Posts Tagged ‘Triathlons’

This year’s event would have me participating as a volunteer. After Last years issue with my knee, I took it easy, and was actually mindful of the doctor’s advice. No trouble since, healed up with out issue. Another year in business and way too much time in front of three monitors, I would not have any significant training to prepare for the event this year. I suppose in the back of my mind i’m a bit disappointment in myself, but the event deserves the preparation and the respect for what it takes to finish it, and to finish well.

The swim is sweet, no huge waves to deal with, and the only real annoyance is the weeds you encounter on the course close to the beach. The bike course is challenging in the first third of the 56 mile distance. The views are worth it. The last third of the bike course with a net loss in elevation is great for getting your legs back for the run. You earn your finishers medal the most on the second loop of the 13.1 mile run. hitting the hill on the turnaround for the second time, and the short hill before entering back in the park to the finish just seems harder second time around. Like most half or full Ironman races, they don’t often give you easy, flat courses. Syracuse 70.3 being on par or similar for course difficultly with Ironman Lake Placid is a common opinion. Of course that would be fodder for argument depending on who you talk to. Again, it’s a course I like for so many positive reasons, and loath for how much you have to earn it to finish. Well worth the effort.

This years event I volunteered as a bike escort for the lead athletes on the run course. One way of staying close to the sport when not participating. Having volunteered for many years at various events since the early 90’s I have found it to be gratifying, a way to give back to something I love, and you get to work with a ton of “can do, lets make it happen” folks. Rubbing elbows with such great people is an uplifting as well as a learning experience. Highly recommended.

Benjamin Rabin was the volunteer captain for our group and he made it super easy to know when, what, where. Friendly, clear, and concise emails made for a no hassle experience.  My job was to get out in front and guide the 3rd place male on the run course once the runner entered on to Apulia Road. We would guide each of our assigned lead runners on the course until they came back to enter into the park. First loop was easy, as there was significant space between participants. By the time the lead runners came back out onto the road for the second loop, we had to be on our toes to identify the lead runners, and to safely guide and negotiate the crowed lanes of runners in both directions. I applaud the runners here as it was tight quarters. and when it came time to move ahead as the lead runners overtook participants out on their first loop, they graciously moved to the side to allow me to pass as I guided my assigned runner. Our group was comprised of experienced riders and familiar with the course, made for a no incident experience!

Once my task was competed, I hit the food tent. A sub and a slice of pizza hit the spot. I stayed for another hour to cheer on people I knew, and headed home. It was later after I left that a storm hit, and prompted the shutting down of the race for a number of participants still out on the run course. I understand they cleared the course and the park in short order, and got everyone out safely.  Hard decision to make, but knowing Kenny (race director) as I do, he is a quality guy, and the type of person you want in that position when things come up or circumstances change.

I attended the volunteer picnic the following day, and we were all treated to a nice picnic dinner. Again as mentioned before, it’s a great time hanging with positive people, and its all about “can do.” Honestly, it is very refreshing.

Should all go well next year, I may toe the start line once again at the 2016 running of this event.

Hats off to Kenny and his crew for putting it all on, to my fellow volunteers for doing what you do,and I hope that my fellow triathlete friends had a great time out there!

Probably the easiest review to ever do on a big race. If this is not one of the nicest weekends of the entire summer, then we are in for an unbelievably great summer. This is Syracuse, and for us to have typical sunny California weather for an entire weekend, well it is a big treat. Very little wind, abundant sunshine, starting off cool in the morning, reaching mid seventies in the afternoon. Kenny and his army of staff and volunteersput on a great race. To have over two thousand triathletes, their families in one place with participants from all over the world including royal princes, to make it all go well and actually look like it was easy to pull it off has my appreciation. Kudos to all that made it happen.

In my previous blog I predicted a few things, one of which is that I would be inspired. I was, I am.

