Do I Really Want to Call Myself That Anymore?

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 29 – October 2 > October 8

I typically write my weekly Ironman training wrap-up on Sunday, when all of my workouts have been completed, and share something worthwhile during the week that I find interesting in my journey toward my goal of doing a third Ironman race. Usually the long bike on Saturday or the long run on Sunday will give me something to reflect upon.  But I find myself typing this on a Wednesday instead, a couple of days after another mass murder in the world involving gunfire, this time in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I have become somewhat numb to these shootings, and I believe most of the world has as well.  They seem to have become routine or expected.  I guess most people think that it won’t happen where they live.  I also believe that I live in a pretty safe place in the world, the south suburbs of Chicago, a place where if you go a couple miles north you are certainly in the urban life, and if you travel a couple miles south you are definitely looking at cornfields.  But I’m not fooling myself with that.  At this writing, 58 people lost their lives in Las Vegas.  The City of Chicago loses that many people in a month to gunfire.  September 2017 alone registered 60 people murdered in Chicago(1).  Chicago has a Las Vegas every damn month.  Let that sink in.

I’m not anti-gun.  I’m for protecting 2nd Amendment rights.  But I’m also thinking we need much stricter gun ownership rules.  I don’t even know what that entails, really.  I just don’t want people to lose their minds and have access to guns and wipe out scores of people because they woke up on the wrong side of the world that day.  With all the killings going on in Chicago, I have recently thought about purchasing a small handgun for protection and taking the two day concealed carry licensing course.  But I haven’t done that, and may or may not.  I don’t like to think about having to have to do that.  I don’t want to have to get to the point where if I leave the house I have to carry a gun.  I don’t want my pre-ride checklist to include water bottles, gels, a helmet, some spare tubes and a handgun.

My father grew up in Nebraska and was a farm boy, so I’m pretty sure that hunting was a common practice for him.  I don’t remember my dad having guns around the house, maybe an old .22 caliber rifle that must have been in his family.  Our house was on four wooded acres and my older brother Jon had shotguns and would walk the woods and the adjoining cornfields to shoot at pheasants and rabbits, and occasionally I would tag along.  He gave me a gun to carry that I’m guessing he thought was perfect for me.  It was an over/under type long gun, with a .22 caliber rifle on top and a .410 gauge shotgun on the bottom.  I don’t remember ever shooting the dumb thing, but I do recall that it was heavy.

My friends were very avid hunters, and good at it too.  I’m not anti-hunting at all, but I guess my path as a kid was more about playing wiffle ball, riding my mini-bike, and listening to rock and roll than it was about killing rabbits in the back yard.  One year Jon must have thought that I was big enough now to carry a .20 gauge, and we traipsed once again through the woods.  He saw some ducks swimming in the creek that ran through the property and he yelled “SHOOT THE FUCKING DUCKS!”  I pulled the trigger and killed a duck.  When we pulled it out of the creek we saw that this duck must have lived the high life, because he was huge.  Most likely a duck that was fed pretty well by the neighbor to the north.  I most likely had killed someone’s pet wild duck.

We were into taxidermy at the time, so my buddies helped me stuff that damn thing.  We hung it from my ceiling like he was flying, which in all likelihood he was too damn fat to do, and likely the reason he was in essence a sitting duck to a kid who couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn from 10 feet away.  That hanging duck in my bedroom kind of became my albatross around my neck, just like in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.  I looked at it everyday and eventually came to the conclusion that hunting may not be my thing.

After marriage and becoming a father, I just didn’t want any guns around the house.  I have a valid Firearms Owners Identification card, but have never owned a gun.  I work in non-sworn position in law enforcement and just maintain it in case I find myself possessing a gun for some reason.   I’m a rule follower.

So how does the terrible event in Las Vegas have anything to do with training for another Ironman?  Well, my group of buddies and I call our team “The Gunners”. 

When we decided to do our second Ironman in 2016 in Lake Placid, New York, I thought that since there were five of us doing the race, we should have a cool team name, along with matching tri kits.  But there wasn’t any theme or idea that really resonated with us until my buddy John suggested Gunners.  That suggestion was made because the youngest of our group, Alex, had a habit of going full throttle in races, gunning for the win as they say.  I had heard the term used in sports many times, especially in auto racing.  “HE’S REALLY GUNNING FOR THE LEAD!” and stuff like that.  And to be honest, I think the rest of our group was highly competitive as well.  We all gun for the win.  The name was bad ass.  Not only did we want to be bad ass, we wanted to be GUNNERS!

