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The Hay Is In The Barn!

19 April 2010 7 Comments
Its just 13 days until my first Ironman race and all of the work is done. The hay is in the barn!!

I have been kicking around the goal of completing an Ironman race now for the last few years. . . maybe longer. I have given it a lot of thought… probably much longer and more than most people realize. I also realized that it takes a long time to make the grade and I was not going to rush it. The road along the way has been so much fun I really want to just keep climbing… but that is for another post.

I made a decision to start training for the Ironman St. George race back in November. At the time it felt like a long ways out and a few people (including myself) thought it may have been a bit early to start smashing out big training weeks…big for me anyways. By making a commitment to the race I also gave up my option for any excuse. I joined a Masters swimming group, worked on my biggest limiter (running), focused on the little things like getting the best food I could afford and stretching more and starting working with the best team of coaches for endurance . . . Gordo literally wrote the book on going long ;-)

I was without excuse to give it my all but it was still all new and unknown. Maybe I would crack….I didn’t know my breaking point. Was I bound to be a February rock star and burn out by May? Could I focus for so long on just one race, one day? Is there such a thing as starting too early? Would I even like going long? There are many questions and risks along the way and its all part of the fun.

By this time last year, I had already competed a couple handful of races from paddling, snowshoeing and the like. I realized that I really love to race and race often. Switching gears to “put all my eggs in one basket” and put six months into one race was a hard choice for me to make at first. Some people jump right in and somehow manage to get fit for an Ironman race on a 20 week training plan. What I found to be the longest and hardest part about doing the training is setting up my life so that I could do the work. I am very grateful for my job, wife, friends and family that allowed me to stack some hay over the last six months or more.

stacking the hay, loading the spring, having a lot of fun!

I was also once about 215 pounds (just before Monique got married to me…lucky her!) and decided to make a lifestyle switch that just so happened to pull me into some athletic pursuits. A personal change in my lifestyle that will last the rest of my life. I wont go into detail about it now except to say that my motivation behind getting into sport a bit later in life (~28yrs old) was from within…an alignment that brings me more momentum than could be generated by an external motivation.

The last couple of weeks have answered many of my questions about my quest along the road to my first Ironman. The training “fits” ME. I love going for a ride all day long and running off of the bike. Swimming long sets are the type of mediation that sorts me out and I don’t think you can ever start too early (or too late for that matter). What was once a big volume week or training has simply become the norm and I feel like I am just getting started.

I got to cap off the last couple of weeks of my training with some solid sessions on the course and around my normal training grounds. I have seen some glimpses of fitness in training that I have never seen before but saved my deep desires for race day ;-) “you bring the popcorn, I’ll bring the pain”

This weekend, Monique and I joined Doreen for our first Century ride. We decided to jump into this Friday and signed up the morning of the ride. It was the first time any of us had done one of these “organized drafting buffet rides” but this one was legit. You cant hide on a climb! The girls had never gone over 100 miles and this ride boasted about 11K of climbing. They picked a good one!

This was key for me to realize just how much “the norm” had become for me. Prior to November I had only ridden over 100 miles two times (once on the road/once on my mountain bike). The century ride on Saturday marked my 10th time riding over 100 miles since November for me and I did over 100 miles the day before. It was just another “session” on the bike for me at this point.

It was inspiring to watch these girls grind out the ride with a smile the entire time. There is something lasting about suffering together in the highs and lows of a ride. As much as it was a grind we loved it and realized it was not as hard as we imagined. Monique just got stronger the longer we rode. Good stuff and there is a lot that fits into that theme.

I banked WAY more training that I ever thought I would have along the way to this race. Many times working towards a goal without excuses does that to you… somehow you always end up doing more than what you intended and the goal moves towards you as well. I never got injured and burnout is far from a reality. I started posting my training miles on here because I kept banking a solid week and didn’t quite know if I could repeat it… Week after week, month after month. I exceeded what I dreamed about..I crushed my dreams!..ha..ha. It almost scares me to see the numbers of my miles/hours.

In the 180 days ending 2010-04-18:

activity # time miles km +ft
Road Bike 92 211:42:18 3467.3 5580.08 157525
Swim 112 110:51:00 190.29 306.25
Mt Bike 36 83:00:33 688.93 1108.73 100543
Trail Running 63 62:47:28 455.1 (8:17) 732.41 (5:09) 56323
Road Running 55 40:54:08 312.82 (7:51) 503.43 (4:52) 23219
Strength 25 15:23:00
Yoga 21 11:00:00
Trekking 5 10:45:00 32.15 (20:04) 51.74 (12:28) 10224
Paddle 2 2:13:00 11.93 19.2
Total 177 548:36:27 5158.53 8301.85 347833

Now is the time for me to be thankful and soak up all of those miles and smiles. It has been such a fun experience and I can honestly say I enjoyed every mile along the way.

My expectations for the race has not changed. I want to finish. I want to enjoy it and take it all in. They hay is in the barn and its time to taper. “Maintain, but don’t expect to build. That’s what tapering means”

see ya out there


  • Ryan Weeger said:

    now its time to dominate, youre ready dude, ready to shred some dreams!

  • Luke said:

    you did it right bro! no injuries and feeling good…priceless!

    the tip of the iceberg for ya!

  • Matt said:

    It's been cool "following." You're killing it and will, based on your great attitude and massive fitness, have a blast. Keep up the good work.

  • Ryan Denner said:

    great post man. lookin forward to meeting you next week!

  • sean.clancy said:

    now you FINALLY get to tour the course with your big engine until mile 16 of the marathon…where you can RELEASE THE HOUNDS and pass the hoards of exploding zombies. congrats on getting to this point! i predict you are going to have an absolute blast. leave it all out on the (last half of the run) course!

  • Charisa said:

    Good luck – have a blast in your first IM!!!!

  • Ironman at Law said:

    You're going to crush it, bro! Stay relaxed, have fun, and enjoy the experience.

    Be sure to take a moment to soak it all in. I will NEVER forget the last 0.2 miles of my first Ironman.

    Can't wait to hear all about yours.


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