Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday (Day before RACE DAY!)

Friday November 6th (The Day Before the Day!)

This day was different from all the other days.

I am nervous and questioning everything. “You know, I did skip those three days on my training program . . . “ or, “Should I really be doing this? “ All the way to self-doubt.

It was going to be a long day.

I wake early and follow my Race Day routine. 3:30am have breakfast, double check my carry-in gear, rest. This all went smoothly.

My most awesomness friend Shannon Roddy was meeting me at my condo to help me out this morning . . . Little did she know – or little did we both know!

Roddy is driving my vehicle to the race site so that I can get in a 30 min ride and follow it up with a 20 min run after I drop off my bike.

When I pulled out of the condo in my bike I felt something was off. I was laboring to hold a simple 18mph. My heart rate was up to 175-180 and I was only holding 18mph???? Really? I thought that maybe I was in a strong head wind and once I turned around and headed back towards the bike drop off/transition that I would feel better.

Normally with no wind on a semi flat road (as I was on) if my heart rate is up to 180 I am rolling at 24 (plus) mph easy. Not today. And nothing changed on the turn around. As fact I actually SLOWED down and worked harder. It was about 11 miles to the transition area from where I was and about 2 miles into it a group of guys buzzed by me and they looked like they were barely working. WORRIED.

I jumped on their wheel, but I still couldn’t keep my heart rate below 180 but, we were doing 23 mph now.

We arrived to the bike drop off (the day before the race you drop your swim to bike and bike to run gear bags and you bike off at transition – You bring your special needs bags on race morning). I was winded and pissed.

I hopped off my bike and began rolling it towards the bike drop entrance and my rear wheel would not roll . . . WTHECK!!!!!!!!! Then it hit me!

Until Tuesday I was planning to ride my ZIPP sub 9 disc and my 1080 front TUBULAR (which means you use no tube and there is no metal or aluminum area on the wheel for a non tubular tire to “clinch” on. I decided to use my ZIPP 808 race wheels which are clinchers (MOST bikes will be clinchers this is where you have and open tire that you put the tube inside and then the tire clinches onto the rim of the wheel) The major difference in this case was – There is about one centimeter difference between the depth of the clincher and the tubular wheels and the clincher is actually larger.


My tire was up against my frame rubbing to the point that the tire wouldn’t spin and with my weight on it THAT is why I could barely get my bike moving. It would be like trying to drive your car with the bake on.

Here is where the craziness kicked in . . .

The Ironman crew that does last minute repairs on bikes are awesome bar none. They can fix a bike like no bodies business. Where they are lacking is their time management skills. Roddy and I were told the bike would be ready in 45 minutes from when we dropped it off and 2 hours later the bike was ready. The good news is we had a lot to fill our time with like walking through the expo and then making motivational signs at the Janus tent.

This is where we spent most of the time . . . Roddy made me a kick ass sign and I made myself one too. Mine said – BOGGS You’re slow! BUT you’re not fast!!

Speaking of signs – My friends Nancy and Greg Cole made me a sign on Wednesday that said “2nd Wave Starts here” I am still cracking up about that.

The tough part about the bike taking so long was that we were meeting several people from the Baton Rouge Triathlon club and family for lunch and we were going to be very late. I don’t like late. However, they fixed the bike and that was all that mattered since I would have to sit my fat butt on it for 112 miles the next day!

Lunch was great. I sat next to my Momma who drove over from New Orleans and took precious time off from work to be there. She is awesome and LOVES her some Melaina (my daughter). I noticed something funny, we eat the same things . . . At more than on meal when we order we order the same thing or before we order we talk about what we are going to order and usually I am thinking about the same things she is. We had lunch at Sweet Basils. Very good lunch place.

Now it was relax and rest time.

I had an oven pizza in the frig and ate it about 4pm. Then read on my kindle until about 7p before I decided I could go to sleep. I took my shower and lay in bed.


AND . . . . You get the point.

It is now close to 10p and I decided to visualize myself sleeping . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thursday November 5, 2009

6am wake up – begin IM Focus . . . . . . . . . . NOW!

I spent most of my morning hanging around the hotel and making a list of the items I’d forgotten! I knew this would happen so I didn’t stress about it at all, just made a list.

After a couple hours I headed down to the race site for a little open water swim in the gulf on the racecourse. I wanted to get a little feel for the water before race day and test my ocean water swimming skillzzzzz.

After slipping into my wetsuit and slapping on the goggles I headed off the beach and into the gulf. It were a wee bit BRRRRRR cold, but not too bad.

