This weekend I volunteered at the Redman Ironman here in Oklahoma City. There were two races this weekend, the half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) and the full Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run).
I was out on the bike course making sure people that weren't in the race didn't try and get onto the course and directing a little traffic. I was absolutely amazed at all of the people out there for this race. There were over 800 entries from what I heard and about a third of them were for the full distance. People in all shapes and sizes were out there racing from 4 hours for the half to over 17 hours for the full. It really inspired me, so I have decided to make the plunge to become an Ironman next September. After my Tulsa marathon in the middle of November, I am hitting the pool to get a good base. Real training will start in late January. Next year will have a few longer triathlons to ramp me up. I am planning on doing a sprint(short) and Olympic (a little longer) one weekend in late May. Then I am thinking about doing the Buffalo Springs Half in Lubbock at the end of June. I am a little nervous, but excited to take the plunge.
The night was kind of rough sleeping on a basketball court floor and Ike passing through brought lots of wind, rain and thunder. I woke up in the morning tired and sore from sleeping on the ground. I'm not as young as I once was ;)
Breakfast was pancakes and sausage from a husband and wife team that had obviously been doing this a while. They were throwing us the pancakes. Pretty fun to watch some people try and catch them on the plate. A few were lost to the floor.
The ride on day 2 started at 7:30 again and I was in the lead group. We all took turns up on the front and we were really moving. I was able to keep up with them for ~25 miles until myself and another ride had to drop off. We ended up riding pretty much the rest of the ride together until we were seperated at traffic lights. We stopped at a rest stop at mile 30 and that was it. We took turns drafting off of each other and we finally hit the promised tail wind. Ike was north of us at this point so we had the winds really coming at our backs as we headed south. All of that tail wind fun ended as we had to make a couple turns and head back north for the last 5. I was on my own at this point so it was really just a matter of keep pedaling (I had the "Just keep swimming" stuff in my head from Finding Nemo).
I finally came up on the hospital where we started from and rolled across the finish line. Total ride was 63.5 miles in 3:43:18. Only burned 3,165 calories that day. I was in just before noon so I was right in line for a hotdog, hamburger, chips, cookie and the much anticipated post race beer. Everything tasted great. The Red Bull people showed up so I grabbed a couple of those and headed on back home.
I slept like a rock until I had to get up to go to Atlanta this week, but I am almost back at 100% now. All in all, great ride and great people and I will be back again next year.
This weekend I participated in the Oklahoma MS150 bike ride in Tulsa. I drove up to Tulsa Friday night and stayed at my brother in laws place. It was really nice because he was about 2 miles from the start line. I actually was able to sleep really well so I woke up just fine on Saturday morning.
I got the the start around 6:30. Put my bike together, dropped my bag off and made all the last minute preparations that you have to do at any event. I met up with a bunch of people from my company and we took a picture together at the start line. The weather was OK at the start. About 70 degrees and cloudy, perfect for riding. We took off right at 7:30. I started near the front since you never know how skilled the riders are going to be and you don't want to start a ride in a crash.
The first few miles were just a huge group as people started finding their pace. At 5 miles in I was by myself for a little while. That didn't last long as I was swallowed up by a group of about 15 riders. This was OK with me since the more riders you are with you can go faster with less effort due to the reduced drag. We came up on a wooden bridge a few miles later that we had to get off our bikes and walk across. Apparently a few people had already fallen pretty hard on it since it was a little wet. We stayed as a group until a rest stop at mile 35. I got some more Gatorade and a few snacks and headed on out again. At mile 25 or so, the rain started. Not real bad at first but it steadily got harder. I had a rain vest with me and put it on for a little protection. I got with another group for a while until the hills started and we separated.
There were quite a few "good" steep and long hills that really pushed you. One of the worst was dubbed "Pirate Hill" around mile 58. We came around the corner and all of a sudden you were on a steep incline with no warning. I heard that quite a few ended up getting off and walking it. I was tempted but no one else around me was so pride got me up. Right at the top there was another rest stop with a Pirate theme, hence Pirate Hill.
After a rest of about 5 minutes I set out on my own. There were a couple fun descents where I got up over 35MPH, but that was short lived since you have to climb another hill. There were a few dogs that liked chasing bikes, but a stern "Go Home!" usually did the trick. The rain finally started letting up about mile 63.
Here you can see what we just came through.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. I was by myself at this point and just riding. I got to the finish line after riding 75.5 miles in 4:23:46.
My GPS said I burned 3,900 calories. Not too shabby. I think the distance was a little short since I forgot to start my GPS right away after the rest stops.
All of our bikes were filthy. The rain plus gravel roads and dirt did a number on us.
These socks were white...
After getting in to the rest area I grabbed some food, few drinks (no beer though...) and watched college football the rest of the day. Dinner was some really good BBQ (brisket and smoked bologna), french fries, cookies and cake.
A long bike ride and college football is a perfect weekend.
Had another really good bike ride this weekend. I got 55 miles in on my tri bike before all the football started. Felt really good even though there was some nasty wind towards the end.
The rest of Saturday was dedicated to watching college football. My Texas A&M Aggies won in a very boring fashion. I can't tell if we are just bad, or the coaches are holding back the plays until we get into Big 12 games. I am not ready to get my hopes up just to be let down again just like every other year so I'll just stay level headed.
Next week is the MS150 up in Tulsa. Looks like rain in the forecast right now. Hope that changes before the weekend.
So this week my marathon training really begins. This is the time when I can not take a day off (outside of injury), or I really fall behind. No sleeping in because I just don't want to get out of bed. No turning around halfway because I am not in the mood. I have to suck it up and run.
This morning I did 7 miles and felt great. I was focusing on trying to take a little longer stride and it paid off. I did about 8:30/mile pace for most of the run and about the same effort as my usual 9:30 pace.
Tomorrow is 6 mile, Thursday, 7 miles, Sat 6 (and a bike ride) and Sunday another 9. Whew.