Category Archives: Triathlon

Goosepond Half Triathlon – Race Report

I’ve had a difficult time pulling myself together to write a Goosepond Race Report.  Frankly, I wasn’t ready for this race, and it showed.  It was a painful day and I’d rather forget most of it, but I’ve learned that these are exactly the kind of races you need to remember.

Goosepond was my first race after Ironman Wisconsin and I have concluded it’s similar to a band playing Red Rocks, then sitting down for an open mic the next night.  It can be fun, but it’s a completely different motivational challenge.   That said, the best bands (and athletes) put out the same energy whether they’re playing in front of one person or a packed house.

Wasky, Corey, and me looking marginally hungover before Goosepond 946028_10202117501570057_429856629_nMy only other 1/2 was Muncie and the night before, I could barely sleep.  Before Goosepond, I was out like a light.  I just did a damn Ironman, 70.3 would be a breeze!

As we checked into transition it really made me think about how much goes into putting on a triathlon.  The logistics of an Ironman are staggering and here were a bunch of people who likely didn’t know much about triathlon doing their best to make Goosepond work.  It was more of a small town feel, while Ironman was New York City.

I was in auto pilot and kept forgetting stuff back at the truck.  My socks, my timing chip, my helmet.  It was a weird, zombie-like feeling and eventually, coach Robbie jumped my ass about getting my shit together.  It was 10 minutes before the race and I wasn’t in my wetsuit.

The Goosepond swim is actually in Lake Guntersville, which is gorgeous and full of seaweed.  My swim wave was old men and young women (which could have had something to do with my elevated heart rate) and I flopped around the water for a few minutes before they shot the gun (or quite possibly just said, “go”).  The first 15 or so meters were great, but I was quickly transported back to my bygone panic-mode-days.  It really wasn’t as much panic as I couldn’t find my breath and literally thought I had forgot how to swim a mere six weeks after swimming 2.4 miles.  What the f8ck was going on?

As I rounded the first buoy (maybe 500 meters in) I slowed to a stop and tried to catch my breath.  Why didn’t I warm up?  I will never learn.

I watched as the rest of my wave slowly pulled away and there was nothing I could do.  It was a jail break and I was the lone prisoner wedged in the escape tunnel.  Stay calm, you’ll catch them.

Wasky coming out of the water top 20 and oblivious to the trouble ahead.   2013 Goosepond Tri (307 of 503)-X3* All good photos courtesy of We Run Huntsville

A couple minutes later, I eased back into my stroke but I was someone else.  The wetsuit felt tight, my sighting was blurred, and my energy low.  I took at least three breaks on that first loop and was a little stunned by the fatigue in my arms.

Corey, daydreaming about Tahoe in the morning glow of Lake Guntersville2013 Goosepond Tri (348 of 503)-X3By the time I got to the end of my first loop I officially hated two loop courses.  Even though it was just water, and all looked the same, I didn’t want to see lap two.  Later, Robbie would tell me I took a really wide turn around that buoy and I’m pretty sure it’s because I was thinking about swimming to that pier, getting out of the water, and cheering for Wasky and Corey from the comfort of a portable hammock.

But I put my head down and cranked out lap two, which turned out to be much easier once I loosened up.  I really need to get serious about my pre-race regiment.

Swim Time:  42 Minutes (Muncie was 37, Wisconsin was 1:20).

T1 – I was actually a little disoriented going into transition, but pulled it together, grabbed my bike and ran across the mount line.  That’s when I noticed I was still holding onto my gloves.  I stopped and patiently put them on while Robbie watched shaking his head.  “Good thing you got those gloves on,” he said as I wheeled past him with a smile.

Redemption on the Bicycle

I didn’t know my time, but when there’s a group of you racing and all your spectator friends are waiting for you at the Bike Exit , it’s a pretty good indication your swim sucked.  But, as soon as I clipped in, my remorse was gone and I had one focus . . . crushing the bike.

The initial plan for Goosepond was a relay.  Robbie would swim, I would bike, and Season would run.  But, a twist of fate landed Robbie in a swim race that would change his life and I told him I might as well do the whole damn Goosepond by myself.  So, bad swim aside, one of my sub-plots was to ride like I would have ridden in a relay.  I was also curious to see just how hard I could push the bike.  It was on.

