Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My piggies

They're missing their nails.  I had two fall off yesterday all from the Ironman toe carnage.  I think only one toenail out of the ten didn't have a blister under it.  I did my best to release the pressure under most of them but 3 didn't survive.  Both big toes are toast but only one has fallen off.  Luckily my calf is all screwed up so I'm not running.  Just cycling without a big toenail is weird.

The calf pain has pretty much spelled doom for any October marathon in order to qualify for Boston.  That's okay as I think I have time to train and qualify in the next few years.  I need to get the calf feeling better because fall is just around the corner here.  The highs now are in the low 70s and I have to wear arm warmers, knee warmers and a vest when riding now because it's around 60.  I can feel that soon the rains will start and for exercise I'll need to run.

I'm so lazy I'm only planning to swim on Thursday when I take Elena to school and possibly this upcoming Monday.  I need to get to the pool more than that but I just have no motivation.  I guess this really makes me a duathlete and not a triathlete.  I have that non-wetsuit Florida half swim in 9 months.  I would like to go faster than this years 42 but that requires training.

I go to Germany and Switzerland towards the end of October so hopefully my calf will be healed by then so I could run in the mornings over there.  I'll have to fly out on a Saturday and won't get back til the following Saturday.  Europe trips always suck because you usually eat a weekend day by sitting on a 7 hour flight.  I think I need to find 2 good books before going to help get me through the long flights.

Well back to it...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back home from back home

So I survived a trip to Oregon where I ate way too much and worked a ton with some workouts thrown in as well.  I climbed up Newbery on a 23 which about killed me but luckily I had sat in the whole ride just in case and survived.  I ate 5 pasta bowls and chocolate gelato at Olive Garden's never-ending pasta bowl.  My buddy Orion just texted me yesterday that he demolished 7 at his local Olive Garden in Florida.  They must have "big" eaters in Florida because the waitress told him that somebody had knocked off 15.  I went and ate endless shrimp at Red Lobster until I was unable to walk but they were good.  I had tons of chips and doritos at work while I was slaving away.  All in all a good trip but I am glad to be back to my condo and my routine.  Although my routine sucks because I can't seem to wake up early anymore.

I did screw up my calf in Oregon so I'm not really able to run.  I could run through it but man it's just sore.  I'm on day 4 off from running and it still feels tender.  I'm going to ride today for exercise since I still haven't been in the water since 2 weeks ago.  I need to find some focus to get swimming again.  I think I need to switch the Bally's that is across the street for that motivation.

Its crazy about all this financial trouble.  I'm thinking about taking my money out of Bank of America and putting it in my mattress.  It'd keep me warm at night as it's not earning interest anyway.  Gas prices are all over the place one week they're under $3.50 and the next they're over $3.65.  I wonder who these banks were giving mortgages too?

I almost came home with an Imac but the box was too big to get through the scanner at the airport so I decided I'll just take in the shorts and have to pay Maryland tax.  I did however buy a terabyte external hard drive and a couple of video games when I was in Oregon tax free.  I can't wait to put in Rock Band 2.  My credit card bill is crazy from the hotel bill and rental car.  I need to send my receipts back to Oregon so I can get reimbursed quick.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What to do?

I keep wondering what to do with all this "shape" I'm still in.  Throughout the winter it's just going to disappear.  The Ironman was the peak in my shape for all 3 sports.  I've been in better cycling shape by itself and in running shape by itself and in swimming shape..oh wait not.  Overall, I was in the best shape.  I mean I was 140 and basically didn't have any real fat on the body.  I still have some decent running shape as each run feels pretty good.  I went hard yesterday on the bike and felt pretty good.  In the pool, well I pushed a couple of 100s and I'm not even close to the pace I was before the Ironman.  If I focus on staying away from the junk food, I could probably get back down to 143ish which would help my cycling even more.

I keep looking for a race of some sort to do but my work traveling schedule really isn't going to sync up with anything.  I keep thinking about trying a marathon but then I think why.  I mean I could probably drop a nice BQ time but no where near my marathon PR of 2:50.  I might be able to go low 3s but I don't think I have enough speed to dip under 3.  Boston would be fun but it seems only Billy is planning on doing it now.  Earlier this summer there was a thought that a bunch of my Portland running mates were all gearing up for the Portland Marathon with the BQ as the goal.

