Sunday, September 25, 2011

QC Marathon...Back to Work

On Sunday I had a ton of fun as a spectator at the QC Marathon. I enjoyed watching so many people chase a goal they had been working towards for quite some time. The QC Marathon is a spectacularly run event through the Quad Cities. There is a marathon, 1/2 Marathon, marathon relay, and 5k. My wife Jen ran the 1/2 marathon against a really tough field assembled this year thanks to an offering of prize money in the 1/2 for the first time. She had not run a 1/2 marathon in about 5 years. Today she beat her best time by nearly 5 minutes running 1 hr. 21 minutes and 58 seconds. She finished 2nd to a gal from California who is an Olympic Trials qualifier at the marathon distance. Jen looked great as she made her run through the QC. It was also awesome for me to see so many people running in Live Uncommon shirts. The movement to get people active and healthy is growing tremendously! I am so proud to be affiliated with Live Uncommon. If you want to know what it is all about visit http://www.liveuncommon.org/ I watched 2 fellow Live Uncommoners Aaron Maurer and Josiah Campbell hit their goal times of breaking 4 hours in the marathon. They were both in the 3 hr. 54 minute range. For Aaron, it was his first marathon and I knew how hard he had worked because I followed his blog through the journey. Josiah's story is pretty incredible. He has lost over 100 lbs. since he began taking up fitness a couple years ago. I followed those guys on my bike the last 6 miles and it was awesome watching them and cheering for them. Their stories are very inspiring and they are awesome representatives of Live Uncommon. I saw fellow teacher and Live Uncommoner Nick Sacco break his PR by 11 minutes on his way to a time of 3 hrs. 34 minutes. It was just great being out there supporting people as they made their way through the course. So many of them were smiling as they ran. It reminded me of how much physical fitness is a celebration of life. It was the perfect thing for me to witness as I get set to resume my own training tomorrow following a 2 week break. Within a few days of finishing Ironman Wisconsin I had recovered pretty well. I was feeling great walking around. I have run a couple times and know my body has recovered well. I was super excited to finish IM Wisconsin but I was not excited about how I raced. I did not think the race was a good indicator of the fitness level I had. The more I thought about things the more I realized I did not want to be done for the year just yet. As the weather cools down now and we enter the fall season it is my favorite time of the year to run. I looked at the bigger pro races remaining on the calendar and there is one that I really want to get to. I decided the best thing to do is begin training tomorrow and put myself through a regular week of training without going too crazy. If my body handles it well I will continue training and will sign up for one more race. My hamstrings were not good in my 4 weeks leading up to IM Wisconsin. They forced me to back off way earlier and way more than I would have liked. My highest running mileage in the 5 weeks before Madison was only 28 miles. This was after running 5 weeks in a row at 60 miles through June and early July. I feel I have some unfinished business left in 2011. I also realize that I don't want to go into another race undertrained so I will be honest with myself in my assessment of this week of training. If the week goes well I'll announce next week on the blog where I will be going for one more race. I know just the possibility has me thinking about the race every day. I am overweight right now so I will focus on getting my weight back down to race weight while I begin to prepare for this one if it is to happen. I was inspired today by what I saw...from everyone out on the course. Congratulations to all who raced today in the Quad Cities. It was a great sight! DREAM BIG!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Post-Ironman Training Summary

I had over 900 hours of training in the 45 weeks leading up to Ironman Wisconsin. Last week I totalled 35 minutes of training. My weekly total was 3 miles of running and 1,000 yards of open water swimming with Adam. I did the 3 miles on Friday and it was more than enough to let me know I'm not ready to run yet. My left hamstring got really tight after I finished the run. It was the hamstring that cramped terribly during the race last week. I feel great walking and doing normal activity but definitely have a lot of deep tissue damage. I've been enjoying my time off. I have allowed myself to eat whatever I want during this time off. I try to be very strict when I begin training so it's kind of nice to not think twice when I want to eat something now that I don't normally eat once I begin training. My good friend Beau Perkins who was in Madison to watch me race last week sent me this video of the finish. I'm really torn about what I want to accomplish next year. Part of me wants to abandon all the Ironman races and go for races like Rev 3 and other 1/2 distance races not part of the Ironman circuit. Another part of me thinks that next year will be my last year racing professionally and I'd like to do the Ironman circuit one more time to see how high I can get myself in the 70.3 world rankings. The difficult part of this is knowing that my travel expenses would probably outweigh the money I bring in from races unless I make significant improvements. To make things more difficult Ironman increased the amount they are paying the winner at all the races next year but offset that by lowering the amounts they pay 5th-8th places. I have a long list of reasons not to race Ironman that have nothing to do with the professional aspect...I am amazed at the Ironman craze that people have when there are far better values and races that put the athletes first like Rev 3 does. I've done quite a few Ironman trademarked events over the years now. Without a doubt from an athlete standpoint none of them compare to races like the Chicago Triathlon and the Door County 1/2 Ironman from a race experience standpoint. I have all offseason to sort this out so I won't bother trying to do it right now. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ironman Wisconsin Race Report and Results




