Friday, September 26, 2014

Updates / Races / DNS / Ride to Give / Prayers for Triston / Ironman Chattanooga - #‎TeamRTG‬ ‪#‎IMChattanooga‬ ‪#‎raceday

So, posts are few and far between, so I will try and bring you up to speed.

After Ironman Kansas 70.3, the only race I had signed up for was a local fun race, Shawnee Mission Triathlon.  It's a nice park that is totally closed off for the race.  No traffic.  Raced many times.  Problem was that this race seems to get cancelled or cut short for weather every other year.  This year we were about to swim over to the swim start area to line up and bam, started raining and some lightening.  Nothing wild, but enough to delay and they eventaully cancelled the race.  I headed to the gym to race an indoor triathlon instead of waiting around until 9am to see if they called it off.  Glad I did since they did can the race.

SM Tri was the only other triathlon I was signed up for until Chattanooga.  I eyed a few local events and even volunteered with my mini-me at one, but opted not to stress out the homefront with a race and save the entry fee for travel for IM Chattanooga.

No pressure on IM Chattnooga since I only had 4 triathlons on the schedule.  Texas = DNF.  KS = finished with PR. SM Tri = Cancelled.  IM Choo = ????

Speaking of IM Choo, as you may notice, I teamed up with Ride to Give to raise funds for racing IM Choo and orginally selected Mended Little Hearts as my charity partner.  Well, we did some recon and decided it would work out better to select a child with a need rather than a broad organization.  That's when we switched to Prayers for Triston.  Trison is a sweet little boy that lives south of St Louis, MO, with his family that was born with a severe congenital heart defect (CHD).  By the grace of god, he made it through some tough times, but his family is barely keeping ahead of his medical needs.  We're hoping to help pick up a little slack by raising funds to help offset their financial needs.  Read on for my journey thus far and think about donating!

The journey has begun...

So Wednesday was the start of Ironman Triathlon attempt 3 journey. First completed was Lake Tahoe in 2013 (2014 was cancelled last week from smoke from an arson fire). Second attempted was Texas 2014 in May which saw me unable to continue at mile 14 on the run (after completing the 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride) due to severe cramps and dehydration. IM Tahoe was nice with a less hectic work situation and I was able to focus on attempt 1 and feel pretty confident I could finish it. Texas I wondered what winter training would get me and I thought I was going to get it done without many problems. I spent 3 days before at a work deal in Tulsa and then drove until like 5am to get to Texas and it was shoe-horned in and not that great of a journey.

The Chattanooga journey this year has been complicated with a new job for me and Emily and both kids in school and growing up. It's been a balancing act and I believe I'm ready, but took some time off this week so it wasn't crammed in. I'm in Paducah, KY, tonight and then driving the last 4 hours tomorrow morning straight to packet pickup and then hopefully some light workouts and enjoying the experience. Unfortunately it will only be me as Emily had to work and it just didn't work out to bring an entourage.

But, along the way was a good omen, the Little Debbie trailer on a truck headed the same way. Since Little Debbie is the sponsor for Ironman Chattanooga, I figured I was in good hands on the drive in.

I also made a stop in Ste. Genevieve, MO, and drove through Cairo, IL. What’s interesting about each of those? One was to meet a special bud and the other was like the town that withered and blew away.

When I drove through Ste. Genevieve (an hour south of St Louis, MO), it struck me as an odd place to have a large little town. I didn’t really see any good reason why someone would settle in that area and then have the town grow around it. I actually went to google to find out more, cause as we all know, the internet is always right. Founded by French Canadian colonists, it was the first organized European settlement west of the Mississippi River in present-day Missouri. It was founded for farming mainly and later moved inland a little to avoid flooding. Why am I going on about this? I found it interesting to find someplace so steeped in colonial heritage. You could see it in the buildings and town layout and was refreshing to see a place rich with heritage being kept alive. Even better than the history lesson was the chance to meet the little guy I dedicated my fundraising to with Ride to Give. Triston and his family live in Ste. Genevieve, MO, which was pretty much right on the way to Paducah. Emily had met them all before and participated in many CHD awareness events and events specifically to help with Triston’s medical and financial needs. It was the first time I met him in person and he is quite the cuddler. He’d make a great snuggle buddy in the fall for football watching on the couch, or Mickey Mouse, which is his preference. He seemed to be fascinated with facial hair and checks out everyone’s hair versus is curly locks by running his fingers through them. He’s definitely a lover, and a CHD fighter.

Don’t forget about the fundraiser for Triston! We are $2920 away from our $5000 goal, with half going to Triston and his family to help with expenses to keep Triston moving in the right direction. - I really need any help I can get to get to the goal and all donations are tax deductable.

A small side note was driving through Cairo, IL. It was basically an abandoned city that looked like it had flourished at one point, but now on its way to being completely uninhabited. Cairo is the southernmost city in the U.S. state of Illinois. Cairo has the lowest elevation of any location within Illinois and is the only city in the state surrounded by levees. This part of Illinois is known as Little Egypt. Several blocks in the town comprise the Cairo Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Old Customs House is also on the NRHP. The city is part of the Cape Girardeau−Jackson, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population at the 2010 census was 2,831, a significant decline from its peak population of 15,203 in 1920. At its peak it had a huge ferry, train and trade industry. It had no bridges to cross the river so the town was basically built to support getting people and supplies across the river. Once they built several bridges, the town basically dried up. It was just kind of sad to drive through and see the history and see its active fading into oblivion. It was a unique look into American history and how the impact of progress actually made a 15,000 person city obsolete.

I'm here!  I'm actually in Chattnooga finally!

I got in Thursday and headed straight to athlete check-in to get that out of the way. I’ve been on the second day and it’s a zoo, so I wanted to make sure to check that off the list asap. So far I’ve checked in, set up in the hotel, ran a quick 3 miler and chilled. Well, I did a little work too… bleh.


Today I’m scoping out areas to get a quick bike ride in to make sure the setup is all good and then hit the athlete dinner. The main goal is to not spend too much time on my feet and make sure everything is ready.

Being the 3rd full Ironman race I’m getting ready for, it’s a mix of “I kind of know what’s going on” and “it’s going to be great at the finish line, but it’s a long day to get there”. 112 miles (actually 116 since they had to modify the course for traffic issues) is no joke. I’ve heard it’s a “fast” course which hopefully translates into “not killing myself to get it done”. Forecasts have us starting around 65 degrees in the morning with a high barely getting to 80 degrees. They also are slipping in some rain towards the late afternoon / evening. As long as I’m dry on the bike, whatever works.

It’s odd being here and going through the experience while life continues as always for everyone back home. Emily, my Mom and my Aunt have it a little more difficult without me at home and juggling kid patrol. I am experiencing the “Fear of Missing Out”, but trying to stay focused on what I came here to do.

Speaking of my to-do list, we are getting “closer” to the $5000 goal for Ride to Give and Triston. How about that transition? We have surpassed the $2000 mark at $2080, $2920 to go. I know that it will take a miracle to get it all by the end of Sunday, but consider any donation amount, nothing is too small. Check it out at

Maybe every time you check out my status during the race Sunday (bib 1679), you donate $1? That would be cool.

Regardless of donations, thank you to all that have supported me and worked around my travel to help with my family while I’m gone.

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