I had trouble coming up with a logo, and thought about using a cannon in the design, kind of like Arsenal FC, a soccer club in London, who also went by the Gunner moniker.  But I thought, maybe it should just be about the what we wanted the word to reflect, that we were highly competitive, gunning for the podium.  In the end, I asked the company that we used to make our team kits if they could assist with a team logo for us, and they came up with the word Gunners in a fast looking script, with three stars above the name.  They also suggested a logo having a handgun sticking out of the end of the “S”, but it looked really stupid, and it wasn’t what we were trying to express.  So the Gunners logo with the three stars was our choice.

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As we rapidly approach Ironman Louisville on October 15, we typically also make some t-shirts for ourselves and our family and crew of supporters that come along.  My wife and I designed some cool looking shirts with the Gunner logo and the IM Louisville fleur-de-lis design similar to what they use, and ordered a few hundred dollars worth of shirts.  A couple days later a crazed gunman went full gunner in his own way and mowed down 58 people and wounding scores more.  What an asshole.  He died too.  He just got the order of who to shoot first wrong.

So now the question for me is, do I really want to plaster the word “Gunners” on my chest, and parade through 140.6 miles of Louisville, Kentucky?  Not really.  But yes, dammit, I do.  Can I expect that people will understand the context of the word that we want it to portray, or will they look at it and say WTF?  Is being a Gunner still bad ass, or just make me look like an ass?  I’m not sure I have the answer to those questions.  I feel like this guy stole something from me.  But really, can I be upset about that when all those people in Las Vegas had their lives stolen from them?  The answer to that is no.

I have a week and a few days to decide as to whether I’m going to represent the team name at Ironman Louisville.  I probably will.  I’m just bummed about the killings.  But I know that I am a Gunner, and my teammates are Gunners, and we will all be gunning it on October 15, whether we are wearing it on our chest or not.

 

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 5500 yards this week / 110250 yards total

4 Bikes – 82.5 miles this week / 10571 miles total

7 Runs – 25.5 miles this week / 980 miles

(1) -DNA Info – Chicago Murders https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2017-chicago-murders/timeline?mon=9

 

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GUNNERS ARE READY!  ONE WEEK BABY!
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The Week of Awesome

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 28 – September 25 > October 1

I was anticipating that this week would be pretty good.  Week 28 is the first of three taper weeks, and after the heat and workload of the previous week, I knew it would be a lot better.  But I wasn’t expecting it to be so dang good!

First of all, the weather got better.  Temperatures went from low 90’s back to the mid 60’s and it felt great.  On Tuesday, I decided to go back to the high school pool and swim what the plan had called for, about 3500 yards of swimming.  But I felt pretty good, and once I got started I decided to test myself and I ended up swimming the full Ironman distance swim of 4200 yards.  After swimming only two 45 minute swims a week for the past several, I just needed to prove to myself that I could cover the distance and I did.

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I forgot my Garmin at home and had to swim with the old Timex Ironman.  It’s a total pain in the butt pushing the lap button after every 100 yards.  Believe me.

 

But the week really turned awesome on Wednesday, when after waiting very anxiously for a week and a half, I finally got the word that I had made the cut for the Boston Marathon, a first for me.  It had been a long time in the making, never really thinking that I would ever reach that goal, but it finally happened.  I’m still a little in shock about making it into the field, but expect a blog report from me about being accepted soon.

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A much better email than the one I got from them last year!

 

Getting into Boston for the first time was pretty awesome, but the day wasn’t done delivering good news.  I went to pick up Rebecca from marching band practice and although all of the band equipment and props were out on the field, the kids were nowhere in sight.  When they came out of the building back to the field I could see that they were each carrying a red rose.  I knew it immediately – they were going to Pasadena!!!  The Tournament of Roses Parade!!!  Now this may not seem like such a big deal, but it’s really like getting into Boston.  First you have to meet several qualifications just to get in.  And getting in means that this band is pretty darn good.  But what really makes it special for me is that I marched in the parade on January 1, 1982, and it’s really cool that Rebecca will get to experience that as well.  It was an experience of a lifetime for me.  One of those special opportunities that not everyone gets.  Pretty cool.  Looks like I will be traveling to Pasadena in December/January 2019!

