Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wait, what did that commercial just say?????

There is a new drug on the market to treat Restless Leg Syndrome. Maybe you have seen the commercial for this new drug on TV. I happend to hear the advertisement a few days back, and was vaguely paying attention (as I typically do with commercials) until I heard something out of the ordinary.

This commercial was simillar to all the other prescicption drug commercials you see on TV these days. I'm sure you've seen one......

"If you take our drug, we'll make your life better. Just listen to this peaceful music we're playing, listen to my soothing voice, and look at those flowers we're filming next to the smiling person that used to be bothered by said problem. Side effects include.........(insert long and seemingly serious list here)........

So, why am I writing about this you ask? Because one of the side effects of this new drug to cure restless legs syndrom urge to gamble.


An urge to a side-effect.....of a drug used to cure strange sensations in one's leg?????????????

What the hell do they put in these pills????????


My fall semester begins tomorrow morning. Maybe someone at the university would be able to show me the link between gambling urges and leg discomfort?? But I doubt it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Greater Cleveland Triathlon (Keep...Moving.....Foreward)

Thanks to E-Speed for the pic!!


Heading out of T2 I thought it would take me a mile or 2 to gain my running legs. After that point, my plan was to hold back for at least a couple more miles. Based on how I felt, I was planning to either pick it up between mile 3 and 4, or mile 6 and 7. My friends, there was no "picking it up."

The run course consisted of 2 loops on the road, with the mid-August sun directly overhead. It was hot, probably around 90 degrees, and it was humid. I felt like the sun was zapping all the remaining energy I had. As I approached mile 3 I began to grow concerned as I was feeling worse and worse. My feet hurt. My thighs hurt. I felt bloated. Instead of feeling better after a couple of miles I was feeling worse.

My plan was to run the entire course, other than the aid stations, where I would walk/eat/drink to my hearts content. Judging by the way I felt at mile 3 and realizing there was going to be no such thing as regaining my legs, I wondered if I'd have to do some walking out on the course. I didn't like that idea one bit. Luckily, by mile 4 my feet and legs began to feel uncomfortable, rather than painful. Also to my advantage, the sky had become overcast and no longer were we running in direct sunlight. The slight bit of shade offered by the clouds was probably the single biggest factor that kept the little man in my head, who was saying "this is too much, stop running now," to a whisper (as opposed to shouting) throughout the middle of the run.

By this time in the race my mind was pretty numb. I was having trouble thinking about the specifics of my nutrition plan. For whatever reason, I no longer wanted to consider if it was time for a shot of GU, or a drink of gatorade. All of my thoughts were coming stride by stride. Every time my foot hit the ground I knew I was one step closer to the finish. Each foot strike meant one less foot strike that I had to endure. Miles 4 through 9 were passed this way. I would anticipate with dismay my foot hitting the ground, only to grow happy for a brief second after I picked it up knowing I had taken one more stride. The happiness was always short lived as my other foot was about to make contact with the pavement. I had moved from feeling like I was downright fading fast into sufferville, to maintaining a tolerable state of discomfort that I knew was coming closer to the finish line with each step. Then at mile 9 the discomfort grew worse.

Foot Pain. Burning and tenderness on the balls of both feet.

Leg pain. It was as if I could feel each and every muscle fiber in both legs, from my knee to my hips. Each and every fiber seemed to send me a warning, every time my foot hit the ground, that it would be in my best interest to stop. This warning.....the sensation that I felt in my legs is hard to describe. It is something like the "steady" burn that is felt climbing a hill on the bike....or sprinting with all you've got for a hundred meters, or those last couple of reps of a hard set in the weight room. Except, it was not a dull sustaining sensation. It was sharp, fast, and intense; and it coincided with my foot hitting the ground, so I knew when it was coming.....and my decision to run was the cause.

Just as my nice little state of discomfort was being quickly replaced by suffering, I inquired at the next aid station about fruit. They had bananas and oranges on hand, and since neither water, gatorade, nor GU seemed to be stopping my tumble down the tubes, I went for an orange slice. And another. And another. And another. For fear of adding stomach distress into the mix I quit eating oranges before I had went through the entire bag. Those oranges were hands down the most delicious food I have ever had in my 31 years on this great planet. They were so good they got me to mile 10 just thinking about their flavor.

