Category Archives: Triathlon Training

Posts that focus on my current training workouts

Sehenandoah’s Pride

Brynn, Benjamin and I are now in Lake Placid and less than 24 hours from the start of the ironman! It was a long trip up but worth it just to see the town, which is one of the nicest towns I’ve seen in America. The mountain air is very refreshing and it’s just picture perfect.

To say I’m a little nervous wouldn’t be inaccurate, but I’m confident the training I have under my belt will put me in good stead to reach the finish line. My cycling has traditionally been my triathlon weakness and with the cycle leg at Lake Placid being notoriously hard I knew I had to do something to get some extra power and endurance in my legs. I found that little something on the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park.

The Skyline Drive was built during the Great Depression as part of the New Deal, which was an initiative to help America’s unemployment problems with big infrastructure projects. It travels for 100 miles through some of Virginia’s steepest mountains, providing some of the most spectacular views you’re ever likely to see on the east coast of America – and exhausting many an avid cyclists legs.

On the first of my three rides along the Skyline I was hooked within about five minutes. The road has 71 roadside lookouts and traffic is never heavy. Furthermore, the people driving through the park are there to enjoy it and are generally unaggressive towards bikes – a rarity in this part of the world. My only complaint was I didn’t see any of the black bears that the park is famous for on my ride.

On the second ride, however, I more than made up for it with three bear sightings. The first one I head a russle in the trees by the road and turned my head to see the top of a bears head, which wasn’t much but enough to get me excited. The second two made it seem pretty lame though as I got to see a mother and its cub walking off down a fire trial beside the road. When I first saw the mother I thought it must have been a baby, but then when I saw the baby I realized just how small black bears actually are. I have to admit I was a little scared of seeing one up until that point, but the truth is they are almost completely harmless.

Don’t get me wrong – black bears are wild animals and are both fast and strong. However, they are also very timid and the ones in Shenandoah are very used to seeing people. Provided you don’t do anything silly like chase them around or steal their babies chances are they will ignore you (there hasn’t been a bear attack in Shenandoah in 30 years).

That final ride ended as a 100 mile 7 hour epic that involved over 3000 metres of climbing (that’s higher than Australia’s tallest mountain and about a third the height of Everest). If I can get through that I know I can beat the mountains in the Adirondacks by Lake Placid.

On my third ride I was also lucky to see another three bears. One of them was a younger one that crossed the road about 30 metres in front of me and paused briefly to check me out. It was a really magical experience and more than made up for any fatigue I felt at the end of the day.

With the big day almost here I’d encourage you all to dig deep for the HER Foundation, who are really benefitting from the generous donations that have been made so far. If you’d like to make things interesting why not pledge a donation based on my performance in Lake Placid? You might consider donating a certain amount for every mile I complete or for every minute under 17 hours (the cut off time) in which I complete the course. Whether it’s a lot or a little, every donation makes a big difference and is truly appreciated.

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My First Century

Hi everyone,

Lake Placid is fast approaching with just over 2 months left on the training calender. As I’ll need to start tapering my training about 3 weeks out from the race that leaves me with six weeks of solid training.

I think preparations so far have been going well considering I have to balance training with work and a seven month old. My swimming has improved out of sight in the last few months and my running has come to a new level. However, while my cycling is improving it is the one area of my training that has been somewhat neglected, mostly because it just takes too much time to get good at it. Given the bike leg at Lake Placid is 112 miles I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit worried.

So it is with my remaining weeks of training that I am focused on improving my cycling endurance by getting some long rides in on the weekends. Last weekend I was planning on going out to Shenandoah National Park to take in some long hills, but with the weather forecast looking so negative I decided to stay closer to home and focus on my first century – 100 miles on the bike.

I decided to ride out to Mount Vernon – the estate of the first US President George Washington – and back again, which would get me close to my target mileage. Then I would tack on a few extra miles at the end.

Usually the eastern section W&OD trail that I took is worth avoiding on the weekends, but because of the lousy weather it wasn’t too crowded. That took me into Alexandria, where I then found myself on the Mt Vernon trail. As I got closer the Mount Vernon the trail got hillier and slipperier, so I eased off the pace a bit and found myself at the entrance to Mount Vernon in one piece.

On the way back I was not as fortunate. About a mile or two on the return I turned my bike through a steep downhill corner only for the back wheel to lose traction and take my iron horse (or is it wire donkey?) sideways. The bike slid out in front of me and I skidded along the trail for what seemed like an eternity. Fortunately I was wearing two pairs of tights because of the weather so I was able to minimize the damage, but I still wound up with a very nasty road rash on my hip about 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide as well as a few other cuts and bruises. Still, it’s the first time I’ve come off my bike in over a year and the damage could have been a lot worse, so I can’t complain.