Although with all the down time, I've been slowly "moving in" to the condo.  I've actually unpacked most of my boxes now.  I've purchased a few key things like end tables and retired the dish packing boxes which were the end tables.  I got a bike rack to bring the Trek from outside on the patio to inside the apartment.  I finished all my recycling which had been overflowing.  I still need to buy 2 bar stools for the breakfast bar and clean it.  I need a coffee table and DVD storage rack.  Elena's room still needs a real clothes dresser and possible desk.  When it gets colder and closer to the holiday season, I'll be buying a Mac which will allow me to work on some home movies that I've been sitting on.  All in all its definitely fun to be able to have time on the weekend.

The only negative from that is I definitely can't eat as much.  I get full faster as my body is slowly adapting to a more sedentary state.

Well that's about it for now...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Am I a triathlete?

I was contemplating this after a Saturday run with another triathlete.  We went for a nice run on some trails in Rock Creek Park.  She's super fast for an amateur and probably won't be an amateur for much longer.  After telling her that I've only done the Florida half and Ironman for triathlons, there was a pause.  She was probably thinking "POSER" but was too nice to say it out loud.  I think I'm just renting the "triathlete" moniker for awhile until I actually compete in more events.

I swear as I get older my brain doesn't work as well anymore.  Forgetting to lock the front door.  By itself this isn't too bad.  I mean sure with my frail fat slow body and nice looking mouth at any moment someone could barge in through my door and make me squeal like a pig.  My only hope is that those malfeasant don't like to walk up stairs as I'm on the 3rd floor.  So the main brain fart is walking up the door to leave noticing that you forgot to lock the door and then locking it.  How dumb is that!  Another thing I seem to do more often is making a trip out to the kitchen only to forget half of the stuff I want to get from the kitchen.  So I have to go make another trip.  I just zone out when I suppose to be doing something.  I think my brain is too full of useless information like all the key Arnold movie quotes.

I went for a swim today and it was sad as usual.  The funniest part was the weigh in after and the scale tipped out at 149.  Woohoo...that's 9 lbs in 3 weeks.  I think I'm going to cut back on the junk food.  I feel like a complete slob.  I did buy 4 more bags of chips this weekend at the store.  I had to because well I have no willpower now.  I went to the store to buy ingredients for a bbq side dish.  The condo residents decided to do a BBQ on Saturday night.  We had to bring sides.  I decided since I have tons of pasta so that equals pasta salad.  It was perfect and Elena helped me make it.  The barbecue was cool except I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. I even caught one in the act and smashed it just like Dexter except without being the serial killer vigilante whose long lost brother performs numerous serial killings to remind Dexter of his childhood.

I'm heading to Oregon for work on Wednesday.  I'll be there for 10 days so it will be fun to get some workouts with the old cycling and running gang.

The rest of the weekend was good.  The Raiders and Beavers won their football games.  It was hot as hell yesterday so the air conditioning was running pretty much all day.  My electricity bill is not going to be happy.  August's bill was cheap so being in Canada for 10 days helped that although I also got my credit card bill which had the trip on it and well OUCH!!  Stupid credit card company charged me $35 in service charges.  How lame is it when it costs money just to use the card in a foreign country.  The money is all digital anyway!!  WTF!!  It's not like Citibank has to rent a freighter and ship gold bouillon to Europe or drive it in an armored car across the Canadian border.

That's about all the ramblings I have.  The blog is suffering with my total disregard for any training program.

Monday, September 8, 2008

6 lbs in 2 weeks

That could be the title of a new diet book or one of those infomercials on late night TV.  The only catch is I gained 6 lbs since the Ironman on a steady diet of junk food.   This is official because I went for a swim on Sunday and weighed myself at the gym, the official scale of the Ironman Al training program.

This morning I have junk food hangover.  The weekends are the worst for me and junk food because I have no willpower.  Boredom leads to massive junk food consumption.  I even had chicken nuggets and fries for dinner on Saturday.  Those two massive bags in the Costco frozen food section begged me to take them home.

I have to travel up to Rhode Island tonight for business over the next 2 days so that will curb the junk food snacks but I will be going out to eat for lunch so it should equal about another 2 lbs.  I'm well on my way to a new all time high and it's gone all to my stomach.  Right before the Ironman, I could see my ab muscles without even trying to flex my stomach and now if I flex all I see is my Dorito Belly(TM).

