I plan on participating in the Country Music Half-Marathon in April and I'm going to spend the next few months cross training to try and go sub 2. I've always been a 10 minute mile slow poke and now for some idiotic reason I think I'll go lower. I'm having an elbow problem at present and am waiting until it clears to hit the weights again. I'm doing an easy 4 miles in the morning.
Last month my wife Michele became an Ironman and I kept friends informed of my take on the whole crazy thing. I've copied it below for some of you who haven't seen it.
THURSDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 30
We arrived yesterday about 6:00pm at Panama City Beach for the Iron Man event on Saturday (that's about a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run). Upon arrival the scene was laughable. Skinny people everywhere, running, walking, and biking, Hell, there were more bikes on the road than cars. I had to be extra careful not to run over someones bike because I knew that if I smash their bike and they can't compete Sat. they will kick my ass, even with broken bones and mangled body.
We went to dinner last night at Hammer Head Fred's. Again nothing but skinny people and everyone wearing polyester pull overs and warm up pants. I too was dressed this way and Michele became aggravated when the waiter assumed that I also was a competitor so she straighten him out. Stranger than anything, no one was drinking, except me of course. I wanted to yell "LOOSEN UP YOUR DRAW STRINGS AND HAVE A BEER YOU UPTIGHT SONS OF BITCHES". Finally, after about 30 minutes listening to chatter from surrounding tables about the fat content of a burger, the effects of alcohol on dehydration, and their training routine for the next couple of days, a fat couple waddled in. This couple had to wander if they had accidentally planned a vacation to a city that's hosting a bulimic convention.
It's Thursday morning and about 48 degrees and I stepped out on the 18th floor balcony, look out to the sea, and what do I see? Whales? Dolphins? Sharks? No to all of these. What I did see was a group swim had gathered on the beach. Some had already begun their trek out to a buoy that must have been about a mile out. I could see little knuckleheads bobbing in the water, arms swinging overhead and feet splashing. Turns out that Michele was one of those knuckleheads. She returned to the room complaining of freezing, but not because the water was cold but because the sand was cold. Gotta go we are about to go to breakfast. I don't thing there will be skinny people at the IHOP. They don't have shredded wheat and granola.
We just returned from the ironman expo. Lot's of skinny people, polyester, spandex, and people wearing any brand of sports sunglasses on the market. I also had on my Bolle sunglasses to fit in with the click. I'm also wearing a tee shirt that she got from the McMinnville Triathlon and people are treating me like one of the participants. This is aggravating the hell out of Michele and she's calling me a "poser". We ran into Lana, one of our friends that is also in the ironman, and she thinks I'm disgusting too. I'm not lying to anyone and if I'm asked I'll tell them I'm not a participant, but Michele doesn't hesitate to set everyone straight.
They've got all kinds of Ironman apparel at the expo. If anyone wants something let me know. Then you can look like an Ironman too. After all it's more fun to look like an Ironman than to be one. They have given them a silver wrist band and now I need to figure out how to get one of those.
IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO POLYESTER DON'T COME TO PANAMA BEACH CITY!!!!!!!Today Michele and I discussed the plan for me and the kids on Ironman day and how we can cheer her on to the finish. I'm THINKING we are there at the start at 7:00, then a couple of hours later after breakfast to cheer for her on the bike ride, and then we would give it some time time while we did the beach, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, then lunch. and then we would head over to the finish line to cheer her on as she and all the others painfully and mercifully cross the finish line. BOY WAS I WRONG. I had not done the numbers or really thought about how long this would take. She doesn't expect to finish until 10:00. That's 10:00PM. It's going to take her about 15 hours. I don't thing I've ever done anything for 15 hours. Let me think. Sex? I wish. Sleep? Couldn't do it. Watch TV? No way. Drink? I'd fall asleep so still couldn't do it. Drive a car? I'd fall asleep again. I guess the only thing I would want to do for 15 hours straight is sex, but I don't think Michele would be into that sort of Ironman. Damn just my luck.
