Watching Ironman online is fun! I woke up this morning at like 6AM without my alarm and popped right out of bed to come down and check out the online coverage of Louisville and Canada... I had 2 athletes racing in Louisville (Armando and Scott) and 1 in Canada (Mary)... My phone was going off with text messages and videos and phone calls from Marianne and Meg (wives watching in Louisville) and everybody just did GREAT! Armando's goal was to qualify for Kona... we knew it was kind of a long shot for him but he went for it and knocked out a 10:17 (35 min PR!). He PR'd across the board swim bike and run splits and dug as deep as he could and got pretty close landing in 20th place in his age group. Maybe there's 11-12 spots so doubt the roll down will go to 20th but I'm so proud of his effort. He called me after from the med tent and sounded as happy as one could be in that scenario. :) Scott did awesome too... not sure if you remember his story but he is my old high school friend who got up off the couch last summer and decided to do a sprint triathlon... He has lost ~50 lbs in the last year... Then he won the lottery and got a shocking spot to Kona! So he just used Louisville as a day to gain experience and I instructed him to drop out after ~4 miles on the run and save it for Kona in 6 weeks. Scott swam a 54 this morning. I about fell off my chair when I saw that but so happy for him! Then he went and biked a 6:06 which isn't too shabby for someone who just started riding about a year ago. Scott has about the best attitude of any triathlete I know and I can't wait to toe the line with him in Kona. He and Nalani and I are going to have a bit of a swim race! How fun will that be?!? I am pumped. Mary also threw down a 4' swim PR this morning in Canada- still waiting to see her finish but great start to the day for her!
Anyway, this was kind of my first taste of watching my athletes race Ironman via my computer... but there's a bunch more to come... I've got athletes racing in Florida and Arizona later this year and then next year in New Zealand, UK, NYC, Mont-Tremblant, and Wisconsin (so far)... Coaching athletes through Ironman is highly rewarding I think.
In other good news, I've had a bit of a breakthrough lately with my running. Had a super longish brick run yesterday and then nailed another 20 miler this morning. Coach's philosophy when it comes to me and running has gone something like this: Oh, so running 20 miles is hard for you? Then keep doing them until they are not hard anymore. And finally, it appears I'm there! 20 mile runs have become so common place in my world that I almost don't think twice about them anymore. I think this approach has worked for me because a) I'm ridiculously motivated and b) I've become rather durable and am not injury prone so I have been able to actually handle/absorb them. I did today's run mid-morning when it was just brutally hot and sunny (and humidity at ~100% since it had just stopped raining) and just set my garmin to show only distance... I've found that I truly do better when I don't micro-manage pace and instead just run by feel. I don't think there's a 20 miler I've done this year where I have not negative split so that is very confidence building! :)
I actually haven't really kept track of weekly miles much this year... sometimes I add them up just out of curiosity though... This week seemed like a rather big run week so I did the math and came up with 53 miles. That's a pretty solid run week for me... and when you add in the 20 miles from last Sunday it actually becomes 73 in the last 8 days. I think that must be some sort of personal record? It's cool though because the more I run the more I like running and the better I feel. Running has this 'automatic' feel to it now where much of the time it just flows. 6 weeks til Kona.