"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Never, Never, Never Quit.


Countdown to B2B


Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008


Wow, after years of dreaming of this and many, many months of training for this, it's over. Grab something to drink because this is going to be long.

We picked up Emma from gymnastics at 6 Wednesday evening and hit the road to get about 4 hours driving in and arrived in Brunswick, GA for the night. After a good nights sleep we hit the road about 8 Thursday morning heading to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach. Since check-in for the hotel was 4 pm we decided to stop by packet pickup first before heading to the hotel. Packet pickup was at the convention center in downtown Wilmington and as we exited for downtown we saw the Battleship North Carolina, the finish for the race.

Packet pickup went smooth as we were one of the first there. Nice canvas boat bag with the B2B logo filled with some nice 'goodies'. Also picked up a B2B bike jersey, fleece jacket and hat. Of course this guaranteed I'd finish the race because there is no way I could wear any of it without finishing.

After packet pickup we went to the hotel on the shores of the Atlantic ocean on Wrightsville Beach. Very nice hotel with a beautiful view of the ocean. My parents arrived about an hour later and we all went out to eat at Giorgios which was fantastic!! I had a large order of linguine with marinara which was great(and huge). Between all of us we still had probably 3 full portions left when we were done, which would become our lunch on Friday.

Got back to the hotel and just relaxed before an early bedtime. Another good night sleep and I started filling all my bags for the race in the morning. We had 6 bags we had to fill. Prerace bag, post race bag, swim to bike bag, bike to run bag, bike special needs bag and run special needs bag. It was quite nerve wracking making sure I had everything in each bag and the correct bag. I must have gone over them 3-4 times before I was satisfied.

We all went back downtown to the convention center for a mandatory athlete prerace meeting at 12 where they went over what to expect on race day with logistics and the course and answer all questions. They did a good job of answering any questions I had and we were out of there about 12:45. Came back to the hotel and sat around by the indoor and outdoor pools while the kids swam. At about 3:00 Hunter and I took my bike and bags to the bike transition which was only about 5 minutes away. Put all my bags in the correct bins and racked my bike. Around 5 we went out to eat at Ruby Tuesday. I had some excellent grilled shrimp and pasta. After that, we drove around looking for a neighborhood for the kids to trick or treat. I dropped Beth, my mom and kids off to trick or treat and took my dad back to the hotel. Then I drove back to pick everyone up. Got back to the hotel about 8:45 and despite the kids being full of sugar from their candy, everyone was ready for bed.

I didn't fall asleep right away, which I figured would happen. But I did fall asleep by 11 or so and slept pretty well until 4 am. I stayed there until 5 and got up to get ready. It was nice having very little to take to the race with most everything already in my 'bags'. I had my wetsuit, goggles and a few things to put on my bike. I had 2 water bottles with Perpetuem for the bike and 1 to drink before the race along with 2 Clifbars and a banana. Because the hotel was one of the host hotels, they had a shuttle to the swim finish/bike start. I got there and setup my nutrition on my bike and then about 5:45 jumped on a shuttle to the swim start up the beach. Got there and just sat around. About 6:15 I checked my 'pre event' bag which I had used to transport bottles, gels, my bike computer and some clothes in. I realized to my horror my bike computer was still in it!! I knew it wouldn't survive the swim and I needed it for the bike. After not having a bike computer for Steelhead last year I knew I needed it. So I jumped on one of the shuttles heading back to transition. As soon as we got there they were announcing last call for the shuttles heading to the beach!!! I sprinted to my bike, put the computer on and sprinted back to catch the last shuttle!!! Whew!!

Got back to the swim start and they started sending us down to the beach. I took off my sweatshirt and sweatpants and put everything in my 'pre event bag' which we would get back at the finish. Pulled up my wetsuit the rest of the way and made my way to the start about 6:50. At this point, it was 35 degrees out and 65 degrees in the water. It was quite a site to see 500 people shivering from both cold and nerves. Start time was supposed to be 7:00 but because of sunrise, they delayed it 12 minutes. At this point all I wanted to do was get in the water and get going already!!! After the national anthem and a short prayer, they announced 1 minute to start. 30 seconds......10 seconds....and then the gun went off. It was a mass of bodies entering the water. Most races I've done with a beach start goes from zero depth and gradually gets deeper were you can wade into the water for a while. Because they dredge the waterway so close to the shore, it went from zero depth to over my head in about 4 steps. So much for getting used to the 65 degree water!!

A few years ago I did an Olympic distance race in Clermont Florida when it was about 45 outside and the water was chilly(not 65 but chilly) and I thought I had a panic attact as I could not swim because I couldn't breath between strokes. I almost quit that race and even started swimming back to the start backstroke before finally getting used to the rush of cold water into my wetsuit and was able to continue and finish the race. Looking back, that was invaluable experience, because the exact same thing happened. I tried to swim but each time I turned to breathe, I was unable to inhale. So I stopped, 'doggy paddled' for about a minute or so and caught my breath. It was a quick 100 meters or so out to the first buoy before heading right and with the incoming tide.

What a tide it was!! I didn't actually feel it pushing us but between buoys, it seemed like we were covering ground very quickly. In my minds eye, I thought once we made the turn into the marina, we were just about done with the swim. But as we turned into the marina, I heard one of the safely kayaks tell someone else it was just under a mile to go. I thought(and hoped) I had misheard them. But he was pretty close to correct, we still had a ways to swim. At this point, the tide wasn't pushing as much but I still felt good and relatively strong. As I looked up to sight I saw swimmers getting out of the water and felt energized. My stroke was a little more fluid as I realized I was just about done. The water exit was up several ladders on a dock. I made my way to the closest ladder and began to exit. As I pulled myself up the ladder, it hit me. Not sure what 'it' was but I got lightheaded and felt unsteady. I had to actually stand on the ladder a few seconds to get my balance. It didn't last long but was a little disconcerting. Anyway, I jumped out of the water and walked over to the 'strippers' to have them pull my wetsuit off. Then I was off 300 yards to the changing tent which had my swim to bike bag. As I rounded the corner to the changing tent I saw Beth and she cheered me on and took some pictures. I yelled my time to her but honestly don't remember much, I was still pretty disoriented. Got my bag from one of the hundreds of great volunteers and started changing into my bike gear. But my feet and hands were frozen. So much so I could hardly feel anything and my hand coordination was terrible. It took me 10-12 minutes to do what should have taken me about 5. But I finally got out of the tent with my bike shorts, jersey, arm warmers, vest, shoes and bike gloves on. Found my bike and was off. Officially was 1:13.22 on the swim and 13:14 in T1.

