It has been a few weeks since Lake Placid and I have been thinking about how to summarize everything that happened during that event and have not been able to find the words to describe it. Exciting. Exhausting. Inspiring. All are things that come to mind when I think about the days that lead up to the IronMan as well as the event itself.
To start, I did the event as a fund raiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research foundation. I wanted a little bit of extra incentive to help push myself and force me to commit to being prepared for this event. I am proud to say, that I reached my $5,000 fund raising goal and as a team we raised over $300,000.
I am really glad that I did my first IronMan as part of this MMRF Team, the help and support they gave definitely reduced the stress in getting things lined up and knowing my family that came up to watch would be well taken care of while I was on the course racing.
We were lucky and got into town a few days before the race. We were staying right in Lake Placid, so it made it very easy to get accustomed to the Lake and the “cable”. It took me a couple of swims to get comfortable with the cable. Getting close to it at first really freaked me out. But after getting to swim the course for a couple of days it actually became quite comforting and I didn’t have to sight much at all.
The race itself was the well oiled machine that is IronMan. Checking in was a piece of cake.
I can’t believe it – only four weeks to go! Had a breakthrough swim last night, I swam almost 2.7 miles (that is 188 laps in a 25 yard pool) in under 1 hour and 15 minutes. The race swim is 2.4 miles and the cut off time is 2 hours and 20 minutes. That swim cleared a big mental hurdle for me!
I still have a little ways to go with the fund raising, but thanks to the good folks at Amazon, I will be raffling off an Amazon Echo to help reach my fundraising goal. Any donation above $30 between now and July 8th will help the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation achieve their mission and provide you a chance to win some great technology for your home or office!
The following is the breakdown on how to get chances to win:
$30 – One Chance
$50 – Two Chances
$100 – Five Chances
$250+ – Fifteen Chances
Please make your donations through my MMRF donation page. The drawing will be held on July 8th. I will email you after receiving your donation confirming the number of raffle chances. Thanks in advance and good luck in the raffle!
Training has been a lot recently, many long hours swimming, riding, and running, last week I spent more than 16 hours either swimming, riding or running. It is funny, I have never been the guy the people in a gym knew by first name, now I am. My wife has been poking fun at me, I am eating everything in the house and none of my none of my clothes fit me any longer. But it became more even more real this week when the race kits arrived on Thursday. This shit is really getting close!
To circle back to Father’s Day, I can’t believe that it has been 14 years since my father lost his battle with Bladder & Brain Cancer.
I remember how hard it was to go through that process and how difficult it was on our family. I want to do everything in my power to help others from having to go through that process. I would like to say thank you to everyone that has helped me get closer to my fund raising goal of $5,000. I am a little over $3,000 and could use some more help over the next few weeks in reaching my goal to help other families not have to go through that ordeal. If you have donated, I sincerely THANK YOU, but please share the link to my donation page with your friends and family. If you haven’t donated, please consider donating whatever you can.
I did it! 70.3 miles in 6:06:10. I was shooting for sub-6 hours, but given the heat during the run I am more than happy with that time.
This event was hard, but I got such a kick out of it. The run was probably the most brutal run I have ever completed. I have done some long, hot hilly runs. But this one seemed particularly hard. Half was uphill, half was downhill, and all was in full sunlight. I have never been that uncomfortable, but in the same breath, it has been a long time since I have had the mental strength to say – I’ve got this.
There were many experiences through the race that made me reach back to things I have learned along the way, whether directly through training or from previous endeavors, but all helped me deal with some of the madness I found out there.
The morning greeted me with an amazing sunrise. All athletes took shuttles from the center of town out to the race start. I was listening to music on the ride, thinking about all the work that has led to this event and wondering if I was going to be able to pull it off. Actually be able to justify all of the time I have taken from being with family and friends. I was nervous if I could actually do it.
The first was the swim. If you have never done an open water swim, it can get pretty spooky. Murky water, knowing it is deep, lots of people churning around you. It is amazing the way your mind can take over and makes a controlled event seem really sketchy. I was about .1 miles into the swim when my mind started questioning what I was doing. Thinking I couldn’t breath and I had SO FAR to go. I immediately started questioning this endeavor. A close friend’s lesson popped into my head – a story around deep water and thinking too much about something (Thank You Jerry!). Right around this time, I saw someone swim over to one of the safety boats and pull the plug on their swim and end their attempt. I kept thinking about his story and honestly laughed while swimming and quickly got my head refocused on the task at hand. I finished the swim in 46 minutes, getting out of the water feeling elated. Now I could get onto my strong events.
I have been a cyclist my whole life, and I couldn’t wait to get on the bike. There aren’t many places I feel more comfortable in than on a bike seat, and yesterday was no different. I went in with the mindset of not having to mash on the pedals all the time, just stay consistent. My comfort also let me switch my head off and just move.
The heat started to increase and I knew I had to stay on top of my eating and drinking or else I would never finish this thing. There were aid stations every 14 miles and I took full advantage of them. The volunteers were so awesome. The one I stopped at (not just rolled through grabbing what they had to offer), a woman ran up to me and asked me what I needed and made sure I was taken care of. I was in and out of there in less than a minute with full bottles. I found myself doing well where others were struggling and made up time on people when going uphill. They may have passed me on the downhills, but I would pass them on the next climb and would give me distance on them.
The other thing about the ride that was entertaining were the signs people had along the course to cheer us on. Here are a few of my favorites:
It is called an IronMan because it is hard. If it were easy, it would be called your Mom
Leading up to the run, I was not too concerned about it. In hind sight, I should have been. It was brutal! The course consisted of two six mile loops, three miles uphill and three miles down with very limited shade in 90+ degree temperatures. That run beat the shit out of me. I drank as much liquid as I could, but did not feel like I could get anymore in me without getting sick. It was a weird balance I was trying to do…
The Town of Raleigh came out in full force and rooted every runner on. A few of the businesses set up their own cheering sections and it definitely made it easier to push on when I was feeling low. I have to admit that having your name on your race number is nice. Having people call out your name and root you on is a very empowering thing when you don’t want to continue. The finish for the IronMan is another amazing event I find difficult to explain. The cheering noise and the announcer really got my adrenaline pumping. I felt like I had nothing left in my tank, but when hearing the muffled announcements and the growing sound of the crowd I got a surge of energy to push me through the finish.
In all it was an amazing experience and I cannot wait for Lake Placid in seven weeks!
I can’t believe it is 12 weeks out from the IRONMAN Lake Placid. My fitness is starting to line up and I am feeling really good in my workouts and way more comfortable in the water.
Which is a good thing since The season is spinning up this weekend. Starting with the High Cloud PeasantMan Triathlon this weekend and I’m four weeks to the IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh. I still have a ways to go to meet my $5,000 goal and would really appreciate your help. Please make a donation or share the link to help me circulate the message. Thanks in advance!