I sit here not quite knowing what to type in a race report for an Ironman. The experience and the day last so long it's quite difficult to put it into words. I left for Madison on Friday morning and made the pro meeting at 12:30. There were 19 pro guys at the meeting. I was really excited to race feeling like I was in a field I could be very competitive with. I had bib #4 and I later realized why this would be an added benefit for this race. I was thankful that my good friend Jon McGee who lives in Madison allowed me to freeze my nutrition bottles at his house since my hotel did not have a fridge in the room. Jon's wife was being induced with their 3rd child on Friday night and he was kind enough to open his house up for me to use. On race morning my alarm went off at 3:30 and I jumped out of bed like a 7 year old on Christmas morning. I was super excited to get this race going. I got all my things together and headed to Jon's house to get my bottles and then get to the race site. I was able to get my special needs bags dropped off in no time and get to my bike. Universal Sports was filming the race and immediately when I arrived at my bike they put the cameras on me and filmed as I got the bike ready. This was a little weird because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to say anything or just ignore them. I was not overly nervous. I was confident and excited for the race. I opted not to go with a run warm up due to the long day of the race. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get a swim warm up in so I went down to the lake and got the wetsuit on and was able to swim about 20 minutes before taking my place on the starting line. The pro race would begin at 6:50 a.m. I had not seen Jen all weekend because she was in a good friend's wedding on Saturday night and drove up early with my brother, his wife, and our friend Maddie. I was so thankful to have them in Madison to help cheer me on as well as numerous other friends who were kind enough to give up their Sunday to come up for the day.

SWIM: When the cannon fired I took off with the pack. There was a little more contact than what I typically have for the swim start but I can't complain because I'm sure it pales nothing in comparison to the contact the 2,800 amateurs go through when they all begin together 10 minutes later. I was able to stay in the big group until about 700 yards in when things began to spread out. I knew it would be very important for me to find some feet to draft on. There was a pretty big guy swimming in front of me so I got on his feet and tried to go with. Pretty soon we were joined by a female pro and I could feel someone on my feet so I knew our group was at least 4 people. There were times where I began to fall off but I kept reminding myself of the importance of hanging on to the group so I wouldn't be left alone and I always found a way to claw myself back up to the feet ahead of me. The first loop felt like it lasted quite awhile but I gained a lot of confidence when we began the 2nd loop and I was still with these 3 other swimmers. I knew I could stay with them for one more loop and the 2nd loop passed pretty quickly. I was able to hang with them for the most part. I think when we began passing amateurs on our 2nd loop our group split up a bit but not much. With about 600 yards to go I began getting some cramps in the arches of my feet. I've gotten these before in swim workouts when I'm dehydrated. I was a little nervous to be cramping this early in the race. I began drinking lake water. It actually tasted as good as that stuff they put in the bottles and sell for a dollar at grocery stores. My training buddy Adam Bohach is a science teacher and he told me in St. George that you could drink lake water and even if there was bacteria in it you wouldn't get sick for about a week so I took his advice and began drinking quite a bit of Lake Monona. I got out of the water feeling really good about my swim. I was thinking it was going to be about 58 minutes but I was a little disappointed when I saw 1:02 on my watch. Right when I went to stand up to get out of the water I got a huge cramp in my hamstring...crap! I made the run out of the lake but it was not at my typical transition speed. My legs were very crampy. I have had this before and sometimes they go away once I get on the bike and get some salt pills in so I was hoping it would not be a big issue. I ran up the helix which was packed with fans and got into the change room and grabbed my helmet. I did have one mishap in transition. The room with our gear bags was carpeted and we had to take a 90 degree turn. My foot slipped out from under me when I went to turn on the carpet and I fell flat on my right hip. I was up in no time not worried about it. I got to my bike and was off for 112 miles of fun.

