Sunday, November 8, 2009

B2B Race Report

I did it! 6:31:06 is the official time. The whole experience exceeded my expectations. I know this is a long post with tons of pics. But it really is the hightlight of my year.

The strangest thing about the whole trip was that nothing strange happened. I mean besides this:

A little gay love with Big Sexy before the race. He is freaking hilarious. I'm going to head down his way sometime over the winter for a long weekend bike ride. He finished 3rd overall male, and the only two guys that beat him took it on the run. He was actually leading the half distance coming off of the bike, but his 1:36 half marathon wasn't good enough to take the overall victory. Dude, since when is a 1:36 half mary not good enough for anything? let alone after you just put in 1.2 miles swimming and 56 miles on the bike. He finished in 4:20:29 and took home hardware. Well done, brother. Well done indeed.

Ok fine. Here's how it all broke down.

Goal #1: Basic Survival. Don't die. - Success!
I did hit up the medical tent trying to get a free IV after crossing the finish line, but they pumped 3 bottles of water into me instead. I had no dehydration issues after that! And I felt so much better after getting checked out by the doctors in there. Very cool.

Goal #2: Break 7 hours. - Actual 6:31:06 Success!
I have to start the day before the race. I left work earlier than expected. Got everything packed up and loaded into the van, and we are ready to hit the road in a reasonable, but already late time frame. Then the girls start screaming "I don't want mommy and daddy to leave again" just tugging on my heartstrings. We finally got on the road, and had a flat tire on the van on I-40 about half an hour into the drive. So I changed the tire with trucks whizzing by me within a few feet and we made the rest of the trip on the doughnut. What was supposed to be a 3 pm or earlier arrival time turned into 4:30 arrival time. Checked into the hotel, got the luggage organized settled in to this view:

Might not look like much here, but this was an incredible place. Behind those trees is the battleship North Carolina and the river. We were able to walk to the packet pickup and expo, and I got all the gear. I picked up some arm warmers and a bottle of Endurolytes while I was at the expo anyway. Got out of there just in time to catch the mandatory 5 pm athlete's meeting.

After that it was back to the hotel to get everything organized for the big race. I packed up the bags, checked everything twice and then went over my game plan again. Then we finally found the Beach transition area (T1) and checked in Jenny and my transition bags. I wanted to go see my friend Charlotte who lives nearby, but didn't get the chance to. It was too late and we were too hungry. You had to have the bikes checked in by 8 pm, and we got there at about 7:15.

The place was huge. So many bikes that are so much nicer than mine. oh well.

I got the bike racked and the bags inline. Then....

Here's Kelley ready to beat me with the tire pump Friday night.

When it was all said and done, we got some dinner at the first restaurant we could find. My friends Chris and Mandy had reservations for us to join them and a group of folks at this italian place, and that happened to be the first restaurant we could find. They were done but not gone by the time we got there, so I got to talk with them some. And my friends Jon and Kim that live in wilmington were also there, so we got to hang with them for a while too! That was unexpected and awesome! Then we went back to the hotel and I fell asleep on the couch. Guess I was expecting to be more nervous than that.

Race day
I don't know why they do this. But they stopped bodymarking at 6:30 am and transition was closed at like 7:45 am. yet my swim wave didn't start until 8:40! We arrived shortly after 6. So I guess it's just a logistics thing to get all of the athletes checked in. But really over 2 hours to wait around? Gimme a break. But I got bodymarked:

And found all of these awesome peeps! Here's me with Chris:

He's a two time brain cancer survivor, and a real inspiration to all of his friends and family. Chris finished in 6:48, his first half iron as well. I'm so proud of my little brother!

That's me with Missy before the race. She is just as sweet and pretty and tall and funny in person as she appears on the blog. We got to talk plenty at the swim start too. She ended up taking 1st place in her age group, finished in 5:27 with a PR and 15th overall female. Wow, that's nuts.

