Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 is Nearly in the Bag

2011 is almost done.  Just one more day and one more bike ride.  CL wants to be riding by 7:30.  We will see.  A lot of things occurred in 2011.  Like I signed up for IMAZ.  You will hear me say this a lot in 2012, "What the hell was I thinking??". 

12/31/11 - We all met at the Y, Vortex and TNT.  We must have had 15 people.  It was a bit crowded.  There was the usual kbitzing.  Giving people a hard time, the veterans and the newbies alike.  No one was spared.  It was actually quite refreshing and a lot of fun. CL laid out the law for the ride, er I mean, the rules and the goals. 

Well, we had 3 flats for the group and a lot of tired riders.  We all rode at the CL's designated warm up pace of 15mph.  When we turned the corner at Lake Nona the faster riders took off.  It was about 59 degrees out so must of us were bundled up.  I was especially.  However, I ended up taking off a lot of it as I went.  We got separated a bit.  A group went out at about 20+.  I let them go.  I was content at my 19-20mph.  Ended up riding a lot  alone, but it was good.  Rpms were 95+ the whole ride.  When we finished, we all went to Dunkin Donuts for brunch.  Most everyone went.  It was a lot of fun.  CL told us about a swim on 1/1/12 in Lake Minneola at 7am.  Ya right.  I will be there. NOT.

I rode 34 miles at an average pace of 19.5mph.  Less than one-third of the Ironman I have signed up for.  I really need to work on on my bike muscular endurance.  The good news is that I have 11 months to train.    

Here's to the new year and my training to come.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Holidays

The Holidays always present a challenge for training.  Everyone, including me, does not want to do much.  You have the fanatical faithful, of which I am one.  Then you have the folks who do it when they have the time and inclination.  Finally, the folks that say "I will get back to training next year".  I wish I was one of them, but I am not.  The reason I keep training is to maintain fitness and not to have to start over.  So this training is really maintaining for me.  Please do not get me wrong on my groupings.  If you fall into one of the other categories, I am not judging you.  Just observing the world around me.

Last Wednesday was a swim day at the pool.  We showed up but the CL did not.  She was working overtime so she could do IM training next year.  Well the life guard had the workout.  It was 400yd warm-up of pull, swim, and kick then a ladder by 100s from 100 to 400 then a 200 back cool down. About 2000 total yards. So we do that and then the CL sends out an email later that day with  a 600yd warm-up of pull, swim, and kick then a ladder by 50s from 50 to 300 then 2 - 400s then go back down the ladder then a 200 back cool down or 3400 yards.  Oops, we lucked out on that one!!!:)

Also got a Compex stimulator for Xmas from my sweetheart darling. I always knew she wanted to electrocute me.  Looks like fun.  I will be letting you know how that goes.

Good Training.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bad habits = Bad training 12/15 to 12/18

The end of this week was tough.  We have a few traditions at my company.  We have a Xmas party that lasts until 4am in the morning.  That was Thursday.  Then we went golfing on Friday and had then another Xmas dinner on Saturday night.  All I can say is that my training gets in the way of my drinking.  In fact, on Sunday's ride in the morning I was wondering how the Sambucca would feel on the 12th interval that morning.

Needless to say, I was feeling horrible.  Today is Monday and I am still not feeling right.  I think drinking will be out of the question for the last 3 months leading up to IMAZ.  Why 3 months? Because I really do not think I can reallistically hold out for longer. 

Cause and effect definitely rule. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Finish Line

I was watching the Kona rerun this weekend and it reminded me of the IMAZ finish I watched online in November.  I had a friend running in that one.  He did it in 11 hours and 30 minutes.  As I watched for him at the finish line, I noted that some participants would come down the chute together and Mike Reilly would say their names together.  Some times I think he missed some names.  So with that I committing to the following at the finish line.

I will come down the chute alone even if I have to stand for a minute and wait for traffic to ease up. (Naturally I will not let this waiting go too long or impact my overall time)

Second, over the course of the year I am going to have to come up with my version of running down the chute.  I doubt I could ever do anything original but I will come up with something.

Happy training.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I had a meeting with the CL.  I wanted to discuss time goals for IMAZ.  Let's get one thing clear.  I torture numbers for a living.  So give me anything to do with number crunching and I will have a field day with it.  So keep in mind have computed these numbers 100 times. 