BIKE: Heading out on the bike I was only in front of about 3 or 4 of the other pros. I could see one just ahead of me as we began our ride. I stayed relatively close to him until we came to a spot where you have to slow down and get on a bike path for a short stretch. It was a pretty technical spot where you had to go slow but I must have gone much slower than him because when I got off the bike path his lead had grown by about 15 seconds. I pushed hard early on the course but my legs were continually cramping...especially on the hills...and I knew there were going to be lots of them. Not only were my legs cramping...my biceps were cramping in the aero position and I even had some cramps in my chest muscles. This was not a good sign. I was riding pretty hard through mile 40 and I was taking way more salt pills than is typical for me. The salt pills were helping to reduce the cramping but only for a very short period of time. After about 45 miles we went down the technical descent and I had two pro guys close in front of me. When we got to the next hills my quads were cramping badly when I stood up to put power into the pedals. What scared me the most however was at about this time I was having a little discomfort in my chest when I was breathing. I began to wonder if I had taken too much salt in a short period of time and I was pretty nervous about why my chest hurt. Fresh in my mind was that an athlete I coached 5 years ago had just suffered an apparent heart attack while working out on Friday night. My thoughts and prayers are with Brett Greenwood as he recovers at the University of Iowa Hospitals. Brett was an all-Big 10 safety at Iowa and recently was in the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. I realized that this was just not going to be the great day I hoped it would. I made the decision at mile 45 to pull the plug and really ease up the effort I was putting out. I went from "race" mode to "finish" mode. After crashing in St. George last May finishing this thing was my number 1 goal. You never know what life will bring tomorrow and I wanted to make sure I was able to finish this Ironman while I have the chance. After easing up on the pace I began to just enjoy the race. The rest of the ride was a blast. While I was on my 2nd lap I was passing amateurs who were on their first loop. The first ones I was passing were some of the final amateurs out on the course and I knew they would need all the encouragement they could get to get through the bike course before the cutoff. With each one I passed I looked for their name on their bib and shouted out encouragement. It was a lot of fun seeing their reactions as I passed by calling out their names. I think many of them forgot their names were on their backs and they looked startled...but always smiled and returned the compliments. The crowd support in Madison is better than advertised. There are people all over the 112 mile bike course going crazy. The hills were completely awesome. I exchanged high 5's with the guys dressed in costumes as they ran up the hills alongside me. I had so many people getting excited to see bib #4 come by...I hadn't even thought of this but #4 must be the favorite number of half the people in Wisconsin. I was wearing the same bib # as legendary QB Brett Favre and they let me know that!! I was in the heart of Packer country and I couldn't disappoint them by telling them I was a Bears fan. I saw so many people out on the bike course who made the trip to Madison to share the day with me and it kept me going. I knew it was going to be difficult with a marathon still to run and no hopes of a high finish. I was reminded by my training buddy Adam Bohach why I was still racing when I passed him around mile 98. Adam yelled out, "You are going to be an Ironman." It reminded me of some hilarious youtube Ironman video we watched at his apartment after a long bike ride and run last February when there was still snow on the ground. It was just what I needed to hear as I began to prepare my mind for running the marathon.









