Has it really been nearly 2 weeks since my last post? Yikes. Well between work and life, it has been pretty crazy around here.
New Blog Layout
First things first. If you are reading through Google Reader, you may not have noticed, but I have revamped the layout of the blog complete with new header images. I’ve stuck with the Ironman By Thirty title, but added a new subtitle and spruced up the images and picked a new theme. There are 6 different header images that cycle through each time the page loads. I still have to clean up a couple of them because the checklist is hard to read, but it is getting there. What do you think? I also cleaned up all of my previous years’ race results pages. That was a lot of fun to go back and see what my times were in previous races and see where I improved.
I started off my IM recovery with a Notre Dame football game. Jennie and I headed off early in the morning to allow for plenty of tailgating time. Donuts and cider for breakfast, homemade subs and beer for lunch – is there really any better recovery food? After two disappointing losses to open the season, the Irish finally got their first win of the season against MSU. That brings my in-person record to 4-0 at ND games.
Spectating Like an Ironman
To make up for all of the spectating Jennie had to do over the course of the season and at IMWI, I took the spectating reigns the next weekend during a 5k Jennie was doing. I think are about even now right? haha. I’ll just share a couple quick pics from the race. Head on over to Jennie’s blog to read all of her details.
Bailey was not at all happy to be tied to the fire hydrant while I snapped pictures. I thought dogs liked fire hydrants?
Yep, Jennie passed her on the final stretch!
Man, spectating is hard work!
A couple weeks ago, Matt Smith asked Jennie and I if we wanted to go to a concert with a group of their friends. The band was Switchfoot, a group both Jennie and I like, so the answer was an easy one. So, last Thursday, we met up with Matt and Jenn for dinner before heading to the concert. The concert was at Calvin College which is only about 2 miles from our house. When we go there, we met up with Matt and Jenn’s friends Rachel and Donnie and Josh and Brittany. I had previously met Josh and Brittany at Steelhead when Josh was racing. It wasn’t much of a meeting because at the speed Josh passed me on the bike he was out of sight in about 5 seconds – he smoked the bike course! haha.
They are all amazing people and easy to get along with. Which is good because it was a LONG concert. There ended up being two opening acts that both sang about 10-12 songs before Switchfoot came on stage at 10:30 (concert started at 8:00). The opening bands were good but no one really knew any of there songs so that was kind of weird.
Run, Ride, Row
At the concert on Thursday, Josh asked me if I would be up for doing what would amount to a 20 mile time trial on Sunday. Sure, why not? He and a friend were already signed up as a 2 man relay team for the Run, Ride, Row down in Berrien Springs. Josh was planning on doing the Run and Ride, but really didn’t want to bike because he hadn’t been doing much biking since Steelhead.
So, at 5:00AM on Sunday, I headed down to the race. It was freezing out! Literally. Only 31*F out when I left with a predicted 32*F by race time. So, I had to bust out all the cold weather gear. It ended up being a really small race. So small, this was everyone on the starting line (Josh is in the orange).
Matt and Jenn ended up making a surprise visit to cheer us on. Big thanks to them for cheering and snapping all the pictures!
Josh smoked the run with a sub-6 minute pace leaving me with only 2 people to catch on the bike. The two other riders made about 30 and 45 second leads respectively.
As soon as Josh tagged me after the run, I started to hammer it. I immediately started making headway on the two leaders. Matt, Jenn, and Josh’s wife Brittany, all hoped in the car and drove the bike course to cheer and photograph. This was a huge help because I really didn’t know the course at all and it wasn’t marked very well.
I passed the first guy at about mile 7. Only one more to go. For a while, it didn’t seem like I was making any progress on him at all and then all of a sudden, he was right there in front of me. With him only about 25-30 yards in front of me, I settled in and let him lead because again, I didn’t really know where I was going.
Eventually, we hit a corner where everyone was cheering and saying that it was the last turn – straight ahead from there. That was all I needed. I took off and passed the final guy. Only to be stopped by a stoplight and lose all the ground I gained. Ugh. Because it was a small race, the roads weren’t closed and we had to obey stop signs and stop lights. I lost about a 30 second lead because of the light.
As soon as the light turned green, we both took off and headed to the campground where we switched to the rowing. As soon as I got there, I tagged Ryan and he took off in his kayak.
We then headed back to wait for Ryan to finish. The plan was that Ryan would tag Josh and he would run the final .5 mile back to the finish line. Unfortunately though, somehow we ended up on the wrong part of the river and totally missed Ryan until he was already across the finish line.
We ended up taking 2nd place in the team division by about a minute. More importantly, we all had an absolute blast.
GR Marathon Decision
No fancy video this time, but I have finally decided to register for the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 16th. I have been 95% sure I was going to run it. My biggest decision was whether or not to take the plunge and sign up for Lifetime Entry. For $725, you get entry into every race as long as it exists. As far as I know, this is the only race in the country that offers such a perk.
As tempting as it is, and knowing that I will probably continue to do the race each year I don’t have anything going on, I decided to pass. On second though, after talking to Jennie and her encouragement of, “I’m in the Lifetime Entry boat now” (and after finding out you get an extra special shirt each year), I took the plunge. I am now a Lifetime Entrant for the Grand Rapids Marathon. I just have to do the half or full marathon at least 6 more time and it will pay for itself.
I’m absolutely loving this.