Even though he got hit by a car (every bikers nightmare), Doug not only completed his first half-ironman, but he ROCKED IT! And he finished the race with a smile on his face! Having trained for and successfully finished 70.3 miles, Doug has some awesome triathlon training tips, mindset motivation and excellent tips to share, so stay tuned for more on that later!
This event was so much fun to watch! People of all ages, all body types and all levels competed in this race. We are inspired to give a half-ironman a try now! Maybe we’ll do the Vineman 70.3 triathlon next year!
Here’s Doug before the swim. Many athletes are extremely jittery and nervous at this point, but Doug was so relaxed and was confident that his training would pay off.
Doug’s adorable wife (and his biggest fan) Valerie, videoing the swim… Go Doug!
Doug PR’s his swim! 1 1/2 miles in only 44 minutes! We totally recommend the sleeveless wetsuit that he is wearing because your arms have full range of motion and it’s a lot easier to take off!
[box] Doug: Imagine being in a wave of 100 plus men (between the ages of 55-59) and being corralled into a relatively small area. Imagine hearing the countdown, then the start signal and then finding yourself swimming upstream in the Russian River while being kicked, swatted, pushed, shoved and even swam over for about the first 5 or so minutes. Yes, imagine this and you have just begun the beginning of your workday (because you have about 7 more hours ahead of you)!
The chaos passed and I got into my training rhythm and just kept saying to myself, smooth, breath deep, smooth, breath deep (for approximately 1800 strokes). I also found myself entering into the zone (that lovely place where time passes by much faster than normal and where discomfort is mysteriously minimized). And in this zone I found myself being extremely grateful for life, health, love, God, family and friends. As I approached the beach for my exit and came up out of the water, I immediately looked to my right and saw a woman laying on the beach with emergency personnel administering CPR…she had suffered a heart attack (and no, I don’t know what the outcome was for this precious woman). Instead of the anticipated and usual cheering crowds…there was an ominous silence. I prayed for her as I ran to my transition point.[/box]
The transition area was packed! Check out some of our triathlon transition tips to make your T1 and T2 easier and quicker!
Biking out of the transition area with a smile!
We got a thumbs up from one of the pro’s! I guess they’re not so intimidating after all!
Biking 56 miles through beautiful wine country.
Even this dog was cheering the bikers on!
Check out Doug’s perfect form… even at mile 30! His training sure paid off!
56 mile bike ride done, only 13.1 miles to go!!!
[box]Doug: There are approximately 2300 race participants. So, needless to say…things get a little snug in terms of how close bikes are to each other during this segment. Everyone was really conscientious, courteous and CLOSE! At times, I felt like a fish, swimming in a carefully synchronized biking pattern with hundreds of others fish…I mean bikers! I just kept focused on the road ahead and what I needed to do in terms of my personal race plan.
At one point (around mile 12) one of the participants took a turn at a very fast pace. I turned in time to see him and his bike fly into the air. His bike literally did 1 1/2 turns in the air before hitting the ground. The guy hit the ground so hard I couldn’t believe he would get up…but he did…but not without leaving quite a bit of his skin on the road! I’m sure this had to be discouraging to him…and yet, he kept going in the face of his reality. This tenacity to persevere lies at the very foundation of the sport of Triathlon…and LIFE. Once again, I found myself praying for this guy as well as several others who went down over the course of the next 30 miles.
And then there came mile 42… I was riding on the right hand side of the rode (to the left side of the lane), preparing to make a turn onto the biggest hill of the bike course, when all of a sudden…WHACK! A BIG White Ford 350 smacked into the back of my left shoulder with his side view mirror. This made my hand push my front tire into a virtual 90 degree position, and somehow I was able to straighten it in time and avoid going down (this was remarkable given the fact this moment hit me totally unaware and unprepared for such an experience).
THEN…the truck proceeded to swerve my way and hit me a second time on my left side hip, leg and shoulder with the portion of the truck between the back passenger door and back wheel well. This immediately propelled me into the other lane (fortunately there was a pocket of no oncoming traffic at this specific moment) and into a 5 foot high, cutaway dirt embankment. My front tire smacked into the embankment, and I was able to unclip my right foot in time to catch myself before falling back into the lane of traffic. I never fell off my bike. I was totally uninjured AND my bike was in good condition. The truck did not stop to see if I was O.K. The aid station volunteers came across the street. They could not believe what they had seen AND that I was totally fine and went on with my ride (howbeit, with a lot more adrenaline coursing through my body). [/box]
Crossing the finish line is one of the best feelings in the world!
Doug set out to do a half-ironman to celebrate his 55th birthday, which is in 2 weeks. 55 and never better! We hope Doug’s story inspires you to challenge yourself or to sign up for that triathlon you’ve been thinking about doing. You can do it!
Here’s an exerpt from Doug’s tri-weekly motivational article (You can sign up and subscribe to receive three inspirational and motivational articles a week by clicking here🙂
[box] …Running 13.1 miles after you have exerted yourself like a madman for 57.2 miles is… shall we say, CHALLENGING! So, how did I keep moving forward in the face of the multiple challenges I experienced during this final segment of the race? My training? Yes, I relied a lot on my months of training AND it took way more than my training to bring me through to the end. So, what made the difference for me? Well, for starters the volunteers were not only serving us water, Gatorade, power gels, etc. These great people were serving us doses of HOPE…at every single mile point…up and until the very end of the race.
At mile 9, my body literally began breaking down with a profound level of fatigue AND then the words of my friend, Chris, came to mind…DIG DOWN DEEP! It reminded me of the many times during the last few years when I have needed to DIG DOWN DEEP in the ground of FAITH and KEEP MOVING FORWARD IN THE FACE OF FATIGUE! As I approached the final mile…immense joy began to flood my entire being! People started yelling at me…”GREAT SMILE…STRONG FINISH…THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN ABOUT!” As I approached the finish line funnel…I was filled with an overwhelming sense of being loved by Valerie, my folks, my kids, my sweet friends and…MY GOD! [/box]
Have you done a half-ironman distance triathlon?
Leave us a comment and tell us about your first triathlon!
Who inspires you?