Ironman Florida

With World's in Clearwater looming in a week and my training winding down, I took a trip with Ryan this weekend to watch him do Ironman Florida. For a while he didn't know if he would even be able to do the race with work being the way it is and all, but he fianlly decided to "get her done" and put all that long training to use...

The past few weeks have been a bit weird trainig wise for me. I'm not sure if it is a result of the long season and the wacky up's and down's that came with it, or if it's just plain old mental fatigue, but my training just has not had the "pop" I want it to. I can't put my finger on it, but something's up and my body is responding with sleeping whenever I can, sluggishness, illness, and the desire to get Clearwater over with so I can look forward to the next year. Maybe I'm being a little too honest by saying all that, but that's what I've been dealing with. When I am faced with this crap(as I am sure I am not the only one out there who faces these mental and physical challenges), I always find a way to push through it and make it to the starting line and hope some of that "race day magic" comes through for me...

The past week has found me with a cold that I aggressively fought off by resting a lot and drinking lots of fluids, then a sudden onset of another migrane. this is the 2nd one I have had in the past year that has made me violently ill. brace yourself -- 6 hours of puking....and you know, after an hour or so, theres nothing left to give up - so it's just brutal! And since these are new to me now (guess it's hormonal or something) I haven't been able to figure out what's going on until it gets so bad I can't get any medicine down. Needless to say, my taper for clearwater started way earlier than expected since the week was pretty much scrapped with all that stuff. I just keep hoping the rest will be for the best!

So back to Ironman Florida. It was great to go to a race where I get to watch it all happen and NOT be a part of it. OK, I was a little part of it. I had a few of my swimmers toe the line - so I decided to get up close and personal and volunteer for the swim where I helped corall all the athletes for the start then helped a PC (physically challenged) athlete Chris Self with his prosthetic leg. Nothing inspires me more than watching someone like him tackle an Ironman. I got to watch the 2,500+ mass swim start go off from a perspective I rarely get to see - from the back of the pack - and man, what a mess!


Since the swim was 2 loops, I stood at the beach watching for Chris to come to the beach so we could help him out. we were watching closely when all of a sudden, from a pack of swimmers on their feet exiting the Gulf flew 2 objects - over to the inside of the pack landing in the water. there were about 10 of us (volunteers /media/ NA Sports Staff) on the beach who saw this and we were all like "what the ** was that?" and then simoutaneously mortified to realize the objects floating in the water were fins. someone had fins on and tossed them off before exiting the water for the first loop. we were all in shock - and no one noticed who threw them. we were all stunned, and pissed that anyone would even do such a thing. I mean, why do an Ironman if you are going to cheat? you're just cheating yourself. and if you find yourself so focused on the time it takes to do the swim.....then you've missed the greater gift of embracing the journey to get there. some people will never get it i guess.

Ok, enough rambling....back to the fins. we watched them floating in the water - still shocked that anyone would even do that - and wondering who threw them, when low and behold, a guy who was entering the second loop of the swim just shimmied over and picked them up! HA! what a FOOL! Immediately the swim police were on him like white on rice and took the fins, and had his number and wetsuit make and followed him for the rest of the swim. he was a marked man. I am not sure what happened from there on out since my job was done after the swim, but I hope they bust that guy and don't let him race Ironman anymore. I am a big fan of "COPS" - so I love to see people get BUSTED! I must have been a cop in a former life.... :-)So, in spite of all that drama (which was exciting to me I must add) I had the pleasure of watching all the athletes including Pamela and Bobby and Mike come out of the water happy with their respective swims and start their days off on a positive note...yeah, I missed Ryan AGAIN coming out of the water.

I went out for an hour run (of which i was not feeling too good on, but plugged along anyway) after that then returned to watch the pro's come in on the bike. I then got out the mountain bike and spent the rest of the day on the course watching the suffering unfold! I love to watch it. And surprisingly I wanted to be a part of it! I wanted to take part in the race and the beautiful weather they were having. I haven't really felt that way about an Ironman since last year....good sign i think!

I had a lot of fun out there and have some great pictures I will post - so be sure to visit this post again in a few days...

After it began to get dark, I parked the bike had a few beers and waited at the tent for everyone to finish. Ryan finished in 11:55 despite many visits to the porta potties along the way. I am so proud of him. Training has been tough for him this year, but he stuck it out. I remember how frustrating it was for me to do IM Florida one

year and have the GI issues. We learn more from the tough days. It's all part of the puzzle....and I hope it wasn't dinner the night before :-). After we collected his things, we headed back to the condo and washed up. I was pooped! He wanted to go back and see the midnight finishers (!), but I wasn't gung ho about it. (something weird about that...past my bedtime I guess! spectating is hard work!)we ended up crashing instead.

Everyone seemed to be happy with the day - from the Pro's to the Age Groupers. It was a fast day out there and I wondered what I could have done on a day like that. I find myslef looking forward to taking one on as a Pro next year. why not....?

Congrtas to Bobby for smashing his 12 hour goal and to Pamela who finished in a rockin sub 14 1/2 hours - pushing throug the struggles of injuries while training and staying focused on the journey. Over 50 and an Ironman - way to go!

visit back for pictures...I'll post them when I get my camera back....

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