LDRICHEL   47,525
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LDRICHEL's Recent Blog Entries

First Bike Ride in 20 Years

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Woke up this morning around 6:30am and tried to go back to sleep, but my body was awake. Then I remembered that my bike was ready to ride and, since the whole house was sleeping, I realized it would be a great time to take it out for a spin. Grabbed my helmet and I was out the door.

The first couple minutes were pretty wobbly, with every curb and bump sending fear through my heart...until I rolled over them and they were no big deal. I told myself I wouldn't go very fast today because I didn't want to get hurt. I must have rode my brakes for the first 5 minutes...you know, just to MAKE SURE I knew how to stop if I needed to! Cautious cautious cautious.

But, once I hit the trail, I was beginning to get a better feel for it. I realized that tightening my abs was the key to maintaining good balance and my thighs were already sore. Out on the trail, I started to pick up speed and it was so much fun! I felt like I was flying! So I went FASTER!

When it was all said and done, I rode about 5 miles in 30 minutes. My goodness...that was a GREAT workout! You know, I always used to see bikes pass me on the trail and I'd think, "Psshhh...must be nice to be on a bike. I wish *I* was riding a bike, instead of this grueling running!" I need to repent of every time I thought that because it is NOT EASY, you guys!!!! Just faster. Much more work than I expected! And it definitely works different muscles than running does.

The worst was the last 5 minutes or so before my house...pretty difficult inclines for already tired legs. But I made it. And I felt amazing at the end!!!

Went inside and stretched, then Sparked for about half an hour, drank a ton of water and decided I felt good enough to go for a run. So I did a half hour run - just 2 miles walking/running.

Also did Coach Nicole's plyometrics (from the Self Magazine Challenge). My goodness, I'm done for the day! The rest of my day will consist of reading and resting!!!! I definitely feel I've earned it today!

Hope you all are having a wonderful and health weekend! God bless!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSTWOMOONS002 9/3/2012 1:56PM

    Hi Leah;
Sounds like a great first bike ride. You've been a busy bee this weekend, hope your feeling great, You go girl!!!!
Take care & Be well
Many Blessings Always Debby
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 9/3/2012 1:38PM

    Good for you... You have done a week's worth of workouts in a day!

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THESLIMMERME1 9/3/2012 1:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Getting back on a bike is my goal too - more for pleasure than competition - however, need to improve my leg strength and balance first.
emoticonenjoy emoticon emoticon

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BEECHNUT13 9/3/2012 9:56AM

    Wow, that's a lot of activity! Great job!

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EBURGITE 9/3/2012 9:23AM

    yay for emoticon

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SOXFANNH 9/3/2012 7:34AM

  Great job! It is FUN, isn't it?

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ANNE007 9/2/2012 11:34PM

    Feels great, doesn't it? I bought a new bike this year and I've put over 300 miles on it since the middle of July. I love it! If you were to tell me last year I would be buying a bike and loving it I never would have believed you! I don't remember biking being 'fun' - just a mode of transportation when I was younger. It's so much nicer to go out and ride for awhile then to be stuck in the gym doing cardio! I will certainly appreciate the gym when the weather turns bad but for now, I love my bike!

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MDOTZERO 9/2/2012 9:24PM

    Good job on not only getting back on a bike but then putting in two more miles of running! emoticon

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FUZZYBEEZ 9/2/2012 6:30PM

    I used to spend hours on my bike as a kid....now though I don't ride because of my bad back.....I need to see if they make a bike that would allow me to sit up straight instead of stooping over to the handlebars.......if I could find one I might just take up bike riding again.

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KRYSTALLA 9/2/2012 6:13PM

    Glad you had alot of fun with it, sounds like it is something you might keep doing, good job. Hope you keep having a great weekend.

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KBRADFORD88 9/2/2012 5:20PM

    Looove my bike emoticon

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FRANCIEVW 9/2/2012 5:19PM

    It sure does sound like you had fun on that bike! And a run, too. You are now a regular multisport athlete. More than that, you are a conqueror of mediocrity. GO GIRL!!! Proud of you.

xoxox

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DOGLADY13 9/2/2012 3:27PM

    It sounds like you had a great time.

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CHERIONE 9/2/2012 2:01PM

    Good for you! Deserves a big woohoo! emoticon

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EJENKINSB 9/2/2012 2:00PM

    That's fantastic!!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 9/2/2012 1:53PM

    emoticon
Yay, I haven't been on a bike for years. I think I'd like to bike, but don't have a good place from my house to bike, and realistically, I don't think I'd drive somewhere to bike.


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LORELLELAURA 9/2/2012 1:43PM

    emoticon

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SHERYL_B 9/2/2012 12:30PM

    Good job!

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DR8561 9/2/2012 11:40AM

    Great first steps toward that triathlon! emoticon

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TISTEN23 9/2/2012 10:54AM

    Thats awesome!!! Congrats!!!!

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GOULDSGRANITE 9/2/2012 10:41AM

    Ride On!!! emoticon emoticon

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AGK3112 9/2/2012 10:38AM

    NICE.. Keep moving.. emoticon

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MOMMARUNNER77 9/2/2012 10:23AM

    way to go

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MYOWNHERO 9/2/2012 10:06AM

    Excellent work my dear!

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COCK-ROBIN 9/2/2012 9:57AM

    That's great! I'm proud of you!

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JENNCABA 9/2/2012 9:45AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARATHONDAD 9/2/2012 9:37AM

    great job buddy

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 9/2/2012 8:50AM

    awesome, I love cycling, but can only do small distances because of my disability

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DAVEINSEOUL 9/2/2012 8:18AM

    And so is born another passionate cyclist! Well Done, Well Done!

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KIPPER15 9/2/2012 8:00AM

    Love riding my bike early in the morning. the trails are less crowded, so I don't run any one down. LOL. I have a small bridge I have to cross which always makes me fearful that I will run over someone as they cross with me. I tend to wait for people to cross or stop so I don't hit them. Enjoy the bike. emoticon

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MOM-MOM8 9/2/2012 6:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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4RASCALS 9/2/2012 3:48AM

    emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 9/2/2012 12:08AM

    emoticon

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KEIPONY 9/1/2012 11:48PM

    You just inspired me to get my bike out, tuned up and use it!! I haven't ridden it since 2005!

