Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thank you Dad!

Today is Father's Day 2013.  I had the opportunity to see both of my parents last week, as well as my sister and her family.  Someone asked earlier today  "what is the one thing you learned from your father?"  While there are many things - too numerous to mention - one that stands out in particular is the importance of exercise in managing my diabetes. 

When I was first diagnosed with Type1 diabetes in my early teens - I was fortunate enough to have a pediatrician who recognized the value of exercise as an element to managing the disease - and 35 years ago that was not the norm.  Shortly after I was diagnosed - my dad started going to the YMCA several times a week, and encouraged me to go as well, to lift weights, to stay active and involved in sports, and to continue doing the things I enjoyed doing before I was diagnosed.  I played basketball, swam, ran track, and played football in high school - and went on to letter for 3 years while playing football at Allegheny College.  As I got a bit older, I tried to remain active, but with small children and a job where I travelled quite a bit - it wasn't as easy and it became less of a priority. 

Fortunately some changes in life and lifestyle provided me with an opportunity to become more active again - first by attempting (and completing) a half marathon, then a full marathon.  As I sought to learn more about how to manage blood sugar levels while doing endurance sports (and using a pump) - I was also able to find a "community" of diabetic athletes through DESA (Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association) and at one of their 2008 conferences met the leader of a group of 12 diabetics on the Triabetes team who were seeking to complete Ironman Wisconsin later that year. 

Needless to say - my father (who was diagnosed as a Type2 a while back and continues to work out at the YMCA several times a week) and my mom have been supportive of my various athletic endeavors over the years (though I'm guessing they have not always been so sure that there wasn't something malfunctioning between my ears).  In 2011, as I was preparing to complete my first Ironman in St. George, UT, I received word that I was one of 200 lottery slot winners from around the world selected to participate in the Ironman World Championship race in Kona that October.  But just two and a half months earlier - my daughter had been diagnosed with Type1 as well - and I started to face the challenges associated with being a diabetic parent (hopefully avoiding being the "diabetes police". 

As I trained for the Kona race (long rides and intense runs in the hot Georgia summer, and swims in heavily chlorinated pool water as well as murky lake water) I had lots of time to reflect on the many lessons learned in life, the many people who have helped and inspired me along the way, and the communities I've been a part of along the way.  In many cases those thoughts could be easily traced back to my youth and my parents.  The man in the red Hawaiian shirt in the short video clip attached is my father (he was also driving when some of the bike footage was shot).  After 13 hours and 51 minutes I crossed the finish line in Kona - after a brief stop to hug both of my parents.  While it was a proud accomplishment for me - I know where I got the drive to dream of doing the "impossible" (or things that "diabetics aren't supposed to do"), to believe and persist during the difficult times, and to make it across the finish was inherited.

Kona Ironman Footage

Thanks dad!  Happy Father's Day!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

2013 Insulindependence Athletic Achievement Award Nominee Vic Kinnunen

Realize it has been a while since I've posted here - but hoping those that are subscribed will take a moment to watch the short video.  It contains footage from my Kona Ironman World Championship experience as well as footage from Ironman St. George.  Please share with friends who need a dose of motivation or inspiration.  Diabetes does not need to be a limiter in life - but instead a motivator!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Warm Weekend in the Windy City

You’d think training in the heat and humidity all summer would have prepared me well for the October heat in Chicago as I completed the marathon last weekend. Maybe it was the lack of humidity during the race, but unfortunately things didn’t go as planned. Good news – I finished, not as good news – about a half hour slower than I had hoped.

The weather in Chicago was beautiful for entire weekend – although unseasonably warm. After arriving with a plane full of runners on Friday I took a 3-4 mile run along Lake Shore Drive. The thought occurred to me that I had trained in the heat and humidity, but somehow missed the wind (really a minor breeze that day) which seemed to be in my face constantly, and wondered if that would have any impact on Sunday (it didn’t – there was no breeze on Sunday). Friday night we had a nice dinner at CafĂ© Grand Lux – lots of variety on the menu, but Martin was pretty tired so we had to rush things along and get him to bed. Fortunately he slept pretty well that night (meaning mom and dad did too). Saturday we had a great breakfast (EggSperience was the name of the place I think) and walked around downtown a bit. In the afternoon we hit the Race Expo and then headed to dinner with the Diabetes Action Team where we met some friends from the Marine Corps Marathon a couple years ago, as well as several new folks who were running Chicago. Martin slept through dinner that night – and when he woke up he found a large serving spoon on the table that he enjoyed so much that it left the restaurant with him (I’m not fighting a one-year old for a spoon if it makes him happy – and I’m not naming the restaurant either – never know how those people might take this news).

