Sunday, December 17, 2017

Belated Updates

Sorry for the long period of Radio Silence--lots going on.  This is intended to highlight several developments:

1. I did race and finish my 14th IM at IMAZ in November.  It was a long, hard day and I discovered that being fit and having trained a sufficient mount is actually pretty important to do well in an Ironman.  Unfortunately, I was not fit enough and it showed.  My swim was surprisingly good given how little I was able to swim.  The bike was mediocre and it was a challenging day, wind-wise.  My run, well wasn't.  Basically had to walk it.  Consequently a very long 15+ hour race.

But I did it and was happy to get it over with.  A real race report is forth coming.

2.  I thought that race would be my last IM but I finished feeling strangely motivated to get IM fit again--something that I really lacked this year.  Most importantly, for the first time in a long time, I'm actually sound enough body-wise to actually pursue some real training.  Frankly, it's been almost 3 years since that was true--ever since the femoral-nerve compression post Vinson Massif, I haven't been right for any sustained period.

3. This combined with Anders wanting to through his hat into the IM ring again means I'm going to try to give it another go.  We are doing IMFL together again next November and I'm very psyched.

4. Training-wise, I'm already in the pool, swimming shorter, higher intensity efforts 2-3X/week.  In January I'll start a more traditional pool based foundation session where I'll focus on a lot of structured speed work and 40k+ of monthly swim volume.  Bike wise, I've joined the Wahoo Kickr/Zwift revolution and in addition to Zwifting with Anders, I'm focused on getting 30-60 minutes of higher intensity training each day.  Come January-March, my intent will be to follow a structured set of high intensity rides and my intent will be to get my FTP up above 250 watts again, perhaps try to push it closer to 275.  I really haven't trained like that in the past three years--I'm very excited about this!

5. For me, I've got to make a breakthrough on the run, without actually running all that much because of my knee.  My plan is to water run or Alter-G (my buddy Sparty is offering to hook me up with one) 3 X 1 hour each week.  Treadmill at 15% incline and above 3mph or old school Stairmaster for up to 2 hours/week, and run 5-10 miles/week for the January-March period.  I'll also throw some 5ks in their for fitness tests.

6.  I'm going to shoot for 10 or so races next year and will definitely plan a half-Ironman or two as part of my IM build.

7.  The biggest news right now is our family's preparation to climb with Anders down in Australia as he goes after the 7th and final summit of his Seven Summits Project.  Stay tuned for updates on this as it's just around the corner!

Feeling good to climb back in the saddle again!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

T minus 12 hours

Locked and loaded here in IMAZ!

I spent most of the day following along with Anders' progress at the North Face 50-mile ultra trail run which he crushed with a little more than 10 hour race.  Ran the whole thing (with the exception of the the very steep trail climbs--of which there were a few since the course has more than 10,000 feet of vertical and as a bonus, it was 51.7 miles this year!)  He's in amazing shape!  He did this on about 6-8 weeks of training.

Judy and he are resting up and plan to fly from San Francisco  to Tempe early tomorrow and will probably see me (God willing) at some point on my bike.

The weather looks fine--a little warm on the run no doubt with low 80s forecast, but sunny and hopefully with modest wind.

I've been here since thursday and had my normal pre-race routine and since I was by my lonesome, i even went to the movies last night (saw Wonder, which was great!)  I feel fine although I'm well aware that I'm grossly undertrained for this thing.  Hopefully I won't pay to heavy of a price for that tomorrow.  I'm Ok with suffering but want to stay healthy and happy post race.

Expectation wise, I hope and plan to finish, God willing again.

Time estimates:

Swim: 75-85 minutes
Transitions 10-15 minutes combined
Bike: 5:40-6:00
Run: 5:30-6:00
Total: 12:55-13:40

I did 11:52 here in 2011 (different body then with more body parts that were working) and 13:23 in 2012.

Going to be a long tough day.

Bring it on!

Onward and upward!

I'm bib # 150 if you want to track tomorrow...


Friday, November 3, 2017

October's totals--probably a little too late, but a good month of training!

I'm a little fried at this point--did another 5+ hour ride today and at this point I need to taper--probably a little overtrained at this point to be honest.

I'll comment more on the path ahead to IMAZ in the next few days, but here are the stats for October (yes, its probably too little too late, but its a pretty darn good month of IM training for an old guy!):

Swim: 35, 550 yards
Bike: 1,133 miles
Run: 110 miles
Time: 126 hours and 43 minutes (a bunch of non SBR stuff in there as well...)

Onward and upward!

Monday, October 30, 2017

another solid week--three weeks to game time!

Last week's totals:

Swim: 6,000 yards
Bike: 140 miles
Run/Hike: 35 miles
Time: 30:51

the numbers look a little unusual because I spent 18+ hours hiking down in Shenandoah--all of my "run" mileage was on those three hikes--I additionally had about 8,000 feet of vertical on those hikes.

