Friday, November 30, 2007

Worried

Perhaps needlessly...

The way the week has gone forced me to shift my runs to the right by one day. That meant a Wednesday and Friday run for me, a very uncommon occurrence. The other thing was that due to special circumstances, namely Jimmy taking his driving test, I did not have to get to work early today, which allowed me the luxury(?) of a morning run.

This coffee thing has my body all out of wack. I'm actually getting up earlier, and I can't fall back to sleep. The alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, but did I get to enjoy that extra 15 minutes? No!!! I belly ached in bed for fifteen minutes and even thought about bagging the run. I was not looking forward to running in the cold. What a wuss I'm becoming. By 6:45, I had managed to change and drag myself out the door. I was not disappointed. A nice layer of frost covered everything. I had pondered what to wear. I ended up in tights, a short sleeve technical, and my Mizuno shell. I figured if I was too hot, I needed to slow down :-)

The run started off horrible. My right heel was shooting pains up my leg, and my form was awful. By the end of the road to my subdivision, I decided it wasn't worth it. I turned around and headed home. Somewhere, in the 0.2 miles, I decided to walk faster, then jog a little, then walk, and my heel loosened up and stopped hurting. I used a few side streets to make a convenient loop and then headed out on my normal route. Once I got going, I was pleased to note that I was not experiencing any pain. Nada. None. Not even the same pains I was feeling on Wednesday. My legs felt strong. The breathing was easy. I actually enjoyed running in the cool crisp morning air. I took it easy, but still managed an 11:05 pace for 4.35 miles, despite walking most of the first six minute interval. For my long run Sunday (6 miles), I will definitely take my time and warm up first. BTW: Dee Dee laughed when I told her my long run was "6 miles". How cute is that? :-)

Yup. I admit it. I'm a little worried. Worried about being 100%. Worried about (my heel) being strong enough to last 26.2 miles. Maybe its needless, but I have a right to be worried. This ain't no picnic. It's been hard fun work, and my reward is coming over the horizon.

Jimmy passed his driver's test. Much like the Tazmanian Devil. He's loose! Run for your lives!!! :-)

ORN: 4.35 miles, 48 minutes, easy pace, R5/W1, 11:05 mmp

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Multipart Blatherings

Sit back folks... It's gonna be a long one today :-)

Dear Cyclist:

I was pleasantly surprised to see you spinning to work this cold morning. I was impressed, even though you were riding your road bike on the side walk. Shortly thereafter, you really pissed me off. I know that the light was green, but you do NOT have the right of way in a cross walk riding your road bike. As a matter of fact, you lose all your rights as as vehicle under Georgia Law by riding on the sidewalk. The lady in the silver skate could have run you over, and it would have been your fault! Then, to make matters worst, you pointed at the green light and shook your fist at her. I resisted the urge to run you down and teach you a few traffic laws.

Being the kind gentle soul that I am, I let this incident pass, but be it known, that amicable relations between cyclists and motorists is a two way street. Your ignorance of traffic laws and bad behavior gives all of us a bad name and could only have been made worse in the event of your unfortunate demise.

Since you are obviously commuting to work, I will keep my eye out for you. The opportunity to educate you may present itself again some day.

Sincerely,

Wes

I got my forty minutes of running in last night. I wore my new Mizuno shell, and it was comfy. I alternated between being too hot and being grateful that I had decided to wear it as the temperatures dropped into the forties during my run. The forty-three miles I put in over an 8 day period ended up taking a lot more out of me than I thought. It was downright painful to get started, and the best I could muster was an 11:35 pace. Every fourth or fifth stride my heel/ankle would send painful collapsing messages to my brain. I fully realized it was trying to fool me, and I soldiered on. I am a firm believer in active recovery. The heel and ankle feel much better today than they did yesterday, before running, and I am sure that the process will continue in time to be 100% for the marathon.

I got tagged by home girl Sarah. As a direct result of being said tagged, I have to provide five random thingees about myself. K!? Maybe not thingees, but things. I don't think we would want to discuss five random body parts. I really don't think I have that many ones that are interesting.

Aire two fore... I have decided to share five of my fondest (but certainly not all), random childhood memories. (Queue the music).

1. Around the age of 3 or 4, me and a group of friends, some of them obviously older, sat around a pile of dog crap stuffed with fire crackers, singing my older brother happy birthday. Use your imagination.

2. Almost every Sunday, my father's family met at my grandmother's for dinner. My father had a huge family. There were 8 brothers and one sister, with the resulting conglomeration of cousins. When I was very young, I used to bounce around from uncle to uncle asking them for sips of beer. This is where I got the nickname "Beer Can". Lucky for me, I lost my taste for beer until I was about 18, which was the legal drinking age in Alabama during the Iron age! LOL.

3. Tying a fish head to the end of a string and catching crabs all day in Panama City Beach. My grandmother about beat us after three days. She had no place else to put them. We had crab omlettes, West Indie salad, crab cakes, crab, crab, crab :-)

4. Playing golf, mostly by myself. I used to come home from school, grab my clubs, and head down to the golf course (about 1/2 mile away). I could tee off, play 18 holes, and be home by 6:30 PM for dinner. I wasn't too shabby either. I've never broken an 80, but I got close a couple of times in high school.

5. Back when I was younger, I used to paint castings and use them to play war games. The rules were fairly complicated. My uncle was a Civil War enthusiast, but I deviated into Napoleonics and Ancients. I still have the Napoleonics I painted in my basement, as well as an army or two of Ancients. I really liked that stuff. I wish I had more time to resurrect that interest.

I don't tag. If you want to be tagged, consider it so. You can go back to sleep now :-)

Wes

ORN: 4.15 miles, 48 minutes, recovery pace, R5/W1, 11:35 mmp

No coffee: Day 4
No sex: Day 0

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Sixteen years ago, Deirdra M. and R. Wesley brought forth into this world, James W. at 9:20 AM November 27, 1991. Due to the peculiarities of Georgia Law, said teenager, James, cannot get his driver's license until Friday, November 30, 2007, at which time James will more than likely hit the streets in his shiny new car.

Friends, family, neighbors, and general public. You have been warned.

That will be all.

In other news....

