Sunday, September 14, 2008

The run or a.k.a. death march shuffle - This is where I lacked some training this past year. I was using the run/walk strategy. Worked great for the first 10k. This is where it got tough. Around mile 8 there was a lady who I was leap frogging fro a while and we started to run together. We were both hurting with a long way to go. From here it was about survival to the end. There was more than enough time to finish but we wanted a little better. Before 11pm was a goal. 30 seconds run/walk was the plan. She helped me quite a bit, and I hope I helped her at least half of what she did for me. I met my Mike and Joanne many times during the run and it was great. It helped take the focus off of what pain I was feeling in the feet. Thank you so much! The absolute worst part was turning around 500 feet before the finish to do the second lap. Made it to the special needs and got food and another pair of socks. That was one hell of an improvement. It felt like I was walking on knives the entire second half. Kept up with the run/walk thing as much as possible. Aid stations were awesome. there was so much energy there it made you want to go faster. Cola and pretzels were my friend at every station. Well we finally made it to the last half mile. My friend Becky showed up right there to give a bit of encouragement to the end. She gave me the extra kick to the finish. Without all of her help throughout the past year answering so many of my stupid questions I would have been a complete bundle of nerves.In the distance I could hear Mike Riley announcing newest batch of winners. The two people that I was shuffling with have already finished IM's so they were all in favor and suggested that I run up ahead of them and get the good finish photo all on my own. Well, now it really was my turn. I saw the finish line and just kept speeding up. I didn't feel the pain of my feet anymore. I was going to live out one of my life's dreams. At 11:24pm September 7, 2008 I was officially an IRONMAN.

Pictures to follow this week along with closing thoughts.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

IM-Wisconsin 2008 RR part 2

T1- 14:07 took my time and changed clothes completely. I figured it was going to be a long day, so make it comfortable. So I put on the lucky 2XU shorts and 2001 IM IW jersey and had a sandwich. Yes, I ate 1 un-crustable. Boy did that hit the spot! The jersey I wore I bought in the first IM-WI 2001 knowing someday I would wear it when i did it. One problem in T1. NO BIKING SOCKS! I figured it wasn't that bad since I do ride without socks quite a bit but never 112 miles. Big mistake that I would find out later.

Bike- This was my leg of the race i was way ready for. I felt really good on the way out HR came down really quick and the power numbers I set were right on target. I was going out at a 160 watt average which for most of the leg out I was up around 20-22mph. First loop gave me a glimpse of what was going to happen but I ignored it. I dropped my chain twice but I put it up to over shifting. I pulled in to Verona and witnessed the TDF like moment. I was absolutely flying somewhere in the 30mph range. Going down the people lined street my speeds were fed off of the crowd. Time to special needs from the Monona Terrace, 3:15. This was over halfway. I was on pace for a solid 6:30 bike split. This is where it went to hell. On hwy 92 drive train locked up. I locked up and discovered my deraileur in the spokes. My chain was completely wedged between the crank and the frame. I got it unjammed but realized I was one spoke short. Wheel was way out of true but I wasn't about to call the crumb wagon to take me back. I figured I was forced out. My worst nightmare. I listened to the constant ticking of the broken spoke. I lost an hour and a half stopping to find tech support to get a new wheel. No luck! I made it to Cross Plains and finally saw a tech support tent. The guy wasn't going to let me continue. He showed me where the frame was broken and told me sorry :( There was no way I was stopping. I told him I have already went 30 miles like it was and I will walk the rest of the way. While we were arguing the assistant discovered the rear pulley wheel. It was sliced in half with most of the teeth missing. this would explain why I had no freewheel available. Got going again and limped the bike back to the Terrace. Total time on the bike was 7:40. I was able to eat and drink on the bike, I felt fresh and the 112 miles that flew by other than the mechanical failure.

T2- since I was behind schedule, I skipped changing clothes. I just switched out shirts and finally put on some socks! The bloody toes thanked me! 10:40 total time. I should have stepped up the pace a bit more but Ironman is what is is. Do not get upset with things you cannot control. Go with the flow and enjoy the day.

IM-Wisconsin 2008 RR

Well lets just say I owe my wife a big thank you. She has put up with a year of me being away training, traveling and working way too much. What a trooper and now I hope I have made her proud.

The year leading up the race was injury free till one week before. My littlest one jumped on my foot while I was lying on the floor and we thought it was broken. Short story, it wasn't. I went to the doc, they took x-rays and told me it would just hurt. I bruised some tendon. I visited the Chiro who is a multiple marathoner and he checked it out. He popped it back into place and all was good.

Pre race - Got out of bed at 4am after a night of almost no sleep. Nerves were getting the best of me. I kept having dreams and visions of not making the swim cutoff of 9:20 am. I kept wondering if I did enough training to make it. I had one hell of a time knocking out the self doubt going into the swim. After a diet coke things calmed a bit :) Well I grabbed a bit to eat and headed up to the Terrace to get the party started. Walking down to the Terrace, I could hardly believe I was going to do THIS! I have spectated since it started in 2001 and I was hooked. I always wanted to do but never thought it would actually happen. This day was my one and only shot so I was going to make it happen. I saw a few friends and family on the way down to the swim and this made it all better. I was in a calm state ready to have fun.

Swim - I started really wide, standing waist deep in the water. I did not want to deal with getting pummeled in the water or treading water for half an hour. I knew I would have to swim farther but oh well. The cannon went off and I let the mass of crazy fast swimmers go. There was about a 20 second delay and then I was off. I got in a groove and got to the inside of the buoys three quarters of the way down on the first straight away. I circled the 2 red buoys and hit the clear water on the inside of the rectangle. My friend Becky who does this every year let in on a little secret. As long as you go around the outside of the red buoys you are in the course. I had clear water in front of me with only a handful of people here and there. I never got kicked, punched or swam over. Pretty uneventful for the rest of the way. I hit the beach in 1:44. Saw friends and family and that gave me that extra boost that everything is OK. I do remember asking the people at the swim exit if I made the cut off and they laughed. I made it by well over 35 minutes! I felt spent coming out of the water but not completely shot. I got to the wetsuit strippers. Boy that is something I have never experienced before. It is probably the weirdest part of the day. As I was going towards the area, one lady unzipped the back, 3 people were waiting for me, told me to drop. They had that wetsuit off of me in a matter of 3 seconds. I trotted up the Helix slapping five with people and seeing more friends and family and I knew it was going to be a great day!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I am an Ironman

At 11:24 September 7th Mike Riley announced that I was an ironman at Ironman Wisconsin. More to follow after a nap.....