Did anyone watch that stupid "Hole in the Wall" game show last night on Fox?  It's about the stupidest concept ever but it was hilarious.

Hanna only brought us a ton of rain on Saturday but really not much wind so it was no big deal.  It was beautiful yesterday with clear skies and a high of about 80 or so.  I ran to the pool, swam for 30 minutes and then ran the long way home.  I was able to swim a decent pace so I'll probably try to get back into some sort of swimming program.  I might just swim 3 times a week or something until I really start to focus on the Florida half.

The NFL really started on Sunday and my fantasy team did enough to win the first week.  I had to miss my fantasy draft because it was held in the middle of my Ironman.  I actually thought about it on the bike and laughed.  I guess I should've been focusing.  The Ironman bike my mind was definitely wandering here and there.  I guess I should've rode harder.  My autopicked fantasy team did okay in the first week.  It still didn't inspire me to stay up and watch the entire night game.

I have been staying up til 10pm lately so that's a first.  I haven't stayed up this late since well I don't maybe 14 months ago when I'd actually go out drinking with friends in Oregon.  I also slept in on the weekend woke up around 8:30am and instead of going to workout on Saturday I had pancakes instead.  Ahhh the life of the slacker.  I didn't do anything on Saturday and I was able to burn through 4 DVDs.  It was great.

I finished last year's House season and I just started Dexter season two and The Shield season 6.  House was as good as ever last season so I'm going to DVR it all this season.  Once I finish the Shield and Dexter, I'm planning on making my way through the entire X-files series.  I've watched a few here and there back in the day but never season after season.  That should take up all my free time as I brace for the super cold DC winter to come.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tired and Lazy

Well it's Friday and I've been working out each day since Tuesday but nothing too big.  I swam on Tuesday for 20 minutes for a whopping 1000 yards.  Phew!  I'm super slow and I have absolutely no motivation to go to the pool since.  I've had better luck on the bike.  It's just been some cruising miles.  Nothing too special..I've run once for a whopping 4 miles and my quads hurt by the end.

I was thinking about running to the pool and back this morning but I decided to sleep til 7am instead.  I've been super tired ever since I got back.  I'm sleeping more even though I'm barely working out.  I wonder if its the junk food diet not giving me any energy.  My house is so full of snacks I don't think I could try going back to the good diet for a couple of days to see if I have more energy or not.  I just have no willpower with the food actually in the house and succulent taste of chips on my lips.

Well I plan on running another 4 miles at lunch time unless the legs feel better and I'll go a nice 6 miles.  Oh well, I definitely like riding and running so that why it's been easier to do those since the Ironman.  It should be an interesting winter but I'm going to try to keep the run base going.  Cycling will fall when the weather turns to wet and cold.  Swimming well I have no idea but I may just change pools to the Bally's right across the street as motivation since I won't have to "go" to the pool.

I have to tip my Ironman finisher hat to all the pros that just keep going after big events.  Its so easy once you're off the training wagon it's so easy just to stay on the couch.  Speaking of Ironman finisher gear, I've been wearing it as much as possible even no one around here notices. A random person at my gym came up to me as I was leaving and said he did Canada as well this year.  How wild is that!  Way out here in DC another Canada finisher.

This weekend will be a total couchfest especially with Hanna on the way.  I hope the electricity stays on because I have tons of food in the freezer plus no electricity means no TV, my number one activity this weekend.

I won't be able to rant much on my pathetic swimming workouts for awhile in this blog so my entries could be limited.  I do have to keep swimming in order to keep up with Orion at the Florida half next year.  We still hope we'll be in the same wave so we can go at it in the swim.  He's a swimmer who just started officially doing swim workouts and is already as fast as me.  He's just going to get faster.  Overall, it will be a fun event but who knows maybe I'll try to really kill it.  See if I can go under 5 hours...some motivation but not much.

I also might try to get a coach.  I'd like to go faster in the Ironman but man the training just really killed me.  Maybe a coach can get me faster with less training volume than I did this summer...we'll see.

