Race Reports 2016

2016 was going to be a great year. In January of 2016 Cindy and I were planning an active year of preaching, teaching, ministry and physical fitness. I ambitiously planned two 70.3 Half Ironman Races, One Full Ironman, and would close out the season in October 2016 with a new distance, 1/3 Ironman in Cleremont , Florida. That race is coming up a week from Saturday. The good news is I’m more ready than ever, but it wasn’t an easy year.

Ironman 70.3, Hanes City, Florida was the first on the race ticket. April 2016 was a warm one. However, the swim was wet suit legal, so the 1.2 mile swim was a treat. Mission accomplished. A good bike ride too, a non-stop event for me, that’s always good. I had enough nutrition and hydration on board to ride the full 56 miles non-stop. That was a good thing because, that saved some real time, and the run took a while. It was hot, my sciatic was troubling me in my hips, and I took my time enjoying the 13.1 mile run course, looping around three times was nice to see Cindy throughout the day.

Next up, Ironman Lake Placid, NY. The training plan for this race interestingly enough starts January 1. So, with Hanes City race in April, I finessed a half Iron Training program January 1 through April 2016. Then I jumped into the Lake Placid Plan, “In Progress!” It was working. I breezed through May 2016, building my long rides. Three and a half hours, then 4, then 4 1/2. I was on a 5 hour ride on June 10 when something none of us care to think about happened. My front tire blew out, and although I’d ridden my bike to a stop in this situation before, I was on the aero bars, and watched in horror as my front wheel slid out from under me as if on ice. Next thing I knew, I was on the ground in a heap. Like many of us, the first thing I wondered about was…”what shape is my bike in?!”

I was a little sore and banged up my face. Thank God for my helmet AND my sunglasses, of all things, saved me from a serious eye injury, I am convinced. I changed the flat, rode the 12 miles back to the car, and took emergency action…went directly to the bike shop to insure the bike was ok. Then I took a picture of my scraped up face to send to my brother CJ in Denver. It’s a club I did not look forward to joining, but now I’m in. Just call me “Crash.”

Well, I knew I hurt my ribs. They hurt. They hurt like I’ve been hurt before, so I self diagnosed “bruised ribs.” I kept exercising because it didn’t hurt to ride the stationary bike, I couldn’t swim for a month, and I missed about that long running. I kept my cardio up with the spinning, and didn’t really think I missed much. On a Tuesday morning Strider Run, Dr. Randy, one of the Physical Therapists that runs with our club said, “Clark, just go get an x-ray, just for some peace of mind.” Good advice. I took it. Broken rib. “Non-displaced” (I call that a double negative!!)

Long story short, I kept training, went on to Lake Placid, but ran out of time at mile 102 on the bike. I had a good day in the water, 2.4 mile swim a little over an hour and a half. I hot day for the Adirondacks on the bike, but I guess I underestimated how much training I had missed out on for that broken rib. It was ok, on to Augusta, Ga. for a 70.3 in September.

That’s enough for today’s blog. There’s more for another day.