Race report: Ironman Hawaii (very, very long)



M

Mike Conway

Guest
October 16, 2004 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Also known as "The view from the very back of the pack"...

Treading water in Kailua Bay moments from the start of the 26th Hawaii Ironman,
many thoughts ran through my head, mostly replaying events from what was a
strange week: coming down with some sort of virus the day before leaving home,
having to replace a bent bicycle wheel (thanks, UPS!), dealing with some
abnormally rainy weather (one local claimed it had rained more this year than
it had for 70 years) and a few days of very humid weather (when you hear
Hawaiian weathercasters saying "it's gonna be humid", you know it's going to be
steamy) leading up to race day.

Race morning went relatively smooth....though I felt like I got too much sleep
the night before---not looking forward to doing an Ironman while fighting a
virus. Got a chance to jump in the water near the start line this year, mostly
because it was taking forever to get the 1600 or so age-groupers to squeeze
through a very tiny opening leading to the "beach" and water (the 140 pros
started 15 minutes earlier, at 6:45 am, a first for the Ironman). Not wanting
to get trampled after the cannon-shot signalling the start, I moved myself a
bit back and to the left, looking for a bit of clear water.

Back to treading water...hearing the race announcer screaming to the officials
to "don't let them go past that line...MOVE 'EM BACK!!!" Helicopters buzzing
overhead...looking back at the massive crowd lining the seawall along Alii
Drive...finally, the swimmers around me start whooping and hollering, knowing
that the start was moments away...

....and then "boom" goes the cannon, and the washing machine that is the swim at
Ironman is turned on high. All I'm trying to do is swim smoothly, not working
towards any time goal....my training for a variety of reasons has been, well,
less than stellar this year (heard enough excuses yet?), so my goal for the 2.4
miles is to not wear myself out.

So I settle in, looking for various groups of swimmers to draft off of...I
stick with different people for periods of time, slowly getting thrown off
course by the swells...I notice a one-armed swimmer (yes, a one-armed swimmer)
moving slowly past me. "Simply amazing", I think to myself. As fit as you
might think you are, as studly as you might imagine yourself...well, all those
images are blown to pieces before, during and after this race. There are some
incredible people with astonishing stories of perserverance and athletic
aptitude.

Looking up, I see the turnaround boats seeming to not be too far away. Cool!

A few minutes later, they seem to be the exact same distance away. Less cool.

A few more minutes go by (as do dozens of other swimmers, it seems) and the
boats have not moved one stinkin' inch closer. Way less cool.

I take a glance back, just to make sure that I am indeed making progress, and
the start/transition area is way back in the rear view mirror. Okay, at least
I won't drown.

Finally making my way past the two boats marking the half-way point, I head
back, not dealing with too many issues at this point...except for realizing how
much salt water can sting your nose as you exhale. I'm ready for that feeling
to end, and now. Goggles start acting up, and over the second half of the swim
I must have to stop six or seven times to adjust, release water and then get
the goggles back on. Not an easy trick to accomplish while treading water (try
it sometime in your local pool---go to the deep end, and remove and replace
your goggles...it'll wear you out!) and I get to practice the maneuver a number
of times.

Such would be the tone of this day.

Still trying to latch on to people to swim with, I am impressed with the fact
that even after 2 miles, body contact with other swimmers still happens.
There's a group of 6 or 7 of us all trying to occupy the same piece of Pacific
Ocean. The only solace I take in this is that at least I am not the slowest
swimmer out there...

Fortunately, the finish chute seems to move closer quicker than the turnaround
boats...and I stagger out of the water, just over 90 minutes after beginning.
Roughly two minutes slower than 3 years ago here, with a significantly reduced
swim training regime leading up to race day. "Well, not too bad", I think to
myself.

Self congratulation is always dangerous in an Ironman...and even more so here
in Kona.

