The Loop on Runner's World is a magical place.
You can write blog title like this one and no one thinks you are actually stalking someone in a creepy and criminal way.
You can also call someone one of your very good friends, even if you've only met him once.
It's ... unsusual, I know.
In anycase, it's the truth. One of my good friends, Stewmanji, as he's called in the Loop, completed is first Ironman today. I've followed him from his first blog (we started blogging at the same time), and, because we have a Minnesota connection, we became loyal readers of each other's posts.
Stew is an inspiration. If you ever find yourself delayed hours on end in the airport with Internet access, I recommend finding his blog in the Loop and just read. His motto is to never give up, and he lives that out loud. The hours of training he has spent, first improving his marathon time and then in preparing for this FULL Ironman boggles my mind. I'm fairly certain he has put in more training hours in the past year than I did in studying the 2.5 years I was in graduate school.
I couldn't be there in person, but I promised him I would follow his splits online. And, seriously, it's been more like stalking. Aside from the "break" I took to have lunch with friends, I had the Ironman track athlete page on my computer, refreshing the page every 15 minutes, and then every 5 while waiting for the final split (as if Stew would suddenly get REALLY fast).
And then ... it finally popped up. I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. He had done it. He had mastered insanity. He was an IRONMAN.
I will never be an Ironman. Or an Ironwoman for that matter. Which is why I can totally post the following link (which I've shared with Stew at least twice):
But I will be an Ironman
Congrats, my friend. You are freaking awesome.
And now, please, buy your wife something nice for putting up with that training =)