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SNOWYOGA 9/1/2012 11:47PM

    emoticonWoot! Woot! And I got the Self Magazine Challenge Coach Nicole's plyometrics. We loved it! emoticon

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CHRIS3874 9/1/2012 11:06PM

    that's great I miss bike riding - I have a tack bike but its too much trouble to ride and my 10 speed road bike needs fixing emoticon

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SANDRAREGINA 9/1/2012 11:00PM

    I got on a bike myself this summer, about a month ago. The last time before then was probaly when I was 12 or 13. A looooong time ago. It was my friend's bike, and I borrowed it to see if I remembered how to ride. I didn't go nearly as long or as far as you did - about 5-10 minutes of wobbling down my friend's street, trying to remember how to turn without falling over. I didn't ride the brake - I was too terrified I'd stop too fast and fall off. Heh. But I did not too badly. The bike wasn't set for me, obviously, but it made me wish for a bike of my own. If only I had a place to put it!! (apartment living, yay).

All that was basically me congratulating you on getting back on the horse. Bike. Whatever. :) Glad you had such a great workout!

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GROEDER 9/1/2012 10:58PM

    That is GREAT!!!! Congratulations!!
That is much better than I did on my first time on a bike as an adult (about 2 years ago). Then I got hooked and ride at least 5 times a week!!!!
Enjoy the biking and keep up all your hard work.

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DIDMIS 9/1/2012 10:49PM

    emoticon

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TERID816 9/1/2012 10:41PM

    Haven't invested in an outside bike yet... only a stationary one... maybe next year... we have a really nice trail here for biking and walking/running. If you do the whole thing it's about 25 miles. Now there's a goal!

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LIVEDAILY 9/1/2012 10:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Wonderful!!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 9/1/2012 10:08PM

    Fantastic Leah! Great job! I LOVE riding my bike. It is exhilerating and FUN! Have a blessed Sunday.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 9/1/2012 9:04PM

    emoticon

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STHAX10 9/1/2012 8:32PM

    emoticon

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DJSHIP46 9/1/2012 7:37PM

    How wonderful... I still remember how it felt to ride a bike and I really should get mine out and take it for a spin, fear or no fear! Maybe I will. Anyway, I've been slackin' sooo today started a new month and I also started the day out with at least an exercise DVD.... Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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GUITARWOMAN 9/1/2012 7:26PM

    That's great about the bike riding!

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OPTIMIST1948 9/1/2012 7:24PM

    Yay!

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JMARIES51 9/1/2012 5:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SSHANTI 9/1/2012 5:03PM

    OMG You totally rock! I'm so happy for you. Your post made me think of March 27th of 2010 when I got back on a bike after being off one for so long. You did much better on your first day back than I did, good for you!

I was covered in bruises and in great pain my first day back, but I too LOVE that feeling of flying, and yes, it's been shown to be much better for you than either walking or running.

Now more than two years after my first day back I've ridden 2,585 miles and I'm still going!

You totally Rock! Congratulations!!!

Sam

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LINDAK25 9/1/2012 4:52PM

    emoticon

It's really nice you have a place to ride your bike. Sounds like a good day!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

It's NEVER Too Late

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ohhhhh friends...I. AM. BACK. Saw the ortho yesterday and he cleared me for a return to running program! This morning, I got up bright and early and started the program (5 minutes walking, 1 minute running - repeated 5 times). I was nervous, to be sure...but absolutely no pain! I also worried that I'd have no endurance left. Well, that's nonsense.

Because, even though I haven't run in 6 weeks, I certainly haven't been sitting around letting my heart, lungs and muscles waste away (like I did with my last accident). NO...yours truly logged 1558 monthly fitness minutes for August. That is the most fitness minutes I've EVER done in a month! My original goal was 1,000 and I thought that would be rough. I can't tell you how proud of myself I am for breaking my personal record (highest was 1,200 in a month) WHILE injured.

I know that might sound cocky or arrogant. I don't mean to sound that way or come across like that. It's just that...when I got the non-weight bearing sentence from my ortho, I felt crushed in spirit. I felt like he was taking away everything that I'd worked for over the past 4 months. I was certain I'd gain the 30 lbs back that I'd lost and that I'd never be able to get through a 7-mile run again. That might not have been realistic thinking, but it's how I felt.

Man, what a month! I must admit that God was mightily at work in my life this past month. Not only did He root out some pretty serious emotional and relational things that were going on in my life, but He showed me a side of myself that I didn't know was there. I thought my dreams of running a marathon were big. Huh.

I got in the pool because I was desperate to not lose what I'd already attained. I kept going to the pool because I thought I might be able to improve my stroke a little. I will keep going to the pool now because I love the way my body feels after a swim.

I took my bike into the bike shop for a tune-up today, so I will know without a doubt that it is training-ready and isn't going to fall apart on me while I'm riding. This weekend, I will attempt to ride a bicycle for the first time in over 20 years. I will master this thing that I fear...because I want to train for a triathlon.

My husband has suddenly had a change of heart towards health. He is also fired up to work towards a triathlon. I NEVER thought I would see *this* day. Do you know how I've longed in my deepest heart to have my husband find any interest whatsoever in this journey that I'm on? And, by the way, if you think it's fun to research and buy fun running/cycling/swim gear by yourself...it's twice as fun when you've got a partner in crime! We've been geeking out non-stop about triathlon training for several days now. And it's brought an element of FUN back to our relationship. It's like something dead is coming alive again. Wow!!! Really???? Health can bring a marriage back to life??? That's astounding.

You know, I've been reading like crazy about running for the past few months. I have learned more than I could ever imagine about this sport, to the point that I feel pretty confident in my level of knowledge. Frankly, a fat girl like me walks into the running store and the guys there are always so shocked when I know what I'm talking about and use their terminology. Someday...this body will match the sport.

However, when you add two more sports to the mix, oh my gosh...I have SO much to learn. I know NOTHING about biking. At the bike store, I flat out said to the girl, "Can you give me your honest, expert opinion? Is this a shi*ty bike?" Haha. She had to show me how to put a helmet on. She was so kind and gracious and didn't make fun of me once...although, I know in her head, she was.

All of this because of a small tweak in my ankle. I am beyond words at how this one month has changed the entire course of my future, health-wise. I mean...who KNEW that new dreams could be born at the age of 34? I honestly thought that I got married, had three kids, got a job and that was going to be it. That was my life...forever. I wasn't going back to college. I wasn't going to learn any special new skill (like real estate or becoming a hair dresser). I just was...where I was gonna be...for the rest of my life.

If you would have told me last year that I'd now be seriously putting into motion a plan to become a triathlete, I would have laughed SO hard and ordered another Taco Supreme.

Amazing. I'm kind of speechless. I know they say "never say never". But I WILL say it...it's NEVER too late, guys. Never.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THEIS58 9/5/2012 12:17PM

    You are an inspiration!

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VOLLEYGIRL77 9/5/2012 11:56AM

    Congrats!! Start slowly and good luck:)

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ESME25 9/5/2012 10:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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4KWALK 9/4/2012 8:10PM

    It is wonderful to read such a positve inspiring blog. You are so right about it never being too late. Last year at the ripe old age of 58 years young I bought myself a bike. For the first time in 40 years I got on a bike and rode it. This year in June our heart healthy team had a challenge to ride our bikes for 10 minutes each day. I did that now I am challenging myself to ride this bike twice the distance I did back in June. I can't claim to be a runner YET but that will come. I figure now that I'm started there are a lot of different activities I can try because I believe you are never too old to start and it is NEVER EVER too late to start living in a more healthy manner.
Congratulations and keep on discovering all there is to try and enjoy into your later 30's, 40s and so on.


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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/4/2012 4:47PM

    Your enthusiasium is inspiring! And I am SO PROUD of you!!! Keep up the WONDERFUL work and I can't wait to hear about the triathlon you & hubby do!

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NESARIAN 9/4/2012 4:25PM

    Where can I get an injury like yours and same outcome? lol
YOU made all this happen! I am so proud of you! Yay to hubby for waking up and joining in. You must be thrilled!

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ANNESYLVIA 9/4/2012 1:55PM

    Yikes, I feel I already read this blog. Still if so nice to hear about such inspiration.

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EFFRAYECHILDE 9/4/2012 1:04PM

    emoticon So, great that you are cleared to run again :)

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SERASARA 9/4/2012 12:54PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDYBEL 9/4/2012 11:12AM

    As long as you are alive, there is always the chance to start over. Hooray for you and your hubby. emoticon

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2BFITKAT 9/4/2012 10:46AM

    I enjoyed this one a lot. I will be 60 my birthday and STILL believe it is never too late to do whatever you put your heart and mind in if you truly want it bad enough.
emoticon

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TALLGIRLX3 9/4/2012 10:40AM

    Inspiring! I'm so glad to see that you have started on a new adventure at the ripe old age of 34! I'm 30 and I've been dealing with the same issues of thinking that 'this is it".

Things are a little hard since my young'un is only 2 and is quite demanding on my time - but I can't wait to find something I am so passionate about as you have.

Way to go!

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TRICIAE2 9/4/2012 10:36AM

    Love this! I'm SO excited for you about your husband joinng in your geeking out over triathalon training! And I AM SO jealous!!! My husband is currently my main sabotour in my health program, but I'm working on him. He is finishing up his teaching degree and once he's done with school, I'm gonna turn up my enthusiasm until he's so jealous of all the fun I'm having that he will be forced to join me.

You have done an amazing job of dealing with all your setbacks. SUCH an inspiration for us all!

emoticon

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SJKENT1 9/4/2012 10:31AM

    Girl you are so cool!! I myself have struggled with the "hand that was dealt" thing forgetting the biggest part - For me, I know that God is the One at work in and through me. So why then do I try to do it all myself.

Our Pastor said something amazing a few weeks ago about Realty in view of our circumstances or in view of Almighty God. Has really helped to re-shape alot of my thinking and behavior.

Onward to victory!!

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MANDY22Q 9/4/2012 6:45AM

    I was just posting the other day that I'm having issues getting my husband to do anything with me besides watch movies eat and watch tv. He has a rod in his leg but he can still go for walks even if they are little. I think I'm able to do your 5 minutes walking 1 minute running deal. I never thought of breaking it up like that. what a good idea.
good luck on your marathon

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HEALTHYLU1 9/4/2012 6:27AM

    Ok I have to say it, you are still young! emoticon

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WILSON1926 9/4/2012 6:07AM

    Welcome back sunshine. Good to see you've started running a bit.
You are an inspiration.

Michael

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SHINYZALATA 9/4/2012 3:51AM

    You are an inspiration , thank you 4 sharing , yes its never too late :)

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COLETTEISGREAT 9/3/2012 9:43PM

    What a change from your previous injury! This injury led you on a different path, got you into the pool, and got you thinking about triathlons!!! I think in many ways that this injury came at exactly the right time in your life: a time when you could cope with the injury and find a way to keep up your fitness without weight-bearing exercise. Super-congratulations for turning this injury into a life-changing healthy journey!

And it sounds like there's new SPARK in your marriage! This is wonderful!

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SBELLI26 9/3/2012 9:16PM

  emoticon That's FANTASTIC and so inspiring. I really feel like this time will be the one for me too because I'm not letting obstacles get in my way this time. Next week I have to travel for work for two weeks. At first I was worried sick about gaining back the 20 pounds I've worked so hard to lose for the last 3 months. On this trip I'll be in a different city and hotel every 2-3 days and I'm not sure about the quality of the fitness center of each. But then I realized that when I'm home I only work out 2-3 times per week. So I don't have to worry if I have have a day or two that's too busy or a fitness equipment that sucks. I know the hotel I will in over the weekend has a great fitness center and pool so at the least I'll have a 3 day weekend to pound out (literally) any les than perfect food and fitness days. I now feel more confident about the trip and I'm looking forward to it.

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CAROL494 9/3/2012 9:07PM

  emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 9/3/2012 8:39PM

    emoticon

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LIFEFOUNDONARUN 9/3/2012 7:54PM

    Just loved reading this! Good luck to you! I know with this awesome spirit you have you will go far!

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NIKO27 9/3/2012 7:37PM

    emoticon

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REYEMM 9/3/2012 7:01PM

  emoticonWay to go!

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BONIFIANT 9/3/2012 5:56PM

    Thanks for sharing not only what you have learned physically during the past weeks of enforced non-weight bearing, but also how much you have gained spiritually during this time. That was special to me. And what great excitement to learn that you have now sparked your husband to join you on this next quest.

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ILOVEJIM851991 9/3/2012 4:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NYARAMULA 9/3/2012 2:05PM

    emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 9/3/2012 1:41PM

    It is NEVER too late for new dreams!!! So keep learning, changing and growing!

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THESLIMMERME1 9/3/2012 1:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HBLACK5 9/3/2012 12:02PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LUCINDARW 9/3/2012 11:22AM

    What a great inspiring story! Congratulations on all your hard work and I know you will succeed! Good luck with your training and your journey. Lucinda

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SHIRE33 9/3/2012 10:52AM

    You know what? That bike store girl was not laughing. I just know she wasn't. I teach writing. I never laugh at my students who come to learn. Sometimes I get aggravated if I emphasize things and somebody doesn't pay any attention, but really, I'm thrilled to see their enthusiasm (yes, they actually do get that way sometimes when they are into their topics).

