We decided since we had a brand new pool in the back yard that it was time to start going back to the pool in Tipton and start practicing for next year. Around 2 o'clock today we all piled in the car and headed down for a family swim. While it has been a long time since we had swum last both of the boys we're still quite good in the water. Marshall must have went off the diving board about a dozen times and Clancey was jumping off the side of the pool like and old pro. Marshall convinced me to jump off the board so I decided I would try to see if I can still do a one and a half, I was shocked to find out that I still could. We had a pretty good time swimming and ended up staying at the pool for around 2 hours, we're thinking we are going to try and make this a Sunday routine again.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
It's time for an obligatory post about the dog. Tonight as I was getting into bed I noticed the dog laying on it as if he owned the whole bed and I had to take a picture. I say this a lot but this dog is living the dream. A dog that goes from living on the streets of Washington Iowa and being within hours of being euthanized now spends his nights sleeping on a warm cozy bed being cuddled by Jen. Pretty good life if you ask me.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Here we are at Best Buy checking out the video games and trying to figure out which one we should get. It's been a long time since we've bought a new video game so if we can find the right one for the right price we will probably pick one up. We're thinking Halo 4 but we're not sure yet.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
With Ironman over, the busy travel season for the family coming to a close, and weekends slowing down some I pretty much consider this week the unofficial start of fall for us. While it's sad to see summer go it's nice to be entering into football season and then very quickly heading into the Christmas season. Plus this is about the only time of the year I don't have Ironman training hanging over my head.
Monday, September 09, 2013
After my tough swim I headed up the helix ran into transition and knew that I had some time that needed to be made up. I could tell by the lack of people in the transition changing room that I was clearly one of the last people out of the water. By this time I was feeling a little bit less dizzy, happy to be done with the swim and ready to head out to my best event the bike. I ran out of the changing room, headed out to the bike racks, stopped briefly to give Jen another hug and a kiss and headed out onto the course. Now the way you are supposed to ride an Ironman bike is "just ride along" for 40 miles and then hammer it for 70 miles. Well given how poorly my swim went I through caution to the wind and started to hammer down. While I knew at some point I would probably bonk I figured when I did at least the other people around me would have too and I would just maintain my position from there. The first 56 miles went spectacular I passed more people then I could count I had pretty much made up all the time from my poor swim at this point. I got to special needs got my food for the last half, note to self be sure to bring some solid food next time, took a pee and was off. For about the next 10 miles I was feeling pretty good but right about mile 65 I hit my wall and slowed down. For about the next 40 miles I just didn't have it in me. I felt a bit sick, I didn't have the same power I did and I was riding along. At mile 80 the rear derailleur on my bike started to my horrible noises but there really wasn't much I could do except keep riding and hope it didn't break. While I was in the midst of my bonk the hill the second time didn't got too bad, my legs were acting like they wanted to cramp on my but never did. Finally on the way in to town if about 7 miles to go I started to come out of my funk and was able to hammer it all the way into town. I'm not sure what my exact bike time was but I would say it was probably my best Ironman bike ever. Besides a couple tough hours in there, I didn't fight crotch pain, neck pain or cramps at all on the bike so clearly my biking is Ironman quality.
Once I got back to the helix it was into to transition to prepare for the run. I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the run. It's my favorite part of the Ironman because the crowd support in Madison is spectacular but it never fails that it is the most painful part too. For me it ins't the fatigue that gets me its the blisters and bruising of the balls of my feel that get me. None-the-less I transitioned and this time instead of a traditional triathlon jersey I wore a T-shirt in honor of my nephew of passed away of a severe asthma attack in February.
I made my way out of transition and within in the first half mile I saw Jen and the rest of family waiting to cheer me on. I told them that the bike went well I was feeling good and was ready to tackle the marathon. The first 5-6 miles of the marathon went alright but as I passed into miles 7-8 the telltale sign of foot pain started to rear it's ugly head and I knew I was in for some pain. I figured out that running made it hurt less and since I wasn't to fatigued yet I was able to jog for a majority of the time at least through the first lap. When I got back to to the square I met up with Jen again and told her that my feet were freaking killing, I would make it but probably not as fast as I would like. She told me that was alright just keep putting on foot in front of the other and "Find a Way". The second lap was a hard fought slog for me. By this time my feel hurt like hell, I was tired as hell, my stomach was totally sick of sugary food from the aid stations and I was ready to be done. I managed a combination walk/jog for most of the second lap. By about mile 18 of the run my feet had finally decided to not continually hurt more and maintained a constant level of pain which was good because I had figured out the walk/jog amounts that made it bearable at this point. Finally after a pretty tough slog and what was not a very enjoyable run I got to the finishers chute. Normally I really live it up in the finishers chute but I was feeling pretty beat up so I kept it pretty reserved this time. When I finished I held my T-shirt tight so they could get a good picture of me finishing in it.
All in all today was a pretty tough Ironman for me. I had a great bike sandwiched between both a tough swim and tough run. It was clear from today that I need to spend more time at the pool if not for me for my wifes sanity. I was able to finish the swim today but had the conditions been much worse it's possible that I could have missed the cutoff. Second I need to run more. I really felt like I had ran a ton this year but it's clear from today that I need to be getting more long distance runs in of 10 miles and greater. Third it seems that after all these years I finally gotten the bike here at Wisconsin nailed. Next year with back to back Ironman races I'm going to really need to focus on making I come out of the first Ironman with minimal damage so I can get back to training for the second one right away.