I went back to the pool on Thursday, even though I still have my pool at home open.  It’s the end of September, almost October, and I still have the pool open, which is pretty unusual.  But I am having some issues with the auto chlorinator, and will probably have to replace it in the spring, along with the pump and possibly the heater as well.  It seems like everything is starting to reach the end of its use and getting worn out.  I will deal with it in the spring.  I began closing it on Sunday.

The Saturday long ride was four hours with a 1/2 hour run and it went really well.  What a difference a week makes.  Last Saturday was a 7 hour day in mid 90 degree temps.  This Saturday started out at 54 degrees and didn’t get much more than 63 or so by the time I was done.  I had three layers on for that ride!

Sunday wrapped up the week with another cool morning and a two hour run, and thanks to the cool temps I was able to squeeze in an extra mile and finished comfortably with 14 miles.  However the real wrap up of the weekend was a trip to downtown Chicago with my family to see Hamilton.  I really had no expectations for the show, and I was really impressed.  It was pretty cool.

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We had fun at Hamilton in Chicago!

Here’s to Week 28!  Thanks for being so good to me.

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 7200 yards this week / 104,750 yards total

3 Bikes – 106 miles this week / 10488 miles total

7 Runs – 36.5 miles this week / 954 miles

 

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WEEK 28 was GREAT!

 

 

The Dreaded Week 27

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

dread – /dred/ verb/noun:  1.  To anticipate with great fear or apprehension (Google Definition)  2. The word “dead” with an r stuck in it (Chris Definition)

It’s interesting how one little change can cause me to panic over something that I can’t control.  For this week it was the weather.  The past three weeks we have had pretty good moderate, if not cool temperatures to train in.  It has been somewhat enjoyable to bike and run in the day with temps in the upper 60’s and mid 70’s.  But on the horizon for this weekend loomed record setting high temperatures in our area, several days bordering or over 90 degrees.  And it happened on Week 27 – the dreaded Week 27.

I have followed the Be Iron Fit training plan for three races now and Week 27 is the one that I generally loathe.  Sure we have been building up to this week, and truthfully I probably could have done the distance that Week 27 calls for in any of the previous three weekends.  But doing it in 90 degree temps?!  Yikes.  I have gotten through this week before and I was sure I can get through it again.  It’s not as tough as the race itself, for Pete’s sake.  But the issue at hand was doing a six hour/100 mile bike ride and one hour/7 mile run in the heat.  I was really dreading it this time around.  Thankfully, my group of Gunner teammates had just the answer – suffer through this together.  Here’s the low down on how we conquered the Dreaded Week 27.

FRIDAY

The plan was to gather at Dave’s house in Dixon and ride his route, a route that I feel is very similar to what we will expect in Louisville – lots of rolling hills, followed by more rolling hills.  The offer to spend the night there on Friday was made so that we could get an early start to our seven hour day, and I gladly accepted.  I packed my junk up, double checked that I had all my junk, and had a dinner at a local pizza place with my wife Kari that only made me more anxious.  The waitress was terrible and I was starting to believe that I may not make it there on Friday night.  Quick pro tip – never tell the waitress that you need just another minute.  To them people, just another minute means maybe ten.  Whatever.  We finally ate and I got on the road.

Upon arriving at Dave’s I was provided a comfortable bed, and the promise of a pre-ride meal in the morning.

SATURDAY

I awoke at 5:30 am and got dressed.  Upstairs Carla had oatmeal, bagels and bananas waiting for us.  Thanks Carla!  I probably ate more there than I do on my regular pre-ride meal at home.  I certainly left with a full tank.  Jeff showed up from Chicago just in time for some breakfast and small talk, and we slathered on some sunscreen and got ready to saddle up.

We hit the road at 6:30 am and it was 64 degrees.  I actually felt a little cold and felt a little foolish for worrying about the forecasted heat.  But as the sun rose, so did the temperatures.  The riding was good, we reminded ourselves to save our legs for later, and slowly paced ourselves out to the first stop to refill our water bottles, a fire station in Lanark, Illinois.

YELLOW GOCAINE

Before we left, Dave had prepared for all of us a plastic bag filled with powdered lemon-lime flavored Gatorade.  I joked that it looked like I was carrying a bag of yellow cocaine and almost took a pass on bringing it.  I will drink Gatorade on my rides, but after a while all of that warm sugary Gatorade just doesn’t go down very well.  I grabbed a bag as insurance, and I am glad I did.

