Thursday, September 17, 2009

So, It's Been a Month

...and boy do I have a lot of updates for you! A lot has happened since I last posted. First off, I hurt my foot during my first 20 mile run, and now it's almost healed. I somehow moved a couple bones into the wrong position (weird, I can't imagine how that happened), but my chiropractor has been working on it and it's feeling a lot better. Now, to just get those bones to stay where they should be! It's a work in progress, but my speed training had to take a back seat while I try to heal. No biggie, I just have to readjust my goals for the race and that's A-OK. Sub-4 hour marathon is what I'm shooting for, and if the temperatures continue to drop like says they will all will work out. I'm being very optimistic. If you know anything about the weather during TCM, you're better off buying a Powerball ticket than successfully predicting the weather for race day.

I also have gotten a few massages from Stronghands Terri:
uh, huh. She's a leg-beater.

So I have a shin splints problem. Stronghands Terri feels very strongly about this, and she's not afraid to show it. I may or may not have dropped an f-bomb during this (beating) massage.

My older brother celebrated his 30th birthday, and we rang in the new year for him at the cabin. It was a fun time, but unfortunately, the weather was terribly confused and we spent the last weekend in August in jeans and sweatshirts. What the hey Ray? It's still summer right? Apparently not.

Adam and his friend, Andre the Giant

Wearing away the grass playing bean bags all weekend.

This white boy can't dance.

All he needs is a jean jacket. What a creeper.

This past weekend, Mr. Fury and I went to Madison, WI for Ironman. We had a great time volunteering and cheering on our friends. We spent the morning stripping wetsuits off the athletes, and it was crazy chaotic and so much fun. I can't wait to go back next year and do it again! Here we are in action:

This transition station was full of people yelling, "Here, here! Point your hands! Lay down! Point your toes! Have a great race!!" It's hard to believe that we had nearly 2,400 athletes come through to get their wetsuit stripped. We had the privilege of stripping (bow chicka wow wow) our friends Ironman Sean, Ironman Dana, and Ironman Becca. It was amazing that they found us in the mess of strippers and athletes so we could help them. I was really happy we got to see them so early on in the race and wish them luck for the rest of the day.

After chasing our friends around on the bike course, we worked at the finish line as catchers starting at 5:30pm. We got to catch some of the fastest age groupers racing that day and saw Jan Guenther come in soon after we started working. She looked phenomenal! It was hard to believe she just raced a 10:30 Ironman because she looked like she just raced a 1/2 Ironman. What an athlete!

Working at the finish line was a little emotional at times. I caught a man and brought him through the finish line area to get his medal, hat and shirt and then walked him over to his family. They were all in tears and his kids kept saying, "Daddy, daddy, we're going to Kona! We're going to Kona!" He came in just after 5:30pm so it was very possible he earned a slot to the World Championships. I dropped him off with his wife, and it just about brought me to tears. I really hope he earned his slot to Kona, he clearly put in a lot of work to get there.

As time passed, Mr. Fury and I knew that our friends were going to be coming in soon. Just after 9pm, our friend Ironman Sean crossed the finish line and I was there to catch him along with another volunteer. He crossed with a huge smile on his face and then promptly said, "I think I'm going to throw up." The other volunteer and I looked at each other and tried to get him off to the side, but there were too many people. IM Sean then said, "Um...Hurry?!" and we started yelling, "MOVE! MOVE!" and we got IM Sean to a garbage just in time. As he was clutching the garbage can, Mr. Fury came back from the medical tent from dropping off another participant. IM Sean stood up and said, "Wow, I feel better," and then we asked him if he needed anything. He looked at the table next to him with a stack of finishers medals, pointed at them and said, "Well, I would like one of those." He always makes me laugh, even when he's puking and half-alert. Congratulations Sean! You are an Ironman!

Sean and his beautiful lady friend J-Tub

After Ironman Sean finished and we walked him to his family and the rest of our friends, our volunteer shift was over. We went with Ironman Kimmi to find our other friend Dana on the course. When she got close to the finish line, we snuck back into the finish line area to catch her as she crossed. Her face crossing the finish line brought me to tears. She had the best reaction and she was one of the happiest finishers I saw all day. Pumping her fists and running across the finish line she ran to Mr. Fury and I and gave us a huge group hug. I was beyond happy to have been there for her when she crossed, and you could tell she felt the same to have Mr. Fury and I there for her. Congratulations Dana, you did it! You are an Ironman!

Right before Dana yelled to us, "I'm having so much fun!"

2 blocks before crossing the finish line.

Ironman Becca wasn't too far behind Ironman Dana. Mr. Fury and I waited and waited for a warning text message telling us she was coming, but we never got one. Finally, I heard Mike Reilly say Ironman Becca's name before she crossed the finish line, and Mr. Fury and I ran up to the front of the line to catch her. We were a little late, but we still got there to walk with her to get her picture taken and walk her to the huge group of family and friends waiting for her. She never stopped talking the entire time we were with her which isn't entirely normal for her, and suggested that maybe she meander over to the medical tent to get checked out. She was feeling dizzy earlier during the run, and you could tell the heat and dehydration had gotten to her. Being the wonderful doctor that she is, she refused to go right away, but eventually she was persuaded to stop in to get checked out. Congratulations Becca, you had an awesome race! You are an Ironman!
A big smile on the first loop.

Still smiling during the run!

I also want to send a big congratulations to Ironman TriChicKris. Awesome job out there, you fought your way through the bike course and hit it hard on the run. Hello, sub-5 hour marathon! You are an Ironman!!

Workin' it across the finish line.

Ironman weekend, whether you're racing or spectating, is absolutely exhausting. I'm just now starting to feel like I'm back to normal. After a great night of sleep, I sent Mr. Fury off this morning to his bachelor party in Las Vegas. All forms of debauchery to ensue, I'm sure. He just texted me a little while ago to tell me they landed safely, got to the hotel and were off to the buffet for lunch. Ha! Of course they're going to a buffet, where else is there to eat in Vegas?? I am only benefiting from this trip to Vegas since my brothers are going as well. No brothers in town means Gopher Football tickets for me! Have fun in Vegas boys...GO GOPHERS!!

This Deserves a Post of It's Own

Wow. Jan Guenther is a machine. Clearly she had the AG performance of the year at IMWI. Crossing the finish line, she made it look so easy. All in a day's work for one of the nation's best age groupers.