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Average to Iron | My journey from an average to completing an Iron man Triathlon

OMG

“When the time for performance has arrived, the time for preparation has passed.” –Author unknown

June 27, 2014

I was in awe at the athletic and totally fit people walking around. I felt way out of my league, and yet at the same time I was so proud to be among them as a fellow competitor.

The weather was damp and cold, yet many competitors were in the water for a practice swim. I jumped in for a swim as well, I was anxious to test my wet suite which I was borrowing from my good friend Mike Gasik. The suite felt great, it passed the test and I determined to use it for the race.

June 28, 2014

 

June 29, 2014 Sunday morning (Race day)

Transition bags and Body Marking:

Race start:
When I began training I set a lose goal to complete the Ironman in twelve hours, I got this number from friends who had completed Ironman Triathlons. Then I did a few basic calculations that estimated the times that I was capable of. I discovered that twelve hours would be reaching for the stars, but that was the measuring stick I would use during training, I also wrote a note in my phone which I looked at every day. As race day approached and as I took a closer look at the course I was racing on, including the amount of climbing, etc. I thought I would be really happy with any time under fourteen hours.

I don’t have a habit of checking my heart rate, time, speed, and distance like so many others do. I just listen to my body, and tried to under estimate the amount I was doing so that my training would be more than planned. But not much more, I wanted to avoid burnout and stick to the plan as much as I could. Usually I would take my Garmin watch with me as a recorder, but I rarely referenced it during my workouts. As I packed my bags for the race, I decided to I take my watch out of the bag and race without it, just listening to my body.(My actual time ended up being 12:29)

What worked and what didn’t”:

salt pills:

protein/ endurance shake:

 

Falling behind, but staying the course

A busy work schedule working two jobs, and moving into a new home have made any serious training schedule very difficult. I felt like I have fallen behind on some of my training progress. Trying not to be discouraged, I am working hard to not miss a training day, and stay the course.

May 28, 2014

10.4 run with a game of ultimate Frisbee in the middle of the run with some local high school kids here in New York.

May 27, 2014

6.88 mile run.

May 26, 2014

10.5 mile run. My way of running on Washington.

Run on Washington

May 25, 2014

Day off.

May 24, 2014

7.25 mile run (total distance) with 10 x 400 meter sprints in the middle.

May 23, 2014

73 mile ride.

May 22, 2014

9.7 mile bike ride.

May 21, 2014

9 mile morning bike ride. 13 mile afternoon bike ride, and a .75 run.

May 20, 2014

3.7 mile run. Then I spent the rest of the day building a rock retaining wall.

May 19, 2014

6 mile run, 6 mile bike.

May 18, 2014

No exercise.

May 17, 2014

Day off.

May 16, 2014

Run up Diamond Head in Hawaii.

Running up Diamond Head.

Top of Diamond Head

Running up Diamond Head.

A nice way to finish a run…going to the beach. :-)

Hawaii after run to Diamond Head 1 Hawaii after run to Diamond Head

 

15 miles on a stationary bike in 51 minutes. 8 mile run in 1:10 .

May 14, 2014

15 mile run in 1:28.

May 13, 2014

4:00 ride, followed by a 4.4 mile run.

May 12, 2014

First ride on my new bike. 13 mile run followed by a 4 mile run.

Venge

This bike is a piece of history, it belonged to the Iron cowboy.

May 11, 2014

Day off.

May 10, 2014

1:20 stationary cycle. followed by a 20 minute run.

Here is a healthy meal I picked up at a “build your own” salad bar at a San Francisco boutique market.

Healthy meal

May 9, 2014

7.8 mile run in 1:00 Tempo run. Tempo run: trying to run one minute faster than my target ironman run per mile for 6 to 7 miles.

May 8, 2014

2 mile warm up run, followed by 10 x 400 meter sprints, separated by 100 meter rest walks between sprints. Wrapping up the sprints with a 1 mile cool down jog.

This exercise was given to me from a new friend Jon Rose. Jon has completed several extreme races, including Ironman, and he has been a great success in life, personally, financially, and otherwise.

May 7, 2014

Moving into my new home. No exercise.

May 6, 2014

Moving into my new home. No exercise.