Sunday arrived after another decent night of sleep (must have been the borrowed spoon). Fortunately we were staying downtown; unfortunately it seemed like a 2 mile walk to get to the Charity Village and the team tent. I left about 5:30 to find a nice warm morning and made the trek with Brad from Charlotte who was running for hospice. Fortunately the team tent was easy to spot in the Village and I had some water, laced up the shoes and got in on the team photo. From there we headed to the starting line – again walking what seemed like another mile, this time through Grant Park. The starting area reminded me a lot of the Peachtree Road Race starts – lots of people packed together inside of a fenced area – some stretching, talking, resting, wondering, and wandering. I met Sarah from the Cleveland area who has a daughter with Type 1. She was interested in the organization, how I handle things as a Type 1 and running marathons, and I shared the Insulindependence story with her (Tiffany – she may contact you). [I got a Facebook message from Sarah today after I had finished the initial draft of this message – thanks again Sarah!] One difference from the Peachtree start was that there seemed to be an open area to the left and the starting area marshals weren’t holding people behind the designated time ropes with much efficiency – so many people were moving toward the front before the race started. I followed them – perhaps not a good choice because that actually put me in front of several of the pace groups that would have been logical for me to follow (I saw them later in the race when they passed me).

Shortly after 7:30 the race started. With over 38,000 starting the race it’s probably easiest to picture a professional sporting event and everyone leaving the stadium at the same time after a game - crowds moving in unison for several city blocks, but with some space between bodies. About 10 minutes the “official” start I crossed the start line. My favorite comment at that point was from a fan on the side of the street who shouted “you’re almost there”. Wonder how many people responded by not laughing – wonder what the response would have been in Philly?

The first several miles twisted through the downtown area – the streets were filled with runners, the sidewalks with spectators. As Bill Carlson told me when I first met him in Toronto a couple years ago – it’s a great way to see a city. How true. After a mile I was at about nine minutes – too fast, but that’s what I got for moving up in the start area. Felt fine (at that point) – but was aware of the speed (maybe pace is a better term). Good news for the first half of the course – it was shady, primarily due to the buildings, and the time of morning as well I guess. The crowds were great – cheering loudly, calling people by name, offering encouragement, giving high fives - and this was the case the entire way. We ran through the financial district and headed north, through some residential areas, past a park, made a turnaround near the lake (never got to see Wrigley Field), and headed south back toward downtown.

I hit the halfway point near the Sears Tower in a little over 2 hours – still felt great, but also aware that my last half marathon took longer than the pace I was on at that point. Hoped that it was just a matter of the training I had done. I saw the Diabetes Action Team crew taking pictures (gave them a face like Nicole would make – not sure that will be one they want to put on the website).

At that point we were heading west, the sun was getting higher in the sky, and the shade of the downtown buildings had disappeared, and the heat was on. Things continued to go well through about mile 17. At that point I had some minor cramping in the legs. I was checking BGs about every 4 miles – had started about 180, hit 265 at 4 miles (adrenaline?), and was in the 90-120 range after that, which meant a yummy gel every 4 miles. At 17.5 I went for the race sponsor’s gel rather than the Hammer product I had. I was hoping their chocolate version might spur me along and pick me up a bit, but it didn’t work. Within another mile or two the cramps were severe enough that the marathon turned into a walkathon for me. I also realized that I wasn’t sweating much and felt parched. Maybe dehydrated? At that point all I wanted was some ice – the hat was on by then, but I felt fried. From that point things got a bit fuzzy. At one point along the route a woman held out a popsicle and encouraged me to take it – I don’t think she spoke English, but it was the best popsicle I had ever eaten.

