Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Week in the Life of an Ironman Wannabe

Hi everyone,

As I mentioned on the last post Brynn and I were going to see her doctor this week for a pregnancy check up. Baby Benjamin is in great health and it looks like he is no longer breached – which is great news because the last thing Brynn needs is another pregnancy complication!

For this week’s post I thought I would provide some insight into the training that I’m doing. It’s still 11 months until Ironman Lake Placid, but it takes a long time to build the endurance needed for that kind of an event, so you really can’t start too early. A huge thanks to Brynn for supporting me with all these training sessions!

Saturday 18th July: Race at Luray (1.5km swim / 41km bike / 10km run)

Sunday 19th July: Ran 19km (12 mi) at an easy pace with the Roadrunners (See Garmin Map)

Monday 20th July: Rest (was planning on cycling, but a storm hit just before I left)

Tuesday 21st July: Swam with triathlon group for 1 hour, Cycled for 62km (39 mi)

Wednesday 22nd July: Ran 6km (See Garmin Map – was planning on 26km, but got caught in a storm)

Thursday 23rd July: Swam with triathlon group for 1 hour, Ran 26.2km (16 mi) (See Garmin Map)

Friday 24th July: 20km (12 mi) easy cycle (See Garmin Map)

Saturday 25th July: Cycled 112km (70 mi) (See Garmin Map)

A lot of people follow a training plan when preparing for Ironman. I think there’s a lot to be said for that approach, but after this week I’m glad that I’m not doing it. Life and the weather are always changing my training plans and I think it’s very important to be able to remain flexible. Rather than have a strict plan at the moment I’m trying to maintain consistency and increase my long run by 10% each week.

My main focus of the three legs is shifting to running because I’m planning on doing the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October. I entered the Marine Corps Marathon the same day that we found out Bejamin’s due date and lo and behold – they are both October 28! Since Ben is above average weight for his age chances are he will come early, but if he doesn’t I will just have to stay flexible and change plans.

I’ve run two marathons to date and at the end of each one I have come close to swearing off running for the rest of my life. In the first one – the National Marathon 2010 in Washington DC, I’d found the first 32km (20 mi) of the marathon easy and just began to increase the pace, but then suddenly it felt like I ran straight into an invisible wall. I just wanted to lay down and cry myself to sleep. I think the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing the pain that Brynn went through with HG were on those last few miles of the course. I kept saying to myself “You can walk the next 100 metres but then you’ve got to run the rest of the way”, but then I’d end up walking again a few hundred metres later.

I noticed there was a girl in a similar situation, except I saw her cutting corners – at one point she took a shortcut that took about 800 metres off her run. I was enraged that anyone could have so little respect for this distance that was just about killing me that I set it as my goal to beat her to the line (yeah, that’ll show her!). I managed to pass her on the final bridge and did my best to pull off a sprint and cross the finish line in style. Looking back at the photos it was anything but stylish, but I did manage to cross the line. I gave Brynn a big sweaty hug and then sat down on the ground and just could not get my body to stand up. I obviously wasn’t looking well because I was dragged off to the medical tent and had an IV stuck in my arm.

My one time on an IV – just after finishing the National Marathon in 2010

Surprisingly I felt great 15 minutes later and was already thinking about my next marathon. If there was ever a moment that I could have been diagnosed as completely insane I think that was probably it. I learnt a lot from that race however and I know those lessons will serve me well at Lake Placid. They’re going to have to if I’m going to run a marathon on a hilly course after swimming and cycling for about 7 or 8 hours! Let’s see if I can do it without needing another IV.

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Luray International Triathlon

Today was the Luray Tri and I was extremely happy with my performance. I managed to scrape onto the podium for my age group, which is the first time I’ve done so at an international distance (this one was 1.5km swim, 41km bike ride, 10km run).

