REGISTERED FOR IRONMAN LAKE PLACID 2017!!!

I haven’t written anything new here for a while, but I decided to come back and write about my journey leading up to my first full Ironman.  I am sure there are many of you out there like me, who would love to attempt their first full, but have many questions and fears about the commitment it takes in order to get there.  My hope is that by documenting my journey for you, it will help those like me decide to take on the ultimate challenge of completing my first Ironman.

Many people ask me, “why did you pick Lake Placid as your first race?”  Many of them have “heard” at one point and some have even said from experience that this is one of the hardest Ironman Courses in the world.  This is in part because of the bike course, which I believe provides around 7,000 feet of climb, or elevation.  My reasoning for choosing this race was more for personal and timing reasons than it is the course itself.  For starters, I have 2 children, a 5 year old daughter, and a 3 year old son.  My 5 year old started kindegarten this past Monday, and I didn’t want to pick a race during the school year that would cause her to miss school.  Second, I wanted to make sure I had ample time to prepare.  I have run at least a dozen or more sprint triathlons, 4 or 5 olympics, 1 International, and a Half.  I have also run several Marathons over the past few years as well.  2015 however was a light year for me in terms of racing so I know it will take me a few extra months to be properly prepared.

I hired a coach last week using the Coach Matching service on Training Peaks.  I spoke with several coaches before ultimately finding a level of comfort with a coach who seemed to really understand that while I have a goal to finish with a respectable time, my family at home still takes top priority it my life.  My training schedule will absolutely revolve around that.  I would lying however while doing you a huge disservice if I told you that training for an Ironman is possible without effecting your family life.  This is most definitely a family decision  just as much as it is a personal one.  My coach’s name is Jeff Lukich of Drive Multi-Sports LLC.  We haven’t officially started working together (this starts Sept 1), so I can’t say much about him aside from that he has a genuine interest in helping first time Ironman finish with a respectable time.  In his own words, “if your goal is just to simply finish, then I am probably not your guy!”

My biggest fear in this event is the swim.  No matter how many races I have completed I always find myself anxious about a crowded swim start.  It will be interesting to see what this a coach can teach to help overcome this fear.  The more and more photos I google of the Lake Placid Swim Start, the more anxious I get!

Once my regimine beings on September 1st, I will begin blogging more frequently!  That’s for taking the time to reach my post.  I would love to hear stories from others who have raced LP, or any tips from IM finishers for a first timer!!!

 

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REGISTERED FOR MY FIRST IRONMAN 70.3 PRINCETON

O boy… Time to hit the pool, hit the pool again, hit the pool some more, and after that… o yea, hit the pool!  I am confident I can get through the bike and run segments(maybe not as fast as I’d like), but am nervous about the 1.2 mile swim.  While I certainly have some time to train between now and September, I have much work to do.  I have relaxed just a tad in my training after my Marathon this year, and now plan to pick it back up, starting with with a heavy swim, moderate bike (trainer this time of year due to the weather), and moderate run workout plan.

I am competing in this event with my Sister and Brother-in-law, which makes it all the more exciting!  I will begin posting weekly recaps of my training at the end of this week.  My goal for my first half is 5 and half hours… we will see!  While I have the most time to gain during the bike segment, the swim segment is most certainly my biggest weakness.  Anyone have any suggestions on how to properly train in a pool for this type of event?  I often find myself in triathlons becoming overly excited during the swim, and needing to calm down before I can continue on.  I believe that’s much easier to do during a .5 mile swim, as opposed to a 1.2 mile swim, on a much bigger stage as well!

Suggestions????  Anyone else out there register for Princeton??? Registration just opened today!!!!

MARATHON COMPLETE!!!

MY FIRST MARATHON IS IN THE BOOKS!!!!  And I might add, at a much faster pace/time than I anticipated.  I ran the Monster Mash Marathon in Dover Delaware on this past weekend, and finished 5th in my AG, completing the race in 3 hours and 50 minutes at an 8:48 pace.  If you remember any of my earlier posts, my goal was run a 9:30 pace so I am totally stoked about this!!!  Below I have included a Mile by Mile Pace breakdown!

Mile 1:  7:58

The first mile was a lap around the inside of the Nascar Track at Dover.  It was pretty awesome lit up as it was still pretty dark at 7:00 am in the morning!

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Mile 2: 8:07

Mile 3: 8:13

Mile 4: 8:20

Mile 5: 8:04

By this point all my early run aches and pains have numbed away and I began to pick up the pace bit.  I was also in the historic downtown Dover area at this point and the scenery was really nice!

Mike

Mile 6: 7:56

Mile 7: 7:43

At mile 7.5 we split off from the Half Marathon runners.  At this point the crowd thinned out a great bit, and it became quite lonely!  My pace also appears as if I slowed a bit in the next two miles, however, I was trying to eat my Stinger Gummies, and did slow down a bit through one of the water stations!

Mile 8: 8:10

Mile 9: 8:15

Mile 10: 8:15

Mile 11: 8:07

Mile 12: 8:27

Almost at the half way point!!!  There were quite a few spectators in this area, including my awesome family!

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Mile 13: 8:31

HALF WAY POINT!  Still felt pretty strong at this point!  No aches, pains or stiffness to speak of yet!  I think the Electrolyte tablets I took really helped!

Mile 14: 8:21

Mile 15: 8:47

Mile 16: 8:55

I slowed up a bit here to eat again!  I started to feel a little swelling in my right foot at this point.  I actually came to a complete stop and loosened the laces a bit!

