Tuesday, November 28, 2006


We had everyone together at son Jon's house, except our youngest daughter Avery's husband Scott, who had work conflicts. Our get-together was Saturday after Thanksgiving, the most do-able for the most people. Daughter-in-law Jamie had worked all night (NICU nurse) ans spent the day sleeping at her mom's, but came over later in the afternoon.

It's rare to have all 4 generations together, every single one of my mother's direct descendants.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The oldest and youngest of our clan: My mother, Ellinor Benedict, 85, and our granddaughter, Abigail Hamilton, 3 yrs. 10 months

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Our three grandkids being goofy: Abbie; Gracie, 8; Collin, 10

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The whole family!
Left to right:
My husband Steve; grandson Collin Clevenger; daughter Avery Elefante; daughter-in-law Jamie Hamilton; son Jon Hamilton; granddaughter Grayson Clevenger; me, Ellinor Hamilton; daughter Valerie Hamilton; Val's husband Anthony; Anthony's son Bradley; granddaughter Abbie Hamilton; matriarch/mother/grandmother/great-grandmother Ellinor Benedict

And as if a humongous turkey dinner topped off with 2 kinds of pie, 3 cousins to play with, and all her family together (Abbie LOVES her family, especially her grandpa and her great-grandmother), here is what her daddy found in their garage after dinner.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
He had seen a stray cat in there a couple times but had no idea there were offspring. For an almost-4-yr-old, Thanksgiving doesn't get any better. His name is Walrus -- Abbie's new word of the week. Walrus hissed and spit and bit when Jon caught him, but calmed down remarkably within just a few minutes. After some tuna, which he gulped like a dog, he got a bath, a nap wrapped in a warm towel, and then was deemed fit to play with. Within a couple hours after capture, he was purring in our laps and playing with strings the kids dragged for him.

Thanksgiving is about so much more than the food. Although that was good, too...

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Maybe I should call it more a "rule of thumb."

We know lots of "rules of thumb:"
When you race (running), no long runs or speedwork for as many days as there were miles in your race.
After a race or long run, calories don't count for as many hours as there were miles run.

And so on.

I have a theory that I think I will develop into a new personal rule of thumb:

For each hour in a hard effort (i.e., long run or ride, race, speedwork), an extra hour of sleep per hour of effort will enhance recovery.

For the 16 hours and 20 minutes I was on the course at IMFL, I needed to "replace" 16 hours of sleep. Not all at once. Maybe an hour a day for 16 days. I didn't do this religiously, since I thought of it about a week later, but I had been going to bed earlier each night just because I was tired. This was when the "hour of sleep per hour of effort" idea dawned on me.

A 6-hour marathon, then, would suggest 5 days of sleeping an hour extra per night (or day.)

For a hard 10K effort, extra sleep for however long that took.

Maybe, any training effort that we're still tired from an hour or so later, or the next day, should trigger the "sleep alarm" -- however long that effort lasted, get its equivalent in extra sleep.

It might not always be possible.
It might not be indispensable.

But it couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Well. I left a comment on Dean Karnazes' blog about how great it was to talk with him, and how I decided that if this campground customer could run 20-30 miles a day after just doing 50 marathons in 50 days, certainly I could go out and run for half an hour 2 weeks after an Ironman. And that I ran faster than usual because I was thinking about this daily-ultra-runner I'd talked to. And how excited I was later in the day when I discovered who he was. How I'd been on the web all evening learning all about him and feeling high.

Comments are subject to moderator approval.

Mine didn't get in.

Nor did I get a mention in his descriptions of people he'd met that day.

When he asked if I was a runner, and I showed him my IMFL mug, and he said, "Great! Congratulations!" he was probably thinking,

"Oh, you did an Ironman. How cute."

He probably was thinking, some woman goes through the motions of being a runner, and calls herself an Ironman, and doesn't know who I am???

Really, I didn't know. I don't surf running websites, I don't do forums or chatrooms, I only read an occasional couple fitness/athletic magazines other than Triathlete, I don't read running books. The magazines and books haven't changed much over the last 20 years, and I don't pay much attention to them anymore. I just do it.

I'd have known Jeff Galloway. Or Frank Shorter. Or Bill Rodgers. Or Ingrid Kristiansen. Or Joan Benoit Samuelson. Or Grete Waitz. Runners who were in the news when I was into the news.

I'd have known Lance Armstrong.