Elena is doing good in her 1st grade class.  She's not getting picked on although with her karate she'd be able to take care of herself.  She's even more into appearance and how she acts.  When she attempts to pick out clothes and shoes, there is always crying but finally she finds something that "matches".  I took her to her first MLB game.  We saw the Nationals beat the Phillies on Labor day.  There were more Phillie fans at the stadium than hometown fans.  She had a good time or at least she told me that.  Who knows maybe she's already figured out how to say nice things even though she doesn't mean it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Costco Trip

Let me say, that I hadn't been to a grocery store since early July and I only bought enough to get me through to the Ironman.  When I left to go up to Canada, my fridge was completely empty.  It had lemonade, coffee cream, and 2 pieces of bread(the ends).  My freezer was completely empty except for 1 package of sausage and a little stir-fry vegetables.

I woke up like it was Christmas morning on Saturday, August 30th in anticipation of my Costco trip.  I first stopped at Ikea since it's right next to Costco to pick up some end tables for my living room.  I decommissioned the 2 large cardboard boxes that were my current end tables.  The end tables were on sale for $7 and they look fine to me.  Sure they're not fancy antiques but I hate spending money on furniture as seen by using cardboard box tables for the last 6 months.  Ikea opened at 9am and Costco 9:30 so it was perfect.

I arrived at Costco and parked as close as I could get since I might have to make two trips to the car.  I got to the entrance and saw the palette cart.

This was going to be big enough to hold all my Costco treasure.  I made my way into the store and proceed right to the snack aisle.

I started loading up the cart with just about everything.  I got a 30 pack of candy bars, cereal bars, CheezIts, Club crackers, slim jims, jerky, M&Ms, peanuts, cashews, dry roasted almonds, and pistachios.  It was heaven.

Finally the time had arrived, the chip aisle.  I started grabbing every type of chip.  I got Kettle lightly salted(not that good), Ruffles, Tostitos, and even a big bag of the Veggie Stix which are sortof healthy. I bought a big thing of Utz pretzel sticks.  As I continued with glee, I started to get a bad feeling I had gone once through the aisle and for the love of god and all things that are holy NO DORITOS.  Again NO DORITOS.  I panicked but then I remember that in a previous visit they had some chips in the back aisles by the bread.  I'll just keep going and I'm sure they're just in a different spot.

I continued going through each aisle and grabbing stuff, peanut butter, soup, salsa, etc when I made it to the cold food section.  This would be last so now was the time to start the Dorito hunt.

I went to the bread aisle where there were some chips in a previous visit nothing.  I wheeled my palette cart through more aisles still nothing.  OH MY GOD!!  This can't be happening...breathe.  Maybe I just missed them in the chip/snack aisles in all my joy at the beginning like when your opening gifts Xmas morning and totally miss the big one tucked way behind the tree.

I went slowly up and down the chip/snack aisles and still nothing.  No way, what the hell!  Slow down, try one more time.  Still nothing and then I almost cursed Costco for not having them but I came to my senses instead I wept a little and my soul died a little inside. I guess I'll be going to the grocery store right after I unload the Escape when I get home.

I made my way back to the cold food section and started rummaging through the coolers grabbing tons of food.  I got chicken, lasagna, tortellinis, ice cream sandwiches, etc.  The cart was almost overloaded and starting to get really hard to push.  At the time, my legs were still sore.

I had made my way through the entire store and here's the final cart pictures:

Phew I didn't need to make two trips, it all fit..barely.  I made my way to a check out aisle.  Usually at Costco you get little help with your food.  They basically just scan it and put it back into the cart.  This time a helper wheeled a new palette cart with boxes on it and actually put all the food into the boxes.  It was nice.  The final tally on check out was $450 spent.

I loaded up the Escape as it barely fit and drove home.  I unloaded all the food which took awhile especially going up the 3 flights of stairs to my condo.  Threw all the cold stuff in the freezer and refrigerator and drove over to my local grocery store for my Doritos.  I got 2 bags of Doritos and also noticed Cheetos Puffs and grabbed 2 of those as well.

In my haste to get back home, I backed into a car pulling out of my parking spot.  The car was totally in my blind spot as I was backing out.  I was going pretty slow but still dented his front fender.  Oh joy!  I have no idea how much my next premiums will go up or not.  I guess we'll see.  No one was hurt and my car didn't have a scratch.

It's been 5 days since the Costco and chip run.  I completed 1 and 3/4 bags of Doritos, 1 bag of Cheetos, 1 bag of beef jerky, 1 Costco Lasagna(w/ some help from Elena) and quite a few ice cream sandwiches.  I still have unopened snacks but that's okay hopefully they'll last me for awhile.