Around mile 10, as the sweet taste of oranges began to fade from memory, I was passed by a woman who was just trucking along towards the finish. I knew that there had more than likely been a few women who beat me to the finish line.....with time to spare, but something in my brain was triggered to not let this young lady blow right by me. After traveling a mile or so down the road, I thanked her for pacing me in. We hit mile 12, and the sun came back out from behind the clouds. It immediately began to wear me down again.

With a little under a mile to go to the finish, my stomach went south. Maybe it was the oranges, maybe the sun, maybe I need to tweak my nutrition plan (which never included oranges...or gatorade) but I had 2 options as I approached the finish line. Run to the finish....and maybe see what exactly is in someones stomach who has been living on energy gel and sportsdrink for half a day; or walk. So I walked, for the first time that I was not at an aid station. It was all of, maybe, 75 yards, but I was indeed, walking. Off went the woman who paced me over the last 5K or so. I didn't want to throw up on her....i figured I'd just let her beat me. At this point, I at least knew that I'd cross the finish line in under 6 hours.

After my stomach settled, I began to run towards the finish. I thought I'd get a burst of energy knowing that I was done, but I did not. Right before the finish line I took one last sip of water and even the idea of being done with this damn run couldn't get me moving fast.

As I ran the final few yards of the race, I heard a familiar voice begin to yell, "Brandon!!! You just did a half-ironman!" Then I saw Treetop and Julia off to the side of the course and I knew a cold beer was in my future.....and my race was over.

13.1 Mile Run time: 2:08:12
9:48/ mile pace

Final Time: 5:41:43
45th out of 99 Overall
8th out of 18 in my Age Group

Despite the fact that I could get nothing going on the run, I am quite happy with the result. If I would have layed off a bit on the bike, might I have made up some time on the run? Maybe. If I would have a better taper plan, might I have felt better on the run? Quite likely. Could I have trained a little differently. Absolutely. Would changes in my training improved my time? Probably. I suppose a late season half next year will help me to answer these questions. One thing is for certain....I need to increase my running mileage.

After the race, my support crew drove me home and then we proceeded to stop at the winking lizard where I ate a giant burger......I think they called it the pounder (sorry vegan peeps and poor cow), accompanied by a delicious white Ale. I picked up a pint of Ben & Jerry's Everything But The...on the way home....and I slept. Soundly.

I would never have embarked on the journey to complete this race if I would not have been able to follow so many folks IM journeys through the tri club and here in the blogsphere. All of you inspiring people know who you are. Thank You!! And a big congratulations to Charlie, who finished Ironman UK today, his first IM, in 14:35:25. He had a HUGE negative split on the run. Impressive!

Maybe some day.........

Friday, August 17, 2007

Greater Cleveland Triathlon (feeling good)


For the swim we were heading straight out into the lake and taking a left hand turn at the first buoy. Then, we swam parallel to the beach until reaching the final buoy and turning left toward shore. As we lined up, I started in the second row and to the far right. By the time we abandoned running for swimming it seemed that most of the red caps were pulling away from me. I noticed the lead swimmers hitting the first buoy when it still seemed far ahead. Dang! Then, arose a burning in my stomach. Maybe we could call it nausea. The sensation radiated from my stomach out towards my limbs and relocated a strong sensation of warmth on my forehead. Uh no! I thought. I am .1 mile into this race and I already feel like puking. Maybe it was the banana I ate about 1 hour before the start of the race? And why so soon? I'm doomed. I'll be responsible for the recycled breakfast floating on the swim course....uh boy.

Luckily, the nausea was short lived. Maybe it was just my nerves giving me one final bit of trouble before I settled in to "my race." This swimming thing is still pretty new to me after all. Either way, by the time I reached the first buoy I was feeling like a slow swimmer, but not sick. I let it go that I thought nearly everyone was ahead of me and focused on long, easy strokes and body positioning....exactly what I've been focusing on all summer in the water. I felt someone swimming up on my feet, but it was more pestering than bothersome. As I took my breathe's towards shore I would look directly into the sunrise. The lake was perfectly calm and I felt relaxed and tried to site as little as possible. My zig-zagging seemed minimal. The lake was murky, and as I rotated my head with each stroke I would see grayish murky water, then bright sunlight behind sandy beach. Murky water. Bright sun. Murky water. Bright sun. Look ahead....buoys and swimmers.

Murky water. Bright sun.

Throughout the swim, as the sun continued to rise and the light shining in my eyes with each breath continued to get gradually and steadily brighter. Then, head back down into the murky abyss. Repeat. Repeat.

