Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I want to start thanking: MAX the best coach ever, my family (Nilda and Juliet who were there the whole day) and my family abroad who follow me trough internet. TriMax Team and friends. Special thanks to Dan Belmonte who introduced me to Team Cindy and gave me this wonderful opportunity.

Wearing this beautiful medal everything feels different so I want to try to remember every single part of this dream (which for moments felt like a nightmare...)

Everything started here while I was watching this...

On July 25th 2009 I decided to do an Ironman after watching Ironman Kona 2008. I google for coach to help to train and I find the best.

I meet with Master Yoda for the first time at the end of September of 2009 and started training in October.

After 5 month of training and 85 pound less, In March I did my first ever triathlon a Half Ironman. I did good and felt great.

Then everything I was training and preparing everything for my first ever Ironman @ Japan. But life, unpredictable, decided that Ironman Japan needs to be canceled and found myself trying to understand what just happened, and now what?

Thanks to Dan Belmonte I meet Christina from Team Cindy who invited my to join their team and be at Ironman Lake Placid.

After months for training last week was really peaceful. I felt in absolute peace and really happy about the whole thing. Arrived at Lake Placid on Thursday, registered and wondering around.

Then I went to Liz and Bullet house (friends who live @ WIllmington, 15 miles out of Lake Placid).

On Saturday I went to Team Cindy breakfast. Great group of people and a lot of good energy. I even (without knowing it) seat my the side of Michael Phelps sister! Then I did the prescribed 20/20/20 from Max house, check in my bike and gear and wait for the big day.

Woke at 2:45am and could not sleep anymore. Was raining and a little cold. My wife and daughter were still sleeping.

At 4am we all headed to town, I was one of the first to get body mark, pump my bike and check everything for the last time. Then went to the swim start.

Little by little the place was getting crowded and crowded, people wondering around like ants and from all over the place. I started to get worried, but still calm.

Around 6:35 Erica and I went to the water and start moving around. Then the first big mistake of mine. I position myself too close to the front group. Waited on the water kicking and wondering what's next...

Then 7:00:00 the race started and I founded myself in Panic mode, people grab my legs, pull me down, swim me over, I swallow half of the lake and the wetsuit started to feel 3 sizes smaller, couldn't breath and for a a while I felt, it's over...

Started swimming chest and trying to calm down, breathing, doing anything to keep it together, nothing seems to work... I started looking for a kayak (volunteers) just in case... then I told myself "you can do this, just put your dam head into the water and start swimming. I did just that, whit a mental image of my wife and daughter waiving for my from the balcony, like everything will be alright, but with other 2,000 + people around was hard, really hard.

First red bouy (turning point) I had a cramp, big one. And immediately started to panic again, but this time with a little more experience I decided to put my head down and just swim, I keep thinking I can do this in 2 hours and 20 minutes, and I was determined to do it.

First lap felt like 1 year or longer. Once on land again I looked at the clock and I can not believe it, 50 minutes! My slowest time ever... run trough the sand and into the water again. Second lap I push harder and seems to work, 36 minutes was the time.

Once I finish the swim part everything was better, the crowd was more scattered and with the help of volunteers which toke my wetsuit of the fun started...

I did T1 outside the tent since inside was to crowded, grab my bike and turn on my garmin... bad luck, even when I charged the night before, for some reason was out of batteries and died before I can even mount my bike.

Was raining constantly and the descent from the high school was crowded. Once on route 73 I felt better and with a feeling of I can do this...

On my way downhill on route 73 I had a blast. While everyone was breaking on the rain, I decided to push all in, aero position and lets rock and roll, what a thrill! Maximum speed all the way down. Was raining hard and the tire thread was not clearing out all the water, but what the hell, now or never...

At Wilmington my daughter, wife and Liz was cheering for me from the side of the road, that gave my extra fuel to keep going.

Firs loop on the bike felt awesome. I still remember really clear when I reach downtown and everybody was cheering, felt so good and emotional, I almost cried like a baby... Then the downhill again and more fun.

When I stopped to pee before the downhills the same cramp that I felt on the swim was there again, I almost felt from my bike, but I was not willing to let that stop me from keep going. So I kind of ignore it and worked!

Changed the GU for 1/2 bananas in the 2nd loop and worked just fine. Felt very good and follow my heart rate all the way, looking to not over do it and just keeping the pace, not to hard just to be able to run as much as possible.

Route 86 towards Lake Placid and last hills was hard. You know you are close but now the run ghost was approaching and the challenge of changing this fun was not something I was looking for...

T2 was slow but I toke my time to go the bathroom, put my snickers and off we go... started good and solid but that don't last long, the cramp emerge again but this time harder. Walk for a little bit towards the aid station. This time I grab cola and pretzles and keep walking for a little while. Then started jogging again and keep going, keep going was what I was all about, doesn't matter how but I wanted to just keep moving towards the finish line.

First loop was super hard, the part from route 73 to the turning point felt long. Then uphill again towards downtown.

Everybody was cheering at telling you how good you look... I did not look good at all, but what you can say more than "thank you"? Matter of fact I can not remember the last time I said "thank you" that many times... All good, people were GREAT! And they look good for real, drinking beer, having barbecues, looking fresh, cheering, etc.

Going out of town felt awful. Just thinking on doing again the 13.1 miles again was not a good feeling, but I was lucky to bump into another guy who was running/walking by my side for the last 3 miles. Mike from Boston BIB # 804. At one point he goes "we should finish together brother", so we started to run 2 poles (electrical poles), walk 1 for the rest of the race. Even in the last mile. Thanks to him the 2nd loop was awesome, felt shorter than the first one.

Everyone at downtown was cheering and the whole thing was unreal. Really. I felt like a rock start and my dream was real.

I run the oval and cross the finish line. Happy as a dog with 2 tails...

I let go Mike and other guy first so I can properly do my celebration at the finish line: 1 squat, 1 burpee & 1 push up. 1 time x time. Total time: 13:23:43

My family was on the tent by the finish line and felt so great to see them with their happy faces. My daughter was still cheering for me.

Max was waiting at the finish line, with a big smile, like he was running. What a great feeling! Master Yoda always present when you need him...

Then is like everything is over and you are an Ironman. That's it? Really?

For moments I feel super happy, but also I feel I can do better, like 13:23 seems way more than I was expecting (I don't know really what I was expecting since I never did it before) but I guess I was expecting to race faster than I did.

I'm happy don't get me wrong is just is like a sub-real feeling... and now 3 days later I found myself looking the numbers again and trying to see what I could done better, how I will do it next time.

Also I can not believe I not sore everywhere and I'm not in a bed for a week. Matter of fact I came from Lake Placid on Monday straight to the studio to teach 2 privates.

Something I know for sure, I need to train harder. I need to improve and I want to do it better. Now that I know I can swim, bike and run for long distances I want to do it faster and better and CFE will be my tool.

Ironman Cozumel, here we go...


  1. Great write up - had no idea about your first loop swim panic - way to hang in there. I am also surprised I am not as sore as I thought I would be - CF baby!

  2. Nancy and I are so proud to know you. Very inspiring. We are so happy this worked out so well for you. I know you will be as fast as you want to be.

  3. Great work Ariel really enjoyed reading your report - fantastic - I'm so looking forward to my first Ironman experience :)

  4. Ariel,

    Congratulations. You have worked so hard for this, and you deserve it!