Diving in the Keys

Diving in the Keys

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I walked this evening and that was my workout

For the second time in about 12 days, I went outside and walked a little more than 1 mile and that was my big workout. This is more of a journal than a blog this time.

I have a life lesson that I have to keep learning over and over. That lesson is seeing a line before I cross it. It is a mental line that I am not allowed to cross in competition. I can not cross a line to try to win an event for no good reason other than winning. This past year has been filled with hard work to finish events to hopefully draw attention to things other than myself because I certainly wasn't winning anything. For people that really know me (and that takes at least 10 years), they know that deep down there is prideful person that really likes to compete. The last time I really went for it, was with my son at the CO state swim championships in March of 2010 to hopefully win as a father/son team and take our own overall titles and create a memory together. We did it and it was a memory that I would go back to Over and Over and Over again over the next year for various reasons and at various times.

Father & Son High Point Winners at the CO State Swimming Championships Spring 2010

The Spoils
Leading up to that, I was able to renew and strengthen several relationships through swimming and by making the promise to show up if others would too. That got me to the point physically of being able to make this special memory with Michael.


This was right before I signed up for the Ironman as a diabetic knowing that the schedule would include one event after another guaranteed to kicked my butt with a "finish" hopefully waiting at the end. With that year behind me, I forgot to watch out for my inner competitor. As I was training with friends and getting ready for their first half Ironman on Sept 11th, I signed up for the AquaBike since my feet are probably fried for life in the area of running (or at least I hope so ;->). As the event approached, I started looking a little too much at previous results in my age group. I starting checking my times against the previous splits. If I found a weakness, I hammered it. I got my open water time down to right at 25 minutes for 1.2 miles but I still needed to nail the bike and that needed to average 22-23 mph over 56 miles or I couldn't take my age group. I then called and reserved a carbon fiber disk and Zipp 808 front rim to "rent speed" for the day. I think that is when I crossed the line. Anyway, I am finishing where I started. My big exercise today was an evening walk which is the limit of my physical abilities right now and that's okay. I just hope that I can find something noble to do before I start do Masters swimming again ;->.

I don't need any feedback, I just needed to journal this and get this out.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Tribute to Mark Cancel - Please Read

I haven't blogged in awhile but I have to blog now because I have a lot on my mind at a critical juncture in my life. This blog is dedicated to Mark Cancel and the power of God when allowed to work through the life of one individual who is sold out.

I met Mark Cancel more than 20 years ago and due to some unfortunate circumstances, he has become my absolute best friend during this stage in my life. Mark is leaving September 1st to move permanently to Lokichoggio, Kenya and my last opportunity to see him before he leaves is Tuesday. Mark is very humble and underspoken. Mark just retired as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force and has served our country with honor in some very dangerous situations. He and his brother, Mike, have been money transfer agents in times of war and conflict. I fully intend to also get to know Mike very well in the future. It was during one of Mark's deployments that his wife decided to start dating which eventually ended in Mark being single for the rest of his life. Mark was already a very close friend at that time but that moved him from friend to family and my children know him as family and is always a part of Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays. He has always been there for me in the best and worst of times over the past 20 years. 

Mark isn't perfect and he is downright goofy sometimes. He was raised in a military family and moved around the world as he supported the service of his family. Mark will tell you that he is probably a sober addict and he hit a point in his early 20's where he was either going to go straight down the toilet in Austin,TX or he had to make a change. He reached out to God but didn't really know how to. He asked his Mom what to do and she suggested that he find a church and just go. He did that and knew that something was different there and that he wanted what everyone else there had. He looked at the schedule and tried to show up to everything. This part is cool and funny to me. Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me (Jesus) draws him to me". Mark was being "drawn" and he walked into a group that was about to go out to meet with people in the church with various needs. I can just see them praying, "Oh God, help us to be open to your leading to however you want to use us today" and then a 20 yr old Mark knocks on the door to see what they were doing. Needless to say, they didn't leave that night because God had a special delivery for them. 

