No commentary for Day 37. Coach is tied up dealing with 505050 issues.
Day 37 Swim
Day 37 Bike
Day 37 Run
Day 38 – Ohio
Day 38 Splits
In lieu of commentary, please accept this exchange between coach and athlete.
Day 38 Swim
Day 38 Bike
Day 38 Run
Day 39 – Michigan
Day 39 Splits
I regret the thin content the last few days. Managing the IC remotely has been more challenging than ever, and has included responsibilities I never considered possible.
James is doing exceptionally well, as evidenced by his overall time today, his best non-river swim since Day 29. I can feel it in his communications (almost exclusively via text). The doubt and discouragement from the dark days of day 20-25 have completely turned around. All his communications are upbeat and positive. Not that he was negative before, but there were some dark, dark days. Now I can tell he sees the finish line.
It is interesting to look at his total times from fastest to slowest, below. A statistician could find patterns in here that I’m unwilling to put in the effort to find, but there is at least one item of note. Six of James’ slowest performances took place in the first 11 days. Was it the tough bike courses of the mountain west? Someday I’ll record the elevation gain for each day and be able to answer definitively. For now, I flatter myself that my theory was correct: I didn’t need to get James ready for 50 IMs in a row, I just needed to get him ready for 10. The fitness to do the remaining 40 builds from there. In other words, what’s the best way prepare for 50 IMs in a row? Do 10 in a row and repeat 4 more times.
Day 39 Swim
Day 39 Bike
Day 39 run
Day 40 – Indiana
Day 40 Splits
10 left to go.
Day 40 should probably be celebrating James’ accomplishment. Many people thought he would never make it this far. Instead, I’d like to focus on some unsung heros: His wife and crew.
While James is the most exhausted person in North America right now, Sunny, Casey, and Aaron are not far behind. Often when James was getting 5 hours of sleep, they were getting 4 (someone’s gotta drive). While I slept in and blogged in my pajamas, they had finished the swim with James before I even woke up. While James was on the bike, Sunny was working with the Jamie Oliver foundation, transferring charity funds, making meals for 7 children a day (the 5 Lawrence kids plus Casey and Aaron), laundry, RV septic tank, and dealing with my multiple neurosis on how to manage certain issues.
If his crew was critical physical support, they were indispensable moral support. If you follow the Iron Cowboy Facebook page, you know how fun the Wingmen can be. When things got dark (and they got dark some days) the crew has there to cheer him up. I’ve know Casey for almost 10 years, and what you see on Facebook is legit. He is cheerful, funny, and fast (darn it).
On Day 7, I asked James what his biggest concern was. He said he was worried his crew was exhausted. He was right. When this is over, James will get most of the credit (as he should), but I hope that any congratulations you give to him will be duplicated to the people with him for the last 40 days.
Day 40 Swim
Day 40 Bike
Day 40 Run
Day 41 – Wisconsin
Day 41 Splits
It rained today, and still the best turnout so far to come and support the 505050. James did another great job in some tough conditions.
Yesterday I praised his crew, today the praise is for his supporters. Not just Wisconsin, but all 40 other states. Those of you who have donated, commented, and run and biked by his side got him through some tough days. Even the critics fueled James and made him hungrier for a time.
The only think stopping James now is illness or contact/crash injury. His fatigue has bottomed out, his fitness is sufficient to finish the next 9 days, his support is better than ever, and his attitude is off-the-charts positive. James is not immortal (his quads might be) but it will take an outside influence to stop him now.
Great quote from James last night as we texted. He was really touched by the local support and said:
“My life has changed…Forever”
Day 41 Swim
Day 41 Bike
Day 41 Run
Day 42 – Minnesota
Day 42 Splits
No commentary today other than you’ll see two swim files, as James stopped short and had to make up a couple hundred more. The second file reads 300 meters, but it was only 200 meters.
James lives with his wife, Sunny, and their five children in Utah. After breaking several Guinness World Records, James wondered if he had truly found his mental and physical limits. He knew there was more. Experience firsthand the remarkable journey of James Lawrence and his family.