Sunday, July 8, 2012

Boulder 5i50 2012

The Boulder 5i50 is the second race in the series in Boulder and also the second race that I have competed in this summer in the 5i50 series. As always I traveled up the night before to check in and spend the night at my coach's house. After arriving, it began pouring rain and continued most of the night and morning. Being in the Elite wave that starts first, I knew the bike course would be very slick on the mountain turns. As I put on my wet suit, Dave Scott (6 time Ironman World Champion) sat down beside me, and we had a great conversation as he was there to watch his son race. After the talk, I was excited and ready to start the race.

The elite wave in the swim started fast as I expected it would, leaving me in the back as I am not known as a swimmer. Although I found my way to the back of the pack of swimmers, I still managed a personal best time for 1500m in the swim. Coming out of the water I was excited to see my split despite being behind the top athletes. Onto the bike where the course had plenty of puddles and slick spots as well as parts in the mountains where dirt had washed across the road. With these conditions I understood my time might not be as fast as I would like, but I would push all the same. Luckily for me the toughest hill ever put in a triathlon is on Old Stage Road; this is right where my coach Jim Hallberg had positioned himself to encourage me and tell me to get after it. I couldn't help but smile seeing him there because as a coach it is exactly where I would have been for my athletes. Coming to the end of the bike I was under pace for a new best time on the course when I heard that sound of rim on pavement. A FLAT TIRE with 2 miles to go! The decision had to be made quickly, and I decided to ride the rim for the rest rather than blowing the time to fix it. This would prove costly. I made the first turn with no problem right at 20mph as I had slowed since I was riding on the rim. With 200m to go and the last turn right in front of several hundred people, I made the turn too fast, and the bike went out from underneath me. I felt my body slide and my shoulder, hip, and knee did a great job of taking the brunt of the force. My skin also did its job in slowing the slide by applying itself to the highway. I could hear the yells and gasps as I fell and got up. I quickly grabbed my bike and took off running the remaining 200m. I could hear the loud cheers of support as the spectators could see the blood running off of my shoulder and other places. I once again had a quick decision to make and decided to give it hell on the run as I had good adrenaline. The adrenaline lasted about 1.5 miles, and the following 4.5 miles were excruciating. My left hip and knee could only land, and the majority of the push off had to come from the right side of my body. As I ran, I knew I wanted to finish because I have wrecked before and finished an Ironman bleeding; this should be no problem. However, at the finish line my body was aching. I was then helped to the med tent where they cleaned the rocks and dirt out of my cuts. The medics did a great job of bandaging me up and encouraged me to get x-rays to check out my hip and shoulder.

I am very pleased to have a new PR in the swim, to have been able to nearly match my time on the bike despite the terrible luck, and very happy that pain could not stop me from finishing. I may have said the verse Isaiah 40: 28-31 about 25 times on the run to tell myself I would be okay. I really appreciate my parents being there, even though I nearly caused a heart attack for my mom as she was right there to watch me crash. I also want to thank Beth and Carson, two friends who both gave me high fives on the run that helped me push through the pain. Without the support of family, friends, and my Savior, I would have stayed on the road and waited for the paramedics to pick me up. God Bless

2:20.46 Missed my course record by only 22 seconds.
Swim 27:27, T 2:03, Bike 1:12.09, T:57, Run 38:10
Out of the water with a new PR.
The pain is in my face with every step.
The medics cleaning me up.
Never look at an injury till the race is over.
Post race chat with Ironman GREAT Julie Dibens.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Colorado Springs Will Rebuild

Today I took off on my favorite bike route on Flying W Ranch Rd. and Garden of the Gods. It has been over a week since most of you heard about the blaze that destroyed over 346 homes and took the life of two residents in that part of Colorado Springs. Even though fires are commonplace in Colorado, never has one blown into a city like the Waldo Canyon Fire did last Tuesday. I think back to that evening, sitting up by Pulpit Rock with two close friends, watching it jump from house to house. As we sat there, we prayed together that no one would be injured and that the firefighters would be able to stop it. Not since the 1990 Limon, CO tornado have I had such a front seat to watch such devastating destruction.

My ride was supposed to be an easy 25 mile shake out after a 6 mile run, but it quickly changed as I rode by house after house that had been burned and destroyed. What I couldn't get over that fateful night nor today is the true power that only God possesses. Even with hundreds of firefighters and fire hydrants, they still were at the mercy of the fire. Only God can truly stop such a fire. My bike ride was a reminder of His awesome power; I was overcome with different emotions as I cycled through the area. The majority of the damaged homes will be rebuilt. As sad as it was to see families digging through the rubble, I was excited to see people alive and well. This city is truly a great home and I am proud to be from here as it has reached out and taken in those lost. What truly took me back today was a person whose home was half destroyed by fire but still standing. They were painting on a piece of their fence a thank you note to the firefighters. Firefighters ripped down fences and pulled down wood decks to try to save houses and to stop the spread of fire. I am proud of this city for its support of the firefighters and the trust in God to rebuild and keep the people safe. Thank you to all the firefighters, national guard, and police who did such an amazing job in protecting this city and keeping the people safe.

I race Sunday morning at the Boulder 5i50 Triathlon.