I did not run yesterday. I had a few other aches and pains I wanted to rest before getting back out on the streets. Should be back out there tonight for my 48 minutes :-)

Wes

No coffee: Day 3
No sex: Day 0*

* for Nat, tee hee :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No Coffee: Day 2

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Silence! I kill you!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Final Detox

It's funny. You would think after nearly 17 months of training, I would have run in the rain more than four times, but I haven't. What's even funnier is that two of them were during races. The first time was when I became a 10Ker at the Awesome Alpharetta 10K. The second time was on a cold wet day back in January of this year. The third was at the recent Atlanta Half Marathon, and the final time was yesterday.

I stepped outside the door in a long sleeve tech shirt with a short sleeve underneath, only to be greeted by the welcome drizzle of more rain. I quickly changed into my banana yellow Nike rain jacket and headed out for my run. Despite several attempts at sabotage, I had a good run. I negative split the 10 miles with 10:08 average over-all pace. Sabotage you say? Yea... Sabotage. I allowed myself the luxury of two six packs of beer over the holidays. I just love Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat, and the Honey Brown ain't too shabby either. Then the Dee Dee meister ran over my heel with a shopping cart Saturday, and halfway into the run, I was feeling it!

Dee Dee was a bit worried after my run, as I was limping around rather pathetically. I assured her the damage was only temporary, and I would back to my normal blisteringly fast pace again soon. I was pleasantly surprised when I jumped on the scale to see that I had LOST the extra five pounds of padding I had put on, prior to my doctor's visit. Now, ain't that special! No holiday glutinous damage to my mid-section.

So, yea. Detox. Off the beer wagon until after the marathon. My acid reflux sensitive throat is complaining too, and I don't blame it. I'm going to give the no coffee thing a try again for a while as well and see if that doesn't help.

The shuttle is on its way to the launch pad... Less than two weeks and counting.

Wes

ORN: 10 miles, 01:41:20, normal pace, R4/W1, 10:08 mmp

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rain, Rain, Ahhhhh :-)

An Atlanta Half Marathon Race Report

Dee Dee surprised me by showing up at the office an hour early Wendesday night. I have been excused from working at the restaurant on Wednesday nights for a while, and we took advantage of this to attend the Expo together. I really hated to leave work an hour early, on the eve before Thanksgiving, but ya do what ya gotta do.

We had no trouble finding the expo by Lenox Mall. Since I was an hour early, I phoned Akshaye to let him know I was already there. We had planned a meet up and would hopefully see each other again at the race. Dee Dee and I quickly got our race packet and then mozied around the expo looking at all the neat stuff. I bought some Superfeet insoles to replace the cheap ones I have in my shoes. Dee Dee got a new Girl Runner running hat, and then she bought me a really cool Mizuno outer shell. I am gonna need one of those for running and riding the bike outside through winter.

Akshaye showed up about a half hour after we did and we had a great time talking and poking around the expo for a bit. It was really wonderful meeting ya bro! Next time all of us Atlanta homies need to do something a little more organized so we can spend some quality time together. Dee Dee and I said our good byes and made our way over to a little Italian restaurant I knew was in the area. I was a good boy. No beer. Just pasta, bread, and salad. We went back to the office to pick up my car, then it was time to go home and get the turkey ready for the oven.

I slept really good the night before the race and woke up at 4:30 AM feeling pretty good and refreshed. We ate breakfast, had some coffee and popped the turkey in the oven, setting the timer to start at 7:30 AM and finish at 2:30 PM. (The turkey was 20lbs). We got out of the house at 5:15 AM and drove to the Lindburg Marta station. This is where we always go to catch the trains for events, like races, Braves games, etc. I was a bit concerned that we would not get to the race on time to drop our bags, but this fear proved groundless.

We got to the race site at 6:30 AM. I dropped off the bag and then hopped into the potty line with Dee Dee (for her benefit). This was my first experience waiting in a throng of people to use the bathroom. Luckily, for reasons unbeknownst to me, our line had "reserved" five or six porta-potties. It moved pretty fast. In ten minutes, we were weaving in and out of the crowd, looking for fellow race peeps. As the start time approached, it became apparent we were going to have a tough time finding anybody, and I was really bumbed, especially since Sarah had mentioned wanting to run with us. As I said, next time I will do a better job of planning so this doesn't happen again.

With a loud pop, the gun went off. I could see the mass of humanity in front of me start to bob and run. I thought for sure Nat and Steph were up there somewhere, leading the charge, but they didn't make it to the church on time :-) and actually started the race a little late. It took us almost two minutes to cross the mats. As we did, I started the Garmin.

This race was all about Dee Dee. She was trying for a PR. I was trying for a personal worst! I think we started out a little too fast. We were clipping along at an 11 minute pace, which I thought was really good for Dee Dee. She didn't want to, but I made her get into the run 4/walk 1 routine immediately. Around the end of the first mile, the rains hit. You could hear the crowd up front roar, and then the rain hit us. The first round wasn't that bad. The second round drenched us to the skin. I had decided to be the tough guy and leave my rain coat at home. Dee Dee had decided to wear hers. I did wear long sleeves though, which was a good thing, since temperatures were falling.

I really enjoyed this race. You basically run it along Peachtree Street all the way downtown, then you peel off and head to the Braves stadium. The first 7 miles or so are gently rolling and very pleasant to run. We ran past Oglethorpe University, past the Brookhaven MARTA station, then up to Lenox Mall. This is where Dee Dee's knee started to bother her again, and we were forced to walk. Dee Dee did everything she could to work the pain out of her knee and ITB, but wasn't really overall successful. Our pace slowed down accordingly.

Past Lenox Mall we ran then into Buckhead. All the old dives Dee Dee and I used to dance at are being torn down with new developments being built to replace them. There is no more night life in Buckhead :-( About here, we hit a very, very long downhill. I knew this was the calm before the storm. I enjoyed every minute of it. We ran past my daughters first catholic school, The Cathedral of Christ the King, and down to the bottom of the hill at Peachtree Battle. By this time, we were basically walking whenever Dee Dee said walk, and running whenever she said run.

We walked most of the hills as we climbed up into downtown Atlanta. I kept trying to push Dee Dee a little to make her 3:00 hour goal, but not too hard. She just wanted "to finish", and I certainly didn't want her to hurt herself. It became apparent as we made the right turn to the Braves Stadium that 3 hours wasn't in the cards. I kept telling Dee Dee the finish was just over the next hill, and she was very unkind to me :-) I think she had heard that before! Any way, once we got to the top of the bridge and saw the finish, we picked it up and started our final run. Ms. Sarah yelled out to me as we went by, and I was excited to see her. I shouted "Happy Thanksgiving!" to her and then caught back up to Dee Dee. We crossed the finish line together, with our arms in the air. Turkey winners :-)

Less then two minutes later, the winner of the marathon crossed the finish line. I am still unbeaten.