Here’s me drafting and looking like a jack-ass with my chrono watch2013 Goosepond Tri (187 of 585)-X2I had logged a mere four hours on the bike since I raced IMWI and had no idea how riding a hard 56 miles would feel.  I came out and tried to stay around 19 mph for the first 5 miles and it was pretty easy.  I tried to lose myself in the scenery, but kept taking peeks at my bike computer, where the miles seemed to be turning over more like a calendar.  Seven miles, eight, nine . . . ugh.  This was going to be hard.

Since I was so late out of the swim I was picking off people like flies.  About 20 miles in I had yet to be passed and that became my new goal.  Don’t get passed on this bike.

I was busting down a country road and noticed a guy on the side changing his tire.  “Shit, that’s Wasky!”  I slowed a bit and asked if he was okay, but immediately wished I would have slowed more.  I “thought” I heard him say, “Yes,” but I wasn’t positive.  I hoped he didn’t need a tool or a tube.  I briefly entertained turning around, but eased my fears by reminding myself that Wasky is the most prepared man I know.

I settled into aero and dreamed about the finish.  I felt bad for Wasky because I was pretty sure he had a good swim and now I was going to beat him off the bike.  It had been five minutes since I’d flown past him at 21 mph; I figured I was at least two miles in front of him now.  My thoughts drifted back to not getting passed on the bike and I thought that was a real possibility.  Not more than 30 seconds later, I heard someone breathing hard to my left.  Damn!  I was getting passed!

Who did this person think they were passing me?!?  I was NOT getting passed on this ride.  But, his tire broke the line and I started falling back out of the draft zone.  I wasn’t even going to look up, but they said something like, “Keep pushing.”  I glanced over to say thanks, and it was Wasky!  Before I could even ask how the fuck he caught me, he said, “Two flats, brotha.”

Damn, that was his second flat and somehow he got from corpse position to downward dog in a mili-second.  He shouted, “Stick with me and we can pace each other on the run.”

“Stick with me???”  What the hell was going on?  I was crushing this bike and Wasky is telling me to stick with HIM!  He was in beast-mode-squared and all I could do was shake my head.

It took about 2 minutes for him to lose me, then around mile 30 (which also doubled as the ONLY bike aid station) I caught him.  His mood was a combination calmly livid, mixed with a case of the beat downs, and topped with a dose of, “I’m gonna kill this course.”

I passed him about a mile later and he slowly fell into the distance.  I honestly thought he might be toast.  Then at mile 45 or so, he flew by me again.  “Come on man, let’s bring it in.  Ten more.”  I just shook my head.

He rode a good hundred yards ahead of me for a while, then I passed him, which he immediately countered with pass of his own before pulling away for good at mile 54.  Two miles to go and I was feeling my legs.  It was a flat course, but I didn’t stop peddling for more than 10 seconds the whole ride.

I cruised into transition and Robbie kinda gave me one of those, “Damn, dude, you crushed that bike looks,” before actually saying, “Nice bike.”  All I had to do now was run a solid half marathon and I would surely be on the age-group podium.  Easier said than done.

Bike Split:  2:40:26 (and tack on a very questionable 4:00 drafting penalty).  One of two penalties handed out to my training club.  I have decided not to go into it, but let’s just say this is a very suspicious chain of events.

T2 – Yep . . . it happened.

“Trust Me, This Run is Pancake Flat”

I’m not a great runner, but thought I could easily put down a 1:50.  I felt surprisingly good as I left transition and patiently waited for my running legs to show up.  Spectator support was a non-issue, so I picked out a woman with good pace and ran behind her for the first 1/2 mile.  Then, I made a very unusual decision for me, I ran up next to her with the intention to actually talk for a few minutes.  Talking on a jog is one thing, but I am just not a fan of it in a race.  I kinda like to focus on pain.

I was just about to say something when she says, “Hi Mike.”  I was like, huh?  It was Ann, who also races for RxE, the Knoxville crew.  And that’s when they snapped this picture of me about to blow out my ankle.  2013 Goosepond Tri (354 of 585)-X2I have to admit, I was a little stunned.  We actually started in the same swim wave and she was saying how slow of a swimmer she is, etc.   Clearly she’s not that bad of a swimmer because I knew I hammered the bike and here she was still in front of me.  Ann is a really strong cyclist.

Then there was this guy rubbing it in my face 2013 Goosepond Tri (418 of 585)-X2As engaging as Ann can be, I had a race to win, so I plowed off into the rolling hills, followed by a charming campground, and then a tricky little cut-thru trail onto the first of many roads that would break my heart.

That’s when I started hearing Wasky’s voice again, but this time it was in my head.

“Trust me, this course is pancake flat.  You will crush it.”  And I really did trust him, but for some reason I was standing at the bottom of a 1/2 mile climb.