  • The med stations seemed not to have ice – the water stations seemed to be missing that important component as well. As I proceeded I stayed close to the side of the course and asked several families with coolers for ice – they all willingly provided some, along with some encouraging words – and I kept moving, sometimes running, at other times walking or hobbling – depending on the severity of the cramps. At the water stations I tried putting water on my legs – sometimes it seemed to help alleviate the cramps. The last six miles seemed to take forever – the time groups were passing, the photographers were taking pictures (surely I could run at that point right ?) Nike had a big motivational area at about 25 miles – for me the motivation was just to get to the finish at that point. In the last mile I saw at least 3 runners on the street with medical staff hovering over them. Each runner had an IV – I was glad it wasn’t me. The last stretch showed the number of meters to go – at about 400m there is a hill that takes you into Grant Park for the finish. I staggered up the hill in a bit of a fog – one of the other runners yelled “come on diabetic guy – you’re almost there – finish”. I got to the top and ran (I don’t think it really qualified as running, but it wasn’t walking, though the pace was probably slower than a walk) the last 100m.

    After crossing the finish line I bent over to massage my legs – the cramps were pretty heavy again. One of the volunteers asked if I was OK. I told her I had cramps and wanted ice. She gave me some water and asked if I thought I could eat something. Sure. Bananas? I don’t like them. But they help with cramps. I don’t like them. I felt a bit like the green eggs and ham character, (I will not eat them in a race, I will not eat them anyplace) but she gave up before I tried them. I had a bagel instead. And then got my free beer, and some more water, and started the trek back to the Charity Village. When I arrived Jolanta and Martin were there. A few other runners were there too – and after I arrived a few more started to trickle in. The team had 3 massage tables set up. Fortunately there wasn’t a long wait. More water, more food, and a slow walk back to the hotel with some stops for pictures, and avoiding stairs wherever possible, along the way. Throughout the rest of the afternoon we heard sirens and saw ambulances heading up and down Michigan Ave. We passed some spectators who had passed out and gave the family some of our water as the ambulance was approaching. We had a nice dinner (steak) early that evening at a place just a short (slow) walk from the hotel. We got up Monday and took a long, slow walk to the Navy Pier. Saw lots of red 10/10/10 shirts on the streets. From there we took the train back to Midway Airport and back to Atlanta with a plane full of runners – they all seemed to be walking a little differently. It must have been the finisher medal that many of them were wearing that slowed them down.

    Lessons Learned
    Follow your own race pace (remember the tortoise and the hare story)
    Race what you practice (2 minute BG checks in practice do not equate to 30 second checks in a race, and a 9:30 – 10:00 pace is just fine)
    Drink early and drink often (this applies to exercising, not otherwise, though I probably heard this in college originally - for a different reason)

    Favorite Shirt Sayings
    13.1 is half of nothing
    If you can read this it means I’m not last

    Best Feature - the crowds, people on the course the entire 26.2 miles
    Worst Feature - no ice

    Would I do it again – absolutely! but I may try another venue next year (11/11/11 is on a Friday though?!).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back on Track

I know I haven't posted anything here for a few weeks - I have some notes and will put something in regarding mid August to mid September, but in the meantime I'll pick things up with the Tri2Remember sprint tri held at Laurel Park in Gainesville, GA on 9//18/10.

Tri2Remember - Laurel Park
This was the first anniversary of the first tri I ever did – and it’s the first race I’ve ever done twice. The Tri2 Remember group (which benefits Alzheimer’s) has been a good one to train with and I’ve had an opportunity to do lake swims, weekend bike rides, race in Chattanooga, and attend a couple group dinners with them over the past year. For this event they pull out all the stops including having an open water swim training a couple weeks before and an open ride on the bike course a week prior to the race. It’s a great race for a first timer – I think at least half of this year’s field indicated this was their first tri. Hats off to Denise Novicki and the rest of the Tri2 group for doing such a great job and turning a single event into a series of events this year.

My goal for this race was simply to beat last year’s time. The weather was great – especially considering the rain that we had last year. The swim was a time trial start, two at a time from opposite sides of a dock. Unfortunately, I ended up swallowing a couple gallons of lake water at the start and never really recovered from that. And again this week I was all over the place and probably ended up going an extra hundred meters or so on the swim (I guess that’s good for training). As a result after making the last turn I ended up looking at the sky, trying to catch my breath, and mentally preparing for the transition and the upcoming ride. (Yes, that means I was floating on my back – "sculling" being the appropriate swimming term I think, although at that point several other terms were coming to mind). In my post race note to myself I stated "swim was horrible" - I meant it. Fortunately, it's the shortest leg of the race.

