Anthony Cesaretti – You Are An IRONMAN!

Anthony Cesaretti – You Are An IRONMAN!

Thank you, Coach Joe, for your checking-in text. I’m doing great today. A bit sluggish yesterday, but up and about today doing errands.

I followed our race game plan. Your coaching got me through this!

One of the best swim times I ever had. 1:34:30. Your tips on the two stroke breathing was just what I needed. I was relaxed and consistent on the swim. Did not push things. I stayed within “the box.”

The hills on the bike were not attacked. I was methodical in saving myself. On that first loop, I saw a lot of people powering through those steep inclines. I knew I would eventually catch up to a lot of them on the second loop, and, I did. The last 20 miles, however, were very tough. My upper body was sore (headache). The bumps, asphalt heaving and potholes on the stick were terrible. I didn’t notice it on the way out. However, coming back was hell. I was not feeling well. I properly hydrated and fueled, but I was beat up. The last 10 miles on the bike, I was talking myself out of running.

At bike to run transition, I told my family (Cathy, Colleen, Bill and Connor) that I couldn’t do the run. They compassionately encouraged me to keep moving forward. I did and I surprised myself. Before I knew it, 5 miles were logged under 55 minutes. Then 7 miles. Just walked through aid stations and kept the feet moving, like you advised. At 10 miles, I pulled back, just a little bit. I wanted to keep some of those “matches” in the box ready to strike later on. At 13.1 miles, seeing the finishers running down the chute got me motivated. My mantra was now “one mile at a time.” Chicken broth, oranges and salt capsules kept me going. When I got to mile 20, I just had 10k left. 50% of the athletes were walking at this point. I kept plugging away. I had 1 hour and 30 minutes remaining at mile 20 and could’ve walked to the finish line, but the tank wasn’t empty! I got a second wind. I wasn’t going to cut it close and accidentally DNF. I targeted finishing 20 minutes (midnight) before my 12:20 cutoff. At the final 5k mark, 80% of the athletes were now walking. Not me!! I got to the last mile and I was dropping a lot of people in my path. Finishing strong, as you told me, is the only way to go. I sprinted that final stretch, down the chute, while skimming that carpet beneath my feet. I was 40 minutes ahead of my cutoff and was fresh. I ran a 5:45 marathon. Very pleased with that time. I’ve run marathons when I couldn’t walk at the end of the race, and here, I was energized after a long swim and bike. One of the most satisfying feelings I ever had. Thanks for your encouragement and expertise in guiding me on the right path.

Thanks again to my family for putting up with me after long training sessions and exhaustion this past year. Also, thanks to all my friends for their well wishes, support and encouragement. A final shout out to my high school friends/training partners as part of Team ‘78. Jim, Larry and Brian, we did it!

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