Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Iron Furnace Canoe Expedition

Last Sat. we took a break from school work to go canoeing. Thanks to Dan for supplying the canoes and organizing the trip. We paddle/floated down 5.8 miles of the deep river in NC and stopped along the way to visit the Endor Iron Furnace, a civil war era relic that was used to produce cannonball for the confederate army. Here is the trip video, enjoy.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

You are an Ironman

We did it. Team Norsa members Adam Domanski and Alan Stewart...You are Ironmen. I am finally able to post due to some computer problems. Here goes.

We left for Louisville around 1pm on Thursday and arrived to the friendly greeting of David Wicks also known as PaddleMaker on watertirbe and a multiple time EC finisher. He graciously offered his basement to 5 crazy college studnets. Thanks for everything David. Our party consisted of Adam and myself, my girlfriend Taylor, fellow EOTW crew member Anna Blount and Julie who flew out to Louisville on Sat. Both Adam's and my parents and sister also made it out to the race to cheer us on.

Before we left Raleigh we created the first official "NORSA Mobile". It was a great success and Team Norsa rode in style all weekend.

Master painter Taylor applies tape to the NORSA Mobile


We spent friday checking in at the Galt House Hotel signing our lives away and receiving our race bags and information packets. We couldn't help but notice that there was not nearly as much swag as we thought there would be for the athletes but we took advantage of what was there and Taylor and Anna took full advantage of the large magic markers and made some beautiful signs to cheer us on. Afterward we walked the streets of downtown and spent some time at the world-fest just a few blocks down with live music and beer. Later we walked down to the swim finish and took a look at the transition area before heading back to the hotel to attend one of the pre-race briefings which was very informative but also somewhat intimidating. There was definatety no turning back.

A side note: while driving around on friday and saturday we enjoyed watching the serious looking racers running or biking around obviously getting in that one last ride or whatever. We especially enjoyed yelling out the window..."SAVE IT FOR SUNDAY!!"

Later Friday night we readied our official Team Norsa Jerseys and also managed to get in a night paddle on the creek just behind Davids house. Anna, Taylor and Adam piled into the multiple EC finishing Pygmy triple kayak that David built and David and I paddled single kayaks. We went about 3 miles total down the river navigating around logs and trees and spiders and had a great time. I'll bet we were the only Ironman competitors that went paddling that night.

OOOooo free sign making!

Horaay for world-fests



We slept in and then drove over the transition area in the great lawn to drop off our bikes at the mandatory bike drop off and gear bag check in. We were not able to get to our gear bags after this so we had to be ready the day before. After dropping off our bikes and gear we went back to the galt house to pick up a few more signs for Julie and ourselves and then it was off to the airport to pick Julie up.

With a few hours to kill we drove the 12 mile run loop through downtown and then North around LaGrange around the bike out and back and along the LaGrange loop just so we knew what we were in for. We came to the somewhat useless conclusion that this was going to be hard.

Later we finally met up with my parents and sister and Adam's parents at Carrabas and had a great pre-race meal and got to bed around 10ish.

Race Day!
Up at 4:30am. Adam and I redied our final special food bags and donned our swimsuits. We piled in the Norsa Mobile and headed to the Transitions area to pump up the tires and turn in our special needs bags. My parents where there watching which was awesome. We walked to the swim start (about 15 min away), went to the bathroom and waited in line for the elietes to start. Then the groupers. And there we were shuffling toward the end of the dock. There was definately no turning back now. Ironman Louisville is the only Ironman so far to use time tirals starting for the swim as oposed to a mass start. This made the swim infinately less crowded and even enjoyable. A side note is that the finish times don't account for your actual start time so you have to subtract the offset from the final time.

Getting our heads in the game. Waiting in line for the time trials start.

The swim went by very fast. I was out of the water just ahead of Adam but he was out of T1 before me and I never even saw him until around mile 20 of the bike when I led him for about 15 min. I didn't see him again until the first our and back of the run. I felt good throughout the bike except for a little twinge in my knee that went away after a few miles and didn't bother me again.
I kept reminding myself to focus on nutrition and downed goos and powerbars like it was my job. I met my goal bike time of around 7 hours. averaging about 16mph. Adam was about 20 min ahead at T2.

Coming into T2.

The run was shit hard. First was over the bridge in to Indiana and back. I was glad to have a heart rate monitor on as it warned me on several occasions to back the *%$# off in the first 3 or 4 miles with a loud beep beep beep. I listened. It was very hot. about 93 degrees and the best thing in the world was ice cold sponges squeezed all over me. I put sponges under my hat and stuffed ice cubes in my armpits at every aid station for the first 5 miles until I felt ok.

Adam begins the

Alan begins the

We both ran/walked the marathon. I walked through every aid station and sometimes then some. But I never walked competely from one to the next. I saw adam on the first out and back and again on the second out and back. I felt the best on the marathon in the last 5 miles when I knew it was almost over and I KNEW I was going to make it. Having a massive fan club there cheering us on was easily the best part of the whole race.

Adam Domanski...You are an Ironman

Alan Stewart...You are an Ironman

Finish without injury...check
Finish somwhere around 14 hours...close enough...check

Alan's Stats
Adam's Stats

Post Race:
Having everyone there at the finish line was amazing. Knowing that you didn't let them down and everyone cheering you one and yelling for you was incredible. After I got out of the finish zone I felt a little weird and said "i think I'll feel better if I go throw up now" and then I did. Into a trash can. Yeah it was hard core. They took me to the medical tent where I proceeded to feel ok and then not so good again and finally was given an IV and took an hour long nap. When I woke up I felt 100 times better and ended up staying with the rents that night in the hotel while Adam, Julie, Taylor and Anna went back to David's place. Monday was a day of driving and recounitng tales on the course. And tuesday we proudly wore our finishers t-shirts for all to see.