by Shiggy "GoShiggyGo" Ichinomiya
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General Entry Fee: $700
1)Swim: 2.4 miles
Finish Line Cut off: 17 hours (or midnight)
Professional start: 6:30am
Going down the Finisher's Chute with my camera!!
la, la, la, la, la)
Here she is taking the plastic bags off her bicycle
It rained the night before so we all covered our
Taken around 6:15am.)
Again sorry about it being blurry. I took it quickly
You get the idea though.
Nice Uggs Peter!! hehee
Always smiling and happy.)
It was great seeing your happy and smiling face.)
(Above. VIDEO. General overview of swim start.)
Sunrise was at 6:43am. Sunset 6:45pm.
Day before the first day of Fall.)
Almost looks like cloud cover!!
Beautiful snow capped mountains in the background.)
Green caps = men
He said that you can't control the weather but you CAN
Cup of coffee. 3/4 of bagel with cream cheese
Start: Kings Beach
Instead of having 2,600 triathletes clobber and hack each other
Less injury. Less anxiety. Less panic.
My swim time: 1 hour 29 minutes 21 seconds. Nailed it!!
Observe the snow in the background!
Thank you Creighton Wong for taking this photo.)
(Above. VIDEO. Here I am going to the swim start based upon
1 hour 21minute-1 hour 30 minute group.
In the first few seconds of the video you can see
Water temperature was around 60 degrees.
It felt warmer in the water than it did out in the open air.
Air temperature at the swim start hovered around 30 Degrees. That is capital "C" Cold.)
Some people dolphin dived and charged towards the buoys, however, I moved cautiously forward since there were stones and rocks on the floor of the lake. It took a good 200-300 feet of walking before you were waist deep.
And then I finished recording video and took the plunge.
Not bad. Not bad. I've experience much colder water.
I took a couple of strokes and about 200 yards into the swim
I almost called it a day. What? DNF at the very start of the race? Why?
There was an ever so slight chop, something you don't experience in a pool, and everytime I would rise up by the force of the swell, I would consume some water.
That caused me to spit the water out and cough.
I coughed, my goggles became foggy, I lost my bearing,
water, I worried that a cramp would set in and I would drown.
Stupid things one thinks about when one panics.
However, I knew this soon would pass.
And that "feeling" which it is, just a "feeling" did pass.
DNF? What was I thinking?
I never hyperventilated, as I did at Ironman Coeur d'Alene,
I also felt slightly claustrophobic with water everywhere,
The sight of a kayaker was a temptation.
Should I quit? Should I continue?
Thoughts like that went through my mind,
I applied the "3 second" Gerry Rodrigues rule from Tower 26 and did not allow myself to entertain any negative thoughts for over 3 seconds.
So I convinced myself that I WILL finish the swim.
I usually take a breathe every 4 to 5 strokes, but this time
It worked and I got into a rhythm.
One stroke at a time.
Keep on swimming!!
My buoy sighting was waaaaaaay way off, as I veered far to the right of the buoy and close to the rescue kayakers. I should have practiced "sighting" at Tower 26, but, never trained with them, instead, taking photographs.
I was definitely NOT "race ready."
Back to the swim:
Some were completely surrounded by a white cloud
As the sun rose, the steam dissipated and it became easier to sight.
I'm way off course, relative to where the buoy is.
Gotta smell the proverbial roses. I did!!)
I saw Lloyd a total of 4 times during the day.
It's always awesome to recognize a face from the crowd.)
Here I am screaming to the crowd "Make Some Noise,"
as I record it with my camera.)
GETTING OUT OF THE WATER Two gals help strip my wetsuit off me. As soon as that wet wetsuit came off, you could feel an instant chill. Coupled with the fact that you are running barefoot on sand and concrete to the changing tent made it even worse.
Normally you just strip the wetsuit off and bike in your wet bike shorts, however, since it was sooooo cold, the race organizer strongly recommended that we completely dry off and change into our dry bike clothes.
Changing tent----> Packed like sardines.
Like a BBQ: Buns and sausages everywhere!! LOL!!!
Changed successfully and went to the bike
BIKE: 112 miles
2 and 1/3 loops from Kings Beach through
(The Winter Olympics were held there in 1960.)
Boy, it took about 45 miles of pedaling on my bike before my feet FINALLY thawed out.
How was the bike ride? Steep.
I violated my "don't go over 30mph on the descents."
I looked at my odomoter and at one point I was over 41 mph.
Once I saw that, I rode my brakes and hovered around 30mph.
Saw Leah Graham on the 1st bike loop. She even took a photo of me. Thanks Leah. Below. Mile 45.
I'm wearing a beanie under my helmet.
Arm warmers. Long fingered bike gloves.
A bike jersey. A wind-breaker is in a small ball in my rear pocket. I'm also wearing black leg warmers that I purchased the day before.