So I bet that girl was really tickled to see somebody totally serious, ready to work out, someone clearly off the couch and out the door and DOING IT. It's always great to welcome somebody new into the community. And I think that no matter what we weigh, we are part of the sport community now. : )


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JANEMARIE77 9/3/2012 10:43AM

    never asay never and we can never be sure what the big plan is go with the flow

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LEEDDSD 9/3/2012 10:09AM

    That is great. You are a real inspiration.

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EBURGITE 9/3/2012 9:39AM

    emoticon so glad you're cleared! yay.

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MAMA_CD 9/3/2012 8:50AM

    Wow, you've come a long way

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THETROUT 9/3/2012 7:05AM

    All I can say is WOW!!!

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SUNSET09 9/3/2012 5:19AM

  When God closes one door, there's always a window. Sometimes, He has to remove When God closes one door, there's always a window. Sometimes, He has to remove those obstacles which we think are so important to open our eyes and reveal so much more of our potential. We have little faith in ourselves however, He believes in us when we think we can’t do or make it. Never give up on yourself as He will never give up on you! those obstacles which we think are so important to open our eyes and reveal so much more of our potential. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPSPSP1 9/3/2012 2:16AM

    Right on!!!

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AJB121299 9/2/2012 11:23PM

    kudos and best of luck

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SBNORMAL 9/2/2012 11:21PM

  Run, Girl, Run!!

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DYNAMICDELICIA 9/2/2012 10:38PM

    this is sooo beautiful

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DONNAMBRUTON 9/2/2012 10:25PM

    That's awesome girl!! what a way to get back in the game!! I wish you most luck in your life!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAROL494 9/2/2012 10:08PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MDOTZERO 9/2/2012 9:20PM

    You're so right. Never say Never. This journey to health and fitness opens up so many new doors, presents so many new opportunities to experience things in life we never thought possible or never thought we'd actually ENJOY. Absolutely amazing!

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GOODGALLEFT1 9/2/2012 7:24PM

    So awesome for you and your hubby! Thanks for the pep talk!

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BLOOMING52 9/2/2012 7:19PM

    Thank you!

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HAPPYKITTYNZ 9/2/2012 7:14PM

    Wow you are a positive radiant force of SPARK!!! I'm delighted the hubby is going to do the triathlon too :D!! Way to change your life! Wow :)
That's great that you kept on with... the sentence.. was "desperate not to lose what i had already attained" I think that's my next step.. I keep revving up, getting injured, cooling down, starting over.... I need to race like a turtle not a rabbit, Inspiring to read :) Thank you!



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GAILCAN 9/2/2012 5:39PM

    emoticon It's amazing how we question our bodies memory isn't it? I love that you can jump back into your regimen with hardly any bumps in the road! You're doing great! Keep it up!

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Ironman Louisville: Beyond The Finish Line/Thoughts on Ironman (Part 4 of 4)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Up until now, I’ve shared quite a lot of information about the athletes of Ironman Louisville. But, just for a moment, allow me to draw your attention to the unseen heroes of an Ironman race: the Ironman Support Team and the Volunteers.



When you attend an Ironman, you’ll often hear the term “Ironman Support Team” thrown around. It’s even on t-shirts in the Ironman Store. Support Team is any athlete’s family, friends, co-workers, etc who come out to cheer on their athlete on race day and/or anyone that makes it possible for the athletes to train and make it to the starting line of the race.



I found a great excerpt from Ironstruck.com:

“Taking on the Ironman Triathlon involves a lot more than buying equipment, finding a coach, and training for the big day. It’s important to keep in mind that often the people most important in your life will prove to be instrumental in your journey and will be your ironman support. Ironman support makes all the difference.

One of the most important components of your preparation is the support, patience and understanding of the people who truly want you to succeed. In many respects, attempting something as challenging as the Ironman Triathlon can be hard on relationships, and especially hard on marriages. The people who are closest to you will benefit in the long run, but in the meantime it’s important to remember how much their support means as you work towards your ultimate goal.”

You can view the full article here: ironstruck.com/ironman-support

Likewise, there are THOUSANDS of volunteers for this event. Keep in mind that we’re talking about at least 17 hours on race day that must be staffed by volunteers (and also for the days before and after).

In the Transition Area tents, thousands of volunteers wait to help the athletes change, apply sunscreen and get out to their bikes quickly. At the Finish Line, 1-2 volunteers greet EACH finisher that crosses the line. They literally hold them up and care for them – get them water, alert medics if needed, talk them through pain, and give verbal encouragement and hugs. I most definitely will be volunteering for Ironman races in the future. To be able to support athletes of that caliber would be an honor and a privilege.



I wish you could have stood with me in the area just past the finish line. It was so interesting to see them after the finish of the race. Some were rather unaffected, shook off the volunteers’ helpful offers of support and simply walked past the water and Gatorade, gathered their medal and went back to the hotel. Others (many more were like this) crossed the line, walked past the camera and you literally saw their entire body shut down and crumble. They couldn’t even stand. Many were taken away in wheelchairs. I thought, “These people did not have ONE OUNCE of energy left. How did they even manage to run across that finish line?” It’s astounding what willpower and determination can do…it can literally take you beyond your body’s physical limits!

The most intriguing to me were the athletes that appeared totally focused and crossed the finish line all smiles, but then had to be practically carried to water/Gatorade by the volunteers. If you looked into their eyes, they were not even mentally there. I recognized that glassy stare because I have had it myself. I know the exact “place” they were in because I’ve been to that place during each of my three natural childbirths.

There is a strange time between when you’re ready to push that baby out and when the baby is actually born. You feel half awake, not able to make sense of where you are or who is around you or what is going on. The pain is so great, you literally feel like you’ve left your own body. Physiologically, that feeling is brought on by hormones in your body, attempting to protect you from a pain so intense that you can’t bear it. It’s amazing how the body does this because literally 5 minutes AFTER the baby was born, I felt completely wide awake - like I’d just woken up from a hazy dream.

If this is what is happening with these athletes, I ask you…WHY are they not our heroes? Why are they not household names? Why do our kids not look up to them? I don’t belittle any sport or team because I understand the dedication it takes to master a game/sport that you love. But, truly…these Ironman athletes push their bodies far beyond that of most famous baseball, basketball or football stars and where is their glory? People don’t even know what an Ironman race is!!! It’s sad to me.



And yet, it makes the athlete’s achievement all the more special. Because they aren’t out there for glory or fame. They are there to test their own limits, to prove to themselves that they can do it, to be healthy and to live their lives to the full. The ironic thing (pun intended) is that this is what makes them inspiring and worthy of admiration.



