Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I think I miss Ironman a little

I was warned about this.  During training and the race, you think "once and done".  Then, after a while that feeling goes away and you start thinking "hey, that wasn't so bad...."  Maybe I'm caught up in the fresh season of IM training.  Maybe I'm bored and looking for a challenge.  I don't know.  I'm seriously considering signing up for IMCDA (Ironman Coeur d'Alene) in Jun 2013.  The bike is pretty hard.  But its not hot.  I don't know.  Registration will open at the end of June and I have a month or so to think things over before I hand WTC about $700 of my hard earned dollars.  So I have time to do some soul searching.

In an effort to drag out my Ironman Experience, here's a series of emails I sent out last year.  I was part of a fundraiser team last year, and my race was IMTX.  I think the emails were a fun way of personalizing my fundraising (other than "hey, give me your money!) and after the fact, they're fun to read and see what I did last year.

March 28, 2011
As you may (or may not) know, I am racing in Ironman Texas on May 21, 2011 in Houston Texas. This race is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 run which I have to complete is under 17 hours. Since transferring to Denver, I’ve joined a local fundraising team called Sweat Equity, which helps to raise money to support local Denver charities. Through Sweat Equity, I am raising funds for a very important local nonprofit organization - LiveWell Colorado. LiveWell is committed to reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living. In addition to educating and inspiring young people to make healthy choices, LiveWell Colorado focuses on policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors.
I’ve been logging a LOT of miles to get me through my 140.6 mile race. Since the start of 2011, I’ve swam 80,600 yards (45 miles), biked 921 miles, and ran 159 miles. And I still have 8 more weeks until race day!

Please help me in raising funds as I log my miles and cross the finish line with a smile on my face.


April 18, 2011
Just thought I’d send you an update on how the training / fundraising is going….

So far, I’ve raised nearly $500 – just $750 more to go ;)

On April 10th, I “raced” in the Ironman Texas 70.3 in Galveston. “Raced” is in quotations because this was really a training event – the goal was to practice things in a race environment but not push myself so hard that I need a bunch of time to recover. I was also lucky enough to ride part of the IMTX bike course a few days before the 70.3 to test out my Colorado “hill legs”. My friend that rode with me can attest that my CO hill legs are MORE ready for those Texas hills :) The main thing I learned from my long weekend in Houston was to not under-estimate the heat. The week prior to the 70.3 race, I got snowed on during a training run….. Conditions on the 70.3 race day were windy (18 mph SSE winds – mostly crosswind on the bike) and warm/muggy (85 degrees, 90% humidity). As I found out on my IMTX test ride, what worked for me when I lived in Houston for nutrition/electrolytes clearly doesn’t work for me now that I live in the land of ice and snow. We’ll just say that salt pills are now my friend…..

Galveston was fun – even though this was a training race, it was very clear that all of my IMTX training is paying off. I kept my heart rate relatively low and my pace comfortable for the whole thing but managed to finish 28 minutes FASTER than my previous 70.3 time, with personal best times in the swim, bike, and run. Definitely a good confidence boost and clear proof that my training is doing what it should.

Training stats to date:

Bike: 1301.43 Mi
Run: 204.35 Mi
Swim: 109212 Yd

A little under 5 weeks to race day

Thanks again for your support!

May 9, 2011
My race is in 12 days!

Here’s an update on how things are going:
I’ve fundraised $674.62 – I’ve had some creative donation amounts, which brings a smile to my face. THANK YOU. I’m over half way to my goal.