First transition wasn’t too bad – BG was a bit high – likely due to being off the pump longer than I would have liked. And although the bike course was only a little over 12 miles, the first several miles were heavy on the hills. I felt slow, but I was passing some people as well. There was one area where traffic caused some problems (what does USAT say to do when a car that is blocking faster riders won’t pass a slower bike)? At any rate – without being specific we’ll just say that both of them were passed in some way/shape/form by several riders. Since I’ve been on this course a few times it felt good to have an idea of where I was at all times – and where that put me in relation to the next transition.

BG was over 270 getting off the bike and my second transition was extremely slow. Though I had the Dexcom with me, I knew that I better check on the glucometer too - and that slowed things down a bit. In this race I had no cramps and I felt faster on the run, in fact I didn’t really feel the sluggishness one usually feels when transitioning from bike to run (maybe because of the extra transition time - it's a thought anyway). In this race I was actually passing people on the run (a relatively new experience for me in the triathlon world), and even though the BG started out of whack – it was in the 150s when I was done with the run. I patted myself on the back because I was under a nine minute mile pace (stop laughing - this is a good pace for me - especially considering the swimming and biking already completed).

The end result – 8 minutes faster than last year, due in part to faster transitions (believe it or not), and finished in the middle of my age group. When I looked at half a dozen others in my age group - only one other person had improved his time - and his was by 2 minutes. So I was fairly happy overall. At this point this is the last tri I plan to do this fall. The Chicago Marathon is up in 3 weeks. My body is tired, my brain is tired, and I know I have one more hard week of training before the taper begins for Chicago. At this point I’m feeling good about the Chicago event.

After the "hard week" and in starting the taper - I'm still feeling good (amazing). Even a bit "rested" after last weeks 20 mile run (before work). Hopefully 1 more update on this topic before 10/10/10.

The big announcement for all the Triabetes athletes has finally been made - our Triabuddies are on board! Peter Reis, an 11 year old lacrosse player, will be my triabuddy this year. Peter lives in Birmingham, AL – not too far from Atlanta. I had an opportunity to meet him in Orlando at the Friends for Life Conference this past summer. In talking to Peter and his mom, I know he’s pumped for the Kidz Tri event in Florida in early November. Having worked with lacrosse players and learned something about the game over the past 2 years myself – I know he’ll be up for the challenge. I’m looking forward to working with Peter and his family to help spread the word about Insulindependence and the Triabetes/Triabuddies program in particular.

Atlanta Dawn Phenom
This past weekend we had our 2nd Atlanta Dawn Phenom Event. To liven this post up a bit I've included a shot of some of the folks who attended the first event: Nicole, Jolanta, Martin, Amber and Dan. The first 3 being primary support team members for me (and familiar faces if you've read other posts) - and the latter two being great supporters of what we're doing in the Atlanta area.

The second photo shows Amber and Dan with Aimee Minton and her family. The big question here is where is Amelia hiding? Seems she is a bit camera shy - but she's been a great trooper, attending both events and walking several miles with her mom both times. Thanks all (and to Sue from CHOA who attended our most recent event at the Silver Comet Trail last weekend) - and if you're reading this and know diabetics (T1 or T2) or their supporters in the Atlanta area - have them contact me - we're planning our monthly events for October, November and December now!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recovery Week

The past week was one of the easier weeks I’ve had in quite some time from a workout perspective. Two off days (yes, I cheated and swam on one of them – trying to work on form and relaxation) plus a number of shorter distance runs (except for the 9 miles last Tuesday, which included runs up a “short hill”). Note to Coach Andrew – if a workout takes place in whole, or in part, on a “hill” and I am running 100-200 meter sprints up this “hill”, the “hill” cannot be called a “short hill”!

If you’ve ever been to Alexandria, VA and know where the George Washington Masonic Temple is located (near King Street Metro) – you have an idea of where this so-called “short hill” can be found (on King Street going away from Old Town). Note also there is no mention of “steepness”. Note to self – next time find a short, less steep hill to run on. If you’ve been there you know what I mean. At any rate – since the “hill work” phase of my marathon training is now done it seemed like a good time to complain.

Next up is the “speed work” and that continues on Tuesday’s through the end of September. I’ll try to keep comments to myself on that until it’s done. Second note to self – visualize that this part of your training is taking place in Jimmy Smith Park – you will feel like you are running much faster (a 3 rock 3 bench run) than you actually are, and you’ll be laughing. Note to teammates - iD leadership (JM) can explain and maybe he’ll even show us “the movie” at camp in November.

