Wow. Life has been crazy busy! I'm not even really sure where I left off, and what my last post was about. Oh, wait. It was about Eric Byrnes. That's right. To summarize, I was contacted about an article being written about Eric Byrnes on Active.com. Well, I don't believe that article came out yet (or if it ever will!). But what I do know, is that Mr. Byrnes is one sneaky individual! Let me explain...
I would say that it's fairly well known across the galaxy that there is quite a rivalry between myself and the one they call Byrnsie. It all started a few years ago when he challenged me, or maybe I challenged him, or maybe I imagined it all - oh whatever - to a head-to-head race during Ironman Arizona. It pains me to say that he won fair and square, though I am still looking into the helmet that he wore on that fateful day. Anywho, he has moved on to race in a few other Ironman races, such as the brutal Ironman Lake Tahoe. And honestly, I have to give him some major credit for that one. Apparently there was ice on some of the bike saddles in the morning! Yikes!
|Photo from Competitor.com|
Fast forward to my Ironman Arizona 2013 race. My swim went as planned (I didn't drown!) and my bike went slightly faster than planned (a new bike PR!). As I was out on the new Ironman Arizona run course, I was frequently looking at the other athletes heading back the other way (as they were ahead of me at that point). I was racing with a lot of family and friends, so I was trying to keep an eye out to see if I recognized anyone. Around mile 5 or 6, I just happened to look over and who do I see? None other that the blasted Eric Byrnes. What!
I spent the next few miles trying to figure out what his angle was here. Had he secretly registered under a different name in order to catch me by surprise? I came to the conclusion that he had heard through the grapevine that I was trying to put in some serious training and he was obviously intimidated. Therefor, he probably became ill at the thought of telling me that he was going to test his luck against me for a second time.
As I ran by him the first time, I yelled, "Eric Byrnes!" He looked over in total shock, and immediately picked up his pace. I stopped to try and offer him a very sportsman-like high five, but he just turned and continued on. This really set me off! I couldn't think of anything else except for what I was going to say to him if we crossed paths again. And in about 13 miles, I got my chance.
We were crossing under the Mill Ave. bridge, meaning he had about 2-3 miles left, and I had around 7. As he was just about to pass me, I yelled out "Byrnsie! I'm coming for you!" It may have sounded a lot like "Yeah Byrnsie!" to him. But I promise you, I was most definitely NOT encouraging him. I was instilling the fear of God in him!
During those 13 miles, I had made up some ground, but not enough. Probably only about a mile, if that. I did the math, and knew that there was no way I could catch him...this time. So I carried on with my little truffle-shuffle run and focused on finishing this thing out with a new PR.
When I came across that finish line, my first thought was, "Where is Eric Byrnes to rub in his victory and pour salt on the wound?" Luckily, he was nowhere to be found. He probably took his moral victory and got the heck outta Dodge!
Aside from this little surprise battle during IMAZ, the rest of the race went pretty well. I will be writing up a full report in a bit, as well as a season report since I got busy (or lazy) and didn't really write much this whole season.
But bigger things are on the horizon! In just a few short months, I'll be making another attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon, since I choked by twenty-three seconds last year. Until then, enjoy this little video of some awesome ear candy: