Monday, May 23, 2011


I always say that.  NEVER AGAIN!  I wonder why Justin always looks at me funny and says "you always say that."  I must forget how difficult marathons are.  It's kind of like labor.  I remember feeling like that when we had our first child.  Then during labor the second time.. I said "hey, the pains not too bad" and Justin said "I don't think you remember how bad it hurts."  Of course (for the record) he was right.  Right about labor and marathons.  So I am leaving those life events to him.  He will look so cute pregnant!

Ogden was my final marathon.  It was my eighth one and boy o' boy it hurt.  Lets start from the beginning...

Our friends-cousins-once removed-from anotha motha, Paul and Cindy, were gracious enough to let us stay at their beautiful condo in Eden.  Eden is absolutely breathtaking.  I guess that's why they named it Eden?  It is situated half-way up the Ogden Canyon next to Pineview Reservoir.  Snow Basin is nearby and their are pine trees everywhere you look.  i know Ogden is known as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and it always ranks high on "The Best Places to Live" list.  It is also home to the Dew Tour (snowboarding competition) and the Xterra Championship race. 

We made it a Racation and brought the kiddos with us.  Since it was Justin's turn for kid duty (he still owes me 7 hours) we thought it would be fun to all be together.  After picking up my bib number, shirt and goodie bag we of course hit Cafe Rio' for our pre-race meal.  Maybe it is not a good thing to have beans before a race.  We have always done this though and it was Justin's birthday so I just couldn't say no.  After we downed our burritos we drove up the canyon to Eden.  The mile markers were already out along with the portapotties.  The course "looked" and easy, right?  I kept thinking...this course is all downhill..BQ for sure!

Once we were settled at the condo the kids and I surprised Justin with a box of cupcakes and sang "Happy Birthday" to their old man.  After Ty licked the frosting off half the cupcakes we decided it was time for bed.  A 4 o' clock alarm was set to go off soon.

I woke up feeling pretty good, fresh and excited to race.  Justin and the pajama laden kids dropped me off at the start (which I felt so guilty about).  We pulled in between two buses and I snuck into the swarm of runners.  We never break any rules in races but we just couldn't make sense of driving to the bottom of the canyon so I could load onto a bus.  Anyways, to my surprise it was not too cold at the race start.  I had layered myself with 3 shirts, snow hat, gloves and space blanket.  I used the space blanket to sit on and invited other fellow runners to join me by the camp fire.  We started singing "Kum buy ya, my Lord...Kum buy ya." and roasting marshmallows.  It was so much fun.  Kidding.  We did have an hour and a half before the gun went off so it was nice to relax, get cozy and share some conversation.  I found my friend Callie in line for the portapotties and slipped in line with her (another rule broken).  After wishing her and another friend Dina luck I headed back to my camp fire to get ready. I ate a Cliff bar, finished off a Powerade, stripped down to my running apparel and headed for the starting line.

There was no wind, rain and the temperature was perfect!  The first 7 miles were downhill so it was easy to "sandbag" some time.  I tried to remain conservative but I was getting passed like I was standing still.  I was averaging an 8 minute per mile pace.  My goal was to stay around 8.30 but going downhill is hard to hold back.  I was feeling great up through mile 8.  The course was so beautiful.  It was like looking at a landscape calender around every turn. 

