IronMatt

Please excuse my recent absence from the blogging world. Last week was a big one in the Englehauer household.

On Saturday, my husband, along with 24 other Robin Hood athletes competed in the US Ironman Championships held in New York City.

They don’t call it an “Ironman” for nothing—the race included a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson (that suffered from a sewage leak just days before the race), a 112-mile bike along the Palisades and then a refreshing 26.2-mile run that finishes in Riverside Park. Our athletes posted times ranging from 9 hours and 59 minutes to 15 hours and 48 minutes. All of the athletes were well ahead of the midnight cut off and all crossed the finish line with big smiles across their faces. Matt was no exception.

Matt posted a blistering swim split, 43 minutes, clearly channeling his days as a Bernal’s Gator. He then followed that up with a solid bike, averaging just over 18 mph for the 112 mile ride.

The marathon was definitely the most difficult part of the race – temperatures reached the high 90s, the first 14 miles of the course has an incredible amount of hills and just for fun at mile 17, there were stairs on the George Washington Bridge that you had to run up and down. And to make things even more difficult, Matt’s training consisted of short tempo runs and a 10 mile run in the Hamptons one weekend.

Matt overcame all of this to finish his marathon in 4:40 for a total time of 11:52 (well under his 13 hour goal!)

I was happy to cheer him on the whole way but there was nothing like watching him cross the finish line.

 

So while I am so proud of Matt and all he accomplished on Saturday – let’s not overlook all of the sacrifices I had to make to get him there.

1. For the past 3-4 months, Matt has used the Ironman as an excuse to get out of household duties. “I’m too tired from training to clean up the apartment…. I need to go work out, I don’t have time to cook…. I – I – I” While there is no “I” in team, it isn’t an accident that Iroman starts with the letter I.

2. To cheer on Matt on Saturday, my alarm went off at 3:00am. That’s early people!

3. We had custom-made Robin Hood cowbells for the race.

They were a big hit but I got a  blister from all the ringing. Looks like racing 140.6 isn’t the only thing that can lead to injury (this photo also brings up the fact that I didn’t have time to get a manicure this week with all of the running around I was dong for Matt).

 

So in the end, while I think everyone should be impressed with Matt I would like to ask for a little recognition myself. After all, I am an Ironmate!

I’m a Mooseman!

This past weekend, Matt and I continued our suburban tour — only this time we headed north.

On Friday, we loaded up the car with wetsuits, bikes and running shoes and drove up to the great state of New Hampshire for the Mooseman Half Ironman Triathlon.

We spent Friday night with my parents before heading up to Wellington State Park to check in and attending the athlete meeting. The entire day on Friday, it was pouring rain. Not really ideal conditions for a triathlon. Between the rain and the  insanely fit people all around me, I got ridiculously nervous. But thankfully my fan club of two, Matt and our friend Ryan (who were both racing as well) convinced me that everything was going to be ok and I wasn’t going to come in last. After a long, soggy day and a pasta dinner, we turned in for the night.

Now, I don’t really want to relive all 70.3 miles so here are some highlights.

1. Getting my wetsuit (thanks Jamie) on with only a minor amount of wiggling, pulling and yanking

2. The temperature was right around 60 degrees – sounds cold but it made the 62 degree temperature of the water seem much much warmer.

3. The pouring rain we experienced Friday slowed to a very light drizzle.

4. During the bike, the hills were so steep that my speed dropped down to 2 mph and I almost fell off my bike (but I didn’t!)

5. My feet were numb  from being cold and wet on the bike for 3 hours. During the first two miles of the run I felt like I was running on stumps. But I kept running.

6. The run was painful, but since it was an out and back run that we did twice, I got to see both Matt and Ryan a few times. It is surprising how far a fist pump can get you :)

7. I ran through the finish line with a smile on my face!

While the race wasn’t always pretty and my time wasn’t earth shattering, I was happy with it. Just getting out there and doing it was enough for me. However, for Matt and Ryan, this race is just the beginning… they are both competing in the Ironman US National Championships being held in NYC in August. I’m not going to lie, the thought of doing a race twice that length makes me throw up in my mouth a little. 70.3 is enough for me!

**See a recap of the race by this year’s winner, Alex Mcdonald. Congratulations on your big win!