We turned in our chips, grabbed some food, then started the mile walk back to the MARTA station. It wasn't hard for me, but Dee Dee was stiff and sore and hobbling. We really didn't have anywhere to be. We took our time and got home safely. The boys helped me get more dinner stuff ready while Dee Dee got cleaned up. Then it was my turn. After we had both showered and changed, Thanksgiving dinner proceeded at an amazingly well organized clip. Despite our best effort, the turkey took thirty minutes longer to cook then anticipated. We all sat down to a wonderful feast around 3:30 PM.

After eating, I called all of my family to let them know how our day went and wish them all a blessed holiday. By 6:30, the beer and turkey kicked in, and I was passed out on the couch. By 8 PM, I moved it upstairs and slept until 8 AM this morning. Best sleep I've had in a LOOOONG time.

Despite the knee and ITB issues, Dee Dee shaved seventeen minutes off her half marathon PR, coming in at 3:07 and some change. As for me, I set the bar pretty high for a half mary personal worst. However, I do see a 3:10 plus personal worst in my future. The peeps at the Back of the Pack just rock :-)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Wes

ORN: 13.1 miles, 3:07:06, race pace, R?/W?, 14:16 mmp

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's not about the Bacon

Stop the freakin presses. I skipped my run yesterday :-) I'm just so sore from my last long run this past Sunday, and the fact I'm running a half marathon tomorrow, I decided it would be best to give this tired old body a break. I find it amazing that I'm hurting in my thighs this time instead of my "bacon" like last time. Just goes to show ya you do use different muscles running in hilly terrain.

Forecast calls for 100% chance of rain... boo hoo... so my idea to run with a camera may be in jeopardy.

I am SOOOOOO excited! (I know that too is newsworthy ;-) I got my email from the race peeps at Rocket City, and I'm getting a Nike long sleeve tech shirt in my packet! Woo hoo! I'm planning on looking like a marathoner on December 8th!

I just wanted to wrap this post up by saying how thankful and grateful I am to have all of you guys in my life, those of you whom I have met physically and just electronically. Knowing you are always out there, in bloggy land, sharing, being a part of this community, has meant so much to me this past 16 months or so. It's like having a vice, but just getting the good aspects of it and none of the negatives. So... Thank you!

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. Go ahead. Gain a few pounds. It will be fun working it off!

Wes

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why not I?

If not me, then who?

Runner Breaks Leg, Crawls To Finish Line

Check out this inspirational article on MyFoxClevland.com. Make sure you click the video on the sidebar.

A fine example of the running spirit that is in all of us, and a true competitor.

Wes

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Tough Run around the Rock

I thought about naming this post: 15 miles of Grit and Determination, 5 miles of Hell, but I guess the post title is just as good :-)

Say hello to my little friend...

I had a very busy weekend. Matthew was playing in a soccer tournament in Tucker, Georgia, conveniently located near Stone Mountain. My oldest son wanted to referee, so I signed us both up to do some games Saturday, and Jimmy got a full day's schedule Sunday as well. Things didn't start out very well. The coach told me my son was on a certain team for the tournament, allowing me to schedule my games around his games. Come to find out it was the wrong team. Fortunately for me, I only had one conflict. The referee coordinator was kind enough to find a substitute for me so I could go watch Matthew's game. As a bonus, I filled in on a game before I left for a referee that had twisted his ankle. It was at the end of the first half that my little friend decided to poke me in the calf. I was a bit stunned to see him trying to fly away, but he couldn't get his stinger out of my ice cold leg. I don't like to kill things, unless they are a pest or present a clear and acute danger. Besides, if you kill a Yellow Jacket, it makes the rest of them mad as heck. I brushed him off and thought I might have gotten away without being stung. I felt nothing. About thirty minutes later, I began to feel that tingly sensation and realized I had indeed been stung.

I went and watched Matthew's game, then came back to the fields for my four o'clock center. I ran a bit too hard in this match, but I really enjoyed myself. It reminded me so much of why I like to referee and why I shouldn't quit. Then, it was back to Matthew's fields to watch him play his 7:15 game. When I got out of the car at Matthew's second game, I was a bit annoyed that I was so stiff. It was at this point that I began to worry about having overdone it a bit. Matthew's team was not having a good day and ended up losing both of his games Saturday.

Sunday, Dee Dee was kind enough to take Jimmy to his 8 o'clock game so I could sleep in a bit. I got up at 8 AM, made Matthew breakfast, then bundled him off to his 10:30 AM game. Matthew won his game, ending his tournament on a positive. I kissed Dee Dee good bye and made my way over to Stone Mountain. I had just enough time between Matthew's game and Jimmy's last match to get in my run. I paid my eight dollars to get inside and made my way to the closest parking area. Having not been there in a while, I picked the closest, but next time, I'll pick a spot up by the trail to the mountain top. I spent a few minutes getting my fuel belt ready and setting up my MP3 player, and then I was off.

Overall, I would describe this run as both scenic and enjoyable. Starting out from where I parked, there was a long uphill climb to the trail up the mountain. It is probably almost a mile of climbing, but the second half mile is pretty gentle compared to the first half mile. Once you get past the trail, the run really becomes enjoyable. The street is blocked off and becomes one way, giving you the option to run on the road if you want. I was running counter-clockwise, and there were a lot of cyclist and runners coming from the other direction. The back side of the mountain is gently rolling with some really nice long downhills and a few short challenging uphills. Running by the lake is very nice as well. It was actually a beautiful day. The temps were around 65 degrees, and the sun was shining for most of my run. There was one last decent climb in front of the mountain before I headed back down hill to where I had parked my car.

I pretty much knew by the end of the first loop that it was going to be a tough day. I was already sore in places I should not have been. Reffing three games Saturday took more out of me than I would like to admit. After the second loop around the mountain, I stopped and refilled my fuel belt. This was a definite bonus to doing a loop rather than an out and back. I also ate my cliff bar. I had brought four gels with me, and I was taking one every loop. As I set out on my third loop, I knew the final one was going to be tough, but I vowed to walk it if I had too, and I was not disappointed.

