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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IRONMAN 70.3 COMPLETE

FINISH LINE AT IRONMAN PRINCETON

FINISH LINE AT IRONMAN PRINCETON

Ironman Princeton 70.3 is now in the books!  My goal for my first 70.3 was to finish around 6:30 to 7 hours and I came in at 6 hours 52 minutes.  Now with the experience of my first race, I have a much better understanding of the things I need to work on!

SWIM LEG

I was so so so worried about getting through the swim.  I can swim all day in the pool, for hours, literally.  But my fear of the open water was tough to get past.  I have competed in many Sprint Tris, and the swim was always me weakest leg.  In my ironman, not only was I facing the longest open water swim I have ever attempted, but I found out when we arrived that the starting line was about 150 yards out on the other side of the lake… and we were going to need to swim out and tread water for several minutes until the started my wave!!  As soon as they called my wave into the water, I immediately began to hyperventilate.  My nervousness combined with the cold water (I chose not to wear my wetsuit) was to blame.  About half way over to the finish line I stopped swimming and began to side stroke the rest of the way.  Once I got to the starting area I noticed a few rocks near the bank wear several other athletes were standing, instead of treading water.  THANK GOD!  It was at this point I was able to stand up, calm back down, and prepare myself mentally for the swim.  About 2 minutes later they fired the air horn and we were off.  There were 12 buoys all kept to our left hand side.  I told myself mentally, let’s just get to the first buoy and take it one at a time.  Once the initial chaos calmed, and we began to spread out, I knew I would be OK.  Aside from the occasional slower swimmers form the early waves that I had to pass, and the more often faster swimmer running into me from behind, it was a pretty good swim!  I can now honestly say I am completely confident and over my fear of open water swimming.  My suggestion to new triathletes is to try and visualize the swim start, this will help calm your nerves.  I also STRONGLY suggest to get your body used to the water temp.  The initial shock of colder water can be overwhelming when your nervous!  I was out of the water in 50:01 (My goal was 50 minutes).

BIKE LEG

My biking is certainly where I have the most room for improvement.  I was able to maintain an approximate 16 MPH average speed, which was what I was shooting for.  The course however was extremely rugged, and I was very lucky to escape with no flat tires.  I passed at least 50 people throughout the bike course changing a flat!  The first 8 and last 8 miles were relatively flat, with rolling hills throughout the middle.  With my wave starting 3rd to last in this event, I definitely found myself passing many more athletes during the bike leg over any other leg.  I was able to carry a 17.8 MPH average through the first 32 miles (first and only split during the bike leg).  It was towards the end where I began to Bonk a good bit.  I thought that overall my nutrition was on track during this leg.  I began with a pack of block shots right out of transition, and then had a banana, 2 stinger waffler, and a protein bar.  Looking back I think I would have added a little more to eat during this leg.  I was able to finish the bike leg in about 3 and half hours (this was about 20 minutes slower than my goal).  Biking is certainly where I have the most time to gain, and will be working the trainer hard over the winter.  My goal is to get my bike time down under 3 hours next year in my next 70.3.

RUN LEG

By the time I hit the run leg I could really start to feel my body wearing down.  Running is most definitely my strongest leg, however I am certainly not accustomed to running a half marathon after a 56 mile bike and 1.2 mile swim!  My hope was to carry an 8:30 – 9:00 average pace through the run and I was no-where near this. I came out of transition eating another stinger waffle and running relatively strong, around a 9:30 pace.  I was able to maintain this pace for the first 5-6 miles, and I started becoming VERY hungry, and cramping up a good bit.  I was consuming salt pills towards the end of the bike, and probably swallowed about 20-25 of them throughout the run (they really do help with cramps).  I walked through the water and nutrition station at mile 6 and drank a little perform, and had a break the bonk bar (first I had ever seen these).  It seemed to help a little bit and I was back off.  From miles 6-10 I carried about a 10:45 pace.  I was still passing people from the age groups ahead of me at this point however by this point it was very obvious when separating the first timers from the vets.  The run course was a 2 loop course, and during my first loop is when the people who had done this before had started to pull away.  From this experience I can obviously take away the need for even more work on my long distance endurance, however my nutrition is where I need some help.  As soon as I became increasingly hungry I began to run out of energy.  I will be working on this throughout the winter for next year as well!  The last 3 miles (with excepting of the last half mile) were tough.  I was running at about a 12:30 pace just gunning for the finish.  I think I even tried red bull at the last water station in hopes that the sugar would provide the added boost that I needed.  But it wasn’t until I could hear the music at the finish line, about a half mile away, when my adrenaline started to take over.  For those of who have competed in these types of event, you can all relate that there is not a feeling in the world that can compare to the tingling sensation that takes over when you about to hit the finish line.  The ultimate feeling of self accomplishment, the excited and supporting family waiting for you at the finish, and yes, the bad@ss (sorry) music blaring can provide a boost of adrenaline that makes one feel more inspired then ever before.  This very moment I thought to myself, as I became teary eyed and experience shortness in breathing due to exciting, is exactly what I am a triathlete.  I can only hope that anyone reading this can experience this feeling if they never have before!  My run time was 2 hours and 15 minutes approximately.

