This past weekend, I was able to compete in Ironman Louisville, KY. This year marked my ten year anniversary in regards to my accident and injury. I wanted to do something big and challenging in the wake of ten years. Last year a friend of mine introduced me to triathlons. I completed my first ever triathlon in August 2015. Triathlons consist of a swim, bike and run. There are many distances to triathlons but the biggest and longest is a full distance triathlon. This race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. The total was 140.6 miles. I signed up for this race and have been training for 7 months. A typical training week consisted of 6 days training and would highlight one or more of each discipline throughout the seven months.
The swim started at 7:30am and there are cut-off times to each event. I swim normally but have no leg kick. I wear a wet suit and strap my legs together. When I get tired, I switch over and do the back stroke. I finished the swim in 1:43.57 and hopped on the bike. The bike was a rolling hill type course but was very challenging. I bike in my handcycle and pedal with my arms as my legs lay out supported near my front wheel. I finished the bike in 9:02.05 and hopped into my racing chair for the marathon. This is my equivalent to running. I sit with my knees up and my legs underneath my rear end. I wear gloves and hit my push rings on my chair. I completed the marathon in 3:04.31. My friend that tracked me all day said that I overtook 950 runners on the course. I was able to finish the race in 14:12:15.
The coolest part of Sunday's race was finishing and knowing that I had put in the time to prepare myself for this race. My wife, parents, brother, sister in-law, uncle, aunt, cousin and in-laws were all there in person and countless others were following, texting, praying and supporting. It is amazing to look back and see that I was able to make the bike cut-off and have no flat tires, no injuries and was healthy the whole time. I could sit back and take credit for that but that would be wrong. It is so neat to see how the Lord works and puts people liek family members in our lives who mean the world to us. He gives protection and looks out for us and even answers our prayers. This weekend was an amazing weekend. People ask if the weekend was fun. I don't know if fun is a good word. It was so much work but I am so glad that I was able to finish the race.