I feel pretty good as I make my way through the showers, taking my time to get
as much salt off me as possible. The changing tents and gear bags are about
400 yards away, at the other end of the pier, so I run past the 300 or so bikes
left towards another group of volunteers. My bike bag is handed to me without
delay, and I head into the tent to get my racing top and bike shoes put on.
Before I leave the tent, I stop to pee (in a porto, of course)....the next time
I would perform this same bodily function would be about 7 1/2 hours later (not
a good sign, as those of you who are endurance racers know all too well)....run
out of the tent to get sunscreen applied by another set of volunteers (who
*almost* did a good job...they only missed three spots on my body, one on my
left quad, one on my left arm, and one on my right shoulder that are still
peeling like crazy because of the sunburn!!) and then head for the bike.

Still a bit woozy from swimming, I make sure my helmet is secured (one guy
almost gets DQ'd before he gets on the course because he doesn't yet have his
helmet on...officials are *screaming* at him "Helmet HELMET HELMET!!!") and
clumsily get on my bike, replete with new race wheels, wave to my girlfriend
Kristi (who accompanied me in 2001 here as well) and her friend on the corner
of Alii and Palani and get ready for 112 miles of fun.

As with 2001, the first miles are mostly uneventful. As with 2001, the winds
started howling just as we get near the Waikoloa area. Big-time head winds.
Nearly as bad as 3 years ago, but fortunately without the swirling nature of
that year. Just continuous, in-your-face, slow-your-pace wind.

This course is deceptively hilly...there are other Ironman races with bike
course profiles that on paper look more difficult than this one, but there are
different forces at work on the Queen K. The wind. The heat. The desolation.
The passing back and forth with the same group of people. The ability to see
miles and miles of course at a time ahead of you.

It was around this time that I saw the race leader, Normann Stadler, pass by
going the other direction. I looked at my watch....and it was 7 minutes before
second place rode by. Stadler's lead was huge at this point...one he would
hold all the way to the finish, proving for this year anyway that you can
indeed win Kona on the bike.

Turning from the highway towards Kawaihae and the steady, 19 mile climb towards
Hawi (and the turnaround), the winds get more fierce. And I slowly begin to
realize that I have violated one of the cardinal rules of racing: don't try
anything new on race day.

You see, I decided to get myself some new bike shoes a few weeks before the
race...same brand as I had used for years and years, but did I do a long ride
in them before October 16th? Why, that would have made too much sense!

Well, as I closed in on the 50 mile mark my left foot---more specifically, the
ball of my left foot---began to feel as though with each pedal stroke someone
was stabbing it with a knife. Not a good feeling to have while climbing into a
headwind.

Trying to stand out of the saddle to get some relief, some was granted. And
then that stopped working....and then, the right foot started to have the same
feeling. God, what I would have done at that moment for my trusty old piece of
**** bike shoes!

Still 4 miles from the turnaround (which comes at about mile 60, with 52
remaining on the return) I am trying to think how I'm going to deal with this
for another...well, let's just say for another few hours, as I cannot think
clear enough to do mental calculations at the moment.

And then I remember One Armed Willie (which is what he is called, by the
way)...and I remember Sarah Reinertsen, an above-the-knee amputee racing on a
prosthetic leg...and I look down at my Livestrong bracelet, and I tell myself
to toughen up. I can do this. ****ing slow as hell, but I can do this.

Finally, the turnaround. Blessed be the Special Needs bag area. Blessed be
the tailwind we would enjoy, if even for only a few miles (which was exactly
the case---just a few miles of tailwind). And thankful I was for the PB&J
tucked away in that bag. I pull off to a shady spot with a few of my fellow
sufferers and have a five-minute lunch just outside of Hawi, as much to rest my
feet as it is to take time to get much needed calories into my body.

Feeling a bit better after the break, I remount and head downhill and downwind.
The feet are quiet, at least for the moment, and I am glad that I stuck a
couple of frozen water bottles filled with Cytomax in my bag as well. It
tasted really, really good.

Didn't stay this way for very long.

Headwinds began before we had made it back to the Queen K. The number of
bikers heading the other direction is dwindling rapidly, until finally there is
no one else heading towards Hawi.....a little bit further on, race officials
are picking up the mile markers from that direction. Yikes, I am way closer to
the Back-O-The-Pack than I thought.