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Yellow Gocaine

 

At the first stop, I pulled out the bag and added some to my water bottles, now jokingly calling it “yellow gocaine” but I didn’t add enough.  Now I just had dilute Gatorade water. Fortunately, I don’t rely on Gatorade for fuel, hydration or electrolyte replenishment.  I always use salt capsules to keep my sodium levels up, and use gels for nutritions/fuel, along with water.

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Speaking of gels, I went back to GU after getting tired of Clif Shots.  I found these energy gel flasks that GU made and decided to give them a try.  I can buy GU in a bigger pouch and refill the flasks as needed.  No more gel wrappers and extra garbage to carry around.  They worked really well.  I just need to figure out the correct dosage amount.

 

GRAVEL!

At several turns we were greeted with the possibility of some loose gravel on the turns and we did our best to warn each other.  But occasionally we’d forget until after we passed it, but even then we would still shout “GRAVEL!”

45.8 MPH

I had been riding with Alex a little and he kept telling me about this hill that we would be able to scream down.  I kept thinking that we weren’t going to ever get to this hill.  But we finally did and it did not disappoint.  I hit 45.8 mph going down it and pretty much had spun out my gearing.  It was pretty exhilarating, and it ended too soon for me.  It then dawned on me that that hill we just enjoyed will be the same one that will kick our butts on the way back.  It did.

HALF WAY

Our watches hit three hours just before we got to the portion of Dave’s route that included some serious hills to climb.  Darn.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.  We stopped for a little chat, a selfie and I ate my banana and some Clif bar.

 

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3 hours into it.  Time to turn around.  You can see the big climb that we didn’t do behind us.  Oh well, maybe next time.  Photo credit by Alex.

 

THE 4 HOUR MARK

We made it back to the fire station in Lanark only to find that all of the doors were closed and it looked empty.  That was a problem, as we needed to top off our water bottles with yellow gocaine for the remaining two hour trip back.  I checked around back looking for a hose bib with negative results, and Alex knocked on the door of a business on the other side of the street.  Turns out it was a realty office and one of the agents was nice enough to allow us use of their bathroom and water fountain.  Crisis averted.

GUNNING IT BACK HOME

Dave, who is much better at judging the wind direction than I am (he’s a pilot, so no wonder) and told us that we might have to pick up the pace a little to make it back in six hours.  The whole ride out I felt like we were mostly going downhill, and now not only were we climbing somewhat back, we also had a little headwind to deal with.  Truthfully the wind was negligible, and the real issue now was that it was hot.  We were enjoying ourselves so much that the heat really didn’t seem to matter.  Dave manages his hydration much better than I do, and I tried my best to keep pace with his drinking, so I felt pretty good hydration wise.  I think I stopped for five or six nature breaks and all were pale yellow, which was very good for me.

As we got closer to home, I could tell we were making a faster split coming back than going out, not just by effort and the fact that I watched our average mph climb from 16.5 to now around 17 mph, but also by the fact that Dave kept taking us on little half mile out and back trips on roads we didn’t ride out on.  So I flipped the switch in my mind to forget about being back exactly at 100 miles (we turned around at 50), and just kept an eye on that 6 hour mark.

RIDE OVER – TIME TO RUN

We finished the ride in 6:02, covering 102.2 miles according to my gps watch.  I was very pleased.  Another 10 miles in that heat would have been doable, but I was glad it was done.  The 112 miles will just have to wait until race day.

We seemed to not be in a rush to head out to the run, but we got around to it.  I took some time to use the washroom and wash my face and neck off with some cold water.  I downed a bottle of cold Gatorade (not the yellow gocaine variety for once!), and we swapped bike shoes for running shoes.  The group headed out and paced ourselves fairly conservatively for the first couple of miles.  Alex thought he would gun it a little more, but he quickly came to his senses and joined us.  Carla came through and met us about 20-25 minutes into our run, offering us water and Gatorade refills which I happily took.  Then Jeff hit the gas.

