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November 16, 2018  
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2007 California Ironman 70.3 - (March 31, 2007)

1.2 Mile Swim38:43Pace: 2:02/100m
56 Mile Bike2:41:15Average Speed: 20.84 mph
13.1 Mile Run1:51:25Pace: 8:30/mile
Total Time5:21:12Official Results

The morning of the big race Adam and I got up at 4:00 AM so that we could begin stretching, eating, and getting our gear ready for the big day. We had trained for six months for this race - now was no time to forget something!

After we had checked and double-checked our gear we made our way down to the Oceanside Harbor, where we set up our transition area with our bike and running gear. About 20 minutes before race time, we put on our wet suites and made our way down to the start. Notice the sun (or lack thereof). It was EARLY!

The morning of the big race Adam makes his way into our mini-kitchen to make four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (two for him and two for me). We put those sandwiches down, along with a banana, Gatorade, and a lot of water.

Adam sets up his transition area just before all that food we just ate made its way clean through us! We were lucky we arrived early, because we spent almost the entire hour before the race waiting in line for the bathroom! Note to self: bring a flashlight next time - the portapotties had no lights and it was very dark!

Finally, at 6:56 AM it's our turn to start! 38 minutes (4 minutes behind schedule) and 1.2 miles later, this is me just after I exited the water on my way to the first transition.

After a few minutes in transition (most of it spent trying to pry off my tight wetsuit from my tired body), I grabbed my helmet and my bike and headed to the mounting area (we can't get on our bikes until we clear the mounting line).

Here I have just crossed the mounting line and I am just about to start the bike ride. With those "clips" that attach my bike shoes to the pedals, getting on and pedaling off isn't a trivial thing. I almost crashed!

About 1 mile into the ride we climb out of the harbor area and head off into Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

This is me at about mile 40 (out of 56). I tried to give the photographer a clean shot since I found myself alone on the course at the time. My loneliness was short lived, however, when two riders passed me and stalled, causing me to get a "horrible" drafting penalty called against me. After I finished the bike I had to wait 4 minutes in a "penalty tent" before I could go run.

At 3:30 elapsed time, I entered the half-marathon (13.1 mile) course. I have never in my life been able to run a 1:30 half-marathon, so I knew my goal of sub-5 hours was gone. Compounding my frustration was the fact that my back was KILLING me from my first steps into the run.

At Mile 3, I was still in agony with my throbbing back and tight legs. I knew that I just had to keep running, pain notwithstanding.

By Mile 8 some of the back and leg pain had faded, but now I was starting to overheat and dehydrate. I just focused on making it to the next aide station (there was an aide station every mile of the run course).

The finish line gave me an added boost of adrenaline that allowed me to pass several people in the last few yards of the race. In typical fashion, I sprinted through the finish line! (The 5:38.10 was the elapsed time from the start of the Pro's - I started about 15 minutes after them)

About 10 seconds after finishing the race I was awarded the "Finisher" medal and T-shirt so that I can prove to my grand kids I survived! Right now, I just need to find the restroom and eat some pizza!

Hanging out after the race with my parents (Sharyl is seated behind me and my father is taking the picture). They drove down from La Quinta to support me and Adam!

Ana Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson, me, Morgan Johnson, and my sister Gale Johnson celebrate the fact that I'm still alive! It was so great to see my nieces and my sister - what a cute sign!!


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