Aside from my intimate encounter with the asphalt the ride was a success and gave me some confidence in my endurance. However, I was incredibly hungry by the end of it despite consuming energy snacks like a gluttonous king throughout the ride. It highlighted once again the importance of nutrition in an ironman event.

Because of my road rash I had to change my training plan for the week and take some time off swimming. I made up for it with some extra bike miles on the Expresso bike at the gym. However, I hit the pool again yesterday so as to not lose my feel for the water as I have a two mile open water swimming race this weekend. Then it’s just a few weeks until Philadelphia – my last triathlon before Placid.

The Highs and Lows of Triathlon

It’s been a while since I’ve posted owing partly to a lack of time and partly to a lack of motivation for all things triathlon related. After a long winter of indoor training it was only natural that my motivation would lapse at some point. In fact, I was a little surprised that it lasted as long as it did.

My lapse in motivation was triggered by my first outdoor race of the season – a really short local triathlon in reverse order. It sounded like a fun way to mix things up by having the run at the start and the swim at the finish. Also, given how cold it was in early March it would have been difficult to go outside on a bike after getting out of the pool.

Anyway, the race was an epic disaster for me. Each of the three legs felt quite good, but my transitions in between them were frightfully slow – partly because I wore gloves which made me fumble every piece of equipment I had to touch. Also, the course was really poorly marked, which made it difficult to navigate. I ended up crossing the line in second place, just a few seconds behind the winner.

When I caught this guy I thought I had caught the leader at first, but he was only racing the aquathlon

When I caught this guy I thought I had  the leader at first, but he was from a different race on the same course

However, unbeknownst to me until the award ceremony was about to be held, I had been disqualified for cutting the course. It turns out I had taken a wrong turn on the bike course, which cut out close to half a mile of the course. I was in fourth place at the time of the incident and I was simply following 2nd and 3rd, who were just ahead of me.

It wasn’t a very serious race, but I was certainly taking it seriously, so I felt very dejected about the whole experience. For the following few weeks I trained more out of habit than desire and really struggled to find enjoyment in any of my training sessions. It made me re-evaluate what I was doing and had it not been for Lake Placid and some of the other races I had already entered I may well have just walked away from the sport and gone back to just running.

My next triathlon was part of the Virginia Triathlon Series and scheduled to take place in Lynchburg, Virginia this past weekend. After a few weeks of loathing training I approached the race with a very different attitude. It was a much bigger race but I simply didn’t care about it anymore, so I decided that I would go into it with the sole purpose of enjoying myself. If I floundered like a dead fish in the pool, rode my bike like a circus clown and failed to finish the run that was fine, I just had to feel like I was having fun.

The approach ended up having a huge benefit – I had the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had before a triathlon (I only woke up once and that was because Benjamin was crying!) As I lined up for the start of the race I felt relaxed and in good spirits.

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My No. 1 supporter was in high spirits

After completing the swim in a decent time I had a great transition onto the bike and cycled through and out of the downtown area of Lynchburg (it’s a great city to hold a triathlon because it’s completely dead on a Sunday and they can basically close the whole place down). It was a scenic and hilly course and my hours on the indoor expresso bike came in handy as I was able to cycle down the majority of people who started in front of me.

Another good transition saw me on the run course, which went out of town and onto the Blackwater cycle trail. I past one athlete early and worked slowly on another who I caught at the bottom of a ridiculously steep hill coming back into the city. I managed to pass him, but couldn’t hold him off after burning all my candles on the hill. It didn’t matter anyway, as he had started the race more than five minutes before me.

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Falling apart as the finish line approaches

I ended up finishing second place overall and given the size of the race it was by far the best result I have achieved to date. Best of all I am looking forward to getting back into training tomorrow!

For News Coverage of the Triathlon Click Here

My next event won’t be until May and will be a half iron distance race, which will be a real test. This last race has shown me that I have improved my speed and power in the off-season, but whether my endurance has improved won’t be seen until this next event. It will be a good indication of how my preparation is going for Lake Placid and how much pain I am likely to go through in July.

Double Expresso Decaf Grande

Hi everyone,

It has been a very cold couple of weeks. I’m convinced if hell were to freeze over it wouldn’t look too different to Virginia in the depths of winter, but in reality it probably looks a lot more like Alaska. At least we get sunlight, if that’s what you can call those dim rays that break through the cloud, giving the Old Dominion that grey monotone look it carries for months.

