Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick Report 2010 Lake Norman Race report

Just wanted to make a quick note about this last sprint triathlon. It was a 750 meter open water swim, 17 mile bike ride, and a 5k. Not a big deal. I was excited that I could look at this race as something to do for fun. A friend that was also doing this race asked me what times I was targeting. It was interesting because I didn’t think about it. I didn’t concern myself with times. I kind of got over the whole racing for time deal (kind of anyway) In this race I just wanted to fine-tune my sighting technique. Besides, this was my last open water swim (race environment) until my Half Ironman in Augusta .

Toward the end of the swim at Lake Logan I felt like my swim was coming together. This swim would let me know if that was the case. Right before the swim start, I walked over to the lake and prayed. I told God this was His race and whatever happens is to His glory. I was thankful to be here and thankful to be sober, and thankful to be happy.

You know when you are in God’s presence. It is a feeling that can’t be described, but I was there! The tears were starting to roll. I laughed and thought great! This race my goggles are going to leak from the inside out! Speaking of goggles I bought a new pair- hopefully these will last. I will probably by a new pair before the Ironman, same brand and model.

Anyway as they called my swim wave to the line, there was no nervousness. I stayed in the back and when they counted us down we started to swim. I decided I was going to move at my pace. I was sighting and swimming really well. In fact, the only thing I would change would be to go faster. Isn’t that always the thing we would change? Go faster? On the way back, sighting was becoming a little more difficult because the sun was starting to rise above the tree line and the goggles I had on were clear. That was the only issue.

One really funny thing happened during the swim. My left hand touched something hard and it turned out to be some sort of rock. The top of the rock was about two feet below the water. So, I stood on top of the rock in the middle of the race and opened my hands like a cross. I laughed so hard and wondered if this is what Jesus felt like when He walked on the water! :)

I made it out of the swim and I was excited about how I felt. I also thought it was funny that my swim pace was the same for 1.2 miles as it was for 1500 meters, and for 0.9 miles, as well as for 750 meters. It’s the same pace. I guess it’s my comfort zone and we don’t challenge the comfort zone in an open water swim!

The bike was rolling but it seems all the courses are around here. Nothing big to talk about on the bike. I did run the 5k two minutes faster that my last sprint a month ago. That was pretty cool! That’s it: quick and to the point.

The biggest thing about this race is that my swim finally was on board. No bad nerves, no nausea, no leaking goggles. Just put your head down (in the water) and get it done. By the way, this is my one year anniversary from when I took my very first swim lesson! WOW! One year ago I didn’t know what a high vertical elbow was. And here I am. It’s a God thing!

80 mile ride and my search for Desitin!

Man! My last block of training was a tough one! The peak of that phase was an 80 mile bike ride and the next day a 12 mile run. I love getting a new training block and looking at the last week. I look at the peak of that build phase and think, “How in the world?!” But it never fails, I am always able to complete the block and be on to the next one.

I have a friend who is getting into triathlon. He is a strong cyclist and a solid runner, but he was lacking the one thing that makes us triathletes: swimming. He has done solid brick workouts with biking followed by running. I remember some time ago he told me he signed up for swim lessons. He always told me he would train with me if I asked. I’m not a fast guy and the last thing I want to do is hold someone back…but 80 miles is a long time to be alone on the road. What if something happened?

I called him up and he was game! We met at TrySports and we were going to ride a route that one of the employees, Jen Teipen, told me about. She is doing Ironman Louisville next week! I’m so excited for her! Any who, I have talked with her ad nauseam about her training; where she rides, what she does, so forth and so on. We have the same coach so I knew that where her training had taken her, I could expect to see it in my own block of training in the future.

She told me about this 30 mile loop and Mike and I were going to go test it out. I loaded my water bottles with regular Gatorade (not Gatorade Endurance) because that is what’s offered on the event courses. I wanted to know if my stomach could handle the Gatorade. We started the ride and it was challenging. There were a lot of hills and tough climbs on this route. Made me wish I had a road bike! The first lap was uneventful, but at the start of the second lap I was not looking forward to hitting the hills…AGAIN! I was asking for strength and desire from God and then I was reminded why I am doing this.

