By this time next Saturday I will be 8+ hours into the Ironman with maybe 7 to 8 hours left.
I began my swimming in March of last year with a barely rotating right arm. Needs a complete shoulder replacement. My first Sprint was 1 week after my 62nd birthday in July. Had another Sprint in September then registered for Ironman Florida 2013. Entry sold out in 1 minute and I missed it but my wife said she wanted me in and was able to get me in through the Ironman Foundation entry. That sold out in a couple of minutes.
After 2 Sprints I entered the Rev3 70.3 November race but due to 5 foot waves from Sandy the swim was cancelled. In the bike I had a left side down crash at mile 15 going into the Englewood Beach roundabout at 25.2mph, thank you Garmin, and did some major cutting. Stopped at mile 30 for some cleaning and bandages but continued to bleed until the medic tent after the half marathon. Dr. there wanted me to go to ER for stitches and wound attention but I have a Dr. friend who took care of me.
March of this year I was the only 60-64 participant in the Gator 70.3. Guess what? I finished first!
May of this year I did Ironman 70.3 Florida and had a good time even though my Dr. friend didn't want me to compete since I was diagnosed with a very large goiter blocking half my air passage and a parathyroid tumor causing excess calcium hormone production that was eating at my bones resulting in a multitude of other issues. Low Iodine intake, low sodium diet, was the cause of the goiter. Had removal of tumor and left lobe of the thyroid in June and it took 3 months to get my voice back.
Since my first Sprint, I've fallen on my right shoulder a few times while biking and even during a 10 mile night-time running race at Walt Disney World. No damage to the bike and the impacts have actually freed my right shoulder a bit.
Yesterday's 2200 yards swimming was slightly painful but today's 60 mile bike was great. Stayed out of the draft and used the group as a carrot to hold 19/22 at a comfortable heart rate. Tomorrow an easy 10K then a 20 mile spin then 2000/3000 yard swim.
The 2.4 mile swim will most likely take me 2hrs+ because I am a poor swimmer, the bike should be fun and the marathon will take forever since I can only walk with some jogging due to bad knees. My goal is to complete, not to compete. I will be doing my best to not be the last of the 63 men in my group. Registration for Ironman Florida 2014 will be Friday before the race and I plan to be 1st in line.
My issues are far less severe than many other individuals who compete in an Ironman. The journey to this point has been interesting and painful but when I cross that finish line, providing I successfully make it out of the water, with the announcement.....JOHN-you are an Ironman, all that pain should be flowing away in my tears of victory.