Every muscle in body screamed at me as I climbed that first hill on the way out. I ended up walking most of it. The wasp sting in my calf started to hurt again. It was almost like a golf ball sized piece of my calf had little to no feeling. I walked most of the short uphills and ran the downhills, and even that hurt. A couple of times, I forced myself to run the complete four minute interval I was using, but I'm sure my pace slowed considerably. About three quarters of the way around, I ran out of fluids, and I thought I would die. Fortunately for me, there are water fountains around the park, and I only had to wait about five minutes before I could refill my bottles.

That last long climb was tough, but I forced myself to run it. As I made my way back to the car, I checked my Garmin and saw that I had .4 miles left to get in my twenty. With a sigh, I took off up a flat stretch of the road running away from Stone Mountain. I completed my last part of the run at very leisure run/walk pace. I had known in advance this was going to happen, and I planned to use this as a cool down period anyways. Just didn't think it would be almost half a mile :-) I knew there was just no way I could do two more miles. It wasn't in the cards for the day, and I was OK with that.

Today I feel pretty good. I'm tired, and sore, but I feel good. I characterized the run as "brutalisc"... It may have broken my body, but it didn't break my spirit. I knew the soccer matches had taken a lot more out of me than I thought, and I paid the price. I accept that. What I would not accept was quiting or giving in. Mentally. I kicked that runs butt, and I'll do it again.

In the mean time, I've stored this experience away to draw from on December 8th. I don't know if or when I'll hit the wall, but when/if it comes. I'll be ready.

Wes

ORN: 20 miles, 03:50:12, endurance pace, R4/W1, 11:30 mmp

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Is It Just Me?

Does anybody else out there get cramps in their calves in the middle of the night? I hate it when that happens. A cramp does more to damage your muscles, in my opinion, than your longest long run. I had a doozie last night. Just what I needed before the last big run tomorrow.

Today, at the soccer fields, I'm walking across the field after my second game, and I felt something crawling on my left calf. Not the one that cramped. I look down and it is a yellow jacket. I try to gentle brush it off my leg, and the next thing I know it looks like it's stinger is caught in my leg. Fortunately for me, it was so cold (or my calf was so rock hard) that the yellow jacket either couldn't pump the poison in or my legs just couldn't feel it. About thirty minutes later, I began to feel that familiar "you've been stung" feeling, but nothing like the basketball sized swelling one can get from a good batch of poison.

Alrighty then... I'm all geared up for tomorrow. Four plus laps around Stone Mountain and all will be good with the world...

Wes

Friday, November 16, 2007

For the Record

Smoked Paprika Chicken is awesome... but it doesn't come out of your clothes very well :-)

Join Me

One of our own has sounded the charge...

Something beautiful is happening...

If you have have been touched by the dreaded "C" word, then join us. No effort is too small. No kind thought is unwelcome.

In other news...

Cold and gusty winds drove me indoors last night, and I ran on the treadmill. I just don't like running on the treadmill, and I made a vow to not do it again, for a while :-) I always feel like I work harder with less than stellar results. Awww well, at least I got it done.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!

Wes

ORN: 4.1 miles, 48 minutes, easy pace, R5/W1, 11:42 mmp

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Wisdom of Going Long

I think the kinder gentler Wes is back, and the fixation on all things anal has passed. Pun intended! LOL...

I took it extremely easy on my run Tuesday night, averaging about an 11:37 pace. There's something just amazing about learning about your body. After my long runs (and my race), my legs have felt great. By Tuesday and Wednesday, not so great. I liken it to proverbial little hole in the dam. The stress just builds and builds until the dam collapses. My legs are kind of like in shock, and I don't really feel it, or them, until 2-3 days later. There is wisdom in that, I think. It provides meaning to the saying, "Easy on easy days." Last week, when I took my Tuesday run not so easy, I ended up bruising the cartilage on my knee. Lesson learned, and yea, learning is fun.

My last long run in my training cycle is staring me in the face. I feel compelled to take this run beyond the 20 mile barrier. I would like to do 22-23 miles this weekend. There is something psychological about having "just" a 5K to finish. I've used that before on my long runs, and it works for me. So, another "easy" day for me today, forced if necessary. I'm taking tomorrow off, as I plan to referee a few games Saturday, then its the long run, then taper. Rockin and rollin on the way to Rocket City. All systems go....

Wes

ORN: 4.3 miles, 50 minutes, R4/W1, 11:37 mmp

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back in Saddle

It's a good thing too. I avoided the whole finger inserted into the rectum exam, but that's the rest of the story...

What does one do when one races on Saturday and gets an entire extra day off? Well? One drags out the old tri bike and goes for a (wheeeeeee!) ride. Never mind that said one hasn't ridden a bike since October. Aerowyn was sporting some new kicks which were gathering dust in the basement. Somehow, just somehow, I managed 11.7 miles in whatever number of minutes it took cause I wasn't counting. My speed was 14.5 miles per hour, but I'm too lazy to do the math. You do it and leave me a comment. Let's just say I was glad it was finally over. My thighs thanked me, and so did Aerowyn.

I promptly went home and passed out on the couch for an hour or two. Changing weather, changing time, getting up at 5 AM to drive to Chickamauga has just kicked my fanny. (I am on a butt roll in case you didn't notice!) Dee Dee forced me to vacate the couch around 6:15 PM under threat of rebellion by the peasants who were starving. Now Dee Dee and I had been discussing dinner all day. I wanted something Italianish. Not pasta. Just something Italian in nature. She didn't. Said Spousal Unit waited until 6:15 PM to tell me she would just have a salad and I could make whatever I wanted. Grrrrrrrrrrr! Now I had no time to actually cook anything splendid. Waz up with you women anyways?

Went to the store and picked up the stuff needed to make Chicken Marsala, and because I am a budding chef and not yet a chef extraordinaire, it took me until almost 8 PM to do the deed. It was well worth the wait. Deeeeelish!! Anytime I make something right the first time, it is NEWSWORTHY :-) Shout it out to the whole world newsworthy! But... Ya know... I make almost all of Elise's recipes right the first time. I guess that's why I cook from there. A lot.

And now, the rest of the story...

One hour and thirty minutes. That's how long it took for me to get my blood drawn this morning for my PSA and nicotine test. My doctor, whom I had never met before, informed me that the blood test was only half of what I needed for a proper prostate screening. I would need a prostrate exam, and would I want one today.