It is meditative.

Halfway through the swim, I began to consider checking my watch. I was wondering how far along I was. I refrained, convincing myself I'd be on the shore soon enough. Swimming within arms length of a buoy I had to laugh as I noticed the giant shark like grimace that was looking directly at me. The buoy's were giant inflatable shark heads!! Better than the real thing, I suppose. I wondered if there was any way for a shark to "sneak" into lake Erie. Before I knew it I was reaching the last buoy. As I'd site, I could see folks heading towards shore. Yeah, that's everyone that smoked me in this swim, I thought. My next thought was that the swim was an incredibly fast 40 minutes. It seemed like 15. I kept swimming towards shore until my hands began to drag on the bottom of the lake. And I stood....and stumbled. I felt like I had drank a fifth of whiskey. If my swimming wasn't too zig-zagged my run into T1 definitely was. My stomach began to feel testy again as I imagined falling over with my sea legs, or puking in front of the scores of friends and family members that gathered at the swim exit to cheer on their triathletes. Then, I looked at my watch and saw it ticking at 31 minutes and change. Whoa!!! Maybe my swim wasn't so slow. I stumbled out of the water, up the beach, and towards T1 and Amaterasu.

1 mile Swim time: 31:38

I arrived into T1 feeling punch drunk, confused, and surprised at my time. Wobbly legs, nauseated stomach, slow cognitive function. I sat down next to my green towel to take off my wetsuit and remembered that I was racing in a half-ironman and I just had the fastest swim of my life and I smiled....until I had began to struggle to get the wetsuit over my ankles. Come off, damn it...this is a freakin' race!! (one which I had absolutely no chance of winning, but a race, nonetheless). After the wetsuit came off I reached for my socks and cycling shoes and realized that my ankle bracelet with my timing chip was gone.

Enter anxiety!!

I thought it must be in the legs of my wetsuit and checked there. No timing chip. I put my arm all the way up both legs of the wetsuit....twice, at least; and besides some grains of sand there was nothing in there. I sat idle for a moment. This sucks, my race is over. I looked to Rob, whose bike was racked next to mine and told him the bad news. "My timing chip is gone!!" I could tell he felt for me, but that he was more concerned about getting on his bike and moving along; and understandably so. "My chip is in the feakin' lake!! Now what??" Do the race without an "official" time. Finish the race to be an "unofficial finisher." Is there really such a title, and if there is do I really want it?

I sat in a dripping wet heap next to my bike and thought about this for a minute. I was looking around on the ground for the timing chip that I knew was floating in Lake Erie. I had begun to accept that my first half iron would land me finishing the swim...and then....DNF!! I'd have preferred to puke in front of the spectators than DNF.

Then, on my black racing suit, directly in my lap, I see the black timing chip and strap. I grabbed it, somewhat unbelieving (how would it land in my lap??), held it up in the sunlight, admired it for it's beauty, then put it back on my ankle and proceeded to put on my cycling shoes....elated. I'll finish this freakin' race after all. It's time to hop on my bike, where I feel at home, and peddle my way towards the finish line.

T1 time: 3:45
Not bad considering I sat there for what seemed like 5 minutes wondering how easy it would be to find a little black strap in one of the Great Lakes.


I hopped on the bike and began drinking water out of my bottle. Heading out of Headlands beach the steady headwinds and false flat had me riding at around 17mph. I wondered if I was going so slow because I was drained from the swim. I told myself not to worry about it and decided I would stay in the little chainring for the next few miles, like I planned, until I recovered from the swim.

I began getting passed on the bike immediately. As difficult as it was, I knew this was just the beginning to a long day, so I watched all of them go. After about 15 or 20 minutes I switched to the big ring and began passing a couple of folks myself (although not nearly as many as passed me).

Just stay steady. Ride within myself. No burning on the climbs. Eat and drink. That was the plan for the bike. I had finished my bottle of water by the time I reached the first aid station and I grabbed another. Heading through the back of the course, with the ascents, I was feeling good. Just before the cresting the final ascent and cruising the 12 or so miles downhill towards the lake, I saw E-Speed, who was so energetic and uplifting.

Throughout the bike my stomach never calmed down to the point where solid food sounded good. I ate half of my energy bar about 45 minutes in, had to force it down, and decided I'd stick with gel every half hour or so for the rest of the day. That combined with water and sports drink, which I planned to take approximately equal parts of. I have begun putting my gels in a flask and watering it down a bit to help with digestion, and swallowing the stuff. It was working well.