RUN: I went into the transition area and got my running shoes. I knew this was going to be a tough run on legs that had cramped so bad early in the race. I had felt much better and the cramping had not been nearly as bad since I pulled the plug on the race at mile 45 but I still had to run 26.2 miles. I was set on finishing no matter how bad it got. I headed out on the run with my GPS and the watch was reading about 6:45 pace. It was not difficult but just before the 3rd mile when we ran down into Camp Randall Stadium for a tour of the Wisconsin football field I had a huge cramp in my left hamstring. It almost brought me to the ground. I knew I was going to need to stop for a lot of nutrition at the next aid station. My lower back and hamstrings were very tight and my hamstrings were on the verge of cramping nearly every step. It helped so much to see my friends Jake, Kevin, and Beau out on the course. I figured those guys would have gone home after I got off the bike so far back in the race. Beau yelled out to me that he was going to run all "over this town following me until I was done." That was great hearing. It kept me going. I knew that so many people had given up their day to come watch and I didn't want to keep them waiting until late in the night when they needed to drive back. I knew that meant I would need to keep running even if it was painful. I did not want to be relegated to walking the marathon knowing people were waiting for me to finish. I stopped at about 3 miles in and stretched my back and hamstrings. I also drank a lot of fluid, took more salt pills, and ate about 6 orange quarters. I was trying anything to get rid of the cramps. I felt better each time I stopped at an aid station and loaded up on nutrition. I had not gone to the bathroom once the entire day even though I had probably consumed over 2 gallons of fluid. I made my mind up that I would try to run 3-4 miles at a time and then stop to reload at the aid stations. I got a great lift from friends and family again around mile 6 of the run. They were on a crowded street and when I saw them my brother yelled to me that I was winning my fantasy football game. It was a good update to get. I asked how the bears were doing and my brother yelled they were up big over Atlanta which was more great news. It helped so much to see all these people out enjoying the day and encouraging me even though I was not having the day I expected and dreamed of. It really was what kept me going. Just after mile 7 my training buddy Adam Bohach snuck in about a 1/2 mile with me and it was the best I felt through the entire race. Running with Adam made it feel like we were back out training together again. It made me think about how much he has helped me to get in great shape and how excited I am to continue this next year knowing I have a friend to continue this great journey with. You develop a pretty amazing bond with someone who you learn to suffer through 100+ mile rides and 20 mile runs with. I can't wait to watch his day in Kona unfold next month. He is amazingly tough and has been a great source of wisdom for me as well. At the mile 9.5 aid station I was helped by two QC residents who were volunteering so they could sign up for next year's race. Jessica Imm and Matt Davison took great care of me at that aid station and gave me the much needed encouragement to keep going. I hope I didn't scare them away from signing up. At the half way point I was greeted with my special needs bag. I devoured my two Boston Creme Pies that I'd been waiting for along with a 20 oz. redbull. I also got in a pack of Peach Tea Gu Chomps. The Boston Creme pies had been a favorite snack of mine on a 100 mile ride Adam and I do. We stop at a small-town convenience shop in Dixon, IA for fuel and those had worked in the past. They got me about a mile before the cramping got really bad again. After stopping at mile 16 and loading up I was able to run the next 7 miles although the pace was slower than I've ever run in a race...or mileage run for that matter. I was slogging along at about 8:30 mile pace. I know what the Ironman shuffle feels like. I made my last stop at mile 23 to grab my last big round of nutrition before running the rest of the way to the finish line. Adam yelled to me that I better be smiling when I finished. Part of me was crushed by how the day unfolded but most of me was thrilled to be able to make it through to cross the line to become and Ironman finisher. I had waited for that moment from the time I crashed on May 7th in St. George, Utah. I was all smiles and very thrilled just to be healthy enough to finish this difficult challenge. I crossed the line 29th overall and 11th of the 19 pros who started the race. As bad as the day went for me it could have gotten much worse. 2 of the top 3 guys in the pro race off the bike were forced to walk the last 10 miles. It's easy for me to understand why that happens to guys who are so great. Those guys are pushing the line incredibly hard all day with a goal of winning. They have to push to that edge if they want to win. If they cross over the line too soon it can be a long day but without taking the risk they would have no chance to win. The course volunteers in Madison and the spectators were nothing short of amazing. A HUGE congratulations to all who finished this race. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for one of these. I was thrilled to see Moon Villalobos go by on his first loop of the run en route to his finish. This was Moon's 1st ever triathlon. He has spent so many selfless hours helping me with my bike. He is a top-notch mechanic at Healthy Habits and now a 5th grade teacher in Rock Island. I also saw local Josh Lederman finish and he lookedd awesome. The other people who deserve the huge congrats are the family members and friends who put up with the long training hours required to prepare for this day. Complete results from the race with splits can be found at http://www.ironman.com/ My wife Jen has been incredible through this entire journey. I love her so much and can't thank her enough for being so overwhelmingly supportive through all the long days and hours of preparation. I can't thank my friends and family enough who made the trip. Knowing you were there...and not even sensing that I disappointed you in any way with my race...is what got me through the run when I was in difficulty. Seeing about 15 of you guys at the finish line waiting for me made it worth it. A HUGE thanks goes out to Phil Pancrazio who captured a lot of awesome images from the races, not only of me, but of others. His images really captured the "Ironman Experience". I also got a couple great photos from Ironman photographer Ali Engin. While I certainly wish the race had gone better I'm so proud to have stuck it out and finished. When I put it in context it makes me even more proud. 3.5 years ago I weighed 45 lbs. more than I do now. My time of 10 hrs. 6 minutes was still the 29th fastest out of nearly 2,800 athletes. If I were still racing as an age group athlete my day would have been good enough to punch my ticket to Kona for the world championship. A few years back local Kona finisher Jen Foley once asked me when I was going to move up to 1/2 and full Ironman events. I told her those events were for people who regularly needed to visit a psychiatrist. I told her I didn't think I would ever move up distances. I was wrong and I'm glad I was wrong. I have a quote from Craig Alexander that I keep on the outside cover of my workout book..."But as far as the race goes, I'll just try and do what I always do, which is control what I can control...my training...and I think a lot of the fun is just getting in great shape."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ironman Wisconsin