It gets easy to forget why we train so hard. Why we go out on these ridiculously long swims, bike rides, and runs in the middle of the hot summer days. I remember a video I once saw. It was about a professional triathlete and she said there are hundreds of reasons to stop; but there is always one reason to keep going. She never said what the one reason was. I think that one reason is different for everyone. Of course finishing is everyone’s goal; yet, I don’t think that is the sole reason people to keep going. For me, it’s to confront my demons and to honor God.

The second lap started and I was getting low on fluids. I never seem to carry enough water/Gatorade. I was drinking one water bottle per hour. I think I need to look at doing more like 4 bottles every three hours (3 liquid nutrition/1 water with solids). Oh yeah, on this ride I learned I could eat solids.

Because we started the ride so early, I was starting to get hungry on the bike. Even though I was taking in the fluids, my body was begging for solid food to quiet the hunger pains. I have always had a hard time eating on the bike and run. There just wasn’t enough saliva in my mouth while running or cycling to soften the foods. When I tried to eat solid foods, I was gagging down whatever it was.

I told Mike I was starving and he just happened to bring a breakfast bar. It was the kind of bar that had a soft baked shell with a soft fruit center. It was kind of like a Fig Newton. I didn’t have any problems eating it and it answered a prayer! These breakfast bars have made it into my bento box! Something else was happening on the bike. I knew I was holding Mike back, so very early on in the second loop I sent him on his way. The bike course was marked on the road so all we had to do was follow the route markings.

Besides, he was well ahead of me which forced me to chase him, thus having to push myself. It helped (I think) having to chase him because it took me outside of my comfort zone. He was nice enough to wait at some of the turns so we would ride together for a while and then he would take off again. He was getting stronger on this second loop and I was getting slower.

About mile 60, an error I made in my preparation was catching up with me. I didn’t lube my bike shorts with chamois butter. This lubricant reduces friction between your buttocks against the cycling pad. I thought I would be ok. I road 65 miles without lubing them so what’s 15 more miles? I later learned 15 miles is the difference that can mean a burning sensation on your rear! I was getting out of the saddle every 5 to 10 minutes to kind of ease the burning. I pressed on because what if this happens in the Ironman? There is no stopping! And there was no stopping today! As I continued to cycle, I fantasized about new cycling shorts as I got out of the saddle to ease the burn.

By then, my rear was really burning, my quads feltl like they were exploding inside my legs, and my lower back, at times, was starting to spasm. (I have got to get my bike fit checked from when it was knocked over prior to the Lake Logan event ) I was not in a happy place. The only good thing was we were finishing the second loop and we would tack on 20 miles of mostly flat cycling (no significant climbing). We finally hit 80 miles and I was hurting! I was glad it was over but I was troubled. I had only done 80 miles and was finding it difficult to walk much less run. How was I going to run a marathon after 112 miles? I have three more months to find out!!!

My time was 5 hours for the ride with stops included. One stop was at a local convenience store to buy more Gatorade and use the restroom. This stop is probably how long I imagine a stop at the special needs station will be on the bike ride in the Ironman. The average with the stops included was 16 mph. I will take that! It’s not fast by any stretch of the imagination (but we have covered that). It is, however, on target for what I expect to do on the bike course for the Ironman. An average of 16mph for 112 miles puts me at 7 hours on the bike. Ok actually, I think I can do Cozumel with an average of 17mph even with the wind on the east side of the island. However, 16mph I think would be ok with me. This also gives me in a little cushion to start my weakest event: the run.

My biggest complaint after the ride was the burning bum! I told KP about this and she suggested Desitin. A baby’s diaper rash product??? Uhh let me think about that… uhh no! Well, at least in my head I was saying no, but (hee hee, pun intended) my butt was saying yes! I had to man-up a “walk” as we searched in Tarje` (Target) for that creamy miracle; or so I hoped.

Found it! I couldn’t wait to get home and try this product out. I put on the paste and IMMEDIATELY! I mean IMMEDIATELY felt relief! Instant! As soon as it was applied I was walking differently. I searched the internet to see if other cyclist have used this product and apparently they have. Desitin is no secret to the cycling community! This will certainly go in my special needs bag at 56 miles on the bike and my transition bag (you receive this bag just before the running portion of the Ironman it has everything you need to prepare you for the run. It is packed by me the night before the race).

A few days after this ride I heard about some cycling shorts called De Soto 400. They are supposed to be the best cycling shorts around with really good reviews. I just have to add it to my wish list. They are only $100 bucks but on the ever growing list of things to get before the Ironman…$100 bucks is a lot! I just have to have faith God will provide me with what I need.