Do I want complete an Ironman someday? Of course! It might take me 15 years to get there, but what once seemed insane and impossible now seems shockingly within reach. Why? Because I was there. I’ve seen it done right in front of my eyes…by thousands of courageous men and women of all shapes and sizes and ages that simply chose to keep going and never give up. These men and women have an iron will. And, thanks to their hard work and sacrifice, a seed of an idea was planted in my mind…that perhaps I, too, might have that kind of will inside of me.

As I take on new challenges and go deeper in my training, I expect that seed will grow. It will take me across many finish lines in my lifetime. I can only dream and hope that it will carry me across the ultimate finish line and I will one day hear the words, “Leah Drichel…you are an Ironman.”

*All photos copyrighted 2012: Scott Drichel Photography

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 8/31/2012 2:15PM

    Great blog about the importance of the support teams in ironman and in any other type of athletic event. People don't realize just how much it takes to put together these types of things. My biggest event that I've done for the past 3 years is at White Sands Missile Range and commemorates the Bataan Death March of World War I. It's been going on for much much longer than that, and has grown so much. This year there were almost 7,000 people entered. There is a 15-mile and a 26.2 mile category with civilians and military categories. Some run it and some walk it. Some are wounded warriers and I always see some with one or both legs in prosthetics. There is a very long time allowed to finish the course. Military have individual and team categories, and also with a 35'lb pack or without category. It is super inspiring to see everyone out there. And there are so many many volunteers involved the days before the event and during the event. People come from all 50 states and some other countries to do this. It's not as grueling as the ironman, but it's still an awesome event that takes so many volunteers to make it run smoothly. Never ever take the volunteers for granted!
And you will do that ironman one day!

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KIPPER15 8/31/2012 9:34AM

    You will do this. You are correct to say that the support team is all important. Any organized sport like this has a huge group of selfless dedicated volunteers too. They do not get enough recognition. emoticon

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BRITTEEG 8/31/2012 9:09AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us! You are such an excellent, thoughtful, and insightful writer. I love your blog posts! You are inspiring so many people, myself included, to reach for things I never thought possible. I can't say it enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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SLIMLEAF 8/31/2012 6:52AM

    Oh, dear - look what you've done now...

You've got me wanting to complete an Ironman triathlon - and how crazy is that?!

Hmmm... well I swam a mile this morning, so I could build up to doing the distance.

And I run regularly and have done lots of long races, so I know I can run marathons (even though they're very hard!)

so that just leaves the bike...
Oh and the training...
and....

Like I said, a crazy idea.
but one that just MIGHT happen.

*wanders off muttering to herself "Must learn to ride a bike properly"*

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/31/2012 3:32AM

    emoticon very inspiring what they are able to accomplish. You're right--it's sad many people don't know what it is or value the athletes who are able to push themselves past the limit of what most think is possible. emoticon

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REGILIEH 8/31/2012 12:19AM

    Thank you so much! I Adam sorry it is over and I can't wait for you to get your Ironman medal! Woohoo!

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LINDAK25 8/30/2012 11:27PM

    Wow! You made me feel as though I was there.

The photos were fantastic, incredible, beautiful!

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MISSLISA1973 8/30/2012 9:37PM

    I don't know how you do it, but you always bring me to the verge of tears when I read your blogs!

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JUNEAU2010 8/30/2012 7:32PM

    Very cool! Of course you will do this yourself. And think, someone will blog about seeing you in the race and be inspired to aim for the same.

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MT-MOONCHASER 8/30/2012 7:27PM

    Great series!!

You ought to see if you could shop it around to something like Runner's World or some other fitness type magazine. I think your writing is as good as or better than most of the articles I see.

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ROSES4ME1 8/30/2012 7:16PM

    Thanks so much for taking time to share all this! I've never seen an Ironman up close but now feel like I've really been there. Your enthusiasm and awe is so inspiring! I am sure you will accomplish all your dreams.
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CINDHOLM 8/30/2012 7:12PM

    Excellent Blog!! VERY informative!! emoticon emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 8/30/2012 7:05PM

    I do believe that you will get there and be an IRONMAN someday. What a thrilling thought! I have now done 2 Sprint level Triathlons and am thinking about the possibility of an Olympic length Tri. If I can do that then who knows? Maybe a 1/2 Ironman is possible. It is fun to dream. Be sure and check out this 80 year old Triathlete who is a Nun! What an inspiration. Here is the link. You will need to copy and paste :o)

http://www.trijuice.com/
2012/08/at_30th_anniversary_of_
ironman_canada_sister_madonna_b
uder_becomes_oldest_woman_to_fi
nish_an_ironman_race.htm
>Hugs,
Rhonda
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WORLDSERIES11 8/30/2012 6:58PM

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. They truly are amazing athletes!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILDFLOWER521 8/30/2012 6:30PM

    Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking some of your time to write this series of blogs.

Before now, I was one of those people that had no clue what Ironman was.
Definitely eye opening!

Those men and women and their support teams are just incredible beyond words.
Your pictures were wonderful. I would love to know what camera you used.

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GUITARWOMAN 8/30/2012 6:30PM

    Beautiful sentiments......

You will do this some day, for sure!

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LYNSEY723 8/30/2012 6:24PM

    This was such an amazing series of blogs. It ALMOST makes me want to THINK about doing something this crazy. Thank you so much for the passion behind your writting, you really make me feel like I was there too!

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PEGGYO 8/30/2012 6:21PM

    thanks for sharing your time and story with us.

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POSITIVELY_EB 8/30/2012 6:16PM

    Thank you for sharing all of that! It certainly was amazing just from OUR standpoint - I can just imagine the feeling from yours!

HUGS!!!

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SNOWYOGA 8/30/2012 6:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FALLNTENN 8/30/2012 6:10PM

    I enjoyed reading your four part Ironman blog. Thanks for sharing.

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YOGAGIRL289 8/30/2012 6:01PM

  I really enjoyed this 4-part post - it was very inspirational. I wish you all the best in achieving your Ironman goals. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DR8561 8/30/2012 6:01PM

    So inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to share this. emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 8/30/2012 5:58PM

    emoticon
That's one heck of a major goal, but I know you can do it!

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/30/2012 5:55PM

    You're my Ironwoman and not cause you can swim or ride a bike or run...
emoticon
BFF?
I think so!


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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/30/2012 5:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THOMS1 8/30/2012 5:41PM

    Good Job!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Ironman Louisville: 26.2 Mile Run/Finish Line (Part 3 of 4)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012





Immediately following their 5-6 hour ride through 112 miles of Kentucky terrain, the Ironman athletes returned to the Bike Transition Area to quickly shake off their dead legs and begin the marathon run that would usher them to the finish line and the title of “Ironman”. It was a hot one…about 90 degrees. The humidity wasn’t horrible, but it was not ideal running weather, that’s for sure. The athletes did their best to combat the heat with sponges and other body cooling methods.