Ironman Left Over Photos

Here's the rest of the photos they took that I haven't posted well because all the photos of the run are horrible except the one that I'm using for my new profile picture.  I wish the photo folks would've had placards about 20 meters before their photographers basically telling us they were there.  I mean I'm all for seeing the "true" ironman experience, suffering but a nice run and bike photo would've been cool.

The picture website got a little smarter about hiding they're larger photos but I was still able to grab them for your viewing pleasure.  They are in order that they were taken as you can see by the last run picture this was right about with 600 meters or so to go and I'm suffering like a dog.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ironman Race Report: Post Race

Post Race:
I made my way out of the portapotty and it was quite cold and wet.  I decided it time to find my dry clothes bag and get moving.  Well moving is relative since I could barely walk.  It took me about 5 minutes to cross the street over to the transition area.  I got my clothes and went one last time into the changing tent to sit down out of the rain and put on my dry clothes.  There were a few people in there staying out of the rain.

I realized that I never talked to Amber or Joe about the "finish procedure".  They didn't know where the finish area was or how it worked.  Wandering around the finish bleachers after race wouldn't be so bad except I could barely walk and I had all my gears bags plus bike.

It was if I was hallucinating because I just happened to see Joe outside the transition fence.  He came to look for me.  It was just chance that he was there when I was coming out of the change tent.  Awesome!!  I handed over all my gears bags over the fence and he told me to meet them behind the bleachers.

I grabbed my bike and waited in the exit line as they checked your bike number with your bracelet number.  Since the bike exit was behind the finish chute and Amber, Joe and Elena were by the finish chute area I had to walk probably a half mile just to get to them.  It wasn't so bad as I was using my bike as a make-shift walker to help shuffle along.

I met them and we proceeded to walk back to the hotel which was over a mile away.  I don't remember much of the trip but I somehow made it to the hotel and thanked god for an elevator to the 3rd floor.  I wasn't hungry and they had eaten concession type food already.  I just kindof sat and removed my shoes to reveal each toenail had a blister under it and the massive blood blister on my toe from being stepped on.

I barely was able to get into the shower because my legs were throbbing.  I would lose a footrace with a 90+ year old man who uses a walker.  I just lay on the bed and I couldn't sleep because just sitting there the legs hurt.  They definitely felt like they had completed the Ironman.  I was in way worse shape than after any of my 3 marathons.

Here's some stats from the event.  I was 95th in my age group for the swim out of 315 people.  Not bad, I was still 95th out of 315 in my age group after the bike.  Hilarious, I didn't lose any spots or gain any.  I ended up 30th in my age group and 120th overall.  I passed 65 people in my age group alone on the run.  That's crazy thinking about it.  My first half of marathon was 1:39 and the final half was 1:45.  That's not too bad when I think about it but I'm guessing my first 10k was way faster than the last 3.  The first 42 miles of the bike I averaged 19.3(headwind and only one hill) and the last 70 I averaged 20.1(the two massive climbs).  Pretty amazing on that also I was 370 something overall after bike so in all I passed over 150 people on the run.  I did run a 3:25 but it was only good for 52nd overall run time.  I was hoping for top 25 so I was bummed about that.  I ended up with the 11th fastest in my age group.

As I was flying back home and thinking about writing this report, I started to think about the funny things Ironman athletes do and experience and I immediately thought you know it makes us seem like mental patients to a normal person.  So here's my top 10 reasons why Ironman athletes are similar to mental hospital patients.

    10. Obsess about little things.
     9. Strict diets(on course nutrition) and medication(e-caps).
     8. Volunteers/nurses all wear surgical gloves.
     7. Simple pleasures make them happy(post-race cheeseburger).
     6. Basically live in their own little world and ignore everyone else.
     5. Both wear funny clothes so you can pick them out of crowd.
     4. They both talk to themselves.
     3. They never want to go to a doctor.
     2. It's normal to pee yourself.
     And the number 1 reason Ironman athletes are similar to mental patients...
        They think they're normal but everyone else knows they're CRAZY!

I did my best but maybe I should've left it at a top 5.  So I'm not the funniest Ironman in the world, but it's better than nothing.