Following the bike ride, the next night I had a 12 mile run. I woke up that morning and my legs were dead! I didn’t know how I would be able to go to work and then run afterward. I was at least curious to find out. I started out the run at about 6:30 pm. From the very beginning I was hurting. I was running really slow and my heart rate was way up. It was good training! I would run 3 miles out, 3 miles back, refuel my fuel belt and go back out for another 6 miles. On the way back I was starting to face stomach cramps. I pushed it out of my head and drove on.

By mile 5, I felt like my appendix had ruptured! I was in the worst pain I have EVER felt! I really thought I was in serious trouble, but again, if this was the Ironman I would have kept going. I was walking and hoping the feeling would pass. So I would start to run and ten steps later I was doubling over in pain! I really thought something serious was going on with me! I decided to go home and take GasX and if I wasn’t feeling better soon…I was going to the hospital. I made it home took the strips and about 30-45 mins later…well let’s just say my poor, poor dog! Sitting there and having to suffer in silence :)

Ok, so I didn’t finish the run that night…that meant I certainly had to do it all over again the next night. So, my legs were still feeling the 80 mile ride but at least they weren’t completely dead. I felt great…going out. I was supposed to go 3 miles out, 3 back, refuel, and repeat. Just like the night before. Except I was feeling good! I ran 6 out and started to come back. Between miles 6 and 9 I was feeling really, really bad. I had run out of fluids and was starting to get thirsty…really bad sign right. I took two gels at mile 8 to kind of help me perk back up. I think it must have worked. Mile 10 – 12 wasn’t too bad! I totally let my ego ruin what could have been a good run. I wanted to run three out and back but I was feeling soooooo good I wanted to well…run with it! (yeah you didn’t see that coming he he he he!). In doing so, I totally began to dehydrate myself. I weighed myself before I left and when I came back…I was 4 pounds under. I have one thing to say about that! STUPID! I am glad I finished, it was a slow run, but turned out to be a good run because I learned a huge lesson. Egos get in the way. If it feels good keep it that way by doing the right thing! Refueling and hydrating.

Is it really only three months until Ironman Cozumel?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2010 Lake Logan International Triathlon Race Report

It’s pretty funny to say that the Lake Logan Triathlon was my first International/Olympic distance triathlon. I say that because I did not take the “normal” sequential steps to increase my distance. Most people start with a Super Sprint: 300-500 yard pool swim, 10-15 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. After completing that distance they move to a Sprint Triathlon: 750 meter (0.46 miles) swim, 17 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. Then they move to the Olympic distance: 1500 meter swim (0.93 miles), 24.8 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. From there it’s the Half Ironman: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a half marathon (13.1 mile run). At the top of that pyramid is the distance many, including myself, dream of achieving: the IRONMAN! 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a full marathon (26.2 mile run).

I didn’t do things in that order. I did my first Super Sprint then signed up for an Ironman that was a little over a year out (at the time I signed up it was a year out. Now it’s closer to 4 months out). Six months after my first Super Sprint and with only 4 months of formal training, I did my first Half Ironman. I then back tracked and did a Sprint Triathlon. Last Sunday, Aug. 7, 2010, I did my first Olympic Distance. NOTE: International Distance and Olympic Distance triathlons are synonymous. They are the same distances and the names are interchangeable.

Before I gripe a little, let me say that I loved the course and it was super challenging! A beautiful, beautiful venue! The course description for the bike, however, was EXTREMELY misleading! A big reason why I probably won’t do this course again! It felt as if we were lied to in order to increase participation in the event. The bike route was advertised as flat…while it was 85% flat it was rolling at times and had some significant climbs. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this race. Ok are you ready for a looooooong race report?!?!?!?!

Pre Race:

Thursday morning I woke up at 5:00 am after having a bad dream about the swim! I was panicked when I woke up. I didn’t think I was worried about the swim but I guess I was. Friday Night we took the 3 hour drive to the Northern part of the state outside of Ashville. We were in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. On the road trip out the sun was just barely starting to set and we could see the silhouette of the mountains. It looked like shadows in the sky. Just breath-taking!