We just got home so this is just a quick post. I finished 11th in the pro race but 29th overall in 10 hrs. 6 min. I believe. I'd say it was a "tough day at the office" but triathlon isn't my job...it's a hobby and a passion so it would be more appropriate to say "it was a tough day at the playground". I'll try to get a full race report together in the next few days. Thanks so much for all the friends and family who made the trip...your support is what got me to the finish line today.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ironman Wisconsin Looms

As I begin my 45th and final week of training for the 2011 season which began on November 1, 2010 I am preparing to have my best race ever at Ironman Wisconsin just 6 days from now when the cannon fires next Sunday morning at 6:50 a.m. I'm very excited about the race. My last 4 races have been my best ever leaving me with little doubt that I'm as ready as possible for this big test. The Ironman distance can be pretty overwhelming...2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. When I think about this in the context of all the work I've done over the past 44 weeks it leaves me with little doubt that I'm prepared to have a great race. I've totalled 515,700 swim yards, biked 6,764 miles, and run 1,936 miles. I've been to the weight room over 90 times and I've done all the little things like core work, jump rope, plyometrics, lunges, push-ups, running drills, and strides hundreds of times. In total I've put in over 900 hours of training that will all be put to use in a test next weekend where I hope to finish in just over 9 hours. I do not fear the distance of an Ironman. I respect the distance but I certainly don't fear it. I've done enough long days and long weeks of training that the distance is no longer something I fear. What I fear more than anything is how my hamstrings will hold up, and how my bike will hold up on this course. The past few weeks I've been having more trouble keeping my hamstrings feeling well. They have not been recovering like they did 2 months ago. I wake up feeling tight...like I'm 80 years old most mornings. On the upside I have not felt like it has limited me in any of my workouts the past few weeks but I know full well that anything not perfect will probably be exploited through the course of a 9 hour day in which I'll be testing my limits. As for the course...I've heard often of how challening the Ironman Wisconsin bike course is. I've heard that it is quite hilly. I went up this weekend to check out the loop that begins in Verona. We will ride the loop twice next weekend. Although I thought the loop was pretty hilly it is not what I felt made the ride most difficult. The thing I thought made this course difficult is how crumby the roads are. I would have guessed that a race with the prestige of Ironman Wisconsin would have pretty nice roads...far from it! The roads were worse than any roads I've trained on this year. Within 15 miles my lower back and neck were sore from all the bumps and cracks in the road. There are a few hills that are challening...but they are not very long and they aren't something that concerns me. I know on the first loop there are 3 hills where I will drop into my small chain ring up front so that I can conserve a little bit of energy. On loop 2 if I feel good I'll stay in the big ring and exert some power on those climbs. There was 1 challenging descent where I will need to be careful to use my brakes ahead of time. After going down the descent one time really slow I biked back to the top and went down it a 2nd time a little faster and I almost crashed. It is at a spot where you pick up good speed going downhill before making the first of 3 switchback turns. I don't want to risk any crashes so I'd rather lose 30 seconds on the descent by being conservative as opposed to taking my chances to save a bit of time over a 9 hour event and risking a crash. One Ironman bike crash is enough for me and I experienced that one in St. George.