Miles 8-13 were pretty flat and maybe even a slight bit uphill.  There was definitely a climb at mile 14 as you approached the damn.  I was still making good time even after visiting every bathroom.  I kept alternating powerade and water and even took in half a Cliff shot.  The volunteers were amazing.  This race was so well organized.  I did get passed by the 3.30 pace team and felt a little down about it but that's ok, I'm still in the game.  I was starting to feel a little thirsty...never a good sign.  I also felt like I had to use the bathroom but nothing was happening.  It was like my body decided to shut-down and not process anything I was ingesting.  I've had this same thing happen to me numerous times.  You would think I would know better and have nutrition nailed by now but for some reason I don't! My mind began playing with me and I was beginning to think negative thoughts.  Then the 3.45 pace team passed me.  I
tried to hang with them but my legs would not respond!  I can still make under 4..right?  Please!
With my quads toast, belly sloshing and negative thoughts swarming in my head I decided that once I saw Justin and the kids around mile 20 I would call it quits.  I imagined myself sitting in the car with my feet up drinking a coke.  I saw them at mile 23 (at the bottom of the canyon) and it was like he already knew how I was feeling.  Deja Vu...I guess.  I told him I was hurting and he just said "you're pretty much done, just head it on in. You can do it."  He's so calm and together all the time.  Here I was pretty much dying right in front of him, my insides are going to fall out and he just smiles and gives me a hug and pushes me on.  I guess sometimes we need people to do that for us.  They know us better than we know ourselves and what we are capable of. We need a little push once in a while. So I was off to the finish.  I don't know how I did it but I did.  I was crawling at a 10 minute mile pace and getting passed by tons of runners.  I will be dead last, I'm sure of it. This is not fun. NEVER AGAIN! Then here comes the 4.00 pace team, surely I will be able to hang with them.  Just finish, just finish, please let me finish this race and under 4 hours!

Ahhh....time to quit or time to learn how to wear compression socks.

One last kick down the home stretch.

Brittany and I ALIVE!
 I knew deep down that I could and would finish this race.  That thing on my shoulders is pretty powerful.  Although I kept thinking of all the negative things happening in my life and all the doors that have been closing, rejection, hurt, sorrow... poor me, poor me.  Never again!  Then after I finished in 4.01, I found my healthy, happy family, got my ice cold coke, a massage from Justin and met up with my good friend Brittany (whom runs at least 5 marathons a year). I felt ok again. Yeah, I was hurting during those final miles and I wanted to give up, throw in the towel.  Life is so much easier that way.  Why put yourself out there, take a chance or risk falling on your face.  It hurts too bad.  Why not take the easy road?

One of my favorite quotes:  "You can live a life of discipline or a life of regret."  I knew that I wasn't a quitter and no matter how bad life 'hurts" it is much better to hurt with passion than regret.  So this I say to you 2 days post-marathon; you can do it, get out there!  As much as I like to be on the sidelines cheering on my favorite people, I love being in the game...even if it means I might get hurt or end up disappointed.


Hello life and maybe the SoJo marathon...


Friday, May 13, 2011


Well it finally came…and went. All the buildup gone in what felt like 60 seconds. What a whirlwind! What an experience! What an amazing feeling! What a great day! A huge thanks to my amazing wife and kids for sticking with me through the ups and downs! Couldn’t have done this without the three of you! I love you all more than I can express in words! Thanks to Mom and Dad, Kevin and Lisa, Kourtney, Shaun, Ashton, Keaton, and Carson for making the trip down to St. George and rushing around town all day to try to catch a 15 second glimpse of me as I rushed past. Thanks to Rod, Aubrey, and Alex for watching Charley and for the nice gift when I got home…it was so nice. Thanks to all the rest of my friends and family for the thoughts and well wishes…it meant a lot to me! Thanks to my new training buddies Rory and Andy for pushing me and keeping me motivated through the end. Thanks to all the volunteers…simply amazing what they do for all the racers. They really make the race. Congratulations to all the fellow racers for toeing the line in this crazy race…you all inspire me!


We decided to camp at Sand Hollow reservoir so the kiddos could play at the lake and the family could watch the swim start, then get cleaned up while all the swimmers were getting out on the bike. Plus Michelle was volunteering to apply sunscreen in T1, so it would make it easier for her as well. (Unfortunately, they wouldn’t accommodate her request to be stationed INSIDE the men’s change tent , but she made the most of her experience anyway. HAHA! ) Thanks for volunteering Love it was awesome to have your support!

In retrospect I’m so glad we made this decision. The kids had a great time and I was able to catch an extra hour of sleep race morning. I also had the advantage of no wait time in the potty line, which I was so happy about.

