It has been a week now since I finished my second ironman distance triathlon. First and foremost I want to thank my family for being patient and also encouraging during my training. I also thank my wife for being such a great Sherpa during the days leading up to and the day/night of my race. I also need to thank my training partners and close friends for their support, advice and chuckles. You know who you are so no names needed. Yet.
I would be remiss if I didn't start this recap by telling you a little bit about my journey to my second ironman distance race. I say second ironman distance because last year I did the Great Floridian which is an ironman distance TRI. It has the same mileage but due to all the legal mumbo jumbo they can not call it an Ironman and instead call it an Ultra Triathlon. But to me this would be my second ironman.
The Florida Ironman is so popular that it sells out the day after the race. You have three ways to sign up. If you are competing, you can sign up for next years race the day before your race. You can volunteer for the current race and sign up for next years race the day after the race you volunteered for. And finally you can try your luck by register on-line the day after when they open for general registration. I chose the latter last year and was able to register before they sold out in 16 minutes. Lucky me right. Or so I thought at the time.
I had never registered for a race a year in advance but I was excited to get in. That was crazy. A year of training. Shiiit. That is a long time to just swim, bike and run. Should I get a plan? Should I get a coach? Should I train more than I did the previous year? Should I break a leg? All of those things sounded great and were viable options but none are me. I have a hard time following a plan. I don't like to be coached and I get bored with all the training. But as long as I know that going in I would have no one else to blame. You get out what you put in has probably been said to me over and over again. I knew for damn sure I could pay for it on race day. I only had to beat 15:01:00.
The bad thing about a big race in October/November while living in Florida is having to also train in Florida. I am a fan of the heat, at times, I do not like to train in the heat. And an Ironman means long hours of training. You can start before daylight at the pool and on the long run days but not so for the long bike days. I don't like to use the trainer. Again that word boring comes to mind. There is no way I will sit on a bike for over an hour and go nowhere. Dumb.
As the months ticked away, my training was far less than the previous year. 60% less. The more important things in life seem to get in the way and I had the mindset that I had already done an ironman so what is the big deal. I can do another one. All I had to do was get out of the water. I knew Florida Ironman was an easier course than Clermont. I was also trying to avoid over training which I feared would lead to a race ending injury. Or so I told myself that with fingers crossed. Although there were times I was in the frame of mind that a simple hang nail would have been a race ending injury.
My running went from five days a week to barely two. I would do long runs of 14 miles on Saturday with a total of 18 miles for the week. I found myself looking for a 12 week, 8 week and eventually a 4 week marathon plan. Well even a 5k plan would have worked at this point.
I was biking three times a week with a long ride on Sunday. In a six month period I did three rides of 100 miles but all others were never over 70ish. Not because I didn't want to. Well strike that. It was because I didn't want to and my body also wasn't cooperating. When riding in the heat, I seem to hit that wall at about mile 70 and can not recover quickly. I also have an issue with taking in enough calories while riding. I start out with all kinds of food and end with more leftover than should be. I seem to forget to eat while riding. I definately have to work on my calorie intake during the Ironman because from what I remember, 112 is greater that 70. Just saying.
Swimming has somehow over the years become my stronger event. Don't know why. Not sure if the others have just come down to my swimming or my swimming has improved. Anyways I also did not swim much. I maybe swam twice a week which included one open water two mile swim. Some of my swims took longer because those were on the days that I swam with Jan and Karin. We had this routine of yapping before the swim and then at the turn around. I thought for sure they would have ran out of things before we swam but nope, they thought of new shit to yap about while swimming the first mile. I was not concerned about my swim mileage because we were also going to be able to wear wetsuits. Can't drown while wearing one. Have you tried? Can't do it can you.
So my training is best summed up as a constant taper. I also figured it would be a great base for St Anthony's. 40% of what I should have been doing or of what others I know were doing. Hats off to them for keeping at it. I just did not want to. No time now for coulda, shoulda, woulda. It was race week.