It had not warmed up much while we were in the water and was probably in the mid 40's when I started the bike. It took me 10 miles of blowing on my hands for them to warm up and then another 5-10 miles for me to be able to feel my feet. By 15 miles my bladder was full and I was very uncomfortable in the aero position so I stopped at the first water stop at mile 24 to use the porta john. I was amazed when a volunteer got in line right before me and cost me another 2 minutes or so. But once I was done and back on the bike I felt much better and settled into a good steady pace. I was very cautious not to push it and each time I saw my heartrate going up I would back off, knowing I had a marathon to run yet. The course itself was mostly flat and uneventful. At mile 60 I stopped at the special needs stop and got a can of coke and a snickers charged bar, which gave me some good energy. Refilled my water bottles with Perpetuem and was off. By mile 70, the small 4-6 mph breeze was at our backs as we started the straight 42 mile shot back to the battleship. My speed picked up a bit but my knees were really starting to bother me the last 20 miles or so. I just tried to keep a steady pace as we approached T2 but just before the transition, we hit a large bridge/overpass, probably the highest point of the day. I took it easy getting up and starting seeing runners on both sides. I thought to myself, what a terrible way to start the run!!

Got into T2, another volunteer took my bike and helmet and I grabbed my T2 bag and changed into running shoes, shorts, and t shirt and my visor. I was off on the marathon!! Official time, 7:06.20 on the bike and 6:25 in T2. I didn't get a chance to see my family at T2 because they got stuck in line for the water taxi for over an hour. I was disappointed but knew they would be there later, which was more important. On the positive side, I was able to get into and out of T2 very quickly.

From the first step of the run, I felt much better than I anticipated. I was going slow, but I planned on that. I figured running further slow was better than not running as long but running faster. I was able to push through the first 10 miles feeling pretty good. I would walk all the water stops plus about 50 feet but my goal was to keep moving. Stopping would not get me closer so I kept moving forward. I was able to average under 12 minute miles for the first 10 which was my goal. The last 3 miles of the first lap, I started adding some 50 foot walks in between water stops but was good about not letting them last too long. The last 1.5 miles of the first lap contained a climb up a large bridge. I walked most the way up the bridge and then ran into the turn around. It was very difficult when the volunteer asked if I was finishing or on my first lap. Even though I had run the first 1/2 about how I wanted to, I was just about done and realized I would be walking the last 13.1 miles. I saw Beth, the kids and my parents and stopped and talked to them. Told them I was going to have to walk but I was going to finish. They promised to be there no matter how late I came, which really helped to get me going.

So I head back out on the 2nd lap with another Coke and snickers charged bar. I finished the bar but only about half the Coke and dumped it. Luckily, I started walking with another guy about my age, married with 3 kids. We had a lot in common and he is the reason I finished when I did. We walked and talked together from the 13.1 mile mark until just after 20 miles. I was slowly falling behind but he had gotten me through 7 miles walking about as fast as we could. We were averaging about 17 minute miles. They seemed to take 30 minutes each but my legs felt like I was running sub 6 minute miles. Everything except my eyes hurt at this point. But other than a few seconds at aid stations to get water, Coke, pretzels, chicken broth, etc, I never stopped moving forward the last 13.1 miles. I realized I was going to hurt so I might as well move.

As the last bridge came into view I looked at my watch. OK, I was going to be close to 15 hours, my goal. But it was going to be very close and I couldn't let that happen!! At about 24.5 miles I did what I thought would be impossible, I ran!! Well, few people over the age of 2 would call what I did then running, but it was faster than walking, barely. I ran/shuffled until the beginning of the bridge. I decided I would walk to the crest of the bridge and then 'run' down to the finish. Just over the crest was mile marker 25. I hit and looked at my watch. I had run a 16:08 mile, but at least it was a little faster. I started 'running' again down the bridge and didn't feel horrible. I ran until the incline onto the 'off ramp' to the battleship, which I walked and started running again at the top. I could hear the crowds and see the lights. Nothing was going to stop me now. I felt better, stronger and picked up what seemed a pretty good pace. I passed a few people(which I hadn't done in over 15 miles). I hit mile 26 with a 13:30 split for the last mile!!! I was 'flying'. I saw Beth, I saw my parents, and my kids started running behind me. I felt NOTHING in the way of pain the last 100 yards. What 2 miles ago seemed impossible was happening, I was sprinting and feeling great!! I crossed that finish line completely spent.

I remember crossing the finish line of my first marathon and crying with joy. I thought I would do the same for the ironman but I was just so exhausted, I only wanted 2 things. A hot shower and a bed. My incredible wife had retrieved my bike and bags and gone to get the car. While I love her immensely, I'm not sure I've loved her more than the moment she told me we could leave immediately. I got my medal, my finishers shirt(which I haven't stopped wearing since I put it on:) a cup of Recoverite and 2 pieces of pizza. The van was 100 feet away and after what seemed like a 15 minute walk I was in and ready to leave. Official run time, 6:12.57. Official overall time: 14:52.15. Goal accomplished. Dreamed realized.

Chris Janus - You ARE an Ironman.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I am an IRONMAN. Details to follow. 14:52

Monday, October 27, 2008

Race week is finally here!!!

Race week arrives along with a couple of cold fronts. Yesterdays 30 mile ride was quite windy and chilly. Probably the coolest weather I've ridden in in 6 months, and it was still in the low 60's when I rode. I felt very good though, and my freshly tuned up bike with new race tires seemed to work very well.