Tomorrow, I'll go into great detail about the infamous Costco trip and all the junk food I've been consuming since the race.  Let's just say I've downed 2 bags of Doritos and 1 bag of Cheetos since the race.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ironman Race Report: T2 & the Marathon

As I rolled around the last corner on the bike course I had my shoes already undone, I pulled my feet out for the easy shoeless dismount.  I had practiced this procedure about a bazillion times in my training at home so it went smoothly.  I handed my bike to an official bike catcher volunteer.  I did this volunteer job last year when I signed up.  It went smoothly.  I started slowly jogging to my gear bag.  I had my helmet off as I reached down for my gear bag.  I made my way into the change tent and it was empty.  I actually had a volunteer to help sort stuff out.  It was cool.  He just said throw everything on the ground and take what I want.  I put my hat on and my shoes.  I grabbed my gels.  I almost wish I would've changed into a fresh pair of socks because I would've saw this massive garbonzo bean sized blood blister on my left toe where I was stepped on.

I looked at my watch as I was killing the the T2 time, it read just past 1 minute.  I did have to hit the bathroom since I didn't let loose into the spectators on the way into town.  My final T2 time was over 2:30.  I went through this line of volunteers on the way out who were handing out gels, sunscreening people, water, and gatorade.  Definitely nice although my tank was topped off and I didn't need or do sunscreen.

The Marathon:
So I started to last part of the Ironman journey, my strength and I was still ahead of my goal pace.  If I rock this marathon, I have a shot at Kona which I thought based on previous results I needed around a 10:10 total to get.  I didn't know that the conditions and possible massive draft pack I heard about was making this the fastest IMC for my age group.  The top 20 in my age group were all under 10 hours and the last Kona slot went to a 9:53.

I started running and was trying my best to go real "EASY".  I actually focused on this but it still didn't help that much.  I did blow by all the fast downhillers that I was leapfrogging on the bike about a half mile into the marathon.  I thought evil thoughts which basically amounted take that you fast bike split guys.  HA!

I got the first mile and it was 6:33.  OH SHIT!!  Okay time to slow down even more, just relax.  I saw my support crew, waved and smiled as it was still easy.  I missed the 2 mile mark but did start taking in gatorade at the aid stations.  I clicked at mile 3 and saw 13:50.  Well that's a little better but still not my pace.  Finally at mile 4 I saw 7:10.  Okay, this is the pace just hold this.

After mile 4, we start to head out of town and it hits.  My stomach/side just starts to hurt.  Crap!  Like I need this for another 22 miles, I've run through side aches a couple of times.  It's not fun but it can be done.  I definitely don't want to add that on top of the typical marathon wall which I was expecting at mile 18.  I started to look for an open portapotty to see if I could release some inner demons.

As I was looking I definitely started getting hammered by the headwind, I knew this would slow me down which would be good on the way out because we'd get that nice tailwind during the 2nd part.  I just tried stay relaxed but I could see with each mile the headwind was turning my 7:15 effort into 7:45s.  I found a portapotty and left my stomach/side ache and came out refreshed.  I busted out a nice mile after that and was feeling pretty.

I just kept passing people as I made my way to the turnaround.  The headwind was brutal in the open areas and I was using the people I was passing for a little draft and then it happened.  I didn't notice til mile 14 but looking back on it about mile 12 the headwind just sortof disappeared and the clouds had come over which cooled it down a bit.

I got to the turnaround, half-way and grabbed my special needs bag.  I loaded the gels into my pockets and started drinking my cytomax.  It was nice to have easy access to some liquid but still a pain to be carrying it.  I felt good and started to pick up the effort.  I put in a nice 7:40 mile to 14.

This is where I noticed that the tailwind was non-existent.  Basically, Mother Nature was like Kathy Bates in Misery where it starts out all nice(tailwind on the bike), then ties you up(headwind on the first half of the run), and finally she's got the sledgehammer and you have a 4x4 between your ankles.  No friggin tailwind!!  Are you serious?!?!  I was cursing furiously out loud.

On top of no tailwind, I hit the Ironman WALL.  Mile 14 and the wall, WTF!  My legs were just completely in pain.  Each step was muscle pain in both quads and both calves.  Oh hell, I have to mentally suffer for 12 more miles.  I had prepared for the wall at mile 18.  Crap 4 miles too early.  Before all my running injuries, I would've just pushed through this as best as possible.  Now, I was worried that pushing through this stuff could cause a hamstring problem or something else.  There was no way I wasn't finishing this f-in Ironman.  So instead I went to just getting to the next mile.  Just moving forward and in my head my Kona hopes went POOF!

