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    Finishing strong!

       
     

    Everyman Colin to tackle Hawai Ironman.

    Breaking news: Colin is going to run the Ironman in Kona!!! Totally amazing! I am still in shock! A couple weeks ago, Paula had mentioned to me that she and the other coaches agreed that I would be ready to do Kona. Then she talked to Degree to see if they were onboard. I asked my family and friends if they thought I should go for it or stick with the original plan of going to Ironman Florida. I sent that question via email and of 40 or so replies I got...a couple people said I should do what I felt was best, about 30 said I should definitely do Kona, and then a few threatened me with bodily harm if I passed up the opportunity! I also talked to a bunch of different triathletes on some long bike rides, and they all sang the same tune: I would be crazy to not do Kona. I decided to go for it if offered the opportunity. Once I had made that decision, it seemed to take forever to hear back from Degree (even though it was only a few days). Finally, on Friday the 13th of all days, at 9:06 AM, I got the call. I AM GOING TO DO KONA! This is so awesome!

    Kona takes place on October 16, which is 3 weeks earlier than Ironman Florida. Because of this, my training has been revamped a bit to make sure I get in the workouts necessary to get me prepared for this great challenge. The workout themes really haven’t changed too much, but the times/distances have been increased. I am totally elated to take on this great challenge!

    One of the things I did this past weekend to help prepare for Kona, was to run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. Roch had told me to just treat it like a long run, and not worry about times or anything – but it is very difficult for me not to go hard in a race. Huddle had warned me not to get cocky if I saw some good splits in the first few miles, because the beginning of the course is all downhill. Many also warned me that the end of the course was completely uphill.

    There were over 4500 people running the Half Marathon that day, so needless to say, it was a crowded start. It took me about 2 minutes to even make it to the starting line (but that was ok, because everyone was individually timed by a microchip attached to our shoes called a Championchip). Once people started moving, I spent the first few miles just trying to get around the crowds and settle into a good pace. Like Huddle had prophesized, I had great personal splits for the first few miles (about 7 min/mile). I tried to make sure I wasn’t going too hard, so that I would have something left for the final hills.

    I was feeling really strong through the first half of the race. Then, the fatigue started to hit me. I realized I was approaching the 1 hour mark, which was the longest that I had run during any previous workouts. About that time, I met and started pacing with a woman named Carrie. We were going at each other’s exact pace, so we really helped carry (no pun intended) each other. As we got to the last few miles of end of the race, my body started asking me to slow down. My knees started to ache. A cramp developed on my right side. The uphill part of the race had started. I tried to focus my mind on keeping the pace and finishing strong. Just as I had promised myself I would be mentally tough and not back down…we turned a corner and the hills REALLY started. People were not kidding when they warned me about these climbs.

    I let my mind do the running, and as Carrie and I ascended, I was impressed that more people were not stopping to walk. Everyone was determined that day! Carrie and I high-five’d each other once we finally got back on level ground and the end was near. We thanked each other and went off to complete the race. When I crossed the line, the clock read about 1:42 or so. Sweet! My personal goal had been to run 8 minute miles, so I knew that under 1:44 meant I did it. Awesome!! Later I found out that my official “Championchip” Time was 1:39:37 for a pace of 7:36 / mile. Thanks Carrie! My results were: 435 / 4595 total finishers; 359 / 2466 males; 58 / 309 males ages 25-29. That was a really fun race to be a part of, and I just hope that after a couple more months of training, I’ll be able to keep that running pace for TWICE as long…AND after 2.4 miles of swimming and 112 miles of biking. With the guys at Multisports helping me prepare, hopefully it will be possible!