This morning is was 49. Race day weather has been all over the map the last week according to long range forecasts but it's starting to settle in now. Looks like we'll be swimming in mid to upper 40s(that's going to be very cold, especially since I only own a sleeveless LongJohn wetsuit), riding in temps up to 70 with a slight breeze and running temps dropping into the mid 40s. Right now, it looks like there will be no rain at all(fingers crossed). So, if the forecasts hold out, I'll not be able to blame the weather at all.

Yesterday, I started feeling a little bit of a cold or allergies. Nothing too much, just a little drainage in my throat and a little congestion. Hopefully with a good week of sleep it will clear up quickly.

The final week will consist of a 2000 yard swim today, a short 2 mile run tonight, a 4 mile run tomorrow and a 20 mile bike on Wednesday before loading up and heading out Wednesday night. We're hoping to get about 4 hours of driving in Wednesday night so we only have about 6 hours to drive on Thursday.

Several times in the past week it's felt kind of surreal. I've always wanted to do an Ironman but truth be told, there were many times I thought it would just be too much. But after a the summer of training, having done 4 half iron distance races and all the marathons I've done, I think I know what to expect. And that is PAIN!! There is still the unknown, how will by body and mind respond once the sun goes down and I've been out there all day. I guess we'll know the answer to that in less than 5 days.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

9 days and the first weather forecast

I can't believe it's only 9 days away. Did a 7 mile run yesterday morning and at one point it hit me, 'holy shit, I'm doing an ironman in 10 days'!!

Finished up the last 'real' weekend of training with a 3000 yard swim Friday, 7 mile run Saturday and a 50 mile ride, 2 mile run brick on Sunday. Sundays workout almost felt short.

Not done much this week. 2000 yards on Monday, off Tuesday, 7 mile run yesterday. My bike is getting tuned up and I won't get it back until this evening and it's supposed to rain the next 2 days so the next 4 days look like this: 2000 yards today, 5-7 mile run tomorrow, off Saturday(baseball, Beth has a test and then a party at night), 30 mile bike Sunday. Probably get in a short swim, bike and run Mon-Wednesday next week. We're planning on leaving Wednesday night and get 3-4 hours of driving in and then arriving mid-day Thursday at Wrightsville Beach.

It's 'crunch time' and I'm in full taper. Despite the lack of long workouts, I'm feeling a quite lethargic, which is to be expected in taper. Yesterdays run felt fresh and strong, so I'm hoping another 9 days of this and I'll be rested and ready.

So the first weather forecast has come out and it's calling for low of 52 and high of 73.....hope that holds out but I'm sure we'll see that change 10 times between now and race day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hello taper

Decided to bag the ride yesterday hoping to get a decent last long run in today and it worked out perfect. Finally a good long run. Not great but much better than any earlier ones from the past few months.

Got in a strong 16. Probably won't go longer than 3000 yards swimming, 50 miles biking or 9 miles running in the last 16 days. My only goal between now and Nov 1st is to get to the starting line healthy, strong and rested.

It feels like I've been training for this thing for years rather than months. My only hope is my race reflects my training.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Almost done

Last week was a good week, getting about 13 hours in, including my last long(4000 yard) swim and last longish ride(70 miles). All that is left is a long run, shooting for 16 miles, this week.

Wednesday-Sunday was a good final push. 4000 yards swimming Wednesday, 9 mile run Thursday, 2000 yard swim and 41 mile bike on Friday, 6 mile run Saturday and 70 mile yesterday. The ride was a little adventurous in that about 4 miles into my ride I had a car come up right next to me and the passenger reached out and pushed me. Took me a second to realize exactly what they did and luckily it wasn't hard enough to really affect me. Though I was a little leery the rest of the ride.

The upcoming week looks like this:

Mon - 2000 yard swim
Tues- 30 mile bike
Weds - 16 mile run
Thurs - 3000 yard swim
Fri - Off
Sat - 50 mile bike followed by 2-3 mile run
Sun - 7 mile run

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Long run

Got in a 16 mile run yesterday. Wanted to go 18 but cut it short when the dew point spiked to 82 degrees!!! The run started out good, 67 degrees and nice. But it heated up quick and the dew point went up with it. When I finished the temp and dew point were both 82 and just miserable. Also, the route I ran was a somewhat hilly one that many people throughout the area use for training for hilly races, especially the Boston marathon. While it's not hilly for those in hilly areas, it's one of the only hilly routes around the Tampa area, due it to running along and near 3 rivers.

Since I'm not used to running hills, they proved challenging and then when my exercise induced asthma kicked up with the spike in humidity, I decided to cut it short.

I still want to get another longer run in(16-18) in the next week in a half as well as a 100 mile ride this weekend. Might get in a 4000 yard swim tomorrow too. The plan is to begin my taper on Monday the 13th. As much as I'm looking forward to this taper, I know it's going to be tough to hold back training after many, many months of hard, long workouts. But I need to get to the 1st as rested as I can. After pushing too late into my training for the Steelhead 1/2 iron race last August, I've learned it's better to be a little under trained than over trained.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good weekend

Well, it looks like I'm back on track. Friday I was able to get in a 4000 yard swim and it felt pretty good. After a 7 mile run Saturday morning, which was one of my better runs in the last couple months, I was did an 80 mile ride on Sunday and followed that up with a 2000 yard swim and 5 mile run yesterday. I'll do a 30 mile ride today and try to get in an 18 mile run tomorrow morning.

I'll report back on how everything goes with the run before my 100 mile ride this weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bump in the road

So I went out for my 18 mile run last Thursday, which was going to a be 2 loops of an out and back. The first 4.5 miles were a little rough but that has been the trend lately with my long runs and I figured I'd start feeling better soon. It didn't happen. In fact, the last 1/2 mile of the first loop I ended up walking. I was just completely dead. I was a little worried it was the 112 mile ride on Sunday or the heat/humidity or just a lack of fitness. But even still, I should have been able to push through more than 9 miles. But my question was answered later that evening when I started getting a sore throat and woke up Friday morning with a full blown cold/upper respiratory infection. Beth had been sick the week before and I was hoping to get by without catching it but lowering my resistance with the long ride on Sunday was probably my downfall.