I headed out easy does it and tried to focus on my sighting. This can prove fatal for me. I am either SPOT on when sighting or I can be way off. Spotting is when you have to check ahead for the buoys’ to make sure you’re on course and not swimming all over the place wasting time.

First 1500 or so meters was great then I saw a sting ray about 4 feet from me and it was not small. I think it was about 40 feet wide!!!!! OK, in reality it was more like 4 feet wide, but it was crazy and freaked me out when I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I waded and looked around to see if there was any other marine life near me and after I saw it was all clear I headed back.

Heading back was much rougher in the water. I took in a couple mouths full of salt water – YUM – and lost my sighting a bit . . . Then I had a DUH moment. Sighting on the way back was simple after that. There are these big things called hotels and condos that line the beach, I’m sure you’ve heard of them . . . I don’t know why it took so long for me to figure out that spotting the hotel was WAY more easy that trying to spot a 3 foot orange buoy! Life was good after that and I headed back.

I did the full loop (half of what I would swim Saturday) in 46 minutes and I was taking it really easy. REALLY EASY. So my guess was 1:35 on swim come race day.

Next – MASSAGE! Woo Hoo!

The dude that massaged me was awesome and after one hour on the table I was ready to rock and roll. I felt great and told him I hoped to see him again soon.


BW3s! I know. 5 Guys hamburgers for dinner followed by Wings for lunch?? Maybe sabotage was in the back of my mind??

After a healthy lunch it was time to head out and drive the bike course. I am glad I did because it gave me a great idea of areas of the course I wasn’t aware of before. There are a couple little hills on the backside of the course. Nothing bad, but I am glad I saw them before hand to mentally prep for them.

After we almost ran out of gas, my DadJ, Roddy, Scott and I headed back to PCB (Panama City Beach).


Fancy Schmancey! Great little Italian restaurant in Grayton Beach FL call Borago. Good stuff. We had all my family there (including Roddy) My Dad picked up a majority of the bill, which was not expected but, super cool! Thanks Dad! I had pasta with shrimp, but the ravioli appetizer was my favorite thing.

It was a long drive back to PCB after the dinner. It was good to spend that time with everyone since I know I won’t really see them again until Sunday after the race.

Amanda is at a condo located directly ON the race site thanks to my friend Lance. He had an open room and kindly asked if we wanted to stay. LIFESAVER – since it will be great for Amanda on race day with the baby.

I arrive back to my condo and begin the laborious job of finalizing and packing all my race gear bags . . . This might have been the most stressful part of my week. Packing and re packing and un packing (because I didn’t know if I had packed IT) just a bunch of stress all balled up into this gear bag thing BUT – I did it and I was ready to turn everything and my bike in for Saturday.


I am thankful for soft beds and fluffy pillows. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Count down – less than 36 hours till GO TIME!

Monday, November 16, 2009

IMFL 2009 Picture Video

I am still working on the written account of my week in Panama City Beach Florida for Ironman Florida.

But I thought you might enjoy a little slide show of the day . . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Arrival Day at IM Florida

As I said below I am going to take my time and go back and re count the 5 days I spent in Panama City BEach FL and my full experience at IMFL.

This first post is my arrival day on Wednesday.

Wednesday November 4, 2009.

Amanda is a little anxious and concerned about this weekend. She is concerned about me and the outcome of the weekend.

She reminds me that “2.4 miles swimming in the ocean might be difficult with the potential hurricane headed into the Gulf AND won’t it be really windy out on the bike course?”

I love her so much. I just look at her and my face says it all . . . It says, “how about we not talk about that right now”.

After a long day of driving we arrive into PCB FL and head directly to the IM check-in.

I wanted to take a second to talk about the sacrifice my beautiful wife Amanda has made for my selfish endeavor to become an Ironman. While I do believe that triathlon has helped save my life by pushing me to become more and more healthy . . . It can sure put stress on a family and mine is no different. I truly have a perfect wife FOR ME and therefore she is perfect period. Between my work, our band new baby girl (born in July) and my training for IMFL . . . My wife has been very lonely and had received very little QUALITY attention from me over the past 4 months.

Today is no different. We drove separate so she could go directly home after IMFL since I had to go to a class in Orlando. Now as I am about to experience the thrill of checking into Ironman – She sits in her car in the parking lot across the road – just waiting.

I love you Amanda. You are my best friend. You make everything I do worth it.