I told myself this must be “the hill.”  Every course has “its hill,” and this was Goosepond’s.  Ah, no problem, I love hills and this isn’t really that steep, but it was kinda long.

It was getting hot and I was dying for water.  I didn’t hydrate well the week before and my mouth was burning for liquids.  As I crested “the hill” I saw a right turn ahead that dropped me on the road to nowhere.

Another slight climb to an aid station before a very long descent that nearly made me cry when I saw people running back at me.  I made a mental note of the climb-to-come and then, for the second time in one race, broke my no-talking rule with a woman who looked like she knew the course.

“I thought this was supposed to be a flat run,” I said with that awkward, yet undeniable bond runners have as they waltz through hell and think they own the place.

“Oh, you must not know the Race Director,” she replied with that “I’m an insider” attitude that outsiders like me, Wasky, Corey, and Robbie detest.

“Ummm… well… I… uhh…. sorta…. No, I don’t,” I said knowing full well that I had exchanged dicey emails with him earlier that week.

“Yeah, he’s notorious for putting together tough run courses,” she roared with a half-out-of-breath masochism.

“Awesome!  Can’t wait to see what’s ahead,” said no one ever.

We hung together until the start of a sub-division, which also meant the beginning of another hill.  Now, mind you, none of these hills were “tough” but when you think a course is going to be flat, it’s sort of like facing a pitcher who doesn’t throw that hard, but has a great change-up.  His fastball always seems like it’s harder than it really is.

Adding to my unruly disdain was the fact that they had zero mile markers on the course.  And yes, it’s my fault for not going to the athlete’s meeting, I suppose, but give me a bone.  Even the aid station volunteers seemed unsure about their location, and since I wasn’t wearing a Garmin, I literally had no clue where I was on the course.  At one point, I thought it was mile 9 and it turned out to be mile 7.  When I hit the “real mile 9” I was toast.  That’s when my running became simply something that would get me off that god-forsaken course sooner.

This was also about the only time I saw Corey during the race and neither of us seemed particularly talkative.

Soon thereafter, I re-engaged with the treacherous cut-thru and headed for home.  Just as I cleared the scattered brush, I met with aid station volunteers who excitedly exclaimed, “Only one more mile!!!”  I looked at my chrono watch and realized I had 10 minutes to run that mile and finish under 2 hours.  Sweet!

So I pranced off at a decent clip knowing, if nothing else, I would secure a sub-2-hour half marathon after all that other crap we do in triathlons.  And I ran . . . and ran . . . and ran . . . and watched the clock tick past 2 hours . . . then 2:02, 2:03, and finally end up on 2:05.  I just ran a 15 minute mile?  Awesome.

Turns out it was about 1.5 miles, but who’s counting?

——————

Epilogue:  The setting for Goosepond was beautiful, but I haven’t perfected checking out scenery during a race.  I much prefer people yelling and challenging me to keep pushing on.  I forgot to mention the gut cramp that seized me for most of the run and the sharp knee pain I felt around mile 10, but if I hadn’t been so un-prepared I would have totally enjoyed the swim.  The bike was pretty sweet and most of the roads were nice, though I wish they would have had another aid station.  The run was tough at the back half of a triathlon, but I think it was fair.  My mind and body weren’t ready for the challenge but we all had a good time . . . I just wish we would have brought our tents and camped out for a while doing Twitter.

—————–

This is me, Wasky, and Corey celebrating after Goosepond.  CMWkona

I Am Not “A Runner”

There’s no question that running began my cascade into full-blown-endurance-obsession, but I can no longer sit back and let people say, “I love following your little running journey,” without some genuine repercussions.

I do like running and it is often my favorite workout, but I am not “just” a “runner.”  I have a bunch of friends who only run, and while I love them, they are a little off.

They just get up in the morning and run!  That’s what they do!  Then they’ll run some more.  It’s pretty awesome, but kinda crazy!

Then they’ll sit around after a run and talk about running in an endless conversation that goes something like this:

“Hey, How was your run?”

“Pretty good.  Foot hurt a little.”

“That sucks.  When you running again?”

“Oh, probably tomorrow.”

“Cool, me too.”

“Yeah, I’ve been running a lot.”

“I just love finding that zone.”

“Yes!”

“You just keep running and running.”

“I know!  It’s so amazing.”

“People don’t always understand it.”

“Yeah, too bad for them.”

High five.high-fiving-runners

“They just don’t know what they’re missing.”