I strapped on the wetsuit and took the trolley out to the swim start. Once I was there, I found Calyx and Donna and got to hang out with them for a long time. I got to the swim start just in time to see the first full iron distance swimmer passing by. They had a mass start at 7 am. It was really cool to see those guys out there. Finally 8:40 rolled around and I got in the water.

You know how they say Rule #1 is not to try anything new on race day? yea.

Goal 2a: Swim 1.2 miles in less than 42:28, my oly swim time. Actual: 33:46 yea baby success!!
It was a wade start, meaning we had to walk across the timing mat, wade into the water until it was too deep to stand up in. The wetsuit was so boyant I didn't have to tread water, just sort of hang there on top. First thing I did was pee in my wetsuit. I had to pee for a long time before we got in the water, and didn't want to take it off. So that was great.

There was a very strong current. It didn't feel like I was quite as on top of my swim game like I wanted to be. But I went the distance, stopping to breaststroke when I needed to, and I stopped once and floated on my back for a while just to catch my breath. The goggles fogged up pretty bad, and I had trouble sighting for a while. But eventually I saw the finish dock and dashed to it. Had to climb a ladder to a dock to get out of the water. The volunteers pulled me off of the ladder, and I was slightly disoriented, but not too bad. The wetsuit strippers were awesome! I was de-suited and running in no time flat. Hit a freshwater shower and got some of the saltwater off, and I was off and running to t1.

And yes, the swim seemed to go by just that fast. the current was awesome. Spectators were not allowed at the swim start (no room for parking) so I have no pics.

What was new?
  • First time swimming in saltwater
  • First time swimming in a wetsuit with sleeves
  • First time at that distance not in a pool.

Goal 2b: Transitions in 20 minutes or less - Success!
They don't have t1 times posted, but T2 was only 4:49.

Here I'm running into T1 carrying the wetsuit. I had the new SUGOi Velocity tri suit on under the wetsuit already. So I had to throw on the bike shoes & socks, and get the skull cap and helmet on, and arm warmers and bike gloves. I did take the time to throw on the Garmin and start it up so I could keep track of my speed on the bike and run.

What was new? Never wore the Garmin in a race before. Or arm warmers, ever.

Goal 2c: Bike 56 miles in 3 hours. Actual: 3:11:57 I'll take it. Success!
That's 17.5 mph average. A little slower than I was hoping for as an overall speed, but I will take it. More on speed later.

Kelley got an awesome spot as the bikers were coming out of the course. Apparently, some of the athletes thought she was one of the pro photogs, so they were making nice for the camera. unfortunately (for you ladies) this was the only eye candy shot she got. It was only about 38 degrees at the start, so there weren't too many half naked hardbodies walking around. I, however, was very grateful for the increased female participation rate when the run course came around. It was the hottest part of the day after all.

Those are all the great pics of me she got on the bike. I know Glaven and Dr Nic will think the arm warmers are sexy. and they are!

Start times and waves get all confused after the swim. So if you're like me, you end up passing a bunch of people at the start of the bike leg, then getting passed by a bunch of other people that are faster than you. One of the bad things about this bike leg was that it started out with a bunch of road turns to get out of transition. I tend to take turns pretty aggressively, usually I won't stop pedalling and I lean in really hard instead of turning the handlebars to steer. Tri's also have severe penalties for drafting, which means you have to stay 3 car lengths behind the person in front of you to avoid drafting and you have 15 seconds to complete your pass without penalty. Three penalties and you're disqualified from the race, so I take that pretty seriously. I was able to pass a few people, but the first 2 miles of the course didn't have 15 seconds of straight roads to pass this slow guy on. Of course, by the time the road straightened out there was nobody in front of him, so I just passed and went up to my speed. Then I got passed by like 3 other folks. But this guy braked thru every turn, and didn't accelerate once he could see the next turn, and there were maybe 15 turns in those first couple of miles.