I've had a lot of people ask me about my goals for this race. It's tough to put out a goal time in an Ironman because there are so many unknowns through a 9 hour day. Judging on the past times on this course I feel a time of 9 hrs. 10 minutes is a possible goal. That would put me at 1 hour for the swim, 5 hours for the bike, and 3 hours 5 minutes for the run. Add in transition times and I'll be right around 9 hrs. 10 minutes. I'd be really proud of that...but I want to risk even more. There are only 15 male pros on the start list for next weekend and I'd like to be in the top 6 which is how deep the paychecks go in the pro race. I'll be wearing bib#4 which had me excited. I know a lot of locals are planning to be in Madison to watch the race. I've talked to many friends and family members of mine who are going up to watch the race. I would like to ask for a bit of help from anyone who will be in Madison next weekend. If you get a chance it would be a tremendous help for me to know time splits to the guys ahead of me. In a race with only 15 pro guys the field will probably get very spread out especially with a hilly and challenging bike course. The toughest transition for me going from amateur racing to professional is how lonely it can get on the bike. I could easily go over an hour without seeing another racer. Mentally this can be a big challenge. It will help me a lot if I can hear time gaps to the people ahead of me as I ride by. I'm not as interested as the time gap to the leader as I am to the next person ahead of me. It helps to know what place I'm in and how much time there is to the next rider or runner up the road. This gives me a sense of how hard I need to go at various spots on the course. I have to make a choice for this race...go for broke or go conservatively and be proud to finish. After seeing the field it took me little time to decide I'm going for broke. I don't want it any other way. Through the last 44 weeks I've pushed the limits in training with this "Big Dream"...hoping I could prove that I can be competitive with the other top triathletes in the world. I've proven to myself in the last 2 races that I belong in the pro division...that I can be competitive with a 6th place finish out of 18 in Racine and a 14th place finish of 28 at Steelhead. Those finishes were possible because I took a risk in training. I chose to push my body to the extreme while people told me I train too much. I have heard from people that the way I train is likely to lead to injury. It's been an injury free year and now I'm going into my last race with the expecation and the dream that it will be my best. I would rather race to win and blow up spectacularly than race for 10th. My college coach at Augustana, Paul Olsen instilled in me to dream beyond what conventional wisdom says is possible. It's why I don't race with a power meter or heart rate monitor. I believe in athletics there are days where the script is turned...days when things don't go as planned...and the team or individual no one ever expects wins. I don't think those things `would happen in triathlon if a machine or device is telling the athlete to slow down. I don't know when I'll have this chance to place high at an Ironman event again so I'm going to push the bike portion harder than most would recommend. I have complete trust in my fitness and in my running ability. Next week I may report that biking too hard did me in...I hope not...but I want to put out there right now it's a chance I'm going to take. I will have no regrets. I've watched the 2009 Ironman World Championshp countless times while training in the basement over the past 44 weeks. A quote by Ironman Champion and fellow Iowan TJ Tollakson is etched in my mind from that broadcast..."Nothing great comes without great sacrifice."

This week channel 8 did a story on my comeback from surgery last year. That video is posted below.






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On Sunday morning I was glued to the computer and my phone waiting for updates from the Hy-Vee Triathlon. All 3 of my brothers were racing. For Jason, this race has been a big goal of his since the car accident that claimed his left arm on October 4th of last year. I was thrilled to get the updates from my mom that all 3 of them finished!! For all of them it was the longest triathlon they have ever finished. I was super proud of them for finishing this event but even more for doing the training that comes with the sport. I asked Justin what he liked most about the event and he said leading up to it he lost over 20 lbs. I love this sport and I love getting people into it because of the healthy lifestlye required during the training for a competition. The other really exciting news I was waiting about from the Hy-Vee Triathlon was that my training buddy Adam Bohach won the amateur race. Adam won the race by over 5 minutes on his way to breaking the 2 hour barrier!! I was super proud of Adam because I know how hard he has worked. I have no doubts he'll be even better in Kona for the Ironman World Championship in 4 weeks. The news in Des Moines ran a really nice piece on Jason before the race. That video is posted below.





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For anyone who can't make it to the race in Madison next week but wants to check on the progress there will race tracking updates at various points through the race on the Ironman website. That can be found by following the links on the home page at http://www.ironman.com/ on race day. If you click on my name during the event it should update what my time was at each spot they have a timing mat...typically after the swim, a few during the bike, and a few during the run. I think the race will also be broadcast live on the internet at http://www.universalsports.com/
The next 6 days can't go by fast enough for me. I am ready and waiting. I got an e-mail this week from Ironman pro athlete director Heather Fuhr and she told me a few of the professional guys withdrew their spot to the 70.3 world championship in Las Vegas next weekend. She asked me if I wanted the spot. I was honored and humbled to be even considered since they only allow 50 pros in the entire world into that race. I had to turn her down however because I'm committed to this race in Madison. Training is at a minimum now as I get my body physically more rested than it has been in months. I've raced his event countless times in my mind. Now it's time to put the plan into action! Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!!