Ummmm. Hell to the naw! It takes time, people! Time to mentally prepare yourself to have your arse probed by a finger. I made no excuses. The answer was no, no, and more no, but I agreed to have a complete physical next year. Including the ass probing goodness :-)

I know. I know. I'm using too much guttural language these days. It's all Jess'* fault. I plead childish ignorance...

Wes

OCN: 11.7 miles, ??:??:??, 14.5 mph

* In my continuing effort to take no responsibility for my own actions

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Race for Shay

A Chickamauga 10 miler Race Report

I slept pretty good Friday night. Circumstances tilted in my favor, and I was able to get out of the restaurant at 9 PM at night. Nothing was ready to go when I got home. I ate the last of the pizza Dee Dee and the boyz had for dinner. I then proceeded to get my stuff together. It had been a while since I had prepared for a road race.

Sometime around 10 PM, I finished my preparations. I would wear my ING Georgia outfit. I used Joe's spreadsheet to determine what to wear. I set all the alarm clocks to go off at 4:45 AM and climbed into bed to snuggle with Dee Dee. Sometime between 10 and 11 I fell asleep.

I think I woke up one time last night and got a little excited, but I was able to go back to sleep. When the alarm went off on time, I laid in bed for a few minutes. This is dangerous for me. I've been known to "check my eyelids for cracks" for hours, quite by accident. After a few minutes, I climbed out of bed, got dressed, and headed downstairs. The coffee in the pot was already brewed. I had a bowl of Captain Crunch. Grabed my gear, and headed out the door.

The ride up to Chickamauga was NOT the greatest. I had allocated myself an hour and a half. I hoped to get there around 6:30 AM, pick up my packet, then socialize with Brian and Nat. When I got to the interstate, they had closed the exit down for road work. I was forced to travel south on I-75 for five to ten minutes in order to be able to turn around and head north. I don't know about you guys, but being late makes me nervous.

Without further a-do, I arrived at the Chickamauga exit around 6:30 PM. I followed the Google Maps directions. They were real good, up until the point they sent me down a dead end street. I went back out to the road, headed down to the next intersection and was fortunate to see the signs directing me to the marathon. I got there around 6:50 AM. First order of business was to stop at the nearly empty port-o-pots. I then called Brian and let him know I was on my way in. Brian told me he was waiting inside the packet pickup (gym). As I walked inside the, there Brian was, waiting by the entrance.

Brian, it was real pleasure meeting you, bro! I hope we get the chance to train together sometime for the Florida 70.3!

I went to the tables and picked up my packet, then headed over to the race peeps who had my chip. I ended up using two ties to secure the chip to my shoe. I shoulda woulda coulda brought my chip belts I bought, but I honestly didn't think about it. I then spent the next fifteen minutes or so chatting up Brian. Towards the start of the race, Brian needed to go change, so I went out front to see if I could find Nat. I stumbled upon her talking to a friend of hers. I listened in on their conversation a bit. Then Nat and I headed to the start of the race to get ready to go. I wished Nat luck, then I backed off to give her time to finish her preparations. I found Brian at the back of the pack, wished him luck, then headed back up to the front of the pack to cheer all the marathoners on.

The color guard displayed the flags. The national anthem was sung. The race director count down. With a loud horn blast, the marathon was started. Brian and Nat were off. I cheered for all the marathoners. It was a beautiful morning for running. The temps were in the forties, and the sun was shining bright. After the marathoners got off, I went back into the gym to warm up for a bit. Ten minutes before the 10 mile start, I headed back down to the race and ran about half a mile to warm up. The race director basically repeated the exercise for us. Before I knew, the horn blew, and we were off and running.

Let me just say that the karma was strong. The runners were unbelievable. They were male, female, short, tall, fast, slow, and everything in between. My breathing was easy and strong, and I couldn't believe my pace. I was running sub-8 to start out. This wasn't the plan. I consciously slowed down, but due to the excitement of the race, and the adrenaline, I skipped my first walk break and ran my first mile straight through.

During my first mile, I was trying to determine how to handle this situation. I basically decided that I would stick to the original run 4 walk 1 plan. I wasn't so much concerned with my pacing goals. I decided to basically run as fast as I was comfortable. As long as my legs were strong and my breathing was not labored, I would run with it.

The Chickamauga battlefield was beautiful. It had to be one of my best running locations ever. The hills were gentle. The downhills long and gradual. The sun was shining bright, but an ever so slight haze hung over the battlefield. Cannons pointed across empty fields where forgotten sons and fathers fought and died in one of the greatest failures of government. As you rounded corners, tall monuments reached to the heavens in silent tribute to specific units from northern and southern states.

I settled into my R4/W1 routine in the second mile, but I continued to turn in mile after mile at around a 9 minute pace. I tried to remind myself that this was not a 10K. I was running 10 miles. Somehow, it just didn't seem to matter. I knew, from past experience, that the second half of the race was my "best half". I loved negative splits, and I would do whatever it required. I crossed the mat at the half way point in 45:05, for a 9:01 pace.

My Garmin, by the way, had pretty much been recording the mile splits about 50 yards in front of the mile markers for the race. I thought that was a bit odd, but I went with it. At the first water stop on the way back, I had a gel and some water to wash it down. I think it was between miles 6 and 7 that we saw the deer grazing on the battlefield. One doe decided she wanted to cross the road we were all running on, but she was scared. After several attempts, she turned around and headed back out into the field. In the mean time, we were graced with beauty of her presence.

After my walk break during mile 8, I hooked up with an ultra that was running the 10 miler. We chatted a bit, but then he decided to pick up the pace a bit and left me behind. Before the end of my eighth mile, I had my second gel. This time, I unfortunately did not eat the entire gel. I stuck the wrapper in my pocket, and it proceeded to leak out into my shorts.

I wanted not to, but I decided to go ahead and take one last break during the 10th mile. As I made the turn and headed back towards the church, I picked up the pace. I had been leap frogging some runners. On this final push, I passed them for good. Some kind folks cheered me on as I made the final left turn into the finish line. I had about a tenth of a mile to finish. I picked up the pace, sprint to the end, and finishing strong. I had no expectation of doing sub 1:30, so I was extremely delighted to see my final time come in at 1:31:08, for a 9:08 average pace. True to form, my last mile was my strongest, coming in at 8:39.