I got there to find that temperature of Lake Arowhead had been measured at 77.9 degrees fahrenheit, which is just wetsuit legal. I don’t have a wetsuit (yet) however, so I had to compete without one. Wearing a wetsuit is a huge advantage as it gives you extra buoyancy, but I think a lot of people were not expecting the water to be that cool as it seemed the majority were also without them. Nevertheless, I had a good swim – going under 30 minutes without a wetsuit for the first time.

I then had a super fast T1 transition – the fastest overall male – before jumping on the bike and hitting the hills. I was expecting the course to be super hilly, but it actually wasn’t that bad. Luray is nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains, but the course was composed of mostly rolling hills with the one exception being the killer hill at the end. Of all the triathlon courses I’ve done I would have to rate this one as the most scenic – there was breathtaking scenery almost the entire way.

After another strong transition I bolted into the run leg at a good pace. I knew it was going to be a super fast time if I could keep that pace, but after about 3km my right quadricep began to cramp – probably in part because I attacked that final hill of the bike too hard. I eased off for a few km and then it passed, so I was able to pick the pace up again on the second lap. I ended up running 40:15, which is about a minute faster than I’ve ever run a 10k – and this was at the end of a traithlon!

All that and I still managed to get my butt kicked by a some 58 year old named Dave Scott!

For those of you who haven’t heard of Dave “The Man” Scott, he is probably the greatest triathlete of all time – and he just happened to come to Luray from Boulder, Colorado for his only triathlon this year. Dave won a record 6 Ironman world championships in Kona and then several years later made a comeback at the age of 42 and finished second. Although he’s now 58, he only looks 38 and I knew he would be fiercely competitive. Even so he blew me away by finishing 5th overall! He was less than 3 minutes off winning the whole thing and beat me by a whopping 15 minutes!

Me with Dave “The Man” Scott

After the race I went up to Dave and asked if I could get a photo with him. I’m not usually the starstruck kind, but I have to admit I was stuttoring like a besotted teenager when I approached him! He was incredibly nice though and chatted with me for a couple of minutes about the race. He told me he had traveled with one of his Australian athletes who was one of the top female finishers. I went over to have a chat with her and hear a familiar accent and it turns out she was a former WNBL basketball player. Us Aussies are everywhere.

Of course, there’s no rest for the wicked and I must be pretty wicked as I’m planning to get up early for a long run tomorrow. My next race (Nation’s Tri) isn’t for three weeks, so I’m going to hit training pretty hard this week. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

Brynn is keeping very well. She didn’t come out to Luray as long car rides still make her very nauseus. We have a doctors visit this week to check up on how baby Ben is doing. He’s been kicking a lot which is a sign that he’s doing very well.

Welcome to my Blog!

Hi there,

This is my first post on my new blog that I have put together to document my progress towards Ironman Lake Placid in 2013 – a race entailing a 2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike ride and 26.2 mi run. As this might be the only time I do anything quite this crazy I thought it would be a good opportunity to use it as a way to raise funds and awareness for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).

My wife Brynn is just entering the third trimester of her pregnancy and has had a really rough time with HG. She’s currently in the early parts of the third trimester and while she’s doing a lot better now, she suffered more than any expectant mother should have to during the early phases of the pregnancy. Please have a look at the “About Me” page to find out more about her experience.

If you have any money that you can spare for charity, I would really appreciate it if you would consider donating to the Hyperemesis Education & Research (HER) Foundation. If you do please make a note on the “Donate Now” page so I can track how much is raised. I’m hoping to raise $5000 before the Ironman. If you aren’t able to donate anything, I’d really appreciate it if you could spend a few moments to educate yourself on the condition (see the “Hyperemesis Gravidarum” page) and tell people about the condition who may be interested in knowing more.

I’m going to try posting up a new entry roughly once per week to let you know how Brynn, our baby Ben and my training schedule are going. Tomorrow I have an Olympic-distance triathlon out in Luray, Virginia so check back and I’ll let you know how I do. It’s supposed to be a hilly course, so I may struggle a bit but it will be good practice for Lake Placid.

Stay tuned!