I'd have recognized the names of Tim or Nicole DeBoom, Natascha Baddman, Heather Fuhr, Lisa Bentley, Laurie Bowden. I'd have known Andrea Fisher by sight, since she was my neighbor for the week in the campground at IMFL.

This man.... somehow he just slipped through the cracks.

Like I told Nancy.... the Lord must have been so appalled that I hadn't heard of or read about Dean Karnazes, He just had to send him to me in person. And then get my friends to tell me who he was.

At least I noticed his thighs.

Back to my safe place under my rock.

Update: 21stCenturyMom has commented that I am, indeed, there in his comment section. I'm finding what I wrote in this blog but not the one she quoted (correctly!) from Dean's Run Home.

Why should this whole thing even matter to me? I have my friends. Why do I need feedback from some celebrity who never heard of me and whom I'll never meet again?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Remember to be hospitable to strangers, for you never know who you're entertaining unawares.

This morning at work at the campground office, I was talking to my mom on my cell phone (slow day at the office) and told her, "Oops, gotta go, got a customer coming. He's dressed for running. He's got awesome thighs." She laughed and wished me luck and I hung up.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The man brought in a little bag of garbage and asked where the dumpsters were. I told him, but said, "That's small, just give it to me, I'll throw it in the trash can right here," which he did, and I did.

"How far you running today?" I asked. "Oh, 20 or 30 miles I guess," he said. "Great!" I said. "What are you training for?" He said, "Actually I'm running across the United States."

"Cool!" I answered. "So you're almost done?"

"No," he said, "I'm just starting."

"You're going east to west against the prevailing winds in late fall at this latitude? You're going to have fun when you get to Colorado!" We both laughed and he said he hoped Colorado wouldn't be too bad.

So he says, "You must be a runner. You didn't go blank or do a double take when I said how far I was running." I lifted my M-Dot Florida mug in a toast gesture and took a sip of my coffee. "Great, congratulations!" he said. "I barely survived, but it was fun," I observed. "I haven't run since, but I might go out today."

Then he says, "I just took a break from my trip, flew down to Texas, and did a 24-hour ultra. Plus I just finished running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"Awesome!" I said. "I want to do all 50 states. Except I don't think I'll make it in 50 days :-) Another thing I want to do is cross the country, not on foot but on a bike, Pacific to Atlantic."

"That's a great goal," he said.

"You better go run, you've got goosebumps on your thighs," I said, thereby letting the cat out of the bag that I'd been ogling his thighs.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

He laughed. "Well, we gotta break camp first.... my dad is driving the camper, he's my support crew."

"Well, good luck!" I said, and he said, "You, too!" and he left. I watched them disconnecting their utility hoses getting ready to leave. Another customer came in. "See that rig leaving?" I said. "The guy was just in here.... he's running across the country east to west on Rte. 50." "Hmph," said the man. "Wonder if he knows what he's getting into as he gets into West Virginia and Western Maryland. I hear they've had snow in Garrett County already, and you know what the hills are like out there."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I was wishing I'd given the runner guy my email address so he could let me know when he got there, like the guy I met on the bike trail last summer. I was wishing I'd had my camera so I could email his quads to my friends.

So I told some of my email friends, including Nancy, about this encounter, and told them they missed some great quads. Nancy emailed me back, "Uhhhhhh, Ellie.... did he look like this guy? (Gave me this link) Dean Karnazes????" I emailed back, "Yeah, that was him! I just put his registration info in the campground computer this morning!" So then I went to the link to see who he was.

Geez. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Dean Karnazes. I guess every runner in the world except me knows about him. He has a blog (actually several) and I left a comment on this one. On his Daily Archives page, you can see that he was staying in Winchester, VA (except they listed it as WV.) That was before he left for the ultra in TX and he just got back yesterday. That was here! That was Candy Hill Campground, Winchester, VA! I threw away his trash for him!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm glad I had my eye makeup on :-)

Monday, November 20, 2006

OH, NO....

I'm not really thinking of doing this, am I?

It's February 17.

I worked backwards on the calendar and determined that I could get in the lon runs. It's not like each increase would be new territory I haven't entered before.

The timing would be the same as last year, when I ran RNR Arizona in January after doing ChesapeakeMan the end of September.

I was very pleased with how I did at RNR AZ.

Oh, no.

What am I saying?

I'm not even running yet following IMFL. I'd have to do long winter runs in northern Virginia.... not southern Arizona.

Oh, my.

I can't afford it. $$$$ The main costs being travel and lodging.