Let's fast forward now. Mark is retired/retiring from the military and is being drawn again to God's calling to help meet a critical need for water in Northern Kenya and Southern Sudan. Upon retirement, the military will move you once to your permanent location. For Mark, that location is Africa. He is team with Mike Vincent, an architect and builder from Colorado who has also abandoned the comforts of America to serve people in desperate need of water. Their primary purpose will be drilling and repairing water wells for the Turkana people group. His group is called Gospeltecture:

Gospeltecture News 

Mark and Mike have an ability given to them by God because neither are married or have families and can therefore fully dedicate to this mission. The Bible is true when it states in  1st Corinthians 7:32-34, "I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. " Most people can not do that and that is a gift from God to be able to truly honor God with a wholesome life as a single man.

Mark has been worked with the Turkana people several times on several trips and knows that this is what God has for him. He has planned his finances such that he can do this on his retirement pay and all donations to the organizations can go straight to serving the people in need.

Turkana People of Kenya - In another world of another time

Mark and Mike Enjoying Time with the Turkana People
When Mark arrives in Kenya, he and Mike will be driving for 3 days to get to their location.

Merille & Turkana Tribes Kill for Water and Cattle

Moving to LOKICHOGGIO, Kenya

As I have finished up a year of training and outreach to diabetics, it struck me last night that it is okay to risk your life as long as the motivation is honorable and not self serving. If your risk gives others life here and after this physical death then that is an incredibly honorable and noble purpose. If it is to draw attention to yourself and prove how great you are then that seems like quite a waste. God knew the number of our days on earth before we were born. Let's use them in an honorable fashion! It may seem that Mark is taking a risk and that may be true from our perspective. From God's perspective, our lives are in His hands and nothing is going to change what God has for us. Why not be inspired by people stepping out and take some risks for HIM?

I have had the privilege of meeting some of Mark's family like his Mom and sister. His sister died suddenly earlier this year which was a tragedy that opened up some really special moments and relationships between Mark and his brother and between Mark and his father and his uncle. I have a Sushi dinner date planned with his brother on October 12th and I hope to get to know Mark's Mom and Dad better in the future. Mark got to build a relationship with my Dad the last 7 years of my Dad's life and I hope to do the same with Mark's family.

Mark with his Mom in San Antonio

Mark, his Dad, Hector and his brother, Mike
 I don't know everything about Mark's family but I do know that through the tragedy of his sister's death this year, relationships have been restored. Mark loves his Mom dearly and considers his Dad a very brave man at a very deep level.

My Favorite Photo of Mark - This hunting trip was a birthday adventure gift for him

A Song to Live By! - Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Lose, Nothing to Hide

I talked a lot about God and being a Christian. Let me end with this as you try to comprehend why Mark is doing what he is doing:

Our Problem:
"All people have sinned and will be punished for that by God" Romans 3:23
The Solution:
Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins that God requires. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".
How is this different than any other religions? 
Other Religions: Most other religions are trying to earn their righteousness and earn their way to heaven and God through their own good efforts.
Christianity: Christianity understands that everyone is sinful and we rely on the righteousness of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. If we acknowledge our sins, accept Christ's sacrifice for payment of our sins and let God take control of our lives then we have the hope of heaven and a personal relationship with God.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Copy & Paste - Hey, Its a blog

I haven't blogged in awhile so I thought that I would get started again with this article that I was asked to write and copy it here to cheat. I figured since I plan to start hammering the open water swimming and cycling again that I should also start blogging again. 
My name is Brian Phelps and I am a 46 year old type 1 diabetic who is also taking meds for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression (bye bye HIPPA). My Mom and both of my brothers also had type 1 diabetes and my Mom and oldest brother have died from the complications of the disease. I have always enjoyed swimming and I try to swim at least once each week with friends. In 2008 I noticed that the scale was gradually and continually showing weight gain. Although I was a fast sprint swimmer and “my friends” thought that that I was in good shape, I knew different. I decided to make a change. I lost about 40 lbs from the summer of 2008 to the summer of 2009 and have managed to keep the weight off by small daily habit changes. I would encourage everyone to take a realistic assessment of where you are physically and find someone, WHO IS HONEST (not polite), to evaluate your assessment. Most people are overweight and really need to do something about it.

