I am a working triathlete. Like most age-groupers, I have full-time job to support my triathlon habit. Squeezing in the workouts around a busy schedule is challenging, especially when you are training for an Ironman distance race (Ironman Louisville is my next race). I thought it might be fun to chronicle a week in the life of a working triathlete. Continue reading
After only one mile of the 26.2 mile run of Ironman Vineman, I knew I was in trouble. I was already showing signs of dehydration as the temperature hovered in the mid 80’s. At that point I knew finishing the race would be a physical and a mental struggle. I wasn’t sure I was up for it.
After having such a great experience finishing my first full-distance triathlon at Ironman Arizona (IMAZ) last November, there was no question in my mind that I would do another one. Soon after the completion of IMAZ, I began planning my 2016 season and looking for an IM event. IM Vineman seemed to be the perfect race for me since I have relatives that live in Sonoma County. A trip to NoCal in July would allow me to get away from the Texas heat, visit family, and knock out my second IM. I set my goals for IM #2 higher than the first time around. This time I not only wanted to finish but I had aspirations of trimming at least 30 minutes off of my IMAZ finishing time. A challenge for sure given the course and temperature differences between IMAZ and IM Vineman. Continue reading
I don’t mind when the elite athletes poke a little fun at us age groupers. After all, we can be easy targets. Just take a look around when you are in the transition area of your next race. You will see some of the age groupers decked out in high-end gear, aero helmets, and super expensive bikes. Often, those same age groupers are the ones finishing at the back of the pack. That’s ok, it’s their money. But you can see the irony there.
We all have occasional bad training days. In some cases, it is not that the training goes poorly, it’s just that everything else seems to go wrong. For me, 140.6 training is an obsession and I’m still learning to keep the minor setbacks in perspective. So when something goes wrong on a training day, I have a hard time not getting frustrated.
As I went into the T2 transition tent, my body was shaking uncontrollably from the wet and cold. I had just finished the 112 mile bike portion of Ironman Arizona (IMAZ). I sat in a chair shivering and desperately trying to change into my run gear. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would get up and head out to start the 26.2 mile run. There was some question as to whether I would finish it.
It was one year ago almost to the day that I had signed up for IMAZ, my first full distance triathlon. It was hard for me to believe that the big day had already arrived. I had followed my training plan, but going 140.6 miles was a complete unknown to me. And I had no idea how the day would go.
When signing up for Ironman 70.3 Silverman almost a year ago, I did not bother to look at the course. Oops! I didn’t realize what I was in for. When I finally did study the course, it was quickly clear why the Ironman 70.3 World Championships were held here several times. This was supposed to be a warm-up event for me as I prepare for Ironman Arizona (IMAZ). It was going to be an interesting weekend in southern Nevada.
As promised, I have a progress report for Milestone #1 as I prepare for 140.6. For my non-triathlon friends, I hope this post provides you with a little glimpse of preparing for and participating in an endurance race.
When I signed up for my first full-distance triathlon (140.6 miles) last November, my plan was to take the training in steps and set some milestones along the way. First step was to get my training base back and then get a race under my belt. After all, it had been over a year since my last race and I needed an early gauge of my fitness level.
One of the great pleasures I get from running is what I call the payoff run. What is a payoff run? For me, it is a little reward during a run that provides a payoff for my hard work. Most often the reward comes in the form of some type of visual, scenery for example.
In my early years of running as an adult, I was completely focused on training and improving my performance. Training runs were a means to an end. How I was going to get that PR in my next race. I’m not sure if I realized at the time that running provides much, much more. Don’t get me wrong-performance goals are still important to the competitor in me. But I have found as I have gotten older that there is a joy to running that goes beyond metrics. It is not about how fast I can get from point A to point B; it is more about what I experience along the way.
Out of nowhere, I found myself falling to the pavement, hands out to brace for impact. The Busted Runner was down again.
I’m really not clumsy. For a guy my age, I consider myself to be rather agile. But when you run and bike, every once in a while you are going to fall. Sometimes the fall is out of your control and other times you only have yourself to blame. Take for example the time that I was running with my German Shepherd, Fel. I always thought it would be cool to have a running companion, and Fel was full of energy and needed the exercise. The second time out, we were running along on the sidewalk and Fel suddenly decided that she needed to sniff a bug and she cut right in front of me. Over the top of her I went and down to the pavement I fell. Clearly not my fault. Fel and I didn’t run together anymore after that.
I have been thinking a lot about bike safety lately. Those of us that choose to do road cycling understand the dangers involved. We understand that if we tangle with an automobile, we are likely going to be on the losing end. For me, I take the risk because I love the bike and the mind-clearing medicine that it gives me.
If you ride long enough, the odds are that you will have an accident, and if you do, it will more likely than not involve an automobile. I had only been riding for about a year when it happened to me. I was riding on a country two-lane road, and a driver (I’ll call him a cyclist hater) decided to try and brush me off the road while laying on his horn. I swerved and crashed – the driver kept going. I ended up with some serious “road rash” and a cracked helmet but no broken bones. I was lucky.