Tuesday, 27 November 2012 11:44

Ironman Arizona In Pictures

Ironman Arizona is over a week old and you may or may not have read the race report.  Maybe you skipped that and read the comparison to Ironman Texas.  Maybe you just didn't want to read so I don't leave you out I put together a video montage from pictures taken by friends, family and a paid service.  Enjoy.

Published in Race Reports
Monday, 29 October 2012 20:40

Ironman Arizona Update

[caption id="attachment_6664" align="alignright" width="276"]IMAZ_ironmanarizona_triathlon_140.6 Source: My Running Doc[/caption] An Ironman Arizona update is long overdue.  I thought about this post yesterday for quite some time and how our bodies go through the ups and downs of training, but more so our minds.  Our bodies will move as long as our minds tell us to and whether it is faster or slower than we want to go the process all begins between the ears. This training cycle has been mostly positive.  With the experience of having just gone through one cycle for Ironman Texas I knew what I had to do to have a successful trip around the training calendar this time.  I knew that if I was to run for 1 hour that if I got to the end of my loop in 58:29 I did not have to do the remaining 1:31 to fully realize my potential.  This training cycle was going to be a smart one.  One where I did not fall asleep on the couch at 8:00p EVERY single night (even on rest days.) So as the weeks ticked off the calendar and I was staying up past the witching hour of 8pm and even up to 10pm I was feeling great.  That is until the peak weeks hit. For the past three weeks my training has looked like this in terms of hours and minutes: 22:36; 20:08; 22:29 and the week prior to that was 16:37 and only because I raced the US Open Championships that week otherwise a 20 hour week would have been in order.  Peak week training is a bitch.  Every fiber of your being hates waking up, hates training and mostly craves sleep and carbs. I would get up and go to the gym to swim and lift and could not wait to get out of there.  I would get on the trainer in my garage and spend 20 minutes going through Netflix just to watch something to keep me occupied for the next 2-3 hours.  Running was my saving grace.  It was my way of getting out of the gym and off the bike, but there were days when intervals were scheduled.....and those hurt.  They hurt bad.  You just couldn't wait for them to be over no matter how long they were (mile repeats, 800s, 400s.....didn't matter.) Then this past Friday I was heading to the lake for my Friday open water swim of 2 miles.  Thursday night a cold front moved in and it was about 45* on Friday morning, but worse than that the winds were howling.  We had sustained winds of 24 mph and when I got to the lake and saw the water crashing ashore I thought twice about getting into the water as safety was the only thought I had.  When my swim training partner showed up we chatted for about 10 minutes about it and we both decided to call it a day and not go in the water.  For the first time in a few months I was taking a rest day (not really as I had gone to the gym to lift and do core work prior) and it was going to be glorious.  I ate and lounged and worked and did not feel exhausted. This Saturday I got on the trainer for a 6 hour tour of my bedroom.  I layered up the clothes and made sure no fan was on.  The heat would kick on and I was going to sweat and sweat I did.  I was pedaling as if this was my last ride forever.  I was ticking up sub-3:00 miles and smiling.  I was practicing my fueling and hydration all the while watching Food Network, Cooking Channel, CNN, ESPN, NFL Network and sending out Tweets and Facebook posts.  It was going great even for a 6 hour trainer ride.  In case you are wondering it was 34* when I woke up on Saturday morning and there was no way I was going to suffer through 6 hours in the bitter cold. Once the ride was over I laced up my sneakers and out the door for a one hour - lactate threshold run.  I had laid out a course that I would run on Sunday that should take me about an hour.  Once I started running I felt great.  The first mile went by and my Garmin said 7:20.  WTF?  I was on cruise control and not breathing heavy and the 2nd mile showed 7:10.....huh?  Before I knew it I was back at my front door in under an hour and had covered 7.85 miles.  I was on cloud 9 and barged through the door hootering and a hollering about how ready I was for Arizona.  A rest day does wonders for the body. Sunday was a 22 mile run and I just nailed it.  I setup a 7.3 mile loop with the approximate elevation of Ironman Arizona.  I also setup a water station at mile 2.6, 5.1 and 7.3.  I would stop here and take a sip of water and walk for 10 seconds just like IMAZ.  This was going to be my test run before the big day.  I carried a HoneyStinger in my sleeve and a bottle of EFS Kona Mocha with me.  I would get all my calories and water without having to carry too much.....just as I plan to do in Tempe.  I ran the first loop in 1:06, the 2nd loop in 1:05 and the third loop in 1:03.  I got faster as the miles clicked off and my heart rate was never too elevated.  I knew that I was ready and the pain and torture of peak cycle had ended. My mind only knows the ups of this training cycle.  The ideas that were in my head during those 4 peak weeks are a distant memory, one to not be remembered until they come around again for Ironman Texas. Similar to the stock market with its ups and downs and corrections this Ironman training cycle has not only lifted me up but slammed me down.  It has shown me I have what it takes to be faster, but also made me question why I was doing it in the first place.  It has proven to me that I can get faster even when I don't think I can, but it has also slowed me down when I needed to.  When I cross the finish line on November 18 I will look back at this weekend as the one that was the perfect training session, but in reality it has been every single workout on every single day with the proper recovery that will have gotten me to that point. Ironman training has its ups and downs for sure, but in the end it will end on a high note because of who I have become through these days, weeks and months.
Published in Train
Friday, 06 July 2012 14:07