A $52 entry fee, after an M-Dot race, feels like scoring a terrific pair of jeans for $6 at Goodwill.

What started this? I signed on to a Shenandoah Valley Runners list and someone told me she's training for MBM. She did IM AZ last April. Her pace is similar to mine and we could train together. I'm calling her..... maybe we could drive and room together.

I can't fly. $$$$$

I am really afraid I am going to try to do this. I made a training calendar. Here we go again....

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Yeah. Another one of those religious posts.

I don't sleep well. I have hot flashes and sweats and then when I throw the covers off I get cold. I'll wake up and find it still nearly dark but I hear birds and think or say out loud, "Are those damn birds at it already? Why can't I have a couple more hours?"

So this morning I woke up in the dark, looked at my watch. 4:30. I said a silent "Thank you, God! I get another 3 more hours of sleep."


Awake. Not stewing over anything in particular, just wide awake. Couldn't get comfortable. Too hot. Too cold. Bed too hard. Thinking about music.... how to adapt the theme from "Legends of the Fall" to play as a waltz that would sound old-timey on the fiddle, like "Tenessee Waltz" or "Beautiful Dreamer." What a stupid thing to be thinking about trying to sleep.

No sleep.

I said prayers. Lord's Prayer. Psalm 23. Both generally have a hypnotic effect on me. I rarely get all the way through Psalm 23.


I said silently, "Lord, what do you want?" (And I didn't say it nicely.) "I'm trying to sleep here. I'm going to be tired. My whole day will be a mess if I'm tired. I'll feel crappy and I'll mess things up and I won't be any good for anything. If you're so great than make me sleep."

And I got..... "We never spend any time together. You're so busy during the day, we hardly cross paths." So I brought up all the things I'm worrying about. It just got me riled. I said, "So, this isn't helping me any. What do you want to talk about?" I got...."Who said we had to talk? I just want to keep company with you." So I stopped but my mind just went into uncomfortable-silence mode. After a few minutes, I volunteered again, "This isn't helping me. I'm going to be tired." I got, "Would I wake you up to keep company with you and let it hurt you? Be still, and know that I am God."

And after a spell of dwelling on that verse.... well, I seem to have slept. I woke up before the alarm feeling rested and ready to get up.

Gotta go take the dog out now and get to work.

Friday, November 17, 2006


It's so long since I've run, it's like I've forgotten how. I couldn't find my running shoes. I put my socks on upside down.

I wore the dusty-rose long-sleeved running top my Calgarian friends, Dianne and Dawn, gave me as an IMFL present when they sprung their surprise visit to Nancy and me, as if their visit wasn't gift enough.

I ran a little over a mile, measured afterwards with my bike at 1.1. Whoopee. Time was 11:14.

Then I went on the bike and measured a real-mile course out to the road and back through the campground, in case I don't want to get out on the trafficked roadways during the winter. I can do laps. And I can also measure my mile-pace progress, although it's not flat. I might go to a track for that.

It feels good to have gone running again.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I just did a search hoping for news on the cause of the death of Barney Rice, whose hopes for everything ended during the swim at IMFL. All I'm finding is "cause of death was not immediately evident, but an autopsy will be performed."

He had 3 young sons. The youngest is 6 months. And a young wife, who went through his year of IM training like every other Iron Spouse. He had, the same as all of us this whole past year and that cold race morning, anticipation, excitement, a sense of adventure, and high hopes for a grand achievement. He had his bike shoes and helmet in his transition bag, his water bottles and GU packs on his bike. His ready bike waited in the transition area and.....stayed there all day.

I felt glad to make it out of the swim alive. When I reached the finish line 14 or so hours later, I found out that one man hadn't.

I'm still having dreams.

Last night it was being on the bike leg of the Ironman and finding, not hills, I don't know what you'd call them.... rock dunes, or something. They undulated up out of the ground like mountains, as high as a 3-story house. I was thinking, this is no place for a road bike; I need a mountain bike. They rose one after another. I saw a dip between two "dunes" coming and thought, oh, no, here it comes..... got my speed up and almost, but not quite, made the jump between them. My bike was bashed between the two rocky swells, all bent up. The wheel rims were creased into mere slits. I was unhurt, but finishing the race was out of the question. Even if I could get a mountain bike, there wouldn't be time afterwards to make the cutoff.

I've dreamed about being in 20-foot seas in a tiny boat; about crying as I tried to resuscitate a drowned cat; about being rejected from a music program and offered violin bows made of glow-necklaces instead of carbon fiber; and now about rocky swells coming like ocean waves destroying my bike.

