Coda: Ironman Brasil Florianopolis

It has been two weeks since I finished Ironman Brasil in Florianopolis. I’m still fatigued. I haven’t done any training and the extent of my exercise has been three 35 minute swims and two day’s of bicycle commutes to work. I’m tired and a bit nicked up, but it has been healthy to drink a little beer and wine without worrying about the impact on my fitness. I don’t plan to run until the middle of next week, though if my legs come around, I’ll run the Mt. Greylock Trail Race a week from today. I still want to get six Grand Tree Trail Running Races in before October. I have to get Greylock and three more.

I’ve been on an endorphin high since returning from Brasil. I’ve analyzed my race and on that day, I couldn’t have gone any harder. I left it all out there on the course. To quote Debbie, after the race, I was “demolished.”

I recall that after the race, I had that lung burn feeling that you get when you train hard in the dry winter air. It wasn’t dry in Brasil, but I did so much heavy breathing, that I dried out my throat and lungs. A company called, Focoradical shot 85,000 images of the racers, which is a massive number of shots. In reviewing the photos, they did a better job than any photo firm that I have seen at a race in the United States. Many of the photographers were on motorcycles, which allowed them to get a lot of cool images. In looking at my photos, I realized that my mouth was gaping open the whole time like I was gasping for air.

Overall, we had a great week in Brasil. The support that our small group got from Ironman XC and Ken Glah’s Endurance Sports Travel was fabulous. It was nice to meet Ken Glah, a former three time winner of IM Brasil. He was personable and he runs a nice travel outfit. He gave us some good insights on the Brasil course. It was also fun to meet some of the pro athletes, including Luke McKenzie, Amanda Balding, Dede Griesbauer, Hilary Biscay, Eduardo Sturla, and Maik Twelsiek. Hearing how much they train actually made me feel better. Sure, I would love to swim, ride, and run as much as they do, but they sacrifice a whole lot more to achieve their results. With family, work, and other responsibilities, I do what I can. The week after the race, McKenzie (the race winner) and Balding headed to Switzerland an then Sardinia, for a training camp. I headed home and back to work. Ahhh, the life….

One of the weird highlights from our group is that Jason Reid ran the marathon portion of the IM in Vibram Five Fingers. That is nuts. Before the race, Debbie counseled him about the difference between asphalt and soft trails, but in his Born to Run euphoria, he insisted on wearing them. Of course, after the race, he said, “never again!” I don’t know if he is the first person to run the marathon portion of an IM in those “shoes,” but if he isn’t the first, he has to be one of the only people to do it.

There were many days back in January and February when I silently complained about training in the cold and the snow. I finished several rides where I couldn’t feel my feet afterwards. I knew that my commitment to training in all conditions would pay off in Brasil. It did.

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