My first plan was to take the weekend off and get back to it Monday. I ended up taking Friday and Saturday off and felt a little better Sunday so I went out and did a 32 mile ride which felt pretty good. Woke up Monday feeling a little groggy and went for a 5 mile run. Most possibly the worst 5 mile run of my life. Was just wiped out. Took Tuesday off still not feeling good and coughing a lot. Wednesday I woke up and felt a little better so I went for a swim, just to clear my head. Swam 2000 yards and felt very good. Decided to push things and did a 30 mile ride at lunch and felt great. So Thursday I did a 7 mile run in the morning and 2000 yards at lunch.

Hopefully it was just a bump in the road in my training. It's just over 5 weeks before race day and 2+ weeks until I begin my taper. I still want to get in 2 4000 yard swims, an 80 and 100 mile ride and 2 18 mile runs. We had a cool front move in this week which hopefully will make recovery a little quicker from the long workouts. On a positive note, with the most time off I've had in 5 months, I felt very fresh on my workouts this week.

We have a full weekend this weekend with baseball, baby showers, etc, but I'm hoping to get in an 80 mile ride Sunday and maybe a 4000 yard swim Saturday and then trying to get in an 18 miler next Wednesday or Thursday. It's crunch time and I expect to be exhausted by the end of the next 2 weeks. But that's what the taper is for!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another roller coaster

Did the 112 mile ride in Clermont this Sunday. It was another roller coaster for me. I was ready to call it a day at the 30 mile mark, just felt wiped out for some reason. By the 60 mile mark, I was feeling good and actually getting stronger. It was a hilly ride with 8000 feet of climbing. See the picture of Sugarloaf 'mountain'. It was also very hot, starting out about 82 and hitting 97 by the time we finished.

I felt like I could have run afterwards but because of the heat, and the 1.5 hour drive home, I didn't do it. But, considering the race will be almost completely flat, should be cooler and I should be more rested, I have confidence I can do this thing. The 18 mile run tomorrow will go further to answer that question. I will update how it goes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

51 days to go!!!

We're just about at the 50 day mark. This past week has been a mixture of things. After the long workouts last weekend, I needed a day off last Thursday. Actually, I didn't schedule a day off, it just happened. The refrigerator stopped working and I had to get it fixed so I missed the lunch workout. When I went to get a swim in Thursday night, there was a high school swim meet going on. But, after 21 straight days, I probably needed a day off. It didn't seem to help much as my 7 mile run Friday morning was tough, mostly because of the heat and humidity. Then my 70 mile ride Saturday started off great by the last 15 miles or so were a struggle. Got in another 7 mile run Sunday morning before baseball games and followed that up with a 4000 yard swim Monday. That is my longest swim ever!! It went pretty good. Hit a rough patch about 2500 yards but finished very strong.

Did a 30 mile ride in terrible 30 mph winds yesterday and this evening, I'm going to run 12. Besides the 4000 yard swim Monday, the key workout this week is the 112 mile bike on Sunday in Clermont covering the Great Floridian iron course. It will be fully supported and I'll actually ride wtih others for the first time in months. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I'll try to update Sunday or Monday with how the ride went.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

August goes and September arrives

August is in the books!! Totals for the month: 22800 yards swimming, 696 miles biking and 92 miles running. Running and swimming sessions a little low but made up for it with some longer quality workouts. Only took 2 days off during the month and 1 of those was August 1st. Haven't had a day off since August 13th.

Highlights for the month include 4 3000+ yard swims, a 75, 2 80 and a 90 mile bike and a 15 mile run. Total time for the month was 63:30+

The last 4 days have seen my longest workouts for each of the 3 disciplines since I started ironman training. Saturday I did a 90 mile bike ride followed by an easy 2000 yard swim on Sunday. Monday(Labor Day) I did a 16 mile run and then a 3500 yard swim yesterday.

Lately, I have been recovering well from the workouts and acclimating a bit to the heat. Cloud cover has helped with some of the long runs and rides It seems the heat is my biggest limiter right now, which hopefully means with cooler weather in late October and race day, it will feel a little easier.

We're under 60 days until race now and 'black September' looks to be quite daunting. With baseball games just about every Saturday and Sunday this month and days getting shorter, it's going to be a challenge pushing the distances even further. But, I intend on getting in several 4000+ yard swims, a 100 and 112 ride ride and 2 18 mile runs.

As we get closer, I'm starting to focus more on details such as nutrition, which so far I've managed pretty well, and timing of the segment. I have some good ideas of what I'm looking at time wise for each segment and hopefully I'll get a better idea as I get through September. Part of this is difficult as I said earlier the heat is my biggest limiter right now and that's something I don't anticipate(knock on wood) for the actual event.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Here comes Fay!!

Just when I thought it couldn't rain any more, here comes TS Fay. I have ridden more miles in the rain the last 3 weeks than I have the last 10 years combined. It seems it doesn't matter when I ride, I seem to get rained on lately. Yet, if I head out the door on a longer run hopefully for the rain and clouds to cool me off, the sun soon comes out.

Last week was a maintenance week. Beth was back to school and the kids weren't yet back so my training time was very limited. I was able to get in 6 workouts but no swims. I went to swim 3 times and each time thunder/lightning closed the pool. I was able to get in 3000 yards yesterday. Saturday, I went for an 80 mile ride and felt worn out from the beginning. No matter how hard I tried to push it, my speed just wouldn't pick up much. By the end, I was dead and my legs were totally depleted. Of course, the last 2 hours were in a steady rain, so when I got home I spent some time rinsing and washing off my bike and oiling it. It was at this point I realized my back tire was rubbing on my brake pad. Not terribly bad but enough to stop it after several revolutions. No wonder my ride was so tough.

With TS Fay arriving tonight and probably lasting through Wednesday, and with me leaving Thursday to go to my nephews graduation from Marine boot camp in South Carolina, I'm sure it's going to end up being a big run week. I'm going to try and get in a ride tonight before the wind/rain gets too bad. Then I'll try to get in another Thursday morning. I've also found a YMCA in South Carolina I should be able to get a swim or 2 in at when I'm up there.