My right leg, by this point, was a sticky goey mess. I grabbed something to drink, then headed back to the gym to clean out my pocket and my leg. I spent a few more minutes having a few delicious slices of pizza. Since I was on a tight schedule, I had to jump in my car and leave quickly. It took every minute I had saved to get to my son's game on time, but I made it, and that too was a great feeling.

I am a master planner. I guess it comes with the territory. Evidently, for races, I suck at execution. That is just something I am going to have to work on. I had already decided on the way down to dedicate this race to Ryan Shay. I didn't know Ryan, yet I did know him. I was engulfed by the very bond that ties me to him during the first mile of the race. I am a runner. I am competitive, and that is enough for me to feel like I am part of the community to which Ryan Shay belonged. So, for this race, on this day, I dedicate it to you, Ryan. Keep the warm ups short, and the races long, until we all run together.

I did learn a few things for this race.

1. I will not be able to sustain that pace for 26.2 miles
2. The pocket I bought for my fuel belt will not work with a race belt.
3. Eat all of the gel before sticking it into your pocket.
4. I HAVE TO FOLLOW THE PLAN ON MARATHON DAY :-)

The bottom line is that I enjoyed this race from the very start. I was having such a great time. I was hauling butt. My body was responding beautifully. I am sore in different places today, but the ass bacon and knee or feeling fine. It was a great day, a great race, and I can hardly wait for the next one.

Bring on that wimpy marathon ;-)

Wes

ORN: 10 miles, 01:31:08, race pace, R4/W1, 09:08 mmp

Friday, November 09, 2007

Chickamauga or Bust

I shoulda mentioned yesterday that I am running the 10 mile version of the Chickamauga Marathon. Yup. No practice marathon for me :-)

The knee felt OK last night, although I hesitate to call it "the knee". After looking at my pace and last weeks pace, I'm not really sure I took it all that easy either :-) Important thing is that I focused on the area that was bothering me, and I made sure that I didn't stress it in any way shape or form. I know exactly what I am doing in my form to stress the tendon/cartilage there, so it should be fairly simple to avoid further unpleasantness. (Basically what that means is I need to keep my knee bent when I run.)

Now that that is out of the way, on to Chickamauga. Got registered last night. Mmmmm. About ten minutes before the online cut off. After practice, Matthew had to have buffalo chicken fingers from the restaurant. So, just reminding myself, that this is a training race. I will be running it at marathon pace.

Here's the plan. I will start out at around an 11 minute per mile pace. At mile two, I will pick it up to 10:30. Ideally, I will target 10:30 for the rest of the run. I may pick it up a bit so my average pace drops below 10:30, depending on how I feel.

Have a great weekend everyone! Brian, Nat, I will see you at the starting line!

Wes

ORN: 4.3 miles, 48 minutes, easy pace, R5/W1, 11:10 mmp

Thursday, November 08, 2007

God Speed, Dorothy!!

Me and the rest of the boyz and girlz will see you at the starting line of IM Heaven...

Earn Your Turkey

The best laid plans... Go with the flow... One day at a time... blah... blah... blah...

My father was supposed to be coming into town this weekend, and my original plan called for a really long run as well. There to fore, I canceled my planned participation in the Chickamauga Marathon and 10 Miler for this weekend.

Now he ain't coming, and I got an ever so slightly annoying knee thing going on the left outside back of the left knee where the ridges of the cartilage come together.

I really want to do a tune up race. Against my better judgment, I'm going.

Let's do the math. Race starts at 8 AM. I plan to run about 1:45. That gets me done by 9:45. 10-15 minutes to pack up and get done, that gives me 2 hours to get to my son's soccer game in Roswell, Georgia, 90+ miles away. Doable? Heh, heh... I hope so....

Balance. You got to give to take.

Dee Dee texts me yesterday. We have been discussing doing a Turkey Trot. Since I had 10 miles scheduled for that weekend, I thought we would do a 10K or maybe just a 5K. Dee Dee texts:

"I wanna do the half marathon."

Huh?


"Fine!", I text back. "You have fun!"

That lasted all of 5 minutes. Guess who is doing a half mary as a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot? Hmmmm?

I guess we'll take this opportunity to practice "pacing" Dee Dee for the Disney Marathon. I'm sure that turkey will taste extra good.

Wes

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Update on Swimmer from IM Florida 2007

You can find more information on Dorothy on this thread at slowtwitch. Please keep Dorothy in your prayers. Her story is compelling.

Wes

More Iron Randomness

Some things I would have put in my voluntee report, but either forgot or skipped/shortened for the sake of brevity. OK. I forgot :-)

As the day wore on, the atmosphere in the changing tent began a palpable change. The first riders in were hard core. They changed, threw their bags at us, and took off on the run. Riders later in the day were changing, having coffee or tea (just kidding!), and/or taking a short nap. Myself and another volunteer had to shoe one guy out the door. As he was leaving, the other volunteer said:

"Well, he's two thirds the way done. All he has to do is finish to win."

Internally, I grimaced, and I just couldn't leave that one alone.

"No!", I said. "He is two thirds the way done, but he was a winner standing on the beach with 2000 other athletes. Finishing is just icing on the cake."

I just don't understand why people just don't get it, but y'all know me. I'm happy to set them straight.

Seeing all the Iron peeps coming into transition from the swim was a big confidence booster, and frankly, was a deciding moment for me in registering for Ironman Florida 2008. They were old, young, fit, over weight, rock solid, rolling jell-o like machines, and they were getting it done. I respect the distance. I just believe in myself like I never have before.

Registering for Ironman does not come without price. I promised Dee Dee a few things:
  • I will get a stress test done on my heart.
  • I will get PSA test. Prostrate cancer runs in my family.
  • I will get a nicotine test done to prove to the insurance company I am smoke free.
  • I will keep a good balance between what can and what should be done
In the year plus that I have been running, I have had running partners like maybe a handful of times. I so enjoyed running with Kelly on Sunday, and I enjoyed listening to my new MP3 player on the run too! It took us 01:48 minutes to do the first 10 miles, then it tooko us 01:42 minutes to come back. Negative splitting that massive run is just a huge bonus for me!

Despite the soreness in my "ass bacon", I felt like everything clicked physically after this run. I had almost none of the familiar aches and pains. Last night, I was a little sore to start my run, but it went away after the first 10 minutes or so, and I took it easy. It is very satisfying to see my body responding to the increased demands I am making on it.