After the first loop of the bike course I felt quite good. This only lasted until I started the climb on the back of the 2nd loop. There was a short steep, steep, steep section that began our ascending and despite shifting to my granny gear and standing out of the saddle I generated a nice burn. Damn!! Not part of the plan. I tried to spin easy through the rest of the ascending. When I came back to E-Speed I knew the toughest part of the bike course was behind me (or so I thought) and she snapped the pic below (thanks!!).

After the ascending was over for the day I began to feel a burning in my nether regions. Uh oh, chafe city. This may have been brought on by the fact that I squirted off my lap and right leg with about half of a bottle of took me probably 2 or 3 tries to actually need the fresh water on my leg. My right shoe was....wet. That's all I'm going to say about that experience.

If that wasn't enough my back started to bother me. Over one bump I felt it spasm, which at least distracted me from the saddle sores that were developing. Over the final 20 or so miles of the bike I couldn't wait to get off. I was uncomfortable from my "sit bones" on up to my neck. As I peddled the last few miles of the course, 2 loops of a TT like false flat section, I would not have imagined I would be excited to get off the bike and head out on the run, but I was. I was ready to take on what I knew would be the biggest challenge of the day, my first half marathon.

56 Mile Bike Time: 2:56:29
Avg. Pace: 18.8 MPH

While on the bike, I ate and drank:
1 half Raw Revolution bar
4 watered down Vanilla bean GU's
1 full strength Vanilla bean GU
approx. 60 oz.'s water
24 oz.'s Razzberry GU20
approx. 30 oz.'s Gatorade Endurance Formula

It seemed to work and I realized that solid food and racing don't go together very well for me.

Headed into T2, hopped off the bike, and decided to take my good ole' time here. I grabbed my fuelbelt, racebelt, visor, and changed shoes. I stopped to talk to Treetop and Julia for a few seconds on my way out to the run. They volunteered earlier in the day and were out on the lake during the swim in kayaks keeping everyone safe. After that, they took over duties as my support crew. Thanks you guys!! You're awesome!! I would have loved to talk with them for a bit longer...maybe tell them about the swim and bike over a beer....

But I had a half marathon to run.....

T2 time: 1:42

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Greater Cleveland Triathlon (the anticipation was torture)

The final day leading up to my half ironman was planned to be full of eating, resting, and final preperations. It mostly consisted of final preperations (of course I ate too, albeit not when/as often as I would have liked). I had planned to be in bed around 9:00, since I had to leave around 4:00 a.m. in order to make it to Mentor abount 5:00, as transition opened at 5:15. I finally fell asleep around 11:30 p.m.

The alarm clock was set for 3:30. At 2:30 I rose out of bed wide awake. When I looked at the clock I thought I would grab a big glass of water and then catch my last hour of sleep. By the time I was able to relax enough to think about sleeping, I only had 45 minutes until the alarm went off, so I headed straight to the coffee pot and began my morning.

I used the extra time to stretch and go over my list of what to bring again (and again, etc....). At 4:00 I hit the road with Amaterasu on the roof. I arrived at Headlands Beach State Park at 4:50 (thanks to Craig for the pic above), and saw a parking lot full of maybe 2 other athletes. Ask Treetop and J, my frequent carpoolin/racin' pals, about this and I'm sure they'll tell you it is not exactly typical. OK, I was a little anxious to get the show on the road. I mean, after all the hours and miles of training, after all the years where 6 beers sounded like much more fun than running 6 miles (trust me, I was a well trained beer drinker), I couldn't wait to prove to myself that I was still alive. To prove to myself that I was 30 years young. To prove to myself that I am capable of things that in my past I would not have thought I could accomplish. I could not wait for this day to begin.

Transition didn't open until almost 5:30 and after getting my bike checked in I headed straight to my spot and set up on my green towel....and I talked to folks. Folks I've met through the sport, folks I've never met in this sport, and the first person I knew in the sport. Before long it was time to head to the swim start, which was a mile walk down the beach.