Getting Started:
1)      Learn how to read – labels.
a.       Fats (saturated & trans = bad)
b.      Protein (generally a good thing)
c.       Carbohydrates (minimize the grams of sugars)
d.      Just for free – Cholesterol in food doesn’t cause cholesterol in you, saturated fat does. Eggs are almost perfect as a food and should not be avoided because of the old wives tale that they cause cholesterol.
2)      Sign up for a sporting event to compete in, pay money for that event and ask other people to come watch you. Fear is a powerful motivator.
3)      Ask to join others that are already exercising or ask someone else to join you in your adventure. You need this for accountability, to develop friendships and to open ministry opportunities.
4)      Check vitamin levels
a.       Vitamin D – at least 3000 IU’s per day.
b.      A good multivitamin
c.       Fish oil pills
5)      Stretch – old people like me really need to stretch everyday to avoid a blowout
6)      Work activity into your habits. For my daily prayer time, I now walk the dogs for about 1 mile and have been doing so for several years now.
7)      Pray for discipline – no big buts (but I am diabetic, but I am busy, but I am not an athlete, etc.)

One of my friends was about 60 lbs overweight and started working out and setting goals. He asked me what I thought he should weigh and I told him maybe 180 lbs or so. His overweight response was, “I will look emaciated at 180 lbs”. I said, “Okay, then shoot for breaking 200 lbs”. Now that he is around 200 lbs, I thoroughly enjoy telling him how emaciated he looks - NOT ;->. He is now shooting for about 180 lbs for his ultimate goal and he has signed up for several endurance events to keep him going. In America, it is very easy to feel okay about being unhealthy and overweight. I was on a plane once with someone from Norway and he was commenting on the portion sizes (and people sizes) in America and how large they both were. He was asking me how people can possibly eat that much. Treat this like an alcoholic treats an addiction. Get accountable. Find someone else who struggles and is winning and join them. It doesn’t do an alcoholic any good to ask another drunk at the bar if they think they are drinking too much.

I will never, repeat never, do this again but here is what I have done as an outreach to the diabetic community this past year. Because I had dropped 40 lbs and was in decent shape, I agreed to be a national captain for Triabetes which meant that I agreed to train hard for one year and attempt the toughest Ironman course in the world this past May. During this year, I had the opportunity to speak to over 200 children with diabetes at an American Diabetes Association camp (and get to again this year), I have made friends with hundreds of other diabetics and their families across the country and had the privilege to mentor kids with diabetes. My job was to inspire other diabetics to get out and dominate their disease, to educate them how to do it and have them explore their perceived boundaries of what they can do. This has given me opportunities that I would have never had before and these opportunities continue to present themselves almost daily.

I have never been able to run well and I will probably never run in a race again. The farthest that I had ever run in my life prior to 2010 was 3 miles. 
During this training process, I attempted and finished the following events (slow but finished):
Bolder Boulder 10k run (6.2 mile run - 5/2010), Olympic Rattlesnake Triathlon (1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run - 8/2010), 100 mile bike ride in Tour de Cure (8/2010), Full Marathon – Denver Rock & Roll (26.2 mile run - 10/2010), Half Marathon in Carlsbad, CA (13.1 mile run - 1/2011), Ironman California (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run – 3/2011), Full Ironman in St George, Utah (2.4  mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run – 5/2011).

Guess what? I still need to take meds for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression and I don’t have six-pack abs (not even close). I also feel great and can take on any invitation for an adventure knowing that I am fit enough to enjoy myself. I have developed very close friendships that continue to expand as others join in on the fun. Don’t neglect how this new journey of yours can open up new opportunities and allow you to be a part of completely new friend groups. You can practice with a Masters swim team, join a local running group, join a local cycling group, join an adult soccer team, join a walking group, etc.. Don’t let anything, including your pride stop you (remember no big buts). If you ever want to go on a bike ride, do a lake swim or fish with me, just ask.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Phelps Race Report - Ironman St George

I will be posting two different blogs. This one is the race report and the next one will be a recap of the past year. I feel that I can do the race report but the summary blog will probably take two days to process all of the emotions.