The last mile or so from Kawaihae to the Queen K is hot and hilly, typically
the hottest portion of the bike course. And it's all uphill. And it's here
the cramps started. I'm not yet to mile 80 and I'm cramping up, first in the
right leg, then the left. I fight through and they relax a bit...get back on
the Queen K and the cramps come and go. And then the feet start hurting again.

And for all this fun, I paid money to endure!

Arriving back at Waikoloa (and the sign saying "26 miles to Kona"....actually,
you pretty much know exactly where you are at all times on this course. Each
highway is marked every mile, so when you pass by mile marker 77, for example,
coming back into town, you know that you have to make it to mile marker 99
before you turn off the Queen K and get back to transition....likewise going
out, you know that you need to get to mile marker 67 before you head up towards
Hawi, then you have a new set of markers going from 2 to 21 at the bike
turn...hey, you do get bored out there at times)...anyway, arriving back at
Waikoloa we are greeted with another headwind. Somewhat unusual for this part
of the course, and the way I am feeling at this point a literal and figurative
slap in the face.

Now I am stopping every three or four miles to rest my feet...it is getting
harder and harder to pedal with any force. My frozen water bottles are now
warm and nauseating, as is pretty much anything else I can think of. I need
something cold to drink...and the coldest thing out there is everyone's
favorite, Gatorade.

Another mistake. But I needed and craved something cold. So I picked some up
at the next few stations, and boy did it taste good. And boy, would I pay for
this later....but I knew at that moment I would deal with later, later. I
needed to deal with now, now. This race will do that to you.

The best line from the carbo dinner came from 8-time winner Paula Newby-Fraser:
"expect nothing, prepare for anything".

Pretty much my modus operandi. I was dealing with anything and everything
except equipment malfunction at this point....and the only real good news was
that I would not have any of those issues to deal with.

Just a malfunctioning engine. My body was shutting down, cramping was
continuing, my feet hurt like crazy and I was determined at this point to never
do another Ironman ever again. Just get through this one, and I promised
myself it would be the last.

Struggling into town, I pass a guy walking on the highway, carrying his bike.
As I near him, I can make out the fact that his rear wheel has been smashed and
he is walking to the bike transition...which at the moment is still about 4
miles away. It turns out a motorcycle hit him about 3 miles earlier, and he
decided to walk from that point the rest of the bike route...carrying his bike,
of course, and then did the marathon.

He did indeed finish, in 16 hours and change. And for his efforts, Cannondale
gave him a new bike at the Awards Dinner.

Again, there are some amazing people at this race.

I hit the bike transition at about the 9 hour and 10 minute mark of the race.
The winner finished about 40 minutes ago....not the bike, mind you, but *the
entire race*....I feel like ****, get off my bike, take off my shiny new bike
shoes (contemplating for a moment throwing them in the Pacific, but I
don't...as I realize they are probably now nice and broken in) and hobble to my
run gear bag and the change tent.

Sitting down for a moment, thankfully not cramping as I put on socks and
running shoes, I take my second and last pee for the day before heading out for
the run. Even though it seemed as though I blazed through this transition, it
still took me over 7 minutes. Oh, well, at least I'm off the bike and in
comfortable shoes.

I pass through town, hearing all the sounds of the early finishers being
greeted with the familiar "You are an IRONMAN" from Mike Reilly, race announcer
extraordinaire...wondering how long this was going to take me. I had a
feeling, as I passed by and then stopped by Kristi to tell her to go have a
nice dinner with her friend, as this was going to take a while.

I remember seeing, among the many words of encouragement chalked into the roads
Tour De France style, the phrase "Sub 17"...17 hours being the time limit for
the race. And I was given some sense of peace from that, knowing that's all I
had to do. Sub 17.

