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Yesterday was hard. I began my swim workout precisely at 7:00 a.m., the time when 250 miles to the east, the cannon sounded to start Ironman Wisconsin for the first time without me. After swimming and running, I spent much of my day glued to the computer or to my cell phone, catching updates on friends racing and on my family who attended to cheer our friends on. I spoke with my sister, Lynn, no less than 12 or 15 times and watched videos that she shot with her cell phone. At 4:30 p.m., I could take no more and went out for a ride to further adjust my new bike. For my day’s swim, bike and run, I imagined myself out on the familiar IMW course on the perfect day that it was. Once back, I stayed close to the computer, checking friends’ results, watching finishers come down the chute. All the while, I had this urgent sense that I was missing out on something of which I needed to be a part. Once a couple of my friends finished at around 13 hours, ten minutes, I tried to relax but I kept dwelling on having missed a perfect day – and time with my family. (Cue U2 here to sing, “It’s a Beautiful Day,” the Ironman anthem.)

Today, I woke up early to get my workout done so that I had plenty of time to park myself in front of the computer. At 8:00 a.m., I got rooms at the Hilton Monona Terrace for Ironman Wisconsin on September 8, 2013. At 12:00 noon during my lunch hour, I registered for my 11th IMW.

At this stage of preparation for Kona, I am little more than gristle and bone with some pretty stringy bits of muscle stretched here and there. Heaven only knows what dragging my scrawny bottom across the lava fields north of Kona will do to what’s left of me. All I know right now is this: IMW 2013? I’m in.

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