I will start by saying that I received great advice prior to the race from several people that had the same theme - "stay in the moment" and look up and enjoy the scenery. Don't think about the entire race because it will overwhelm you.

Stats: High temp was 95 degrees with basically no humidity and 25 mph winds. Thank you Lord for letting me be born and raised in the Central San Joaquin valley where I had 18 years of heat training!

2000 signed up for the race, 1650 decided to start the race and just over 1300 finished. I believe that there were about 300 men in my age group and 141 finished the race. I burned about 12,000 calories during race day.

Swim - 1hr 3 min - Water temp 58 degrees:
This was very enjoyable. I got in the front row of the mass start and everyone there just wanted a smooth start with clear water in front of us. My blood sugar was 117 at the start and 137 at the finish one hour later. I felt very strong in the swim and was surprised by my time because I expected it to be under 1 hr but I was still pleased. The front row of swimmers were all very experienced and about the same speed. This was great except that we were all aiming straight for the first turnaround buoy 1000 yds away which created a very crowded pinch point. I did have people trying to draft on me (which is legal). That was fine until they started to mess with my feet. I then would kick very hard as a warning and then kick straight back if they were still messing with my kick. I only connected one time. We lost one teammate from the swim who missed the cutoff by 1 min. That wasn't really fair because he was in a crowd that was still standing on land when the cannon went off.

Transition 1 - 12min:

Bike - 7hrs 29min - 6972 total elevation gain:
I enjoyed the bike but was waiting for my teammate, Daniel, to pass me since he is such a strong rider. I never saw any teammate and that had me concerned. The bike ended up causing problems for 4 teammates with one crash/concussion, two heat exhaustions and one trip to the ER with very high blood sugar level from dehydration. He started to blackout and he knew a DKA (very dangerous) was coming. My heart rate stayed good between 129 and 140 (with one spike to 150). My blood sugar started at 143 and edged up to 158 before dropping into a range of 80 - 140 for the remaining 7 hrs. My maximum speed was 51 mph. I was very conscious of the heat and drank like a madman consuming 180 ozs of liquid and never had to pee. Overall, I enjoyed the ride and felt good although it did numb up a fairly large area that stayed numb until Sunday morning. There were a lot of ambulances on the bike route. I know that at least three were crashes but I believe most was from the heat. I did have to walk a bit twice on the second loop. I would have normally pushed through but I knew that I had a long day in front of me on the run. I hit with insulin 4 times with 2 units of Novalog each time. I took in about 1400 calories on the ride including two Snickers bars. I took in pure carbs at first and started the electrolytes about 3 hrs in. I also used Perpetuem throughout the ride. I took my first Advil at 1 hr into the ride and continued taking one every two hrs until I reached the max of 800 mg and kept that level through the run. I knew that could damage my kidneys but I had to avoid the inflammation in my feet for the run.

Transition 2 - 17 minutes:

Run - 7hrs 49 min - 2495 ft total elevation gain:
When I finished the bike, I knew that I had just less than 8 hrs to finish the race and kept very close tabs on the time. I was on a fine line between going fast enough to finish but not too fast get into trouble. My heart rate stayed ranged from 97 to 131 bpm. My blood sugar at the start was 97 but started to rise immediately as I started to run. I knew that it was probably dehydration so I drank as much as I could at each aid station. I hit insulin 3 times within the first 15 miles (4 units, 4 units and 2 units) because I was trying to fuel heavy. At mile 7 or so my right foot was really hurting and I knew that would happen so I had acquired Xylocaine prior to arriving in Utah and I had to inject that into the ball of my foot at the pain point in a porta-potty twice. Again, I know that this was risky but this was going to stop me if I couldn't solve it. The pavement was also so hot that I had to look for the lightest colored pavement to run on because the heat was coming right through my shoes. I swapped for full syringes when I got to the run special needs bag at about mile 12. This is where I made a BIG mistake by forgetting one step. I forgot to test with the meter in the bag to calibrate my Dexcom. Running is very hard on me and my Dexcom can get confused by the way my body reacts. Anyway, the CGM was floating in the low to mid 200's which ended up being an error that would have been corrected with a meter calibration (which I did do out of the water and off the bike - both were dead on with the Dexcom). It was now dark and I start to head up Red Hills Parkway. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't hold a straight line and why I felt like I was going to pass out. That was when an angel named John Moore found me and asked if I was okay. I said "yes" and he got within 6 inches of my face and asked me about my blood sugar level. I told him and he flat out said that it was wrong and that I was low and needed to eat like a madman at the next aid station. The Triabetes tent was at a location that I saw them 8 times which was amazing and Triabetes made a huge impact on all the athletes and the Ironman staff. My triabuddy, Zyler, and our son, Michael, tried to stay with me as much as possible. Michael was my unofficial coach and I think that he felt personally responsible to get me to the finish line. I frightened my peeps by pushing the limits of becoming an Ironman but I did it with about 10 minutes to spare. I thought that I finished with my arms raised powerfully with my needle and CGM in my hands but I looked more like a zombie in Night of the Living Dead. There were points in the race that everyone that passed me put their hand on my back and asked if I was okay and if I needed help. I had already stated that I was going to finish or die trying. Apparently I looked like I was going to die instead of finishing at certain points during the run course. My blood sugar (tested) at the end was 107.

Thanks and I am so glad that this is done ;-> Now its off to fishing next week

YouTube Link to the Video of My Finish at Ironman St George

Me with my wife after the finish
Our family, Michael (son 23), Michelle (daughter 18), Me, Pam, Melissa (daughter 20), Megan (daughter almost 15)

Very Blessed to have a huge crowd of friends and family that came to St George to share this moment with me

Brian Phelps

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Nearing the End

It is now less than two weeks before the start on Ironman St George. I drive one week from tomorrow to St George to get ready for the event and get acclimated. I really am hoping for warmer weather because I am tired of being cold.

I finished my last round of hard workouts with a 2.4 mile straight swim Friday, a 5hr 15 min ride on Saturday and a 10 mile run today (which sucked as normal). I have a swim tomorrow before getting a day off Tuesday. Wednesday I have a triple swim/bike/run then get on a plane for Jacksonville for a sales call on my off day. Friday I have another strong workout day followed by a 90 minute deep athletic massage from hell.
I posted this on Facebook and also want it here because it is important to me this Easter. 15 years ago, on Easter morning, my Dad & I were in an unfamiliar church numb and sad. My Mom died a few hours earlier (she was 73) as the result of T1 diabetes complications. Christ dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and then arising again victorious over sin & death was very real. On that Easter morning, my Mom's faith became sight and it was a great resurrection day celebration for her! That thought got me a bit emotional today during church. I really enjoyed church today, the celebration, the message and sharing it with friends.
I am the perfect example of the game in Sesame Street, "One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong". This is the end of my endurance journey. I love swimming and I have learned to love cycling. I have also learned that I have no business running. Whether I finish Ironman or not, this year has been amazing. I have literally met hundreds of diabetic athletes and have had to opportunity to make an impact on a few and make some lifelong friends. If I don't finish, an ambulance will be involved because I am very OCD about finishing things that I start. I am amazed by my fellow captains and the barriers and challenges that they have busted through this year. They are an inspiration and I appreciate them letting me pretend to be in the endurance crowd for this year.
Follow the excitement and carnage on Saturday May 7th. My bib number is 1553 and you should be able to follow me at:   
Ironman Live Tracking - Bib#1553
Thanks and it was an amazing ride
Brian Phelps

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apex Training Weekend Finished - Taper Begins

I will start by saying that I have enjoyed this journey and it has been healing for me. I have met hundreds of new friends in the active diabetic community and am encouraged every day by them. It seems like I meet someone new on every training ride and every swim.