When it did straighten out we were headed up a bridge. You know I'm not afraid to pass people riding uphill. In the first half of the course, this was not a big deal. By the second half I would pass people going uphill, and they would leapfrog me again when it flattened out.

The bike traffic was a little frustrating. The full and half riders were both out on the course at the same time, and most of the full riders were still able to clog up the streets somehow. The bike traffic was always congested. And tri's are really single file bike rides, you only go next to someone to pass. It's not like a group ride or a stage ride where you ride as a pack. So there were 1500 bikes on the course at the same time. Maybe I've just never done a race that big before, but it seemed very congested.

Overall though, the bike leg was awesome. Have you ever taken a freeway at 20 mph? The organizers said they had to get federal permission to shut down one lane of I-140 for 12 miles so we could bike it. And biking on the interstate is cool. It was a one loop course, the full iron guys had a much longer loop, and us half-ers kicked an out and back leg for a bit. Even at the coast, there are still slight up and downhill variations. Not steep climbs, mind you. but enough to notice. On the "out" portion of the out and back parts, I would regularly look down at the garmin and see 23.4, 21.5, or 22.8 speeds. regularly. My plan was to average about 19 mph to save the legs some for the run. So I was amazed when these speeds seemed effortless. Then I hit the turnaround point. Those regular 21 - 24 mph speeds quickly turned to 18 - 19 mph speeds when I was going back "uphill". I mean, that's still fast, and it's not like it was really steep uphill. But you could definitely notice the extra effort required to keep a decent speed.

I saw Ryan heading back on the bike while I was heading out. He was the first biker I saw coming back in already, leading the whole race at that point. I heard him yelling at the final aide station for water, and I just yelled "GO RYAN" as loud as I could and have no idea if he heard me. I just kept on pedalling.

Calyx told me she saw me coming back on the bike when she was going out. Apparently, it was evident how focused I was on maintaining that nice speed. She said I looked "dialed in" and that seems really cool to me.

So why with all of that focus and speed was my average only 17.5? Well the congestion was a big part of it. Navigating slow people isn't always fun. They said there was going to be aide stations every 15 miles, and the first one was mile 25. On a 56 mile course, 28 miles is the halfway point. I drained both of my water bottles by mile 25, expecting an aide station. It did not appear until mile 31!! I'm not sure what's worse, being mis-told about the distance or having no aide stations on the first half of the course. But I stopped at the first aide station to refill my water bottles with one bottle of water and one bottle of Heed. The other aide stations (there were 2 others) I took a bottle of water and a bottle of Heed while riding and drank it while riding. No stopping there. I also took 5 gu's and 4 Endurlolyte capsules while on the bike. Each time I had to feed, I slowed down some and got passed by a few folks. There were several bridges we had to ride up and back down, so the uphill/downhill had an effect on my overall speed. There was only one bridge with a steel grate, and they had carpet over that. It didn't bother me really, but I'm sure it slowed me down some. Or at least the guy in front of me slowed down some then.

Overall it was really cool to be able to bike that far that fast at the coast. I don't want to leave a negative impression about this bike course, it totally rocked! It was by far my favorite part of the race. Like everything in triathlon, there were challenges. and it's easy to project those frustrations onto something else. But this bike leg was nothing short of fantastic.