I hadn’t mentioned Jeff much so far in this recap, mainly because he was going along just doing the work.  But now I knew that he was ready to rock and roll.  He steadily built a lead on us getting a football field length or two ahead of us when we turned around at 30 minutes.  Now it was Dave, Alex and I jogging together and thinking that Jeff was forgetting that we have a 3 hour run to do on Sunday.  Jeff caught us and passed us easily.  Now it was game on.  It took me a while but I slowly reeled him in.  I passed him with about a half mile or so to go and I got back to Dave’s house before him.  But in all reality, he had run farther than me.  He was in beast mode on that run.  Well done, Jeff.

RECOVERING WITH SPECIAL SAUCE

After getting back, I chose to keep walking around to cool down while the others seemed to prefer to crash.  Alex seemed to really be struggling.  I keep hinting that he needs to pay more attention to electrolyte replenishment, but you can’t tell a young gun what to do.  I hope he remembers what happened at Lake Placid last year, and makes the adjustment to increase his salt intake.

We went inside and showered up and was met with a great lunch spread made by Carla.  She had made us all a variety of sandwiches and stuff to go with it and it was delicious.  But the thing most interesting about the meal was the special sauce.  I immediately got a chuckle out of this thanks to the movie “Step Brothers” where Brennan won’t share his fancy sauce with Dale.  I have to admit, I wanted some special sauce on my sandwich.  It was good.

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After recovering with food, we went out to the garage to admire Dave’s new Corvette, gather our junk, and I threw about a million football passes to Max and Zach, which may have been the highlight of the day.  I got in the car and headed home.

Before getting out of Dixon, I stopped at the Culver’s and bought myself a large diet Mountain Dew.  I’m glad I did because I probably would have fallen asleep without the caffeine it provided.

As I was driving I got a text alerting me to the fact the the marching band contest that my daughter was competing at in Naperville had been cancelled due to the heat.  I later learned that several kids and others were treated by EMT’s there, and the police told the school to shut it down.  I chuckled at the fact that we just did seven straight hours and 109 miles of high level endurance activity.  I guess we are ready.

4TH PLACE GOES TO…

Me.  During the last hour of riding I was finding myself in the sweeper position quite often, trying to play catch-up with the other three.  I realized at that point that I would most likely be finishing fourth off the bike ride at Louisville.  I guess it’s just my riding style.  I prefer to spin, and I am constantly spending large chunks of time in the small chain ring.  Dave wouldn’t use that ring unless he absolutely had to.  I prefer to save my quads for the run.  And unless I gun the run like a madman, I am pretty sure I’m looking at finishing in fourth.  But I’m totally cool with that.  They are strong riders, and Jeff proved that he may rob me from my marathon crown at this race.  It’s kind of cool that we all kind of have a triathlon distance specialty, and each of us have our dominant races.  I tend to do well in the short stuff, and Dave is KING at Ironman.  Jeff may very well be Dave’s best challenger this time around.  Alex, well seeing that he’s the young gun, he’ll toast us all.  He’s a lifer.  He LOVES this sport!  We all do.

THE SUNDAY LONG RUN

I was eager to get to the three hour long run on Sunday, because I didn’t want it to get too hot.  The run started with a temperature of 70 degrees but warmed to the mid 80’s by the time I was done.  It went really well.  I’m surprised at how well I feel on a run the day after doing such a long bike/run brick.  I turned around at 10 miles right at 1:30 and headed back home, finishing in 3:01.  The only casualty was my left nipple sprung a leak.  I was running along and feeling pretty good at about an hour into it when I looked down and saw that my shirt had a huge red bloody stain on it.  That explained all the weird looks I was getting from people on the trail.  I took the shirt off and rinsed the blood out with some water and made it home.  All in all, a pretty good run.

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 4200 yards this week / 97550 yards total

3 Bikes – 147 miles this week / 10382 miles total

7 Runs – 50.5 miles this week / 918 miles

 

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The BIB numbers are out and I drew an awesome number for once!

 

My Butt Spoke to Me

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 26 – September 12 > September 17

I finished the Saturday long ride in 5:06, a ride that was supposed to last 5:30 like last weekend when I rode it with Dave and Jeff. But thanks to a strong tailwind and a gunner attitude I did it much quicker.

I upped my selfie game when I realized my phone has a timer.

It had gotten hotter by the end of the ride, near 80 or so, and since I knew that I was going to hop in the car for another 5:30 ride to Minocqua, I decided it was okay to leave off the remaining 24 minutes of the ride to not overdo it. I also decided to do the run on the treadmill indoors. I made it to 45 minutes and had enough. I was also okay with not doing the full hour run brick, and hit the shower.  I still had a long drive to do and I have a tendency to get real tired when driving.