My husband’s body actually suffered from the heat the entire following day, so the marathon was certainly no walk in the park for these athletes. In fact, I went through and looked at all the finisher results and, from what I can tell, there were 786 athletes that did not finish the race…most of them fell out on the run. This guy was hurting pretty badly.





Just imagine how your body would feel after the effort put forth to not only swim 3,862 meters and ride a bike at full force for almost half a day. I have heard it described by many triathletes as feeling like your legs are Jell-O or trying to run through neck-high Jell-O. An average runner struggles to conquer a marathon, in and of itself, at some point in their lifetime. What kind of fitness does a person need to have to run 26.2 miles AFTER all of the above? It’s just mind-blowing. By rights, the human body should not be able to withstand this type of effort. The fact that ANYONE finishes this race is unbelievable. The fact that one of the professional athletes completed another Ironman race just 14 days before this is downright insane. Can you imagine the conditioning of that woman’s body to be able to recover in that way? I really can’t.

By the time we got to the run course, our friend’s husband, Joe, was already at Mile 7. Missed him again! He was just too speedy for us the entire day! We headed to the Finish Line to wait for the runners to start coming in. We got there around 3:00pm and waited. And waited.



Finally! In the distance, a runner appeared…headed toward the finish line! It was professional athlete, Patrick Evoe. He has placed 2nd in an Ironman before, but has never won. This was his shining moment. The crowd was elated. He had a final finish time of 8 hrs 42 mins 44 secs. Amazing.





A few more men came in, including some age groupers (a.k.a. regular folk…although, not really regular…more extraordinary than most is more like it). We were waiting for the 1st place woman and it turned out to be pro, Bree Wee. Her finish is just adorable. I didn’t want to include too many pics but you’ve gotta see these in succession! Precious!







Bree finished with a total time of 9 hrs 36 mins 27 secs. After that, several more athletes came in and we kept getting texts from Francie that Joe was nearing the end of the marathon. Mile 15. Mile 20. Mile 25. He’s on his way in! We couldn’t wait to see him for the first time that day!



Joe made it across the line, finishing in the top 5% of all the athletes. He also qualified for a spot in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii! There were about 50 spots available, evenly spread out by age group. This is not Joe’s first time in Kona, but qualifying for Kona is ALWAYS a big deal! Now we will know TWO athletes in Kona!!! Guess who will be glued to the computer screen all day on October 13th??? Incidentally, Francie is competing in HER Ironman race next week in Madison, WI. How’s that for an awesome family?

We also got to witness something really special. One of the athletes that had just finished his Ironman got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Naturally, we took pictures. Such a joyous moment in an overall fantastic day.







Since we’d been standing and waiting at the finish line for hours, we were ready to find a restaurant to sit down and eat (it’s a full day of eating, with some athletics mixed in!) so we tried to get a patio seat on the finish line. But the restaurant was charging $100 for a seat outside! And that didn’t even include your food and drink! Ridiculous. So, we ate at Hard Rock Café. Then, watched for a few more hours as athletes began to pour in. We had to head home around 8pm, although the finish line was pumping all the way up to midnight. Our feet were just done for the day and I had to work the next morning bright and early. I tried to watch the final finishers online but my body was just finished and I fell asleep.

From what I can tell online, the very last finisher was 63 yr old, Tina Duda, with a total time of 16 hrs 57 mins 47 secs.



The story doesn’t end here, folks. In fact, I’d venture to say that the true impact of the day did not hit me until we spent some time hanging out in the area AFTER the finish line. THAT is where the true magic was…and that ended up being my favorite part of the entire day. You WILL want to hear about this in my next installment, Ironman Louisville: After the Finish/Thoughts on Ironman (Part 4 of 4).

*All photos copyrighted 2012: Scott Drichel Photography

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 9/4/2012 1:14PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 9/3/2012 11:14AM

    Sound like so much fun. Thanks for sharing.

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CICELY360 8/31/2012 9:24AM

  Sounds fun.

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BLUEJEAN99 8/31/2012 1:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 8/30/2012 9:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 8/30/2012 8:57PM

  My husband's best friend has completed the marathon in Hawaii and we have been with him during the marathon in Madison. It really is exciting and I never get over being amazed at how their bodies are equipped to do that much in one short period of time. emoticon for sharing your experience with us.

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GOULDSGRANITE 8/30/2012 7:42PM

    Felt like I was right there with you Leah! Thank you for the thrill of it all!! Amazing!

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MARYJEANSL 8/30/2012 6:39PM

  Sounds like so much fun and such a thrill to be there!

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NEWCHINELO 8/30/2012 5:27PM

    this is awesome!

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MOSTMOM1 8/30/2012 4:49PM

    Incredibly cool!

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1GODGIRL 8/30/2012 4:47PM

    emoticon

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PENNYPACKER3 8/30/2012 4:41PM

    emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 8/30/2012 3:16PM

    WOW! I have been to marathons to support friends, but never to an IRONMAN! I've also worked the Disney Marathon - working the start and the finish, both great opportunities! Wrapping those blankets (its in January) around the runners as they come in is so magical! I can't wait for the rest of the story!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 8/30/2012 1:16PM

    emoticon

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ANNESYLVIA 8/30/2012 12:46PM

    Yikes, I wish I would have kept up with the story, so exciting.

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LIVELYGIRL2 8/30/2012 11:56AM

  This is mind blowing! I can't hardly believe it, that people do such feats. Do I understand one of these guys is your spouse , Leah?

I watch it on TV, but it is more exciting hearing it from someone directly, and a person ya kinda now. I feel lie it,because of your blogs and a few conversations. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MANDALORE 8/30/2012 11:47AM

    emoticon

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FARIS71 8/30/2012 11:31AM

    I have goosebumps - that is all so cool. Can't believe that guy proposed - probably kept him going thru the race though.

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SLIMLEAF 8/30/2012 11:09AM

    Great report and great photos!

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TONYVAND1 8/30/2012 11:05AM

  emoticon emoticon

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MOMMY445 8/30/2012 10:51AM

    such wonderful news! great pictures and congratulations! have a fabulous day,Leah!

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LINDAKAY228 8/30/2012 10:49AM

    Wow so amazing! And congratulations to the 63 year old. It doesn't matter that she's last, because someone has to be. But just to be able to do that at any age is so amazing!! I can't imagine being able to do it.
There is a sparker (LILPAT3) here that lives in my small town that does smaller triathalons. She's had both knees rebuilt and can't run the races but does race walk them. The time she loses in the foot race she makes up for in the bike race as she can bike really fast. I think she's amazing.
Thank you for sharing so much about this experience and I'll be waiting to read the next blog!