The only issue I had staying at the lake was by my own stupidity. When I arrived in St. George on Thursday I decided to go straight into town and pick up my packet, get body marked, etc. I wanted to get it done to have peace of mind knowing I had everything in line. Check-in went great. Got my packet, special needs and gear bags, body marked, a few souvenirs, and I was on my way. Late that night I decided to show everybody my numbers…umm where did I put the numbers? Hmm…not in my bag, not in the truck, holy sh&* they’re gone. I’ve lost my race #’s!!?? What am I going to do? How do you lose your race numbers only hours after getting them? This is not getting off to a good start. Oh well, off to bed…nothing I can do about it this late in the day.


After a horrible night sleep (perfect, the night you’re supposed to get a good night’s rest), I woke up in panic mode. Doing an IRONMAN is stressful enough, then having to pack 4 different bags (bike gear, bike special needs, run gear, and run special needs) without missing a detail it’s almost too much. To add the anxiety of losing your number…c’mon! Completely unnecessary and a waste of energy! I had already planned an early swim and then needed some breakfast. Michelle and her mom decided they needed a break too and headed out on a bike ride…the tension was building. I know I was not pleasant to be around, but inside I was freaking out. I had so much to get ready in a limited amount of time and no number to use to mark my stuff. My phone rang at 10:45…it was someone from IRONMAN. Here’s the quote…”We have your packet. We’re leaving; you need to get down here right now!” Me…”Umm, I’m at the lake.” Them…”We’ll see you at 11:15.” Me…oh crap! For those of you who know, Sand Hollow is a good 30 min drive from St. George. I had the two kids and Michelle was on a bike ride. Thankfully, the kiddos where having fun with their cousins, so I snuck away to the Dixie Center to get the packet. I made it at 11:17 and with packet in hand my blood pressure dropped from 200/120 to normal levels again. Ugh…I hope the rest of the race goes smoother than this!
Michelle made me a M-Dot pancake the morning before the race

I managed to get back to the lake, get all my bags packed, bike to T1, bike gear back to T1, and run bag to T1. A big thanks to Rory for taking my special needs bags for me to drop off race morning since I would already be at the lake! I owe him lunch for sure! Now it was time to enjoy the IronKids race with the family and enjoy my prerace meal tradition of Café Rio. The IronKids race was fun, the kids decided they wanted to do the 200 meter run instead of the mile. It was hot out, so I couldn’t blame them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good photo of them because it was so chaotic, but they did great. Michelle volunteered for this race as well, so it was a family affair. Big shout out to Keaton for coming in 5th in the mile race…nice work. And Ashton too for “pacing” Abbi in the 200 meter run! Cool cousins for sure!! Grabbed Café Rio and it was back to the lake for 4-5 hours of sleep.


I didn’t sleep great, but that was expected. Surprisingly I woke up with a peaceful feeling about everything. The work had been done, the cabinets were stocked, and it was time to just have fun! I never once felt any nervousness, not as we got into the wetsuits, not as we got into the water, not as we heard the national anthem…nothing. I was ready, and I was calm. I think it helped that I was at the lake already and didn’t have to rush around at all. It just made everything easier that morning. I spotted my mom and dad, sister and brother-in-law and nephews while we were waiting to get into the water. I also spotted Rory and some other friends which was nice. I stood in someone else’s pee, but it didn’t matter. Life was good and the pee was warm.