Training Stats to Date:
Bike: 1640 Mi
Run: 261 Mi
Swim: 129212 Yd (73 miles)

I have officially entered my taper. This is a curious thing, as my workload decreases in an attempt to let my body heal from the past 17+ weeks of training and get ready to race. Based on what I’ve been told, I can expect to still be exhausted (true), have random pains crop up (I’ve already had a very strange pain in my knee and now my back is sore in a random area), and I may be cranky (not sure how this differs from the past 17 weeks). So, what does a taper week look like, compared to a regular week? My last heavy week was 19 hours of exercise – 2 recovery days, a crazy track workout (2 x 2 mile repeats FAST), 2 short (1 hour) rides, 2 swim workouts, a Saturday long brick (5 hour ride, 1 hour run) and a Sunday long ride (6 hours). This week, by contrast, consists of a whopping 6 hours of exercise – 2 recovery days, 2 short bike rides (45 min and 20 min), a medium track workout (4 x ½ mile FAST), 2 low-distance swims (2400 and 1200 yards), Saturday 1.5 hour bike and a Sunday 1 hour run. See – EASY?
For the race, the heat will be my main challenge. I experienced 80 degree weather for the first time in Denver this past weekend, and my Saturday afternoon easy run was not so easy! Goals for the race will be to survive the swim (mass start of 2,600 people in Lake Woodlands), have a good but controlled bike (ie don’t go out too fast and stay hydrated), and then avoid the medical tent (dehydration) during the run, even if that means I walk a LOT. When I registered for this race, my goal (as is usually my goal) is to finish and to have fun. I will do my best to keep those goals in mind as I’m slogging through the marathon in 90+ degree heat with 100% humidity.

I hand my bike over to the TriBike Transport people on Saturday, which means no more cycling after Saturday (until race day). Next week will likely consist of packing and re-packing my things and obsessing over the weather. We fly down to Houston on Thursday, where I have my event check-in, Friday is equipment bag (bike and run) check-in and bike check in, then Saturday at 7 AM the gun goes off and I have 17 hours to go 140.6 miles.

I’ll send out an email next week with my bib number (I’m # 354) and the link to where you can track my progress during race day.

Thanks again for all of your support

May 18, 2011
Here I am 3 days before IMTX and I met my fundraising goal (and then some) – THANK YOU for your support (and for putting up with me since I started this adventure!).

Taper has been going well, I think. I really don’t know because I haven’t done this before. I’ve been doing short workouts with some speed pickups, and the speed is there, so that’s a good sign. I’m still pretty tired, but not completely exhausted, so I’m taking that as a good sign too.

Right now, the most asked question (after you’re crazy? A full Ironman?) is if I’m ready. This is a hard question because I honestly have no idea. I’ve done my training and my coach says I’m ready. Having never done one of these before, I really don’t know if I’m ready – I’m not sure I’ll really know until probably 10 miles into the run. This is truly a case of trusting my training and my coach and putting all of my hard work to the test. I did the math, and even with a fairly slow bike, I would still have 8+ hours to do the marathon – this gives me confidence that I will finish with time to spare.

We fly down to Houston tomorrow morning to start the Ironman festivities. Thursday afternoon is athlete check-in, where I get my race packet and my race wristband. Thursday night is the athlete meeting, where hopefully all my logistical questions get answered. Friday morning they’ve opened up the lake to athletes, so I’m meeting up with some Houston friends who are also racing for a quick swim. Swimming 15 minutes hardly seems worth it, but it’s on my plan, so I will follow the plan. Then I need to ride my bike for a quick 15 minutes, just enough to make sure everything is working ok. After that, I drop off my run bag, my bike bag, and leave my trusty bike on its designated bike rack space. Then Saturday, at 7 AM, the gun goes off and I get to swim, bike, and run 140.6 miles with 2,600 other athletes in less than 17 hours. I don’t have a goal time in mind really – just hoping to finish and be happy. My finish time will likely be around 16 hours, depending on the heat. I have a feeling that ice will become my new best friend.

If you wish to track me, there will be 2 places to look:

#1- Real-Time Tracking with MyAthleteGPS:
On Race day, you should be able to find a hyperlink to my under Ironman Texas: (the website has last weekend’s races up – hopefully Texas will get loaded soon)

#2: You can also track me on http://ironmanlive.com/ or http://ironman.com/ using my bib number 354. Be sure you choose Texas and not the race in Spain!

Ironman Live seems to have some delay issues, so the best bet is the MyAthleteGps, plus you'll be able to see the course map and my little dot.... hopefully moving forward! :)

Thanks again for all of your support – I’m excited that race day is finally here and can get this thing done!


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