the entire race and I couldn’t have made it to the finish line without him.

In short, we really shouldn’t have raced but we did at my insistence. We’re both really glad to have completed it (and with a time that isn’t too shabby either!) but if we had to do it over again knowing how I would feel — I’d say screw it.

On the positive side of things, B and I individually confirmed how we need to dress for this kind of weather – something we didn’t do right last year in the marathon. The race itself was much better coordinated than it was last year. Parking went smoother, the race started on time (neither early or late), the route was improved (no out-and-back), they didn’t run out of sports drink afterwords, and leaving the venue was simple due to how the course was set up (no need for cars to dart through runners to leave the parking lot). Minus the health issues and the wind (neither of which are really controllable) the race was great.

Race: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s

Overall position 803 out of 1238
Class position (M 25-29) 51 out of 67
Chip time 1:58:50.3
Pace 9:41/M


Overall position 802 out of 1238
Class position (M 20-24) 19 out of 21
Chip time 1:58:50.1
Pace 9:41/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 8:32/M
2 9:14/M
3 9:29/M
4 9:37/M
5 10:32/M
6 10:11/M
7 9:51/M
8 8:42/M
9 10:10/M
10 9:29/M
11 9:25/M
12 9:30/M
12.4 9:15/M

Next race: ARA 20 Miler – January 7th

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

4 thoughts on “ADC: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s”

  1. I spent almost an hour wandering around the Expo center looking for people I knew, but I never saw you guys. Still your bad day 20K was over 1 minute per mile faster than my best-day. Maybe next year!



    1. For this race we pretty much went from the car to the race and back so there wasn’t much time for us to be seen. We huddled in the car up until right before the race and went directly from the car to the start line. After the race we went in to get our ADC ‘half way there’ prize, a donut, and then back to the car (although I did keep an eye out for you while we were in there). We would have stuck around longer if we had felt better.

      Sounds like you beat last year’s time and your own goal – congratulations!


  2. Sorry to hear about all the health problems, but congrats on the finish!

    When I went into the hospital, they started me on fluids because I’d been having problems with nausea. (I’d essentially gotten dehydrated enough from nausea from the antibodics that my body decided it would throw up whenever I introduced any fluid. No idea why the body thinks it’s a good idea to reject fluids once its already dehydrated, but it sounds like B got into the same state.) When I went in, I felt awful — I wasn’t talking to anyone, and was just sitting there like a lump. Within about an hour of them starting fluids, I suddenly felt like a new woman again. It’s astonishing to me how much difference being dehydrated makes in how a person feels.

    Good luck on your next Distance Challenge race!


    1. I’d like a bit o’ H with some of O on the side…

      That does sound like B’s state of things. After the anti-nausea medicine and a few liters of water later he was back to normal. Still no clue what caused the fluid-removing episode (virus? food poisoning?) but we’re glad that it’s over with.

      I’m beginning to wonder if some of my mopey/down days might be caused from being slightly dehydrated? Looking back on such episodes I often feel better after a meal, but I’m not certain if that’s because of the food (due to raising my low blood-sugar) or if it was the fluids I drank during the meal (due to rehydration).

      [Mental note to self: drink more fluids!]


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