Dinner tonight went well. We ate at Dirty Dick's Crab House and the smell of polyester was in the air. No one asked me about the Ironman so Michele was in a better mood. I think they might be on to me because I'm still drinking and I think at this point it's a big no-no. Something about dehydration. I think we got a lecture in P.T. school on that one but I've always thought fluid is fluid. Who can trust the water today anyway. I do have a story if someone does ask. The story goes------ I've done so many that I just have fun when I do them now. I did one back in '78 in San Antonio that we had to cross the Rio Grande the Mexican authorities began to arrest the participants because they didn't have visas. We were all pissed because we had to spend half the day in a Mexican jail. I can't wait until tomorrow.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 31
It's the day before the big race. Well it's not really a race except for the few participants that are good enough to be at the front. For the rest it's an event. A sadistic event but never the less an event. I decided I would join in the workouts today so I did a 4 mile run. Kind of neat because all of the runners were just in a get loose mode so they were running real slow and easy. This made me feel like a track star. Usually when I run I'm the slow one so lots of runners pass me, but not today. I just flew past these skinny, exercise addicts. Many of them asked me where I was from, so I had to slow down chat for a minute, then as I would speed up they would wish me luck tomorrow. I'm not sure if they think I'm participating or they know that I'll be dragging 2 kids around for 15 hours to cheer for their mom.
We were all getting off the elevator and just before the door shut one of the women wished me luck. Michele was pissed that she didn't have time to straighten her out. I really can't believe that these people are doing anything today knowing what's coming tomorrow. They all are so competitive. Even on a slow day like today they are dressed in their fancy high priced polyester shirts and spandex shorts. This stuff is not cheap. Well it can be but they don't have Walmart Starter brand like me. Many of them run or ride in packs. They have this intense look and I could tell that it was all they could do to continue at a slow pace. Imagine how pissed they were at me for speeding past them.
We met Jill, a lady that Michele had met previously at another event, and her, her husband, and another couple are here to cheer. The kids and I will probably hang with them tomorrow. She has a great idea for us to drink 140 beers. That's 1 beer for every mile they swim, ride, and bike. So if you don't hear from me tomorrow that means we accomplished that feat. I'll be taking lots of pics tomorrow and I'll especially be looking for participants in extreme distress. They should be plentiful and not difficult to find.
SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 2
Michele finished and in a lot better time than she thought she would----12 hours, 40 minutes, 55 seconds.That thing was crazy. There were about 2500 participants and about 1200 first timers. That means there were over 1000 people that were dumb enough to do that more than once. The most incredible to me was a 76 year old man did it. You would think a 76 year old would have better since. He must have Alzheimer's and had no clue what he was doing. Also incredible to me was there were some fat people in it----3 I think, and 1 brother. We stayed until almost midnight and those were the fun ones to watch. People staggering across the finish line as the crowd cheered, rang cow bells, blew party horns, and the announcer proclaimed "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN" in an attempt to inspire them. After 140.6 miles some were uninspired. No one crawled or puked, damn it, but it was fun to watch as long as I had a beer to drink.
Speaking of beer, Jill's idea of our group drinking one beer for every mile was a failure. We didn't earn our ironman. Me being the team player that I am held up my end, I even went above and beyond my duties and tried to make up for some of those not pulling their weight. We failed so there won't be an MVP but if there was I think I earned it. Obviously attempting to team drink 140 beers has a worse effect on the body than 140 miles. Michele's up running around feeling chipper, and I'm hungover, drinking coffee, queasy stomach, and head pounding. She's thinking about things we can do today, and I'm only thinking about puking. She's on a successful high and feeling good about herself, and I'm afraid to leave the condo because I might be recognized buy someone I ridiculed.
The participants had an awards ceremony last night that Michele went to because they were going to receive a DVD of the event. She could tell that it was going to last a long time so she left and we went to dinner and then back to the ceremony. Now, I'll do my best to describe the scene. The ceremony was letting out just as we were pulling up to the conference hall, and the participants were leaving through the front door right in front of us. Remember the day before all of these folks had swam, biked, and ran 140.6 miles, and now they have sat in a hard back folding chair for 2 hours. I don't think we actually have to do the Ironman to image the pain and stiffness these folks were now experiencing. This looked like the scene in "The Night of the Living Dead" when all of the zombies were walking together. Stiff legs, shuffle steps, no trunk rotation leaning side to side so they could bring their legs forward, their arms just hung to their sides with no movement. Hell, I was afraid it was going scare the kids. It sure scared me.
I woke up this morning about 3:00 AM to go pee and Michele was standing at the bathroom door. She looked kind of green and said, "I don't feel good". She stepped out of the bathroom for me to do my thing and I know you can guess what happened next. She bust through the door while I'm in mid stream, hand over mouth, HURRY UP I'VE GOT TO THROW UP!!! Now as many of you know this is almost an impossible task, but when Charlie and his friends are about to get puked on I had to man up in a hurry. She spent the next few hours with stuff coming out of both ends. Damn doesn't the Ironman sound like fun. I can't wait until next year.