But I really did not want to take that long. Alternating very slow running
with walking, it takes me about an hour for the first 5 miles to the Alii Drive
turnaround (we then head back into town before heading out to the Queen K once
again for the bulk of the marathon)...and somewhere between mile 6 and 7, I hit
a real bad spot. One of the worst I can remember. It is still light out, but
day is rapidly giving way to night. The air is thick and heavy, really humid
and oppressive. I feel as though I am suffocating...dizzy, nothing sounding
appetizing to drink or eat. I move slowly through an aid station...it's not
yet dark, so the chicken soup is not out yet. I try some pretzels, some coke,
some water...just little bits of each.

I try to run some more. The cramps are bad now, twisting my left leg so that I
cannot even hold my foot straight...the ultimate pigeon toe. One foot
straight, the other one at nearly a 90 degree angle to my body.

Eight miles. Then nine. Still feel like ****, but I'm back in town and the
crowds help some. I run some more, see Kristi and her friend, hear all the
words of encouragement ("you look great!"...well, thanks, I feel like ****!)
When I walk, spectators thumb through the race program and call out my
name...."go, you can do it!" Ten miles.

Heading up Palani hill for the last time, gateway to the lava fields. Only
this time, in the dark. Still alternating walking with running, I do this
until about the 13 mile mark. And then I can run no more. Queasy, cramping,
getting only the tiniest bit of caloric energy into me, I wonder for the
umpteenth time what the hell I am doing out here.

Just another day...and night...at Ironman.

I meet up with a very chatty gentlemen at this point, who would be my companion
until the 25 1/2 mile mark. John Post is his name, a doctor from
Charlottesville, Virginia. Great guy, great story teller. My savior. He and
I walked for the next several hours together, strolling through the
Ironman....he, telling his stories about his contacts with some of the greats
of the sport, me listening and trying not to throw up. Not from listening to
his stories, mind you...just trying not to throw up from that goddamn Gatorade.

14, 15, 16 miles pass by. We head into the Natural Energy Lab. I feel at this
point as though I can run some, but I stick with John, who gave up any notion
of running long ago. His body was not cooperating with him either, but he was
not letting it get him down. He knew he would finish...I still had my doubts,
but was getting more confident with each stride.
 