“I never used to like running, but it’s just so free and easy.”

“Yes, I think about running all day at work.”

“Me too!”

“I was sidelined for a couple weeks with an IT band, but now it feels great, as long as I don’t push it on hills.”

“Yeah, I used to hate hills, but now I love them.”

“Me too!  It’s where I pass the most people!”

High Five.highfive

“I just love seeing people slow down on a hill.”

“I know!”

Silence.

“So when’s your next race?”

“I’m doing “Bird Walk Reservoir Weed and Feed 6K”

“Oh, that’s a great one, cool distance!”

“I just love it, and it’s cheap!  But parking’s a bit of an issue.”

“Yeah, I always get there early and run a mile or so first.”

“And they have great ice cream!”

“Yes!”

“I feel like as much as I run I deserve a little ice cream.”

“We burn so many calories.”

“We are pretty awesome.”

Soft high five over a coffee cup.tumblr_me05rr3T091r0qcqio1_1280

——————–

Oh, now.  I’m just kidding.  Triathletes are just as ridiculous.  We get trapped in similarly benign conversation about water temperature and bike seats that don’t make your under parts go numb.  We ramble on about splits and transition times like it’s straight out of something people give a shit about.

Not only that, runners are nicer than triathletes.  Don’t even think about asking a favor while sitting around in Transition before a triathlon.  You might get the answer, but it will be returned with a stink eye that says, “I am going to kill you today, punk.”  Well, that’s mainly the young kids with great equipment they didn’t have to pay for, but feel violated if you ask them for a squirt of anti-fog for your swim goggles.

But, like most things, people who act like they know something, probably don’t know jack shit.  And I will happily accept being placed in that category, but please don’t call me a runner.

Lost Dogs, Wiffle Golf, Beer, and Massive Training

This weekend was action packed.  I fell off the wagon and then got back on.  I saved a stray dog, got accosted on a run, and swam across a lake by myself.  I also hosted a wiffle golf tournament, then went to a pool party, hit a going away bash, got hit on in the YMCA pool by a Shakespeare character, and went down to the Honky Tonks for the first time in years.

Coco The Straggler

Friday started with an awesome lake swim and continued with a scramble to pick up supplies for my wiffle golf/pool party.  On my way home from the store I noticed a little dog hanging out in the road.  He was near some kids so I didn’t think much of it, but when I parked at the gas station this little ankle biter timidly approached my car.  I checked his tags and realized he was a couple miles from home, which I thought an amazing feat based on his short leg gate.  I called the number, but got a machine and decided I’d just take the dog back home.

The whole way there he looked up at me like I was a dog-napper and drooled on my seat.  I parked in the driveway next to a tattered pick up truck and the dog jumped out and ran to the front door, which I figured was a good sign.  I knocked, but no one answered, then I went around back and the dog took off into the woods.  He was a quick little bugger and my good deed just turned into a nightmare.  Eventually he came around front and I hooked him up to the leash that was tied to the porch, gave him a little water, and left.

I didn’t think much of little Coco over the weekend, but was a little surprised the owner never called back.  Then, this morning around 8:00 my phone rang and it was her.  She was so relieved and said Coco means the world to her.  She was an older lady and oddly, Coco had jumped out of the car on the other side of the gas station while she was airing her tires.  We were literally 50 feet away when I put Coco in my front seat.  We got a kick out of that and laughed like two old ladies playing cribbage, then she thanked me profusely and said goodbye to each other for the last time.

People Who Hate Runners

I had a couple buddies come into town for my wiffle golf tourney and a general exploration of Nashville.  They drove from Wisconsin and didn’t get to my house until Saturday at 2 am, which puts a minor crimp in an early morning workout.

I had loosely planned to do a long ride on the Trace with the Fab 5, but decided 6 hours of biking and running before hosting a party would wear me a little thin.  Instead I did a hard 2-hour trainer ride, then ran about 4 miles.  Nice, solid, workout, followed by a nice, solid, long day of drinking.

I rarely drink much these days, but decided I would blow it out a little this weekend and use it as a “last hurrah” of sorts before turning up the intensity for Wisconsin.  I made the decision to be a little wimpy and drink light beer all day, and it really paid off.  I was a little buzzed after a couple and pretty much stayed on that plane until 11 that night when I crashed hard.

I woke up at 8 and felt like a million bucks.  I kept waiting for the hangover to hit, but it never did.  I strapped on my Pearl Streaks and set out on a 2 hour run figuring the whole time I’d be lucky to make an hour.  About 2 miles in, I knew I was essentially running a 1/2 marathon.