Happy hump day, y'all! Rock on :-)

Wes

ORN: 5.1 miles, .28 w/u, 4.54@easy pace, .18 c/d, R4/W1, 11:15 mmp

Monday, November 05, 2007

Helping the Iron Peeps

An Ironman Florida 2007 Volunteer Report

[warning]

This is going to be a long post, due to the fact that I want to record this for my sake as well as yours. If you don't have much time, come back later ;-)

Also, I used the word ass multiple times. If this offends you, I apologize in advance.

[/warning]

I had been planning this trip for a long time. As late as Wednesday, I wasn't sure it was going to come off. Thanks to Dee Dee's hard work and my patience (by not interfering), it went off without a hitch.

Thursday night, the Ironman was heavy on my mind. I had been waiting for a year to decide whether or not try for Iron in 09 or not. As I did my run Thursday night, I honestly felt like I just wasn't ready. Signing up for a race before "going the distance" just isn't my style, and quite frankly, it scares me a bit. I decided that I would do two half irons next year, my 5K swim, and a couple of Olys, and that would be enough. I tried to take it easy on my run, and for the most part, I did, completing 4.5 miles in my allotted 48 minutes, for an 11:00 average pace.

Friday, I was in a bit of a conundrum. I needed to get in a 40 minute run, but I just wasn't sure when that was going to happen. I dropped Jimmy off at school, met Dee Dee at the house, then took off for Panama City Beach. We needed to get to PCB before the volunteer meeting at 5 PM. I figured about 6 hours for the trip down. That wouldn't leave me too much time for the meeting, and after that, I had to pick up my sister at the airport at 7 PM.

What I failed to do was factor in the time zone change. We had a pleasant trip down and arrived in PCB at 2 PM. No sooner had we unpacked the car, then Dee Dee tells me to go run! I changed into my running gear and headed out down Thomas Drive along the beach. I did a nice run 3/walk 1 routine for forty minutes as called for by the plan. On the way back, I diverted down one of the public beach access ramps and ran along the shore line. Up on the beach, it was flat, but the sand was loose and stressed my ankles. Down along the water, the sand was packed and wet, but the angle also hurt my ankles :-) It was still great run though, and I only stayed on the beach for about half a mile.

After getting back to my Dad's place, where we were staying, I showered, grabbed Dee Dee, and headed to the volunteer meeting. Along the way, we stopped at some tents selling tri gear. I got an extra pouch for my Fuel Belt and a couple of running hats. The volunteer meeting was short and sweet. We met our captain, picked up our t-shirts and wrist bands, and got the heck out of there. The most exciting part of the meeting was an announcement made by the race director. She informed us that there would be a seperate line, just for volunteers at registration on Sunday. Not only that, but volunteer registration would not begin until 9 AM so we could sleep in. Woo hoo! I thought. Maybe I would sign up :-) The karma was just to strong.

Dee Dee and I immediately left for the airport after the meeting. We sat at a bar and had a few drinks while we waited for Kelly to come in. She arrived late, so I had an extra drink or two I didn't need! LOL. We stopped to eat dinner on the way home where a friend of Kelly's arrived from out of town to join us. Everybody except Dee Dee ordered blackened grouper that ended up being over cooked and tasted like chicken. It was so bad, we thought they had actually given us chicken! It became the joke of the weekend.

Transition

We got up early Saturday morning. Being in a different time zone was a big help. Quarter to five there time was closer to my wake up time anyways in Atlanta. We drove to the Walmart and caught a shuttle to the race site. We wandered around for fifteen to twenty minutes before heading down to the beach to watch the swim start.

Kelly and Dee Dee on the Beach

The beach was crowded. All the Iron peeps were off to the right, and all the spectators where off to the left. The race course was a big square, extending about four tenths of a mile out into the gulf. The athletes were going to do two laps around the course. I was to report to transition after the first lap to get ready.

The Crowded Beach

With a loud bang, the cannon went off and the pros hit the water. I want to say there was over 100 pros in this race. It didn't take them long to reach the halfway point. The cannon boomed again and the rest of the athletes hit the water. They say it is like a washing machine. I would say they are correct. After about 5 minutes, another last swimmer came running down the beach into the water. Mike Reilly laughed over the microphone and told him to get on out there.

The Pros hitting the Water

The Rest of the Iron Peeps Waiting for the Big Gun

It wasn't long before the pros had completed their first lap and started on their second. Kelly, Dee Dee and I made it to transition. I went to the changing tent and asked the captain what he wanted me to do. He told me that he had enough people for the tent, and I could help out with the bags if I wanted. There wasn't anybody in charge of bags, so I hopped into a line and waited for the athletes to come into transition. Evidently, there was enough people in the women's tent too, cause Dee Dee and Kelly came to join me.

In what seemed like a very short time, the pro athletes came tearing into transition. Unless we spotted their bags immediately, it was best for us to just get out of their way. They were in a hurry. Then the faster swimmers began to dribble in. It was a challenge finding their bags, and they didn't want to wait for us much either. Finally, the middle of the pack came in and all hell broke loose. Somewhere in that time, TJ came through. I had pre-spotted his bag so I could give it to him in a hurry. I say "Hi TJ! How ya feeling?" He told me good, but I could tell he didn't recognize me. I ran, grabbed his bag and handed it to him. I told him, "Have a great bike ride, TJ!" At that point, you could see the light go off in his mind. He stopped, shook my hand, then headed off for the changing tent. I smiled and wished him God's speed in my mind.

Schmellenberger and I in Transition

After the crush of the swim to bike transition was over, I headed down to the beach to see who was still swimming. There was a one armed guy, five time Ironman finisher, that came in 5 minutes under the cut off. There was one long guy out there struggling to get in before the cut off. I later learned that he missed it by a couple of minutes and just cried. I grabbed Dee Dee and Kelly and headed out to find some breakfast. As we were leaving transition, a four wheeler pulled up with a bunch of people in it and a pair of wet suit clad legs hanging over the back. I realized with a start they were giving the athlete CPR. Somebody shouted to talk off, and they disappeared down the street in the direction of the ambulance. I was just stunned. The Ironman rumor mill had it that she was one of the last ones out there. She was 10 minutes from finishing the swim when the kayaker who was keeping her company saw her eyes roll into the back of her head. He immediately pulled her from the water and alerted medical personnel. It is my understanding she died, but I have been unable to confirm this. I felt bad for her, her family, and her husband who exited the water before she did.