My race was cut short. Normally I would say, yeah that sucks, not happy, what ever. I have one regret of not being able to enjoy the scenery that I knew awaited me on many points on the bike course. I made it as far a a few hundred yards up on Sweet Road. My right knee popped going up the first big hill out of Jamesville. I walked it up, got back on, spun as much as I could. When it came time to apply the needed power to the crank arms to climb , the same knee barked. Part of me said tough it out, deal with it later. A more sensible side of me, which seldom wins an internal argument like this decided  that pushing up Sweet Road would likely cause more damage, like a tear or something worse. I dislike not finishing pretty much anything I start out to do. I dislike surgery and or missing out on entire seasons much worse. I walked the bike back nearly all the way to race site.

It is unplanned events like this that you find out about other aspects of the race. My fellow racing participants (it was a lot of them, I couldn’t begin to tell you ho many) would ask if I was OK, if I need help, neighbors watching the race would inquire and offer to help, the bike support crews, law enforcement, etc. All very friendly and offered a helping hand. I was told That I could get a ride back if I needed it. Once they were done giving bike support on the corner of Sweet road, they would come get me or I could wait. Cool!  It felt good to walk it off, and the pain subsided as long as I didn’t try to push hard on a crank, or run. I would walk most for the way back, and got on the bike and coasted the downhills. This suited me fine as I didn’t want to bother anyone, or distract from those that needed help and be sent on their merry way to finish the course. If I needed a ride that would happen just for the asking.  Once I got back in, and sent our team runner off  (as a team we were now DNF, but at least Todd could get in a solid race run in unofficially), I headed up to the medical tent. Once there,I got prompt professional care, squared away with an assessment, ice pack,and eventually sent me off in a knee wrap. It was swollen some, but no trip to the hospital.  I was able to walk reasonably well, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.  I don’t recommend that you ever need  to visit the medical tent, but if you ever did, they have my vote. We parted with thanks, but hope I don’t see you again today 🙂 The way I was treated by all those around me was inspiring, and says a lot about the community spirit of the race.

A visit with the good doctor will be on the schedule this week. It is my hope that being actually smart about it, may stave off  further problems.

Something that I thought was just great, was when the last athletes came in off the bike and headed out on the run course. They were cheered by, and very loudly I might add, by the pro’s, the elite athletes among us, as well as the crowd that had gathered waiting to get it in to retrieve their bikes.  I was glad to be there  to witness that, and to help cheer the remaining participants on.

Very happy for my teammate Mary Ryan for a good swim, and running teammate Todd Robertson who put in a solid run on a tough run course. Couldn’t ask for a nicer teammates to share the day with.  A big thank you to  my sister Kim,and my wife Lee  for volunteering, helping with wet suit stripping duties. Very glad for the family support and helping out with the race.

Again my hat is off to Kenny and his team for giving us a great race today, and for all of you that added to my experience of enjoying an absolutely beautiful day in upstate New York.

 

To those that have followed my wandering writings in the past, I do apologize. My blogging on the sport we are all fond of has been non existent for a while now. Not that I have had a change of heart, or no longer promote all the good tangible things that come from a multi-sport lifestyle. In fact, it hasn’t changed at all. My schedule is not much of one as I still am working on building a tech company, and to gain stability financially. The idea of keeping what Lee and I have worked so hard for is the first priority until we can no longer do so, and have to rethink our dreams for the future. With  all that my training time has been minimal,and will rely on experience and pure grit for the bike leg tomorrow. a few extra long bikes would had made me feel more ready, but that always seems to be the case. I am on a great team with super nice friends which make it an absolute pleasure to participate with.  Mary Ryan will start us out on the swim, and Todd Robertson will cleanup on the run. I’ll be handling the cycling chores. No doubt my bike , a 2011 Specialized Comp, is fast enough. It is a smooth ride, and never a complaint since I bought it. The engine (myself) of course is always suspect.  I know the course well, the hills are no taller, less or more steep than they have been in the past. It is a pretty course to ride. I will enjoy it, as it is slated to be a very nice day to race, surrounded by thousands of like minded people pursing a great sport. It is and will be  inspiring, and I will soak it up as much as I can. No major time goals or other nasty teams to beat 🙂 Seriously, no big rivalries, maybe a little trash talk here and there. The goal will be to finish and finish well, and look good doing it. This year for me is more of a social event with a significant work component. None of my comments are meant to be detracting from those with other race goals as it is certainly a big part of the triathlon lifestyle. Whether it will be for a podium spot, a personal best, other time/speed goal, or first time at that distance. Some of my triathlon friends will use tomorrow as a big training day for a full ironman later this summer. Bigger achievements await them, and you have my admiration. I wish all my fellow athletes a great race tomorrow, a safe one in fact, and that it be memorable one as well.