Saturday, September 07, 2013
Here I am once again the night before Ironman and I'm excited to get started. Hard to believe this is the 6th time I'll be attempting the 140.6 mile distance and assuming I execute like I know I can will be my 5th finish. I've had a few tough lessons at this distance and have learned to respect it, especially after my race last year in St George, Utah. Tomorrow the mantra is "Find a way!". If the wind picks up on the swim "Find a way", if I cramp on the bike or run, "Find a way" and when those blisters kick in and my legs are killing me "Find a way". No matter what happens I plan to enjoy the race and take it all in. Lastly I would like to give the wife a big thanks for being my biggest fan and an awesome Ironman sherpa.
On race day there will be a number of ways to track my race progress the best will be MyAthleteLive. I have a tracker I wear on my race belt from the time I get out of the water to the finish line. It live updates my progress every few seconds so you can see where I am at any given point on the race course. You can go to the website or download the Android or IPhone apps to track my progress.
My Athlete Live:
Google Play Store Link:
IPhone App Store Link:
Ironman.com: On raceday this is the place to get the live streaming video of the event for most of the day. Not sure what the race coverage will be like but for the most part when people start to finish they will have a station webcam pointed on the finish line and if you use the information from the My Athlete Live tracker you should be able to see me finish.
7:00 am : Race Start
8:40-8:50 am: Swim Completed, Enter Transition 1 (Look for me on the Helix)
9:00-9:10 am: Start Bike Portion/Tracking Starts
3:30-4:00 pm: Bike Completed, Enter Transition 2
3:45-4:15 pm: Start Run Portion
9:00-10:00 pm: Expected Finish Time
With Ironman less then a week away I thought it was time to create my Ironman information site again for those who are interested in tracking my progress either at the race site or online all day. Last year at this race I had a PR because of a spectacular run or 4:40, this year it's hard to tell how it will go. I think key was that I took it pretty easy on the bike and, while I didn't get my goal time of 6:30, I think it translated into a way better run. I was hoping my half Ironman a couple weeks ago would give me some better indications of how I would do but it really left me with more questions then answers. I got a PR on the bike and felt good pressing it hard all day on the bike but fell apart on the run and fought some bad blisters. I guess it's going to come down to the run again and we will see how it goes.
The swim is by far my worst event of the three and where I could stand to make the most progress to improve my overall Ironman time. This year, much like last year, I really haven't done a whole lot of swimming. I did utilize my time in Beaver Island to do a bunch of open water swims and get my mileage up but I'm still not expecting this to really improve from any of my past years. Really I just have to be smart swim my speed stay out of trouble and try to make sure I have something left for the bike and run.
This year I would like to press it a bit harder on the bike and really try to get my 6:30 that I talked about last year. My half Ironman showed me that I have the capability to bike even a 6:00 if I stay disciplined and stay on my bike after the halfway point, which is way easier said then done. For the most part getting through the first 56 miles isn't too bad, no back pain, no neck pain, no crotch pain and no cramps to fight. It's the last 56 miles that are the tough, when you get mile 70-80 that is when staying on the bike and in the aerobars becomes tough. By then you've been on the bike upwards of 4:00 hours and stuff is starting to hurt. This year at special needs I'm going to pop a few ibuprofen to see if that staves off some of the pain.
This is where the big question mark is for me this year. I've ran a lot and feel like I could have a good run but it's hard to know how you will feel at this point. Generally the first 13 miles go pretty well, for the most part I've been able to run it in sub 2:30 and work through any problems for the first half. It's that second half that really defines how your race will go. By this point you will be at a 10-11 hour race time, your getting tired, cramps are being an issue, blisters are an issue, leg pain is an issue and just general tiredness is an issue. If you can fight through all of that and keep running a majority of the time you will have a good race. If you can't and end up walking you go from a 2:30 half marathon to a 3:30 to 4:00 half marathon really quickly. I guess we will see race day how it all goes.
Friday, September 06, 2013
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Sunday, September 01, 2013
I am officially one week away from my 6th Ironman and ready to get going. Hopefully next week at this time I'm into the last lap of the marathon and not fighting any cramps or blisters. I suppose even better I would be looking at finishing in the next 30 minutes in the day light for the first time ever. This last week leading up to Ironman is the worst week of the whole training period. This is the week I turn into an absolute basket case worrying about things that can keep me from starting the race and fight "phantom pain". It is so freaking dumb to get stressed out about things you can't control but I do anyways and the next 7 days are going to be tough. I'm pretty sure I've told this story on my blog before but if not here goes.
The second time I did Ironman Wisconsin on the Wednesday of race week I woke up with a horrible cramp in my neck. About 4am in the morning I woke up and the muscle on the right side of my neck tightened up and when it released I could barely move my neck. For the next few days I walked around Ironman barely able to turn my head left or right. By race morning it had started to hurt less and I was able to race but since that day I've been scared about it happening again, which I'm sure just makes it that much more likely. I guess I just need to relax, realize I'm the one who chooses to do these races and if something prevents me from starting it's not that big of deal.