Friday, September 14, 2007

Ironman Wisconsin 2007 - Part 1

There is a lot to say about the all that happen over Ironman weekend. At times I think I blinked and then it was over. Other times it seem like I was in Madison for a month. So here’s my best attempt to tell my Ironman tale.

Details, details details. It seems like all I was doing was running through the details of getting ready for the race. There were the lines to stand in and the tons of prep work to do. I think the nature of the Ironam really having to be completely ready on Saturday really started to get to me. This is the only race where you have to get your gear to the race the day before. I’m use to having everything with me in my transition bag that I need for a race. I’m use to setting up my transition area the morning of the race and this whole routine was not an option. This really threw me out of sync as the race drew closer.

On Saturday Bob and I went through our last checks before it was time to take everything down to the race site. Once again we checked our gear and took our bikes out for a little spin. On our ride we stopped at the final blogger meet-up. It was great to finally meet a lot of people that I’ve read about for months. I only with I could have spent more time with the blogger crew. To soon the nervous itch to make sure everything was ready was pulling me away from Bolder, AJ, TaconiteBoy, Stu, and many others. Finally with our bags and bikes in tow we headed down to the race site to drop off the huge weight that had been growing for the past few days. (sigh) The weight was off. Now all I could do was enjoy a nice dinner with everyone who had gathered to support Bob and I during the race.

Race Morning
The alarm and cell phone went off way to early. I had managed a couple of hours of sleep, but I wasn’t going to get any more. I’d be lying if I didn’t ask Ms. R if we could just stay in bed all day. The answer was no and it was time to get up. Soon after spreading some peanut butter on a bagel I got a call from Bob making sure that I was up. He too had the thought of staying in bed as well. hehe Soon I was grabbing my special needs bags and heading out the door. With in ipod in my ears I walked down the dark blocks to the bright lights of the race site. With my bags dropped off I headed to my bike to set up my bottles and get marked. I stopped to talk to Bob at his bike and we both seemed to be in a pretty calm state. After a last check of everything I headed to meet Ms. R.

I was doing fine until I saw her face and I almost lost it. The emotions swelled and the fear of the unknown clutched us both. We both held the tears back, but the emotions rolled through us both. I decided I need to walk and headed toward the restrooms to catch my breath. After the trip and hearing DMB pumping over the speakers my mood flipped flopped and I walked back to Ms. R with a smile on my face. After applying the body glide and sunscreen the others showed up. (Kimmi, Jaime, Bridget, and Waima) They wished me well and it was finally time to part with my friends. Again for a fleeting few seconds the emotions and fears swelled and I kissed Ms. R goodbye. We both knew it would be ok, but the fears were still there.

Finally it was time as I made my way towards the helix. I stopped at the top to pull my wetsuit half on. I slowly continued down and stopped half way down to take in the site of water I would be swimming in within minutes. The water was clam and the red of the sunrise was on the horizon. I finally made it to the bottom of the helix to drop off my last bag. At the bottom was a fellow TNTer and good friend Steve who was volunteering. His voice was booming as he shook my hand wising me luck. The luck I would need as I settled into the moving mass towards the water. I chatted with a lady who was as nervous as me from New York. We were five minutes from the start when we finally reached the water. I headed to left to take my spot in the back. I wanted nothing to do with the mess at the front of the swim pack. Within seconds I heard Bob scream as he knew where I would head once I was in the water. It was a nervous smile, but he was smiling big and yelling to get pumped up. He told me to turn around and he wife was behind us taking a picture, though I never saw where she was. After that I quickly started swimming to get my muscles moving a bit before the cannon sounded. The warm-up was minimal to say the least and I moved back towards Bob for the start of the race. Soon they called for the kayaks to move and within seconds the cannon sounded and Ironman Wisconsin 2007 had started.