Middle of January, we’re in the thick of it, and on many fronts. Currently in Endurance Nation’s Out Season plan. The idea is to work on speed and needed skills. Of course in my case speed is oh so relevant and a large matter of perspective. Given that qualifier, I have faith and past experience that supports the belief that I will be ever so slightly faster on wheels, land and sea at the end of the Out Season (end of March). It is my hope that I will see substantial gains as compared to the here and now as I type this. After that, welcome to volume and endurance on top of some speed work, just not so much.

It has been overwhelming when combined with starting a new technology company. Long hours, up to my eyeballs trying understand more of the business side of things. As chief  everything officer, all things including the buck stops at my feet. Good news, office is up and running , and working on first contract. Getting it up and running and making money quickly sure helps.  I have yet to nail down a solid schedule with everything in flux. Having some flexible time does allow me to get  workouts in, but I need to get that down to a consistent schedule. Training for an ironman and starting a company, probably not the best idea, but it does help relieve the stress. No trouble sleeping this past week.

With multitasking in overdrive to the point of mental abuse, I did accomplish a few things for my ironman quest. Swimming lessons start in two weeks. That will take up Tuesday night time slot. Renewed YMCA membership  to get other swim days in, plus tread mill for those over the top nasty winter days (winter running is my favorite). Three blocks from my office,and very handy for a early or midday workout. Hopefully I will be bike training with a power meter in a few weeks. Looking forward to better more consistent and objectively measurable workouts on the bike. The watts don’t care about other factors or how you feel. More watts, harder, faster. I am signed up for race rehearsal camp in June in Lake Placid. It will be great to get a real feel for the venue. Should be a big confidence builder. Anything I learn there will give  me a few weeks to either enhance or correct before the big day. Looking forward to meeting my teammates that weekend. Even with all this going on, I am still working on getting the payload down. Getting faster by dropping weight is a plus. Still have to get a bike fit done before those long 3/4/5/6 hour rides.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I will forgo some of the usual races to stick to the training plan, not to mention keep a reign on discretionary spending. Broke my heart to not sign up for boilermaker (favorite race) That day will be a two hour bike and 20 min run, with a four hour bike the day before.  I am signed up for Lake effect 13.1, and the new Syracuse 13.1. Looking forward to doing those as I can fit them into my current out season plan. Of course it calls for doing 1/2 mile repeats  at tempo pace with 2 minute recovery pace between each one. Smile and run anyway  🙂

Mike

30 days have past since crossing the finish line at Ironman Syracuse. Sometimes when you plan a big goal, and get there, or complete it, it becomes anti-climatic, or so-so-what’s next. Not the case with completing Ironman Syracuse. It was as epic, inspiring, and as humbling as I thought it would be. It was a day that culminated all the planning, training , and emotional highs and lows that I will treasure as a life event.

I had been thinking on commemorating the day with a calf tattoo. I held back running off in a hurry to get it done to see if my perspective would change, or shift after the endorphins finally wore off. Signing up for Ironman Lake Placid has not changed my view. I would say that completing Syracuse is a huge stepping stone to the big dance. Had I not complete it, or had a bad experience, I would not likely step up to the 140.6 mile distance. Most certainly I will commemorate that event if it is anything at all like what I experienced at Ironman Syracuse. Most likely yes, and all the more epic. At least twice, right? For all the reasons that I have captured in prior blog posts, it represents much more than a race or single event. It not only marks a return to something that I love, it also represents a pivotal point in my life that I choose to change the outcome, health, and well-being for the 3rd quarter of my life as I head towards retirement years.