Next week will be a big week, coming off 2 sort of down weeks, with lots of double days and long distance affairs. Just under 11 weeks to go!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

July over

So July is in the books and it turned out to be a great month. I had a few swims canceled or shortened due to the weather but other than that, exceeded all my goals for the month.

19250 yards swimming
610 miles biking
109 miles running

Just a hair over 60 hours for the month and only took 3 days off. Those numbers will all go up in August as my long workouts increase even more. But, with my wife going back to work this Friday, it will be a little more difficult to get the workouts in. More early morning and evening workouts will be required.

We're under 90 days until B2B now. I feel like I'm where I should be at this point and look forward to the taper in October. But before then, lots of miles swimming, biking and running.

August has started out pretty good as I got in an 80 mile bike ride and short 2 mile transition run on Saturday and just did a 14 mile run this morning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big mistake

So the plan called for me to ride 41 today, but 10 minutes before I was ready to head out the door, the thunder and pouring rain started. I checked the radar and it looked like the bad stuff was going to be gone soon but would be raining for a while. So I made the executive decision to move up my 14 mile run planned for tomorrow morning, assuming the weather would be ok with cloud cover and some rain. By the time I got out the door, the rain had stopped and never came again. But the cloud cover remained, which made it bearable. At least for the first 90 minutes. Then the sun came out and the temps jumped 15+ degrees in about 10 minutes. By the 2 hour mark I was toast and walked/ran(mostly walked) the rest of the way.

After getting home and drinking another 3 liters of water and Recoverite and eating a banana and some pretzels, I weighed myself. I was still down 4 lbs from yesterday despite the 6+ liters of fluids I had during and after my run.

At least I was able to cover the distance and hopefully will recover well enough to get my 41 in tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Biggest week yet....and roller coasters

Great week of training, eclipsing the 16 hour mark including a 70 mile bike and a 12 mile run. My long swim was interrupted by a thunderstorm but I hope to get back on track this week. After todays 2000 yard swim and 5 mile run I'm sitting at almost 53 hours for the month. I should come close to 60 hours if the weather cooperates.

July, Aug and Sept can be a little dicey as far as thunderstorms go. Since I do most of my swimming at the outdoor pool at our local Y, I'm subject to their hair trigger response to thunder/lightning. I understand their concern but sometimes they seem to go out of their way to hear thunder. For instance, last week, 2 girls were coming out of building on the wooden walk they have were skipping. The life guards cleared the pool thinking it was thunder and didn't let us back in until the confirmed it wasn't a storm, despite it being bright sunshine with no clouds in sight. The thunderstorms don't affect my runs and bikes as much. I actually enjoy the cloud cover and rain for a run.

Talking with experienced Ironmen and women, one thing is brought up across the board. Going through an Ironman race, you will experience many ups and downs and will need to face your 'demons' several times to get through. I guess it's a good thing then, that I'm experiencing some of that already in training. I've had some workouts where I felt 'cashed out' during the workout, only the recover and actually feel better later in the workout. I've also approached several workouts and felt as though I would have a terrible time yet was able to push through and finish, despite not feeling great. I realize these are not the same magnitude of what I expect to experience on November 1st, but having some experience at them should prove helpful come race day. Also, with each workout I complete, I'm feeling stronger and more confident about finishing. I've still yet to get my head around being out there from sun up to well after sunset though. But I need to compartmentalize that and just 'put the work in'. I'm confident if I do that, eveything will work out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good week

Things are coming together nicely. I'm still not gaining much speed but my long workouts are really going well. Did a 3000 yard swim on Friday and then a 5K cross country run that evening. Followed that up with an 80 mile bike ride on Saturday and a 12 mile run this morning.

The 80 mile bike was a tri county affair, starting in Hillsborough, then Polk, Manatee and back into Hillsborough. Temps started out nicely but quickly hit 95+. Went through some roller coaster feelings on the bike as I felt horrible at points and then much better. In fact, the last 10 miles were some of the best miles I put in.

I took Sunday off after 8 tough days and spent the day at the pool with kids. It really seemed to help on this mornings run too. Again, not a fast run but I was able to run steady the whole way. I didn't finish feeling as strong as last week but it was 88 by the time I finished at 8:45 so that might have had something to do with it. I'm at 36 hours for the month so I need to get in 19 more in the last 10 days to get to the 55 mark. It will be close, but I think I'll get there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Run went well

Going into last nights 12 mile run, I seriously was worried I might not be able to finish it. I've just felt exhausted lately from the heat and by mile 2 I was sure I would have a very tough run. But fortunately I never felt much worse. I didn't actually feel any better but at least didn't get worse. Overall it was encouraging being able to push through the run when I wasn't feeling at all strong.

Heading out in an hour for a 40 mile bike!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ramping up

Since I've signed up for B2B, I've kept thinking 'real training' wouldn't start until July. Now that July is here, it's a little daunting. Not only am I entering distances I've never seen before(except the run) on a consistent basis but I'm doing it in the dead heat of summer. I can run 20 miles or bike 100 in mild temps and lower humidity and bounce back just fine. But running even 5 miles in the sauna that is Florida in July/Aug/Sept, just drains me completely.

I r0de 70 miles on Saturday and felt great the first 35 miles. Then the sun really starting taking it's toll and I struggled the last 10 or so miles. Hit the road Sunday morning for a 7 mile run and again felt very good the first couple miles and then just died. The dew point was 80 degrees and temps in the mid 80s. I had extreme fatigue the rest of the day and really haven't recovered fully yet. I did get in a 2000 yard swim and 30 mile bike yesterday but am a little leery looking at a 12 mile run today. At least I know it's the heat since 2 weeks ago I did a 12 mile run followed by an 80 mile bike 2 days later and felt strong on both when we were back in Michigan City. I actually think I might hit the first 7 miles today on the treadmill at the Y and then run the 5 mile loop from there to finish up. Not only will it provide less heat/humidity the first hour but also give me extra fluids since I can store some in the car.

The good news is Wilmington has average temperatures for November 1st are 71/49 with record temps of 85, so I'm pretty confident if I get the work done, the temps won't be an issue on race day.