We arrived at Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center in Clyde, NC to pick up my packet. I think Clyde, NC is probably the fittest country town in NC. There seemed to be a LOT of fit people in the area. TrySports, a local triathlon retailer, sponsored this event and they had a truck setup outside Haywood Fitness Center selling items. We picked up my packet and headed back to the hotel to check-in. About the rooms…as KP would say, “It was nothing to write home about.” It wasn’t the best place I have ever stayed. It certainly wasn’t the worst. I started unpacking my bag to make sure I had everything and…PAUSE…REWIND.

I had asked KP to bring my Tri jersey and Tri shorts because I left them at her house after doing some training over there. I always bike and run on her side of town which is only 20 minutes away. Before we left KP handed me my Tri jersey and under them were my Tri shorts. I threw them in my bag and we were on the road. Fast Forward.

I began unpacking my bag in the hotel room and realized these weren’t my Tri shorts! They were my regular cycling shorts!!! DILEMMA!!!!! For those that don’t know, triathlon shorts (Tri shorts) are made from quick drying materials. They also have very little padding in the buttocks that is used for the cycling portion of the triathlon. Cycling specific shorts have a much thicker padding in the rear that would likely retain water after swimming in them. Therefore they are not ideal for triathlon events. I asked KP to put the shorts in the bag that had red padding. I didn’t realize my cycling shorts also had red padding! Something I totally overlooked. So she put the shorts in the bag that I asked for; the one with red padding.

KP and I rushed back to the Haywood Fitness center praying to catch the TrySports trailer before they left. Even if they hadn’t left there was no guarantee they would have Tri shorts that would fit me, if they had any at all. I really didn’t know what to do. I was panicked and praying all the way there! We arrived at the center and the trailer was still there! Thank You Father!!!! I started to look through the items and I prayed, “Father please let me find Tri shorts!” Most Tri shorts, from what I have seen, generally sell between $75 and $100 dollars. I really didn’t want to spend that kind of money, but if I had to, then so be it. Then I saw the sign that said they were selling everything 50% off! Oh YEAH!

I started looking through the basket which I can best describe as organized chaos! Have you ever gone to Wal-Mart and looked through the $5 dollar basket of DVDs? It was the same idea. I was looking for a needle in a haystack. Extra-small, women’s, women’s extra small…ugh! I thought I would never find something my size! But then... BINGO!!!!!!! I found a pair of Sugio Tri shorts with my name on them! At 50% off, it cost me just under $30 and secured my place to race the next day!

Ok Lord, I know you brought me here to race! This is YOUR race. Thank you for letting me be part of it!!! Just a side note: KP accidentally knocked my bike over which knocked my seat post on my bike down about 2 inches and left a pretty nice gash! Thank God I had tools to adjust the seat post. It wasn’t the exact height but I think I was able to get it pretty close to its actual height. She put a pretty good gash in the bike and I didn’t think about killing her more than once! This must be the real thing! LOL I’m kidding! It’s just a bike…that happens to be worth more than my car… :p I will try to buy another Seat post from Cervelo before the Ironman…look good, feel good, race good right? (forgive the poor grammar)

Race Day Morning:

ANOTHER beautiful night of sleep thanks to my sleeping aid (race nights are the only time I ever seem to need a sleep aid)!!! I went to bed around 9 :00 pm and woke up at 4:00 am; the alarm was set for 4:30 am. I felt alive, though! Only a few hours prior my race was in jeopardy, but now I would be able to participate in the event.


It turned out to be a bad morning. In my mind I didn’t necessarily feel anxiety about this race, but I think my body did. Promptly at 4:00 am it started. Back and forth to the bathroom! Sometimes I was vomiting and other times…well I wasn’t vomiting but it was coming out the other end. I think my body was getting rid of excess in order to prepare for battle. At 5:10 am,10 minutes late because of my morning purging, the car is packed, the hotel is cleared out, and we are headed to the race site. As soon as I got in the car, I had to go AGAIN! UGH! We get to the race site and I drop all of my equipment by my race number and head to the porta-johns. No lines and I quickly get in and out! Afterwards I thought there is no way I am going to have to go again! I’m ready for war!

I set up my transition area and at 6:30 I head over toward the swim start. OH NO! I HAVE TO GO AGAIN!!!! Except this time the line was extremely long! I finally made it in and out with 5 minutes before my swim start! I was in the first wave and I started at 7:00 am. I threw on my wetsuit as quickly as I could an ran over to the swim start! I heard the announcer say “90 seconds to the first wave start.” Oh no! I wasn’t even in the water! I threw in my ear plugs, put on my swim cap, nose plug, and goggles. Often my goggle strap gets twisted in the back of my head. I tried to fix it and then I heard “45 seconds to go.” I sat down on the dock quickly to jump in the water. I sat so hard I bruised my left gluteus maximus (aka my left butt cheek). It hurt so badly! I thought, I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt me in the race. Praise God it didn’t!

