Sunday, February 10, 2013


Sometimes I think my personal athletic goals can get in the way of Gods will for my life.Today God reminded me that he can use my love for sports and  even my desire  to "win" something.

My wife Liz and I love to run the Palm Springs Half Marathon. This year we decided to to do the Husband and Wife relay. My thinking was that based on previous years times if we trained hard, we just might win the division. I'm usually happy just racing the clock but like any competitive person I really wanted to win this, or at the very least finish top three.

The race started and Liz was off running the first leg of the half marathon. I jogged to the relay point where Liz would pass me the baton anxious to check out our competition. I struck up a conversation with one of our competitors Charlie from Canada. He was a two time Ironman finisher like me and his wife was a triathlete as well like my wife. Hmmm. This could be interesting. My wife Liz came in ahead of his wife and I was off and running. With numerous relay teams it was hard tell where we stood but I was sure we were at least second. In this race you meet back up with your spouse and run the final leg together and cross the finish line together. We crushed our goal time of 1:45:59 and ran a 1:41:35! For me it was a break thru run that included a 7:18 mile. Post race Liz and I were feeling great about our effort and we were sure we finished top three.
As we waited for the results we saw Charlie and his wife Maureen and walked over to ask them about their race. The conversation was easy because all of us had so much in common. I don't remember how it came up but I started talking about ministry in Mexico. I told them how much Liz and I love serving in Mexico and spending time with the kids at Siempre orphanage. Maureen was listening intently and asking me questions. I told them both that they should join us for a day in the colonia and Siempre. "I would love that!" said Maureen. Then she whispered to me "Charlie needs that". We exchanged information and it looks like Charlie and Maureen may take their first trip to experience what life is like in the colonia with us in March. And the race? 
The "colonia" Baja California
As the results were posted I looked to see our placing...fourth. I would like to say I wasn't disappointed but I was. Liz and I both trained hard, ran very well and finished fourth?? I hid the disappointment from our new friends as we said goodbye certain to meet again. 

Afterwards I was reflecting on the race and meeting Charlie and Maureen. Maybe God in his infinite wisdom placed me at the right place, with the right circumstances so that a couple from Canada could have the experience of serving and connecting with the poor in Mexico. Awesome.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This Saturday October 20th, 2012 I will be racing my wife Liz in my last triathlon of the year representing the Alzheimer’s Association. I have an anonymous donor who will match up to $500 in donations to the Alzheimer’s Association if you donate by 10/31/12. If I beat Liz this donor will match up to $750! That means if you donate $100, $200 will go to ending Alzheimer’s! 
Please help me take advantage of this opportunity and donate! Just click on the DONATE  button above.

The Bluewater Triathlon will be held in Parker Arizona with the swim taking place in the crystal clean Colorado River. A little different from the Hudson River in NYC. The race has a 1K Swim, 53K bike and an 8K run.

If your curious, the last time we raced an Olympic distance triathlon together Liz beat me by 36 seconds!

Monday, August 27, 2012

There's still time!

This is Liz again, and I’d like to help my awesome husband raise the rest of his funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. The race is over, but you still have time to make a tax-deductible donation to help out his team! His goal is $5000, and he has until FRIDAY 8/31 to raise the rest ($1838). To help him achieve this goal, I will be completing smaller components of the Ironman race myself – according to the donations! Now the toughest part of Ironman, for both of us, is the swim. I’ve been doing a little swimming lately, so I’m not totally out of shape. However, I will tell you that it’s tiring, and (let’s just be honest): BORING. Sorry if you’re a swimmer and you disagree, but I’d much rather be taking in some beautiful scenery on my bike! Ok, so now that you know that about me, here is my proposal. I will swim either in the pool at 24-Hour Fitness, which is a 25 meter lane (1 lap = 50 meters), or at Bayshore in Long Beach, which is the equivalent of a 1/2 mile lane (so out/back is 1mi, out/back twice is 2mi). The open water swim is a group workout on Wednesday mornings, and my running club is on Wednesday evenings, 3 hours after work, so the more donations, the higher possibility that I will be adding running & cycling to the menu! So here’s the breakdown. If x amount of money is raised by 8/31 (on the left), I will complete the workout (on the right):

$50    1mi swim (33 pool laps)
   This is fairly easy for me, and I’ve done it recently.
$100  1mi swim (33 pool laps): non-stop
   I usually rest at least every 5 laps!
$150  1mi open water swim
   I haven’t done this in about 6 years.

