Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rohto Ironman 70.3 Florida Race - Pre-Race

Rohto Ironman 70.3 Florida Race - Pre-Race

My day started off with the alarm going off at 02:50.  Now I am NOT a morning person but through the training for this race I have become more and more accustom to getting up early.  I slept much better than I expected.  I only remember getting up once because some idiots at the hotel were having a party.  My family did not need to get up till around 03:30 so I tried to be quite as I got ready for the day.

My breakfast was basically an elementary schooler’s lunch:  two peanut butter (I prefer Justine’s Almond butter) and lemon curd sandwiches on SandwichThins, a banana, an apple and a water.  Pretty boring but good for you breakfast. 

Triston got right up in the morning and was excited to leave.  I was really surprised because I thought it would have been REALLY hard to get a 16 year old up and out of a hotel room at 03:50 in the morning.  I think he knew how important it was to me and he was excited to see the race.

Cookies are yummy!!

For this race you have to drive to the Disney Dopey or Grumpy parking lots and take a shuttle to the Ft Wilderness race sight.  Disney was great at having about a dozen buses ready to go.  Note: Loading a bus with Ironman triathletes reminds me loading a bus full of army troops with their rucksacks.  Everyone is loaded down with too much equipment and hits everyone else as they walk down the aisle.

It's better than raining men. Hallelujah!

I got to the transition area around 04:15 and it began to rain cats and dogs.  As if the rain was not bad enough it started to lightning heavily.  The parking lot where my transition area was located quickly became a swimming pool.  I waited for about 40 minutes and it did not let up.  Almost everyone decided to leave all their gear in their triathlon bags and do their transitions using the bags.  Thank god I just got my waterproof Rocket Science Sports bag from TriBug (shameless plug).  It made life so much easier.  (Note:  there will be a review of this little gem next week).

The rain would not be so bad if the outside temperate was not in the high 50’s.  Everyone was shivering from the rain, cold, and nerves.  Nothing like living in Florida where you are shivering in the morning and sweating profusely 2 hours later in high 80’s.

It's electric boogie woogie woogie!! SOURCE

The swim start was delayed 20 minutes and we all started to worry they were going to cancel the swim.  Nothing like training for 8 months and learning that you will only be doing a bike and a run.  I was starting to get really disappointed.  I trained really hard for the swim.  In 3 months I learned (by myself) how to freestyle stroke and now I may not even need to use I t(not cool, not cool at all)!

The rain eventually cleared up and everyone gathered around the swim start.  My stomach was doing summersaults so I took some stomach medicine.   I think it was a combination of nerves and my body wondering why I took it off its normal bathroom schedule.

I was in wave 21 of 22 so I have about 1 hour to watch other waves start their swim.  That would be torture for me so being the social butterfly I am I decided to talk to others. 
Shawn’s Ironman
One individual (and follow blogger) I spoke to was Matthew from Shawn’s Ironman. You can read about his story and struggles here.  Shawn is Mathew’s 2 year old son who was born with “several urological conditions including a multicystic dysplastic kidney and then diagnosed with a patent urachus. He had to have surgery at 10 days old to correct the leaking out of his belly button. During that surgery they went in and determined that he also had a very rare condition that, to the doctor’s knowledge, closely relates a bilateral urethra (I have coined “Shawn’s Urethra” after my son since there has never been a case like his) where his urethra split near the prostate and exited behind his scrotum. There has been very little research or studies regarding his condition, but everything that came back said he was the youngest to undergo the surgery to reconstruct and remove his 2nd urethra at 7 months old. At that time they also removed the cysts where his kidney should have formed. At 14 months old he underwent a third surgery to repair a tethered spine."

Mathew was a great and humble guy.  He is running Ironman’s to raise research money and bring awareness to his son’s struggles.  I told him I would make a monetary donation to his cause (which I did) and to give him some exposure on my blog.  If you want, check out his website and post a supportive comment.  Please let him know I sent you.

About 15 minutes before the swim I popped a GU.  Fifteen minutes later I aligned up at the water’s edge to begin the swim.  I was feeling great and focused.  The countdown began and the gun went off…


  1. I love that you let your family sleep in until 3:30 - LOL. My husband was so excited at my last race because we didn't have to get up at some crazy hour! How did I miss that you just learned to do freestyle a few months ago? Very impressive - can't wait to hear the rest!

  2. 2:30!!?!? That seems crazy! I hope I don't have to get up that early!

    Oh yea...waiting for the rest....

  3. So far so good! Although I am intrigues - did you put PB AND lemon curd together on one sandwich?!

  4. Kevin,

    Thank you so much for your kind words, plug in your blog, and donation. Your generosity will help prevent a child and parents from going through what we had to go through ever again.

    It was such a pleasure to meet you in the coral. I am glad that you are a "Social Butterfly" because it helped relieve the stress for sure.

    It looks like we both have about the same pace considering that I finished in 6:28:06. Maybe if we meet up again soon we can cross a finish line together.