Before I jumped into the water I thought to myself “The Voice of Truth!” It was a reminder for me to listen to the Voice of Truth. To remember why I race. To remember that God put me here to race in His name. That is what I did. Besides, I was running way too late to have anxiety about the swim at that point!

Thirty seconds until the wave start….Doh! I was in the water, but 5 feet away from the pack. I swam over to them with my head above the water and as I reached them the horn sounded! I have had some really great swim workouts and had planned to try and swim with the pack the entire swim.

I remember as we drove to the race site, I prayed for God to give me an uneventful race. In all of my races something has happened. I faced cramping in the swim in New Orleans and nausea in the swim in the Latta Triathlon. Also I changed that guy’s tire at Latta Triathlon. I prayed for God to just give me an uneventful swim. I wanted so badly to swim with the pack this time because I wasn’t afraid and felt strong enough to swim with the group. I surrendered this race to God. I remembered that I prayed for God to provide for me so I could race and He did. I found the needle in the haystack; the one pair of Tri shorts that would fit me in the sea of chaos. I knew this was God’s race.

The 1500 meter (0.9 mile) Swim

When the horn sounded, I put my head down and started with the group. I was excited that the race had finally started! 100 meters into it, my goggles started leaking, probably because the strap was twisted in the back of my head. I didn’t check the strap though, I just pulled it tighter. Another 400-500 meters the goggles leaked again! On the way back in, my goggles leaked two more times. I was also struggling with shoulder fatigue. I know this was because I didn’t take my time to put the wetsuit on properly. In between the leaking goggles, I was able to find my groove at times. It was difficult sighting because of the water in the goggles. I would literally have to stop, tilt my head to be able to see past the water and attempt to swim to the next buoy.

This form of sighting took waaaaaay too much energy. The last time my goggles leaked I stopped, floated on my back, broke the seal and then re-strapped the goggles. I wished I had done that in the beginning! I then found a groove and a way to sight that seemed to fit my swimming style. I can’t wait to get into the open water again to use this new sighting technique!

With everything that happened to me on the swim, I never became angry or upset. I was ready to get the swim over, but I was still excited to be in the race. I had surrendered this race to God and whatever happened was part of God’s plan! So…how could I get mad at God if this was His race?!

The end of the swim was a floating dock WITHOUT ladders! We were in 4 to 5 feet of water and trying to climb up on top of this dock in a wetsuit…poor, poor planning. How nice would it have been to have had ladders for the triathletes. Luckily, I found a large rock to stand on and made my way out of the water.

KP told me everyone runs out of the water and I just walk out like it’s a stroll in the park. She encouraged me…strike that….she TOLD me the next time I get out of the water I need to be running into the transition area.

Despite having some events happen to me that I would have preferred not happen in the swim, I felt good coming out of the water. I felt comfortable. I didn’t know what my swim time was...Frankly, at this point I didn’t care! I was just so happy to get out of the water. I jogged into transition as was “suggested” and I jumped onto the bike looking forward to riding this “flat bike course.” It was my fastest transition yet! One minute and 50 seconds. I know can get faster!

The 40k (24.8 mile) BIKE:

Remember I complained about the false race description…Again, it’s not that the course wasn’t flat like they advertised it’s just that if someone tells you the car they are selling is a Corvette, You don’t want to get home to find out it was actually a Honda with a Corvette engine. The description of the bike course: “The 40km bike course is one loop with no significant climbing. There is one small ascent at the beginning and end of the bike but otherwise this course is surprisingly flat and fast…”

Wow…I don’t know who came up with the description they used to describe that hill as small going out! Even so, it wasn’t too bad for me because I felt strong, but it wasn’t small! Based on this description, I left my bike in the big cog in the front. I have gotten pretty comfortable at getting out of the saddle to climb small hills. Uhh yeah, when I saw what was waiting for me….I shifted to the small cog and fussed all the way up the hill…ok, not really, but I was thinking small ascent my foot!!!