What's new?
  • New tires and wheels on the bike. That was the first ride on those new tires.
  • New flavors of GU and Roctane. Vanilla gingerbread is amazing if you can find it.
  • Wearing arm warmers for the first time. Loved it! Kept me toasty on a cold ride.
What else do I need?
  • More TITS - Time In The Saddle. Jenny had been in the shop for 6 weeks waiting on the new wheels to come in after I broke another spoke in the Tour De Peach. Kelley picked her up on the way out of town thursday. I had been missing my saddle time and it showed. Actually, it didn't show as much as it was "felt" by chafing on my ass.
  • More TOTS - Time Out of The Saddle. Spinning classes to be specific. They spend calculated amounts of time in different positions out of the saddle. Plenty of times during the ride I had to stand up and push the pace a bit, and I could have kept that going longer if I had gotten in more spinning classes. Again, see the point above. I had to stand more than I wanted to anyway.
  • A new bike. I might be an idiot putting $300 wheels on a $500 bike. But after getting that little taste of how nice equipment can ride, it just makes me drool.
  • Aerobars. I wanted to get lower lots of times out there, and there was a pretty bad headwind for a big chunk of the ride. Clip on aerobars would be nice. Santa? Grandma?
Goal 2d: Hold on, T2:
T2 went smooth. A volunteer took my bike coming in, and pointed me to the rack spot where my T2 bag was. Bike stuff off (including the arm warmers), and I threw on the small headsweats hat and running shoes and took off.

While I was on the bike, Kelley got to take the car to a tire place to get thursday's flat tire fixed. Stupid hillbilly tire people didn't call her when it was done, so she didn't get any pics of T2 or me on the run. But she did make it back to the finish line on time.

Goal 2d: Run 13.1 miles in 3 hours. Actual: 2:40:35 Big Success!
2:40 is a respectable time for a half marathon at any skill level. When you stick it behind a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike I absolutly love it. I figured the bike would be a little over 3 hours and the run a little under, but I didn't expect 20 minutes under. And I had to stop about mile 5 to hit the port-a-let, and that one piece tri suit did not want to go back on my upper body after I finally got it off. So if it weren't for a bowel movement I could have shaved 10 more minutes off of there.

This was an out and back run course, so it was 6.55 miles long. The full iron guys had to go out, back, out, back and that must have been boring. The course was very broken up. It started with a few bridges to get into downtown. Then downtown we had to run through the middle of a farmers market. I thought it was a huge aide station at first. Then it went up and turned through a park, running on a path not anywhere near a road. That even had to cross over some wooden bridges. There was actually someone getting married in the park at that time, so I ran past someone's wedding. Hit the turnaround and come back through it all, and I was done.

There were aide stations every mile almost; 5 total on the course that you could hit each way. I took 5 gu's while running, and bananas at each aide station. I also ran with the camelbak, and filled it with Heed and water at the first aide station. I was so glad to finally get some solid food on the day. I had breakfast, sure, but that was at 5:30 am. it was closer to 1 pm when I finally hit the first aide station for some solid food. My packet of Endurolytes fell out of the pocket in t2, so I had no salt capsules. That really came back to bite me in the second half of the run. The final 5k took 34 minutes. I was really sluggish the whole way back.

But the nutrition advice I got from everyone held up great. I took more gu's than I thought I needed, and drank more water than I thought I needed. I never hit the wall. I never ran out of energy until maybe the last few miles of the run. I had to convince my legs they had 2 more miles left in them. But they listened.

What's New?
  • I only had one run in these shoes before the race. I know that's a no-no. But....
  • no running period. Remember my hip pain? I felt no hip pain during the race. But I had purposely not run for a good 8 weeks before the race. I got 2 miles in the new shoes just to see if they would be a problem, and the 5 mile ache around the lake race where the hip pain killed me.
  • I did all of my run training on the elliptical. I do not reccomend this unless you are trying to recover from hip pain.
  • Did I mention that I didn't run at all before the race? who does a half marathon without running before that?
  • New running hat from Headsweats - it was awesome.
  • New flavors of GU & Roctane.

Finished: 6:31:06 280/372 men
When your mind starts to get off of your game, everything else starts to go downhill. I had to remind myself what mile I was in so I could stay on schedule with the GU's. Once I got off schedule that was it. It takes a lot of focus to finish strong. Still.......

When I hit that finish line I had lost it. I was crying, and I shit myself a little. Losing it emotionally and physically. I was instantly overwhelmed with my own sense of accomplishment and the wonderful support of everyone who pushed me to that point. I was grateful for every mile. I knew I had lived that entire course. And it was an experience that nobody could ever take away from me.

