These were both new experiences. Before Pistol, I'd never set foot beyond 26 miles 385 yards. Before Lakeside, I'd never participated in a triathlon. Now I've run 50 miles and raced one-quarter of an Iron Man.
In both events, my expectations were exceeded. In the marathon, I am used to cruising at 6:50min/mi with a heart rate of 155. At Lakeside, I averaged the same HR at 8:00min/mi, and the exertion felt like I was moving 6:00mi/mi at 170. Triathlon is hard. Nevertheless, I finished in 2:36:04, placing second in my age group. Not surprisingly, the run was my strongest leg. I sincerely appreciated the cheering from Mike and Katie Dotson and Caleb Johnson, the pre-race advice and prep from Jack McAfee, and the sweet support of my girlfriend Abby.
At Pistol, I ran 50 miles in 8:31:54, placing first overall. I didn't know I was in first place until I was told after finishing. I told people at the start, I didn't mind if I didn't finish. Dramatically, the next finisher was only a minute behind me.
Pistol for me represented the end of a long journey, coming right on the heels of three years of training to qualify for Boston. Lakeside, on the other hand, represented the beginning of a journey which should take me at least through Iron Man Chattanooga on September 30.