Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here we go...

So, here I go. Training for my first ironman. So my hope is to start posting once a week or so about how my training weeks to, so that I can look back and remember how ridiculous it was, and maybe convince myself not to do it again :).

Let's start with some goals. One of the articles I always think about is a response to a letter in Triathlete Magazine where the authors rip someone asking about goals for a first ironman. The response amounted to: your goal should be to finish while remaining employed, married, and without a trip to the med tent. Indeed, these are my goals (although I don't really care if I end up in the med tent). However, at the risk of sounding brash (well, that's just who I am anyway I guess), I have other goals too. I want to go fast without too much risk of crashing and having a miserable day. I would also like to have the chance to do another ironman next year, although there is really only one other ironman that I would current consider doing... Anyway, can't even think about that yet. I know that training for 140.6 is serious business, and will require sacrifices in other parts of my life. It is not something I want to repeatedly put my family through.

Okay, training report to this point. My journey has begun following lots of advice and a training plan (in progress) from Bill Daniell of Grasky Endurance Coaching. 16 weeks leading up to the big day. Well, the hiccups started before the training even began. As I posted before, I took a hard crash on the mountain bike a few weeks ago, and it turns out that I managed to hurt my ribcage. Long story short, swimming was impossible for two weeks. Then, after three days of training, off to Minnesota for family vacation. No bike, no swimming, just running every other day in record heat and 80%+ humidity. Got back in Tucson last Saturday around midnight, then a 3-hour ride in the heat on Sunday. Good stuff. This week, things have gotten back on track. The training load really isn't too bad at this point--three workouts each for swim, bike, and run. Two runs are short but relatively hard (tempo stuff, hill repeats, or intervals), one is long and easy. Bike workouts are either intervals, hill repeats, or long. Swims are, well, swims. Not bad except that I hadn't swam in three weeks. Swimming shape seems to disappear FAST! Basically, halfway through all three workouts this week, I doubted my ability to finish the sets. Oh well, suck it up and get it done. Good stuff.

My plan is to stick to the plan, trust it, and trust my coach. Do the work and hopefully things will go smoothly...or at least I'll finish. Had to swallow my pride for the first time today. I went for my first group ride in a long time with a bunch of triathletes, and not slow ones. My ride was 3.5 hours of Zone 2. So, what happens? Starting on the first hill, the group blows apart. I know I can hang with the guys in the front for three hours, but that's not my workout. Just let them go. The goal is not to keep with the fastest guys on the group ride. The goal is to be ready for Ironman AZ, even if that means I rode by myself for 2:30 before running by myself for three miles. Long-ish run on the schedule for tomorrow afternoon, and week "three" is in the books, if only full week one for me. "Three" (one) down, and 13 to go. Let's get it done!

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