I had a prerace goal of swimming 1:10. I’m not the best swimmer, but I thought that was a reasonable goal. I started on the left side of the line about 5 people from the front. I knew it would be choppy and rough, but that really doesn’t bother me. Two years ago I would have been bawling like a baby, but my swim has come a long way and continues to get better. I geared up for the washing machine, and it wasn’t too bad. As the gun went off I really wanted to find some feet to follow, but it was just to wild. I decided to hug the buoy line and just ride it out. After about 20 minutes I felt a little tickle on my toes. Haha, someone’s tickling my feet…how cute. Whoever it was stuck to me like glue! For the next 50 minutes this person tickled my feet non-stop. I literally started laughing at one point because I couldn’t believe someone would hang that close to the person in front of them for that long. I sped up, slowed down, but I couldn’t shake em. In all honesty, I don’t know if it was really the same person, or if I was delusional but someone or something was playing with my feet the whole swim. I guess it took my mind off of the swim because before I knew it I was done. Came out of the water and looked at my watch…what the…my watch was trashed. Great…no HR monitor on the bike ride. Guess I’m going to have to just ride and run by feel. (I really think this proved to be an advantage, as I’m terrible at checking my watch every two minutes to “see how I’m doing”. With no watch I could just go ahead and race.) I did see the final time as I exited the boat ramp…1:12. Not too bad…I’ll take it.


Not knowing how T1 was going to work I set my goal at 8 minutes. I felt strongly that I wouldn’t need that much time, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too aggressive considering all the unknowns. It was pretty uneventful really, got my stuff on, said “Hi” to Michelle, and off I went. My total time was around 4 min 30 seconds.


My goal on the bike was to ride solid, but not push too hard. I felt by doing that I would ride around 6 hours. Since I didn’t have a watch, and I don’t have a cyclometer on my tri bike so I had no gauge of time at all. I had to ride by feel alone. I rode steady through Hurricane and into St. George. At about mile 20 I spotted Rory and we decided to try to hang close to each other for extra motivation. He’d pass me and ride ahead for a while, and then I’d pass him and ride ahead for a while. We’d shout words of encouragement to each other as we went by. It was great. As I started the second loop I still felt really good! My nutrition was perfect, I was hydrated and in a good state of mind…so I pressed on. As I hit mile 80, something happened…I was getting passed by everybody. I felt okay, but I could tell my power was starting to decrease and my neck was starting to ache. I knew that I needed to do something fast or I’d go downhill really quickly (that’s my style). I quickly pounded a Powerbar, downed some endurolytes and a Tylenol (so glad I packed that in my bento box) and pressed on. By the time I got to the wall I had regained my power, the Tylenol had kicked in and now I was passing everybody. I felt amazing again! I flew up the wall, flew up Veyo and cruised through the false flats to the downhill. Only 12 miles left to go…sweeeet!!! I was so happy because it was getting hot out there, and a bit on the windy side. As I started cruising down from Veyo I felt a nice cool mist in my face. I thought how nice it was until I realized the dude in front of my was peeing himself. YIKES!!! That cool mist was his pee hitting me in the face and arms…disgusting. I always tell everyone how nasty the sport of Triathlon is, and I’ve done my fair share of farmer blows and other nasty things, but this was too much. Should have left him a present myself, but thought better of it as I passed him, while the pee was still flying down his legs! I blew by that dude and was gone. Came down to Snow Canyon Parkway, and through the little one way section on the course. As I turned out of the neighborhood I saw Michelle and her cheering gave me a nice boost up the hill and onto Bluff. I cruised into T2 feeling pretty good about myself and with a ton of energy. I saw the time on the clock as I came into T2 (7:01) and in my mind thought I had hit my goal of 6 hours exactly. Only later did I get my actual time of 5:37. I was really pleased with that and could only hope for a good run.


Everybody’s got to make a few rookie mistakes in their first IRONMAN, right? Mine came in T2. I cruised into the change tent and asked the nice volunteer to help me wash my sunglasses as I put on my compression socks. I started putting on my first sock and what…it’s inside out. Oops…so annoying. Thankfully, the volunteer was awesome. He washed my sunglasses and then helped get my socks turned the right way. I put them on and was on my way. I had set my goal time of 8 minutes for this transition as well, and I was way under that at around 2 min 30 seconds.

RUN (the good, the bad, and the ugly!)

