The Iron Journey

The following are based on actual events that transpired June 23rd, 2013.

As a disclaimer, I didn’t actually eat 24 eggs :D

Enjoy the ride! It was a long one but a journey that I’m sure will shape me for many, many years…

It’s 3 am.
Time to begin.
Snack, snack.
Must load my pack.
To the race! It’s time!
I’m losing my mind.
Razor smooth legs,
I scarf two dozen eggs.
Nerves and butterflies,
I feel small under stormy skies.

A crisp, whipping breeze,
Finally feeling at ease.
The training, it’s done.
Who’s ready for some ultra-distance fun?

The mist, the hiss,
Of sunlight burning with its warm kiss.
Mountain air, how fresh,
A new challenge to test my flesh.
A crazy experience,
An unexplored chapter waiting to be told.
A trying hint of the chaos that will unfold.

Seven years to prepare for this moment,
Thousands on groceries,
Even more on pricey gear and carbon components.
The learning, it never ceases.
My gosh, I hope I don’t end up in a thousand pieces.

We’ve reached transition,
I must battle my lingering inhibition.
A chill on the neck and down the spine,
I can’t help not feeling too fine…

A dull buzz,
It grows to a roar.
I feel like an eagle,
Perched, majestic, waiting to soar,
To the peaks of mountains and the top of the world,
Then reality crashes and I want to hurl.
A thud from deep within,
The mashing, pulsing rhythm of my heart,
Anticipating the chaotic start.
Blood and adrenaline course in my veins,
It’s a respectable way to dull my mortal pains.

The time, oh, it is ticking.
Clawing, gnawing,
Onward so slowly,
Like a crushing vice:
It is gripping.
A drop of sweat down the forehead,
That is a reassuring sign that I cannot be dead.

20130623-222707.jpg

We line up straight,
Preparing to slice through the crystal lake.
2.4 is only the beginning,
Of a day full of bike, run, and swimming…

Dear heavens, that’s the cannon,
Underway and off, charging toward the sun.
Streaking like a torpedo,
I pray and strive to satisfy my credo.
Since what feels like the beginning of time,
I have trained for this race.
Must stop daydreaming,
I almost got kicked in the face!
Another lap, let’s roll,
My shoulders and lats grow tired of the swim show.

The land, at last!
That hour went by kind of fast.
Transition welcomes like a cacophonic symphony,
I can hardly breathe let alone find my family.
The blood races from my head,
“Only” ten hours to go,
Let’s hope my skin doesn’t burn a raging red.

The click of the cleats,
Now flying on my bike seat.
The roar of the crowd,
I hold my head proud.
112 miles is only a warm up,
The marathon will separate mouse from beast.

A rocketing hum,
The whoosh and the whirl of my disc wheel.
Grinding, ever grinding,
I feel like a king.
Gel nutrition and sports drinks,
Why is that my staple?
Float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee.
Why is it only hour three?!

A rhythmic beat, pounding in my head,
It doesn’t go away.
Just the rhythmic throbbing.
Knocking.
Creating dread.
One, two, chugging some GU.
Three and four, 65 miles more!
The nerves fuel my black and red streak through the hillside,
Though moving too fast to notice the pain in my backside.

The dehydration; I’m beat.
Why do I have another 56 mile lap repeat?
Crush, crush.
You can nearly smell the adrenaline rush.
Legs like pistons, smoking the miles.
The final stretch, nearly arriving in smiles!
I am forcing a grin from ear to ear,
If only I could go home from here…

Dismount like a champ,
A perfect ten out of ten.
An Olympic gold if in the ring this race was fought.
I plow on because intermission, there is not!
Shoes require no tying,
I battle the emotions and constant tiring.
Chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, and strawberry,
My flavorful energy sources grow dreary.
Sunscreen is on and the visor is locked.
The rest of the race is a battle of the clock.

Slam, slam,
The pavement heat.
Burning, burning,
Into my feet.
A grunt and a groan,
I carry on my own.
25 miles to go,
You’ve got to be kidding!
I can only fantasize of drowning in pudding.

Fatigue and doubt,
I will not, must not pass out!
Thrum, thrum,
My body quivering like a breaking drum.
Mile after mile,
It goes creaking on.
The burning orb, it is so bright.
I need to finish while it is still light.
The aches and the strain,
Stronger with each mile gained.
I think of the mountains in their majesty,
And beg for cool drops of water to quench my sanity.

The dullness and pain,
Frail hope for a sprinkling of rain.
There, from the horizon,
A finish line gleaming and shining!
A journey of a lifetime is coming to close,
My friends and family, they’re all on their toes.
Stomp, stomp,
The crackling muscles drive my romp.
Closer and closer,
The body rebels.
Just a few more steps, and out of this hell.

High fives from strangers,
They’re on the smart side of triathlon danger.
The finish has never felt so good,
I think back to the day when I shouted,
“IRONMAN, you could!”

The roar of the crowd,
Can’t keep the smile off my face.
I only scream out “what an amazing race!”
My arms in the air,
Copious rejoicing.
I proved to be an Iron Beast,
Now I must hunt for the awaiting feast.
A chapter of my life written in hours,
I will certainly beat everyone hurrying to the showers.

There is no failure on this glorious day,
Only me and my gear, humming away.
An IRONMAN born, I can’t contemplate more.
But then tomorrow’s anew, what does it have in store?
Forged in the fires of swim, bike, and run,
The adventure has come… and now it is done.

140.6
I definitely got my kicks.
Slowly I drag my body from the site,
Nursing massive legs like bricks.
The sun is setting on my adventurous day,
But wait, there’s more!
This season still has races … races galore :-)

Picture credit.

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19 Comments

      1. Yeah, it’s a lot. I used that same book you’re using though. I didn’t follow it exactly cause I wasn’t willing to bail on triathlon training but all of his plans seem well put together.

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