T

Tom Henderson

Guest
[email protected] (Mike Conway) wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> October 16, 2004 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
>
> Also known as "The view from the very back of the pack"...
>
> Treading water in Kailua Bay moments from the start of the 26th Hawaii
> Ironman, many thoughts ran through my head, mostly replaying events
> from what was a strange week: coming down with some sort of virus the
> day before leaving home, having to replace a bent bicycle wheel
> (thanks, UPS!), dealing with some abnormally rainy weather (one local
> claimed it had rained more this year than it had for 70 years) and a
> few days of very humid weather (when you hear Hawaiian weathercasters
> saying "it's gonna be humid", you know it's going to be steamy)
> leading up to race day.
>
> Race morning went relatively smooth....though I felt like I got too
> much sleep the night before---not looking forward to doing an Ironman
> while fighting a virus. Got a chance to jump in the water near the
> start line this year, mostly because it was taking forever to get the
> 1600 or so age-groupers to squeeze through a very tiny opening leading
> to the "beach" and water (the 140 pros started 15 minutes earlier, at
> 6:45 am, a first for the Ironman). Not wanting to get trampled after
> the cannon-shot signalling the start, I moved myself a bit back and to
> the left, looking for a bit of clear water.
>
> Back to treading water...hearing the race announcer screaming to the
> officials to "don't let them go past that line...MOVE 'EM BACK!!!"
> Helicopters buzzing overhead...looking back at the massive crowd
> lining the seawall along Alii Drive...finally, the swimmers around me
> start whooping and hollering, knowing that the start was moments
> away...
>
> ...and then "boom" goes the cannon, and the washing machine that is
> the swim at Ironman is turned on high. All I'm trying to do is swim
> smoothly, not working towards any time goal....my training for a
> variety of reasons has been, well, less than stellar this year (heard
> enough excuses yet?), so my goal for the 2.4 miles is to not wear
> myself out.
>
> So I settle in, looking for various groups of swimmers to draft off
> of...I stick with different people for periods of time, slowly getting
> thrown off course by the swells...I notice a one-armed swimmer (yes, a
> one-armed swimmer) moving slowly past me. "Simply amazing", I think
> to myself. As fit as you might think you are, as studly as you might
> imagine yourself...well, all those images are blown to pieces before,
> during and after this race. There are some incredible people with
> astonishing stories of perserverance and athletic aptitude.
>
> Looking up, I see the turnaround boats seeming to not be too far away.
> Cool!
>
> A few minutes later, they seem to be the exact same distance away.
> Less cool.
>
> A few more minutes go by (as do dozens of other swimmers, it seems)
> and the boats have not moved one stinkin' inch closer. Way less cool.
>
> I take a glance back, just to make sure that I am indeed making
> progress, and the start/transition area is way back in the rear view
> mirror. Okay, at least I won't drown.
>
> Finally making my way past the two boats marking the half-way point, I
> head back, not dealing with too many issues at this point...except for
> realizing how much salt water can sting your nose as you exhale. I'm
> ready for that feeling to end, and now. Goggles start acting up, and
> over the second half of the swim I must have to stop six or seven
> times to adjust, release water and then get the goggles back on. Not
> an easy trick to accomplish while treading water (try it sometime in
> your local pool---go to the deep end, and remove and replace your
> goggles...it'll wear you out!) and I get to practice the maneuver a
> number of times.
>
> Such would be the tone of this day.
>
> Still trying to latch on to people to swim with, I am impressed with
> the fact that even after 2 miles, body contact with other swimmers
> still happens. There's a group of 6 or 7 of us all trying to occupy
> the same piece of Pacific Ocean. The only solace I take in this is
> that at least I am not the slowest swimmer out there...
>
> Fortunately, the finish chute seems to move closer quicker than the
> turnaround boats...and I stagger out of the water, just over 90
> minutes after beginning. Roughly two minutes slower than 3 years ago
> here, with a significantly reduced swim training regime leading up to
> race day. "Well, not too bad", I think to myself.
>
> Self congratulation is always dangerous in an Ironman...and even more
> so here in Kona.
>
> I feel pretty good as I make my way through the showers, taking my
> time to get as much salt off me as possible. The changing tents and
> gear bags are about 400 yards away, at the other end of the pier, so I
> run past the 300 or so bikes left towards another group of volunteers.
