Congratulations Ironmen: Joe and Steve
Our good friends and cycling companions Joe and Steve had outstanding performances in the 2005 Ironman Coeur d'Alene. Joe finished in under 11 hours (10:52:49). Steve was just 12 minutes behind him and closing fast. He finished in 11:05:07.
Jenny and had the great pleasure and honor of being at the finish line when they crossed it. This was our second year as volunteers. We worked the 6PM-9PM shift at the finish line handing out finisher T-shirts. We had just started our shift when Joe came in, sweat drenched and tired, I'm sure, but he gave us a huge grin and was obviously pleased.
Steve's wife and daughter were also working the finish line as "body
catchers." Not long after Joe came through, Pam and Angie showed up
with Steve between them, his arms draped over their shoulders. He was
I almost caught him, he said when I congratulated
Indeed, he did. Although Joe was faster in the swim and on the bike, Steve gained almost one minute per mile on him in the run.
It was a long day for all of us. While Joe and Steve were still in the water, Jenny and I started our first volunteer jobs—Jenny worked on the sunscreen team; I worked at the Bike Special Needs Aid Station at Higgins Point. I got a shout and wave from both Joe and Steve as they went through. Neither stopped for his bag, which meant their rides were going well and they opted to keep riding an not lose any time.
In the afternoon, I rode my bike back from Higgins Point, had some lunch with Jenny, then watched the first finishers arrive before we started our shift at the finish line handing out T-shirts.
Jenny and I are extremely proud of Joe's and Steve's accomplishments. They are amazing athletes, as mentally tough as physically strong. We were honored to be part of their Ironman experience and we're looking forward to hearing the stories we're sure they have to tell.
Check the final results .
We Made the Grade
Jenny and I spent the weekend in Clarkston, WA, where, Saturday morning, we participated in the 25th Annual I Made the Grade bicycle ride. It has been several years since we last participated in this popular 18 mile ride that features a 2,000 foot climb in the last 7 miles up the fabled Spiral Highway.
I had a great finish—15th—with a time of 1:01:36.
Yesterday, Jenny and I were on one of our normal weekday evening rides to the state line and back on the Centennial Trail. The critters were out in full force. The mild winter left a thriving rabbit population that exploded this Spring.
With the recent rain, the vegetation has closed in around the trail leaving plenty of places for the little critters to hide from sight right at the trail's edge.
Twice, little chipmunks scurried out in front of us. Each time, Jenny squealed, jammed her brakes, a desperately avoided maiming or killing the furry little imps.
Jenny, I chastised her, "Don't hit the brakes and swerve! If you
actually hit one while you're doing that, you'll crash. Better to send
a chipmunk to his death than end up in the hospital yourself."
But she just can't overcome her natural reaction to avoid hitting them at all costs.
My turn came on the return leg. We were cruising along, side by side, when I saw a flash of fur out of the corner of my eye. A full grown rabbit—last year's model, I assume—was parked under a bush that was encroaching on the left side of the trail, out of sight. We startled it and it launched itself like a rocket. Stewart the rabbit jumped high enough to clear my front wheel vertically, but not soon enough to avoid a midair collision just under my handlebars. The crash made a terrific racket. Stewart went careening off the right side of the bike between Jenny and I.
I didn't swerve. I didn't hit the brakes. Nor could I have. It happened instantly. But upon hearing the crash and seeing the flash of fur out of the corner of her eye, Jenny braked and began pulling to a stop as I was looking over my shoulder to see whether Stewart was rabbit or stew. He was scampering for cover.
When I turned my attention forward again, I had to avoid a collision with Jenny who was now nearly stopped in front of me.
Never brake! I said, a bit shaky.
I’m a runner!
I never thought I'd say that. Yet, the past three Saturdays, I've run 10, 8, and 12.8 miles respectively. With those runs under my belt, registered for the Saint George Marathon, and a training plan underway, I'm ready to label myself a runner.
Last fall, inspired (nah, that's not the right word—incited, provoked, psyched, perhaps) by cycling companions Joe and Steve, I began running. Within a few short weeks, I was suffering from excruciatingly painful shin splints. Over the winter, refusing to be defeated, I did as much running as I could—a simple 1.5 mile loop around the neighborhood, followed by a day or two of rest before repeating. I became a regular at Performance Physical Therapy where they stretched, massaged, iced, ultra-sounded, and electro-stimulated my painful shins.
Then, as suddenly as they appeared, the shin splints abated and I began running, pain free, more frequently and for longer distances. Jenny and I participated in St. Paddy's Five, the Coeur d'Alene Spring Dash, and Bloomsday where I met my goal of finishing the 12K run in under an hour.
Joe and Steve are training for the Coeur d'Alene Ironman, a feat I may never attempt. They are running twice the distances I am, often immediately after 100-120 mile training rides on their slick, new tri-bikes. At this point, I'm just happy to have endured a difficult start as a runner and not to have let it defeat me.
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