At mile 8 I was cruising at a 9 minute pace (my lofty goal for Ironman) and felt like I could go forever.  I was alive, free, and completely at peace with the morning.  As I ran up the left side of 17th Avenue toward Eastland a guy driving a black, sissy-sized pick-up truck turned the corner and drove right AT me.  There was plenty of room on the street, but I was about 5 seconds from jumping off onto the grass when he made a last minute swerve around me while angrily flipping the bird.  I was f8cking furious and stopped in the road, begging him to come back.  I’d gone from complete serenity to rage in 15 seconds.  Do some people really hate runners?  I guess so.

A Night in The Honky Tonks

After my 2-hour run, and a little lunch, Sunday quickly turned back to drinking.  Went to a great party down the road filled with heated pool volleyball and endless food.  About two light beers in, I had that light buzz that stayed with me the rest of the day.

Around 6:00 we dropped by a going away party for Mark and Kara on our way down to the Honky Tonks.  There was a solid group of East Nasties and I would have much preferred to stay there, but out of town visitors want to go down to Broadway for a taste of Nashville’s country scene.

We started at Pirahnas before heading to Tootsies and fighting our way through a packed house at 8:00 on a Sunday night.  Both upstairs and downstairs were absolutely busting at the seams.  We left and hit Rippy’s where we hung outside on the deck overlooking Bridgestone arena.  This is probably the best outside venue in downtown Nashville.  Then we walked over to Layla’s Bluegrass Inn, then ended up at Honky Tonk Central.  Everything was rockin and it just amazes me.  We grabbed a cab back to East Nashville around midnight and that little honky tonk stint will hold me over for another year.

Swimming With A Gay Man In the Next Lane

The tourist crew got up early to make the long drive back to Wisconsin and I went straight to the pool.  Once again, I was waiting for the day of drinking to come crashing down on my workout, but it never did.  Instead, I had the privilege of swimming 12 sets of 300 meters in the pool with some guy in the next lane trying to hit on me.

Between 300’s, I had a :15 rest and Hamlet (not his real name) and his cute nose plug apparatus happened to be waiting for me every single time.  He was very curious about my swim trunks for some reason and kept asking where I got them and if they helped me swim faster.  Now, I have zero problem with gay men and their lifestyle, but when it’s so overt in tight and vulnerable quarters like the Y, I have an issue.

Me:  Do these trunks help?

Hamlet:  Yeah, make you swim faster?

Me:  Oh, yeah, they make me a speeding bullet, but it’s nothing compared to when I swim naked.

Hamlet:  (sneaky smile) Ohhh, really??

Me:  Sure, in fact, since you like them so much, I might as well take them off right now and give them to you.  That work?

Hamlet:  (Blush) Oh, yes.

Anyway, this went on and on until he couldn’t justify hanging around anymore.  About 20 minutes later I went in the locker room and sure enough, he was just kinda “hangin out” in his black, tight, one-piece “Livestrong” sweat suit.  I minded my own business, but couldn’t help seeing him drift back and forth out of the corner of my eye.  Then I made the mistake of looking at him and he gave me a sly little wink.

I know this is all good and a compliment and I should feel flattered, but it’s just creepy and makes me feel for women who have smarmy guys lurking in the strangest of places.  I took a deep breath, resisted calling him out in front of 10 other guys, and started walking out.  “Somehow” he ended up in front of me, then stopped in the hall, turned around, and put out his hand.

“It was really nice meeting you, Mike.”

“You, too, Hamlet.”

Toes In The Sand

Nothing like good friends and a little beach vacation to start your Memorial Day Weekend.  IMG951326Photo: Robbie Bruce

Volunteering for Cedars of Lebanon Triathlon

This was my first time volunteering for a triathlon, and it was a blast.  I was directing traffic for the “bike out” and was lucky enough to hear the line of the day.

A guy, and what looked to be his daughter, came walking by the bike transition with like 40 minutes until race time while Jim and I were busy getting instructions.  They were stopped and literally standing next to the bike mechanic when his daughter says, “Do you think we should put some air in our tires?”  And without missing a beat, the guy sympathetically responds, “Sorry honey, we don’t have enough time.”jim flagcaption

My job was basically to stand there and tell people, “Turn right, and watch out for bikes coming up on your left.”  I think I said this at least 300 times and it never got old!

