Thursday, November 15, 2007

Random Ironman Thoughts

-You get used to the taste of saltwater after awhile
-Why did my nose run the whole bike ride
-All the athletes were so friendly, not like a marathon. People were genuinely interested
-2277 is a lot of people.
-I am not the slowest swimmer after all.
-Beer during a marathon tastes great.
-Chicken broth YUM
-Not nervous, just prepared
-My 12yr old said that he would like to do this some day! Wow that made it all worth while
-The finishers chute happens so fast.
-I spent how much?

Back in the game

Well it is time to get back in the game. I have been running a little bit. I continue to think about goals for next year. I have had a lot of people ask me what is next.

Still not sure. I will do the Disney Marathon in January. I am thinking about signing up for St Anthonys Triathlon. I would like to do atleast to half Ironman distances next year..

2009 another Ironman. I loved the experience so much. I want to do it again. I have areas to get better on. this weekend I will do a swim at Luckys, probably 2k and a 17 mile run iwth the group from the Y on Sunday. Trying to balance all of this extra time I have. But I do not want to loose my fitness level and all that I have achieved.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New goals

Working on new goals for next year. There are still areas I can work on as far as triathlon.

I can do better on my swim.
I need to learn to bi lateral breath.
Become a stronger cyclist.
More brick workouts
Run faster.

I would love to qualify for Boston. I would have to shave about an hour off my marathon time. 3:15 is the qualifying time. How in the heck do I do that?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ironman Florida Race Report

IRONMAN Panama City Beach, Fl, November 3rd 2007
I am an IRONMAN!

What a great weekend. Thank you to all my friends and family for your support and encouragement on race day. It was helpful knowing that there were so many people tracking me online. I will do my best to recap the race and the weekend. So I will apologize in advance for the length of this race report.

My training partner Clint and I arrived in Panama City Beach on Thursday afternoon. We stayed at the Ocean Ritz, a 4 bedroom 4 bath Condo about which was about a mile down the beach from the race. We registered for the race picking up our assorted transition bags and the timing chip. We then hit the water for a little swim. Much to my relief the water was flat. I have done open water swims at Lucky that were rougher. My main goal with getting in the water was to figure out which wetsuit to wear. I tested out the sleeveless suit; the water was probably in the low 70’s.

Thursday evening was spent at the Athletes’ dinner. Paula Newby-Fraiser, Mike Reilly and Michael Lovato all spoke. All 2200 athletes and some family were all crammed in for a pasta dinner. After dinner, they went over rules such as no ipods, drafting on the bike and exposing yourself on the bike (use the porta potty or get arrested!). We were also assured that there were no sharks in the water, but perhaps bears on the bike course and Florida panthers on the run route (ha-ha).

We went to expo for the pancake breakfast and to spend some (a lot) of money on Ironman merchandise. Later, Clint and I went for another swim. I tried the full wetsuit, I decided to race in the sleeveless suit, as I was worried that the full suit would restrict my movement. I need all the help I can get on the swim. By lunchtime, the families arrived. We gathered our transition bags and bikes and headed back to the expo the drop all our bags. (A lot of time was spent checking and double checking these bags.)

Family members making the trip to support me were my Parents, my Uncle Jon and Aunt Gail, my oldest son, JT and of course my wonderful wife, Kristy.

I had a 3am wake up alarm and I drank 2 bottles of ensure to get my calories started in my body. I tossed and turned until 4am. At 4am I got out of bed had some coffee, Gatorade and some Quaker Oatmeal bites. We headed for the start shortly before 5am.

We got to the transition area shortly after 5am. I dropped off my special needs bags and went to check on my bike. I loaded up my bike with my water bottles and some food. When entering transition we got body marked: 980 on my thighs and arm and age on my calf. I put on my wetsuit and headed to the water. It was still dark out. The pros were set to go off at 6:50 with the rest of us off at 7am. The swim start area was fenced off, but I was able to find my family. My plan was to wait about 20 second after the start and get in the water.

THE SWIM: 2.4 miles
The gun went off and everything seemed to happen quickly. I entered the water with Clint, we bumped a few times and that was the last I saw of him. I cannot describe the swim. Ironman Florida is a 2 loop swim course. It was crazy! About 2200 athletes all sharing the water. I got to one point and I just floated there. I had no where to go, no open water, no room. I did get hit and kicked. There is nothing like a good kick to the stomach to start your morning. I got a little freaked out. I had to do the backstroke a couple time to get it together. I had planne on being way to the right, but some how I would up in the middle, close to the markersRounding the first turn buoy was more like shuffling than swimming. I felt better on the inward leg, going towards shore. It started to clear out a bit and was not that bad. I excited the first loop at about 42 minutes. I grabbed a quick sip of fresh water and it was back in the water for the second loop. I did have time to thank one of the kayakers. It was nice to see all of the volunteers. I felt good for the second loop; I kept my head down and swam pretty well. This lap I swam inside the box and around the end markers. That worked great. I did bump into people from time to time. I exited the swim at 1:25. This is much better than I had expected.

