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