The “distance work” will continue to lengthen over the next few weeks as well. I’ve got a nice route from Alexandria to Arlington (which goes right by where I used to live and overlooks the Pentagon) with a couple hills incorporated (I will not be sprinting during that portion of the workout and the word “short” is not associated with the word “hill” in this case). This will help me remember and prepare for the fact that although Chicago is flat, St. George is definitely not…like I need a visual on that one…I’m not laughing either. Since some readers may not have been to St. George the chart below shows the "hills" on the marathon portion of the IMSG. Note that the bike portion is pretty much the same.

This morning’s 14-miler was not easy – I experienced some cramping in the calves (probably dehydrated given the amount of water I’ve put into my body today) and found out that I have a bruise on the bottom of my right foot (no clue how that got there), so the last 3 miles were exceptionally slow (not that I typically qualify my running as fast either).

This weekend is my second Olympic distance tri – this one taking place at one of Georgia’s State Parks. It has a two lap swim (with a run on the beach in the middle I think), a shorter bike ride than Chattanooga, and a two lap run (part on trails). As a result I’m hoping the time is a little faster and the fan club will get to see me a couple times. I’m also looking forward to getting the new Triabetes Tri Kit (my uniform) for this race as well. Rumor has it that the artwork is great! After that I have one 5k (and maybe one 10k due to the need for that distance and a race pace on one of the upcoming workouts) and 3 more weekend tri races that will take me through the middle of September. From there I’ll have a week to get a 20 mile run completed and then taper (looking forward to that part) before the Chicago race.

To sum it up, I have a several busy weeks between now and Chicago 10/10/10 – but the workout program seems to be working well based on my 5k time from a couple weeks ago and the progress I’m seeing in the tri events (which are still not where I’d like them to be). Tune in next week to see how things go this weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Christmas in July

Overall a busy week with some good training, and presents!! Early in the week I attended a Braves game in DC with some friends (Jay and Kathy Willson and their sons Nolan and Liam) from St. Edwards in Lawrenceville. It was one of the few times the Nationals sold out (Strasburg was scheduled to pitch) – standing room only, which worked well because they had a table in the restaurant and we managed to stay there for the entire game. The Braves lost – however, we had a nice time catching up.

Blair Ryan and her sister Alison arrived Tuesday night. I met with them briefly that night and they did a 6 mile run with me Wed. morning (Alison ran, Blair rode and took video). I admire the effort both of them put forth on this trip across the US to cover the Triabetes atheletes. If you haven’t seen the site, check out There are some pictures of my favorite athlete and part of his story posted there now - as well as some great shots and articles on his team.

Thursday morning we were up pretty early (out the door by 5) – so was the humidity and I think her camera lenses fogged up. Blair stopped to take some video as we were heading out – we managed to lose her in the first mile – circled back and found her – then continued on a 14 mile run (with hills just for fun). Alison ran most of the way with me, she and Blair switched about half way, but there is a slight height differential between the two of them (those who have met them both can attest) – and Blair’s bike doesn’t quite work with Alison’s slightly shorter stature (it is important to be able to put feet on the peddles and use the brakes at the same time, especially when going downhill). By the time we were done with 12 miles I was completely drenched (and the sun was just coming up) – might as well have been a torrential downpour. Got some water and slogged through the last 2 or so miles of Old Town Alexandria with Blair who was nice enough to keep a “moderate” pace so I could keep up. Headed back to Atlanta Thursday night – a wonderful light show outside on the eastern seaboard as we headed south (on yet another delayed flight).

Santa Claus (in the form of the UPS driver) arrived Friday with my XTerra wetsuit (like I’ll need that in the 86 degree lake water). I also got some swimming videos (courtesy of the US mailman) and to top it all off I got my loaner Dexcom CGM for a week!! I’ve had fun playing with it since then – seeing what happens when I eat certain things – for example: cereal and pizza. Don’t think I’ll do Chinese or Mexican at this point. It’s a plus to able to see what’s going on – even if there is a bit of a time lag – and even if it didn’t work when I did my 5k race Sunday (the rep says it can have a hard time registering rapid changes in BG – I’m thinking it was the blazing speed I had Sunday morning…or maybe the blazing sun – who knows).