This apex training weekend started on Friday with a 4000 meter straight swim in a pool with my wetsuit on. My buddy, Steve, went with me and did 2000 straight himself. Ironman is a 4000 yd swim so this was approximately 4400 yds. I did it right around 58 minutes and it felt good. I pushed the last 1000 meters. After the swim, a young man swam over and ask me to watch his technique. His name is Sam and is training as a special ops para-swimmer. I LOVE coaching technique and he had good technique but I was able to give him some tips on increasing endurance. That felt really good.

Saturday started at 6:10am for a 114 mile ride on my bike which had 6800 feet of total climbing. I met up with Steve at mile 9 and met up with Joel at mile 28. Steve turned around at mile 34.5 and ended at 69 miles (a new record for him). I told him that I had to run for 30 minutes right after my ride so he promised to do the same and he did it!

My riding buddies, Steve & Joel
Steve, Joel and I met up with a new friend, Stacy, at Steve's turnaround point. She completed Ironman St George last year and gave me some great inside information including a look that could kill when I asked her if she was doing it again. The simple answer was "NO!!!". Joel & I continued on and he veered off to go to his son's track meet and set a new distance record for him at 18 miles. Steve & Joel are both signed up a half Ironman distance triathlon in September.

Once Joel split off, I had to figure out how to get to the base of Lookout Mountain. Fortunately, Stacy caught up with me and she was also going to do the Lookout Mtn climb for the first time and she knew how to get there which was a great help to me. I took a longer break to check BG and eat and Stacy went on up the hill.

My tour guide to the base of Lookout Mtn - Stacy
This is the mountain that beat me when I moved from Visalia to Golden, CO to attend Colorado School of Mines. A roommate who biked noticed that I also had a bike and asked me to do Lookout Mtn with him. I accepted but should have taken a clue from being exhausted just walking around campus at 6000ft after living at 300ft for 18 years. I started up the mountain with him and got very dizzy after a 1 or so and turned around and went back to the dorm. I never attempted it again until today (28 years later). It felt good to beat it without stopping once. I took all the photos while riding.

The start of the ride to the top of Lookout Mtn where the signal tower is at the top. 1350 vertical climbing in 5 miles
This is a view of my college campus in the foreground with the Coors Brewing facility in the background all in Golden, CO.

View of Golden, CO

This view shows how much elevation was gained in just about 1.5 miles

A long way down
A view from my bike as a hit the snowline

A view from the top!!! Very satisfying

It was an amazingly fun ride. I put in more climbing than the St George course so I felt good until I found out that my teammate, Christian, put in 12,000 ft of climbing the same day. The worst part was that I had to miss my Triabubby, Zyler, test for his Blue Belt in Krav Maga which he passed!

Now on to Sunday, short and well short (not sweet). I ran 16 miles, two laps around Aurora reservoir. Starting temp 51, ending temp 43. I fought off a low at the beginning. The cold front came through and blew like crazy for 80% of the run and I froze the whole time but I finished. It snowed a bit and then rained a bit and ended with a nice sunset.

This was the hardest weekend and we taper down from this point. I am ready, mentally, to get this thing done.


Brian Phelps

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Break - New Start - Ironman CA Report + SWAT Team

I had a fantastic and tiring week. It started last Friday & Saturday with the Masters State swim meet with my son and daughter. Sunday I ran, went to church and then loaded up and drove to St George on the way to California. Monday morning, I got up early with our son to swim Sand Hollow and check the water temp. Air temp was 40 degrees, the water was calm and 46 degrees. I did swim 1/2 mile and it caused a ice cream-like brain freeze. It also made my feet numb and made walking on rocks very difficult:

We then drove into the San Joaquin valley where I was born and raised and where our son would be starting the next phase of his life. We stayed in Exeter and I got a nice bike ride in on Tuesday with memories flooding my mind from my childhood. This is me on Rocky Hill overlooking my homeland

We finished Tuesday by visiting Sequoia National Park. Wednesday was busy with a 70 minute run and a 30 minute swim in Lake Kaweah. We finished the day playing baseball with family. This is a photo of me with Daniela who is one of my Triabetes cheering squad:

Photo of two more San Joaquin Valley cheerleaders, Brynn & Braelyn:

We left for Oceanside, CA after a stop to have dinner with more family in Bakersfield. Thursday we made it to the beach by Noon in time for me to check in for Ironman California - a 70.3 half. The girls enjoyed boogieboarding and I joined them in the water on Friday.