> My bike bag is handed to me without delay, and I head into the tent
> to get my racing top and bike shoes put on. Before I leave the tent, I
> stop to pee (in a porto, of course)....the next time I would perform
> this same bodily function would be about 7 1/2 hours later (not a good
> sign, as those of you who are endurance racers know all too
> well)....run out of the tent to get sunscreen applied by another set
> of volunteers (who *almost* did a good job...they only missed three
> spots on my body, one on my left quad, one on my left arm, and one on
> my right shoulder that are still peeling like crazy because of the
> sunburn!!) and then head for the bike.
>
> Still a bit woozy from swimming, I make sure my helmet is secured (one
> guy almost gets DQ'd before he gets on the course because he doesn't
> yet have his helmet on...officials are *screaming* at him "Helmet
> HELMET HELMET!!!") and clumsily get on my bike, replete with new race
> wheels, wave to my girlfriend Kristi (who accompanied me in 2001 here
> as well) and her friend on the corner of Alii and Palani and get ready
> for 112 miles of fun.
>
> As with 2001, the first miles are mostly uneventful. As with 2001,
> the winds started howling just as we get near the Waikoloa area.
> Big-time head winds. Nearly as bad as 3 years ago, but fortunately
> without the swirling nature of that year. Just continuous,
> in-your-face, slow-your-pace wind.
>
> This course is deceptively hilly...there are other Ironman races with
> bike course profiles that on paper look more difficult than this one,
> but there are different forces at work on the Queen K. The wind. The
> heat. The desolation.
> The passing back and forth with the same group of people. The
> ability to see
> miles and miles of course at a time ahead of you.
>
> It was around this time that I saw the race leader, Normann Stadler,
> pass by going the other direction. I looked at my watch....and it was
> 7 minutes before second place rode by. Stadler's lead was huge at
> this point...one he would hold all the way to the finish, proving for
> this year anyway that you can indeed win Kona on the bike.
>
> Turning from the highway towards Kawaihae and the steady, 19 mile
> climb towards Hawi (and the turnaround), the winds get more fierce.
> And I slowly begin to realize that I have violated one of the cardinal
> rules of racing: don't try anything new on race day.
>
> You see, I decided to get myself some new bike shoes a few weeks
> before the race...same brand as I had used for years and years, but
> did I do a long ride in them before October 16th? Why, that would
> have made too much sense!
>
> Well, as I closed in on the 50 mile mark my left foot---more
> specifically, the ball of my left foot---began to feel as though with
> each pedal stroke someone was stabbing it with a knife. Not a good
> feeling to have while climbing into a headwind.
>
> Trying to stand out of the saddle to get some relief, some was
> granted. And then that stopped working....and then, the right foot
> started to have the same feeling. God, what I would have done at that
> moment for my trusty old piece of **** bike shoes!
>
> Still 4 miles from the turnaround (which comes at about mile 60, with
> 52 remaining on the return) I am trying to think how I'm going to deal
> with this for another...well, let's just say for another few hours, as
> I cannot think clear enough to do mental calculations at the moment.
>
> And then I remember One Armed Willie (which is what he is called, by
> the way)...and I remember Sarah Reinertsen, an above-the-knee amputee
> racing on a prosthetic leg...and I look down at my Livestrong
> bracelet, and I tell myself to toughen up. I can do this. ****ing
> slow as hell, but I can do this.
>
> Finally, the turnaround. Blessed be the Special Needs bag area.
> Blessed be the tailwind we would enjoy, if even for only a few miles
> (which was exactly the case---just a few miles of tailwind). And
> thankful I was for the PB&J tucked away in that bag. I pull off to a
> shady spot with a few of my fellow sufferers and have a five-minute
> lunch just outside of Hawi, as much to rest my feet as it is to take
> time to get much needed calories into my body.
>
> Feeling a bit better after the break, I remount and head downhill and
> downwind.
> The feet are quiet, at least for the moment, and I am glad that I
> stuck a
> couple of frozen water bottles filled with Cytomax in my bag as well.
> It tasted really, really good.
>
> Didn't stay this way for very long.
>
> Headwinds began before we had made it back to the Queen K. The number
> of bikers heading the other direction is dwindling rapidly, until
> finally there is no one else heading towards Hawi.....a little bit
> further on, race officials are picking up the mile markers from that
> direction. Yikes, I am way closer to the Back-O-The-Pack than I
> thought.
>
> The last mile or so from Kawaihae to the Queen K is hot and hilly,