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SHOAPIE 8/30/2012 10:19AM

    emoticon

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DJSHIP46 8/30/2012 10:02AM

    I always enjoy your writing and the pictures were great... looking forward to the next installment:)

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DNRAE1 8/30/2012 9:39AM

    emoticon Fantastic!


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LAURIE5658 8/30/2012 9:32AM

    Leah, simply amazing!!!!!! Thank you for this series!

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KATHY_NATURELVR 8/30/2012 9:27AM

    Amazing story Leah! I love the proposal, it made me tear up.

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NEWMOM20121 8/30/2012 8:28AM

    Thank you for sharing.

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HEARTS116 8/30/2012 8:07AM

    WOW emoticon

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MIMIDOT 8/30/2012 8:00AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. I can't imagine how terrible I'd be at one of those races. Can't wait for the next blog. Keep them coming.

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JANEMARIE77 8/30/2012 7:28AM

    Thanks tha was great

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CSNOW71 8/30/2012 7:01AM

    Thanks for such an insight to the Ironman! I've never really thought much about it before but you just brought it to life. You write amazingly well and such a great photographer too! I'm not sure what you do as a career but if it doesn't involve writing or photography, then I think you've missed your calling girlfriend!!
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Can't wait for part 4!!

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DFSFSQW4 8/30/2012 6:26AM

  Great pics. Thanks.

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GRAMPIAN 8/30/2012 5:41AM

  Thanks for the pictures.

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KIPPER15 8/30/2012 5:34AM

    emoticonPictures are professional quality. Thank you for sharing.

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NCSUE0514 8/30/2012 4:40AM

    Neat pix!

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REGILIEH 8/30/2012 12:18AM

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

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SHERYL_B 8/29/2012 11:45PM

    Wow!

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SWEDE_SU 8/29/2012 11:14PM

    thanks, leah - loved reading your reports here and looking forward to the next installment. have you thought about writing a book?? plenty of spark fans who would be lining up to read it, whatever the topic! you bring it all to life so vividly!

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FITFOODIE806 8/29/2012 10:01PM

    There is so much I love about this. First, your love and admiration for the sport. Second, how much great attention you are bringing to a sport that I'm just falling in love with. Thank you!!
I cannot imagine running a marathon in 90 degrees. Holy crap!that would so hard. And then not finishing. Many training plans are 6 months. That's a lot of time and effort. It's heartbreaking.
Love all the pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share.
I know a few people doing Madison next week. And my running partner that did Louisville last year is volunteering at Madison to guarantee herself a spot for the following year. Isn't that nutty? There are that many people that do this!! Spots run out!!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/29/2012 9:35PM

    Absolutely AMAZING athletes!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/29/2012 9:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAK25 8/29/2012 9:28PM

    Your pictures are fantastic! Amazing!

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OPTIMIST1948 8/29/2012 9:26PM

    One of the things I think is so amazing about Ironman is that while, yes, there are winners, everyone celebrates every finisher. To be an Ironman is an act of indomitable will, where just finishing the darned thing is a celebration of life.

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JENNCABA 8/29/2012 9:14PM

    emoticonThanks for sharing !!! emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 8/29/2012 9:10PM

    The photos are great! It is amazing what the human body can endure, accomplish, and triumph over!!

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JUNEAU2010 8/29/2012 9:08PM

    It looks as if she said yes! WOW! What a day!

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CINDHOLM 8/29/2012 8:40PM

    Amazingly GREAT pictures, Thanx for sharing!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/29/2012 7:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Great stories! Wow, yes, accomplishing a marathon after all they've been through. That is INCREDIBLE!!

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GUITARWOMAN 8/29/2012 7:34PM

    You really bring an ironman race to life!

Amazing!

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Ironman Louisville: 112 Mile Bike (Part 2 of 4)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012



Hubby and I had to walk ½ mile from our parking garage to the start of the Ironman Sunday morning. This transition area was the first sign of Ironman on our trek to the swim start. It was my first moment of sheer awe in a day that would consistently challenge my perceptions of the human body's limits and the colossal power of an individual's will and determination.

After the murder of the 2.4 mile swim, athletes climbed out of the water and ran to a tent to change into their biking gear and prepare for the 112 mile ride in front of them. No doubt, they were concurrently changing clothes, maybe eating and drinking, putting on sunscreen, securing helmets - all in a matter of minutes.

Then, they had to run out and locate their bike, among thousands…and get it over to the Bike Start Line.





We were pretty close to the start, so we could see the athletes' bodies transition from the swim to the bike. Most of them were still wet from the swim and, as they rode by me, I could see the muscles in their arms still twitching from their 2.4 mile battle in the water.





We watched several of the athletes take off onto the bike course and then we had to get in our car and drive to the Bike Viewing Area, which we assumed would be nearby. But, it was actually a small town that was a half hour drive each way from the actual race start. Wow. As we drove, we noticed that we were in some hilly terrain and we felt sorry for the bikers. We also decided that, as they were going for a leisurely 5-6 hour bike ride, we might as well get our hash brown casserole on at Cracker Barrel. I mean, we hadn’t even had breakfast yet. We had been up for 5.5 hours and it was just 9:00am.

After breakfast, we got to the viewing area just as the athletes were beginning to pass in full force. This area was both Mile 40 and Mile 70 of their ride. We got there pretty early, so they were just coming up on Mile 40.





Those bikes were FLYING! So fast, so perfectly smooth, so beautiful. I must have watched hundreds go by and never tired of it. Have you ever seen a time trial bike? Those babies can cost upwards of $5,000. As we stood at the Transition Area earlier gazing at the thousands and thousands of bikes, I thought, "Can you IMAGINE how much money is in this little square of land? WOW!"

When you see it up close, hear the whir from its wheels, feel the wind as it whisks past you and see the athlete and the bike working together as one, there is something that happens to you. I jokingly thought to myself, “Leah, there are literally hundreds of perfectly formed, gorgeous bodies passing in front of you and you are lusting after their BIKES?!” I can’t explain myself. I just know what I felt and if feeling that way is a crime, then lock me up!

Look at them…







*Drool* Mmmm. Oh…sorry. OK, back to the race? Yeah. Sorry.

