This was an exciting week for aspiring Ironmen as the world championships were held yesterday in Kona, Hawaii. I had been following the media coverage for a couple of weeks leading up to the race and knew the competitors very well. It is amazing the dedication that these athletes have for the sport that they are passionate about. The race is really split into two events, the professionals, and the age groupers. The professionals are simply amazing. The times that they post for the swim, bike, and run are unbelievable! They are able to run a sub 2:45 marathon after the long swim and bike, how is that possible?
The real inspiration comes from the age groupers. These are people not alot unlike myself. They have full-time jobs, family commitments, etc but still manage to be the among the top of their age groups globally. I know I will never get to that point but just knowing that others are not all that different from me, gives me inspiration. I can do this, I know I can.
My training this week was heavy on the bike. Overall I travelled 125kms and had a couple of good swim sessions as well. My race is many months away but I feel like I am running out of training time, how can that be?
See you at the finish line……
In my neck of the woods it feels like fall has arrived. The temperatures are definitely cooler at night, which in turn makes for moderate temperatures during the day. This is great news for training sessions. Not only are the fall colors nice to look at but it is so much more comfortable running or biking in this weather.
Unfortunately my Polar heart rate monitor broke earlier this week. I used it to track my calories burned during my workouts. I did a little research and decided to replace it with a Garmin fitness watch. It had similar functionality, and it was on sale as well!! I have spent some time these last couple of days reading through the manual and figuring out how to configure it for the three sports (swim, bike, run).
Tomorrow will also be my first day with the 1000 island Swim Masters. I need lots of work on my swim stroke and I am hoping I can get some good coaching and more pool time as a result of joining the club. We will see how things go in the morning.
My training program went well this week. It was a heavy workout schedule that had my putting in 130 kms this week. Hopefully I can keep up the intensity this upcoming week.
See you at the finish line….
Ok, there is a lot of exciting news to report this week. I will start with details of my year long triathlon series. I competed in 6 triathlons this past summer as part of an overall series. You gained points for your final position in each of the races and competed against others in your age group. The standings were posted earlier this week and guess what?
I WON MY AGE GROUP!!!!!!! I am officially the winner of the 2012 Triathlon Series. Is that awesome or what? I mean, who would have thought a couple years ago that it would even be possible for me to compete in one triathlon, let alone win a series! Oh yeah, I rock!!! Lol!
So for the second huge news of the week I finally registered for a 1/2 Ironman, gulp. So as you know my ultimate goal is to complete a full Ironman but my plan is first to complete a 1/2 Ironman. I settled on the Syracuse Ironman 70.3 for a number of reasons. It is close to home and the timing was right (June 23rd). Brittany also signed up for the same 1/2 Ironman so the training has officially begun. I felt a wave of nausea as soon as I clicked “register” on the webpage. Am I crazy? We shall see. So the 1/2 Ironman distances are a 1.2 mile swim (2000 meters), 56 mile bike (90kms), followed by a half marathon at 13.1 miles (21kms).
I completed week one of “base” training in my plan I am following. This is a plan I got from a company called CycloCore, the actualt plan is called Tri4P. There are 4 phases and I am in phase one right now. I travelled 92 kms this week as I worked my way through the plan. There were a couple of weight training sessions that almost killed me. I need work in that area.
Busy week! See you all at the finish line!!
It felt like life got back to normal this week. All the way through August there was so much going on that it felt like I was just trying to maintain some fitness throughout the month. This week I was able to get a few good workouts in, both indoors and outdoors. Overall I finished the week with 89 kms of total distance.
Brittany and I spent lots of time this week debating which event to sign up for next year for our first 1/2 Ironman. I think we have settled on the Timberman, which is in Gilford, New Hampshire in August of next year. It would not have been my first choice of events, but we had to compromise. I looked into the hotels in the area and there are not many. It seems like a sleepy little cottage town in the mountains. Very pretty, but also not much there. The registration for that event has not been opened yet so it is not a done deal yet, but it seems like that will be the one (gulp). It would be great to have a bunch of family and friends come out and cheer me on, but too early to be thinking about that.
I went to the Y this week hoping to increase my swim workouts, but the pool is closed for another two weeks! I guess they are doing maintenence, but shouldn’t they have consulted with me first, lol? Oh well, I will stick to the backyard pool for another couple of weeks.
I did purchase a new pair of shoes. They are Ascics Gel Nimbus 13s. I have been running in this model of shoes for a couple years now so why mess with success right? I still have a few miles left on the old ones, but that will give me time to work the new ones in.
See you at the finish line……
The big event this week was the running of the half marathon with my daughter Brittany. Neither of us had really trained for the half so it was an irresponsible decision to enter. That being said, I had a good base of training from my triathlons this summer, but it was not run focused. The half Marathon was called The Canadian and was in Ottawa, Ontario. The unique thing about this race was that it began at 7pm. The idea was to have the Marathoners run at the same time as the Ironmen were finishing their runs. As a result the course was busy and cramped at times. The nice thing is that we had a great race support team with Jackie and my mother cheering us along the entire way.
I started out at a good pace, and in fact was on track for a 2 hour finishing time after 75% of the race was completed. That’s when things took a turn for the worse. I really cramped up badly, so much so that I had to walk a good portion of the last 4 kms. It was disappointing, but I still beat my personal best ½ Marathon time. I was just left thinking what could have been. My final time was 2:16:51. Brittany on the other hand rocked it! She finished in 1:58:00 and was ready for more.
There were some good takeaways from the race though. I need to be more prepared next time and not attempt an endurance event on very little notice. I also cramped so my food intake during the run was lacking. I used “GU” gels as well as electrolytes from Hammer nutrition. I may have waited too long to start consuming them. Once you get behind on the nutrition it is tough to get caught back up.
My training this past week was low mileage. I was in “taper” mode for the ½ Marathon so I really took it easy. My total for this week was 39 kms.
The ½ Marathon was hard, made me doubt my Ironman goal briefly, but I am back onboard now!!!
See you at the finish line….
Welcome to my first blog entry! I have big goals for the next few years and thought it would be good to share my progress with you, my faithful readers! You see, I have set a goal for myself to complete a full Ironman rave. The Ironman race is one the toughest one day endurance races in the world. It is comprised of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, and finally followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon. Wow, I am tired just typing those distances in! To top it all off you only have 17 hours to complete the race! Well there it is, my goal is public so I have to do it now right?
If you know me, or have read the “about” section on the blog, you will realize that I have not been a lifelong athlete. In fact, quite the opposite! I had a great relationship with the couch and television for over 20 years. This led to a huge weight gain and a loss of self-confidence. It was time to turn things around so I have slowly pulled myself back to the land of the fit, but I continue to struggle with food (I just like it too much).
So if you think I am a slight, run like the wind athlete you would be wrong. This will be hard for me, very hard. I am sure as I reach for this goal I will have ups and downs, injuries, and other setbacks. I know deep down inside that at some point I will hear Mike Reilly the long time announcer at Ironman events say “Mike McEachern from Ontario, Canada, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” as I cross the finish line. A goal like this is not accomplished alone, it requires a huge amount of family dedication and I am blessed to have a very supportive family around me!
I have not registered for the full Ironman, in fact I will likely complete a ½ Ironman first as a training event. I will keep you all posted as my event planning gets clearer. In the meantime, keep checking back for updates on how my training is progressing!!
See you at the finish line…..