I need closure. I hope they make it public when they find out why he died. And if it was simple drowning.... why??? A 35-year-old triathlete shouldn't have just gone and drowned out there, 2/3 of the way through his swim. It doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I started a Yahoogroup, Boston Bound, and a blog, Boston2008 (Boston Bound wasn't available, darn), for people trying for a Boston qualifier. We've got such a huge triathlon brigade here.... there have to be Boston hopefuls as well. Maybe even Boston-repeat hopefuls.

Let everyone know, 'K? People in Blogland, people "out there." Ship 'em to Boston Bound , Boston 2008, and/or here.

I think I'm serious about training for this..... think so? :-D

Except right now I'm still in my self-enforced 2-week no-training recovery period after IMFL.

Man, I REALLY want to get out there and run. I need to be careful not to go out too fast..... take this training year like a marathon, sensibly paced so I can hang in there the whole time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


On our trip back from Florida, we passed a big Salvation Army HQ building. On it were the large sculpted letters:

"Serving others through Christ."

I don't know whether this is the Salvation Army motto or not, but I was thinking, shouldn't it go:

"Serving Christ through others" ? That is, you serve Christ through serving others?

Monday, November 13, 2006


1. I'm in a small open boat, tossing and heaving in 20-foot seas. I'm thinking, "At least I'm in a boat."

2. I'm fishing and feel a bite on my hook. As I'm reeling in my catch, I discover it's not a fish, but a cat. I have to reel it in to save it, but reeling it in drowns it. I'm crying as I try to resuscitate it. (Probably most readers know, a man drowned at IMFL.)

3. In real waking life, I am learning to play the violin, self-taught, country-fiddle style. In this dream,I'm accepted at a large university music department, to major in violin performance. I show up for my first session with my professional private instructor, who finds that I'm slightly better than Vera Violet Vinn (you have to know Dr. Seuss to get that.) After hearing me play a couple measures, she signals me to stop, shakes her head, and says, "Do not finish your piece. You should not have entered this institution." I yell, "That's what I'm HERE for! To LEARN HOW!!" She senses how much I want this and says, "Well, let's see what I can do to help you perhaps a little." She starts by saying I need a better bow. The one I have is about 6 inches long. But all the ones she offers me are useless: floppy, not rigid. One is made out of a straightened-out glow-necklace. None are wood or carbon fiber (even violin bows are carbon fiber nowadays.) I appreciate her (condescending) gestures but realize I am simply not prepared to play the violin; I don't even have a bow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


We're about to take the satellite dish down to start our trip back north. Probably won't bother putting it up for overnight stays. So I won't be able to send or receive, unless we're somewhere that Steve's computer can pick up a Wi-Fi signal (mine's too archaic for that.)
Catch ya later!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Do you think it's reasonable to combine these goals during one year?

1. Dropping about 45 minutes from current marathon ballpark time, to hopefully run a Boston Qualifier in the fall, and

2. Continuing through that same year to run a few other marathons to add to my 50-state quest?

Background: In 2001 (before I started doing triathlons and was just a runner) I ran a 4:21 in late April and a 4:12 in October. The 4:21 inspired me to try for a BQ, which would have been 4:05 at the time. I went out too fast and blew it, walked a few miles, and still made 4:12. This was 5 years ago.

My qualifying time at my age now is 4:15.

Do you think I could do the necessary speedwork AND get in a number of marathons to increase my state tally?


While Steve was waiting around the finish line, he said there was a VIP podium where a lot of the first, fast finishers were dancing and partying.

He said, to me:
"I wanted to go up there and tell them, 'You're not the VIP's. Those people dragging themselves in here and the ones still out there struggling to keep putting one foot in front of the other... those are the VIP's.' "

Monday, November 06, 2006


AGE 54
1:43:41 7:06:44 7:09:46 16:20:31 2045

TOTAL SWIM 2.4 mi. (1:43:41) 2:43/100m 2034

TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (7:06:44) 15.75 mph 1931

FIRST RUN SEGMENT 13.1 mi. (2:49:59) 12:58/mile
RUN FINISH 13.1 mi. (4:19:47) 19:49/mile
TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (7:09:46) 16:24/mile 2045

T1: SWIM-TO-BIKE 12:15
T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 8:05

Editor's notes:
Time spent on run at maybe 5 gas-generator-run floodlights for maybe 3 minutes each trying to get warm: 15 minutes

Ambulance time: 10 minutes

Sitting in a chair at a later aid station regrouping: 5 minutes

Pee stops: 3 on bike, 4 on run, total 6 minutes maybe

But who's counting?