I had great intentions of improving my diet in the lead up to Ironman, but I think those plans are going to have to wait. The last thing I want to eat at the moment is a piece of cold fruit… give me some chocolate and hot pie any day!

Fortunately I have been able to keep my training up to a level where I can burn those extra calories off pretty easily. Although it’s hard to be motivated to train at this time of year I just discovered a new machine that makes me want to go back to the gym right now.

It’s called an Expresso. It’s not a typo and it’s definitely not a coffee. It’s quite simply the most fun I’ve ever had on a stationary bike. That’s not exactly the boldest statement given how boring stationary bikes generally are, but the Expresso is without doubt millions  of times better than any stationary bike I’ve used before.

The Expresso Bike

The Expresso Bike

What makes the Expresso different from other stationary bikes is that it has 3D race courses built into it. It’s like a playstation game and you control the bike by pedalling and steering it. When you go up a hill the resistance increases and when you go downhill the resistance decreases. As you’re pedalling your power, speed, cadence and heart rate are all tracked.

The courses are really detailed and beat staring at numbers all day

The courses are really detailed and beat staring at numbers all day

That alone would make Expresso a great machine, but it goes a step further by allowing you to save your rides to your profile so you have a record of them. You can then look at analytical trends over time (e.g. Power/Heart Rate) to track your progress. You can also compare your results to other riders on the leaderboard and when you re-ride a course you can race your previous self (your ghost).

The other night I rode a 6.91 mile course in 19:35, averaging 290 watts, 21.2 mph and a heart rate of 168 bpm. Apparently that ranks me as the 40th best rider on that course out of 1640 riders in the world this season. Being the competitive type I won’t rest until I’m number 1! Unfortunately, given the best time is 14:27, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon unless I go raid Lance Armstrong’s cookie jar. (If you’d like to try and beat my ride you can visit here and then go to an Expresso machine anywhere in the world. You’ll then be able to ride against my ghost!)

My swimming has improved a lot over the past few months, so cycling has become my definite weak leg. I’m glad to now have another tool in the arsenal to help me bring it up to standard as I’m going to need it!

Now for an early night. Benjamin has not slept well this week, which means Brynn and I have not slept well either. However, he has been out like a light tonight so now might be my chance to catch up a few hours.

Getting with the Program

Hi everyone,

Well it’s been a while since the last post owing to a hectic couple of weeks. Brynn, Ben and I finally moved into our own place and between the hassle of moving and the extra toll of not having Brynn’s parents around as much to help look after Ben we haven’t had a whole lot of time (or sleep). Fortunately we’re only a few minutes away from Brynn’s parents so we’re not entirely on our own, their help has been amazing!

I’ve just started running again and so far my knee has been fine. I’ve done a couple of short runs on the treadmill and will be building up slowly. Now the challenge will be trying to work out a routine that will help me maximise my training with the limited time I have.

I’ve planned out most of my races for the upcoming season as most races have price increases on December 31. The races I have planed are:

  • Manassas Tune Up Tri: March 24 (Mini distance)
  • Angels Race Lynchburg: April 14 (Sprint distance)
  • Monticelloman: May 5 (Half Iron distance)
  • HER 5k Run: May 12 (Supporting HG Research!)
  • Jim McDonnell Lake Swim: May 26 (2 Mile open water swim)
  • Philadelphia Triathlon: June 23 (Olympic distance)
  • Ironman Lake Placid: July 27 (Iron distance)
  • Luray Triathlon: August 18 (Sprint distance)

There were a lot of other races I would have liked to have entered, but they just didn’t work well around Lake Placid, which is of course my big race for the year. I don’t really want to plan anything after Lake Placid until its ove as I’m sure it will take me a while to recover. I made an exception for Luray because it’s such a good race and a great location.

Now it’s just a matter of finding the time I’ll need to do the training for all this. The real challenge will be getting in some long bike rides that will get me ready to tackle the Adirondacks in Lake Placid. I’ve been riding my bike on the indoor trainer, but I really need to start going longer. However, riding in the one spot for 4-5 hours is not something I look forward to!

Running for HG

Hi everyone,

Well the year is nearly over and I’m happy to report that we’re now over 10% of the way to our $5,000 fundraising goal for HG research. Thank you very much to everyone who has donated so far, your contribution is making a huge difference. With the end of the financial year fast approaching in America, now is a great time to make a tax-deductable donation. If you have any money to spare we’d really appreciate it!

With the end of the year approaching so fast I have another thought on my mind – returning to running. I haven’t jogged 100 yards since Benjamin was born owing to a knee injury I sustained. I decided with all the constraints on my time the easiest and best thing to do would be to go easy on the knee for a while and I decided to not run until the new year. Thank goodness I still have two other disciplines to keep training for- back when I was purely a runner I would be very unpleasant to be around when I couldn’t train!