I knew this was going to be a challenge! Not only is the course extremely challenging, but running in 90 degrees only makes it that much more difficult. I thought if I could stay cool everything would be okay. The second I overheated it would be over! I made a concerted effort to drink sport drink and water at every aid station, as well as stuffing sponges and ice down my shirt whenever possible. This worked beautifully for the first 12 or so miles. I ran strong, and I ran hard. A little too hard as it turned out! I was pushing 7:30 miles for the first half, feeling great and passing a ton of people. As I made the turnaround I was on cloud 9…nothing could stop me. I was cheerful, friendly, and chatty. When I got to mile 11 my parents, sister and her family were there. I stopped to chat for a second and then pressed on. I saw Michelle and chatted with her for a while until she told me to “shut-up” and keep running. She told me to keep wet 10 or 15 times in a 2 minute span, and then I was on my own again for the long haul. Wanting the heed her advice I asked one of the guys at the aid station with a hose to give me a squirt. Blasto! Right in the face! So much for washing my sunglasses! I just laughed and kept going. I made the turn around point and still felt pretty good. However, by mile 15 I’d lost energy, and my stomach was on fire. I had been eating and drinking on schedule, but the combination of the fast pace and heat took its toll in a big way. I took in some cola, and hit the potty 3 times between miles 15 and 22. I ended up having to stop and walk on a couple of occasions to stop the onslaught of whatever was brewing in my stomach. The volunteers on the run course were unbelievable and made it bearable to be out there! They are so creative and all had a different theme. I don’t remember them all, but I do remember the Tortoise and the Hare which was at about mile 16. I had just reached the aid station when we got a huge gust of wind. They had a balloon tortoise which broke free and started floating away. It moved slowly at first, but with another gust of wind zoomed up and over the mountain. I looked over at another guy and said look at that…his response cracked me up. “I didn’t know they could fly!” I know it’s cheesy, but at the time I laughed pretty hard! As I made it to mile 22 I started feeling better and was able to pick up the pace again. I ran pretty well through the last few miles and by the time I hit mile 25 was back to normal. Not sure if the adrenaline had kicked in, or if I had conquered the stomach demons that were plaguing me, but I didn’t care. I was done! I had done it! I cruised into the finish, did the airplane down the finish shoot high fiving the crowd, and then stopped before the finish line and gave one last look. I was an IRONMAN! I felt great and had no soreness whatsoever. A small blood blister on my foot from the wet socks, but that’s about it. My goal was to run 3:40 and I came in with a final time of 3:47…not bad all things considered. I’ll take it. My final time was right around 10 hours 45 minutes.
Enjoying the finsh with an ice-cold beverage

My finish line catcher was named Cheryl and she was awesome. She took care of everything and even tracked down my family so I could say “Hi” before settling down to a nice post race massage. I enjoyed some pizza and fries with the family and chatted with a few fellow athletes before settling in to watch the race for a couple of hours. Got to see some friends finish and experience a bit of their joy! What a cool moment.
Post-race massage

The whole experience was amazing. The training was hard, but doable. The time commitment was hard, but doable. The race was hard, but doable! I met a lot of great people along the way and learned a ton about myself and my body. I’m a little lighter in the pocketbook, but much heavier in life experience. There can only be one first IRONMAN! Yes, I am a bit sad that it’s over with, but I don’t see this as the end. I see this as the beginning of a new chapter. Not sure what it holds or when, but I do know I’ll be back to IRONMAN. Sooner rather than later!
Even Ironkids need some relaxing!

To anyone who happens upon this, I just want to say don’t be intimidated to get out there and try! Not just running, biking, or swimming, but in anything! Amazing things can happen when we put our minds towards a goal, and who knows maybe you’ll learn something about yourself in the process. Maybe you’ll meet someone new. Life is short, let’s enjoy what time we have here and not get too wrapped up in the minutiae of it all. Who knows, maybe you’ll have fun!!!

Tri Hard!

P.S.  There will be more photo's added once we get them downloaded.  I just can't give up $130 to get the copyright from Ironman's course home footage will be just fine.