I got some ice down my shirt and a bottle of water, they put the finishers medal on me. That is some serious bling! Kelley's dad thinks it's big enough to be made into a belt buckle.

Notice the ice melts creating an oozing pattern from my chest, and you can still see tons of salt showing through too. I don't know if that's saltwater or sweat. But it's all salt stains.

Goal 3: Have fun. Success!
Overall, the whole experience was amazing. I got to see so many people, some of which I live near now, and some I was meeting for the first time. Every triathlon I've ever been to has been filled with the nicest people. It always amazes me to see how many old and new friends I find at these races.

Goal 4: No trip to the ER during recovery. Success!
My nutrition plan during the race held up. I had GU's taped to the top bar of the bike so I could tear and eat. The SUGOi tri suit had pockets in the back to hold all of my GU's for the run. The camelbak gave me plenty of water on the run. I drank more than I thought I needed to. Then I drank 4 bottles of water immediately after finishing.

The worst/scariest part of the whole thing was after the race. I saw my friends Chris and Jon while we were waiting in line. After finishing, I went to the medical tent just to get checked out. Given a clean bill of health we had two choices. take a water taxi accross the river with 300 people in line, or take the trolley back across the bridge and stay on land. We chose trolley b/c of the shorter line. We still had to wait for 3 hours before getting the 10 minute ride back accross to the hotel. And standing outside after running a half ironman while still wearing sweaty tri suit and the temp drops into the 30's because the sun went down while you are still standing in line even when you finished the race at 3:11 pm and now it is fucking cold and you have pains that require sitting down and a hot shower and you need more water and I had to go pee twice while I was standing in line and can you get how absolutely unacceptable this waiting in line was????? That was the one real organizational failure.

This race is not spectator friendly. There are very limited access points for photography. No room for spectators at the start. T1 had parking, T2 and the finish line are the same spot. Kelley had to leave the run course just minutes before I came back through downtown (but she didn't know that) to catch the water taxi back across the river to the finish line. It shouldn't take 30 minutes to cross a river, but it did. It shouldn't take 3 hours to get back across the same river, but it did.

Goal 5: Ruth's Chris. Fail, by choice.
This was a fail by choice. Missy, Ryan and I were all supposed to meet up at Ruth's Chris after the race for a celebratory dinner. I felt great after we finally got back to the hotel. But I didn't want to put anything as heavy as a steak on my stomach. Instead I had a bowl of soup, then a bowl of cheerios. I could have eaten more, but again, given my post-race history of vomiting, didn't want to take the chance. So I could have pushed it with a fat dead cow, but chose not too. Soon though, soon.

This race exceeded every expectation. The city was fantastic, the race was fantastic. 1500 racers and over 1000 volunteers. If you're looking for a destination Iron or half Iron distance race for next year, give this one some serious consideration.

That's the race finish line, etc from our hotel's side of the river.

And a clean shot of the battleship. It really is impressive.

The SUGOi Velocity tri suit left me with some fun tan lines. I didn't put on sunscreen which I am very aware is a big no no. Just because it was cold doesn't mean you can't burn.

It's even more obvious from the back (looks like I was wearing a giant sport bra, huh?). The arm warmers leave me with the reverse farmer's tan on my arms. Funny tan lines are funny no matter what. I got the body marking numbers scrubbed off in the shower today, and the sun didn't burn under where the numbers were on my shoulders. So there's a white outline of an 8 now in all that red on my left shoulder.

In recovery, I was actually talking to Calyx on the phone at that point. Her and Donna both rocked, beating their goal times by almost an hour.

The run course went right by the hotel, and there were plenty of people still running late into the night. I grabbed a cowbell and went out to the balcony to cheer them on.

I actually fell asleep on the couch about 9 pm, moved to bed sometime and woke up about 7 am. The drive back was uneventful until I tried to stand up.