Off walking I went, with Janet; across the sand as the sun began to rise to our right whilst glistening off the lake, as flat and shiny as your bathroom mirror. There were no concerns of choppy conditions today, the lake was as calm as the inland lake I did much of my training in. By the time I arrived at the start there was no time to warm up in the water. The first wave went off immediatly, and I was in the "red cap" wave, the second wave, which was departing in 3 minutes. I pulled my wetsuit up over my shoulders, asked a neighbor to zip it for me, and jumped in the water to test the temerature and wet the goggles and suit. In the water, which was quite warm, then quickly out and over to the starting line.

I looked down the beach to my left and the line of buoys stretching on, and on, and on.....OK, it was only a mile, but it was quite a bit further than the swim in my previous races, 400 meters. But I was trained and I was ready. The calm shimmering lake was beatiful and I was ready to go. Mickey (who puts on the best damn triathlon in NE Ohio) gave us our countdown and about 30 of us highstepped it into Lake Erie.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Done Gone Long...

I finished the 70.3 today in just under 5 hours and 45 minutes. The swim was peaceful, the bike a bit uncomfotable, and the run was pretty painful. I just took my feet out of a tub of ice and there is a brew next to me on the table. It was a great event and a great day. I am so tired that I had to pass on a party this evening...yes, it's true. I'll have more to say about the events of the day after I get some rest and regain my wits.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


One more day before the Greater Cleveland Triathlon. I haven't felt great during my taper. My joints and muscles were sore and stiff throughout most of the past couple of weeks. I really learned what it meant to warm-up prior to excercise, as it would take me a good half hour or more to feel loose on all my runs and rides since I cut back on the workouts. This whole taper experience would have me feeling a little nervous about tomorrows event if it weren't for one spin on the bike. On Wednesday, my last workout with Amaterasu before GCT, I felt great. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon. It was hard to turn around and head for home after just 45 minutes. The Yonder Mountain String Band was piping through my headphones, as they just followed up Keller Williams on my MP3 player. Maybe you remember the Acoustic Planet tour? Check out 8/28/04, from Nashville, Tenessee! Perfect accompanyment to a sunny day spin on the bike (assuming you like banjo's)!!

So, I am off to pick up my race packet. I will be waking tomorrow around 3:30 a.m., heading up to Mentor Headlands, and trying my damndest to cover 70.3 miles in less than 6 hours. As long as I finish I'll be happy and will have accomplished something, but sub-6 would be great! I suppose we'll see tomorrow....

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run

Last night I volunteered at the first "running" of the burning river 100. I spent a little time at mile 50 early in the night, and then spent the wee hours of the morning at mile 91. E Speed ran an awesome aid station that was well organized and had the coolest music this side of the border. The event started in Willoughby Hills on the eastern rim of the Cuyahoga Valley at 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning and finished in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Runners had a 30 hour time limit to complete the 100 mile course that traversed the most scenic portions of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, The Cleveland Metroparks, and the Metroparks serving Summit County.

What can I really say about a 100 mile footrace? I suppose words can't do justice as to what an accomplishment it is to race and complete these types of events. One observation that I took with me are that I have never seen people pushing themselves to such limits. At mile 50 there was a gentleman that was trying to change into dry shoes and needed help putting on his socks. He couldn't get them on straight and a motherly volunteer helped him get them on. He still had 50 miles left in the race. This sort of thing is pretty common. The faces of the runners as they passed through mile 91 (I was there from 1:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m.) are embedded in my brain. Those faces of pain, determination, and occasionally, happiness. How could someone be making jokes at that point, I have no idea. But, some of the runners did.

One runner, in particular, stands out in my memory. He hobbled into mile 91 feeling awful, telling us he needed to lay down. He was met by a friend that had paced him through other parts of the race, and she sat with him for over an hour making sure he stayed awake and offering to pace him to the finish if he felt up to it. His stomach was in terrible shape and although he needed food the thought of eating was the last thing on his mind. Finally, his friend asked us if we could make him a grilled cheese (I was the grilled cheese chef :-) So, I quickly batched up all that a grilled cheese has to offer. It was a delectable dish....2 pieces of bread, a little crisco, and a slice of American processed cheese product over the coleman stove. We delivered the late night snack to the ailing runner.

About 20 minutes later, the runners friend emerged from the area of the cot, where her friend was laying, sprawled and ailing, with the words, "Congratulations, you got him to eat something!" We all cheered. But still he laid on the cot, and the longer he laid there, the more I began to think he would be there until the race was over, never to go those last 8.5 miles to the finish line.