Action Sports International - Ford Ironman St. George

Action Sports International - Ford Ironman St. George

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Salt Lake City Marathon – Expect the unexpected

I'm almost done with the Ironman blog and realized that I hadn't posted this one....

After a couple of weeks of solid training it was time for the annual Salt Lake Marathon. This is one of the best weeks of the year. It's usually held in mid-April, so it's a sign that spring is here, it's in my home area, and I've done every Salt Lake Marathon since it started in 2004. It's an 8 year streak that I'm really proud of, and hope to build upon. The course has a pretty good drop in elevation, but I wouldn't call it an easy marathon. There are sections of concrete that beat you up pretty good, and then the final stretch is a subtle yet nasty hill that stings the legs at mile 25. All in all though, it's one of mine and Michelle's favorite weeks of the season. She typically does the half marathon and I do the full.
This year has just been an odd one...the weather as referenced above has been unusually brutal and I've tried to do most of my running outside. So the week before the race I've got a 2 hr 40 min run on the IRONMAN schedule. I generally try to get these in Friday or Sunday, but had scheduled it for Thursday that week to give a couple extra days to get ready for the marathon.

As I woke up on Thursday, I heard the wind howling and said forget it and went back to bed...big mistake. When I finally woke up at 7:00 I looked outside and it was pretty calm. CRAP...I'm a big believer in karma, and I blew this run off thinking Friday would be less windy only to find the weather was just fine. Oops...hopefully that wouldn't come back to bite me. As we headed off to bed that night my worst nightmares were realized...BLIZZARD conditions outside. I couldn't fathom the ideao of doing a 2 hr 40 minute run on the treadmill, so I prepared myself for winter conditions...this was going to suck. Needless to say, I drug myself out of bed the next morning and trudged my way out into the snow. Note to self...have a back-up pair of traditional running shoes that DO NOT have holes in the bottom. All of my running shoes right now are made for triathlon and have drainage holes in them. As you can imagine the second I stepped outside my feet were completely soaked. YUCK! 

I've been training on a 6.5 mile hilly loop this year and I figured I'd do this once and then hit the treadmill for the rest of the run. As I finished the first loop I thought to myself..."don't quit on can't be an IRONMAN if you quit when the going gets tough", so I headed out for a second 6.5 mile loop. Then it would be inside to the warmth of the treadmill. After battling headwinds and snow I finished the second loop...the thought of quitting came to my mind again.  I couldn't quit, so it was on to the third loop. By this time my feet were frozen solid, and I was completely drenched.  Yet I was determined to get it done!  I battled through the worst possible elements and some mental weakness, but came through in the end. It was a real confidence builder and I was home!  The problem was I hadn't taken my shoes off yet. Just as soon as I did my feet started to thaw out and I noticed my pinkie toe on my left foot was quite sore. I pulled the sock off, and saw a quarter sized black blood blister on the pinkie toe...CRAP! What good timing this was...and it hurt like a bit*%. I found 3 more blisters on my left foot, and one on my right foot. A marathon in a week and my toes are all wrecked. Not good. I'll spare the gory details, but I strategically popped the blood blisters, and within a day they were feeling totally fine. Thankfully!

When I woke up the following Tuesday morning I felt horrible. My daughter had a minor cold, and it seemed that I was getting it too! Great! I ended up having a couple of days where the head congestion was really bad, but not bad enough to put me out. Although I did sound like Barry White for a couple of days, and for anyone whose heard my voice, that's quite a feat! I didn't let it get me down, and went on with my training and preparation for the marathon and IRONMAN.

As Friday rolled around we took the kiddos up to grandma's house where their cousins from Maryland were staying. Our kids are so close with these kids that we thought it would work out perfectly for them to have a big sleep over while we did our annual marathon. It was also Michelle's grandma's birthday, so we decided to drop the kids off, go grab our race packets, and then come back up for a small dinner celebration. What could go wrong?