Back to the day . . .

As I turn on Thomas Drive where the race start is located I see a guy hitchhiking. He is not your average hitchhiker. He has a smooth pair of Oakley’s on and a bad to the bone tri bag over his shoulder. He is also only about 5’6” a d maybe 135lbs so I decide if I pick him up and he is a freak I could shove him out pretty easily.

Turns out he is Romain Guillaume a pro triathlete and a really cool dude. We talked for a while and I saw him a few times through the weekend. I think he finished 10th overall. A very nice dude.

There was no line Wednesday at 3:30pm to check in and I whizzed in and out. The only disappointing part of check-in was the weigh in. I put on my sheet I thought I was at about 245lbs. When I got on the scale I was 263lbs!!!!!

I think the main point here is – Arrive on Wednesday in the mid to latter afternoon to check in to your Ironman. I was speaking with Andy, a fellow BRtri club member from BR, and he had checked in Wed Morning and there was a long line. And As I will discuss on my Thursday recount – The line to check in was OUT THE EXPO INTO THE STREET when I went for my massage.

After walking through the check in tent I exited thanking all the volunteers – who without them – this whole thing would not be possible. The y are very supportive and excited to be a part of this crazy thing too it seems . . .

Next I go to confirm my massage . . . And there is where I saw one of my favorite people! Bridgett Flannigan . . . It is very bad that I don’t know her married name, sorry Scott. Bridgett played ball for NKU where I was a student coach during college and she was on the team that won the National Championships . . . As a matter of fact against St. Rose, she was THE impact player behind Jecca shutting down an Olympian with her D.

Bridgett’s husband Scott, is also racing and he was getting his massage at the time. We all say hello and catch up for a second and make plans to do dinner that night.

As I began to look around and take in the expo area I began to feel a little hint of nervousness kicking in and I didn’t like it . . . But what a magnificent place. I was happy to be there.

Knowing Amanda and baby were waiting for me I rushed out and we headed to check into my hotel.

We settled into my room and I stretched out on the couch for a bit before we had to get ready for dinner.

Since my daughter was born I have been experiencing these mortality issues. I have a fear of dying and leaving my wife and daughter to fend for themselves . . . The past few weeks these feelings have intensified and as I looked up at the ceiling I began to cry . . . Now not a blubbering uncontrolled cry, but this feeling that my daughter may never know me. I am working on those feelings, but the rush I was having at that moment overwhelmed me so I called Vanilla.

Charles (aka Vanilla – Think ice ice baby) and Scott in our tri club are IM Vets. They have done most (if not all) of the NA IM races. He is who I have been bouncing my thoughts off of when it comes to my race. He and others that I will mention later helped me by simply telling me their experiences and what they have done well and badly – or over came issues they might have had in previous IM distance races. After a 15 min conversation with Vanilla – My mind was back in the right place.

Shannon (Hotrod) Roddy drove all the way down from Cincinnati to support me in my first IM. Just me. She drove all the way down to Panama City Beach JUST TO SUPPORT ME! How special I feel. She is one of my most dear friends and I love her as I do my own sisters. Shannon also played ball at NKU and holds the record for 3-pointers made in one game at I think 8?

I was looking for a good, healthy, smart place to have dinner Wednesday night. I had many choices and I went with Five Guys Hamburgers!!!!!!!!

I know – I didn’t accomplish the good, healthy, or smart goal, but I did succeed in the “One hell of a good hamburger and fried” goal!!!!!

I figured it was Wednesday and if I ate a small amount of this deliciously bad for me burger, it wouldn’t hurt me in moderation . . . Right???

It was great having dinner with Bridgett, Roddy, Scott and his Rents, as well as my precious baby girl and Amanda. Bridgett held Melaina like a pro . . . hmmmmmm ? Roddy also took a real liking to Melaina (even though she swears off kids).

Dinner was good, company was better.

I wanted to try and make this blogger party that night, but after an eight hour drive and the fact that my condo was almost in Rosemary Beach I was too pooped to make it over there. I will plan better next year.

As I laid my head down to sleep I told my wife how much I loved her and that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen Saturday, but that no matter what I loved her and was going to give it my all . . . then I literally passed out she said!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

IRONMAN FLORIDA 140.6 11-7-2009


I want to do this post justice so please forgive me for taking my time to re-live the experience of my first Ironman.

My plan is to post a daily journal of the arrival to Panama City Beach all the way through my crossing the finishing line!

I will start today.

Thank you EVERYONE!