Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ready set Racine!

New weekend, new race. I had signed up for the Racine half ironman last Dec. Long before any thought of doing Lifetime with TNT. Angel Colon-Perez from last years Disney race signed up for it and I thought it would be fun to try it with him.

Janet and I were nervously excited for the six hour ride with the kids in our new, used Honda Pilot. We left Friday afternoon for the Sunday race. Angel and I wanted Saturday to relax and prepare for our first Half Iron.
Saturday started off calm but as the day went on things got testy. Thankfully Angel and I kept calm as problem after problem arose. Everything from 55 degree water temps for the swim to forgetting things to car trouble. It was a great mental test to stay calm before race day.
Half Iron's are a 1.2 mile swim, this one in Lake Michigan. 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. Race day came and our start time was delayed an hour because of fog. Visibility from bouy to bouy was poor at best but they started the race anyways. Getting through the swim was the hardest thing I have done racing or training thus far. Interestingly enough it was a positive key for the rest of the mental portion of the race. Once I got out of the water everything else seemed easy compared to that cold water.

Coming off of the Lifetime race I was planning on only giving what I had left for this race. Lifetime and Square Lake in Stillwater Sep. 7 are the races that I really want to focus on. As I settled in for the bike I reminded myself to keep it comfortable. As the miles piled on my legs felt stronger and stronger. The guys I was around were great and the course conditions were perfect. I was very happy with the outcome of the bike portion, but was worried that I had spent too much energy during the bike.

The run was a double loop, part of it was along the lake where the swim was. As I ran along and looked out at the swim buoys I was just thankful to be out of the water and was encourage to know that running today was much easier. I got through the first loop all right and felt confident that I could keep the same pace for the second. The sun had just come out for the run and it was really heating up! People were really starting to overheat and run out of energy. I stuck to my nutrition plan and cooled off at the water stops to keep from overheating. The last four miles were a challenge but when I got to the last three I picked it up . My thoughts were to get done so I could see my family at the end. Each race gives me different but strong thought to focus on at different points of each race. The points that stood out on this race were Adam, my TNT teammates and races and all the generosity that has kept me racing for such a great cause. McKenna, our honored teammate for my marathon last Jan. She lost her battle with cancer at the age of 10. And at the end of the run this time was thankfulness for my family. What a blessing , it is beyond words to explain how blessed I feel.

Race results are posted here. Scroll down to 158 th

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Race of a Lifetime

Four months of training complete and race day has now come and gone. The Lifetime Tri was an amaizing spectacle to witness. It all took place around Lake Nicomas with over 3000 racers. My motivation for racing was to honor Adam on his birthday by raising funds for the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society. This was my fourth race with TNT. Training and fund raising as a group has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. This season was espically special with the race on such a special day, Adams B-day.
Our team was about 120 racers strong. Together we raised over $300,000 to help in the fight against cancer.
The weather was perfect for the race, with the wind holding off until most of the field was finished. It was a long day, arriving at the transition area at 4:30am to set up and get ready. My wave did not get off into the water till closer to 8:30 or later. Two hours and twenty minuets later I was in after having a smooth confident race. The swim was very comfortable. The bike felt strong, and the run was the mental challenge.
I was honored to share my story about Adam to the team before the race. It was such a blessing to communicate to the team my love for him, and my experience of life, death and what has transpired since then to the group. There were many tears, but my point of my talk was to inspire! To CHOOSE to race for bigger reasons, to be inspired by things bigger than yourself. Reminding myself of that and getting all that emotion out really helped me to keep it together during and after the race. I know Adam was proud of what happened. Not because of how I finished but rather how I trained and fund raised. It is the example that you lead with and the lives you touch along the way that matter. Race day is such a small part of bigger picture. I know that Adam sees that perspective completely in the presence of God. I want to honor him by doing my best to share hope in the midst of struggle. To share the bigger picture.
Results are posted here