Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kona Inspiration....


Most, if not all of you that read this blog, know what happened yesterday. It was a day that most triathletes wait for... and some dream about throughout the year... the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI! I'm not much of a sports fanatic. Football? Eh. Baseball. Eh. Basketball. Boooooring. However, when it comes to triathlon... I'm obsessive! Thanks to live audio and video feeds we're all able to tap into and watch as this amazing event unfolds. SO... at 7 am I was logged into the computer. By 7:10 am I had signed up to have text message updates sent to my cell phone throughout the day telling me a particular athlete's progress. I had a soccer game to coach in the morning and then, being season ticket holders, K and I were committed to watching the Oregon Ducks beat the crap out of the WA state Cougars (Duck football is the one exception to following sports outside of the endurance world).

Like I said, I had text messages updating me. I also had Gilad at Life Cycle giving me updates! That was really cool! THANKS Gilad! The BEST updates came from my coach Matt Lieto! Matt had been in HI for the past couple of weeks training with his brother Chris Lieto and helping get ready for the stellar performance he yesterday! He was right there where the action was and was nice enough to give me updates as things happened.

Chris placed 9th in HI last year and he was out to tear it up this year. He came out of the water in the 8th position with a 51:37 split. Pretty freakin fast if you ask me... especially to us normal human types. After that, he took command of the bike in short order and held the lead throughout the entire course! He finished the bike in 4:28:17! Which is a 25 mph average. What was really impressive was how he executed his bike pacing. If you look at his splits there was a definite method to the madness... haul ass and establish a lead... chill out a bit in the middle... then pick it up in the end. In the last segment of the bike he was averaging 26.13 mph. That's a negative split! VERY cool! I was completely freakin out as he came into T2 with a roughly 3 min lead on the likes of Chris McCormack. By the time they were about 18 miles into the run I had gotten back from the game and was able to get online. Almost the exact moment that I clicked on the live video feed was when Macca caught Chris. I watched as Chris held onto Macca for roughly a mile. They looked AMAZING! I couldn't believe how hard Lieto was fighting to hold the lead that he had earned through out the day. In the end Macca's surge was just too much... Chris had pushed himself so hard throughout the day... that he had to let Macca go. He ended up finishing 6th over all with a final time of 8:25 and change! What an AMAZING performance! I really hope that Mr. Lieto is as pleased with himself as his fans and family are!

I'll be carrying the image of Lieto matching Macca stride for stride for quite a while. That was truly inspiring! The take home message for me? Limits are relative. Most people don't know what their's are. Chris pushed his yesterday. He probably learned something about himself that he didn't know before that run. He probably gained some insights into himself that he didn't have before the race. Wouldn't it be a tragedy if we all didn't try to push ourselves in that way... if we didn't create the opportunity to learn who we are when we're rubbed down to a nub? I think so.

I'm off for a run with my buddy Scott D. on a beautiful fall day in the Pacific Northwest! Life is MORE than good....

Breathe....

2 comments:

kt said...

THAT WAS SO AWESOME!

I should post Chris in the HAM thread!

I think you are right. Sometimes you just have to do what you don't know if you can do. I have found tha the things that I am afraid to try end up being the best experiences.

Lewie Tenorio said...

Pushing myself beyond what I thought were my limits are tri-moments I'll never forget. Kinda scary, but very rewarding.

Chris Lieto rocks!