> typically the hottest portion of the bike course. And it's all
> uphill. And it's here the cramps started. I'm not yet to mile 80 and
> I'm cramping up, first in the right leg, then the left. I fight
> through and they relax a bit...get back on the Queen K and the cramps
> come and go. And then the feet start hurting again.
>
> And for all this fun, I paid money to endure!
>
> Arriving back at Waikoloa (and the sign saying "26 miles to
> Kona"....actually, you pretty much know exactly where you are at all
> times on this course. Each highway is marked every mile, so when you
> pass by mile marker 77, for example, coming back into town, you know
> that you have to make it to mile marker 99 before you turn off the
> Queen K and get back to transition....likewise going out, you know
> that you need to get to mile marker 67 before you head up towards
> Hawi, then you have a new set of markers going from 2 to 21 at the
> bike turn...hey, you do get bored out there at times)...anyway,
> arriving back at Waikoloa we are greeted with another headwind.
> Somewhat unusual for this part of the course, and the way I am feeling
> at this point a literal and figurative slap in the face.
>
> Now I am stopping every three or four miles to rest my feet...it is
> getting harder and harder to pedal with any force. My frozen water
> bottles are now warm and nauseating, as is pretty much anything else I
> can think of. I need something cold to drink...and the coldest thing
> out there is everyone's favorite, Gatorade.
>
> Another mistake. But I needed and craved something cold. So I picked
> some up at the next few stations, and boy did it taste good. And boy,
> would I pay for this later....but I knew at that moment I would deal
> with later, later. I needed to deal with now, now. This race will do
> that to you.
>
> The best line from the carbo dinner came from 8-time winner Paula
> Newby-Fraser:
> "expect nothing, prepare for anything".
>
> Pretty much my modus operandi. I was dealing with anything and
> everything except equipment malfunction at this point....and the only
> real good news was that I would not have any of those issues to deal
> with.
>
> Just a malfunctioning engine. My body was shutting down, cramping was
> continuing, my feet hurt like crazy and I was determined at this point
> to never do another Ironman ever again. Just get through this one,
> and I promised myself it would be the last.
>
> Struggling into town, I pass a guy walking on the highway, carrying
> his bike. As I near him, I can make out the fact that his rear wheel
> has been smashed and he is walking to the bike transition...which at
> the moment is still about 4 miles away. It turns out a motorcycle hit
> him about 3 miles earlier, and he decided to walk from that point the
> rest of the bike route...carrying his bike, of course, and then did
> the marathon.
>
> He did indeed finish, in 16 hours and change. And for his efforts,
> Cannondale gave him a new bike at the Awards Dinner.
>
> Again, there are some amazing people at this race.
>
> I hit the bike transition at about the 9 hour and 10 minute mark of
> the race. The winner finished about 40 minutes ago....not the bike,
> mind you, but *the entire race*....I feel like ****, get off my bike,
> take off my shiny new bike shoes (contemplating for a moment throwing
> them in the Pacific, but I don't...as I realize they are probably now
> nice and broken in) and hobble to my run gear bag and the change tent.
>
> Sitting down for a moment, thankfully not cramping as I put on socks
> and running shoes, I take my second and last pee for the day before
> heading out for the run. Even though it seemed as though I blazed
> through this transition, it still took me over 7 minutes. Oh, well,
> at least I'm off the bike and in comfortable shoes.
>
> I pass through town, hearing all the sounds of the early finishers
> being greeted with the familiar "You are an IRONMAN" from Mike Reilly,
> race announcer extraordinaire...wondering how long this was going to
> take me. I had a feeling, as I passed by and then stopped by Kristi
> to tell her to go have a nice dinner with her friend, as this was
> going to take a while.
>
> I remember seeing, among the many words of encouragement chalked into
> the roads Tour De France style, the phrase "Sub 17"...17 hours being
> the time limit for the race. And I was given some sense of peace from
> that, knowing that's all I had to do. Sub 17.
>
> But I really did not want to take that long. Alternating very slow
> running with walking, it takes me about an hour for the first 5 miles
> to the Alii Drive turnaround (we then head back into town before
> heading out to the Queen K once again for the bulk of the
> marathon)...and somewhere between mile 6 and 7, I hit a real bad spot.
> One of the worst I can remember. It is still light out, but day is
> rapidly giving way to night. The air is thick and heavy, really humid
 