(I will post the next parts as soon as possible. I will be south of the border next week so it will depend on how available the Internet is. If I can't post I will drink many margaritas in your honor of being so patient. Well I was going to drink them anyway, but this will make them more meaningful. hehe )

Till next time...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ironman Finisher

It feels really really sweet to be able to type the above title. After nearly 15 hours (14:56:15 officially) of continuous effort I finally crossed the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin. I have a lot of say, but you’ll have to wait another day or two until it’s finished. There’s a lot to recall and write about such an amazing day. Til then I want to thank you all for your support. The live comments that you posted were great. A special thanks to everyone who ventured to Madison. Seeing familiar faces and hearing familiar voices made all the different in the world. Thank You!

Saturday, September 08, 2007


That’s all that remain until Ironman Wisconsin 2007 starts. I’ll be carrying number 457 for those who want to follow my status online tomorrow at Tomorrow will bring a rollercoaster of greatness, lows, aches, emotions, and joy. To tell you the trust it’s all a bit scary, but with any amount of luck I will hopefully be blogging next time as an Ironman Finisher. There are no guarantees and I will have to each every inch of it tomorrow, but I’m hopeful and have faith that tomorrow will be a great day.

There is plenty more that I want to say right now, but the words are not there. Maybe it is because I should be sleeping. hehe I just wanted to thank you all for your support. I couldn’t have made it this far without it. Now there is just one last thing to do and that’s to race. So on that note…I’ll catch you on the flip side of Ironman Wisconsin….

Thursday, September 06, 2007

3 Days…

We have arrived! After checking my endless lists and doing way too many things last minute SafetyBob and I finally arrived here in Madison a little after dinner time. We took our time getting here from the Twin Cities. Making a few stops to eat and get gas. Most importantly the stops allowed us to get out and stretch. It felt good to just move around a bit after being in the car for a couple of hours. It really felt good for me since I spent part of the morning being beaten up by my massage therapist. I must have missed my calling. I mean what other job gives you the chance to inflict pain on people and they pay for it? Where was that pamphlet at the high school career office? Anyway after a long day of packing and driving we are finally set up for where we will spend the next couple of days doing the final preps for Sunday.

Tomorrow will be filled by getting registered and doing some final gear checks. If the rain holds off we might even get a ride in. There are also the blog meet-ups which will be fun. It’s always great to meet other bloggers at these events. I’d say it makes it even better at such a big event.

Well I guess that is all I have for now. I’m going to wrap things up for the night and put my nerves to rest. They have been coming on strong the last we days so we’ll see what a tour of the race site does. Hopefully it will just put them to rest, but it never works that way. Darn…

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

5 Days…

Again I apologize for the lack of posts. This whole Ironman thing has really thrown me off lately. I guess that’s somewhat to be expected given that this is the hardest thing that I’ve ever attempted. The long taper really started to rear its ugly head last week. I wasn’t in a good mood and there was always more things to get done that I had no desire to do. (the last still hasn’t changed) Ms. R was quick to pick up on my moods and was always ready to help or just listen. She’s great! Though there is only so much that can be done until things have concluded sometime before midnight on Sunday. She also told me to read this post by TriSaraTops. Again blogland came through with a much needed lift.

With all the prep for the race starting to eat away at me I figured it would be good to spend the holiday weekend not thinking or training at all. Ms. R and I headed up to her parent’s new cabin to help her family get the place ready for the move. For two days straight we basically stripped wallpaper off and painted almost every room. These people wallpapered everything including a closet or two. So we worked through layers of wallpaper and glue to get down to the wood paneling that covered all the walls. Yeah, no sheet rock in the entire place just lovely paneling. After the walls had been stripped, de-glued, and cleaned it was time to paint. The place was looking a million times better as we left after two days of hard work. Of course there is still plenty more to do, but that will have to wait.

In the end it was a great way to spend the weekend. It was great to get out of the cities doing work that took me completely out of my element and anything related to Ironman. I needed that break if I’m going to manage the tasks that will be required on Sunday. Now it’s time to check and recheck all the lists as I prep to depart in two days. Hmmm….It’s really happening…