My friend Carlene in Canada crocheted this dress and hair-band for Abbie -- having never seen or met Abbie or her parents (our son and his wife.) Carlene's another of my/our runner-marathoner-athlete friends.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And of course you all know about Dawn and Dianne coming down from Calgary to cheer for Nancy and me. And then there's Lori Dorren, also from Calgary, whom I met on the run course and who kept me going for a long, long time.

My Canadian friends rock!!


I feel like a woman who has a 3-hour labor and then glides her first baby out with 2 pushes and says, "Wow, that wasn't bad at all." And then with her second baby has 23 hours of back labor and 3 hours of pushing and says, "NOW I know what everyone's been talking about. THAT wasn't labor. THIS is labor."

THAT wasn't Ironman.

THIS was Ironman.

Sunday, November 05, 2006



Seems to me a few days ago I made some rather glib comments about comments on the local Panama City Beach news about "brave" athletes and the upcoming "grueling" event. I didn't make it clear that my glibness was somewhat tongue-in-cheek... exaggeration by way of understatement. I don't think I even fully realized.

I've said to so many people that my impression of my ChesapeakeMan iron-distance last year was that it wasn't nearly as hard as I'd expected. I've been riding on that for a year. I had gotten my head into a place that was practically passing off an Ironman as no big deal.

Now I know not to understate. Or underestimate. Or mistake a first-Iron fluke as representative of how I'll do at Ironman in general.

Swim: Whenever I turned my head to breathe, or lifted it to sight, there was a wall of water nearly as tall as I am coming at me. I guess I caught a good draft on the first loop, as it was a mind-boggling 40 minutes; by my second loop, everyone else must have already gotten where they were going, because it was 20 minutes longer. It was a fight all the way. I barfed a little running to the T-1 tent, and sat down and sobbed when I got there.

But I got the swim done.

Bike: At first it was fun. I was supposed to spin easy and this I did. I passed people. People passed me. Then we turned north and into the wind that had created the surf. Spinning easy was "easy" but slow. I passed people. People passed me. Turned out of the wind and then made some tracks but then onto a road that was, as Iron-pal Rich put it, "like riding across railroad tracks for 20 miles." There was stuff all over the road that had bounced out of people's pockets and off their bikes: aero-bottle plugs, a whole aero-bottle, loads of "caged" bottles, folded-up tubes and tires still in their rubber bands. I read in the paper that Hillary Biscay's handlebars got erratic due to a loosening of her stem bolt, and I'll bet this is where it happened. It was fun, though, fo ride briefly alongside people passing or being passed and complaining together about the road ("It could be worse, we could still be out there on that swim...") By the time the road smoothed out, we were in our last 30 miles when your shorts feel like they have a sandpaper chamois anyway, so it was still rough.

But I got the bike done.

Run: Stiffly jogged and walked the first mile, then started running, walking only through aid stations. That was going well. Early in the second loop of the 2-loop run, I picked up with a woman from Calgary doing her first IM and we went together. She was wonderful company. But by mile 17 I had been fighting nausea and fatigue for a while and couldn't start running again. I told her the pact between running partners is that you don't sacrifice your own race for each other, and I was going through a bad patch and needed to walk, and she went on. I walked. After a mile or two I was slowing even more but didn't feel any better. I felt worse. I took more sodium. I took calcium and magnesium. I took Pepcid. It was cold. I was freezing. I felt awful. I felt like I couldn't expand my chest to breathe. I was scared. I had seen an ambulance a couple miles back and wanted medical advice; maybe there would be one closer, up at the turnaround. There was not. I got a Mylar blanket at an aid station. It helped minimally. I sipped hot chicken broth but it turned my stomach. There were these huge generator-run floodlights every half-mile or so -- kind of wrecked the full-moon ambiance I had so looked forward to, but I discovered they put out HEAT and stopped at each one for 2 or 3 minutes, leaning my head on it for rest while it warmed my body. I kept plodding. Cold, exhausted, afraid of keeling over in the dark far from a medical station. I became aware of the thought that the ambulance, if I ever got there, would be my deciding point: do, or do not. I might not be able to finish this race. Finally arrived back at the ambulance. Told them I was in trouble. Got my blood pressure and pulse checked, everything normal; sat there for a few minutes, they weren't very helpful; they said there wasn't much they could do for me if I didn't need to go to the hospital. I didn't think I did, and started on again. I took it for granted that my first steps across the finish, if I got there, would be into the medical tent and then God only knew where. As I approached the next aid station, and the next, I knew this was where I would need to report leaving the course, but took their drinks and a little food and found myself walking on. I guess the little rest in the ambulance had helped though because after a while I started feeling better. I was able to do a brisk walk again but whenever I started jogging I could see it was out of the question. So I ended up walking the whole last 9 miles. But I could breathe, and with 3 miles to go I could SING. Can you imagine? Able to sing, but not run. I sang hymns. "Be swift, my soul, to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet, our God is marching on." "Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee." "Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." I walked. But I could not run.

