Some of the loyal readers of this blog have had questions for the athelete, so I conducted a very professional interview this morning as we laid in bed, brushed our teeth and as the ironman ate a bowl of cereal:
how is your body feeling? better than I thought it would. knee feels good today (no limping coming down the stairs), muscles are fine, digestion issues may have been due to a bad protein shake.
would you do it again, or are you going to do it again? oh, I'll do it again. to be honest, I've got my eye on st. george. volunteers get first dibs on registration, I'd consider that.
what does this next year hold as far as races? I'll do some smaller events, soma half again for sure. I'd like to find another half. Kate and Peter signed up for the Ironman next year and I've agreed to train with them, so it will keep me in shape.
when will you work out again? I'm swimming at lunch today. so in a few hours.
what did you think about when you were out there? how fast I was running, that I could run to the next aid station. There was a guy in front of me with an iron tat on his calf. I figured he knew what he was doing, so I stuck with him for quite a ways. Then he stopped for his special needs bag and I didn't want to wait so I kept going. The second loop, a girl passed me who was going a little quicker than I was, but I figured I could stay with her. I followed her the whole second loop and was thinking that if I stayed with her that I'd definitely finish this thing in five hours. Then at the end of the loop she headed in for the finish and I realized I was on my own for the last loop. sometimes I'd just think, "I'm doing this. I'm doing an Ironman."
what was the hardest part of the race? dealing with stomach issues. the fuel I had with me on the bike made me sick so I didn't take any more. I went into the run thinking I needed to take in some calories, so I had an orange at an aid station and it did not sit well. after my stomach settled, I was fine again.
what would you tell someone who was considering doing this? sign up.
how about someone already in, what's your advice to them? my cheesy advice is to stick with your training, it will all be worth it on race day.
what's the one thing you would change? my nutrition intake. I don't know what I'd do different, I'd have to experiment. I did not cramp at all on the bike or the run. I credit salt stick for that. I had no idea that coke and water would sustain me for 20 miles. coke was probably not the best carb choice, but it prevented a sugar crash. I figured I wasn't going to mess with what was working.
how did you feel about the gear and clothing you chose? Would you use it again? Yes, I'd use it all again... except the wetsuit. I'd go with a different brand (it was very susceptible to tearing) , but the goggles, bike, bike shoes, tri suit, everything else I'd use again.
how would you rate your overall ironman experience: I don't know.
excellent, very good, good, fair, poor: excellent (without hesitation).
one last question. how do you feel your family handled your training and race day? excellent. very supportive and understanding. it was a group effort.
Notes: a day or two before the race, Dent and Katelyn were talking and he said that as cheesy as it sounded, he wanted to try to do the whole thing with a smile on his face. We both laughed out loud, but understood what he meant. He said that it was a big enough deal and he's worked hard enough that he didn't want to be miserable, he wanted to enjoy this experience. He claimed in my interview that he kept his positive mindset the entire race, that discouragement never set in. There was one pass on the bike when he came by and his face was not necessarily happy. Katelyn and I wondered where the smile went, but he reassured us that he was simply in "the zone, focused."
When asked if he'd do it again, he said there was nothing like it. He said he did not anticipate feeling so emotional about it. He tried to find something to compare it to, but nothing does. A high school state basketball championship was fun and he was excited and happy, but this runs deeper. Maybe, he speculated, because it was such an intense personal achievement. He hopes that as he looks back on this event that the emotions and sense of satisfaction never fade. Me too. It's a natural high that he wouldn't hesitate to feel again.
Below is a clip of his finish. Turn your volume down, I am loud. You can hear Cooper cheer for his daddy and Dent's name announced as he runs under the finish arch. It's good stuff.
have you seen katelyn's video of the swim start? the announcer said that it was just a great big training day with 2500 of your closest friends. awesome.