It was a two loop bike course and I watched awkward bike mounts in front while racers whizzed by behind my back for about two hours.  But while the anonymous gentleman had the line of the day, my thought of the day was, “People who live in the area versus triathletes trying to have a little fun.”

Somehow, a few cars slipped through onto the bike course and we’d have to politely walk over to their window and ask, “What the fuck is going on with your brain?  Can’t you see you’re right in the middle of a bike race?”

Well, we didn’t really say that, but it’s a bit perplexing to see someone driving into a garden of orange cones with dozens of bikes blasting directly at their windshield.  Like always, I tried to put myself in their shoes.  How would I have handled it before I was in triathlon?  I kept coming up with the same answer.  I would have respected the course.

One guy literally just stopped in the road where second loop bikers were merging with T1 virgins.  One of the Team Magic bosses patiently listened while spectators warned racers to “watch out for the car in the road.”  I would have given anything to hear the conversation she had with that guy.  Eventually he backed up out of the way, but it took about 15 minutes.  Seriously, are you that bitter or anxious to get back to your trailer park?

Oh well.  I guess triathlon is something most people will never understand, and oddly, that gives me great comfort.

Rev 3 Olympic Knoxville – The Run

First of all, do any of you know if Rev 3 had photographers on the course for this race?

The Rev 3 Knoxville Olympic Run

Fresh off the bike, with frozen feet, I sat on the cold concrete and fought to slide on my new Pearl Izumi Tri N1 Racing Shoes.
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I’d been wearing these bad boys around the house and while walking my dog, but never for a run.  Today would be the first.

They are very comfortable, but a lot different than the Pearl Streaks that I have been wearing. Honestly, though, I think I could have been wearing Uggs for the first few miles and not known the difference.

I just kind of chuckled as I slid my way up the rainy road out of T2.  I was a little disoriented and stopped for a second because I thought it was the wrong way.  I threw caution to the wind and kept “running.”  It felt like I had a tennis ball in each shoe right under my arch.  There was no thought of speed (and no watch to confirm) and I would have to be content with a shuffle.

After a mile and a half we entered a bike path that looked like a scene out of Katrina.  Every hundred yards or so it seemed like we were running through ankle to shin deep puddles from the overflowing creek.  Many runners ran on the grass, but I found the splashing water actually warmed my legs.

It was an out and back so we got to the turn at around 3 miles.  I still couldn’t feel my feet.

At around mile four I realized that no one was passing me, so my pace must have been pretty solid.  Then I heard the hoofs of a large man closing in on me.  I resisted temptation to look and he cruised by me like a gazelle.  Sure enough, I looked on his calf and this gentle giant was in my age group.  With just over two miles left, I suddenly had a war on my hands.

But evidently he wasn’t in the same trench because a minute later he was a hundred yards ahead of me.  I just shook my head and prayed for feeling in my feet.

Amazingly, as we exited the bike path, I spotted him ahead, still within striking distance.  He turned left over the bridge and I wasn’t far behind.  Suddenly I was on a very tight and flooded sidewalk with runners coming from the opposite direction.  Something didn’t feel right.  I looked up and my challenger had stopped.  I caught up to him and saw the confusion in his eyes.  Then there was confusion in my eyes.  Then panic.

We both turned around and went back over the bridge and out onto the road.  I was right on his tail, but upset about the transgression.  It wasn’t long before he created another cushion between us.  I just didn’t have my legs.

About mile five, I started to feel my feet and legs again, but I’m not sure it was a good thing.  They were a little weak and I was a bit gassed as I closed in on the dozens of fans waiting for us to turn into the home stretch.  I saw my coach running toward me, saying something about a “podium.”  I put my head down and ran after Mr. Green Jeans, but it wasn’t meant to be.

I crossed the finish line in just over 49 minutes.  The Gentle Giant finished about 1:30 ahead of me.  He took third in our age group.

I wasn’t disappointed, but have a lot of work to do on the run.  I felt great after the swim and bike, but the run was kinda like, “Oh, and now I have to run,” more than it was something I felt like crushing.

Everything I read and hear and learn points to the run being the difference maker in triathlons.  It’s so true.  A week before I averaged 7:27 in a half marathon.  Sunday, my pace was around 8 minute miles for less than half the distance.

Not to self: Trust frozen feet.

Crushing Iron – The Ironman Documentary

I’m documenting the training and mental anguish of our road to Ironman Wisconsin and along the way I’ll probably be posting short clips from each of the guys on what it means, why they do it, and what inspired them to get started.  We’ll start with Jim, since he is the catalyst behind this craziness and has already completed two 140.6 races.