SUMMARY

If you look back to one of my first posts, when I traveled up to New Hampshire to watch my sister compete in the Timberman 70.3, I talked about how standing at the finish line and watching the athletes experience the ultimate feeling of accomplishment is what inspired me to keep it going.  Having now been able to experience this for myself, I am addicted!  Triathlon is now a big part of my life, and I am determined to get faster!  I would also highly recommend Ironman Princeton next year, and it was a very professional, impressive, and well put together event.  My only complaints were the rough terrain in parts of the bike course, and the fact that the bike course was about 2 miles longer than 56 miles!

TRAINING RECAP 12-26

My sister is home for the Holidays, and this morning we spent a few hours in the gym/pool for a little post Christmas workout!  Much to our surprise, as they were only calling for flurries this morning, when we left the gym, there was 2-3 inches of snow on the ground, highways shut down everywhere, and accidents all over the place!!!

While I haven’t begun a patterned and structured workout plan thus far for my first 70.3 Ironman event next year, I have however ramped back up my time spent training, and well begin a structured workout plan after the 1st of year.  Below I have logged my past 7 days worth of workouts!

 

Saturday 12-21

Spent about 70 minutes hard at it on the trainer while watching TV.  As much as I would prefer to be outside and off the trainer, it was approximately 22 degrees that day!

 

Sunday 12-22

60 Minutes in the pool.  85 straight fast-laps with no breaks.  I am working on building up my long distance swim endurance as the farthest to date I have even swam in a race was .8 miles with the current.  The Ironman features a 1.2 miles swim in a lake!

 

Monday 12-23

Was supposed to be a rest day however the weather was a bit mild, about 40 degrees that day and I had some time to kill waiting for my wife to get home.  Soooo I went for a quick 38 minutes run… 5 miles!

 

Tuesday 12-24

56 Minutes in the pool, 80 straight fast laps.

 

Xmas Day

REST!  I ate way to much junk, and basically un-did everything I worked for over the past several days!!!!

 

Today 12-26

4 Mile run on the treadmill at a modest 7:30 pace, and then 70 fast laps in the pool.  Total workout lasted about 1 hour 35 minutes!

 

I have been logging my workouts on a IOS app called “myFitnessPal.”  Anyone else out there using this app?  One of my favorite features is that it allows me to see my friends logged workouts as well, which can help motivate you to get at it!  Anyone else know of a better app that offer like features?

 

48 Miles in 48 Hours

After a 2nd full week of Marathon training in the books, I am definitely beginning to notice my endurance building, as well my recovery time improving significantly!  Last week I had made mentioned that I began implementing Tart Cherry Juice intro my pre and post workout nutrition and it seems to be helping thus far!  I have experienced absolute zero pain in the Arch of my foot (common injury for me), and have been able to run on subsequent days without soreness!

My week began Tuesday with a short 4 Mile run, at an 8:15 pace.  Wednesday I then logged 8 miles, at a slower 9:30 pace.  I shuffled my rest day this week to Thursday, and took my daughter to Lake Tobias (Zoo) on a day trip!  Friday, I then logged 5 miles, in what felt to be 150 degree heat, at a snails pace, 9:48 minute miles… I was dehydrated!  Saturday, I returned to work for the first time since the birth of my son last weekend, and also used this day as my second rest day for the week!  Sunday, my sister was in town from Jersey, and together we logged a 16 MILE run, at a 9:50 pace.  It may have been slightly faster, however, we stopped twice to eat/refuel along the way.  Monday (Labor Day) my sister and I also logged a 32 + mile bike ride.  Needless to say I was tanked by this point, and struggled to even hold a 16 MPH pace!

There was nothing greater than the 2 hours and 30 + minutes of bonding time spent with my sister while running Saturday.  In fact, while it was no doubt the farthest distance I have ever logged at one time, yet it didn’t feel like it was long enough.  It has been quite a while since I have had the opportunity to spend some good old one on one time with my little sister and it was great.  I look forward to this again in the future!

Not only did I log my longest run even on Saturday, when running a total o 16 miles, but Sunday I logged my farthest bike ride every, at 32 miles.  This explains my Post Title, “48 Miles in 48 Hours!”

My first post!

So, I have absolutely no idea where to begin!  I decided to start this blog on a whim, in hopes to be used as a personal motivator to help me reach my goals.  This past weekend I traveled to Gilford, NH to watch my sister compete in her first ever Half Ironman, the Timerman 70.3.  Not only was I left teary eyed and tingle faced with joy for my little sister from start to finish, but I was reminded again why I decided to get into to competition racing in the first place.  I would highly recommend to anyone who ever questions themselves during training, or if having trouble sticking to your training regime, to attend the next local event as a spectator, and pay close attention to the smiles and screams of joy as the participants cross the finish line.  It was unbelievable to witness such true joy and happiness for one’s personal achievement, and served as an excellent reminder of why I started in the first place.  I know that I will never become a “Professional” triathlete, and quite frankly a place medal doesn’t mean much to me either, however I do set personal goals for each event, even if just to finish, and will remember and use that experience as motivation and fuel to accomplish them!

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(Photo Above:  My sister, Amanda Logan, during the run leg of the Timberman 70.3 – AWESOME!!)