A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I am Vineman!

Daren here. Alive and, well, my legs are too tired to kick. I finished just under my goal of 6:30. In fact, according to my Garmin Forerunner 301, I finished in 6:29:59 – one second under! But it was actually several minutes. I just forgot to hit “stop” after crossing the finish line. The only thing on my mind at the time was making sure I didn't lose the cookies I ate on the run (they had Oreos at every Aid Station!).

That run was the toughest thing I have ever done. As you know from Leslie’s post (she was too busy tracking my progress across Northern California to post again), I had a good swim (for me). I got into my rhythm and swam at my pace the whole way and finished 3 minutes under my goal. I also had a great ride. I averaged 17.8 mph and finished in 3:10, 20 minutes under my goal of 3:30. I was shocked.

Then came the run. Either I pushed too hard on the bike or just underestimated the pure torture of running a half-marathon in searing mid-day heat after a 1.2-mile swim and 56-mile ride! It was brutal. My legs were tired for sure but the worst part was the heat and my feet. It was about 90 degrees and 88 percent humidity! And my feet felt bruised and bloodied. I kept expecting to see red stuff oozing out, but never did. I do have a few small blisters, but nothing major. I guess it was just the constant pounding of my 200+ lbs. over 13.1 miles!

So, my run was a little slower than expected and ate up the 20 minutes I had gained on the bike. In the end it evened out and I still finished under my goal.

Now we are sitting at Imagery Winery tasting some great California wines. Of course, that was my other goal for Vineman :)

[At left: that's me with my sister-in-law, Betty, my official photographer!)

More later...



  1. Daren - amazing!!! Well done. Well done. We are all here in Granby, CO. north of Winter Park enjoying the cool(er) weather, and thought of you a couple times today. Well done on hitting your goal. That's tremendous. Hope to hear more soon. Brian (and Nate and Co.)

  2. Nice job, Daren. You should join me in Chicago in October if you want to take on a new challenge!

  3. Running half marathons in the heat are painful, aren't they? Oh, I have felt your pain before doing them. My first one was in Raleigh when it was 90+ degrees...on gravel for six miles....and at a steady climb at 540 feet. I hit the wall at 10 miles and thought I would collapse! The only thing that pulled me through was a chocolate GU pack.

    Congratulations on your feat! (Or should I say "feet.") Guess I am next! Less than four weeks to go...


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