After that “small ascent” I was excited to get onto the “flat” course. I should have known that the dictionary they used to look up the word “small” was the same dictionary they used for the word “flat.” The course should have been described as rolling with two major climbs; one at the beginning and one at the end. I wish I could tell you how beautiful the course was, but for most of the course my glasses had condensation on them. I could barely see the road and nearly wrecked a few times because I had moved too far to the right of the road.

While on the bike I was holding speeds comfortably that I didn’t think were possible. Yet still, I was getting passed…constantly! One guy FLEW past me. He sounded like a freight train. I know what the turtle felt like when he raced the hare! This dude was decked out with wheels and an aero helmet. He was legit. I got passed by a lot of fast women too! I told one lady to slow down because she was speeding!!!

Any who…at about 20 miles in I checked my bike speed and I was averaging 18 mph. That is great! 3mph improvement over New Orleans! The best part…I felt comfortable at that pace. Then about mile 23…I hit the “small ascent” coming back. THAT HILL WAS A BEAST! Even the faster cyclists were having a challenging time getting up this hill. Cyclists were all clumped together trying manage the climb. This was the time in the race that I saw race officials. Imagine that! I had hoped they wouldn’t mark anyone for drafting at this point because that would have just been wrong! (They didn’t by the way).

By the time I hit the finish my average dropped about 1mph. I didn’t know a “small ascent” could drop your overall average by a whole 1 mph (small ascent my foot! Those scoundrels!). I finally made it up that hill. As I neared the dismount area, I contemplated taking my foot out of the shoe and leaving my shoes clipped into the bike the way the professionals do. I had done it several times in practice, but wasn’t comfortable enough to do it in race conditions so I stopped and unclipped out of the bike like a normal person who doesn’t want to wreck his bike.

I enjoyed the bike course. Even though I was getting passed but what seemed to be everyone, it was the fastest I had biked. I felt in control and when people passed me, I hope they were inspired by the cross that sits on the back of my jersey. Maybe they said a prayer. Maybe they were reminded that Christ was with them while they raced, too. I heard several people shout-out to Team Endurance (Fellowship of Christian Athletes Team Endurance). This is why I race! Not for me but for Christ! Now that doesn’t mean I don’t get competitive sometimes, too though!

The 10K (6.2 miles) Run:

I had one goal for the run. I wanted to actually run the entire 10k without stopping. That’s it. That’s all I wanted to do. I was transitioning in and out pretty quickly until I realized I had nutrition shoved into one of my shoes! I had to stop, take the shoe off, take out the nutrition, then put said shoe back on. Because of this my transition was a little slow in T2. I need to work on getting out a little faster.

When I hit the run course I felt good! Really, Really good! I hope I feel that good in the Augusta Half Ironman at the end of September. Fortunately they described the run course perfectly. There was a slight incline going out to the halfway point that turned into a decline heading back in. Again I was feeling really good. Better than expected. I ran alongside a woman for most of my run. I learned this was her first Olympic distance and her longest distance yet. I was feeding off of her, letting her push me. About a half mile left to race she said, “Well, it looks like I am going to actually pull this thing off.” She turned up her pace and I didn’t have an answer!

I was moving faster in my mind but my body really liked the pace we were going. It was actually kind of a weird feeling to tell my body to do one thing and not have it respond. I made the final turn for the finishing chute. And here is the small miracle…the announcer said my name correctly! My name is Hassan (Ha-sahn) yet I have been called Hussein, Hey-son, and Obama! (kidding about Obama). I don’t know how people can mispronounce that name. Don’t they know every good terrorist on the FBI watch list has a name similar to mine (ha-ha). Never the less, I finished the Olympic distance without having to walk the run. I don’t know why that was such a big deal for me, but it was.

I finished this race better than expected. I thought worst case scenario… 3:30 hours. Best case 3:15. I did it in 3:07 with a really bad swim. I’ll take that! Not fast…but “slow and steady wins the race.” It just so happens my slow is a lot slower than most other people!

“Why did God make me so [slow] and weak?”

“So he can show how mighty He is!”

I have now completed every distance of triathlon EXCEPT the IRONMAN! So far, the one I have enjoyed the most, is the Half Ironman distance. That distance really makes you dig deep! It gave me a glimpse of what I’m made of. It exploited my weaknesses and even showed that I have some strengths. Can’t wait to see how I am going to do at the Half Ironman in Augusta. I still am concerned about the full Ironman…I would be a fool not to be!