Also, I am quite apprehensive about even sharing these times because it will committ me to a training regimen that my team will hold me too.  Not to mention the embarassment factor if I do not hit them.  So with that and much more in mind but to garbled in the grey matter of my brain to express in the written word, I am setting forth these goals for IMAZ.  These are in order of importance.

1. I will finish under 17 hours!  Definitely will not do what that lady did at Kona and finish 4 seconds after 17 hours.

2. I will train as instructed so that I will have no excuse not to achieve #1 above.  In my opinion, the race will be hard, but the training will be harder. I need to check my ego at the door.  Fat chance!  :)

3. Provided I am faithful to #2 above, I can then expect to race to the following times:
  • Swim = 1:15
  • Bike = 6:00
  • Run = 5:30
  • Transitions = 0:15
  • Total = 13 hours. 
Ok, the swim time is totally doable. CL and I both thought I may be able to cut some time off that but not a lot.  The bike is ambitious.  That is 18.6 mph for the whole time out there.  CL was thinking about a 6:30 time, which is just over 17 mph average.  The run is totally doable. Run at 5 mph and walk every mile for .1mi at 3 mph.  HOWEVER,  the run will be very much dependent on what I do on the bike.  If I push on the bike, the run will suck.

Disclaimer: Sxxx Happens!  If this occurs (for instance, winds are high on the bike, its raining, or it is unseasonably hot), then the times above are OFF, except for the swim.  I cannot think of anything other than no water that would screw up the swim.

These are just goals, especially the time goal. The first two are more important. 

    Surprise!! You have time trial (TT) today! 12/13/11

    Another think you need to know is that there are about 10 other people including the CL that are going to IMAZ next year that I am training with.  Not everybody comes to all the team practices.  This is because of timing, distance, travel, etc. gets in the way, but we have a good group (including those not doing an ironman) that trains together and supports one another.

    So, we show up at the Y at 6am.  CL walks in with a pad.  This means she is going to write something down.  This means usually a lot of pain for us.  She informs us that we are having a time trial.  A one miler.  Isn't that fabulous??  Well, we are going to warm up for a mile then do some stretching and other stuff and then have the TT.

    We get done with the preliminaries and start the TT.  Here we go.  Well Wally looks like he got shot out of cannon and is gone.  Then there is the group that passes me but I know I will not catch them. Then there is Steve.  He goes by strong and I pick it up a little just to stay close.  I feel like I can move a little faster and overtake him at about .4mi.  Goal now just put distance between us. (Can you tell I am a little competitive?)  At about .7mi I am not liking life and start to slow, then I check my six and Steve is right there. Damn it!  So I pick it up.  At about .9mi Steve makes a move around me and makes a bad turn.  He thought we were at the entrance where we started but it was one more up.  He adjusts but slows just a little.  With about 50 yards to go I make a move and start a sprint, if you call what I did a sprint. It was for me but others I sure they would call it a jog.  I nosed Steve at the imaginary line and we both were spent.  Time = 7:53.

    Did better than I thought I would thanks to Steve.  Thank you, Steve for pushing me.

    Swimming tomorrow.  Since I have not been in the pool for a week and a half I will probably drown.  So I hope the lifeguard is awake.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    We are in trouble now 12/10/11

    Today started out like any other weekend day. An early rise at 6am to my son's alarm upstairs blaring. Really?  Well, he was at a friend's house and the other one "didn't hear it"??  So being a good husband I dragged my butt up there and turned it off.  5 minutes later the damn thing went off again.  The second alarm.  Back up stairs and made sure there wasn't a third one.

    Took some time did the usual morning routine stuff.  We were riding today from Advanced Cycles so I was going to take my bike over there by car.  So I loaded it up and got over there.  We were doing paceline practice at the airport loop.  Pretty much one group.  We made 2 laps together.  The 3rd lap was a disaster.  We splintered like a piece of wood being smashed by a sledge hammer.  It was no one person's fault we are all at different levels.  We just did not stick together.

    Well, we all stopped to wait for the last person.  Our CL (cult leader) then starts with her motherly voice which means we are all about to get our heads handed to us.  (and it happened).  She wanted us to stay together. Period.  She then went on to explain why she wanted us to do what she said.  We all hung our heads low. She was right, but seriously we did not think that far ahead.  Finally, she was done and we rode TOGETHER back to Advanced Cycle. 

