This is going to be a long one so bear with me!
Two and a half years ago, when I got into this “health” thing, I never imagined a couple of things. One, that I would ever attempt a marathon, much less a half Ironman. And two, that I would ever meet so many incredible people I can now call friends.
I know I’m going to miss some mentions here and it’s not intentional. There are just so many that contributed to my success I’m having a hard time remembering!
Onto the good stuff.
The race I’m talking about is the Redman Triathlon. This year there were two distances; a half Ironman and a full Ironman. I competed in the half, 70.3 miles of waves, wind, and heat. The true beasts in the full doubled that distance.
There’s not much I can say about the swim other than it was brutal. The waves and chop were out of control. To tell you how bad it was, three kayaks had to be saved! These were the people saving US and THEY had to be rescued. I completed the swim 2 minutes ahead of my goal at 43:21. In spite of the bad conditions, I was pleased with that time. I actually thought I could finish closer to 40 minutes but I’ll chock up that extra 3:21 to the waves and poor sighting on my part. I was off course a couple of times because the current pushed me and I didn’t realize it.
Wendy, Me, Angela, Lydia, and Jill. Prerace waiting for the swim wave.
Damn I’m fat. That wetsuit isn’t slimming at ALL!
The start of the storm!
Rena coming in from the swim.
The first thanks goes out to Dan Tygert. Dan was my “stripper” out of the water. For those who don’t know, strippers help you off with your wetsuit. Basically, you get the wetsuit down under your butt as far as possible, drop to your butt and the stripper yanks it off you quickly. This saves a buttload of time in transition so you don’t have to mess with it.
Since I can’t ride without socks, my T1 was a little slow at 4:23. But I set a goal time of 5 minutes so I was still ahead.
Unfortunately, I grabbed my bike and headed for the exit without my sunglasses! 56 miles of no sunglasses on a bike is not something I recommend.
The “out” on the bike was pretty damn good. I had a great average going of about 23/24 mph. Unfortunately, I hit the turn for the “in” and caught the wind. There were some legs that took me as long as 5 minutes for the mile. That killed my average but I still ended up with a 16.6 mph average overall. I was hoping for a 17 mph but I’ll take what I got because that put my bike time at 3:22:54. My goal was 3:45:00 so I was 22:06 ahead of schedule.
Rena absolutely spent after she left it all on the bike course. She finished 4th woman OVERALL in the Aquabike.
Me coming in from the bike. I left a LOT of glycogen and energy out there. Hence, my run sucked!
When I came in from the bike, Jen could tell I was wiped. I expended too much energy on the bike and I knew by mile 40 that I was going to have trouble on the run because of it. I was able to hit that transition a little better because it’s easier to strip off the bike gear than put it on! I finished T2 in 3:59 and grabbed my nutrition, hat, and missing sunglasses to head out. My goal was another 5 minute transition so I was still ahead at this point.
I knew I was in trouble before the run even started but I was NOT going to DNF. If I had to walk a half marathon, well damnit, that’s what I was going to do. And the fact is, I ended up walking about 75% of it because I was just out of energy.
By mile 7 or 8, I had to make a pee stop at the Landrunner aid station. But when I tried to pee, just a small drip came out and it was beet red. That’s never, EVER a good sign. I told Jen about it when I came out of the porta-potty and she thought it might have had something to do with the electrolyte tablets I was taking.
I ran into my friend, Steve Schlegel, a mile later and told him about it. He told me to hit the medical tent immediately when I finished and get some help.
I slogged through that last 5 or 6 miles and finished in 7:31:11, not my goal time despite the great swim and bike.
Me and my friend Billy. He was hurting too but ended up with a decent half marathon time.
One of the few times I smiled on the run.
It’s finally over!
I’m kind of pissed that girl stole my thunder! LOL
I so wanted to finish by myself, not in a group.
After sitting for a minute to gather my thoughts, I headed to the medical tent to see Dr. Tom. Tom Caniglione is our medical doctor for the Landrunner’s running club so I already knew him. I told him what was going on and he told me to go pee in the porta-potty and bring him a sample. I was able to get out about an 1/8th teaspoon of liquid that was bright red. When I returned to Dr. Tom, he immediately threw me on a gurney and the medical staff inserted needles in each arm to double bag me.
I ended up taking almost 6 liters of fluid before I could go pee again. The staff would NOT let me leave in my current condition. Dr. Tom said he wanted to see a normal urination before he’d even consider letting me go.
After an hour and a half, I finally gave him an acceptable sample and he let me leave.