May 5, 2014

28 mile bike ride, 4 mile run in 2:30 total time including transitions.

May 4, 2014

Day off.

May 3, 2014

28 mile bike ride.

May 2, 2014

4.6 mile run.

May 1, 2014

1:00 swim followed by a 4 mile run.

April 30, 2014

90.1 mile ride in 6:20. Morning ride out to Utah’s SaltAir, then north to Farmington.

Salt Aire morning ride

April 29, 2014

9.1 mile run in 1:15 (Fast)

April 28, 2014

3 mile run, in 00:25 and 1:00 swim.

April 27, 2014

Day off

April 26, 2014

6 mile run

April 25, 2014

1:00 swim

 

Up’s and down’s (there’s no steady progress, and no easy ride)

April 24, 2014

40 mile ride.

April 23, 2014

Brick: 26.3 Mile bike, and 12.5 mile run

April 22, 2014

2.4 mile swim 195 laps, and a 4 mile run.

April 21, 2014

85 mile ride in 5:40 by myself.

April 20, 2014

nothing

April 19, 2014

Nothing

April 18, 2014

00:20 on a row machine.

April 17, 2014

6.5 mile run

April 16, 2014

10.5 run.

April 15, 2014

58 Mile bike, 4.8 mile run in 00:59 with the stroller.

April 14, 2014

13 mile bike, 4.7 mile run in 00:55.

April 13, 2014

Day off.

April 12, 2014

Insanity workout.

April 11, 2014

6 mile run, 00:10 rowing machine.

April 10, 2014

7 mile run.

April 9, 2014

2 mile swim, 5 mile run (pushing my “dually” baby stroller)

April 8, 2014

2:00 bike, 00:15 run.

April 7, 2014

Bike 38 miles

April 6, 2014

Day off

April 5, 2014

1:00 run and :10 bike, and :15 weights.

April 4, 2014

1:30 Stationary cycle, and a quick :10 treadmill run.

April 3, 2014

Nothing.

April 2, 2014

6 mile run, and 2 games of Ultimate Frisbee with some local high school kids.

April 1, 2014

17 mile run in 2:25, this was an “up.”

March 31, 2014

Insanity workout and a 5 mile run in 00:50.

March 30, 2014

Nothing again!

March 29, 2014

Here is one of the “down’s,” I did nothing!

March 28, 2014

14 mile bike and a 6 mile run.

March 27, 2014

8.3 mile run in 1:13

 

Stats

March 26, 2014

I woke up at 4:30a and went to two spin (cycle) classes back-to-back, then I swam for 1:20. I am always impressed with myself when I get up and get the workout done…it’s hard to make the spirit overcome the body, no mater how many times I do it.

I decided I should keep track of my weight and shape a little better as a means to measure progress, even though my performance is much more important to me. My lack of interest in weight and shape are apparent in the pictures because there isn’t much change.

This picture was taken today (March 26, 2014), I now weigh between 180-185 lbs. (about 5 lbs. less than normal) I do fewer upper body workouts and my exercise is strictly geared to Ironman. It’s hard for me to look at the pictures because I know how much harder I am working now and I feel like I should be more lean and more defined. It has been difficult to see progress in any respect because my performance also varies greatly from one day to the next.

DSC08376

This picture was taken in December of 2012 at Bojo Beach in Accra Gahanna (Africa). At this point I was exercising and preparing for an Ironman, but not following any specific training schedule. I had not signed up or decided on a race date yet. My weight was between 185-190 lbs.

IMG_20121216_073904

March 25, 2014

6 mile run with my family, then a few hours later a did a very fast 14.1 mile maximum effort bike ride. I passed a few older guys on bikes who commented on my speed as I passed, it was an ego boost. Unfortunately there are plenty of other experiences that are very humbling.

March 24, 2014

1:00 swim  then a 7.95 mile run in 1:10 on a treadmill.

March 23, 2014

Day off. Long day a work so it didn’t feel like a day off.

March 22, 2014

54 mile bike ride in 3:30, followed by a 5 mile run with my girls riding their bikes with me. Then I rode an additional 13 miles up a steep road to get home. It ended up being a long day but I felt pretty good.

March 21, 2014

11 mile bike ride.

March 20, 2014

8 mile run.

