Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Aloha Momma Wallis!!!

It is official – Momma Wallis is GOING TO KONA (again :))!!!

This weekend was a hard work payday for the crew.

Let’s start with the short and end with the long…



Sween took the overall series win and JC took the women’s series – incredible job guys. To back it up JC showed Hercules and I who is boss by running 16 miles with us the next morning all the while informing us – “We were not running with her – SHE was running with us.”

Great race to James, JC, Sean, Steven, Michael, Juan, David, Joy, Travis, Jim, Freddie, Lovey (welcome back), Kim and Curtis. Speaking of great - Vegas (err me) lost money BIG TIME on the Curtis under/over for the bike split…I set it at :30 seconds under the field…he smacked it by close to 2 minutes and an average speed of 28.6 without a disk…incredible effort.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3


...was held on Sunday with 4 of the VMS crew racing. Paul Cantin, Billy Hart, Vann Simmons and Steve Pettit all had great races. The goal was to cherry pick some Clearwater slots as this is a new venue and we all thought,

“Who is going to travel to Rhode Island?”

The answer, lad-e…dad-e…ever-e-body…

Man – it was a who’s who of fast guys and even with some incredible performances on the day – the field was just too strong for the only 45 slots given out.

I am always VERY impressed by people who race to their limits and there is NO DOUBT that these guys did exactly that.

I talked to Paul and Billy separately yesterday and they both said the exact same thing…”I could not have gone any harder”.

Billy smacked the run with a 1:38 and change off of a 2:35 bike and 30:31 swim…REALLY solid day to finish 4:48:51 and16th in AG.

Paul had a close to PR swim, solid bike and closing in run which got him in at 5:06:59 and 18th in AG.

Vann – solid all around for a 5:08 (35th AG) and Steve was leading the field, 1st in the AG through the 1st half of the run then toughed it out to 4:51 and 7th in his AG.

By all accounts the course is fantastic and well worth traveling there for.

Ironman Austria


...was also on Sunday and I got up at 5am and checked to see how Susan and Saswata were doing. It was 11am local for them and they were well into the bike. Saswata was moving along at well until I saw a 10 minute T2 and though – oh crap – we have a problem. After talking to him later that day – I found out that they stayed wet the entire day from the swim through the run and the 10 minute T2 was because he could not put on his shoes. His hands and feet were just not working. He toughed it out and brought it home with a SOLID 4:03 marathon to finish in 11:43 which is over a 1 HOUR PR from last year. AWESOME JOB!!!

John and Mom finish

Like I said in the beginning – Momma Wallis is GOING TO KONA. I watched her splits on the day and she was leading the swim and the bike and into T2. She was passed on the run but held on for 2nd place finishing in 13:10. I figured there was only one slot and she was close…until I got an email from Walter Arnold who said the woman in 1st already had her Kona ticket and that meant Susan would get it.

Susan is an incredible athlete and inspiration to all of us. Over the years, we have called her Lady Lance as she rode 100+ mile training rides with the “guys”. She got hit by a car last year and worked her way back through her knee rehab to finish Florida when most of the specialists said it would not be possible. She is TOUGH – she does the work and it shows – CONGRATS Susan and ALOHA!!!

Ironman season is approaching and with all the training and racing going on these days – keeping up with it is getting harder.

IM Canada 6 weeks
IM Louisville 7 weeks
IM Wisconsin 8 weeks
IM Hawaii 13 weeks – I think I need to go to the bathroom :)
IM Florida 16 weeks

Hercules and I suffered through 70 mile bike on Thursday, a 4:30 computrainer ride and a 45 run on Friday, 50 mile bike on Saturday and an 18.5 mile run on Sunday. This brought the total to close to 22 hours for the week with 250 miles on the saddle, 30+ running and 10K in the pool. Man – that explains why I am walking like Fred G Sanford – the G stands for “going” to get my Advil.

Computrainer for 4:30 minutes on Friday…are your serious…it was 6 foot and glassy.

What is wrong with me?

Tony diagnosed me and it is Severe Monkaphobia…(no Freddy – he did NOT use the scope for this :))

Stop reading here if you have ANYTHING – really anything at all better to do :)


The dance of 1000 headless monkeys…

This is probably the funniest line I have read lately.

Someone had written in to the mags asking Roch and Huddle what type training they could do to prevent an Ironman Marathon meltdown and they answered it legitimately by saying that through training, nutrition, race sims blah blah blah…


BUT they closed with something like this,

“All of this does not guarantee that you will not be doing the dance of 1000 headless monkeys for 6 hours.”


I seriously can’t say that line without laughing out load….really…it just cracks me up.

For anyone who trains for long distance races – this is it – that single line says it all.

Every mile we run, every hour we ride and every lap staring at the bottom of the never changing black line…it all to keep another monkey away…

They don’t die…you can’t kill them…you can just feed them and put them to bed for a hour, a day, a week or maybe if your lucky for a season or two…but these guys are like cockroaches and twinkies – they are always around when the lights go dim and they definitely are not good for you.

Twinkies-Banana Creme

Monkeys say you want to quit, you want to slow down, you are not going to make it, you should be surfing instead of pedaling this stupid trainer for 4 + hours…Those are the thoughts that we endure in our training to let us know that we can make it.

We can go this hard and this long…we tell that monkey who is boss…

Training and racing can take us to the corners of our mind that most people don’t ever explore. In these corners we can find strength, commitment, perseverance, joy and pain and maybe with practice even make peace with a few monkeys.

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