Ironman Texas is now less than one month away. It is a day I have been preparing for nearly a year. I remember the feeling of euphoria and fear when I hit the register button and they processed my credit card. The adrenaline coursed through my veins like a runaway train. It was unbelievable to have that feeling and in a moment it was gone. The questions arose as to whether or not I could do this. The questions arose as to how fast I could do it. The questions arose about training and hydration and nutrition. I remember one sentence that Jeff Irvin wrote to me about Ironman and it went like this: Ironman Is A Different Beast.
At the time I had no clue what he was talking about. At that same time I thought that anybody can jump right into training for an Ironman and be ok, but my thoughts have changed in the past 18 weeks. I realize what Jeff was saying back then. This event is completely different from anything else I have ever trained for. I have run 3 marathons and raced 3 Half-Ironman plus countless half-marathons, Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons but nothing compares to the blood, sweat and tears you put into Ironman training.
These past two weeks have been peak weeks for me. I never thought that I would be able to train as much as I did and still feel the way I do. I have a ton of energy and I can thank the proper recovery, diet, hydration and wise training. I learned from the Las Vegas marathon that you cannot go 100% (that 110% thing is total non-sense because you can only give 100% — I will not argue this point….I’m right!) all the time. You have to change your paces, listen to your body, check your heart rate. It’s a science this Ironman thing. It as about pushing when you must but staying in control all the time. It is knowing your sweat rate, knowing how many calories you need, knowing what is you aerobic heart rate and your lactate threshold.
I have learned these things and yet they change. I thought that after Week 17, where I trained for 20 hours and 42 minutes, that I could not do anymore than that. Then Week 18 came and I trained for 22 hours and 30 minutes. I am into Week 19 and I should be close to the 20 hour mark again and then I head into taper mode. If somebody had told me that I would be training for 20+ hours in a week I would have thought that they were crazy but here I am going into my third week in a row at that level and I love it. That is how Iroman is a different beast. I never trained for 20 hours in a week for a marathon of half-ironman but my thoughts about stand alone marathons are this right now: HATE ‘EM. I had my body so beat up heading into Vegas and coming out of Vegas that my first words to Karen after I was done were: I’m never running a stand alone marathon again. This Ironman training cycle teaches you a lot about you and your body. It beats you up but in a gentle way it seems.
In less than 4 weeks I will have raced Ironman Texas and will be ready to face another training cycle for Ironman Arizona. Let’s Do This!
- Swim: 90.6 miles
- Bike: 2198.0 miles
- Run: 524.2 miles
- Swim: 7.2 miles
- Bike: 152.3 miles
- Run: 40.1 miles
- Swim: 6.6 miles
- Bike: 199 miles
- Run: 42.3 miles