Friday, August 28, 2009

Update from Steve and a little more

I'm sitting down with my "Tim Hortons - Always Fresh" cup, which I my buddy Big B Gatzke schmoozed out of the Timmy's store on Vancouver Island about 10 years ago on a salmon/steelhead float trip. Figured it was a fitting java holder for my read of Steve's post this am. Sounds like he's got a bit of the pre-race jitters, which I certainly would have if I were swimming 2.4 miles, Biking a hundred and twleve and then tacking on a full marathon. In fact, I think I would be feeling faint, but then again, I have not trained like Steve has, so that would be expected. He's going to do great and show him some support on the FB page with encouraging messages like "Go get 'em Steve" or "I'll guarantee you a spot in the final of the US Open next year if you hit my time." or "If Earl Boykins can play in the NBA, so can you." Of course neither of the last two make any sense if you don't know that early in his sports career Steve excelled at both Tennis and Basketball, and probably would love to be a pro of either, at least a little more than grinding out a gruelling course in the hills of Canada's wine country, but alas he's just a finely tuned grinding machine these days. Of course, if you don't know that Earl Boykins is about 5'6, then you don't get that joke either, but that's OK.

Here's Steve's post from this am...GO GET 'EM buddy!

=====Begin Steve's post======

Penticton, Canada -- Wednesday, August 26, 2009 -- Wow, we’re here.

“Spectacular” is a fine word to describe the drive from Bridal Veil east to Penticton -- one-hundred miles of mountain peaks and rivers . I used up a camera battery shooting blurry pictures through a dirty window while Laura slung the FJ around a million hair-pin turns.

By the way, Canadians don’t have $1.09 per gallon gas or 100 mph speed limits. It just seems that way to people who use the English system of weights and measures. After 2 days in Canada, I realized this when I filled the FJ with 53 gallons of gas. It only held 20 gallons in the U.S.

After stopping at a road-side fruit stand about 30 miles outside Penticton, our route merged with the last 25 miles of the Ironman Canada bike course. I watched as the elevation went from 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet in about 7 miles. At first, when I told Laura we were on the Ironman bike course, she said, “no way, this is too steep. They don’t make you climb mountains in an Ironman.”

I agreed, hopeful that she was right as usual. But even the infallible are sometimes un-right (which is different than “wrong”, a word that I don’t use when speaking of opinions offered by my superiors).

So, if you’re tracking me online and you see my average speed drop from 20+ mph over the first 90 miles, to a speed that makes it appear that I have dismounted the bike and am carrying it up the mountain -- you will know that I have arrived at Yellow Lake Pass.

Penticton, Canada -- Thursday, August 27, 2009

This morning around 8 a.m., I went for a 30 minute swim on the Ironman course. The water is clear, the bottom is soft sand and the water temperature is 70 degrees. If I weren’t visualizing myself being consumed by the violent maelstrom that is the beginning of the Ironman mass swim start, this might have been one of the most peaceful open-water swims I’d ever done. Unfortunately, all I’m thinking about this morning is a strategy for surviving the first 1000 yards of the swim without swallowing gallons of water and a fellow competitor’s fist.

So much physical and organizational effort has gone into preparing for this one day that a person can’t help but to consider all that might go wrong. In Laura’s first Half-Ironman earlier this year, she was kicked in the right eye in the first seconds of the race and had to swim 1.2 miles with the right side of her goggles flooded. In Ironman races, people commonly suffer heat stroke, dehydration, over-hydration, hypothermia, blisters, sunburn and any number of gastric maladies. So preparation is critical. Unfortunately, I’m more known for overcoming my preparational shortcomings than for getting the preparation right in the first place.

This afternoon, Laura introduced me to Philip, a fellow Ironman competitor who is staying at the same B&B as us. Philip is from Frankfurt, Germany, which I’m taking as a sign that someone is sending us army brats a message.

Because Philip and I were both a little nervous about the extent of the climbing we’d be doing on the bike-leg of the race, we threw our bikes on the FJ and drove to the foot of the first long, steep climb at mile 40 -- Richter Pass. The climb was 7 miles long and it took us 30 minutes to climb.

Naturally, the ascent seemed easier than it will during the race. For one, we started at the bottom of the climb, not 40 miles north at the swim-to-bike transition. Neither had we completed a 2.4 mile swim. Nevertheless, we were happy that it wasn’t one of those hills where you’re forced to stand on the pedals and tear your bike to pieces, inching you way to the top.

Tomorrow morning is the underpants run. Pictures to follow, Speedo fans.
============End Steve's post=================

I should be done on that nice light note, but I am re-posting another comment on my string about Mindy Goodin. This type of post is something that I think is important for all who read the blog to see, and if I don't re-post, most who read this blog won't see them. Fortunately, I am notified whenever there is a comment on one of my posts. Here it is:
=====Begin post from Anonymous poster=======

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "OK, this one a long time coming...Mindy...Why?":

Bill, my wife went to see Mindy a few years ago for a chronic fatigue/ achiness/ muscle weakness/ neurologic symptoms. She had already seen neuromuscular specialists in Denver who thought she had a viral illness causing her symptoms. Let me preface this further with saying that I'm an internal medicine doctor. She told my wife to take a whole bunch of different antibiotics for lyme, parasites, and who knows what. I didn't agree with it, but my wife went ahead and took them. No help at all. I talked to some specialists in infectious diseases who said it's all a scam and that nobody who really looks at the case thinks Dr. Martz actually had ALS.

The problem is that scam artists like them take advantage of people who have these vague illnesses (in some cases like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc, which have symptoms which are vague and can be related to any number of things) or established illnesses like ALS where there is no cure, and essentially think it's all the one think they want it to be (and that gets them money). The way she diagnosed illnesses and the treatments she gave are completely random, unfounded, and definitely not based on ANY research (I looked!) If I practiced that way, I'd be guilty of malpractice. I completely understand hoping for a cure, as I had a friend die of ALS at 35.

To anyone reading, I'd also say to put your efforts into finding respectable researchers at good institutions. Fortunately my wife stopped seeing Mindy (but not until we shelled out a lot of $) and fortunately we haven't heard from her since.
=====================End Post=================
My comment: Thank you very much for this post. It is another sad story related to Mindy, and the more I read things like this, the more angry I get about this. I don't have time or space in my heart for any anger right now, at least not any more that tries to creep in on me every day, so I have to let this pass, for now.


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