So, after watching for awhile, we walked around this little tiny town for a bit, looked in some shops, but we thought, “You know, this is going to go on for another 3-4 hours. Let’s go have lunch.” So we drove BACK the half hour to the actual race area/finish line and decided to scout out a restaurant for lunch. The funniest part is…I felt like we’d JUST had breakfast, even though several hours had passed. And, before the swim start, we heard a guy telling his friend, “It’s like a whole day of eating, with a little bit of athletics mixed in.” Well, at the time, I assumed he was talking about the athletes. But, at lunch, it hit me that he was talking about being a spectator! Ha! It is SO true! Because, in between legs of the race/finishes, what else IS there to do but eat and shop? Haha. Consequently, maxed out my credit card that day…but it was worth it.

We had lunch at a nice Irish pub. At the end of our meal, I received a text from my friend, Francie, telling me that her hubby, Joe, was off the bike and had just started the marathon. We originally went to watch Joe compete and cheer him on and we never once saw him until he crossed the finish line. Even then, we weren’t able to catch him and talk to him, but we did get some great pictures for Francie of him crossing the finish line.

Back to the biking portion of the race: many of the athletes were on their bikes for at least 5 hours…some, or most, would be on them longer. As we did with the swim, put yourself in an athlete’s place on the bike. You are bent over riding for over FIVE HOURS. You are sometimes riding in a pack at ridiculous speeds going downhill, where a collision could easily occur if you don’t communicate well or alert the other riders to your presence. There are fans at Mile 40 and Mile 70 that make you want to keep going. You catch a glimpse of your country’s flag. Pedal harder. But, gosh, you’re so tired. That swim just took it out of you. Eat something! Drink something! But do not get off of that bike! And, when you’re done with this…when you can finally stand upright again (assuming you CAN stand upright), you just have to run a measly little 26.2 miles to finally reach your goal of Ironman.

So, are you ready for a nice little jog in 93 degree Kentucky heat? I’ll cover that next in Ironman Louisville: 26.2 Mile Run (Part 3 of 4)

*All photos copyrighted 2012: Scott Drichel Photography

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 8/29/2012 9:22PM

    Oh dear. You are totally in the grip of Ironman & triathlon. Welcome to Crazytown. The good news is if you do all your workouts, you get to eat all you want.

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MINSOSTER 8/29/2012 6:43PM

    I'm with you. . . those bikes are very worthy of DROOL!

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LINDAKAY228 8/29/2012 2:03PM

    We have a major bike racing event here in Silver City, NM each year the first of May called the Tour of the Gila. It's a 5 day even with races to different areas around here, an up and down a lot of mountainous area. Then on Saturday its the criterian down through the middle of town with first the professionals, then the civilian races they call it with all different age groups from kids on up. It amazesme the way those packs can navigate the streets and not have a lot of accidents because they are going so fast around corners and the streets are simple streets with one lane in each direction so it's a crowded pack. An the mountain courses and how they can race for miles up and down such elevation changes amazes me.
Great sharing of the event and how it went. Is the friend Francie you mentioned the one who wrote the book whose husbands name is Joe? I'm still reading it. It's a great book.

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PATTISTAMPS 8/29/2012 1:00PM

    Very cool! Those bikes are so amazing!

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KATHY_NATURELVR 8/29/2012 12:22PM

    Wow - I couldn't imagine.

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/29/2012 8:08AM

    Those bikes really are beautiful. I am still riding the 10-speed road bike my dad got me when I was 14, lol! It is just AMAZING the athleticism that is required for the Ironman. I can't imagine feeling mentally and physically ready to take on such a phenomenal task. Wow!

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HOLLY255255 8/29/2012 7:11AM

    You need to post the last finisher's results.... I think your writing may be inspiring some of us to go for it!!

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SLIMLEAF 8/29/2012 6:25AM

    Reading your blog is almost as good as being there myself!

I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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LORELLELAURA 8/29/2012 3:57AM

    great report!
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REGILIEH 8/29/2012 12:27AM

    Loved it! I felt I was there with you! What fun!

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CORINA-MOMOF4 8/28/2012 11:33PM

    can't wait until Dec - for our 19th wedding anniversary we're getting road bikes! Next year we'll be doing our first Duathlon! Can't wait!!!

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KIPPER15 8/28/2012 10:39PM

    emoticon fantastic job with the photos!!

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GOING-STRONG 8/28/2012 10:39PM

    Wow... you are quite the reporter! Those bikes are very cool.. great photos!

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ON2VICTORY 8/28/2012 10:26PM

    Leah, you have taken some seriously fantastic photos. I mean like photos I would expect to see in Triathlete magazine.... very good job.

I can tell from your writing that you were really affected by the event...

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JUNEAU2010 8/28/2012 10:05PM

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing - this may be the closests\ I ever get to those fabulous bikes!

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SNOWYOGA 8/28/2012 9:44PM

    Wow! emoticon emoticon

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FRANCIEVW 8/28/2012 9:26PM

    It's fun to watch your inspiration unfold. Makes me wanna do one :)

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SWEETEYES0601 8/28/2012 9:19PM

    What an amazing experience to witness. I'm glad it was there for you to appreciate. I have a co-worker who has done her first Ironman race and it wore her out for two days afterwards. WOW! Great post!

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SSHANTI 8/28/2012 9:04PM

    Wow, amazing. I've never been up close and personal to an Iron like this, your post gave me that ringside seat. And yeah, I'd have been drilling over the rides too. Though to be honest I had enough trouble spending $500 dollars on my ride, let alone ten times that. But I know what a difference a good bike can make. Today I did a half century on mine. And I seriously doubt I was going anything near as fast as them. But it was 3 hours and 48 minutes well spent for me. First time in over two decades that I did a ride that long. Made me happy.

Thanks for sharing your Iron experiences with us, you are awesome!

Sam

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/28/2012 9:00PM

    Amazing. That is some race! SO inspiring. emoticon emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 8/28/2012 8:57PM

    The bikes are so pretty!!! Glad you had such a good time.
In those tents are 1000s of volunteers too. One is assigned to each athlete and they are the ones that usually put sunscreen on the athlete's back while they are eating/changing. It's an expensive race, but you are well taken care of!

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HBLACK5 8/28/2012 8:12PM

    Wow that is incredible!

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CINDHOLM 8/28/2012 7:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/28/2012 7:22PM

    Just so you know...
I now feel OBLIGATED to respond to your blogs!
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PEGGYO 8/28/2012 7:14PM

    I feel like I'm watching with you. Thanks

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GUITARWOMAN 8/28/2012 6:30PM

    Am amazing commentary. You brought it all to life!


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LINDAK25 8/28/2012 6:23PM

    You really do have to have tremendous respect for these athletes! What an incredible test of strength and courage. I can't even conceive of doing something like this.

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/28/2012 6:22PM

    Great blog! emoticon
Thanks for sharing and the pictures are wonderful! emoticon

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