Mile 17: 8:21

Mile 18: 8:24

Mile 19: 8:58

O boy…. Here comes the GREAT WALL!  I could really feel myself starting to cramp up at this point.  I am not sure if this was due to lack of the correct nutrition, hydration, or simply because I had been training at a 9:30 pace, and was averaging more than a minute faster per mile during the race, but I was definitely winded at this point!

Mile 20: 9:24

Something really neat happened for the next mile, as a really nice runner girl caught up to me here and we began to talk for a while about running, the scenery, even a really low flying airplane that was landing at Dover Air Force Base near by.  Before I knew it, my pace was back in line as my mind again was totally not thinking about running.  I was only able to hold her pace for about a mile and half before I became winded again!

Mile 21: 9:41

Mile 22: 10:22

Really hitting the wall at this point!!!!

Mile 23:  9:58

At mile 23, I caught up to a runner guy and we began chatting over the next several miles.  Turns out he was in the Navy, stationed nearby, and has run quite a few Marathons in his day.  We chatted for the next two miles and again my pace had sped up without even knowing!

Mile 24: 9:21

Mile 25: 9:32

Down the home stretch!!!!  As we rounded the last turn, I could finally see the race track again.  At this point I thanked my running companion for chatting the last several miles and then sped past him to the finish!!!!

Mile 26: 8:48

Mile 26.2 total time: 3:50:40

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What a totally awesome feeling to complete my first ever marathon.  The only injury sustained during my run aside from the normal soreness was that my right foot, small toe was a bit bruised and it hurt to walk on the past few days.  I have been using my trainer this week to stay active, and plan to start running again tomorrow!  I hope to be ready again in time to run the Philly Marathon in November!

Anyone else here planning to run Philly?

 

 

Picking up the Pace – Marathon Training

Well, I’m about 4 weeks into my Marathon training and everything is running smooth to date.  I’ve managed to log every run thus far from the Hal Higdon training plan, with only missing one scheduled day.  I have also started working back in some swim workouts, as I have been running so much lately, I have forgotten how much I love to swim.

Throughout the past 4 weeks my pace has generally been anywhere between 9:30 and 10:00 miles for runs longer than 10 miles.  I do still try to work some speed into shorter workouts, however very carefully as I have been afraid to re-injure the Arch of my left foot.  This morning I took it easy the first few miles, and then picked it up as much as I could for the last 2.  It was nice to know that I still had the gas left in the tank when I needed it!

(this mornings short WORKOUT RECAP)

Mile One:  9:45

Mile Two: 9:31

Mile Three: 9:44

Mile Four: 8:58

Mile Five: 8:15

Mile Six: 6:44

I am going to pick my pace up a bit in the long runs, and see if I can hold a 9:00 to 9:30 pace over 16 miles this weekend… Stay tuned for the results!

Future Ironman – Welcome Ethan!

This past Sunday, my son Ethan was born, at 3:35 PM.  Checking in at 7 pounds 2.8 ounces, and 19 inches long!  I am a PROUD dad!  Ethan is my second child, as I also have a 2 year old daughter, Fiona.  I have been graced this week with not only my own little future ironman, but the ability to spend a week home from work, for some much needed family bonding time!

I am now in the midst of week 2.  Yesterday I logged an easy 4 mile run, and this afternoon a logged an 8 mile run, with a little hill training thrown in.  My splits have slowed a little, however, I think that is to be expected with the lack of sleep that comes along with a newborn in the house!  Tomorrow morning I will be running an easy 5 miles, and then Saturday, I am ramping it up to a 17 mile run.

I have began to work in a 3 ounce glass of Tart Cherry Juice before and after each run.  I have read multiple articles that talk about just how powerful the vitamins and nutrients found in cherries are.  Many athletes speak values of much faster you can recover after introducing cherry juice into pre and post workout routine.  I will follow up on this next week after Ive given it some time, to let you know how its worked!

 

Cheers!

 

FULL WEEK IN

This week, I have logged more miles than I have ever logged in a week’s time before.  Tuesday I ran 8 miles, Wednesday I ran 4.5 miles, Thursday I ran 4 miles, and this morning I ran 15 miles.  Much to my surprise, I am not as sore today after running 15 miles, as I was on Tuesday after running 8.  I have began using KT Tape, as I experience an occasional flare up of Arch pain in my left foot, however I did not use it today during or after my run.  Could my body be adjusting to excess mileage this quickly?

I have also being taking a fish oil supplement and drinking an occasional glass of Cherry Juice to help decrease inflammation.  My brother-in-law had suggested this, and it’s still a bit early to say if it’s helping or not.  But it’s clearly not hurting after feeling rather fresh when running 15 miles.  Tomorrow my training plan calls for a Cross-training session (I plan to swim), and then Monday is a rest day!  If you have not read any of my earlier posts, I am following the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon Training Guide!

One thing I have noticed when running longer distances, is how often my mind tends to wander while I run.  I am sure anyone who reads this and runs can relate.  For the first 3-4 miles, I tend to focus mainly on my pace, and feeling in my legs to make sure everything is working properly!  However once I get into a rhythm, my mind shifts into what I call, “Imagination in High Gear.”  I think about anything from my work, family life, past and upcoming races, and sometimes things as silly as what it would be like to be a bird, I wander who’s in that helicopter, Will I ever get to experience space travel in my lifetime, and other silly meaningless things!  Once I hit about mile 10, or 75% through my run, I begin to shift my imagination towards how good it will feel to finally cross the finish line in Dover at the Monster Mash Marathon, and this always motivates me to being running at a slightly faster pace.  I think this is most important to remember when training.  If you consistently remind yourself of just how good it will feel when you finally get there, you tend to forget about your running pains, being tired, or discouraged, and become instantly motivated.