|Mrs. Ironman Bob shows her love and support.|
Last year at the Louisville Ironman, the warm waters of the Ohio River got the best of Bob. He pulled out of that race when he faced the fact that he wasn't ready for a 2.4 open water swim after race officials determined the water too warm for wetsuits and disallowed them. I am grateful for a husband who recognizes his limitations so that I am not now a widow. Last years, dozens of triathletes were pulled from the Ohio due to becoming overheated and sick; this year, under similar conditions, a man Bob's age died during the swim segment.
Not one give up and accept set backs, Bob trained smarter and redoubled his efforts. He signed up for this past weekend's Arizona Ironman in Tempe shortly after the Louisville defeat. The race location made much more sense because he would be competing under weather conditions similar to those in which he normally.
|The bike transition area at Tempe Town Lake.|
For those who haven't participated in an Ironman or just love someone who did, the event consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike race and a 26.2 run - back to back. Bob's favorite segment of the race is the bike portion for which he trained both on stationary bike and on his Kestrel on Lake Mary Road, supplemented by his regular bike commutes to and from work. When he first started training on the Kestrel two years ago, he frequently called me to ask me to come out and pick in him up on Lake Mary Road due to blown tires and other issues. Since then Bob has become quite the bike mechanic and is more prepared than any Boy Scout for whatever could happen on the road - tools, CO2 cartridges, bike tools, hydration systems and nutritional snacks. And all very light weight of course. Watching the pleasure he takes in this attention to detail might tempt me to take up bike racing but I doubt we could afford two competitive road cyclists in one family.
|Special needs bags area for extra gear, hydration, snacks. . . .|
|The Saturday morning practice swim.|
I wish that I had photos the bike race but unfortunately, the Athlete Tracker on the Ironman website wasn't working properly so I had a hard time locating where Bob was on the course. Regardless, the Arizona Ironman was a memorable event. For three days we mingled with people (athletes and their families) on the same journey as ours.
|Bob, post practice swim, feeling good despite the cold water.|
|Post swim victory hug.|
|No, he's not proposing, just chatting about the value of insulated swim caps.|
|Presenting Ironman Bob!|