Another bone chilling adventure: IRONMAN

- Ed McAlister


Yes, an ironman. A couple of weeks ago my friend, Clyde, i.e. Travis and I, flew to Tempe, AZ for another ironman. We had done our normal training at the training table and were fit and ready for an adventure and warm, sunny weather with no winds. Right. Copia Magazine: Ironman

The day before the race we went to the practice swim which is in a man made culvert for lack of a better word? It was about 4 miles long and 100 yards wide and actually was very nice considering we were in the desert. When we got to the swim we saw lots of shivering and blue lips giving us a clue it was not going to be bath tub warm.

They had steps down the sides of the culvert so we jumped in and it hit like a ton of bricks, low sixties. We swam a couple hundred yards and got out but never got warm. That gave us something to think about for the next 24 hours as we toured around and enjoyed the day. Copia Magazine: Ironman

Just for your info swimming is my absolute worst nightmare. As much as I try and practice it gets the best of me. If I can get out of the water all the rest is gold.

Race day starts about 4 AM and we have our morning coffee and food and head over for the 1 wait and staging of all our gear. The time actually moves fast, as there are lots of things to do and you got 2,400 people all doing them at the same time. Makes it interesting.

To start the swim we slide down the concrete sides of the culvert and swim 100 plus yards and treaded water and waited for the gun. Eighty % can't wait to start the swim and the other 20% including me wonder how we are gonna made it. Won't bother you with the details but a little over 2 hours later, they hauled me out of the water. I felt like a frozen corpse. Copia Magazine: Ironman

Don't kid yourself, that isn't the way I want to go when it is time.

After about 2 hours on the bike my body started functioning again and it became fun. The no-wind weather was now all head winds and cross winds. I still can never figure why you don't have a tail wind when you have a head wind. Bike was a little slower than I wanted but what the heck, I was having fun.

The run was great and actually I got stronger as it went and finished up at 15 hours and some change, not a great time, but it was a blast and I was ready to sign up at the finish for the next one, which I did several days later. That is a good sign when you wanna do another. In all honesty the longer events are easier that the shorter ones and there is very little soreness later. You just have to be careful and take a couple of weeks off to get rested even though you feel good.

Anyway, enjoy and give a shout if interested in completing an Ironman or just some causal training.

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