I'm into my final "hard" week of training and then its a two-week taper before IMAZ on 11/19....

Monday, October 23, 2017

OK--hitting my IM training glide!

Another solid week:

Swim: 7,550 yards with a 3,500 yard pool swim as the longest.  this was done at a 76:20 IM pace which isn't bad considering I'm a fair bit slower in the pool w/o a wetsuit.

Bike: 304 miles including a 101 miler--my fourth 100+ ride over the last five weeks

Run/Hike:  33 miles (a fair amount of hiking) with a 13 mile long run/walk (Yes I know that seems lame, but I am lame--in my left knee)

Total time: 31:34 with about 3 hours of weights/PT.

This week I'm heading down to Shenandoah for a lot of hard long-distance trekking and a bike ride or two.  Hoping for a real suffer fest...if so, the would be 4 big weeks in a row and ideally I'd make it 5 before a 14 day per prior to IMAZ...

Better late than never.....

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another solid week-training wise

Backed up last week's effort with another solid training week.  I even took one day off!

Swim:  6,500 yards  with 2,500 yard long swim

Bike: 288 miles with a 100.2 mile long bike

Run: 16.5 miles with a 12.5 long run

Time: 26:33

I also started my most recent Uflexa cycle for my knee....

I'm planning another 25-30 hour week this week.  Hopefully, money in the bank!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ironman around the corner--time to break radio silence!

Sorry for the lengthy period of radio silence.  Lots and lots going on in the "real" world (no need to get into the details in this space) so haven't been focused on the adventure/triathlon world--at least from a blogging perspective.  That said, I have been doing my best to get ready for my 11/19 dance at Ironman Arizona.  I'll use this blog to update you on where I'm at as well as kick-off another cycle of regular updates.


As you might recall I came back from Nepal and hopped into the pool only to find a whole bunch of pain in my right shoulder and radiating down my right arm into my bicep.  I tried to work around it for a while but ultimately wasn't able to do any real swim training and indeed the pain kept increasing and got to the point where sleeping in certain positions was challenging.

Diagnosis was a "winged scapula" with probable nerve impingement leading to some mechanical issues in my right shoulder and ultimately a nasty case of bursitis.  Cortisone and about 3 months of PT has me back on track and why I still feel a bit of funkiness, I'd say at this point my shoulder is at 90%+ and I'm generally able to swim and sleep pain free!

Of course, the lack of training is a bit of concern as I basically was only able to swim less than 10,000 yards/month in the May-August period.  In September, the PT seemed to have helped enough that I was able to record 16,300 yards, which while light, was pretty good given all the travel and other things going on in September.

Last week I had my first "real" Ironman swim week as I was logged 10,500 yards over 5 swim sessions, three in the open water with the longest being 3,200 yards at a 68:30 IM pace.  That pace is pretty surprising frankly, but I'm not going to get too excited over it as I always swim well with my wetsuit in the salt water of Stone Harbor's back bays.  Still, its a good sign, given everything thats gone on,  I'd be happy to do anything under 80 on race day--for sure.


As you know, the bike has always been my real strength and I haven't had any major barriers to putting in the miles.  Still, I must confess that the quality and quantity of my bike training has been lagging.  Frankly its been hard to motivate when I haven't been able to swim and my run is how it is (see below).  No excuses--but it is what it is.

In September I had a reasonable month despite traveling the last 6 days and logged 823 miles including several over 80 and one 100 miler.  This past week was very solid as I rode a respectable 305 miles including a long ride of 112.4 miles.  I won't be in peak shape at Arizona, but a continuation of this effort throughout October and early November should create the opportunity for an OK bike (5:45ish).


What can I say besides yuck.  My knee is really bad now and in need of replacement.  It really has limited my run training this summer to just 8-15 miles/week with no runs over 10 miles.  All of it very slow.  Last month I put in 77 miles (including a few hikes) and logged 25.2 miles last week including a 14-mile run/walk a la Galloway.  Again, it is what it is and thats bad.  The IM is going to really hurt and it will be a struggle to get significantly under 6 hours on game day--although I'm probably going to need to figure out a way to do so if I hope to qualify for Hawaii (which I hope to do, even while I know its very unlikely...)


In September I put in 76:50, which is pretty inadequate 8-12 weeks out from an Ironman but I did have a very respectable week last week putting in 29:24.


I'm on it now.  I'm going to try to cram five hard weeks in a row in and then kick back into a two-week taper and see how it plays.  Not ideal but its the best I can do given this late date.  I've also gone on a stricter diet regime with no alcohol and limited "bad" foods.  I've dropped about 8 pounds over the first 12 days of this effort (undoubtedly some of it was retained water from lots of carbs) and I hope to get my weight down to the low 170s by the time of the race--I'm 182 right now.  This isn't ideal of-course, but again, its the best shot I have.  I just have to hope my body holds together over this 50 day period.  The first 12 days are so far so good.

Onward and upward!