Dee Dee, Kelly, and I wandered the mile back to the car and retrieved my sun glasses. We then walked across the street to the Waffle House and had breakfast. Despite the crowd, we only waited twenty minutes for a table, and it hit the spot. After breakfast, we headed back to transition to wait for the first bikes to come back in. While we waited, we took Kelly to the expo so she could shop a little. Once we got back out on the street, we waited for about twenty minutes before the pros began to come in on the bikes. They looked awesome. We had decided we would wait for the first female pro to come in before heading back to transition. I think we saw maybe 15-20 cyclist come in before heading back to transition.

The bike to run transition was a little bit slower, but we were still swamped. We had like six or seven guys to handle everybody coming in. We put on sunscreen, unpacked and repacked people's bags, helped them get dressed, and basically did anything else they wanted. If I had a dollar for every time the athletes thanked me and told me how great I was, I'd be a money-rich man :-)

Dee Dee related some funny stories about the women's changing tent. There were tri-chicas trying to figure out which outfit to wear. One changed her earrings. Another pumped her breasts in transition. She was doing an Ironman and had a four month old at home!! One of the last chicas to come in was like, "Oh great, I made the cut off!" LOL... I don't think she was looking forward to the run. At the end of the bike cutoff, we made our way to the transition gate and saw the last female cyclist come in. She beat the cutoff by 18 seconds. That was amazing!

Ironmen coming down the Finish Chute

We hung around the finish line for an hour or so, watching the finishers come in. A few were simply amazing. I teared up watching one young lady cry all the way down the finisher's chute. It was amazing to watch. We left to go get dinner with every intention of coming back later to watch the final hour. We were kind of between a rock and a hard spot though. I was very tired. I had to run twenty miles the next day, and registration was between nine and eleven. Oh, and I had to drive home at some point too, and I didn't want to get home at midnight.

Mike Reilly sitting atop the Line of Demarcation.
On one side, you are a triathlete.
On the other side, you are an Ironman.


We made our decision. We bagged the return trip to the finish line. We would get up and run first thing in the morning, then go register, then drive home, and that's exactly the way it went down.

Kelly and I got up at the ass-crack of dawn. Again, fortune smiled on us. Daylight savings time ended, so we gained another hour. We got up at what was normally six-thirty our time. Due to the time change and central time zone, it was actually four-thirty local time. By 5 AM, we were out the door and running. It was a bit cold and windy when we started. The wind always blows in PCB when the sun is coming up or going down. As usual, Kelly stayed two steps in front of me to "push" me, just like ING Georgia. She is a funny girl. She ran for the first time in six months on Friday (1 hour), then Sunday she went out and did a twenty miler just fine!

We headed down Thomas Drive for four miles to where Ironman Florida was. There were a few runners out and about. We waved and said hello. About twenty people or so had already gotten into line for registration. We ran the mile down South Thomas Drive then made a left at the Walmart onto Front Beach Road. We had a bit of a wind blowing in our faces, and we were averaging about an 11 minute pace at this point. At this point, we were treated to a beautiful view of the beach and ocean. Front Beach Road tooks us four miles into Panama City Beach proper. At exactly the half way point, we came to the city peer. We took advantage of this opportunity to rest a bit and hit the bath room, which was pretty damn convenient. Then, we turned around and headed home.

We picked up the pace considerably on the way back. By the time we got back to Ironman Florida, there were a lot more runners and cyclists out on the road. The line for registration had swelled to several hundred people. From Ironman back to our place was four miles. I reached mile 18 feeling pretty good. At mile 18.5, it really started to hit me and I struggled. I slowed down a little bit but persevered. I was very, very happy to see that I had done a 10:30 pace for 20 miles. I basically added two miles and ran the same amount of time as I did for my last eighteen miler.

Kelly and I quickly showered and dressed, grabbed Dee Dee and headed over to registration. We lucked upon a parking spot right near the tent. I couldn't find the volunteer line, so I walked into the tent and asked the first registrar where the line was for volunteers. She asked me if I was a volunteer, and I told her yes. She said she would take me right there right now. Kelly and I both got our registration certificate and headed out the door. We were there literally for five minutes.

We picked up Kelly's friend and headed out for breakfast. I head eaten about 1000 calories on the run, but I was starving. I had a huge three pancake breakfast. At the end, Dee Dee asked Kelly why she didn't eat her bacon. Kelly said that it was too fatty. At that point, Dee Dee declared it "ass bacon". As we got up from the table, I grimaced. The muscles in the back of my legs were sore. Dee Dee asked me what was wrong, and I told her my ass bacon was hurting. This is an important moment, people! LOL. The soreness you get beneath the cup of your butt and the top of your thighs, in the back, will forever be known as ass bacon :-)

That about sums it up. We dropped Kelly and her friend back off at the vacation home, packed, cleaned up a bit, and took off for Atlanta. We had an uneventful ride home. It was a fitting climax to a great rock-in trip.

Wes

ORN Thursday: 4.5 miles, 48 minutes, easy pace, R4/W1, 11:00 mmp
ORN Friday: 4 miles, .25 warmup, 3.5 miles at pace, .25 warm down, 40 minutes R3/W1, easy pace, 11:25 mmp
ORN Sunday: 20 miles, 03:30:00, endurance pace, R4/W1, 10:30 mmp

Sunday, November 04, 2007

We are Back!!

What an incredible weekend. Here are the highlights! A full report to follow:

1. A pleasant 40 minute run, the back half on the beach.
2. Watching the pros swim half a lap of the 1.2 mile course in the 10 minutes before the "mortal" Ironmen got started.
3. The mass wave start of 2400+ athletes.
4. Getting into transition, spotting Ironman TJ's bag, and getting it for him when he came through transition.
5. Getting swamped during the swim to bike transition, trying to find bags.
6. Feeling heartbroken when a four wheel Gator came by with a triathlete in the back, still in her wet suit, with a medic furiously giving her CPR.
7. Spending four hours helping triathletes in the changing tent transition from bike to run.
8. Starting a pre-dawn run at 5 AM local time. Watching the sun come up, and finishing a beautiful 20 mile run along Panama City Beach.
9. Registering for Ironman Florida 08 in five minutes, give or take a few.
10. Having the time of my live with my beautiful wife.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I'll be catching up on your blogs tomorrow.

Wes

Thursday, November 01, 2007