Triathlon Superstars

No rides yesterday because of this nasty head cold — I am hoping to get out and ride on Monday. I am pretty sure I will be back to at least 80% by then. That would be enough to get back on the bike. I usually will train through a head cold as long as the congestion is not in my chest, but this one is just feeling a little weird. I am sure I will be fine on Monday though. A week off the bike will hurt fitness levels for sure, but in this case I think biking in 47° temps with a head cold will be worse.

Triathlon Superstars Visit

I know there are those of you who are bloggers that will get about 10,000 page views per day and mixed into your visitors will be the various professional triathlete. Since my blog is a little more humble, I think that professional triathletes, cyclists, and runners rarely stop by here and when, they do, they rarely leave a comment — I am not sure they would want their friends to know they have been here. It is kind of like getting caught on a date with someone your friends always make fun of. You just don’t want to have that happen.

So pardon me if I brag a little and tell you about the comment that I had left last week by my new BFF Chris Sadowski. I did get a Tweet once from Jessi Stensland (be still my heart), but 140 characters in no way compare to the comment left by one of the hardest dudes to ever do Kona. If you recall, Chris was about 105 miles into the bike when a race motorcycle hit him. You read that correctly, it was an official race motorcycle that hit him as he was starting to think about his run. In my original post many moons ago (read it here), I summed up why I thought Chris was an Endurance Rock Star and why I thought he was deserving of my adoration.

I guess Chris Googled his name and found my post. He took the time to leave an awesome comment that added significant depth to the story for me. Here is what he said in his comment…

Thanks for the write-up Mike. It was a very long day in ’04. My finish time was actually 16:09:48. I still remember Wendy Ingraham constantly driving by me on the run course trying to motivate me. At one time she asked me, “you feeling alright?”, I replied “yes” and she yelled, “so why aren”t you running?”. Right then and there, I initially wanted to yank her out of that car, but then I actually thought about it. I should be running, this was the World Championship. Miles earlier I had given up jogging because I was getting dizzy. But I bit my lip and tried to jog again. My intestines were kicking back some pain after the severe dehydration when walking the bike in. My left calf was extremely swollen and my right butt had a mind of its own and I could feel it bleeding and sticking to my shorts. Needless to say, I was able to do a hobble trot. It sucked. All I could think of was that I had to finish this thing. I couldn’t let this race get the best of me. Even though I was shaking with exhaustion and energy depletion, I was able to keep moving. Several times I would glance over at the people I passed or those that passed me. Many of them looked worse off than me. Some looked like pure death. Every race I do I finish with a sprint. This one wasn’t going to be any different. I mustered the energy and overcame the pain and was able to sort of sprint the last 10 yards. Nobody knew that I was cramping severely and almost fell flat on my face. All they saw was a pitiful attempt at one last hurrah. As soon as I crossed the line, I gave me wife a big hug and told her, “that was harder than the Swiss Alpine race (which I’ve done 8 times)”. Wendy then came up to me and said, “Congrats, and you actually don’t look that bad, kinda good looking too.” I laughed and so did my wife. I felt horrible, but her comment was exactly what I needed. I’m happy that people find inspiration from my walk in the lava fields. It is truly amazing how many people we impact during our lifetime. Chris McCormack had a pretty good write-up about me in his new book. I think everyone should read it, and not because of me. Macca has an incredible insight on treating racing like a professional company with consultants and constituents. I’ve always thought he was just a braggart, but his book paints a completely different picture. It’ll make you reconsider how tough you really think you are.

Now you have to admit that is a great comment by Chris S. I had no idea his butt was bleeding and sticking to his shorts. Can you imagine that run? Yikes. How about being called out by Wendy Ingraham? I hope the significance is not lost on you for that one…Wendy Ingraham and Sian Welch had the famous crawl across the finish line in Kona in 1997 that really defines the spirit of Ironman for lots of people. Wendy has a lot of credibility and if she called me out, I think I would die. Here is the video of Wendy and Sian.

Again, Chris is super hardcore. And Chris finishes up his comment about the new book by Chris McCormack with “It’ll make you reconsider how tough you really think you are.” Really? Coming from Sadowski, that is a real compliment. I am going to have to reread Macca’s new book to probe even deeper.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...