Great investment because my legs weren't cold.
Since I wanted mental clarity for my brain, I decided to consume one Red Bull prior to the bike start.
Don't try something new on race day!!
What did I do? Tried new shoes on race day.
I didn't want to wear my New Balance shoes because they are "old man" shoes. Clunky. Big.
Boat shoes. The ones President Clinton wore when he returned to "wearing things made in America!!" I was kinda embarrassed wearing them, so I suffered instead!!! Stupid vanity!!
In order to "look good," we sacrifice our body.
I bought new "trendy" colored shoes. Neon green and boy was that a mistake.
I only ran in them twice for a total of 6 miles and wore them for three consecutive days before the race,
Needless to say, every step I took, my feet screamed in pain.
No cushion in the front, so I felt pain every time I landed my feet on the ground.
Nutrition on Run:
4 GUs. Water. Sips of Coca-Cola. 4 cups of chicken broth.
2 chomps. 3 GUs. Couple of cups of potato chips. One Bonk Bar.
Thank you Gail Gottfried for taking this photo of me!!)
During the day it looks beautiful. However, at night, there were hardly any lights to see one's way ahead.
One lady who passed me when it was dark said: "It's very lonely here." Absolutely right!!! )
(Above: VIDEO. Running along the river.)
Once the sun went down around 6:45pm, it got really, really cold.
The run was hard. Since I had already had a leg cramp on the bikes, I didn't want to further exacerbate it by running beyond my capabilities. I didn't want to run hard for the first 10 miles and then be taken off on a stretcher because my muscles froze.
Around mile 9, I met an ultra runner, Suzanne. We became friends and power-walked on from there. Suzanne set a very brisk pace.
Amy had said the night before that it's better to power walk than just walk. That definitely helped me finish.
Finish before midnight.
My friend Lalaine Borja yelled my name and wanted to take a photo of me.
I struggled to smile and continued on. Then I turned back and asked if she had a spare sweat-shirt.
Lalaine looked into her backpack and took out her boyfriend's Ironman Red Long Sleeve technical shirt. I couldn't even put it on, so she helped me put it over my head and even helped me put my fingers through the sleeves.
THEN, I had a moment!!!
An Ironman is 17 hours. If I started at 6:45am and you add 17 hours to it, my finish time would have to be 11:45pm!!
NOT 12 o'clock midnight.
Panic set in. Which was it? Finish by midnight or finish by 11:45.
It was getting close because my pace had decreased to near 20 minute miles.
With two miles left, I had to pick up the pace, however, I didn't have that oomph left in me because my glute muscles were stiff and my feet were in pain. I told my friend Suzanne to go ahead of me. But I couldn't let her go because if I did, I would fall back. I desperately tried to keep up with her. (And yes, she did have a broken toe that she broke on a rock while getting out on the swim.)
I also wanted to finish with my LA Tri Club gear on, however, I was wearing a red long sleeve that Lalaine lent me.
About a quarter mile from the finish line, someone, I don't know who, said that you have less than two minutes to make the cut off. Panic set in.
I saw a group of about 6 people and pointed to one of the ladies to help me take my shirt off. I started to move. Took my headlight off and gave it to the group. Took my hat off so that the shirt would come off. Took the shirt off. Took my bike gloves, so that I could access my camera. Reached into my bike jersey to retrieve the camera. Took the camera out. Had the kind lady put the red shirt in the rear pocket of my LATC bike jersey and started to run towards the finish line.
Turned on the camera and switched it to movie mode.
Made sure it was on.
Headed to the finisher's chute.
And then showtime!!!
And then I heard the "magical" words from
Mike "the Voice of Ironman" Reilly:
"SHIGGY, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"
I finished. I almost cried.
I was happy. I was relieved. I was cold.
I was tired. I did it. We did it.
My mum would have been proud of my stubborn German persistence and "IRON" will and my dad is probably
I had made the midnight cut-off and the official time said
16 hours 48 minutes 22 seconds.
When Amy checked my time she told me my actual "race time," which is different from the clock that is above the finisher's chute.
My time: 16 hours 58 minutes 33 seconds.
I made the cut-off by a mere 1 minute and 27 seconds.
Had I taken one more video on the bike or a couple more photos on the run, I probably would have DNFd.
I also checked my rank.
Most of it is "mental."
Most of the "mental" training was out on the bikes
During the race, even though I was smiling here and there,
I was determined and ON FIRE to finish.
Wouldn't it be nicer to be on the coach eating ice cream?
No one made me do this.
And that's the power of one's choice.
You can blame it on the "condition" and whine about things like the weather that you can't control, or you "embrace the suck,"
Other people with far greater physical ailments finished.
And so what if you DNFd. There's no shame in that.
She put head down, sucked it up and tried, tried again.
