Thursday, September 27, 2007

Declaration Of Intent


Team Greyhound released a statement from its headquarters in Houston, Texas late today, announcing the addition of a new member to its triathlete development program.
Picture 002
Superpounce Warming Up With Her Triathlon Coach
The extreme sports superstar known as Superpounce has joined Team Greyhound to train for the First Annual Sugar Tri Kidz Triathlon to be held on October 20, 2007.

sk8tr gurl
Extreme Sports Superstar "Superpounce"

Mysterious and highly secretive, the athlete development and coaching program at Team Greyhound is a residential program in which athletes live under one roof, pursuing training methods that are said to involve such old-school techniques as "fun" and "play."
Picture 004
Late Afternoon Tempo Session At Team Greyhound Headquarters
It had long been rumored that Superpounce, also known simply as 'Pounce, would join the compound and turn her considerable talents for play toward the sport of triathlon.Picture 007
Superpounce Pushes The Tempo On The Bike
In a late afternoon press conference, TriGreyhound, head play-er and director of fun, stated, "We are extremely pleased to have an athlete of the caliber of Superpounce involved in our program. In my view, she is the type of superstar that causes everyone around her to play to a higher level. We expect new and higher levels of fun in our program now that she is involved. She truly does treat training like recess, and she is training like mad for this event."

Picture 003
Superpounce Opens Up A Gap On Her Coach
When asked whether the Tri Kidz Triathlon would get sufficient attention, coming as it does a week after the Ironman World Championships, TriGreyhound responded, "I don't see the problem. I mean, who would want to watch Chris McCormack for 8 hours on a computer screen when you can ring cowbells for first time triathletes racing their hearts out on a Saturday morning? THIS is the climax of the triathlon season.

Picture 001
My New Training Partner

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Am Mark Verstegen's B*tch

So, you're an Ironman, huh?

Well, apparently not so much. At least not all of you. That was like 2 weeks ago. Today, I feel like I've kicked my own ass.

Now, I swear on a stack of bibles that I haven't recommenced triathlon training like the Type A moron that I can be. I am REALLY taking an authentic offseason. I have, however, begun some prep and strength work "for fun."

Yeah, fun. Then why does my ass hurt so much?

Late in the day at Ironman Wisconsin, it was an effort to keep my posture and form, and I really felt the fatigue in the core muscles on the run. So, in the off season, I resolved to rock up my core by working through the "Core Performance" routines. Well, rocks must be at some point in the future, because right now it's more like wobbly, painful jello, especially on some of those one legged thingies. OY! And all the lunging! Meshugas!

After a good strength and physioball session on Monday, I got out of bed on Tuesday morning to go burn up some hills with Coach T, and it was total Booty Lock. Apparently, my ass is part of my core, because the gluteals were definitely en fuego. Who knew? I may or may not get any faster doing this, but by next summer, I'll have the best 41-year-old booty on the planet.

Sorry, ladies. There will be no "before" and "after" pics . . . .

. . . . unless you flatter me . . . of course.

Oh, and watch this space. Very soon, possibly this weekend, there will be a HUGE announcement from team Greyhound. But you'll have to wait for that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Someone You Should Know

This is the Chelly--a tri-chica unit made up of a Chau and a Kelly. They are two of my new Texas homies. Although we all raced at Buffalo Springs, I did not have the chance to meet them until Ironman Wisconsin, where they both dominated the dojo and had a great first Ironman.

Chau, in the black, is a blogger known as PinkGuruGal, for obvious reasons. She lives in a tri-commune, works as a local news reporter, and writes a fantastic blog. Visit her, give her some comment love, link to her, and subscribe to her RSS feed. You'll love PinkGuruGal and her writing.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Heard In Madison: Superpounce Speaks

Superpounce and Des I
(The Pounce meets Desiree Ficker)

"Mom, can I do a kid triathlon?"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Get Me Some Chute


This race report has gone on far too long, so I'll try to rap it up without unnecessarily boring you on the run. The best part is the end anyway.

Irony: lots of people call your name out on the run and give encouragement, especially in Madison where crowd support is HUGE! But you soon realize that they are reading your number and don't really know who you are. You quit turning to see who is cheering for you. However, I knew to turn and look for one of my peeps when they used my blog name. I got a hearty "GO GREYHOUND" from Iron Jenny, 21st Century Mom, the Tribe and several unknown bloggy peeps along the run course.

Iron Jenny and 21CM at the finish.

Pride: For a man, there is something especially satisfying you're 10 year old daughter AND your grown-up wife are both jumping up and down, ringing bells and squealing in the SAME octave, "THERE HE IS, THERE HE IS, THERE HE IS, THERE HE IS." Every man has a deep need for some woman to treat him like a rock star, and when those women are your wife and daughter, all is truly right with the world.


No Mind: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Even though I was concerned about having enough in the tank for the marathon, it was not nearly as bad as I feared. I just started on my run/walk plan, concentrated on light, noiseless strides and good posture, and went from break to break, monitoring how I felt and what nutrition or hydration was needed as if watching a film from outside my body. It was particularly enjoyable on the second loop, in the dark, with the wind coming off the lake. I was alone with my thoughts, and they were simple ones. Oh, to bring that simplicity to the everyday of life.


Joy: Turning into the capitol square I got the squeals and cow bells again. Superpounce almost took off toward the chute without me, but I wanted to take some time--time to enjoy the moment and time to put on a Univeristy of Houston track and field jacket that I had carried over the course and that was given to me by one of the toughest runners I know.

With that done, it was time to be done.



Three years ago I could not swim 25 meters -- just plain inability. 10 months ago, I could not swim 5 meters or sit on my bike because I had completely ruptured a disk in my spine. But, a little over a week ago, I finished my first Ironman, but the finish is only temporary. I am already looking forward to the next one, figuring out how to get stronger and faster, and wanting to prove it to myself all over again.

What are you going to prove to yourself next year? What are you going to do with the heartbeats you've been given?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Heard After T2 (Superpounce Speaks)

tired pounce

"If my Dad had won this race, we'd be in bed by now."

Monday, September 17, 2007



So, I mentioned in a previous post that I made a pacing error. Well, pacing error might not be the right word, because an error is usually something you do thinking it is right, only to discover later that you made the wrong choice. Me, I knew I was doing the "wrong" thing, but did it anyway.

Because it was fun.

And I'd do it again.

So there.

See, the bike course at Wisconsin has several sections with different character. First, there is the stick to the lollipop that takes you from Madison out to the 40 mile loop. Nothing special here.


Once you are to the loop, there are a couple of sharp climbs and turns to get your attention. Then you start a rolling but continuous climb for several miles out to Mount Horeb. It's not steep, but it is unrelenting. You never can get up a head of steam, you are constantly coming up behind people, but you're never really going fast enough to merit passing them. You just grind it out for mile after mile, feeling like you are not getting anywhere. It doesn't look like a difficult series of climbs, but that's what makes it so bad. On the suck-o-meter I give it an 8.5.

Which is why Mount Horeb shall henceforth and forevermore be renamed "Mount Horeb-bull."

And it doesn't end there. You climb up to and through Mount Horeb-bull and hang a left onto the sharpest, longest rolling hills you've ever seen.

But even these won't let you get up a good head of steam. Each roller is higher than the next, and so you are still climbing. And on our particular day, with the wind on our faces on that particular section, even the downhills were limited in their velocity.

But wait, there's more.

After the sharp rollers you continue to creep up a more gradual incline to what I believe is the highest point on the course.

So, here you are, many miles into the loop, and you feel like you haven't been able to cut loose and make any tempo at all. Now you get some descents, which are fun, and some flats, but you have been marshaling your effort and watching your heartrate all day, and none of the descents is very long or very straight. There's always a turn, or a dink, or a dive, or a climb. You never really get that "woo hooo" moment. It feels like a horrible (or Horeb-bull) case of cycloitus interuptus.

So, when we finally got to the three climbs on the back of the course that were lined with people, I was . . . uhm, . . . frustrated. I had a case of the blue . . . . my shirt was blue. Yeah.

I could hear the people cheering and ringing cowbells, and I said to myself, "self, all these nice people aren't going to be here when you come around for your second loop, and you've never been cheered like that on a bicycle before. This is your first Ironman. You're not racing, you're only finishing. You may not ever get another chance. Are you going to have some fun, or are you going to wuss up these hills and 'save yourself' for the second loop?"

