I've been a member of the USAT for a few years, now. I initially joined in the summer of 2007, my second year of triathlons. That was also the year in which the race day insurance fees ($10) would have exceeded the $30 annual fee. I've maintained my membership for a variety of other reasons.
Reports out of Spain indicate Team Astana rider Lance Armstrong was involved in a multi-rider crash around the 12.5 mile (20km) point of the race. Holding his arm still and grimacing in pain, he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to a hospital.
There are probably a few people still following this blog who remember me in "my other life." That would be my life as Running Pol. While Iron Pol is focused primarily on endurance events, particularly triathlon and Ironman, Running Pol split time between politics and running.
As a member of the United States Congress, you took an Oath of Office to "support and defend the Constitution" of the United States. On March 19, 2009 you voted in support of resolutions to levy taxes against employees of AIG who received bonuses in accordance with contracts in force prior to and during the time Congress authorized funds to prevent a financial collapse of the company.
It's 50F and sunny. That means the bike came off the trainer, and I headed out. The kids took their bikes out at the same time. I did just over 25 miles in 1:25. It was a pretty laid back ride, meaning I've been seriously shorting my estimates for time spent on the trainer. I've been using 15 mph for spin rides, and they've been much more challenging than today's ride, outside. Of course, just being outside probably helped. A lot!
Members of the Fox Cities Triathlon Club have a mantra developed from a comment uttered by one member several years ago. "There are no finish lines, only new beginnings." As triathletes, we all know there is nearly always a "next" race. Even the final race of a season is simply the beginning of the off-season.
This is the photo from the finish line of my first marathon in 2004. If I look beat, it's because this race took a lot out of me. In addition to being my first attempt at 26.2 miles, I had struggled with hamstring issues after suffering a minor pull about two weeks prior to the race. My "taper" consisted of 10 days with no running, plus a trip to New York the final days before the event.
At some point in my marathon training, I started blogging about politics and running. One of the many friends I made through my original blog was a cancer survivor battling a second bout. Her medical challenges prevented her from participating in the marathon for which she was training, so I ran the 2005 Chicago Marathon in her honor.
Prior to even completing the Chicago Marathon in 2005, a group of eighth graders challenged me to participate in a triathlon. They felt that "one more marathon" wasn't really a challenge, while a triathlon would be something new. I hit the pool, put my mountain bike through the paces, and signed up for the Trinity Triathlon, a local sprint race.
After completing my first triathlon in June of 2006, I signed up for two others in short order. The first was a race with a co-worker, and the second was the Oshkosh Area Triathlon Olympic distance race. The Oshkosh race was basically a challenge to myself. The main goal? Complete the entire swim without breaking freestyle form. In my first two races, I struggled through the swim, completely freaking out in the first. The picture shows that I survived what was my longest race at that point.
In September of 2006 I participated in my fourth marathon and second Fox Cities Marathon. I had lost a great deal of weight, learned a lot about running, and become considerably more fit than when I ran my first marathon in 2004. I returned to the Fox Cities Marathon. My goal was to cut nearly 45 minutes from my PR and go under four hours.
Shortly after the 2006 Fox Cities Marathon, a chain of events resulted in my racing the 2007 Spirit of Racine half-Ironman race, my second 70.3 distance race. This is another event from which I didn't have a good finish line picture, but Iron Wil's husband James treated me like a pro getting some awesome action shots, like this one of me leaving the water.
In September of 2007, I crossed the finish line at Ironman Louisville. It is one of the proudest (and most tired) "new beginnings" in my endurance race career. While many consider an Ironman finish the culmination of a long journey, I viewed it as just one more step in an on-going mission.
In 2008, my focus shifted from ultra distance triathlons to ultramarathons. After completing marathon number six and half-Ironman number three, I began training for The Fall 50 ultramarathon in October. Along the way, I completed the Fox Cities Marathon for the third time. This time, I ran the half-marathon course from the finish to the start prior to the beginning of the race. This is the finish line of that race, and I think I look alright for having just completed 40 miles.
For anyone who hasn't noticed (and actually cares), I seem to now have accounts with both Facebook and Twitter. My sister pushed me to actually use my Facebook account, as she was concerned my blog was the only way she knew what was going on in my life. Of course, my blog details most of what's going on in my life, namely training.
Steve, of Steve in a Speedo?! Gross is well known for his foot issues. He is equally well known for posting pictures of his battered feet. Since I very rarely get blisters, I had to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Steve and his blistered self.
It wasn't until we got back to the car and I switched to street shoes that I realized the blister was there. I have the distinct impression it was the result of old socks, my boots, and the uphill walks. I wore very poor socks to make sure my feet would get cold before the kids' feet. Normally, I wear much better hiking socks.
My plan for the day included a 40 minute run. I put my running shoes on, and decided it was a bad idea. I replaced it with a two hour ride on the trainer. Though the band-aid and the socks I wore to prevent further damage made my shoes pretty tight, I figured it was better to be on the trainer with the option to stop than out on the road if the blister started bothering me.
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.