She worked hard.
She worked extremely hard.
She hired a coach.
I admire the tenacity and GRIT that she has.
I grit my teeth many times when I thought it was tough.
He lost his leg BUT he didn't lose the spirit to win.
The spirit to fight on.
Here is a grown man, on hand and knees, getting into the
It takes work. Hard, slow work.
Yes, I finished.
I got my monies worth!!!! heheeee!!!
I made the cut-off by a mere 1 minute and 27 seconds.
Your 1st Ironman is coming up soon!!!)
YOU'LL do this. Too bad you had an accident
Did only six, 3 mile runs in six weeks.
Basically I ran 3 miles once a week for 6 weeks.
Longest run of year = 5 miles
My plantars fascitis was coming back and I had a hard time running in the last two months.
50 mile bike ride
Patti Paul + Liv Holmberg. These two amazing gals rekindled my desire to recommit to doing IM Lake Tahoe. Patti and Liv invited me over to dinner in June (just 3 months prior to the race) and we were talking about why I wasn't going to do IMLT. During our conversation something clicked. The fire got ignited. And I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take a journey to discover a land of "magic." So I can't thank Patti and Liv enough for getting me to the starting line.
Nathan "the babysitter" Oviedo. Thank you again and again for looking after Cali-blu (blue-nose blue-coat pit bull,) Mikan (my tabby cat,) my silver-dollar fish (no name) and my fly-river-water turtle. YOU are the best baby sitter ever!! Thank you. Cali loves you and so does Mikan.
Amy Berkin-Chavez, aka ABC. Thank you for being such an incredible training partner who pushed me to my limit. You are an incredible roommate in the Crown Hotel (just 500 yards from the swim start), organizer, planner, enforcer, and such fun to be around. We had some great times on the bikes going up Angeles Crest, riding up to Oxnard and on our swims at Santa Monica Swim Center.
Angel Chavez. Thank you for driving us (Amy and I) all the way up to Lake Tahoe and back. What incredible patience, kindness and selflessness you have. I even thought about stuff we talked about during the run section of the Ironman. Breathe through your nose and it will oxogenate your entire body. True words!! And thanks for collecting my bike and bags after the race.
Rory Patrick Sandoval. Thank you for being such an amazing support and "SAG" team. You helped pull me up Angeles Crest and brought me water, Cokes, ice, helped change my flat tire, made yummy sandwiches and so much more. And you took photos to document this journey!!
Lloyd Taylor. Thank you for being a great and caring friend. It was like a ray of light when I saw you after swimming 2.4 miles.
Coach Gerry Rodrigues of Tower 26. Even though I never "swam" with the group-per-se, I learned valuable information, just be listening when I was taking photos. I learned two rules. 1) The three second rule of never letting a negative thought take hold and grip you for more than 3 seconds and 2) the BIG one. Do NOT DNF (Did not finish.) In other words complete the race. Apart from illness, health issues or you are simply having a bad day, never, never, ever, "DNF" a race. If you are slow and are stopped by race officials that is one thing. But giving up because of some "mental block" that one has, is an excuse that is bound to be repeated and become a habit. A nasty habit. Most "mental blocks" and fears and the like can be overcome. How? Practice. Where? In practice. You practice overcoming your doubts, fears, and pain threshold by attending swim/bike/run practices so that one can become "race ready." All the people, YES emphasis on ALL who attended the Tower 26 weekly swim practices and who did Ironman Lake Tahoe completed and finished the race. That's 13 people out of 13 who finished and did not "DNF!!" That's a 100% success rate!! An A plus baby!! Way to go Coach!!
Coincidence that everyone made the cut off? Or great coaching? Not just swim coaching and stroke technique but something even more significant and that is "mental" coaching.
Sorry if I missed anyone. Here are Tower 26 members (full or affiliate) who finished IMLT.
1)Debbie Sullivan 2)Chris Wright 3) Jeff Gust 4) Lisa Dordick 5) Tony Nuccio 6) Peter Brantley 7) Holger Beckmann, 8) Mo Geller, 9)Bodie Olmos 10) Renee Houser 11)Austin Barker 12)Rikako Takei 13)Shiggy Ichinomiya
1)You lost time because of poor sighting? Gerry teaches you that.
2)You lost time because you hesitated going around the buoy? Gerry teaches you how to aggressively go around the buoy.
3)You lost time because your mind was full of negative thoughts on how cold the temperature was? Gerry teaches you the "3 second rule."
4)You lost time because you planted the seed somewhere in your mind that you could not finish? Gerry teaches you NOT to DNF.
A big shout and thank you to all the people who tracked and followed me throughout the weeks and days leading up to this event. Thanks for the over 450 Facebook "likes." (below pic) Wow!!
100 yards of the finisher's chute.)
ALL SYSTEMS GO
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