I made my decision. At the base of the first climb, I turned to the rider with whom I had been conversing and exchanging passes for the last half hour and saying, "come on. Give the people a show."

I clicked to a slightly harder gear and attacked up the first climb like I'd been shot out of a cannon. Heartrate and watts be damned. Taking this long climb seated, I climbed up through the field with people running alongside me, ringing cowbells, calling my name, cheering my high cadence and whooping it up.

You would think I was spent, but see, I am capable of multiple cyclasms.

The second climb is shorter and straight. On this one I stood and hammered up through the field with a runner alongside banging a drum. The earth moved.

Just over the top, the little black dots started swimming on the edge of my vision and I got back down in the aero position. There followed a series of mostly flats or small rollers, where I saw the tribe spectating the bike course.

caped hypehn girl

I had to shout: "HEY TRIBE!!! I NEED MORE COWBELLLLLLL!!!!!!!" The little ones were picking dandelions or eating candy, completely unconcerned that there was an Ironman going on in front of them.

caped superpounce

I apparently took Mrs. Greyhound by surprise ever time I road by, because all we have are pictures of my ass or me as a dot way down the road:

greyhound's ass
Ooops. There he is.

greyhound's assII
Ooops. There he is again.

Ooops. There he goes.

Brent stopped:


Tac Boy stopped:


Me, not so much.

Then there was the third of the fan friendly climbs. Here again, I knew after the climb it was mostly downhill back into Verona. So, being multiply cyclasmic, I climbed hard and fast to the cheers of the gathered throng . . . .

and hammered through Verona with cheer ringing in my ears.

It sure made the second loop harder, and slower, but . . . I'd do it all again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Heard In T1 (Superpounce Speaks)


"Mom, we're too late. We missed him."

"No we're not. Just wait."

"Mom, we missed him."

"No, just hold on. Dad will be here in a minute."

"M-o-o-o-o-o-o-m, Dad's already gone. We missed him."

"Hold on just a little while longer."

"Mom! I KNOW my dad's faster than that little old lady."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Confidence Floats

Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends
--William Butler Yeats


I was magically buoyant during the swim, but it did not have anything to do with my magical wetsuit. Read on and you'll see why.

See, a couple of days before the Ironman, Taconite Boy opined about what sets triathlon and triathletes apart--overcoming the mental barrier and panic response of the open water swim. I know that holds true in my case. Those of you who have been reading awhile know about the love/hate relationship I have with the water. I have blogged about my first open water swim, and I seem to constantly have to re-learn that confidence floats. Ironman Weekend was no different, and I learned my lesson again with the help of my friends.

Friday before Ironman, I intended to do a little practice swim, just a half-lap around the swim course. When Taconite Boy and I arrived at the lake, however, the angry water was pelting the shore and whitecaps tossed the bouys and swimmers around like cork before the storm. Nevertheless, we donned our wetsuits and waded in. Taconite Boy put his head down and got busy. I . . . freaked.

I could not breathe, I could not get my head down, I could not do anything except strike back out for shore. Inside my head, I replayed the tape of last year when I saw one Ironman hopeful swim about 50 yards before climbing out and ending his day scarcely one minute after the gun. "You're going to be that guy," I thought. "After buying plane tickets, putting your family through all that training, and dragging them up here, you're going to be that guy."

Even though I had swum the distance in open water many times, I had no confidence in keeping my head together. It may or may not have showed, but I had serious doubts. Notwithstanding my own doubts on Friday, on Sunday, I had the perfect swim.

Don't get me wrong. It was not smoothe or fast. I never found open water. There was lots of contact. I was run into contantly. I was yanked by a pro or fast age grouper as they lapped me. I drank facefulls of water. I had to pass and repass swimmers that were even slower or crookeder than me. But I was never afraid. Every moment, I was relaxed and completely at peace, knowing that, out of all the locations in the universe, I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that very moment.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Iron Wil

That peace resulted in a swim time faster than I had swum the open water distance in practice while expending less effort. The reason for that peace had almost nothing to do with me, I think. Whatever confidence I lacked, I received from some special people.

Curly Su: Friday during the pasta dinner, my phone vibrated and I stepped out to take a call from Curly Su--professional musician, Ironman France, ocean swim Curly Su.