D-Day: Determination Day

[caption id="attachment_6156" align="alignright" width="360"]determination_inspiration_motivation_triathlon_imaz Source: Nancy Santana Blog[/caption] D-Day is how I'm feeling today.  What I mean by that is I am putting a stake in the ground and taking my training and living my life to the next level starting yesterday but since I already wrote a post yesterday this is becoming D-Day: Determination Day. Yesterday as I was driving home I heard that song that has the word YOLO in it.  Not being the hippest cat on the block (I know you are shocked) I had no clue what YOLO was, but then I listened to all the words and figured out that it stood for You Only Live Once.  At least that is how I'm interpreting it and since this is my blog that is what it is going to stand for. Then after Karen got home she posted on Facebook the song by Eminem to which I trained for Ironman Texas to which was Till I Collapse.  The lyrics are perfect for training in these dog days of summer and in general when training for an event:

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation tonot give up And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

I got fired up and decided to go back and read Maria's post on Becoming The Athlete I Need To Be.  I don't know how many times I have read this post but it gets me fired up every time and with all of these things circling me yesterday I decided that July 5th was D-Day.  Determination Day.  The Day I take the step forward to crushing my IMTX time at IMAZ.

From this point forward my training will take on new meaning.  I am no longer training to complete the distance I am training to race the distance.  There will be bouts of pain and fatigue.  There will be moments of misery and failure.  There will be times of questioning but in the end the product that goes to the starting line on November 18, 2012 is not going to be the same one that went to the starting line of Ironman Texas.  This athlete will have done all that he can to not just beat that 11:59:51 but done everything he can to obliterate it.

My diet is being cleaned up and tracked.  I have never liked tracking my food but it has helped over the past couple of days to see exactly what I am consuming and how it can affect my workouts and mood.  I am currently at 145 pounds and while it is a good weight for me to be at I want to be down to 140 by August 5th and training at 140 pounds since that is what I plan to race at.

All of these items coming together on one day could not have been a coincidence, but even if they were they came at the right time.  The time to make the declaration that this race will be different and I will make sure of that.

Published in Train
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 11:44

Ironman Arizona - Week 1 Review

[caption id="attachment_6045" align="alignright" width="240" caption="The AZ State Flag Is Just Really Cool Looking"]ironmanarizona_imaz_triathlon[/caption] Ironman Arizona training has started already and the first week was not easy to say the least.  Hill work plus speed intervals plus temperatures reaching the 90s and humidity at a bazillion percent and you have the recipe for a tough week. All that being said I am very excited to be back in the saddle, so to speak.  Getting long rides in and working on my goals for IMAZ has been invigorating.  I am using Jeff's tips on getting rid of my Speedfil and using only water bottles on the bike.  With a 3 loop course on the bike this should be somewhat easy to do.  I am going to have my torpedo upfront along with a cage on the down tube.  Lastly I am going to put one cage on the saddle to hold a bottle of water so I don't have to stop at every aid station on the bike. Also my nutrition is changing as well.  I am still going with EFS Liquid Shot Kona-Mocha (800 calories in two bottles) in the torpedo but my down tube water bottle will have Herbalife24 Prolong (750 calories) coupled with Herbalife24 Prepare.  This mix is great because it provides me with calories and has a mango taste which coupled with the Kona-Mocha will make me feel as if I am at brunch rather than a 112 mile race.  The remainder of calories needed will come from two HoneyStinger waffles (160 calories per waffle for 320 total calories.)  This combination will give me a total of 1870 calories (~ 300 calories per hour) and no need to stop at special needs on the course.  The difficulty will be the timing.  I am used to drinking every 15 minutes and will continue to do so but will now need to include water in the rotation.  Nothing too difficult to do but it will take practice getting it right. The nutrition and hydration on the run will not change from Ironman Texas as I felt great the entire run.  My one goal is to train at a higher heart rate since I plan on racing at a higher heart rate.  The higher bpm will not be difficult to achieve with the weather being what it is in the summer here in Texas.  Of course with the higher temps will come slower paces, but focusing on heart rate is what I need to do.  Reading this post from my Spidey-Twin Maria Simone (we are born 1 day apart) of No Limits Endurance Coaching will help in re-enforcing this thought process.  Every summer I complain that my paces are slower and it isn't until August that I realize the weather is what is causing this issue and I'm not magically slower. Now for the swim......oh the swim.  I am seeing some great swim times from folks racing right now and I long for those days.  I know that I swam slower because I went without a wetsuit at IMTX but that does not make me feel better.  This is one discipline that I need to and will get better at.  I am going to an OWS clinic on Wednesday evenings to get the practice in.  As they say, practice makes perfect. Here are my stats from Week 1 and it looks like the percentages compared to IMTX training are right in line......Thanks Coach! [caption id="attachment_6047" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Ironman Arizona Training Has Just Started"]ironmanarizona_imaz_triathlon_training[/caption] DON'T WORRY VIDEOS WILL BE MAKING THEIR WAY BACK TO THE BLOG AS WELL.....HAHA!
Published in Train