I can't stand up long enough to pee, so I have been sitting down like a girl (or Ryan) all day. At least it only hurts from the neck down. Actually, as the day has progressed my upper body soreness has all worked out. The legs are feeling better, but not great. I still have to think hard before walking up stairs. Still, I did it, and it's done.

What's next?
My secret target was to finish this half and still feel like I could do it again. Ironman Florida was also yesterday. That means the online registrations open up monday for the 2010 race. So I have until then to decide if I want to register. Kelley talked me out of it for 2010. She's thinking about doing another marathon in 2010, and doesn't want both of us to be under heavy training schedules at the same time again. Plus we're going to sell the houses in Greenville and finalizing the move to Raleigh, buying a house here, getting the family re-assembled and settled, and all of the fun that comes along with it.

So this was certainly the last race of 2009. 2010 will be all marathons and century rides for me. Kelley keeps saying that she doesn't understand why anyone would ever want to attempt an Ironman. She doesn't want to have to sherpa my shit for 15 hours; she was worn out after this race. She wanted to call it a night at 7:30 last night. I can't explain why I want to run a full iron distance race. But I do. After completing this 70.3, I know a few things. I want a 70.3 sticker for my car. I want a 70.3 tattoo on my right leg. And then I want to cover them both up with 140.6 stuff. If Ironman Florida has to wait until 2011 that's ok. It leaves me more time to convince her it's a good idea.


Amy - the gazelle said...

you are so awesome! I am putting off my 70.3 until 2012 due to grad school, but I feel so inspired after reading your race report.

I am thinking that I will probably do the OBX marathon next year, and think you should probably do that, too!

Runner Tammy said...


Amazing job at your half-ironman.

It looks like you had lots of fun out there and other than a few minor snafu's (water on bike course and getting back to your hotel), you were able to enjoy the experience.

Savor your victory as you did GREAT!!

Rest, Relax and Recover well!


teacherwoman said...

Congrats, John! Awesome job! Reading your race report gets me thinking about 70.3. But, I need to get some more tri's under my belt, specifically the oly distance.

So, do you have specific events you are looking at for 2010 if you are not doing Ironman?

Unknown said...

Way to go! I was so looking forward to reading this report and it did not did awesome! I am especially impressed at your 13.1 time after not running for 8 weeks, wow! A half-iron is definitely one of my goals in the next few years (you know, once this kid is no longer sucking every ounce of energy from my body) and this just reinforced that goal for me. Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment. It sounds like an amazing race experience. You've come a long way and should be very proud. :-)

enjoy recovery.

Missy said...

Woohoo, great race report John! I haven't gotten that far yet. Thanks for the shout out too. It was great to meet you (sorry you didn't make dinner - I almost fell asleep on my plate).

Great job, so glad you had a great experience. 70.3 is actually my favorite distance. Waiting another year is a great plan. Get another one or two under your belt to confirm what you're feeling right now.

Congratulations! Way to go! Oh, riding on the interstate was awesome.

Lily on the Road said...

Congratulations John!! I love your report...

what an amazing day you had, just fantastic...okay, it was AWESOME!!

Take care of yourself, and look after that sunburn, ouch...

Wes said...

Nice job, bro! That is freakin awesome! All round! Of course you pee your wet suit! That's how we get warm fast :-)

and what's this about not wanting to sherpa an Ironman. That's why God made naps! hahaha!

Congrats again bro! You did awesome, although I'm a little pissed you were flirting with my bitch...

Ashley said...

Holy crap!!!! First off - NIIIIIIICE job on the swim, buddy!!! That is AMAZING that you beat your oly time during the half IM! WOW, I'm impressed!! Great race report, too. And nice work overall! I esp enjoyed the "at least I only hurt from the neck down" part, lol!

I'm hoping to do a 70.3 next year, probably in the fall. A good friend of mine did Ironman Florida last year and LOVED it! She's planning to do it again next year and says it's an amazing course. Good luck - I think you should go for it!!