$250   2mi swim (66 pool laps)
   I’ve never done this distance!
$500   2mi swim (66 pool laps): non-stop
   It’s so tempting to rest at the side…
$750   2mi open water swim
   The longest open water swim I’ve done was 1.2mi, in a race.

$1000 2mi open water swim @6am
           5mi run @6:30pm
   I haven’t done a double workout in a while!
$1500 2mi open water swim @6am
           20mi bike @4:30pm
           5mi run @6:30pm
   I haven’t done all 3 sports in one day since March, let alone including my farthest swim ever!

$1838 Triathlon race simulation @Newport Dunes:
           2mi open water swim
           30mi bike
           8mi run
   No resting between workouts, trying to beat Greg’s Ironman transition times!

So there it is! Which workout will I be doing? It’s up to you… Every contribution counts towards the total!

P.S. A huge thanks to all our friends & family who supported Greg’s race already, either financially or through prayer. He couldn’t have done it without you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Race Ready

Liz here, reporting race details for Greg.

Betty Wakeling
It's the day before the race. Is he ready? Hopefully! He sure has prepared and worked hard for this. Like the last Ironman, this race will come with its own challenges. It already has. But with God's help, and inspiration from pictures of loved ones affected by Alzheimer's, he will make it to the finish line.

Irene Peterson
First things first though... There was a sewage spill up the river, and the race director has just reported that the water is clear for swimming. That is, unless the recent storms continue to morning and there is lightning. In that case, the race would be delayed for 30 minutes, and the swim cancelled if the lightning continues. That small detail aside, here is what you need to know for tomorrow:

  • Greg's race # is 207.
  • You can follow him on, beginning at 6:30am EST (3:30am CA time). Or, you know, whenever you wake up.
  • You can also follow him on the iPhone app "Iron Trac" - it costs $0.99 but I'm sure it's worth it if you're out and about (like me!) and want to check in on how Greg's doing.
  • Greg's race will start somewhere between 7am and 7:30am EST, and these are his predicted times:
    • SWIM: 1hr40min
    • BIKE: 6hr35min
    • RUN: 4hr48min12sec (11min/mile pace)
    • TOTAL: 13hr35min (including transitions)
    Greg with Delores Eaton
  • Be sure to check for pictures and updates on my Facebook page, or Greg's - I'll tag him in anything I post. Friend either one of us, if you haven't already!
Mrs. Schelger
The logistics for the race are going to be quite tricky, as if just making it to the start line healthy and injury-free isn't hard enough in and of itself! Greg will join the others on a 4am ferry to the transition, drop off his last minute gear, then board a 6am ferry to the swim start. That's the end of the logistics for Greg, and as long as I can make it on the ferry to the finish line, and we can get on the ferry back to the hotel, we'll be all set!

MaryAlice Michelsen
Along the course, Greg will have posters and pictures to inspire him and remind him why he's racing. It's easy to lose track of this when you're pushing your body to the limit.

Uncle Ron
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. We're looking forward to sharing the day with you!

Liz (& Greg)