Had a short (one-hour) ride at Stone Mountain Saturday and support team members Jolanta, Nicole and Martin made use of the playground area. I also took Victor and his friend Jake to Camp Kudzu to help unload the truck carrying the camp supplies. Fortunately the rain we ran into on the way up didn’t last too long so the only one that got soaked was me in humid air in the back of the 53’ trailer. Sunday was a 5k race which Andrew included as part of this week’s training regime. Did a 10 minute warm up lap (and the heat and humidity made it very warm) then had a good run from Centennial Olympic Park up toward Ga. Tech and back. There were about four hundred runners and I ended up placing in the top 80 (ego boost after the other races I’ve been doing recently – maybe it was the warm up?). Went to the pool with Martin and Nicole in the afternoon – he enjoys splashing the water with his hands (something he tries to practice with the dog’s water dish at home when he can – which isn’t frequently, even though he tries). Maybe that would help my swimming?

Looking forward to the coming week which should be one of rest/recovery (no double digit miles except for the bike ride Saturday) as well as using the CGM.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tri the Mountains

Pictures to be added at some point soon - check back!

This past weekend included a “family trip” to the Georgia mountains and the town of Blue Ridge – about 15 minutes from the Tennessee border – and yet another sprint tri. Since the trip involved a drive through national forest areas – the same area where Jolanta, Midnight, and I saw the bear a couple years ago – I thought it best to head up the day before rather than driving through that area in the middle of the night. Got there late in the afternoon – picked up the race packet, drove the bike course (yes, there is a reason these are called mountains) and the run course (a run that starts with a downhill will eventually turn into a run that goes back uphill), and checked into the hotel only to find that the pool was not yet finished (so much for swimming with the family on Saturday). We had dinner – Martin fell asleep so we walked through the downtown area where they were setting up the finish line, checked out some of the shops, and headed back so we could all get a good night’s sleep since the race started at 7am on Sunday. Discovered that there were some things I forgot while trying to hurry everyone out the door earlier in the day (towel for transition, meter #2) – but had the basics and borrowed a towel from the hotel.

Up before the sun on Sunday – drove to the start got in the water – watched the sun rise over the mountains – very scenic. Lake water was calm, not as warm as some of the others I’ve been in this summer – but still comfortable. About 380 people for this first time event. Saw an 89 year old who was part of a relay team (biking) – they had a special VIP parking spot for him and his motor home. Heart rate monitor decided it was taking the day off too so I eliminated that “extra weight” and got ready to go. Went off in the 2nd wave – clockwise swim so I headed to the outside for the start to see if not seeing so many people would help with the swim panic issue. Felt pretty good in the water (though still slow) and was out in about 14 minutes (good for me – still slow). Decided to try something different for transition to try to speed things up a bit (or basically transfer the time from transition to bike so I didn’t feel so slow). I put the meter and pump in a bag on the bike. Out in under 2 minutes (faster than average – a first for the season!) and off for an 18 mile out and back ride. Had a little problem getting stuck and tested – but was able to do so before getting too far down the road on the bike. Had a decent ride – passed some folks, got passed a few times, made up time on the downhill and lost it going uphill, but ended up in a good group that bounced back and forth during the return trip – a little competition never hurt anyone.

Transition 2 was a disaster. Got the shoes switched, helmet to hat, race belt and ready to go. As a last step tried to test and the meter decided it didn’t want to work on the first try. Wiped it off – tried again – no problem…other than a BG of 240. Wasn’t sure how that happened since I had no fuel on the bike and was connected to the pump the whole time – and had a reading in the mid 100s after the swim. Realized the pump tubing was a bit twisted – so started walking and unraveling the twisted mess on my way out of transition. Finally got that fixed – headed up the hill to the main road – downhill for about a mile (in record time) – the uphill – and finally flat! As we headed into town toward the finish I saw Jolanta and Martin on the side of the road. Shortly after saw Victor and Nicole as well. Nicole ran along the sidewalk for about 3 blocks – talking (for those that know her I’m sure this is a surprise), cheering me on, asking questions (and not getting any answers on this particular run), and I think finally gave up due to the flip flops she was wearing, the blazing pace I was setting (or not), and the decision to wait for others to catch up.

HR was up at the finish – struggled to catch a relay runner and did so as we hit the chute before the finish. Felt pretty good when done – all in all probably one of my better races – but still a way to go before I get to where I want to be. The race was well done for a first time event – one I’d like to do again next year. A few more lessons learned – another racing experience – and some time with the family…good weekend overall.