Flute Jam
Just in talking with her I was reminded of being in Wisconsin 20 years earlier as a music student--a music student with performance anxiety, i.e. stage fright. Remembering how I overcame that planted a seed on how I could overcome this. She reminded me that I already had all the tools I needed.

Taconite Boy: He did not need another practice swim, but he knew I did, and he turned out early on Saturday for a swim he did not need.

He committed to it on Friday and showed up to work when he could have been resting. And he was constantly at my shoulder all week, sharing our common doubts and common confidence, which waxed and waned every moment.

Trimama: The hand that rocked the cradle. The woman who keeps the tribe running like a well-oiled machine. She is as hard as Iron and as warm as a blanket all at the same time.

Iron Family

Trimama kept an arm around me and a prayer over me all week, from the time I arrived at their home in Minneapolis until I finished. Her confidence, her smile, her words and her pre-race hug communicated faith in me that was authentic. While I was swimming, I knew her faith was not misplaced, and I wanted to prove her right.


This picture, taken by Iron Pol, captures a moment in the race that was fully as special to me as the finish itself. Trimama knew how concerned I was about keeping my wits in the swim. I think she was concerned too, but never betrayed a moment's doubt. She was right there with the wetsuit strippers the moment I came out of the water. In all the tumult of the swim finish, she grabbed me, hugged me, looked me in the eye, and said, "I'm so proud of you." Her eyes may have been more red than mine, but I doubt it. To share this overcoming moment of success with a sister like Trimama was a high point on which I fueled for much of the rest of the day.

Mishele K, swim training partner and 4 time Ironman with a swim PR of 1:04 drove six hours from St. Louis to volunteer at the race. She finished this race (faster than my time I might add) last year when conditions were hellish. After her midnight arrival, she showed up at the lake on Saturday at 0700 to swim with me one more time. She really didn't say any magic words, and she didn't need to. She just showed up, smiled like she always does, brought her quiet, dry sense of humor, and made swimming seem like it was no big deal again.

On Sunday, she was there on the helix with a high five and a hug as I was carried along with the mass of prospective Ironmen moving to the swim start.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Iron Wil

She was there on the helix with another high five as I jogged, crying and laughing at the same time, on my way to T1.
Even though she had a long drive back to St. Louis and law school classes on Monday, she was there to catch me when I crossed the finish line.

Sometimes, all you need to see the real you is friends to act as your true mirror. These people knew I was an Ironman. They just knew it before I did.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is a fair warning to the reader. Ironman Wisconsin was kind of a big deal for me, and you're likely to be reading about it for a little while. That said, I hope it won't be boring and self-absorbed or intolerable. Hopefully it will be entertaining or inspirational or thought-provoking. Most of it, at least the part that is most interesting to me, will not be a traditional race report. I spent a lot of time day-dreaming (and sleeping) on the flight home, and I've got a lot to say, if only to myself.

We all have different "learning styles." Me, I deal with letters and abstractions more than numbers. I'm abstract/sequential and those posts are yet to come. This post is for those of you who are concrete/sequential. You know the type: someone who can ride 112 miles in the beautiful Wisconsin countryside and yet miss the barns and silos because of that focus upon the power meter. (Even though I kid you, Bolder, I am totally bumming about your lost data. Having a thief in the family is disturbing). For my concrete/sequential friend, this is the raw data of Ironman Wisconsin:


Sitting and just eating, I could feel my heart pounding and I was cranking at 86 bpm right out of bed. DUDE! RELAX!

The Swim

There is a whole story behind the swim, which I will relay to you abstract/sequential and abstract/random types later on. But, I planned and needed to have an easy, lollygagging swim with as little drama as possible. I swam super easy with an average heartrate of 127 and a max heartrate of 143 and completed the swim with almost no effort in 1:35, which is right in the realm of what I thought I could do. This would be nothing special for nearly everyone out there, but it was very very special to me. I'll tell you why in a later post.

The Bike

The concrete/sequential plan was to pursue efficient transportation between T1 and T2, making sure that I had enough in the legs to complete the marathon without excessive walking. If I did this, I knew I would finish, and do so without suffering. I deviated from the plan for a very abstract/random reason which I do not regret. (More on that in a later post).

