A Note from Fatty: Eric’s email pointing me to his story was a powerful reminder of what matters. In it he said, “My mother is in the end stages of terminal lung cancer and this was my last chance to do something like this for her when she could see it.”
Thanks, Eric, both for participating and for sharing your story (which I am shamelessly lifting from your blog, where the original version can be found). I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes you peace and strength, and your mother a painless passage.
I signed up to do Fatty’s 100 Miles Of Nowhere. It’s 100 miles on rollers or a short course and is a fundraiser in the fight against cancer. I have a special reason for participation this year. My Mother is in the end stages of terminal lung cancer. This is the one and only time she’ll be able to see me complete this event. In that light I decided the day deserved the best effort I could give. If 100 miles on rollers is good maybe something more would be better. I settled on a triathlon. But how? I can’t swim and even if I could doing laps in the tub seemed kinda boring. But I can lift and have this humble but really cool, mostly equipped gym right at my house. Presto, the NowhereMan Triathlon was born (With all due credit and respect to Fatty for the name. Please don’t kill me).
It’s a triathlon with a twist; 100,000 pounds lifted, 10K run and 100 miles on a bicycle, all without leaving the comfort of my home gym. I planned on doing it on Saturday but wandered around the house all day Friday, thinking about it and playing it out in my mind. Shortly after 2:00 PM I decided heck with this. I gathered up Lu and headed out to the gym to get things rolling.
Ma. This is for you.
A partial view of the gym with the bicycle already hooked up to the rollers. That’s the official 100 Miles Of Nowhere plate on the bike. The whole thing was done in my humble home gym out behind my house. The gym equipment for lifting, the run on a treadmill and the bike on rollers. Never left the gym except once to use the facilities which were in my own house. How cool is that?
2:30 PM and the official start.
The scoreboard, depressingly free of completed disciplines.
Lifting was up first. As the Big Board shows, I did 7 exercises. The totals went like this:
- Bench Press – 100 reps @ 185 pounds = 18,500
- Barbell Curl – 100 reps @ 70 pounds = 7,000
- Dips – 100 reps @ 245 pounds = 24,500
- Rows – 100 reps @ 185 pounds = 18,500
- Overhead Extensions – 100 reps @ 100 pounds = 10,000
- Shoulder Raises – 100 reps @ 55 pounds – 5,500
- Deadlifts – 60 reps @ 200 pounds = 12,000
- Squats – 20 reps @ 200 pounds = 4,000
If my math is correct that’s 100,000 pounds in 680 repetitions for a 147 pound per lift average. The first time I did 100,000 pounds in training for this it took me 1250 reps. I started to do squats, intending to do 100 reps but at rep number 10 felt a twinge in my right knee. On the second set of 10 it went from a twinge to a full blown owie and squats were out and maybe the entire triathlon.
I switched to deadlifts and managed 60 reps before the pain became too great. I added some weight and reps to shoulder raises (I was only planning on doing 60 at 50 pounds) and made up the weight.
Take a look at that face. It was about this time that I recognized there might be a problem and was considering how to continue.
Here’s Lu loading plates. She spent the day and night setting up, bringing me food and drinks and just generally coaching and cheer leading. Not to mention the recovery massages. Love that woman.
Here’s the what the final board looked like. Not exactly according to the plan but done.
With lifting done it was to event number 2. I was planning on biking at this point but Lu convinced me that my arms were so pumped that supporting myself on the bike might be problematic so the 10K was next.
The problem knee. It kept me from running the pace I wanted but held together long enough to finish. I did no better than a fast walk and a light jog but I finished every step.
6.2 miles aka 10 Kilometers. The time was disappointing but I finished.
The mid point meal complete with a smile and a thumbs up. Mac and Cheese with bacon bits (because everything is better with bacon), whole wheat bread and a glass of milk. I went through about a gallon of water, a half gallon of Gatorade and a tall milk. Yes, that is indeed a drill press behind me. Don’t ask.
Ok. On to the bike. My arms were still pumped but I considered this the easiest part of the whole deal. Hey, we’re all wrong from time to time. Right?
The obligatory Zero miles shot.
I was going to do the whole ride in my official Team Fatty Jersey but…
Fatty, I love you and Twin Six but by this point my arms were still so pumped the jersey was cutting off circulation to my hands. I went with something a little more…open.
Man, this is hard. In addition to a triathlon this was my first Century on the bike. I found myself looking down at the odometer thinking “I must almost be done by now. Come on, let me almost be done by now” only to discover I still had 75 miles to go. Oof. It was grind it out time so I put my head down and put in the miles.
The finale was most satisfying.
And just like that it was done! The clock on the wall said 11:26 PM.
The official time was kept by Lu on her official Ironman Timex
8:55:42. 8 hours, 55 minutes, 42 seconds.
The final Big Board.
I wanted to do this event for a couple of reasons.
First to support Team Fatty and all his good works and do my part in The Fight.
Second to prove to myself that I could do it.
Finally, and most importantly, to let my Mother know how I feel about her. Ma, I love you more than I could possibly say. I did this because you couldn’t. It’s my small way of honoring you, your life and your fight. Cancer may separate us but you will ever be in my heart. Fight your fight and know I’ll be beside you the whole way. And when your fight is done I will take it up as my own. That is my promise to you.
And so it is done. My legs feel like a bag of angry cats. Lu has been taking good care of me with plenty of Tylenol and leg massages. I’ve spent the day sleeping and eating anything and everything that gets near me. Now, as far as I can tell I’m the first to do this particular brand of triathlon. If so I believe that makes me the world record holder. If not I’m still the record holder in the Male, 51.9 year old (I’ll be 52 in a couple of weeks), Clydesdale, Hurricane Utah, Home Gym, Balding division. I declare myself satisfied. And hey, maybe someone else will step up next year and go for my title. Oh, almost forgot one thing. I started the tri at 245 pounds. After it was done I weighed myself again, thinking I’d see how much weight I’d lost. Kinda like the last chance workout on Biggest Loser. I weighed in at 247. I have to be the only guy in America who can do 9 hours of straight exercise and gain 2 pounds. Jillian would be so disappointed.
Thank you to all of you, my friends, for your support and encouragement. A big Thank You goes to Fatty. The fight goes on my friend but as long as people like you exist how can we possibly fail? Thanks for letting me participate and honor my Mother. I owe you.
– Eric “Six”