March 19, 2014

Beach Body’s insanity workout “pure cardio” (00:40 long)

March 18, 2014

1:50 on a stationary bike, followed by 00:40 4.75 mile run.

March 17, 2014

1:00 swim followed by a 9 mile 1:10 run.

March 16, 2014

Day off

March 15, 2014

Swim in a crowded hotel pool for about 1:00. I had to switch between lap swimming and treading water.

March 14, 2014

8.7 mile run to Miami Beach, not a bad finish to a run.

IMG_20140314_162255 IMG_20140314_162342 IMG_20140314_162448

March 13, 2014

I rode 58 miles in 4:05, then I ran with my girls while they rode their bikes for an additional 00:40.

Progress

March 12, 2014

Today I swam 00:50 then ran 13 miles in 1:45 on a treadmill. I felt fast and I felt like I was making progress, really improving, you could call it a “runner’s high.”   I started the workout after I dropped off my daughter for school, about 9:00am. I felt rested and rejuvenated, there must be something to the old saying “early to bed, early to rise… makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” As I write this I realize that so many successes in life come after many failures and despair, that is how I felt earlier in the week. I guess the lesson to be learned for Ironman training and life is to STICK TO IT!!

March 11, 2014

1:10 swim followed by a funeral. Not the way I hope to spend too many days in my life.

March 10, 2014

1:45 on a stationary bike, followed by a 1:10,  7.8 mile run, in a hotel gym. I took several phone calls during the workout so I can’t really say “I was pushing it.”

March 8-9, 2014

My work schedule did not allow for a workout. I know,  I know, “Slacker.” It’s hard emotionally to miss a workout, it weighs on my mind to the point that a workout would be easier.

March 7, 2014

Today I road about 50 miles on my bike in 3:00, the final climb is about 1,000 feet over roughly a 1.5 mile distance. So the times don’t necessarily correlate to flat road times, but that was still a bit slow.

I followed the ride with a 00:15 jog, and due to a few other obligations, the run did not immediately follow the ride, but my legs did feel very mushy.

March 6, 2014

Today I did two spin classes, about an hour each. Then I ran 7.6 miles in 1:00, that was a really tough pace for me, I’m not sure if the two spin classes wore me out…but the run definitely did.

March 5, 2014

I swam for 1:00 and that was it, that was a nice change from yesterday.

March 4, 2014

Today I rode 18 miles in 1:30. It was cold, windy and rainy, the actual temperature was somewhere in the 40′s but I was miserable, and slow. The road I normally ride is about 5,000 feet above sea level, it is the most flat road around here but it isn’t flat by most standards, as I recall there is about 1,200 ft of elevation change to ride from one side to the other and back again.

Following the ride, I ran another 6.5 miles in 1:05 on the same road, and in the same conditions. I’m glad not every day is like this.

 

Now it gets tough!

I have been worne out with competing projects, work, etc. Many times it takes all the fortitude I have just to get out of bed and begin my workout. My best solution so far is to try and get more sleep, unfortunately with winter conditions and spin classess (indoor cycling class) that start at 5:15a, it is not always possible to get a full night of sleep.

March 3, 2014

15 mile run in 2:12, followed by a :40 swim. My biggest concerns right now are injury and burnout. I am trying to stick to the plan, avoid over doing it. I always take Sunday off, and I never make up a missed workout.

March 2, 2014

Day off.

March 1, 2014

I went skiing with my Brother’s family and my Dad, probably a good healthy lifestyle, but not Ironman training.

February 28, 2014

1:45 cycling class, followed by a 7.6 mile run in 1:00, it took all the energy I had. The computer estimated I burnt 900 Cal. Then I swam a cool down swim for :20, I’m not sure the cool down swim was such a great idea. My body really tightened up when I went from a very high level of exertion to the cold water.

February 27, 2014

Nothing… I am always disappointed in myself on these days.

February 26, 2014

Same as yesterday, Insanity workout.

February 25, 2014

I was in pretty intense study mode for work, an Insanity workout was all I alocated time for. I must say, it’s a good way to wear yourself out in :40.

February 24, 2014

12 mile run in 2:00

February 23, 2014

Day off

February 22, 2014

1:40 run.