Jen, me, Jill
Jen, me, Jill
The medical staff tried everything the could to get fluids in me so I could pee.
This race was absolutely amazing. Every aspect is set up perfectly and the race staff and volunteers are amazing. I volunteered at the Landrunner aid station in 2012 and 2013 so I knew what to expect, but attending as an athlete brings it to another level.
Despite the pain and heat, I had a great time. I realized a couple of things mid race though. One, I need to train smarter; not necessarily longer, but definitely smarter. I trained well but I don’t think I trained as efficiently as I should have.
Two, nutrition and hydration are a constant battle and one I’ve continued to lose in long distance competitions. I’m still working on solving this problem and hopefully I’ll have it down before I compete in my next marathon in December.
I will definitely be back next year because this race lived up to every expectation and more. I don’t care that I bonked on the run and had to hit medical afterwards. This was an amazing race.
It’s funny that this was PRE medical. Jen took the pic then I decided I better go see the doctor.
There are so many people to thank here I don’t know where to start. I’ll try to just go down the timeline.
There are two people without whom I could not have done this: my wife, Jennifer, and my training partner, Lydia Benham. Jen has a very inquisitive mind that kept asking me question after question to help me overcome obstacles. Lydia trained with me the last two months and we bounced idea after idea off each other to get us through the event. Unfortunately, I lost a bet to Lydia and owe her a bottle of wine…..which I am happy buy. She’s an amazing new friend and I’m happy she finished strong.
Rena Brubaker: Rena and I met on Facebook through the Redman group. The first time we met face to face was Thursday night when she got into town. She has done several half Ironman’s and she helped me tremendously through the details of the race. On top of that, she has become a great friend I’ll have the rest of my life. We hit it off immediately on Facebook and I’m so grateful for her friendship.
Dan Tigert & Emmy Hufnagel: Dan is a local pro who owns Terra Tri with Emmy. These two are amazing athletes and compete on a different playing field than the rest of us. Yet, Dan and Emmy take time to always have something positive to say me or give me advice. Dan was my “stripper” and kept cheering me on the entire time. Big time guys like him don’t usually take an interest in old, fat, slow guys like me but Dan is special and different. Thank you Dan!
Steve Schlegel: Steve is the owner of Schlegel Bicycles, the official support store for the triathlon. I’ve known Steve for about 35 years. We great up together and met in junior high at Hefner Middle School. I’ve purchased four bikes from Steve and he has helped me get through the technical portions of the bike like no other. His staff at the store is second to none and they take care of me like I’m a member of the family!
Emerald Groom: Em is my new running partner. She kicks my ass three days a week and keeps me honest. Em and her husband, Mike, came out to the tri and stayed all day waiting for Lydia and I to run by. She made a huge sign cheering us on. She even ran with me when I was getting down in the dumps just to cheer me on and keep me going. I only met Em about 2 months ago but I consider her a great friend and love her like my sister.
Cory Davis: Cory is the guy with the story that just blows you away and leave you shaking your head. In the span of one year, he has lost over 200 lbs, that’s right….200 lbs, run multiple marathons, qualified for Boston, and won numerous races. Cory texted me the day before and all morning of the race to make sure I knew he supported me. I consider Cory one of the best friends you could ever have. Jen and I love him so much we’re going to Boston next April to cheer him on in his first Boston Marathon.
Camille Gunderson and Demetri (sorry! I can’t remember Demetri’s last name!): Camille and Demetri headed to Louie’s on the Lake and cheered me on every time I came by. The last time Camille ran out to the course to high five me.
Elizabeth Pickens: I met Elizabeth during Memorial training earlier this year. I found out she lives in the neighborhood next to us. Elizabeth is another who was texting me prior to the race to cheer me on. She has been one of my greatest supporters throughout this while thing…..and I’m talking her into doing it next year!! LOL
Jill Hobson: My Canadian “luva” who always has a nice thing to say about my ass when she knows I’m suffering. Jill is one of my closest friends and I love her to death. It helps that she’s a little bit crazy, in a cool way.
Angela Morris: Angela is the reason I’m in this game. She was the first triathlete I spoke with in 2012 and I was totally enamored with her. I decided right then I wanted to be part of this! She has helped me through all of this with loads of advice and information.
Marty @ Schlegel’s
Ali & John…..my cabin lovers and two of Kurt’s best friends! Hail to the spatula
I know I’m forgetting someone so please forgive me!!! I don’t want you to think I’m not appreciative….I’m just old and can’t remember all the names. lol
I’ll see you all again next year!