 We headed off to the to the expo and the excitement was in the air. I love poking around the expo looking at stuff and taking advantage of the prerace deals on gels and stuff. As we went to get checked in I was informed that all the marathon race shirts were gone! What? That sucks! Apparently they had 400 late registrations and had run out of shirts. I have to admit I was a little peeved. I signed up in April of 2010 for the race, and they're telling me someone that signed up that day got a shirt and I didn't! Oh well, guess they'll mail me a shirt later...riiight!  Believe it when I see it!

We head back to grandmas to enjoy a nice dinner. Kissed the kiddos goodbye and headed home at about 10. I never sleep well before a race, so I wasn't expecting to sleep well that night either.  Not wanting to keep Michelle up, I ended up in Abbi's room as I dealt with my restless legs (which I usually get race night). I finally fall asleep, but was awakened suddenly when the phone rang. Was I dreaming? Yes...thankfully!  Oh wait, I hear Michelle talking to someone...what is going on? A quick glance at the clock and see that it's 12:40. In my sleep deprived state I hear her say “We’ll come get him!” At that point, my heart sank. Ty is sick…race day is over!

Long story short, whenever Ty catches a cold he always ends up having difficulty breathing at night. He’s got a restrictive airway disorder that pops up whenever he is congested. From what we’ve been told it sounds much worse than it actually is, but admittedly, it can be scary at times. Michelle was an amazing mother (as usual) and volunteered to skip her half marathon to take care of Ty and let me run the marathon and keep the streak alive. Needless to say this crushed us both. She missed her favorite race of the year and I ran with a tremendous amount of guilt.

The Race Itself

I’ve always heard the sleep you get the night before a race isn’t that important. Going on about 3 hours myself I was going to put this theory to the test. I left the house later than I wanted and rode up to the start line by myself in a less than happy state of mind. My heart was not into this race…not one bit. With IRONMAN only 3 weeks away I had planned to take it very easy in this race, but now I needed to just get this race over with and get home.

Mile 24....home stretch
 When I arrived at the start line I needed to use the bathroom…I had drank a huge bottle of sports drink on the way there and I was ready to explode. Knowing that the race doesn’t start until you cross the start line I decided to just wait for everybody to leave and then use the potty. I didn’t end up starting my race until 12-15 minutes after the official start time. Knowing that I wanted to get home I just decided to settle in at a 7:00 min mile pace and try to hold it as long as possible. One of my IRONMAN training buddies (Andy) was also doing the race, so I was stoked when I found him at mile 9. He’s a great runner and running with him took my mind off of the crappy night at home.

We maintained the 7 min mile pace for the next 7 miles and then out of nowhere my stomach decided to rebel. In my rush to leave the house that morning I hadn’t even thought about trying to use the bathroom, and my stomach was not happy. I needed to go…NOW! I told Andy I had to stop and that I’d try to catch him, but knew in the back of my mind that would be near impossible. Oh well, it was nice to run with him while it lasted. I caught the potty at the next aid station and it was life changing…I felt great afterward. I pushed my pace and amazingly was able to catch up with Andy after about 2 miles. I’m sure he slowed to wait for me, but it was great to run with him again. We got to Liberty Park and I knew we only had a 5K left. A quick glance at the watch and I was on pace to set a PR…oops. Definitely not intentional, but I felt amazing. At this point Andy needed a potty break, we parted ways and I ran strong through the finish setting a new PR of 3:07. As Ice Cube sings in one of his songs “Messed around and got a triple double…today was a good day.” I felt like I’d messed around and set a marathon PR.

I honestly think I could have gone sub-3 hours had I really wanted to push, but knowing IRONMAN was on the horizon I needed to stay in check. I crossed the finish line and rushed straight to the car and headed home. A huge thanks to Michelle for “taking one for the team,” I’m up next! Also, thanks to Andy for sticking with me as I started to struggle with my tummy in the middle of the race! Ty ended up being fine (as expected), but we do have a nice new nebulizer so this won’t happen again. Guess that’s what you get when you have kids. Expect the unexpected.

IRONMAN race report on the way!

Tri Hard!