Wind added about 30 minutes or more to my predicted bike split, but the course is every bit as hard as advertised. So, no worries and no disappointment in a relatively slow bike split of 7:30. I covered the 112 miles, overcame a couple of nutritional crises, and left plenty in my legs to complete the marathon without resorting to the death march. I had an average heartrate of 130 and a max heartrate of 219?????? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I don't know where that number came from but it returned later.

One note to any of you who might do this race in the future. The road surface quality from Madison out to the loops on the bike course and then back S.U.C.K.S. And, if a 20 mph wind is in your face on the way home, it is way beyond sucking. There are these creases in the road every few feet, so, after riding 100+ miles, you are treated to a nice KACHUNCK with impact every few seconds for the last 40 minutes of your ride. Leave something in the tank for those last 15 miles or you will regret it. And, no matter how cushy your saddle or shorts, and especially if you are wearing only tri-shorts, you will need to be an Ironman in more places than just your heart. Picture the '007 torture scene from Casino Royale. I'm just saying.

Memo to the City of Madison: Dane County has done a fine job maintaining the country roads. The surfaces on the loop were pretty much wonderful. The City, not so much. Get a clue and spend some of the $25 million this race brings in to improve your city streets. John Nolen Drive, the bike path and Rimrock Road and beyond are way below average. Colorado has freezing and thawing too, but somehow they manage smoothe bike paths, even above the tree line.

The Run

Even though my Polar looks like I'm wearing a dual core processor on my arm, it ran out of memory at 11 hours. The data I do have says that my average HR was 133 BPM and max of 217??? Again, WTF? On the second loop especially, if I increased my effort by 1% my HR would spike for no apparent reason, even though I did not feel like I was working all that hard and I was breathing easy as you please. If any of you numbers guys know what this means, I'm all ears.

My run time was 5:15, which is right about what I wanted to try for in my first Ironman. I was running four minutes, walking one (plus aid stations and a couple of hills on the second loop). Consistently, through relaxation and concentrating on form, I was able to maintain a moderate heartrate, ease of running, and then lower the heartrate to below 120 on the walking breaks. I often felt I could go faster, but never having done an Ironman Marathon, I had no idea how much I needed in the tank for the last miles. So, I took no risks and just enjoyed the day (and night). I slowed down toward the end, as much because I was reveling in the moment as from the effort expended. Even after that extended aquatic and cycling warmup, I was only 10 minutes slower than my first open marathon many moons and 30 pounds ago.

The Total

Final time was 14:42:14. Those are the numbers. But for me, there was so much more going on than just the numbers. I will tell you about that later.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Not much tonight, in part because I just don't know what to write. It is the eve of my first ironman, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to be feeling, nor am I even quite sure what I am feeling. I am at moments excited, secure, scared, confident, and they all follow each other so quickly that I'm not sure I feel anything at all.

I am . . . an unknown.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Non, Greyhound.

Greyhound! Why so long you have left me with zeez men on zees tr-r-r-r-uck. AY!

I was so lonely and things were hard. While you were off playing with your friends, with Stu, and Bolder, and Taconite Boy, and TriShannon, and Pinkguru Gal, and Tridummy, and Brett, zeezs men, zay broke my cable to my front deraillur. No beeg r-r-r-r-ing for you until you geeve me some love.

I am not zeee kind of Latina who just puts out whenever you want to come calling, paco.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Where's Greyhound?

Well, my bags are packed, and I'm ready to go. Not knowing what the blogging opportunities will be when I get to Madison, I thought I'd provide some race day 411, especially for those of you out there who have never spectated a triathlon--either in person or via the internet.

There is race day coverage on There is an "IronmanLive" link on the top of the page on the right side. Follow it for live athlete tracking and you can put in my number, 2157, and keep track of when I exit the water, finish the bike, etc. Follow it for live "race day webcasts" you can get race day video, which will be focused on the finish line during the evening. But when should you expect to receive a split time? When will I finish?

I really don't have any firm expectations, especially since this is my first Ironman. The lack of expectations is also one of the reasons I have remained relaxed; I have placed no pressure on myself to achieve a particular result. In addition, I learned as an observer last year that goals go out the window if conditions are hard. Still, if I put in some paces and lollygag them out a bit, I think there are some rough estimates that should help out anyone who has taken an interest in my journey to this point.