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I apologize for not updating my blog sooner after my crash. The week following "the crash" was  was more difficult than I thought it would be. I struggled thru every workout but managed to complete them all with the exception of one swim I had to cut short mainly due to hip, neck and elbow pain. Two weeks later I would say I'm close to 100% and I had some great workouts this weekend. I can feel the strength and fitness of the months of preparation with each and every mile I swim, bike and run. It's so nice to head in to the weekend knowing that all of the hard work will be complete and now it's just a matter of tapering and looking forward to the excitement of race day in New York to see how this body will perform based on the months of training I've completed. I feel well prepared and I think I'm stronger than I was for my first Ironman in 2010. Once more I worked the hardest on my running because the early reports say that the IMNY run course may be one of the toughest. BTW my race number is 207.
Below is a post from Facebook that you may have already seen. It's so awesome to have a sense that God is a part of this Ironman journey.
Prepping my bike to be shipped to New York today. Somewhat disconcerting to give your bike to strangers who promise your bike will be ready for you in transition at the other side of the country on race day. Look closely and you will see loved ones I'm racing for riding with my bike.  So I take my bike to Edge Cyclesports where TriBike Transport will pick up my bike. I mentioned earlier that I'm dropping my bike off with strangers...well this very nice guy helps me and I share with him that I'm competing in IMNY for the Athletes To End Alzheimer's. He introduces himself as Hugh asks me about my verse 1Cor. 6:20 and what church I go to. I tell him and he says I know Eric Wakeling and George Wakeling! I look at him and say "then you know Betty and she's on my bike!" "Don't worry about your bike!"... I'm so glad God is in control.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Today I had a scheduled 72 mile ride and 5 mile run. I was feeling really good today. 60 miles in to my ride I was heading eastbound on Portola just before Jeffrey when I collided with a recreational cyclist who was slowing to turn right on to the bike trail. So frustrating because  it was totally my fault and could have been avoided if I had just looked up. I basically was hammering with my head down. I saw two riders in the distance but had gauged based on speed I wouldn't overtake them as quickly as I did. They both slowed down to just a few miles per hour. I looked up on impact. I was totally shocked. The rider I hit barely fell as he was only going a few miles per hour and heavier than me. I went flying as I was going 18-20 MPH. His damage thankfully, only one minor abrasion and his bike was totally fine. I hit my head, elbow, and hip. I was on the ground trying to understand what just happened. For a few seconds I saw my Ironman come to an end. They both wanted to help me up but I told them to just let me lay here for a moment while I assessed things. I finally got up and they helped me with my bike. Surprisingly the only damage was a wobble in my rear wheel. I apologized profusely for not paying attention and they were both very understanding. Of course I was the only one with a cracked helmet and bleeding. Every bike racer has crashed at some point so once I was certain I was good to go I got back on my bike to see how I really felt. My head was fine, my elbow and hip were hurting as well as my right knee. Although my right knee had no road rash I think I strained it as my right foot un-clipped from the pedal during the crash. I'm so thankful I was able to finish my final 12 miles including the climb to the end of Portola and even managed a slow three mile run.

Now that I've showered, taken Ibuprofin and my wonderful wife has cleaned my wounds, I feel very fortunate. My elbow should be fine for swimming. I'm mostly concerned about my knee and hip. I have a scheduled 20 mile run tomorrow. My knee is actually hurting more than anything else now but I'm icing and keeping it elevated.

 This could have been a real disaster and it was all due to my foolishness of not watching the road in front of me. I'm so thankful that no one was hurt more seriously. Please pray that I will overcome these injuries quickly and they don't hinder my final weeks of race prep.

One more take away from this...ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Three weeks before this race I received notice that the swim venue was changing due to water quality conditions at Almaden Park and the swim would be moved to Uvas Reservoir roughly 20 miles south of the original swim course. This would mean there would be two transitions for this event instead of the original plan for one. I’ve only done one other race with two transitions and it’s not my preference. It just adds to the stress because now you need to make sure you have exactly what you need for the bike and run at two separate locations. I was grateful though that the organizers cared enough about my health that they didn’t want me swimming in polluted water. Logistically two separate transitions are hard on the race promoter as well.
After a seven hour drive my wife Liz and I arrived at T1 to drop off my bike and scout out the new swim venue. It was interesting because we would actually swim around a long peninsula with a large hill. I can’t recall ever doing a swim where you cannot see the start or finish once you’re in the water. The other thing I noticed was that the water level seemed low and the distance from the point of exiting the swim to transition was maybe 200 meters on dirt and brush. It would not be pleasant for this tenderfoot. After the bike drop we drove half of the bike course towards T2 at Almaden Park and then to my cousins house in San Jose where we were warmly welcomed and treated like first class clients at the Ritz Carlton.
No wonder I swim slow

I arrived a little later than I normally like to before a race and was still trying to sort out what I needed. This had more to do with two transitions than poor planning. Once I had everything set up it was time to get my wetsuit on and head towards the water. Unfortunately I was headed in the wrong direction. What I thought was the swim entry was actually the swim exit! We were swimming the opposite direction than what I had envisioned the day before. This may not seem like a big deal but when swimming is your weakness it’s very important for me to do visualization of what my swim looks like days before the race. I hurried down to the water and asked the race official how much time I had…”Ninety seconds!” he said. It was just enough time for me to get in the water and swim to the start line. At least the water was warm. The gun sounded and my swim was off. I started swimming and was actually staying with my group at first and then started to fade. I just didn’t feel strong during my swim like I did at Wildflower. I don’t know if it was being disoriented and rushed to get to the start but I just was not feeling like I had power in my stroke. It just didn’t feel like my day. I reached the boat ramp and for me there is nothing like getting your feet back on solid ground.
SWIM TIME: 49:58