Speaking of race day, I need to give congratulations to my friend Rick whom I've spoke about on this blog before. Rick and I did my first 1/2 iron race in 2002 at the Muncie Edurathon. I went 6:39 and he went 6:19. He ended up in the medical tent afterwards and according to him, just about passed out for the entire drive back home to Chicago that afternoon/evening. Fast forward to 2008 and Rick was again going to take on Muncie. He trained hard including much more biking then he did for 2002. He was hoping for a 5:59 and confided in me a week before the race if everything broke just right, he might go 5:40, but was afraid to say it out loud.

So, I logged onto the website Saturday afternoon hoping they would have results up soon after the race and they did. It prompted me with name to search for and when it popped up 5:22, I was in shock. He crushed the course and his PR. Congrats Rick!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008


It's been quite a while since I've updated. Here is a review of whats happened since then:

Came down with a sinus infection or something similar and missed a couple days and cut back on a few others in June. Still was able to get in 45 hours for the months and some good individual workouts. Got in a 3000 yard and 2750 yard swim, 3 70 mile rides and several 10 mile runs.

July has started off great. Back in Indiana at my parents I took full advantage of the cooler temps. First 6 days I put in 14 hours including an 80 mile ride and 10 and 12 mile runs. The schedule has July as the first of 3+ really big months. I fully intend to get in 55+ hours this month and continue to ramp up the distances of the long workouts in all 3 disciplines. I also hope to update a little more often.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June update

It's a been good but tough week. Started out with my first day off of the month last Friday, June 6 as I went to my daughters junior olympic rhythmic national meet. But in the next week, I was able to get in 2 10 mile runs, a 7 and 5 mile run, 3 swims for 5500 yards, and a 70, 40 and 30 mile ride. I'm at 21+ hours so far this month with another 70 mile ride scheduled for tomorrow.

The heat and humidity are at full summer levels and I'm having to compensate accordingly. I've had to add an extra bottle to my 30 mile rides as well as extra enduralytes to my long workouts. I ran into a problem on my 70 mile ride with the conveinence store I usually stop at to refill being closed on Sunday. Luckily I had taken some power that I mixed with a water faucet they had to get me through till the next store 20+ miles later. I felt terrible for a little while but after I got enough fluids back in me was able to find a little strength to finish up.

That will be the biggest challenge of training through the summer is recovery. Not from the physical exertion but from losing all the fluids. For instance, on my 70 mile ride last Sunday, I drank 7 liters of fluids during the ride, drank almost the entire time afterwards and still felt worn out the next morning. Where as if I had ridden 70 in cooler/less humid weather, I would have bounced back much quicker. But, having trained for several of my 1/2 iron races in the Florida summers, I know what to expect and have learned some things along the way to help.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

20 weeks to go!!

OK, May is in the books and I was able to get in a little more time than I expected. I hit 46:30 for the month, which was great considering the amount of time I lost on some of the weekends.

June really kicks off the real training portion. Baseball games are done, school is out and after this weekend, gymnastics meets are done.

Goals for the month:

3000 yard swim and 20000+ yards swimming
70+ mile bike and 500+ miles biking
12 mile run and 110 miles running

All told, I'd like to get in 50+ hours this month. The only drawback is the heat/humidity have arrived and this causes a little more difficultly with recovery. But at least the wind has started to die down a bit so the biking has improved.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sharks Classic Race Report

Got to Siesta Key at about 5:55 am for the 7:00 race and already I could tell it would be a bigger race than last year. The wind was already kicking up at about 10 mph which doesn't bode well as the high winds usually don't start until later in the day. I checked in and got my bike racked and everything laid out of the race. Out of transition at about 6:40 and went to the beach. The surf in the bay was a choppy from the wind but nothing too bad. It looked like we'd be fighting waves on the way out and getting the benefit on the way back.

I was supposed to go off with the over 40 group at 7:06 but the buoys were taking longer than they expected and the elites didn't take off until about 7:15. I was in the 3rd wave and took off about 7:19. The course had us swimming our about 100 yards, then turning right and swimming down to the turn around and coming back, keeping the buoys on our left the entire time. The first buoy was at a sand bar so most all the swimmers were running/wading to it before turning right and I did also. Seemed to be able to get there a little quicker than swimming able to get my heartrate going a little before swimming.

Once I turned right, I immediately felt pretty good, which isn't unusual for me in the swim but it usually becomes a struggle sooner rather than later. I found I was right and and waves were pushing into on the way out but they weren't too bad and I was able to get into a good rhythm and before I knew it I was at the turn around buoy and heading back. I was still feeling good at this point and the push back was nice. Pretty uneventful coming back but I was starting to struggle a little and didn't think I was going to do as well as last year(35:56) but as I exited the water I looked at my watch and saw 32:20 as I crossed the timing mat!! I was excited and all the swimming I've been doing the last month seemed to have paid off.

The transition run to T1 is in soft sand and about 1/4 mile so I knew I had to hustle to keep the time down. Last year I did 4:24 on T1 and this year I was able to shave a little time off with a 4:06. I was on my bike and on the course quickly and feeling good. The course is a 2 loop long oval and the wind was in our faces to start. It's about 4.5 miles to the turn around and I was able to hold a steady pace just trying to maintain decent speed before the turn. Once on the turn I tried to push it hard for the 7+ miles or so before the next turn around. There was a section just before the turn where you had to turn right and then left very quickly and all I heard was left so I turned left where I was supposed to turn right and quickly realized my mistake. I lost a few maybe 10 seconds but nothing major. The rest of the ride was uneventful and I was able to finish in 1:19:59 as opposed to 1:23:49 last year but last years course was about a mile long on my bike computer and this years was pretty close to exactly 24.8. I hit T2 was in and out quickly but gave back 40 seconds to last year with a 1:40.