Got a second (or maybe third) wind with the finish in sight; pulled off my long-sleeved shirt to be wearing my red jersey in my finish photo. I had spent the last couple miles brushing my hair.... about a mile to brush it out (salt water, sweat, snarls from my ponytail band) and the next to maintain it (wind). People laughed at me but I wanted a hot finish picture, which witnessing friends tell me had to be a success, although we haven't seen the pic yet.

So I got the run done.

So I got the Ironman done.

Final time: 16:20. It wasn't my day to do a 14-something Ironman. But I feel more victorious with this finish than I now am with my less-painful, "that wasn't so hard" 14:58 at ChesapeakeMan.

Because the Ironman is grueling.

Last year it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

THIS was what I thought Ironman would be. Until last year gave me a swelled head.

I had the presence of mind to prissy myself up for my finish picture but not to notice that my HUSBAND was holding one end of my finish tape. I will forever regret that.

There's way more.... my wonderful friends who cheered and volunteered: Linae, Holly, and Shawn at volunteer posts; Kathy who hosted our pre-race get-together and worked in the medical tent; Dianne and Dawn who flew down from Calgary and surprised Nancy and me by showing up at the Expo. My husband Steve, who was out there every time I went by, and who worried as my expected return was half an hour late, then an hour, then an hour and a half, and longer. And held the finish tape for me, and I didn't even see him.

And Nancy, who has been so much of my inspiration as well as my companion, both virtually and in person, this whole year of training..... I watched for her constantly and was overjoyed every time I saw her on the course -- biking, running. Then when we met up as I was a mile or so into my second run lap and she was the same distance from finishing her first, she said she might not make it. I was pre-bonk and assumed she was going through a bad patch and would recover; at the time there were over 4 hours left and I called out, "Sure you can, walk!" But I didn't see Nancy anymore. I kept searching. I would have picked her out even in the dark because of her flashing red necklace. Unless she'd gone by while I was in the ambulance.... but I didn't see her and didn't see her and my heart sank as I began to understand that she must have decided to stop.

She left the course rather than risk the consequences of continuing toward what she had wanted so much. That, my friends, is bravery.

And yeah, people who undertake the Ironman are brave, because it's grueling.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


~Sigh~ Tonight PhotoBucket hates me too. I signed in with the wrong password too many times and now I'm in time-out.

Wait till you see my pictures though :-)

At registration/expo I met up with Commodore, Shelley, Lisa, and Bolder. As well as Rich from WV, who's been active on the IMFL Yahoo email group. It was so great to have friends there!

Registration: THEY HAD NO PAPERWORK FOR THE HIGHEST RACE NUMBERS, meaning.... ALL THE "OLDER" WOMEN WERE IN LIMBO!!! We couldn't register!! We had to wait till the paperwork CAME FROM THE PRINTER!!!! Actually we got quite friendly with each other, there in the holding tank. (I just think what my husband does with the holding tank when we leave a campground.) They sent us out to explore the expo while we waited, undoubtedly, as one woman alertly observed, a ploy to get us to spend more money. Lisa and I hung out together. We went back and waited some more. Finally the paperwork arrived and we got processed and now we exist. That was fun.

Lisa, Rich and I met up at 2 to ride the run course. We had a great time together, riding easy, pedal-around-the-neighborhood casual. Loads of bikers out; everyone smiles, waves, and says "Have a great race!" It is so much fun.

I was so busy and having so much fun I actually FORGOT TO EAT most of the day and never even missed it. Don't worry, I made up for it at dinner.

Might not get today's pics posted till tomorrow; don't know how long my penalty is at PhotoBucket, and of course I was expelled from Blogger photo-loading long ago.

Hope I can post them soon.... I worked hard on them. :-)