I was clicking 8:10 somethings and even saw a couple of 8:20s and the 8:37 mile with the last big uphill in it.  During these miles, I had a couple of guys who were passing me between aid stations and who I was passing when they stopped to walk the aid stations.  Oh well, they weren't in my age group so no biggie.

I got to mile 22 and decided to really look close at my overall time.  It read 9:46.  Can I run 7:30s to meet that 10:15 time goal?  My legs hurt like hell but 30 something minutes isn't that much left.  Still no tailwind...and then it started to rain.  Fucking great!!  After the initial pissed off moment came and went, I was thankful that I wasn't on the Yellow Lake descent.

I started to push as best I could and left my co-runners and then I felt it.  A tailwind on Main Street...sweet or at least I saw the flag blowing a little bit in my direction.  I passed McDonalds and said yep I'm going there sometime soon after this F-IN thing is over with.  I looked up the road and saw a couple of runners way off in the distance.  I figured why not try to catch them.

I pushed as best as I could but I could only manage just over 8 minute miles at this point.  Lame!  I was trying to get free energy from the crowd but it really didn't work.  The wall had been wearing on me for over an hour and I'm a wimp.

I got to mile 25 and was thinking yes I'm going to finish this F-IN thing.  Okay, let's gut it out some more.  We started the out-n-back section.  About 50 meters from the 25 mile mark is the finish line but you must turn the opposite direction and complete just over a mile of out-n-back.  The funny thing is I didn't hear the announcer when I turned maybe by luck no one was finishing around that time or I was just oblivious to it.

As I started the out-n-back, I saw a group of 4 runners.  One guy was in my age group so I decided to go by the group at a quick pace so he would have no chance of latching on.  I thought to myself each place counts because who knows maybe I still have a super longshot.

You can see people coming towards on their way to the finish and I didn't see anyone else in my age group so I just kept the pace the best I could.  I turned and looked down the big long road to the finish.  There was only one person and he was way ahead.  Cool I thought, I'll just cruise it in and enjoy the moment.  Right then I got passed by a guy who said to me, "Let's go!".  I was like WTH!  I immediately looked at his calf, "42".  Cool so I let him go a little bit but did pick up just a tad to use his energy to get me to the line.

One of the single biggest moments of my Ironman happened, another guy came by going a good pace but his calf had a "37".  OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!  I immediately reacted.  I was holding pace just right behind him and the other guy.  We were within 200 meters of the finish line and I made my move.  I put the hammer down with everything I could muster.  Again if I went early enough and fast enough he wouldn't have a chance to react even if he was feeling better than me.  I have no idea where I got the energy from but I was in a full sprint when I went by.  It's hard to relate how fast it was because of all the 8 minute miles but it was easily sub 6 pace if not closer to 5 minute mile pace.  It was only from 200 yards but I was unstoppable.

There was no reaction or attempt as I flew by.  They had the "tape" at the finish line ready and I through up my arms as I crossed for the finish line picture.  I was finished with the clock reading 10:20:something.  I didn't hear anything during the finish area.  I didn't even notice the crowd with my sprint finish.  I later heard from Amber that they did announce, "Alan Sherman you are an Ironman!" but I didn't hear it. I didn't hear Elena, Amber and Joe cheering like mad, nothing. This one guy changed my entire Ironman finish.  It was almost if I hadn't done the Ironman.  I got my finishing times with their new timing system and found out that one place was worth 30th overall in my age group.  Oh HELL!!  I was so upset that I wasn't even close.  I did run a 3:25 marathon split which considering how I felt for the last 12 miles wasn't bad at all.

I had two people grab me at the finish line which was cool as I really didn't have think at all.  They asked if I wanted to go to medical, I said nah...my legs hurt like hell but that's about it.  As usual, I didn't feel like eating anything so I just drank a PowerBar recovery shake but that didn't sit to well so I made my way to the portapotty.   It was raining pretty good by then so once I sat in the portapotty I didnt' want to leave.  It was warm, dry and I was sitting down.  My fortress of solitude!

Tomorrow, I'll talk about my post race thoughts and I'll give my Top 10 Ways Ironman atheletes and mental hospital patients are similar...