Sunday, October 25, 2015

Making Lemonade From Ironman Maryland Lemons

Wednesday, September 30, did not start well. When I went to check in for my flight, it said my first flight was delayed and my second flight was changed such that I wouldn't get into Philadelphia until 5pm instead of 2:30 (never mind I booked a direct flight that was supposed to get in at 12:30). I was quite upset and marched straight to a ticket agent. She searched flights, supposedly including some other airlines, and the only improvement was supposed to get me in at 4:30. Fine, at least it feels like it's a little better. I had some time to kill in Austin, got to Charlotte and had more time to kill. Then the flight from Charlotte to Philadelphia was delayed, and delayed some more. As I was on my phone killing time until we we left the gate, I saw a curious post that said something about Ironman Maryland and "options." I had no idea what that meant, so I clicked and it took me to an announcement from Ironman that due to expected flooding from Hurricane Joaquin, the race was cancelled (with a possible new date) and asking people to not even come to the area. I blurted out an expletive at less than a yell but more than under my breath. My brain was swimming in thoughts and questions: "Can I get out of my hotel?" "Should I just get off the plane?" "What the hell am I going to do?" One early thought was to see if there were any other marathons that weekend in the area. Another thought was to go on a road trip of State Capitols and take care of a bit of unfinished business from IM Lake Placid. When I couldn't find any marathons that would work, I decided that if the hotel would give me at least some refund for three of the nights I had already paid, a road trip it would be.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

CFF Dallas Stair Race

This year's Cystic Fibrosis climb in the Bank of America building, Dallas's tallest, went similar to last year's, in that I did it one week after a ridiculous endurance event. This time it was right after Ironman Maryland, which took place near last year's two marathons. This year's climb time of 13:03 was 10 seconds slower than last year, and more than a minute off of my best for the building two years ago.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ironman Lake Placid

I'm not an emotional person. Heck, I often think of myself as a robot. I have something akin to "resting bitch face." I do smile, but usually it's to appear human when I meet someone else's gaze, or so my race photos look okay. If you saw my album of race photos, you might say I always look good, but (a) I've only posted the ones I thought were good and (b) I probably posed myself for that photo to some extent when I saw the camera operator. Even at Ironman, my smiling finish line photo is a put-on, because I'm more happy to be done than happy to cross the line. In contrast to that, my finish line photo at Ironman Lake Placid in July is the truest, deepest smile, possibly in my adult life. I first witnessed the frenetic energy of the final hour of an Ironman two years ago, on the spectator side of Ironman Wisconsin. For my money, it's the best party on Earth. So at the end of a grueling, shredding day, when I entered the finish chute at 11:32pm, on the Olympic speed skating oval, and my name was called, and the crowd went wild FOR ME, it was the most joyous moment I could ever imagine.
Of course, what "allowed" me to finish in the magic hour was a gruelingly long day getting eaten up by the brutal hills of the Lake Placid course. So just to officially finish, with less than 10 minutes to spare, felt like just as much of an accomplishment as any of my four previous Ironman finishes.