R

rtk

Guest
I thought IMFlorida was done and over and the results posted. I saw
Mike T.'s name there and congratulated him on his finish. Was this all
a dream?

Ruth Kazez



Tom Henderson wrote:

>
> Great report Mike, and well timed! You've got me pumped for IMFL!
>
> Tom H IMFL #1171
 
R

Remove \(Nospam\) Biged

Guest
that must have been great floridian?
last week
biged (i have no idea what i am talking about)
P.S. FANTASTIC!!!! race report


"rtk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I thought IMFlorida was done and over and the results posted. I saw Mike
>T.'s name there and congratulated him on his finish. Was this all a dream?
>
> Ruth Kazez
>
>
>
> Tom Henderson wrote:
>
>>
>> Great report Mike, and well timed! You've got me pumped for IMFL!
>>
>> Tom H IMFL #1171
 
M

Mike Tennent

Guest
Well done, Master Conway. That was a classic Ironman struggle.
>
>15 hours, 38 minutes and 15 seconds.
>


You realize, of course, that even with all that walking, you finished
a half-hour faster than any of my IM's. <g>

After 2003 Lake Placid, as my wife was driving us back to the
campground and I'm shivering under two blankets, I vowed I was done.

I'm too old, too slow. It's ridiculous to put myself through this
again. It just beats me up too much. Etc, etc.

She just smiled and nodded her head.

It's in your blood, isn't it?

Mike Tennent
"IronPenguin"
 
M

Mike Tennent

Guest
rtk <[email protected]> wrote:

>I thought IMFlorida was done and over and the results posted. I saw
>Mike T.'s name there and congratulated him on his finish. Was this all
>a dream?
>
>Ruth Kazez
>
>



Not a dream, just a different IM, The Great Floridian.

16:25:03.

I'm working on the report.

Mike Tennent
"IronPenguin"
 
M

Mike Conway

Guest
>From: Tom Henderson

>You've got me pumped for IMFL!
>
>Tom H IMFL #1171


Very good luck to you...I'll look for you on Ironmanlive.com...

Mike C
 
M

Mike Conway

Guest
No, *you* are the Master, Mister Tennent.
But thanks...I appreciate the fellow Iron-congratulations.

>I'm too old, too slow. It's ridiculous to put myself through this
>again. It just beats me up too much. Etc, etc.
>
>She just smiled and nodded her head.
>
>It's in your blood, isn't it?


Boy, is it ever. It's amazing how the last 30 seconds of the race can
virtually erase all the pain of the previous "x" hours. It's a great, natural
drug!

Mike C
 
T

Tom Henderson

Guest
rtk <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

> I thought IMFlorida was done and over and the results posted. I saw
> Mike T.'s name there and congratulated him on his finish. Was this all
> a dream?
>
> Ruth Kazez
>


I wish! No, as others have pointed out, that was GFT. This taper stuff is
not easy, BTW. I thought it would be fun to start backing off, but I feel
guilty, like I'm getting away with something!
 
J

Jim Weeks

Guest
"Mike Conway" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> October 16, 2004 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
>
> Also known as "The view from the very back of the pack"...
>
> Treading water in Kailua Bay moments from the start of the 26th Hawaii

Ironman,
> many thoughts ran through my head, mostly replaying events from what was a
> strange week: coming down with some sort of virus the day before leaving

home,
> having to replace a bent bicycle wheel (thanks, UPS!), dealing with some
> abnormally rainy weather (one local claimed it had rained more this year

than
> it had for 70 years) and a few days of very humid weather (when you hear
> Hawaiian weathercasters saying "it's gonna be humid", you know it's going

to be
> steamy) leading up to race day.
>


dang your sorry hide. just as I'm about to convince myself that I'll never
get there, I'm too old, too tired, too busy to put in the effort.. you go
and ruin it all with this story..

Congratulations and I hope and pray that my experience in Kona .... and I
will get there eventually, is as good as this

Thank you for the inspiration.. i think.

Jim Weeks
Austin, Tx
 
M

Mike Tennent

Guest
Tom Henderson <[email protected]> wrote:


>>

>
> This taper stuff is
>not easy, BTW. I thought it would be fun to start backing off, but I feel
>guilty, like I'm getting away with something!


That's probably one of the most common feelings among IronVirgins.

Stay with the program. The taper is critical.

And in your last few workouts, be careful about speed. You'll feel
really, really good and the temptation is to bust a few miles. Risky,
risky, risky.

Save it for race day. <g>

Mike Tennent
"IronPenguin"
 
M

Mike Conway

Guest
>From: "Jim Weeks"

>Congratulations and I hope and pray that my experience in Kona .... and I
>will get there eventually, is as good as this


Thanks...I'm glad that some of what I wrote translated positively...trying to
mix how hard it was with how cool it was and is...well, let's just say I'm glad
it worked out.

>Thank you for the inspiration.. i think.


I laughed out loud at that one...I know from where you think.

Enjoy the journey, my friend. You will learn much.

Mike C