You've had a very impressive year, my friend! Great work!

Calyx Meredith said...

You totally ROCKED it! I loved having the chance to talk at the start - definitely helped calm my nerves. We learned so much out there, didn't we? I think our next goals are marathons and century rides too. 140.6 is going to have to wait until 2011 (at least!) - we loved the half distance but want some more experience before doubling it. Great race report! (I don't know how you get them done so quickly!)

Alisa said...

Wow, wow, wow! You did amazing!

I definitely need TITS! And am hoping to at the very least get in lots of trainer rides this winter and start out on the roads (weather permiting) in the spring. I'm also going to be doing a lot of spin classes to practice in my new bike shoes!

I love all the lessons you learned and that you had such a positive experience. This is great news for me!

WAY TO GO TRIATHLETE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, whoa 140.6...I'm sure you'll rock that too!

Ryan said...

Alright, first. Missy was about shitting herself with laughter at dinner...not falling asleep...Lying Bi%$#

Next: How dare you publish a personal and deeply sexual picture of without my expressed permission.

Finally: I am sorry that you missed dinner but I'll be in Raliegh soon enough to make it up.

Awesome accomplishment on finishing your first half ironman. I totally understand the appeal to want to go all the way. Give it time and some more halfs to work on speed, nutrition, and endurance and then you can make your first one successful instead of a shit upon thyself endeavor like my first one.

Yes I heard you on the bike so THX man I was working hard at that point to not blow the whole day.

I'm also sorry that I didn't get to see you in your tri suit that makes you look like you are hiding snuffleupagus between your legs because I really wanted to see that giant man unit!

Awesome Job John, be proud, rest up and then get back on the bike soon.

C said...

CONGRATS! You did a fantastic job! Also, those are some amazingly sexy burn marks. Your wife must be proud.

B. Kramer said...

Amazing job! Congrats! Way to poop your pants and still kick ass. Cheers!

joyRuN said...

Freaking AWESOME, CJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You ROCKED that 70.3, you should be soooo damn proud of yourself.

Dunno that you needed to shit yourself, but given the magnitude of your accomplishment, I guess it's okay ;)


Jess said...

Dude congrats! Way to completely and totally rock this race! With the move and your hip pain and everything else that could have possibly thrown your training off you stuck it out and totally deserve to relish this finish for a long time! Congrats!

Georgia Snail said...

AWESOME JOB!!!! congrats...nice recap, great know what they say, if you don't sh!t yourself, someone else is sh!tting on you. Okay, so I don't know if "they" say that, but "they" should. I can't wait to get a bike so I can start some tri training~that way I can say I need more TITS....

Great half mary....sure hope you can go under 2hrs in Feb.

Amber said...

You're awesome! A half-ironman is SOOO intense, way to go!

I kind of want to do one of those, one day, but I'm also kind of terrified! Haha.

Love the picture of you crossing the finish line, can totally see the sense of achievement AND exhaustion on your face!!

carrie said...

You rock!! Congrats, that is an awesome achievement!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

TITS and TOTS... and grandma? santa? LOVE IT! :D

Awesome job on the 70.3! HUGE CONGRATS! Obviously your hard work has certainly paid off. Looking forward to your 140.6 journey!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...


I mean on making the ladies' evening gloves look even gayer than Dr. Nic managed to.

And also on the other thing, too, I guess.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Dude you did awesome. Congratulations.

I would be thrilled to run a 1:36 1/2. That is crazy that he could run that in addition to the biking/swimming. Holy. Cannasta. I am in awe.

And I am in awe of you for finishing this & doing it w/ such an awesome time!!

sarah said...

Congratulations!! That is freaking awesome!!

We'll talk about my bike next spring. *lol*

The Enthusiast said...

Go you! Awesome job. Sounds like you had a great experience and serious congrats on your time!!

Tyger Lily said...