Tonight will start the tattoo project, and I’ll post pics soon enough. I won’t reveal what it will be as of yet, but it will have many elements in it that I hope will come together to make for a great skin art piece. More yet to come.

Five days post race! Doing rather well! Other than being a little ‘off’ (more than my normal ‘off’), a little tired, no gimping, no complaints. Good sign that I am itching to get back to doing some workouts. Per Endurance Nation protocol -training time off vacation.  Sleep has been strange,and I have been famished all week. I have indulged, but time to get back on the weight loss goal, and I’ll get it done.

I have a pile of photo’s from the big day, and you’ll find some them at the end of the post.

My big announcement at least for the day, and in my world: 140.6 Ironman sometime in August/September/October 2013! Race: TBD. Races in the running: Ironman Wisconsin, Rev 3 Cedar Point, Beach to Battleship are the current front runners.

No doubt there will be other 70.3 races. I may do Syracuse again, as a team, or maybe as an B or C race as it is early in the season. I love the race, the course, and especially the volunteers. The positives are a lengthy list.

Why do 140.6? It is on my bucket list. At 52, I would rather do it sooner than later. It may be my only one, it could be one in a string of them. Won’t know until I cross that point in time. Having a big goal suites me, and keeps me on track with fitness/weight goals.

My next journey will include along the way the usual list of local races (Boilermaker, Tromptown, Turning stone 13.1, Little York Tri), but will also include the NYC marathon as another bucket item this fall. No doubt 2013 will have a few local events on the calendar. This far out, just laying down the foundation for a big event. Endurance Nation Coach’s Rich and Patrick are currently reviewing the races I have lined up, and will set me up with training plans that will adjust across the next 13-14 months to get me across the finish line, and finish well.

A full ironman will entail some of the training I just completed, and will certainly build upon it. It will also have it’s own metrics specific to ironman training. It is not trivial, and will require focus and commitment on my part.

Post Ironman Syracuse, reveals that I have problems to correct and or improve upon. If I wish to succeed in my next goal, and cross the finish line, I need to address these very issues.

So far the list of items to fix, and improved:

  • Weight- no ifs, ands, or buts, It has to come off. I am not slugging around my big butt some 140.6 miles. I plan to slug around a smaller one  🙂   Looking to sign up with Core Diet, to not only reduce weight, but correct diet issues, and fuel properly for training. I know Dr. Lynn Cunninghamn will read this, and she’ll be on me to get this done. She is my general practitioner, and  very thorough. Very much needed reality check, and a good one.
  • Swimming- Need to be smoother, more efficient, and significantly faster. Solution requires coaching/lessons, and more pool time. I would likely finish the 2.4 miles in over 2 hours, and that would be close to 2:20. Come the big day, I do not want to be worried about being up against the cut off time. This is not a daunting issue, but it must be addressed
  • Bike- Add power (watts) measuring. I need to up my game and training with power will help with proper feedback. Before the 16-20 week plan to Ironman, I need to work on intensity, and speed on the bike. 112 miles is no joke on race day. Lot of hours in the saddle, and being able to back off the effort and still have a decent bike split is crucial to setting up a good marathon.  Later this year or early next. I will get a bike fit to affirm that what I have is ok or improve it. Current bike fit is decent, and comfortable. With weight loss, and a disappearing gut, I should be able to lower frontal profile.
  • Run- Continue to build endurance and fitness. Running is my strongest discipline of the three currently. Weight loss and Out Season (OS) training will add more speed. Will continue to have a more efficient stride. Keeping injury free will be key here.
  • Race day nutrition- Big issue. It appears that I am way under on electrolytes, salt, etc. Solving the muscle cramping in the later portions of long events is critical. I will have to experiment some to solve it. The obvious thing to do, is to adjust the amount/levels of fluids, nutrition ,and electrolyte,/sodium products to to alleviate the problem, and allow my body to perform at it’s best potential.