February 21, 2014

11 Mile bike ride outside. We are starting to see some signs of spring, we have had several days with temperatures in the 50′s-60′s. I can’t wait for warmer weather!

February 20, 2014

2 X 1:00 cycling classes. They ended up being :45 each, so I went and road another stationary bike for another :40.

February 19th, 2014

11 Mile run.

February 18, 2014

1:40 swim. I’ve just been going to the gym and setting a freestyle pace and swimming. My wife, who is a much better swimmer than I am, really doesn’t like this plan.

February 17, 2014

11 mile run.

February 16, 2014

Day off.

February 15, 2014

:40 Insanity workout “Pure Cardio.” It’s the only disc that still works.

February 14, 2014

6 mile Valentine’s day run.

February 13, 2014

One 1:00 cycling class and 1:30 Swim.

February 12, 2014

2:40 cycling, followed by a 1:00 Swim (after missing yesterday’s workout)

Misty morning

February 10, 2014 Monday

Nice run in the misty San Francisco morning to the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m not sure exactly how far I ran, I think about 11 miles. My objective today was to run for 1:30 minutes, it ended up being a few minutes longer than that.

Approaching the Golden Gate

Approaching the Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge 2014

Weird picture…I’m kind of limited when I have to take my own pictures on a run. I end up with a lot of “Swelfies,” (sweaty selfies).

February 09, 2014 Sunday

Day off! Yeah…it was needed.

February 08, 2014 Saturday

11 mile run in Florida with a relaxing dip in the ocean. A really nice change from yesterday. (about 82 degrees. F)

Florida West Palm Beach 2014

February 7th, 2014 Friday

6 mile run in New York, it was dark and cold.

Thursday February 6, 2014

Today is my long day. I started my day off of work with a 4:30 am wake up for two spin classes starting at 5:15 am, then I stayed and biked for another 2:06, for a grand total of 4:06 on a stationary bike. I’m not going to lie, it was a total grind, and my ass hurts.

Wednesday February 5, 2014

Ten mile run, it was a nice run at a comfortable pace.

Tuesday February 4, 2014

Stuck in the airport delays, etc. No chance to exercise, I got home at 2:00 am (Totally beat!!!)

Monday February 3, 2014

1:00 swim in a really nice hotel pool, followed by a :40 eight km run. It was a nice way to start the day.

Wrapping up January

January 31, 2014 Friday

6 Mile run.

January 30, 2014 Thursday

2 spin classes

January 29, 2014 Wednesday

1:10 Swim. This is when I realized that spending 3 hours a day biking, running and swimming is less productive than spending 3 hours a day doing only one discipline. In other words, swim, bike or run, but don’t do a little of everything every day.

January 28, 2014 Tuesday

2 spin classes and a :30 swim.

January 27, 2014 Monday

January 26, 2014 Sunday

Day off

January 25, 2014 Saturday

Spin class. Feeling a little sick.

January 24, 2014

Spin class, 1 mile sprint/run, 1 hour swim.

January 23, 2014

10.1 Mile run

January 22, 2014

2 spin classes, and a 4 mile run in :32

The threat of “burnout”

Tuesday January 21, 2014

A full day of little things made it easy to make  excuses to do a 5 mile run / walk with my girls. It’s fun, and it’s a healthy life style, but it’s not training…it’s a supplement.

I feel like I’m walking a bit of a fine line because I have been doing more than the scheduled workouts in most cases but I also feel the threat of a “burnout.” I want to make sure my training is sustainable.

Monday January 20, 2014

One spin class and a :30 minute “Recsanity”

Sunday January 19, 2014

Day off

Saturday January 18, 2014

One spin class at 7:00 am, followed by a :40 swim. Then it was off to Ultimate Frisbee where a got a good “whack” in the eye with the frisbee. My neighbor told me “if you don’t have battle scares, your not having fun.” I must be having lots of fun because I have plenty of battle scares lately. Here is my little camera phone “selfy.”

eye

 

January 17, 2014

8 Mile run. Sometimes I forget to start Strava (my running app.) until I am at the half way point, that’s what happened today.

January 16, 2014

Run with my girls, while they bike.

January 15, 2014

2 spin classes, a 3 mile treadmill run, and a 5 mile run / walk with my little girls on bikes.