Round 1: 2011 Soma 70.3
If I had Mickey Goldmill in my corner for Soma2011 his famous quote from Rocky IV would have been apropos:
Because you can’t win, Jeley! This guy will kill you to death inside of three rounds!
Soma pummeled me and knocked me out at mile 2 of the run. It was ugly.
Round 2: 2012 Boise 70.3
At Boise 2012 I was far better prepared. I was fit. I had sparred my way into good fighting shape by completing a handful of tough races. On fight night, Boise changed fighters…the fight went on, but it didn’t count. Bets were called off, and the round was called a draw.
70.3 is still ahead by one round.
Round 3: 2012 Soma 70.3
That brings us to Soma 2012 – Round 3 of this epic battle. I came out swinging, I was determined to put Soma on the mat. In the swim I landed a lot of punches early, but most of them were glancing blows. I exited the water with a little less confidence but I knew on the bike that I would start to control the fight. I had Soma on the ropes a number of times on the bike, but on lap 3 the wind changed, making it MUCH tougher. On top of that, an abdominal hernia I had trained through started really acting up…I started to catch a few punches, right on the chin.
Onto the run; Soma can see that I don’t have the same steam and starts hitting me with repeated body blows. I realize at this point all I have to do is not get knocked out and I can win this fight on points. I start covering up and holding on…every time Soma comes at me, I just wrap him up and hang on. The ref splits us up time after time, but all I have to do is get to the bell….finally I get past the last aid station on the run and I know I can make it to the end.
After walking 75% of the 13.1 miles I come to the finishing
shoot chute and cross the line…I have made it to the end of the fight without even being knocked down.
Round 3 goes to Jeley – but all 3 judges have me winning the round by only a couple of points…
After 3 rounds it’s Half-Iron 1 round, Jeley 1 round, and 1 round is a draw. Will this fight end in a draw? Hell no, I am going to win a split decision or knock Half-Iron on it’s ass…stayed tuned to the 2013 triathlon season. How do you think Jeley will do? Well I tell you what, I wouldn’t bet against Rocky Balboa, and I wouldn’t bet against Jeley.
In just under 5 weeks I will be getting out of bed at about 3am…not that I will have had any sleep. The entire night will be spent laying in bed, and staring at the ceiling, just to make sure no alarms are missed. I will be laying there thinking about the following things:
- what is traffic going to be like down by the lake? will I have to wait in lines to park?
- did I remember to pack the tire pump?
- don’t let Christine forget her nutrition, it’s in the fridge.
- will my mother in law be up in time to get out of the house with plenty of time?
- I hope Christine is sleeping.
- Oh man, I am so nervous…my stomach is upset. Why am I nervous? I’m not the one about to spend 14 hours racing.
- Did I fill enough water bottles?
- I need to make sure Christine has ALL OF HER BAGS!
- Did I pack enough water and food to get through the day of cheering?
- Is Christine’s mom gonna be alright hanging around for so long?
- Should we go home and rest a bit during the bike?
- Can I drive out to the Beeline somewhere with the hopes of catching a glimpse of Christine as she zooms by?
- Will Christine even notice when I yell her name as she zooms by?
The thing that will keep me awake the most is;
I will be envisioning the scene over, and over, and over again…the one where I see Christine coming down the finishing shoot, perhaps running, maybe not, it doesn’t matter. Mike Reily is saying “Christine Eley, YOU are an Ironman”. My chest fills with IMMENSE pride. My eyes well up with tears and I am overjoyed more than any other time in my life. I know she is exhausted. I know all she wants to do is get the hell off her tired legs and feet. I know that she just wants a stupid damn piece of pizza that she is going to take 2 bites of and then throw away cause her stomach can’t take it. I know she is cold and just wants the mylar blanket to heat her up a bit. I know she doesn’t want me to keep hugging her so damn tight and repeating how she amazes me. But I can’t help it…#887 has been the biggest and best part of my life for more than 21 years. I need #887 to know how much I love being a part of everything she does.
#887 is going to do an amazing thing, but that is not unusual, #887 is ALWAYS doing amazing things.
The training is almost done. The final preparations are beginning. #887 is going to be ready. #887 is going to be an Ironman. #887 is a number I will never forget.
The results are in and Neil Manville was our big winner, taking home 1st overall, 1st in the Men’s, and 2nd in the Women’s categories. Neil is gonna take home some nice wine. I will be contacting all of our winners to deliver their prizes in the next couple of days.
Mens: Neil Manville 1st, Barry Tait 2nd
Womens: Bryan Howell 1st, Neil Manville 2nd
Overall: Neil Manville
Attached is a PDF of all of the results. Check em out and see how you did compared to everyone else.
Kona Prediction Results
This last weekend was the 28th annual Mountain Man Olympic and Half Iron Distance Triathlon. It’s been on my race calendar all year, but after Boise 70.3 and before SOMA 70.3 it was considered by me (and my awesome WannaTri coaches) to be a “B” race. This essentially means that I would be racing it with very little training taper, and would be trying not to concern myself with performance goals. I would basically be racing it on general fitness and would focus on getting more experience and polishing up things like transitions.