Looking forward to the next 13-14 months, there will be a significant effort to accomplish what I have set out. So begins my next journey!

BTW, a big thank you & photo credits to Dave Knabel, Sam Sampere, and Lee Joyner

Done! Very emotional finish for me yesterday. The heel nipping of self doubts, and former paradigms of accomplishing something I did as a much younger man came to an end yesterday at 2:47:08pm. I’m back, and I have put my stamp on it. 8 months of committing to a single end: crossing the finish line after covering 70.3 miles of the half ironman distance. I seized the day! Further more, I enjoyed every second of it, whether it was going as planned, and even as much when plans changed. In my very narrow, singular focus, it was my day to be had.

Before I go on further about my experience of race day, I cannot say enough or do it the proper justice in thanking Ken, all of his race staff, and especially so, the hundreds of volunteers that went above and beyond to make the race day experience fun, and memorable. We (athletes) were treated like royalty on the course and at the race venue. There were friendly folks out along the course that cheered us on. The couple that was spraying the misting spray from their garden hose on Palladino Road made lots of friends that day. I would be one of those friends. I hear there is an appreciation party for the volunteers. In my opinion, us athletes should put it on. I’ll flip burgers, whatever is needed.

To everyone that helped put it on, thank you!

Race day- 3:18am, I’m up and moving. Alarm was set for 3:20am. No clue how my body does that. 3:20am is early even for hunting season. Lee is up, our weimeraners are not sure what is going on, but they’re getting fed, and liking it. Transition bag was packed night before, double check it again, we’re good to go. Finish my fueling ritual, and we’re down the road. Arrive at Jamesville Beach 4:40am from the south end of Apulia Road, no traffic, no fuss, no delay. Waiting in a long line is not something I am real good at and this suits me well.

A little bit of a walk from parking to the transition area. No problem, we’re early, and enjoyed the early morning walk. A little cool/brisk, but I am more than excited, and warm enough on my own accord. Headed down to body marking, and met fellow blogger Carrie Stevens who said she would be my personal body marker for the race 🙂 Great to meet folks that you chat with online. The marking area was set up on the way to entering the bike corral, and it was a no brainer. Got into the transition area, and set up for the race. Common throughout the day, everything you had to do or take care of was worry free, and easy. Us old guys trying to focus really appreciate this.

CNY Tri Club, had a tent along side the bike area, along with bike racks for the tri club. This is where race day hospitality goes into another gear/level. Great place to hang out, food, gatorade, two of their own porta-potties. Yep, life is good. My sister Kim (Fraser) met us their at the club tent. Lee (wife) and Kim were there not only as my support crew, they volunteered to be wet suit strippers. I had some fun with that topic. The club’s hospitality was extended to them as well, and is appreciated.

Met up with my fellow Endurance Nation Teammates Doug Johnson and Bob McCallum. Very cool to finally meet them in person. I would eventually see them again way out ahead on the run course. They were like rockets out there. Both were in full EN ninja mode. Doug went sub 5 hours (1st ever 70.3 event), Bob, just over the 5 hour mark. very fast company to keep.

Swim start couldn’t be better! Gorgeous blue sky morning. not too breezy, and very sunny. Perfect day! Before the start of the 50-59 swim wave, I have my mantra repeating in my head: “You have a plan, execute, and repeat. swim smooth, and steady.” The horn blared and off I went. No problems finding room to settle in. The new wet suit was feeling good. No real problems other than the occasional competitor swimming over me or bumping as the faster swimmers from the following waves worked their way passed me. I got kicked in the head once, but a side glance, not hard. No harm, no foul. I felt that I was swimming a little smoother, a little faster, and I would confirm that as I stood up at the swim exit point. 9 minutes faster than the open swim rehearsal on the swim course a week before. Slow yes, but faster, and I’ll take it. Got running down the line while pulling down the suit top, no problem. I spotted Lee and Kim, and had them strip the wet suit off. Told them I was stoked at a better swim time. Off I ran to get the bike.