Early in the season there are often a lot of fun running races around 5-10k in distance. However, there is one in particular that has me excited – the HER Foundation is hosting a 5k run/walk at the National Harbor in Maryland! The race will be held on May 12 (Mother’s Day), so if you’re available please consider entering or volunteering at the event! It’s set to take place on a great course all along the waterfront that will take in views of the harbor as well as the famous “awakening” sculpture.

Find out more about the race here

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If you have never run 5k before it could be a great opportunity to achieve something you might not have thought possible… or even kick start your career as an endurance athlete! 5k is roughly 3.1 miles and while that might seem like a drop in the ocean next to the 140.6 miles I plan on completing in July, I can assure you that that wasn’t always the case for me!

I ran my first 5k race the first year that I came to America. I was still competing at a pretty high level as a 400 metre sprinter back in Australia, but found that the track and field scene was pretty dead for adults in America unless you are at Olympic standard. With work commitments I was finding it very difficult to commit the time needed to maintain my standard and without any training partners or races to look forward to I just couldn’t get motivated.

The final straw was when the local Lacrosse team started taking over my track so I couldn’t train there. Rather than not train I decided to just jog around the neighbourhood and soon I was addicted. I felt like I was getting more from my workouts in a shorter period of time and as I bonus I got to explore the area and take in the scenery. After a few months I told Brynn I was going to do a fun run.

I spent a bit of time looking into races and soon had my first one picked out – the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5k. Before the race came around I’d already started planning on running a marathon, but that’s a whole other story in itself!

I didn’t really know what a good time for the race would be or what I was capable of. I hadn’t even timed myself on my runs around the neighbourhood. I remembered someone once saying that 4 min k’s were good, so I figured 20 minutes would be a nice round goal to strive for. The race was held in the afternoon, so I expelled a lot of nervous energy most of the day (the apartment had never looked cleaner), but still felt ready to break that mark when I hit the starting line.

When I arrived there seemed to be some pretty fit looking people in the front pack, so I went into the next pack back. Then the gun fired and I was off like scalded cat. I felt good and didn’t have many people in front of me so thoughts began crossing my mind about how I was born to do this and I was just a natural. Then I hit the 1km mark and reality set in – straight away I knew I’d have to ease off the pace if I wanted to be standing at the end.

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Amongst the crowd at the start of the Arlington 9/11 5K

The new pace I adjusted to felt good for the next three k’s, but then my body had another reality check. As I approached the Pentagon the other runners seemed to be getting faster and I was ready to wind down. I really wanted to walk, but had come this far and was determined to get the best possible time I could. I threw everything I had into that final kilometre, but people were passing me like I was standing still. As I turned the final corner I could see the clock – it was still 19 minutes something! I went into an all out sprint and managed to finish in 19:49, beating my goal by 11 seconds.

After crossing the line I sat down on the curbside before I had a chance to collapse. It took about five minutes before I felt I could get up and walk, but I was hooked! I couldn’t wait for my first marathon!

I’m looking forward to running again, but it will be a while before I am full speed again. I’ve begun weight lifting with my legs again to hopefully strengthen any imbalances that may  have led to this current injury that I’m getting over.

In baby news Benjamin had his 8 week doctor visit this week, which sadly meant that he had to get his shots. It’s a big needle for such a little guy, but he handled it surprisingly well – he’s obviously a lot tougher than his old man! Owing to all the milk he keeps drinking he’s now weighing in at 12 pounds, which has rocketed him up the charts since his last check.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and thanks again to everyone for your support!

Training (with) a Baby

Hi everyone,

I have to admit that training with a newborn has not been as smooth sailing as I anticipated (and I can hear everyone who’s been there done that laughing really hard!) One of the most important ingredients in successful endurance training is to get sufficient rest and babies aren’t exactly the most conducive thing to that. Brynn and I have been watching Benjamin in shifts so that the other is able to sleep properly, but ultimately there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get the sleep you really need.

In addition to finding time to sleep, finding time to train hasn’t been easy. Just this Friday I tried to squeeze in a 30 minute cycle on my indoor trainer while I was watching young Benjamin. I managed to get him all settled down in his bassinet, but only got through 12 minutes before he began crying. After spending the next twenty minutes getting him settled again I squeezed in another 4 minutes before he began stirring again. The next time it was less than a minute, so I ended up just giving up at that point.

Still drinking...