A hot shower helped chase the chill that I was experiencing post run and I decided to take a nap before getting in the car before heading to the lake home for a couple of days.

As I laid there my mind quickly started to shut off, with an almost completely blank mind when I realized that the only thing I could sense was the pain I was feeling deeply within my gluteus maximus. My butt was speaking to me, and it was telling me it wasn’t happy with me.

The pain was nothing new. I’ve been ignoring it for most of this year. Long efforts seem to make it the most sore, and any really hard racing will tick it off for sure. But for the most part I can get through my workouts without it being this annoyed.

It was almost radiating as I lay there.  The message was clear – don’t ignore me any longer.

On Sunday I did an 18 miler in 2:41 per the plan. The butt was not pleased, but I did my best to take it easy. I ran on the crushed granite Bearskin Trail in Minocqua to provide a relief from the paved bike trail I usually run on. Afterward I spent some time doing the butt and hamstring stretches and it seemed to appease it.

So with four weeks to go until Ironman Louisville, and one more long effort before the taper, it is time to listen to my butt or it may end up screaming at me. Hopefully I can get it to sing to me instead.

TOTALS:

3 Swims – 5600 yards this week / 93350 yards total

3 Bikes – 133 miles this week / 10235 miles total

7 Runs – 47 miles this week / 867 miles

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One more week of this hard crap.

Teammates Make It Fun

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 25 – September 4 > September 10

As I get closer to Ironman Louisville race day, the dread starts to build thanks to the massive amount of time the weekend training plan requires.  This week was another 5.5 hour Saturday ride, with a 2.5 hour run on Sunday.  But then my teammate Dave texted the group and suggested we get together for the Saturday ride/run brick.  The plan was set to meet at my house and share a great day.

I took them on the same route that I rode last weekend, even though I did that ride in a little over 5 hours.  I knew that we would ride a little more leisurely so we could chat and that the day was a little more windy than last weekend.

The ride went great, with no issues at all.  We got to the turn around point at exactly 2:45 riding nice and easy.  But I knew we would have to push pace a little coming back because we were riding straight into the wind that made that first half of the ride easy.  It wasn’t too bad, and we made it back right at 5.5 hours.

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Three Gunners enjoying a beautiful day.

The team did a quick transition to our running gear and I took them on a route I like to call the “Seven Deadly Hills.”  That hour went by really quick as we chatted through most of the hour long run.  We finished back home at an hour on the dot, with about 6.75 miles of running.  A quick dip in the pool, some fruit and salty potato chips, and I think we were all happy with our day.

Sunday was back to the loneliness of the long distance runner, and I threw on my running clothes and hit the trail for a 2.5 hour run.  Once again, the weather was awesome – cool, light breeze, and I felt great.  I dialed it back to mostly a Z1 effort and got in 16 miles.

All in all, Week 25 was awesome thanks to great weather and great friends.  I am looking forward to another group ride on Week 27 – the dreaded 6 hour ride.

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 4200 yards this week / 87750 yards total

3 Bikes – 136 miles this week / 10102 miles total

7 Runs – 47 miles this week / 820 miles

 

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I’m hearing the BIB numbers will be out next week!

Laboring on Labor Day

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 24 – August 28 > September 3

I resist looking ahead to the weekend workouts because I don’t want to know what is coming.  Since last weekend was a five hour Saturday bike ride and a two hour Sunday run, I assumed that this weekend would bump those workouts another 1/2 hour each.  I’m not sure what possessed my wife Kari to crack open my training book and look, but I’m glad she did, because she made me aware that I only had to do another 5 hour ride.  Hooray!  I would have went out and did the 5.5 hour ride without even realizing the plan didn’t call for it.

But five hours on the bike is still no walk in the park.  On Friday I chaperoned the mega marching band at a local football game and there was a lot of standing, making my legs very tired.  I was all prepared to have to labor hard on Labor Day weekend.  But the gifts kept coming.  The weekend was beautiful!  Cool temperatures and mild breezes made for perfect training conditions.  I started the ride with a one piece tri suit with a cycling jersey over it, with arm warmers  and a long sleeve tech shirt, and gloves as I headed out and I was pretty chilled –  it was 47 degrees!  But 45 minutes into it, I was ready to lose the shirt and placed it on the ground near a stop sign. I came back and picked it up 3 hours or so later and put it in my jersey pocket.  I did shed the gloves, but kept the arm warmers on throughout the ride for protection from the sun.