No problems in transition. 5 minutes, a little slow, but I was ok with it. Long day still lay ahead. Got out on to the road and got things moving. The fast trip into the hamlet of Jamesville is deceiving as you get your first short hill after turning the corner. The race rehearsals were priceless in knowing what, when, where. Everything along the entire bike course went by in a flash, it felt very fast. Sweet Road went by faster then I remembered it during training. I think a lot of that perception comes not only from race day excitement, but in the fact of being among cyclists all through the course rather than the lonely time trial experience of training. With the swim wave starts there was a constant flow of faster cycling animals that powered up through the sea of triathletes that dotted the course. We were among some great talent during the race. The dreaded wall just before mile 20, went better than it did in training. I ran the rear disk, trispoke front wheel, and it was super aero. Lots of free speed with that setup.

The remainder of the bike went just as planned although a little faster than in training. Nutrition went as I had planned, although that is subject to post race review as will become evident shortly. I kept my heart rates in zone 2, and low zone 3. No big pushes. Everything I did on the swim and bike was done to set up a good run. The last third of the bike helps with that. I took every advantage on cruising the downhills, being very aero, and maintaining smooth effort on the remaining flat stretches of road, and small rises. Bike split- 3:20. A full 8 minutes faster than race rehearsal, and I did it with less effort. I felt really good about execution of the bike plan. Mentally I would have liked to see what I could have shaved off, and I am guessing 15-20 minutes. No doubt I would have been spent once I got off the bike. It is a race of combined disciplines after all. Two legs down, and all according to plan. I was feeling really good coming into the transition area.

Second transition went fine with out issues. 2 minutes, I was ok with it. The first few hundred yards, I was pleasantly surprised. I was moving forward and not feeling that bad getting my running legs under me. Just before reaching first run aid station, my left quad cramped up hard. Walked the station, picked up water/ice/coke.

At this very point in the race I have critical choices to make. The following is what I had going on in my endorphin soaked head: “Ok, I am well trained, a boat load of lessons from Endurance Nation to draw from, think it through.” That kept me calm and comforted for the entire run, that plus the statement I made the day before: “I plan to enjoy the day to the fullest.” For the stubborn side of my brain: “Seize the day” would satisfy any other negative thoughts.

I continued to walk another 100 yards and run down the first hill. It was getting hot, 81 degrees I am told, and I decided on trying a 9:45-10 min pace. I originally planned on 9:15 after the first mile. My quad settled down, and for a little while I thought I had straighten out my problem. Used the porta-pottie at the 2nd aid station. All good, fluids are good, yeah! Picked up water/ice/coke/iced sponges (love those.) On the way to mile three, my left hamstring locks up. Right side is now twinging. I massage a little, walk to corner that turns uphill to turnaround. At the corner, resume running. Third of a mile, my left quad locks up. I stop, and massage with stretches. I walk to turnaround and next aid station, continuing to grab water/ice/coke. Run the down hill at 10:15 pace. Calves start to twinge, I slow down to 11:30 pace. Bottom of the hill, both quads start up again. I walk to next aid station, same routine- water/ice/coke/orange slices/ice sponges. Slammed a GU gel @ mile 5. Run the flat up to the hill just before the park. Walk to top, and resume running to aid station @ mile 6, water/ice/coke. Run to second loop, stop at shower tent for 30 seconds. It felt wonderful. Asked the volunteer if I could just camp there, and I made myself laugh. Saw Lee there, happy thoughts, make it happen. Good pick me up. Think about 15 great years together. The love of a good woman is so inspiring. I’m back running to start the 2nd loop.

