It's been one long year of training. I can honestly say that I've never trained and prepared myself for something so throughly. It all started back last November when I noticed that the entry for Florida Ironman was opening up right after the race on November 6th. I was at the keyboard and ready to enter my info, but alas they sold out in just a few minutes and I was on the outside looking in. Then I noticed that there was another way in. It was called the Executive Challenge. For as very large fee and if you were a high ranking person is a company, you were in!! I signed up. Then a couple of days later I noticed another way in. The Community Chest entry. Once again the price tag was higher then the normal fee but no where near the Executive Challenge fee. So once again I put in my entry. Funny thing happened as it always does in these matters, the day after I put my Community Chest entry in the people from the Executive Challenge called me up and said I was accepted. Thanks, but NO THANKS.
Now I had to start pulling together all the logistics. Hotel, no problem the host hotel still had rooms. IN
Flight: big problem, nobody seemed to be going to that airport. WTF!!! After a couple of days poking around I found out that they were changing the name of the airport and 3 letter code over the summer so that is why none of the airline had it listed. I was able to get a flight with Delta out of Manchester NH. Good I don't have to deal with Boston!!
Bike transportation: I contacted the TriBike Transportation company and they had space left and they would pick up my bike at a local bike shop. Done!!
Training Program. With the help of a friend (Randy Uram) I selected Gale Bernhardt's training program. It's a proven method and seemed to fit well with my skill set.
Learn to swim: Big, BIg, BIG problem. I wasn't just bad I was the WORST. Now you're thinking "how can that be". To give you an idea of how bad I was, in one drills I was suppose to be kicking my way across the pool using a kick board. Sounds easy right? Not for me. As I kicked with everything I had, I was slowly moving BACKWARDS!!! This was going to be a problem. In addition I couldn't go 50 yards without stopping to rest. I needed help. I signed up with a local health club with a pool. Then I signed up for the Master swim program. My instructor was very supportive and very patient. I would struggle at most of the drills but kept telling myself that I'm investing my time and sooner or later it would start coming together. It took over 6 months before I started feeling OK, not good but at least OK in the water. I've had good days and I've had days were I could only swim 300 yards before getting out of the pool in disgust. Now after almost 1 year of training I've done 2 mile swims and felt great afterwards.
Biking: Now I've biked many miles over the years but never 112 miles at one time. And surely haven't done that kind of mileage with out drafting off other riders. I needed to put in a lot of lonely miles. And I did. A couple of weeks ago I had a day of "Firsts" 1. I bike the furthest ever, 118 miles 2. I did this without putting my foot down once. 3. I did it alone. 4. I did the first 100 miles in under 5 hours. That's a 20 MPH average. 5. I felt great after the ride.
Running: Well I think I know how to run a marathon but having to swim and bike before doing it would be a test of mind over body. My long run to date is a 25 mile run in 3:15. I felt great after it. This is thanks to my many friends who meet me at the bright hour of Dark:30 on Saturdays to do 1, 2 or 3 loops with me. These guys have been fantastic. David Katz, Peter Floss, Tom Skahen, Matt Carroll, Norman Kim, and Bryan Widmann. Here's a photo after my longest run
Core strength: It's so important to build up your core for an Ironman and that's just what I've been doing. One and a half years ago I did the P90X training program while getting ready for the Boston Marathon. I decided I'd do the same thing for this race. It's working, I've dropped a ton of fat and gained some muscle and increased me endurance exponentially. The down side is that with P90X training and the Ironman training combined I've been working out an average of 21 hours a week.
Family: Here is where things get tough because I couldn't totally control it. My wife, Christine has be SUPER. She hasn't complained once. She understands how important this is to me and has encouraged me every step of the way. I can't say enough about it.
Nutrition: I had to learn how to eat while exercising. I tend to bonk in most distance races and that would be deadly in an Ironman. I seeked out advise from 2 friends. Both have completed Ironman triathlons and knows what it takes. Bill Rozen and Randy Uram have been very helpful in developing a plan while I'm training and racing. I feel really confident about it.
Last Saturday, 14 days before the race was a big test. I would be doing what I called a "Monster Brick", a long swim, bike and run. I was able to swim 2 miles in 1:15, then jump on the bike and go 90 miles in 4:30 then finish up on the run with 12 miles in 1:35. WOW!!! I can only hope that I'm even close to these speeds come race day. But my plan is to go out a little slower in each to make sure I can finish.
I'm getting down to just a few days be for I head out to Panama City, FL. To make sure I don't forget anything I created a list. A very LONG LIST:
Prior to leaving Get
Batteries for bike computer (3 x CR2032) Reflective tape for running shirt Black Sharpe Siccors Regular baggies Snack size zip lock baggies for electrolytes and Advil Re-align bike computer.
Take Xwing off Take pedals off Clean Lube Bring to Fast splits 622 Washington st Newton on Thursday 11/28
Bike Bag Pack: Write Name on bag with tele # Pedals Xwing Red helmet CO2 cartridges Chain whip tool Cassette release tool Wrench to install Xwing Alan wrench set T9 oil Perpetum Endurolytes tablets Vial for endorolytes Protein powder GU (lots) Hammer Gel (lots) 2 spare tubes
Pack in my Blue Seventy bag:
Wet suit White goggles Race number Strap Biking shoes Biking gloves Aero helmet Biking shorts Blue Seventy biking top Racing flats Acidotic singlet (white) Blue and white racing shorts Running socks Sun glasses (Rudy Mask) Ironman headband Running visor Body Glide Camera Itouch Itouch charger Laptop Laptop charger Running watch HR monitor Bike Computer Electrical tape
Pack in regular suit case:
Bike Pump 5 pair shorts 6 pairs of underwear 6 pairs of running socks Sweat suit for pre race Biking jacket Arm warmers Toe warmers Crocks Sweat shirt Biking shorts Tri suit Coconut oil Protein Powder Spoon 6 water bottles Running shorts Small towel Tooth brush Razor Blender Advil Liquid gel caps Misc.
I've been running and racing in the NE area for more then 35 years. Yes that makes me old!! This blog reviews workouts, injuries and what I'm thinking about during races.
What does the "PHAT" stand for? Pain...Heavy At Times.