TRANSITION 1: Swim to Bike
We exited the water and ran up the beach little, they had people there to strip your wetsuit. It was great, I sat down 2 volunteers yanked the wet suit off me! They said some words of encouragement, slapped me on the shoulder and off I went. PVC pipes were set up as showers over the path; this was great to rinse some of the salt water off me. As I am running towards T1 volunteers are yelling out my number. 980! 980! They had my swim to bike transition bag ready. I headed into the changing tent.

I loaded my bike jersey with the oatmeal raisin cookies and pretzels. I put on my helmet, bike shoes and race belt. There was a volunteer there to load my wetsuit and stuff into the bag. As I exited the tent, again volunteers are yelling my number so that some one else can grab my bike for me. T1 time 7:38

THE BIKE: 112 miles

The bike was pretty uneventful. I stuck to my plan. I drank my nutrition every 30 minutes and kept well hydrated. I carry one 6 hour bottle of Perpetuem from Hammer that must have about 1200 calories in it. There were water/Gatorade stops every 10 miles. Again, the volunteers here were great. There was one stop manned with Pirates. You would yell out if you wanted water or Gatorade and they would run along side you so that you could grab a bottle. I picked up my special needs bag at about mile 50. I quickly ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, yum!

There was a very rough bumpy road at mile 65 that was very painful. I did stop to use the porta potty twice, so I wouldn’t get arrested. These breaks probably cost me 10 minute on the bike. The wind started to pick up the last half the ride. The wind also seemed to turn with us; it always seemed to be a head wind. My average speed dropped because of the wind, but I didn’t want to push to hard and put my run in jeopardy. I was aiming for a little faster on the bike. I did feel good about passing some very expensive bikes with wheels that cost more than my bike…I ended up averaging 17.7mph on the bike with a total time of 6:19.

TRANSITION 2: Bike to Run
As I entered T2, I spotted my Uncle Jon & Aunt Gail and then as I was off my bike I saw Kristy, JT and my Parents. It was nice to see them after a long ride. Someone grabbed my bike to run bag and it was off to the changing tents. I flipped my race belt around so my number was visible from the front, put my run shoes on, grabbed my visor and sunglasses and headed out. I did have someone apply some sunscreen this time. I had missed this when I started out on the bike and it shows...T2 time 6:05.

THE RUN: 26.2 miles
The run was alright. It was a 2 loop run course that goes through some residential area, around my some condos and into the state park. The temperature was good for the run, in the 70’s. Aid stations were set up about every mile: water, Gatorade, cola, chicken broth, pretzels, cookies, gels, and fruit! It was great! Clint did say to consider this a long catered training day. I can not say enough good things on how supportive all the volunteers and crowds were. At one point in the run there were some girls dressed in rather provocative outfits. Good to keep your mind off the pain in your legs. I also managed to find a stand with some small cups of beer, so yet again I was able to have a beer in a marathon. As the 2nd loop started, I made a quick turn and headed back out. I was able to give Kristy a quick kiss. At that point I knew I had this. I could do it.

The second loop is kind of a blur, up until about 6 miles left. At the 20 mile mark you cross a timing mate, and displayed is a message from your family. It was nice to see a quick note from Kristy. I got to about 4-5 miles left and I start to figure out that if I hustle and keep my walk breaks to a minimum I could finish under 13 hours. I had always been thinking 15 hours; but under 13 hours would be great. This gave me some thing to think about and work towards.

I walked a little with a mile to go so that I had some energy for the finishers shoot. It was amazing. I waved my arms in the air to get the crowd going, I gave some high fives, I saw my family and then broke the finishers tape. What a day! 12 Hours 54 Minutes and 30 Seconds!

Pizza and Beer were waiting for me at the end, a toast with my parents, a kiss from my wife, and a high five from JT. But I was missing Sam and Grace. I had kept three pennies in my pocket the entire day, to remind me of my kids.

I can not say enough good things about the whole journey. Anything is possible. I could not have done this without the support of my family. It was great to have them there at the end. Also, along the way I had 2 great training partners that helped me not only in the physical training but the mental training as well. When I think that 18 months ago I could not swim the length of a pool, through commitment a goal setting I was able to become an IRONMAN. This is an experience I will never forget. I will do another someday. But now I want to spend some quality time with my family.

Thank you all for your support!
- Keith

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I am an IRONMAN!!!

What a weekend..Race report to follow