It was tempting in so many ways to say the hell with it, and walk off the course. “Seize the day” was my redeeming thought for the day. As I describe my battle, I fail to mention that I was in good spirits. I was truly enjoying my race experience despite the setback. The volunteers were wonderful, saying hi, thanks, and joking with them, even when I was reduced to walking to work off the cramping. I met a bunch of triathletes from New Jersey while out on the run course. Spent some time with a few of them. I enjoyed that a great deal. Misery sure does love company 🙂 Post race on the way home I discussed this with Lee, about wanting to bail on the first loop. She flat out told me, no way, not happening. Would not let you do that. She knows me, and she had my back. I do count my blessings.

2nd loop out, I made it to the next aid station again, water/ice/coke/orange slices. Walked a quarter mile, ran the down hill again. My slow pace was now slower than first trip out. Both hamstrings would tighten up on and off again. I did manage to satisfy whatever was cramping up my quads. Most of the second loop was the same as far as fluid intake. Biggest change during the repeat loop- I hooked up with fellow triathlete Peter Jennings from New Jersey. He was having similiar issues and we decided to walk the hills, run the downhills and flats at a pace where nothing ached or cramped up.

On a side note, it did bother me a little to walk a hill, as I happen to like them. I live and train in a hilly area.

We enjoyed great conversation, and the last 5 miles just went by. I still had gas in the tank, but could not get the muscles to loosen up. Calves that I worried so much about twinged a few times, but never became a problem. A few times I tried to up the pace and I would get immediate feedback of tighthening and twinges of different parts of both legs. I problem solved as much as I could, and I felt empowered that I knew I was doing what I could to salvage the remainder of the race. After meeting up with Peter I was happy to resolve the dilemma to just enjoy the ride, and not do any further damage.

We ran most of the last mile in, and did our best to look good for the pictures. We all know that is most important. In fact during the semi epic loop back to the finish, that is what I said to most of the people we chatted with. I made simple fun of the moments.

Crossing the finish line was so emotional. So important personally. Crossing the finish at 7:37:08 was a full hour longer than what I had anticipated. But other than being able to say I ran a faster time, I really don’t believe I would have enjoyed or savored the day any more. I would likely to have missed out on the final miles spent running along side with Peter. Lee and Kim were at the finish line waiting on me, and I was so glad to see them. I looked for them all the way along the finish lane.

Another side note: We both started in the same swim wave, but Peter is just over into the next age group. Even so, we timed our feet, and crossed the timing mats at the same time. Good fun.

The ice cold chocolate milk after the finish was so, so good. I went by the food tent, I wanted what they had, but could not eat. It would be a few hours before I did. Funny how a big day in the sun will do that to you. Lee and I stopped back up to the CNY Tri Club tent, and I got a wonderful massage. A big thank you for arraigning that on race day. The massage tent at the finish was busy, and would have to wait. We headed home after that. The nice walk in seemed like a distance event walking back.

On our way out we saw several fellow triathletes still out on the course. Those folks are tough as nails, and have an iron will. They have my absolute admiration, and respect.

Stopped into Poole’s diner at the end of our road, and had a soft ice cream cone. You could say I inhaled it. Slept on the couch, and had a plate of perogies a few hours later!

Tonight, I celebrate with a chicken wing pizza, a mug of Arrogant Bastard Ale ( a favorite), followed by a salute of American Honey (Wild Turkey whiskey) at my favorite spot- Harry Tony’s.

This part of my journey has come to it’s natural end. The process from October, leading up to the time I cross the finish line has been more than an enjoyable one. The growth, lessons learned, improved fitness, and health has been for a lack of a better word, incredible!

This journey will transform into another. More weight to lose, more events to race, problems to solve and correct. Next year may bring bigger goals and challenges. I do thank all of you that followed my writings, and I hoped that we shared common ground at some level. A big thank you to Ken for prodding me to blog this journey. I am also forever grateful for Lee, my wife, who’s love and support made this all possible!

See you all at the next race!

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