Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (Honu) Recap
It all started with sponsors and private donations allowing me go to Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. Without them, Ironman 70.3 Hawaii would not have been a reality! Thank you, sponsors!
- The Challenged Athletes Foundation gave me a grant for a cycling smarter trainer, allowing me to ride indoors. simulates hills and keeps track of my watts. A big help in making me a more efficient and stronger cyclist.
- TurboMed Orthotics XTern for helping my foot drop. With it on, I can unimpeded! Otherwise, I would be running in my stocks by mile five, let alone a half or full marathon!
- Chinese Medicine of Idaho helps keep me healthy through acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It also helps that they specialize in strokes!
From entry fees, flights, and a home to stay in, thank you for private donations! And also thank you from people who donated to Stroke Survivors Can and/or wish me well, most I have never met in person. Your thoughts message of hope, prayers, positive thoughts toward me mean so much! At finally, thank you stroke survivors! I do it for you! Stroke came calling and I answered by discovering an athletic side of me, and in turn, I discovered my new calling, Stroke Survivors CAN!
God, for loving me through thick and thin. Strange, I never blamed God for my stroke. He didn’t bring this to me. He only promised to love me through this.
Finally, my wife. She never had come the of 70.3 race I and I was glad she was there. She has been a big supporter through this!
The day before the race (Friday), I had meetings to attend, and check-in the running gear and bike. The day of the Ironman (Saturday, June 1) began at 2:30 am. I fixed bagel, peanut butter, and banana for breakfast and drank coffee and something high in carbs (Perpetuem by Hammer), checked my gear remaining for the umpteenth time. Bike helmet, bike shoes, speed suit for swimming, googles, nutrition packets I would use throughout the day, etc.
My ride, fellow participant and my old coach, Rick Rubio, picked us up for 40 minute drive to the shuttles to Hapuna beach to swim start.
I began by warming up, stretching my legs and arms, the doing a short swim just as the sun peaked over the horizon. Then I waited for my 6:35 am start time. Before long, I was jogging across the sand and into the calm, warm ocean I swam! Start of swim is little like mini combat, with participants getting run over, kicked, googles being knocked off, but they had a staged start which eliminated most of it. I wasn’t run over while in the water, but I did run accidentally over one guy on the swim.
The was uneventful other than some guy tapping my feet regularly. About three quarters of 1.2 swam swim, about could take it no more. I stopped to ask him non-verbally to stop, he said sorry, and that was that. I usually look for somebody to draft after on the swim (for speed and efficiency), but no such luck. I’m pretty sure the foot tapper was drafting after me, legal, though rude to continually touch somebody’s foot. I swam calmly, not overly fast and my time of 40 minutes reflected than (the swim course was more like 2300 yards). I was satisfied.
I passed through the showers to rinse off, and ran briefly uphill, took off my speed suit (I wore my triathlete kit underneath my speed suit), got on my cycling shoes, and prepared for my 56 mile cycling course. I’m slow in transition and it took me a little under 11 minutes.
This was my weakest discipline. It was hot, hilly, and windy, par for the course, especially coming into Hawi, a small town, the turnaround point on the bike. The Ironman map had it about 3400 feet elevation gain. I passed by very little people, got passed plenty of times, and passed by several who had flats. At Hawi, I felt good except I had the serious case of chafing on the “seat” area. I pulled off and used bike lube; what a life saver. There, I replenished on water and rode back to Fairmont Hotel, approximately 26 miles away, where transition 2 was waiting.
This was where I parked my bike, changed into my running shoes, had a bathroom break, and off into less than 11 minutes.
When I started the run, I felt good. It was hot and humid, something that was no stranger to me. Plus, I came two 2 weeks early to get acclimated. I was on pace to break 6:45. Unfortunately, I felt too good… At 4 miles from the end of 13.1 mile run, I started to cramp so bad in both calves and left hamstring that it required a walk. When I tried running again, the cramps would restart. What kept me going was stroke survivors, especially that can’t run, let alone walk. So, walk I did and I was happy to do it! At the end, I managed to run the last 50 yards into my loving arms of my wife, where she place the medal around my neck. I did it, and despite me walking last 4 miles, it did Ironman 70.3 Hawaii in record time for me! 7:05:22.
I did it, stroke survivors!! True, I’m an exception. There are many stroke survivors who cannot walk, speak, feed themselves, etc. I have been blessed and lucky, and part crazy to do triathlons, to bring hope for stroke survivors. Not in million years would I have thought of myself as athlete, before or after my stroke, much less after when I couldn’t speak and walk. To look how far I’ve come still seems to like dream. I refused to give up on myself.
The bottom line is, don’t let anybody define who you are. Don’t let a diagnosis become a prison that keeps you from enjoying life. Don’t let self-limiting beliefs define who you are. Dream big. Ridiculously big. Stroke survivors CAN!
If this blogs touches you, won’t to please consider to make a donation to Stroke Survivors CAN!, a nonprofit devoted to helping stroke survivors find hope and empowerment. Your contribution helps this site possible and sponsors other stroke survivors who wish to pursue non-contact athletics!
You can write a check to:
Stroke Survivors CAN
3451 E. Copper Point Dr.
Meridian, ID 83642
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