And finally, he arose. After running over 90 miles, stopping for what was at least an hour to lie down, he set off again in obvious pain. His friend left with him to pace him the rest of the way to the finish. We all cheered as he hobbled down the path in the pre-dawn light venturing towards downtown Cuyahoga Falls. We were still on the bottom of the valley and the finish loomed more than 8 miles down the path, but also about 1000 feet above us on the valley rim.

Shortly after he left I returned to filling the water bottles and fetching food for the other runners passing through, and forgot about his journey. Each runner in this race was facing similar adversary, even if their bodies were cooperating better than his, this is not a pain free event for any of them. I though of the relationship ultra runners must have with their pacer, their friends who run with them through the night, many of them for 20 to 30 miles or more to help will them to the finish. I thought of the attachment the runners must have to their hydration and nutrition systems that they have wrapped around their hands, waist, or shoulders. These water bottles/stash pouches are full of their favorite food and beverage, and accompanies them through all of the tough training and racing miles. I think I know the joys of the right food and drink from my experiences of multi-hour bike rides.....but the joys of the right treats at hour 24 of a run I cannot even comprehend.

After the next shift of volunteers showed up at mile 91, I thought I needed to stop by the finish line before heading home. I needed to see a few runners reach mile 100, the final mile. As I munched on pancakes and sipped black coffee the runners jogged in, one at a time. I recognized the hat of the pacer who sat around our aid station force feeding grilled cheese to her friend. I watched as they both crossed the finish line, the registered runner in the finishers shoot, and his pacer alongside just outside the "official" finish line. I smiled. I approached her knowing she needed a ride back to mile 91 to pick up their car and told her I'd take her whenever she was ready. She said, "Lets go now!!" I suppose these ultra-marathoners are type-A people ;-)

As we rode to pick up her car she told me this was her friends first completed 100 mile event. He tried one previously and didn't make it. She told me how wonderful all the volunteers were and how happy she was to be able to share this day with him. I can only imagine. I could see how proud she was of him. I could see how proud she was of herself, staying up all night and logging quite a few miles in her running shoes by his side. I could see how appreciative she was of a grilled cheese @ 4:30 a.m. and a short ride across town. I couldn't have been happier to contribute these little things to the runners in this event. E Speed and the race organizers put in a ton of work for this. I stayed up all night doing very little, really. And today I walk away inspired by the human spirit, and inspired at how much the little things really can matter at the right time. For me, it was a night well spent.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Taper Time

When I got into the pool for the first time last fall I was hoping to keep myself fit through a foot injury. I figured that if I learned how to swim well enough, I could try out a triathlon or 2 this summer and see what I thought of the sport. Well, I like it. As a matter of fact, I am hovering on the brink of addiction, and I have been flirting with the point of overtraining. A little over a week ago, on my last big brick (3 hour ride, 1 hour tempo run) shortly after the workout I spiked a nice fever and was aching all over and shivering whilst hovering above my plate of rigatoni. My body had reached it's breaking point. So, now I rest, and wait for August 12th. Thus far I have been recovering well (from the physical aspect), even if I have more pent up energy than I know what to do with. Well, I guess I know what to do with it for GCT.

I am ready. I am anxious. I cannot wait to donn my new wetsuit and head out into The Great Lake Erie's chilly waters before greeting Amaterasu on the shore. I cannot wait to test myself on the second half of the run course, on what will be my first half-marathon. My longst run of my life is 10 miles. My longest run during the peak phase of my training was a measley 8.5 miles. The cross-training and positive thinking will lead me to the finish line, where Charlie will be picking his guitar on his last weekend before Ironman UK. I did not think a half-ironman would be in my summer plans, but here I am......waiting patiently. Here is what has gotten me to the starting line:

Swim training: January 18th to July 30 logged 48,200M (30.125 miles) in about 20.55 hours in the water. In October I could barely swim a 25M length in the pool. Finished up with 2000M "long" workouts. This experience brought me to realize the potential of the human body.

Bike training: Febuary 28th to July 29th logged 1327 miles in about 81 hours in the saddle. My strength of the 3 disciplines in terms of endurance (vs. speed). My comfort on the bike will be essential @ the GCT.

Run training: January 15th to July 29th logged 248.5 miles in about 33.6 hours of foreward motion. I could/should have put in more time here. My strength of the 3 disciplines in terms of speed (vs. endurance). I feel comfortable on runs of 1 1/4 hour or less. Above that is pretty much unfamiliar territory....

Bring on the 70.3!!!!!