The swim: This is my weakest discipline, but I know for a fact that I can cover the distance in the time allotted. I've done it (and more) six times since January. Even as slow as I am, I have made the intentional decision to pace this down because I know I have plenty of time to do so, and impatience kills me on long swims. The race starts at 0700 CDT, and I would expect to be out of the water no sooner than 1:30:00 (0830 CDT) and hopefully no later than 2:00:00 (0900 CDT).

The bike: I'm OK on the bike, but I've never ridden the course before, and I want to resist the temptation to try to gain back time here, only to give it right back (and then some) with excessive walking on the marathon. I would not expect to be off the bike in less than 6:30:00, and hopefully no longer than 7:15:00. Taking the longest swim time as a benchmark, this means hopefully finishing the bike some time between 3:30 and 4:15 in the afternoon, CDT.

The Run: This is a mystery. I've done four marathons, one with a decent sub-4 time, but never, NEVER after this wee little acquatic and cycling warmup. I have no idea what I can do, and a lot will depend upon the success of my nutritional plan and whether the conditions are harsh. I have been practicing a run walk plan after the long bikes. If I have a really good day and am able to keep that pace reasonably well, I might do a 5-ish hour marathon, which would be finishing 8:30 and 9:15 in the evening for a total time of 13:30:00 to 14:15:00. If I have to walk and stretch the time to 6-ish hours, that's more like 9:30 to 10:15 in the evening.

Ironmanlive can totally suck sometimes, and I may or may not have anyone updating my blog during the day. So to get the race day coverage from all the many Iron Sherpas who are coming out to watch us, go here. The peeps will be doing their best to update with eye witness sightings of the blogger army and maybe even race day pictures.

The current weather forecast looks ideal, with highs in the mid-60s, a small chance of precip, and cool temps during the evening run. That said, I am taking clothes suitable for "hot as balls" Texas weather or an early, Wisconsin snowfall. If the forecast holds, this is what I will be wearing.

I will be swimming in my 2xu superhero wetsuit with magical powers:


You'll recognize me in transition if you look for this.


I will most likely be biking and running in my Houston Racing team kit (except now I have a red white and blue specialized helmet to match the team colors):

Aero on the Sea Wall

Greyhound and Superpounce

If, as expected, it cools off on the run, I will be putting on an old University of Houston Track and Field jacket given to me by Coach T.


Also, to be more visible on the run, I will have a clip on, high vis, red, blinky light so you can see me afar off. And, sometime after dark, I will probably don my bright green, reflective, Brooks hat you see in this picture:

IMWI Finish

Why all this detail? Because no one reaches an Ironman start or an Ironman finish alone. I will be thinking about and relying on friends and family who are in attendance, and those who just check in by computer.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Don't Be Fooled By The Taper

This time next week, with any luck, I'll be making my way through the marathon, running (using that term loosely) along many of the streets and paths I used to run as a college undergraduate. This weekend has been all about the fun of having Ironman training in the rearview mirror, and not worrying all that much about a certain little race that is out there in the future. I got to enjoy some of the fun of having this level of fitness and being reasonably well-rested.

My plan called for a wee little brick with a 3 hour ride and a 45 minute runoff on Saturday. The ride was just me and my tunes, going hard when a good song came on. When training for my first MS150, a three hour ride with rest stops would have found me in bed for the rest of the day. This year, three hours straight with some hard intervals, FOLLOWED by a run, was just good clean fun.

Then today, Coach T and I hit the run early this morning. Now, by her standards, it wasn't that fast. This is her standard, the Penn Relays:

Coach T

By my standard, we were smoking. We ran the same course that took us 60 minutes last week in 55 minutes, and my average heartrate was about 10 bpm less. Every once in a while, I'd even surge a bit and make her reach into her bag of tricks and work (ever so slightly) to close down the gap. In the middle of the run, which was probably clocking along at about 8 min. pace or a little better, I jokingly said, "Yeah, this is my Ironman marathon pace."

Her response?

"Don't be fooled by the taper (old man)."


If I have one hope for this first Ironman, it is that I have the patience not to get in a hurry, and that I arrive at mile 18 of the marathon really ready to run.

For now, however, it was fun just to go out and let it fly. Sometimes, training really is recess.


And go play.