It might be the British accent. I'm not sure. But whatever it is, chicks dig Phil Liggett. Cheri is one of those chicks, and Thursday she got a chance to meet him at the Saris Gala. The event started at 6, but we didn't show up til a little after 7. We registered and immediately ran into Mark and the gang. As we were talking to them, someone pointed out that Phil was wandering around. Immediately, Cheri headed straight toward Phil for a picture. As soon as she got close to him, she got nervous and turned into a bumbling idiot. She got a couple of pictures with him, they talked a little and then Phil headed on his way. Then he turned around, came back, grabbed Cheri's hand and off they went. Everyone looked at me and said, "You should be worried." Luckily (for me) they didn't make it too far before Phil was mobbed by people wanting pictures and eventually Cheri returned to the group. I'm sure I'll be hearing about Phil for the next few weeks (years). Hey, there are worse men to lose a girl to.
Later in the evening, Phil got on stage and spoke for about an hour. He's very entertaining...and a little feisty. Afterwards, I hung around to get a picture with Phil too...
Then, as we were leaving Cheri noticed Robbie Ventura was just hanging around and suggested we get a picture with him. After getting a photo, we were ready to leave...but then Robbie asked us what kind of riding we do. Then the conversation turned to triathlons and the Ironman. We talked to Robbie for about 10-15 minutes. He's planning on doing Ironman Canada, so we talked about the Ironman for a while. It was a fun conversation. Robbie is really cool and down to earth. He's also really motivating (good trait for a trainer) because he's so excited and passionate about cycling and triathlons.
All in all, it was a very fun evening. Saris does a good job with the Gala, and they raised about $60K for the Bike Federation of Wisconsin. Very cool. I'm looking forward to next year. I wonder who the guest will be. Bob Roll?
On the training front...yesterday was a tough day. I did the Ironman loop again and tore it up. 56 miles in just under 3 hours. That's the first time I've ridden the route in under 3 hours without aero bars. I ended with an 18.8 average, which I was very happy with since a good part of the last 20 miles or so were into a strong headwind. I pushed really hard and stayed focused the whole ride. I wish I had my power meter because I'm curious what my average watts were. Right after the ride I went for a 3 mile run with Cheri. This is when it became painfully clear that I didn't eat and drink enough on the bike. I bonked hard...immediately. By immediately, I mean the first 1/4 mile. Those were the toughest 3 miles I've ever run. I was barely moving and wanted to quit. I had no food with me and was craving sugar big time. Cheri wouldn't let me quit and kept me moving til the end. I managed a 9:38 pace, and I'm really glad I had Cheri with me to keep me going. Alone, I may have quit and walked home to make a pig out of myself. It was a great workout, but I need to get my nutrition under control.
Hitting the wall like that on a 3 mile run makes you wonder why you signed up for an Ironman. When I got home, I ate everything in sight, layed in the middle of the floor and declared, "there is no way I'm going to finish the Ironman." Even after getting a good night's sleep and recovering from the workout, I'd say it's about 50/50 on me finishing. I have a friend who's barely going to train for this thing, and I think he has a better shot at finishing. He'll be slow and steady and keep making progress toward the finish. I'll go all out and explode on the run and get taken to the medical tent. 50/50. But I wouldn't have it any other way.