    It was a good day.  We got a good ride in, got yelled at, and learned something -- (DO WHAT THE CL SAYS!!)..... lol

    Our Cult Leader

    I am going to refer to my/our coach as my/our Cult Leader (CL).  This is meant quite affectionately.  She works her butt off for us to make sure we are trained.  It does not always seem like we appreciate her but we truly do.  I improved a half iron man by 20 minutes because of her.

    Anyway what makes this interesting this year is that she is doing IMAZ, too.  One of my goals for IMAZ is to make sure she trains and finishes, even if I have to tie a rope around her shoulders and drag her to the finish line.  I do not think that is legal by race standards, but y'all get the drift.

    It is time for bed.  Nite nite.

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Week of 12/4

    Well, this week went fast.  At a company meeting for 4 days and 3 nights doing mostly drinking and eating.  I did manage to run 4.5mi and 3mi during the stay.  Bike spin on Thursday and a stretching/abs/weight lifting morning Friday. 

    My wife is definitely in for the long haul.  I dreamt I was doing the bike portion of the race and she heard all about it.  If this keeps up I will be sleeping in another room. lol

    My tri coach should get sainthood for putting up with me.  I was full of it this morning. 

    Got a ride tomorrow and a run on Sunday. 

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    The interrupted ride 12/3/11

    It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Get up take #2 son to school at 5:45am for a wrestling tournament. Go home. Lounge. Get bike ready be on the road at 7:30. Do 30 miles. Then go to tournament and run some errands.

    Well, 10 miles into the ride my phone rings twice.  One is from my wife.  #2 son has broken his left arm she is on the way to the tournament.  Then my bike decides it needs some TLC and I spend 5 minutes tightening my seat.  Then a half hour later my wife calls again. Another 5 minutes.  Each time I am having to stop.  Then the wind decides to blow a steady 15mph.  Yea!!

    So my 1:40 ride turned into a 2 hour ride.  Then I find out #2 son is having surgery as it was a bad break. 

    Life happens.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    354 days to go!

    What the hell was I thinking?  Why did I click that last button to register for an Ironman?  What am I trying to prove?  Is it just a bucket list item?  Can I afford to train as much as I need to?  Will I get injured?  The questions are endless. Well, over the course of this next year I am going to explore those questions and a lot more.

    I need to let everyone know how I got here to this point and why I have decided to do this blog.  First, a little bit  about me.  I'm about to turn 48 years old.  I am a CFO for an insurance company.  I work about 50 hours a week and travel about 6 to 8 weeks a year.  I workout at the Lake Nona Y in Orlando.  Four years ago a trainer told me I should try doing a triathlon.  I told her she was crazy, but it started me thinking.

    I have always been challenged with my weight.  Working out keeps it manageable.  Would doing triathlons help keep the weight off?  I knew I could swim.  I love to bike.  I just can't run.  Well I participated in my first tri as a relay partner.  I did the bike leg.  The very next day I blew out my ACL in my left knee again!  After surgery and a quick recovery (7 months of PT hell), I did a Muddy Buddy race.  I was back.  No more softball.

    So I did a few sprints that year and finished with an Olympic at Miami Man where I took 3rd place in my age group (Clydesdale 185 40+).  I know the official USAT weight is 200 but this race has that category and I use it. That was 2008.  In 2009, a few more sprints and then decided I was going to do a half-iron man at Miami Man.  I got 3rd again.  Woohoo!!  Time was 6:26.

    In 2010 I did some sprints but ended again with the Miami Man Half Ironman.  Time was 6:06 with a flat tire.  No podium.  In 2011 my main races were all Olympics. Finished again at Miami Man in the olympic.  A 2:30 time and first place in my age group.  Yes, Clydesdale 185 40+.

    Then, our cult leader, er I mean Tri coach, pitched Ironman Arizona or IMAZ.  The course is relatively flat and spectator friendly.  So she put in our heads that we could do an ironman.  Plus a couple of the members of the team had already done a an ironman.  Ultimately we would have at least 10 people training for the same  race.  So I checked with work and cleared that deck.  Then I had to check with the boss, my wife Debbie.  She said she would see me next November 19th.  :)  After some serious discussion she said go for it.

    So on November 21, 2011 at 2pm (Noon Tempe time) registration opened and sold out in 10 minutes. I got my spot at 2:07pm.  And now I was committed. Or should I be committed?

    We have not started training specifically for it but we are maintaining base through the holidays. In January the fun begins.

    Well, so begins my journey.