Congratulations John!! Awesome job! I must say, I am sad that I had to drop out. I am also a NM Outlaw and would have LOVED to have met all the bloggers you met. It was quite surreal seeing you all pictured together! I read all of your blogs and it was cool that you all met up! High Five my friend!!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Congratulations! Awesome report and awesome accomplishment!

Badgergirl said...

Congrats! Sounds like an amazing experience! Glad you enjoyed it, and I like the tan lines!

Enjoy the rest! You deserve it.

Sarah said...

I laughed out loud a couple of times with the intimate details you shared. haha. No shame :) I like it! CONGRATS!!! Such a great accomplishment :)

Sun Runner said...

I know I'm behind the curve on this one, but CONGRATULATIONS! Kind of makes my running NYC look like nothing.

I'm amazed by your sheer ballsiness of not running for 8 weeks before this event. But I guess it worked out OK, eh?

I love the sunburn, btw. Now that's classy. You know what you should do, head to Wal-Mart in a tank top and jean shorts & see if you make it on People of Wal-Mart. :)

Sarah said...

So awesome John. Seriously. I am so happy for you and glad that you had a fabulous race. That is an AWESOME half time (one that I dream of!). And if you don't go for IM next year (or even if you do) you can come do Tour de Cashiers with me! Woot!

RBR said...

AWESOME!! AMAZING!! SPECTACULAR!! I am so proud of you and happy for you! What a great race and great race report!

AS far as IM, I vote Vineman 2010!

Oz Runner said...

super props! great race should be very proud of yourself...

Michelle said...

Awesome and congrats John on an incredibly awesome 70.31!! I am very proud of you bro!!!

Manderz said...

Congrats!!!! You must feel amazing!
I am so happy for you - you did great!

triblog carol said...

Great race report - I like how you put in sections for what's new and what else do I need. Oh, and the reason they made you get out of T1 so early was you had to clear out for the full iron racers. Sorry that was a drag for you :-(

Jess said...

Sorry I'm so late to the commenting here, but congrats!!

Havs said...

Awesome race report, and awesome job on the race, congrats! Some great pics too, and Ruth's Chris...mmmm, that could be a whole 'nother report!

Reading your blog is motivation...I'm signing up with some buddies for Ironman 70.3 Racine, July 18, 2010, our hometown race is now a sanctioned IM event! If you are able to make it to WI next summer, join us, just saying....:)

nwgdc said...

Evening Glove Reverse Farmer Tan Line is AMAZING. Glaven's Jealous.

Way to go!!! And I want to see you wearing that medal as a buckle!

Kim said...

awesome awesome job! great race report john! congrats on a fantastic race!

Aron said...

you are amazinggggggg!!! CONGRATS on a great race!!!

healthy ashley said...

AHHHH!!!! You are a machine! Seriously, you're my half iron idol! What an amazing job on the whole race! I love that you blew your goal out of the water. So blown away. I have a feeling I'll be asking you a lot of questions before my half iron :)

ps- love the gay love. And are you wearing hot pants in that picture?!

pps- I can't wait to meet you in person (whenever that is). This phrase solidifies it:

"After completing this 70.3, I know a few things. I want a 70.3 sticker for my car. I want a 70.3 tattoo on my right leg. And then I want to cover them both up with 140.6 stuff. If Ironman Florida has to wait until 2011 that's ok. It leaves me more time to convince her it's a good idea."

Ryan said...

Hey, I found a wedding ring inside my it yours?

Steve Stenzel said...

- Peeing in a wetsuit is nearly as good as sex. Nearly.

- GREAT swim time!!

- Misleading aid stations SUCK. That's one of the worst things an event manager can do, IMO.

- Holy cow! Nice job blowing away your goal on the run!!!

- Standing around as it got cold sounds like it would SUCK!

CONGRATS!! What a great race!!

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

CONGRATS :) i am going to try another tri in the spring... im nervous but this gives me hope

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