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Cover Focus | May 2017


A few weeks ago, my family and I traveled to Texas so that my husband, Tim, could compete in his 10th Ironman—a triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. Given that I had just completed my 10th Ironman in October 2016 and have been focusing on training for the 2017 Ironman World Championships, I opted to spectate rather than compete. Even though it is always hard for me to be on the sidelines instead of racing, I told myself that this would be a good opportunity to gain a different perspective on the Ironman.

In the last couple of weeks and days leading up to the race, Tim did what he and I normally do: we taper, we try to get as much sleep as possible, and we turn to the web to find and read others’ race reports as a means of gaining insights on the specific race and course we are preparing for. We have found that these are all great tactics to set us up for success­—as much as is possible for a race of that magnitude, anyway.

On the day of Ironman Texas, I was eager to watch the entire race, but I also wanted to home in on observing what the professional athletes did at the front of the pack. I knew I would undoubtedly pick up a tip or two that I could then apply to my own racing tactics. The pros did not disappoint, and I ended up storing away a few pearls that I look forward to breaking out at my next race.

In a similar vein, the point of this cover focus is to better prepare you for your next encounter with the rock-hard nucleus. In the following articles, surgeons well-versed in the management of rock-hard nuclei describe how they prepare for and complete cataract removal in this setting. Just as I learned a few valuable things from the pros at Ironman Texas, I hope that you can all learn a few tips from the rock-star authors featured in this series.

—Laura Straub, Editor-in-Chief