I was off on the run which starts with the first mile or so cutting back and forth thru some woods before heading out onto an asphalt path. I was feeling pretty good and running steady if not fast. There are no mile markers on the run so I have no idea where I was at any one point or what any of my splits were. There was no shade after leaving the woods and it was already 85+ and high humidity and the sun/heat was taking it's toll. I still felt better than last year and figured without the beach section at the end, I would surely beat last years time. Except apparently after the beach section was removed early in the year, many participants complained they liked it and it was added back in. So, with 1.7 miles to go according to the race director, we cutover to the beach through very loose sand(probably 1/4 mile) until we hit the hard packed sand. Then it was swerving in and out of all the beach goers for the next 1.2 miles or so until we turned back up the beach(and the soft sand) to the finish. I was shocked when I looked at my watch and realized I gave back 2 full minutes to my less than impressive run from last year.

Though I was happy swim and bike my run leaves a lot to be desired. Only recently have I begun to run pain free and I've yet to get back on the track for speed work, so there is some hope of a little speed. But for someone that used to be a decent runner, having the run as my limited in the tri is very disappointing. I think my swim and bike will come along fine as the summer progresses but I've got to definitely start to attack the run a little more.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May update

So far so good for May. First week in the books and I'm at 11 hours. Did my 10 mile run this morning and it's starting to get warm. I've been fortunate the last month or so where I was able to take advantage of some cool mornings for my long runs but this morning it was 72 when I left and 82 when I finished. Just a hint of what's to come this summer.

This Saturday is the Sarasota Sharks Classic triathlon. I'm doing the Olympic distance(1500 meter gulf swim, 40k bike and 10k run). I did this race last year and hope to beat my time in each discipline. Last year the bike and run were long and the last half of the run was on soft sand. This year, they claim to have corrected the distances and no beach run, so I should be able to set my goal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

April in the bag

So, April ended with me hitting or exceeding all my goals for the month. I was hoping to break 40 hours and went 47 plus. Had a 50 mile/4 mile brick, 2 66 mile rides, 3 10 mile runs and 2 2500 yard swims in there. Took 2 days off and including 2 a days, I had 36 workouts. Considering May is going to be a tough month with each weekend booked solid, I tried to get as good a base as possible. I will probably struggle to break the 40 hour mark again this month with all the commitments but I'm still hoping to get there. Also, I'd like to get a 70+ mile ride in and a couple more longer bricks.

But, with school ending at the end of this month, no more gymnastics meets after June 6th and baseball games ending, June will be scheduled as a huge month.

I'm hoping to update this a little more often for you 3 people that read it:) I'll try to get updates 2-3 times a week including some more pictures and maybe even a video blog or 2.

Monday, April 7, 2008

April off with a blast

So, I when I decided to do B2B, I decided April would be the official kick off month for training. Obviously, I've been training but the idea is the 6 months leading up to the iron distance race would start to get serious. As stated in my last post I was looking to finally break 40 hours this month and after 7 days of training, I'm well on my way. Right now, I'm sitting at 11.5 hours. I've done my first 2 a days of the year, with a 1500 yard swim in the morning and a 30 mile bike at lunch and I've done this twice. I also got in a nice 50 mile ride on Saturday. I hope to get in my 2nd 7 day week in a row this week leading up to my first brick of the year. Since there are no baseball games this weekend and 2 of my kids have sleepovers Saturday night, I'm hoping to get in a 50 mile ride followed by an easy 4 mile transition run.

With 55 miles being my longest bike this year, I'm also hoping to get in a 65+ mile ride before the month is over and get in a 2500 yard swim. For most swimmers, this is nothing special, but up to now 2500 yards is my longest swim workout EVER. This will begin a slow workup to 4000+ yard swims later in the summer

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

March and Natchez Trace

OK, so March is 'in the books' and I did not hit my goal of 40+ hours but I did hit 35. Had to take too many weekend days off because of kids sports. Still a decent month overall and I did get some quality workouts in including 3 50+ mile rides and 2 different run 'streaks'. I ran 3 days in a row and then the next week put in 4 days in a row in the hills of Georgia while visiting my sister. I followed up those 4 days in a row by riding 50+ in the hills of Nashville on the Natchez Trace, which has to be one of the best spots to ride in the world. After training on the flats of Florida, riding the Trace is quite a different experience. Pretty sure there were no stretches which could be considered flat for 50 miles, just up and down. Also, very little traffic. In 50 miles, I never had to stop, except to take some pictures(above) for any crossroads. Because it's a national park(even though it's 444 miles long) no commercial traffic is allowed and since the speed limit in many spots is 35-40, very few cars frequent it. During the whole ride, I saw less than 30 cars. I easily saw more motorcycles and bicycles.

We're now 30 weeks out from B2B, which seems like a long time but really training is going to be here in no time. I really need to go over 40 hours in April as well as start to throw in some training bricks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3 runs!!!

Not much new has been going on, still slogging along with about 110 mile bike weeks, 20+ run weeks and a couple swims each week. But, I did a 50 mile bike on Sunday and it was time for my bike to get a tuneup, a new chain and possibly a new bottom bracket. Since I knew it would be in the shop a few days, I decided it was time to push the run a little bit. I have run 2 days in a row only 2 or 3 times since last August, because of my knee. And each time, the 2nd day of those was a terrible run. Usually feeling horrible most the way. But today, I ran for the 3rd day in a row. Now, it's not much but it was 5 miles each day and each run was actually faster than the day before. The knee held up well. Hopefully this will be good going forward. The kids spring break is next week and we're heading up to my sisters in Atlanta for Easter and a couple days after then to Nashville for my daughters gymnastics meet the following weekend. Hope to get some good running and riding in in the mountains and in Nashville I hope to ride Natchez Trace for a good 50-60 mile ride if the weather holds out.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Well, February is "in the books" and actually turned out pretty good. I had a cold/cough for about 12 days which I was able to train through a lot of but still set me back a bit. Did miss a few days because of it but was able to get in 38:09 of training so I was happy with that.

Since the Strawberry Century is the Sunday we'll be coming back from Nashville for Emmas gymnastics meet, I won't be doing it. But I have added the Sharks Classic Olympic Distance race to the schedule which I did last year. Unless I add a half iron distance or a century, this may very well be the last 'event' I do leading up the B2B.