Saturday’s ride went really well.  I made it through 83 miles last week and didn’t enjoy it much.  But I managed to get in 91 miles of great riding in this time.  I followed that up with a 7.25 mile run and felt really great through that as well.

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Just me and beans for as far as you can see.  

Saturday’s effort was far from over though, as Kari and I had plans to attend the Barenaked Ladies concert in New Lenox, which meant doing a lot of standing on tired legs.  And since it was BNL, I figured I’d be doing some kind of bad dad dance routine, and I did.  I was somewhat surprised that my legs weren’t killing me.  Sure they were a little tired, but not achy or sore.  A great end to a great day.

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The Good Lady and me waiting for Living Color and BNL!  

I was expecting Sunday’s long run to be on some tired legs, but surprisingly enough I felt pretty good.  I got in 15 miles in 2:18.  Then I did a very easy spin over to Frankfort to watch my daughter and her mega marching band do the community proud in the Frankfort Fall Fest parade.  I didn’t leave myself time to grab something to eat, but I took whatever candy I could get from the parade as I sat in the shade of a little bush.  I spun the bike home and had a bowl of cereal.

I was fully expecting that this weekend would be laborious.  But it turned out that it wasn’t that way at all.  Maybe I should have titled this week “Not Laboring on Labor Day.”  It’s really a testament to the periodization of the training plan.  It sure is making me ready, not only for the race itself, but for each week as I progress.  Let’s see if I feel the same after next weekend.

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 4200 yards this week / 83550 yards total

4 Bikes – 147 miles this week / 9966 miles total

7 Runs – 48 miles this week / 773 miles

 

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The Highs and Lows of Week 23

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 23 – August 21 > August 27

It seemed like this week was a little bit of a hilly ride, with ups and downs aplenty.  So I thought I would recap the happenings.

Monday 

HIGHS:  Rest day, baby!  Eclipse day!  LOWS:  I ran 3 miles on my off day.  Bummer.

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Me trying to figure out whether I wanted to permanently ruin my vision or not.  

Tuesday

HIGHS:  A swim and a 8.5 mile run.  LOWS:  None that I can remember.  Except maybe the swim.  Yeah, I hate swimming.

Wednesday

HIGHS:  My favorite workout of the week – the short bike/run brick.  LOWS:  The wife isn’t feeling well.

Thursday

HIGHS:  The weather this week has been GREAT!!!  LOWS:  Thursday workouts are the worst – a swim, a bike, a run.  Makes for a long afternoon.

Friday

HIGHS:  My mother-in-law Darla hit 70!  Happy Birthday!  And I got to greet my friend Rollie on the bike trail.  LOWS:  Missed the first home football game in which my daughter’s full competitive band performed.

Saturday

HIGHS:  Absolutely none.  Well, that’s not true.  I got to see the competitive marching band do their thing in exhibition after a 88 mile bike/run day.  The ride went well in spite of the fact I wanted to kill people on the bike trail and clueless drivers on the road.  LOWS:  Idiots on the bike trail.  Clueless drivers on the road.  And I got pretty sick about training on that long ride.  I got to the point where I just wanted it to be over.  Happens every year.

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My face after stopping to read my Gunner teammate John’s text about poker at his house that night.  There was no way I could swing it.  I still had another 2+ hours of riding and running ahead of me.  Plus a marching band event later.  

Sunday

HIGHS:  I beat the rain (which looked like trouble, but never did rain) and got in a strong 13.25 mile run and a 45 minute spin.  And I got a second chance to greet my friend Rollie on the bike trail!  LOWS:  Not being able to join my buddies in Chicago for the Chicago Triathlon.  Next year for sure.

So, in all it was a roller coaster ride of emotion throughout training this week.  I was ready to say I was done with it.  But by the end of Sunday’s long run and bike, I realized that I had performed pretty well.  A good recovery from last week.  I’m pretty lucky that I can do this activity.  I don’t take that for granted.

 

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 4200 yards this week / 79150 yards total

4 Bikes – 135 miles this week / 9819 miles total

7 Runs – 45 miles this week / 725 miles total

 

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