With all of this in mind, I entered the race weekend in a much more lackadaisical mode. I hadn’t even checked my swim wave number, cap color, or start time prior to packet pickup. If I was focused on anything, it was trying to be as nonchalant about racing as possible. I really wanted to go into it with NO stress. I feel now with a couple years of racing under my belt that I can go into a race without the typical nerves and worried behavior. I packed my transition bag without a check list. I even waited until right before bed the night before the race to put on my race wheels, adjust the brakes, and lube the chain. The one traditional thing I did do was shave my legs (albeit with soap and not shave cream….living on the edge I tell you).
One big factor that helped me not stress about racing was switching my focus from Jeley’s Training to being supportive and trying to be Super Sherpa for Christine in her build up to Ironman Arizona. It really is nice to be able to focus on someone else, and not worry so much about shoe-horning my own training into our already hectic lives. I do what I can to stay in shape, but I am certainly not hyper-focused on it like usual. So, even though I had a race to do, which was in Flagstaff, it really was a convenient excuse to get out of the super hot temperatures in Phoenix, and go up north so Christine could get some high quality training miles in cooler weather and at altitude. I spent a large part of Saturday just driving around Mormon lake making sure she had plenty of water and nutrition during her 70 mile training ride.
On Sunday morning, we got up around 4am and I got my bike loaded on the Rover, got my transition bag and nutrition loaded and off we went to the race start. Even in this I didn’t do my usual “must get there as early as possible”. Again, I just wanted to deal with things as they came, rather than preparing for every possible scenario. I guess I was just putting aside my usual need to be Super Risk Mitigation Manager. I sauntered into transition, found a reasonably good spot for my setup, and got everything laid out. Smooth as can be. The only hiccups being I had to ask Christine to take my race bib back into transition for me, since for some reason I was wearing it…and then I nearly forgot to get body marked. I got into my wetsuit super easy and headed down to the race start.
I got into the water a little late so I didn’t get a warm-up, but that was fine, I usually don’t get much. I lined up far right to be directly on the bouy line and right at the front….the gun went off and I went BALLS TO THE WALL for 100m and THEN…….the altitude hit me, I started gasping. I wanted to take off my wetsuit and started looking for a kayack. I dog paddled for about 30 seconds, got dropped by the main pack, got mixed in with all the people that had brought Barka Loungers to the first turn buoy and then FINALLY settled in about 100m past the turn. I went through some mental bullshit where I just figured it was gonna be a really slow swim and that I would be in the bottom 5 – “hey it’s a B race” I told myself. Then all of a sudden I started catching and passing people VERY quickly and managed to swim a VERY straight line. I got through the last turn before the leaders of the next wave caught me and I stayed connected to their pack all the way to the swim exit.
I swam HARD! Really HARD! It felt great. I have wanted to do a swim where I really just went after it and once I had resolved myself to finishing last, I just went for broke.
I got to about 100 yards before the boat ramp and
idiots athletes were standing up and walking already. I swam all the way until I literally could not swim cause my hands were dragging, then stood up, took 2 steps and kicked a boulder like I was trying to win a game of kickball…fell forward and face planted and yelled FUCK. I got to T1, hurting a lot, and the toe looked really mangled, but no blood, so I started to put on my bike shoes. I put my foot down on my towel and my toe just exploded like it had a facesucker alien in it…I then remembered that after 30 minutes of swimming you don’t have much blood in your feet.
I looked at it and thought “I can still ride” and then I thought “I wonder how much blood I will lose in 25 miles and if I can do it without passing out”…and then I went to the ambulance. EMT guy was super nice, but I don’t think he had done EMTing before. He wrapped my toe up like he had learned it in an online course. Once EMT had completed making my toe look like a Godzilla sized Q-Tip I was still thinking I might give it a go, but decided that i had already lost 10 minutes, so there was no point in risking further injury to finish in the bottom half.
Once I decided to DNF I was suddenly gutted. Because I had such a great last 2/3 of the swim and was feeling very strong on the bike, I am pretty bummed about the injury…it’s such a boneheaded thing. I had taken 5 minutes off last year’s swim and that includes swimming like a noob for 500 meters. I really think I could have done that swim in 30 minutes or less.
The thing is if I had finished the race in 3:20 I probably would not have cared cause I went in with NO expectations or pressure on myself at all; but because I had such a great swim and am so confident on the bike, I was just devastated when I realized I needed to stop. I had been wandering around T1 asking anyone I could find “where is medical?” because I was in a hurry and wanted to get back in the race…I just kept thinking if I can control the bleeding I am fine, lets do this. When I finally realized I was done, I just packed up transition and wandered back to the team tent.
When Christine realized I had dropped out, she was so bummed for me. She knew that I didn’t really care going into the race, but she could see that I was disappointed. She is so awesome. She could see that my foot was really hurting and she noticed that EMT Man had done a terrible job wrapping my toe. So she did what she always does, she stepped in, without provocation and took charge of fixing the situation. She unwrapped my toe, and cleaned it up again and re-wrapped it, like EMT Man should have. The rest of the day, she was just so focused on me and my needs. I didn’t even need to tell her that I wanted to leave, she could just see it and said “let’s pack up and go”. Here I was, so committed to her weekend and her training, and as soon as she got back from her 9 mile run and saw me withdrawn from the race, it was like the only person in the world was me. She’s amazing like that and I can’t manufacture the words to convey my thanks appropriately.
So…that was my race. 30 minutes of swimming in Lake Mary, eating a handful of Dolly Madison Donut Gems and hobbling around yacking about my misfortune.
Next year I am gonna wear steel-toed boots.