I had a great meal with two fellow captains and a triabuddy and his Dad at Pelly's.

Rohto 70.3 Ironman California Race Report:

The day started out with a near disaster in more than one way. We were awoken at 3:55pm by the Carlsbad SWAT team telling us to evacuate our rooms silently and immediately. I explained my situation and they let me grab my bike and race gear. I wasn't going to argue with armed SWAT carrying percussion grenades.

News Feed on Arrest in Room Next to Ours in Oceanside

Note that we found from the Carlsbad PD when we got back to our room after the race:

SWIM: I ate a lot of fruit for breakfast with some yogurt and coffee. PRP was successful. My BG was 140 at the start of the swim and 161 at the end of the swim which I hit with 1 unit of Novalog. I did the 1.2 mile swim in 29 minutes which was 11th out of 307 in my age group. Water was upper 50's. My transition was 8min52sec and I was very careful not to forget anything. I did put on my riding shorts and riding jersey which had my Dexcom receiver, food and insulin. I also had one bottle of Hammer Perpetuem and one bottle of eFuel. I drank a lot of water at transition.

BIKE: It was overcast skies and windy on the ride. My BG's were good and when it got to 151, I gave myself 2 units of Novalog in the thigh. At mile 29 I had some small sore or cramping muscles so I took 4 Advil. I continued to fuel as much as my body would take and finished the last 7 miles with 60 grams of glucose tabs knowing what happens to me on the runs. I was slow on the flats and slight uphills and fast on the steep uphills and downhills. The strong wind hit on almost every downhill which was discouraging. I stayed within myself for the whole bike with an average HR of 132 and a peak of 153. My lactic threshold is 141 which I stayed under except for the steepest of climbs. My time was slow at 3hrs37mins but I felt good and got stronger throughout the bike. This put me at 167 out of 307 in my age bracket. Here are a set of graphs showing my BG, Speed, Elevation and Heart Rate during the ride:

RUN:  The run is the run and is my nemesis. I was fairly steady at 13 min miles for awhile with some short stops to stretch my hams and calves. I also walked each aid station where I took water. The base of my middle toe of my left foot became increasingly painful. At mile 9, I had a very enjoyable conversation with another type 1 who asked me how my diabetes was treating me on the day. His name was Jeff and was from the DC area. We are now friends on Facebook - awesome. At mile 11, I had to walk for a longer stretch to get the pressure off of my toe. I actually tweeted my situation. Right after that, I was able to run again and I am very thankful to my friends who later told me that they were praying for me to finish after they learned of my race situation. My "run" was 3hrs 1min. Here are the graphs for my run:

Overall, I finished with a time of 7hrs 22 min which was 204 out of 307 with 1hr 8min left until the cutoff. I have a great deal of respect for these long races. I really concentrated on fueling and my BG's. I nailed both. My biggest threat, once again, was my feet. If I take my result, double it and add 1 hour, that would put me at a finish of 16 hours at Ironman St George with only one hour to spare for a finish. I have to fix my toe sensitivity before Ironman St George. 

As we were packing up to leave, a man named Craig pulled up with a bike on his Jeep. I assumed he was in the race. He asked me how the race went and told me that he was a part of the SWAT operation that morning. We had a great conversation and he asked for my contact info to follow our team's progress through Ironman St George. Our group then got in the van and drove to St George for the night. The next morning I swam the lake again and measured the temp. It was mid 80's in St George all week and it was very windy churning the water. I measured a water temp of 55 and it was noticeably warmer. The rangers said that the water was already warmer than last year's Ironman. We then drove home to Denver.


Brian Phelps

My Finishing Medal and a T-Shirt I bought at Sand Hollow Reservoir in St George, Utah