Still drinking…

However, I think we have turned the corner now thank you to an amazing DVD I came across called The Happiest Baby on the Block. It’s based on a best selling book by Dr Harvey Karp and I figured it would be easier to watch the DVD than get through the book. It focuses on five key things to calm a fussy baby. Using a combination of the five S’s (Swaddling, Sideways/Stomach position, Swinging and other movement, Shushing and Sucking a pacifier) has a pretty good chance of getting a baby to settle down (at least until they’ve realised they’re still hungry!) In hindsight it all seems like common sense, but just like a triathlon it’s all in the technique!

Since practicing these techniques we have had Benjamin sleeping longer and more often. When he is awake he is much calmer, especially when it comes to feeding. Over the weekend I was able to get in about 5 hours sleep altogether while on Ben watch! I can swaddle him and put him in his swing with some white noise and he’ll be out for hours!

It’s unbelievable how much of a load off this is for both Brynn and I. Although we are overjoyed to be parents of a newborn, it is difficult to enjoy at times when your baby comes between you and a good night’s rest.

The thing that I am most excited about (naturally!) is how much easier it is going to be to fit in the training I will need for Lake Placid and not burn out! Come July I am going to be there no matter what, but the idea of crossing the finish line on two legs in a respectable time was one I was starting to look at as a pipe dream.

Now I just need to make sure I don’t stuff up my knee any further. I haven’t run since injuring it back in October and I’ve finally had a week with no pain. I’ve decided to not run again until the new year so as to not have a relapse, which is also good news for my swimming and cycling training.

In the latest Hyperemesis Gravidarum news I see that Princess Kate has cancelled all public engagements until further notice, which is not in the least bit surprising to me. Hopefully she will be able to keep her hydration high enough to stay out of hospital.

Here is the Winter of our Discontent

Hi everyone,

I hate to be a voice of resounding optimism, but winter is upon us and it’s really going to suck! Technically it’s still a month away and it will get worse but it is definitely here in spirit with the daylight savings coming to an end this past weekend (it’s currently -2 Celcius / 28 Fahrenheit as I type). To top it off my knee is killing me, it looks like I have some form of “Runner’s Knee” probably caused by tight and/or weak quadriceps muscles.

Okay, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. The truth is things aren’t too bad, I’ve been through Virginia winters before so I am going to be prepared this time. It just means I have to be a bit more flexible and creative with my training. Besides, I have a new training buddy in Benjamin now so things definitely can’t be too bad! I’m very fortunate to have had such a positive season with no injuries up until now. If you’re going to get an injury, the very end of the season is the best possible time to get one. It means I won’t be as tempted to do anything silly too soon and so for now running is completely off my program until I resolved the problem. In lieu of running I have a lot planned.

I went for a cycle on Saturday and it was bitterly cold. I was well rugged up but when I got home it took about 30 minutes to get any feeling back in my toes. I definitely don’t want to be going out too often in those kind of conditions so I’m going to get an indoor trainer that I can put my bike into and essentially turn it into a gym bike. This will allow me to put some long miles in while it is dark and cold outside without losing the feel of my bike. As a bonus Ben will be able to hang out with me in his bassinet – hopefully the whirring noise of the trainer will help put him to sleep. I’ll still try to get outdoors once a week and for that I have invested in some neoprene booties that go over my cycling shoes.

I’ve also signed up for more swim classes with my coach, who is a former Canadian Olympic coach. I began taking my swim training more seriously about two months ago and my swimming technique has improved out of sight. I returned to swim practice on Sunday and my arms were aching yesterday – every session is a great workout! I’m really learning how to catch the water and get more distance per stroke, which I think will pay huge dividends come Lake Placid.

One thing I’ve been lacking in my program over the past twelve months is strength and general conditioning training. Between running, swimming and cycling it is hard to find the time to fit much else in. However, with just an hour a week of the right conditioning work I probably could have avoided my current injury I have. While this hour might be better spent in the saddle of my bike for performance gains, those gains are soon lost when I find myself sidelined. So I’m going to look into joining a gym this week, but in the meantime I have set up my workout studio in the basement with my BOSU ball and a few workout DVDs (NOT P90X, I promise!)

Would I rather be in a tropical paradise… or even somewhere that gets some decent snow that you can ski on? I probably don’t need to answer that, but given my geographical predicament I plan on making the most out of what I have.

Benjamin and Brynn are both doing very well. Brynn has recovered super fast from the delivery and is doing an excellent job keeping on top of Ben’s demands (eat, burp, sleep, potty, eat burp, sleep, potty). I’m currently on Ben watch and he is sleeping in my arms. Every time I try to put him in his bassinet he starts complaining until he can feel my body warmth again – I think he’s inherited his Dad’s hatred of the cold.

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.

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!