One of the reasons I was able to get in a decent amount of time in February was I ended the month by swimming/biking/running the last 10 days so I started off March by taking off Saturday but followed that up by riding 55 strong miles yesterday. I haven't done any bricks yet this year or even 2 a days but I'll start adding some of those in during March. My modest goal for March is to break 40 hours, which may be a bit of a challenge going to Atlanta and Nashville for a week during spring break but I'll be taking my bike, shoes and googles so hopefully I won't miss much. Also, with no races in March, I should get 2 good days of running/biking each weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gasparilla, Sick, Chilly Willy

Well, Gasparilla went off fine. My knee was good even if my speed wasn't. It was easily my slowest 15K ever but seeing how it was only my 3rd run over 9 miles since August 4th, I can't complain too much. Actually felt pretty good until about mile 6 and then just slogged my way to the finish.

Then, a couple days later, I woke up with a cold and had to take 3 days off. Was able to get in a 30 mile ride on Saturday before doing the Chilly Willy du(5k run, 10 mile bike, 5k run) yesterday. This is the 3rd time I've done the race and it's easily one of my favorites. Not too long to wear you out but long enough to make going full speed a challenge. I was able to run steady and bike pretty well for a PR on the course. Since the race is on Ft DeSoto(an island), it's always winding out there. The bike goes south to north and back so you usually get the wind in your face one way and at your back the other. Luckily it was in my face going out and I was able to really make up some time coming back. I PR'd the course by over 4 minutes so I was happy and surprised since I've been under the weather this week.

Currently, I don't have any other races on the schedule and just a metric century ride coming up late March. I may try to get into an Olympic distance this spring as well as a 1/2 this summer, but weekends are going to start getting tough with long distance stuff soon enough.

Monday, February 4, 2008

2008 off to a good start

I was able to get through January putting in 39:15 in swimming, biking and running. I expect these numbers to hold for the next few months and start to jump up come May. I might try to get in a 60-70 mile ride in February and start to put in more swimming but other than that, pretty much maintain we're I'm at.

Long swim for the month was 1500 yards, long bike was 50 miles and long run was 10 miles.

I have a couple of 'races' upcoming in the Gasparilla 15K on the 9th and the Chilly Willy duathlon(5k run, 10 mile bike, 5k run) on the 16th. Both of these are fun races and I'm not looking for much out of them. I would like to PR the Chilly Willy but my run speed is next to nil right now so we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finally back in the water

So running and biking have been going well, got into another 10 mile run this weekend and a very tough 50 mile ride in the wind. But I haven't been in the water since October. Simple reason: I don't like swimming that much. If it weren't for triathlons, I would rarely ever swim laps. I really need to get over to the Gulf for some open water swims this summer, which are better than the pool, but just barely.

So yesterday I went to the pool and swam 1500 yards, like a rock. Part of it was the 10 mile run Saturday and 50 mile ride Sunday, but most of it was not having swum in 3+ months. I am not looking forward to the 3000-4000 meter swims I need to work up to for B2B. But as I've said before, at least the swim will be with the tide coming in so it should be the fastest 2.4 mile swim I can find.

I just started re-reading Going Long which I read about a year ago. I didn't read it as closely then as I am now, and I like what it's saying. The authors are 2 of the more respected tri coaches around and know what they are talking about. The one big thing I like is they say to concentrate on you 'key workouts', ie, your long run, bike and swim each week and not so much on the total mileage of each. They also recommend doing the long bike on the weekend and your long run during the week, preferably Wednesday. Training for the 1/2 IMs I've done, I also was doing both on the weekends and struggled getting through the Sunday workout. Their rationale is to be fresh for your long workouts, which makes sense to me. The tough part will be getting in the really long runs in the middle of the summer. Here is central Florida, there is no cool time of the day during July, August and September. Either you go in the morning when it's extremely humid and hot or during late afternoon/early evening whens it incredibly hot and humid. Most likely I will opt for the morning runs.

The race is just over 9 months away and my formal training(ie structured weeks/months) hasn't even begun. But now that I'm signed up, it feels much more real and I'm starting to put together my schedule. Don't want to start too soon and burn out but also don't want to wait and rush the long stuff. Hopefully by the end of February I will have a rough schedule of what I'll be doing the rest of the year.....stay tuned.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'm in!!!

So, I just pulled the trigger on beach2battleship. I was hoping to waiting until late spring/early summer before registering, but they were at 484 of 500 already. The good news is there is a lot of interest in the race, mostly because of Setup Events, who is putting on the race. They do over 70 races a year and have done an Iron distance race before(Duke Blue Devil) which they stopped doing a few years ago due to lack of interest.

The website is now functional and getting more information everyday. Check it out at www.beach2battleship.com Some things I've learned about the race through slowtwitch: The swim will start on a barge and be in a channel. It will be salt water but it should be calm since it's in a channel. Also, it will all be down current, which is huge for me and my lack of swimming skills. The bike and run should be pancake flat. That is both good and bad, but given my training area, it will fit me well.

This past week has seen me able to do some things I haven't done in 6 months or so. I did back to back runs and also did a 10 mile run yesterday. It was all on a rail to trails path so it was great for my knee. It did hurt a little but I recovered well and woke up today with no pain. Did a 40 mile ride today and never felt the knee. It's still not completely healed but the last month of so it really has shown improvement and hopefully by March or so it will be healed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!

So, this is the year I do my Ironman!! It's only 10 months away from Beach2Battleship. Seems like a long time but it will be here quick and I have a lot to do before being ready.

2007 was a pretty good year training/racing wise. I think I did more races in 2007 than I've done in 10+ years. January started out slow with persistent bronchitis but after March things picked up everything else fell into place.

I was able to get in 4 7 mile runs in December along with 4 50 mile bike rides. I'm hoping to get in 2 10 mile runs in January and start racing again in February. My knee has been hot and cold. Most days it's pretty good but every once in a while, it'll go back to hurting really bad after a short run or ride. I've been stretching quite a bit to loosen up my hamstrings and icing/heating my knee which have all helped. Hopefully it will continue to improve.

I've updated my tentative race schedule on the right of this page. Most of these are still tentative and will change as we go along.