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!
I have read almost every book by Henry Rollins and have seen him do spoken word a bunch of times, but this may be one of the best version of ‘I Know You’ I have ever come across.
Now for something completely different, here is a video of a group of guys skating on frozen sand along the Norwegian coast. Love the ingenuity and building a half pipe out of frozen sand. If you have the bandwidth, watch it in full resolution!
Finally an amazing video of the Bad Brains from 1983 in Berlin.
Whenever I have an event, I get so excited in the morning that I wake up really early and don’t go back to sleep because I am afraid my alarm won’t go off and I am going to miss it. Today was no different, the Marine Corps 17.75k has a 7a start and requires a shuttle ride after parking, but still there was no real reason for me to be up at 3:00a.
Felt pretty with my results from today. I was much faster than last year, dropping more than 30 seconds a mile. I am really happy with my overall results and placed much better than I expected I would:
Overall: 239 out of 2,834
Males: 188 out of 1,423
40-44 y/o Males: 27 out of 248
So I have gotten guaranteed access into the Marine Corps Marathon this fall, hopefully it is cooler than last years. Can’t believe last year was my first marathon and this year I will be running two in two weeks of one another. Going to be a busy year!