Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to Brag re: Ironman

I found this online and thought it was too hilarious not to share ... funny enough, most of the triathletes that responded to the thread could completely relate.

Before I started to train an Ironman, I bought a training plan; I read books on hydration and fuel replacement, I listened to endless hours of advice from elite and pro triathletes. This information did help me finish, but it did not teach me how to correctly brag about being an Ironman.

My friends and I came up with a six phase program which will aid you in bragging about your Ironman . Use this plan from the moment you register until well after the race is complete for the most bang for your bragging buck.

Sign Up Phase: For most Ironman events, you have to register up to one year in advance. This gives you plenty of time to brag about doing an Ironman. During this phase, you must let all of your non-Ironman friends know you can't hang out with them anymore, because you just signed up for an Ironman. If you don't have any Ironman friends, then go to a place where runners or bikers hang out. Look for the Ironman symbol (M Dot) on their training clothes. An Ironman would never be caught running or biking without their Ironman stuff.

Training Phase: Training for an Ironman can be compared to having a part time job. You must let everyone you meet know this. This can be accomplished by sighing loudly at work, mumbling how tired you are because you just biked 100 miles, because you are in training for an Ironman. You can also skillfully steer the conversation with your neighbors and co-workers to your Ironman training. Here is an example:

Neighbor: "Did you hear what President Bush said this week?" Lee: "Were you aware that President Bush is a biker? I just biked 100 miles today. I am training for an Ironman."

Co worker: Lee, are you working late tonight? Lee: No, I have to get up early to do a 20 mile run.

I even once rang my neighbor's door and when he answered, I said "Sorry Bob, can't talk to you now, I am training for an Ironman."

One Week before the Race Phase: You need to let your neighbors and co-workers know you will be gone for a little while, competing in an Ironman. Once again, you can steer the conversation to your Ironman race.

Neighbor: "Wow Lee your lawn looks great!" Lee: "My lawn is going to look bad this next week; I will be competing in an Ironman."

Race Expo Phase: You must buy as much Ironman merchandise as possible. For years we saved our money to send both of my boys to private college, but sacrifices must be made. Both Derick and Ty will be going to junior college now. You must buy enough Ironman clothes to cover every day at work and training. You must also buy plenty of shirts for your spouse and children. They will also spread the word that you just finished an Ironman.

The Race Phase: At you can setup automatic emails and cell phone message notifications of your Ironman timing splits. You can use all of the entries in your email and cell phone address book. Include everyone regardless of whether they remember you are or not. It just does not matter, because you are an Ironman.

Post Race Phase: The finisher medal can be worn for one day per the number of miles raced and everyone knows that an Ironman is 140.6 miles. So wear that medal for 141 days (always round up as opposed to rounding down your finishing time). Your children must be trained to say, "My daddy is an Ironman. He gave me this shirt. He's an Ironman." This must be emphasized over and over with your children. I did not do this after I ran the Boston marathon, and Derick, my oldest boy, told everyone at his day care that his grandma ran the marathon. Your spouse must memorize all of your splits (swim, bike and run). You must also include both transition splits as well. Instead of wearing a shirt which states, "I am with Dummy", your spouse will wear a shirt which says, "I am with a stud Ironman". All conversations must be steered to your Ironman race.

Co-Worker: "Did you hear about the new work policy?" Lee: "Nope, I did not; I was racing in an Ironman."

For at least one month you can say, "Well, I 'm only going to run easy today, I just did an Ironman." When someone brings up a subject of hardships suffered, you need to remind them that you also have suffered through hardships while training and racing in your Ironman.

You can also use these ideas to brag about other races, but please only brag about races which are longer than 13.1 miles.

1. it's a joke, folks.

2. kind of.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

1 month

With less than one month until the Houston Marathon, I feel pretty good about my training. There are days that I feel fast and strong and days when I feel weak and tired, but I trust my training.

Friday was one of those days where I felt tired and it is those days that I question my ability to hit my marathon goals, but after one day of rest and two days of excellent sleep I woke up this morning and did a super fast 6 mile run, averaging 8 minute miles. I guess that is why the taper is so important leading up to a race - it gives your body the rest it needs to prepare for the race ahead.

Less than one month until race day!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Equivalent of the Party Foul ...

What do you call a faux pas or party foul in the workout world? Let's call it a Training Foul and I had one this week ...

Tuesday morning I was supposed to get up at 4:40 to be ready to run with Mark by 5:10. Well, I woke up and my clock read 5:36. Crap! I ran to grab my phone and sure enough I had 3 text messages from Mark. The ultimate Training Foul, I overslept on my training partner who drove 20 minutes to run with me!

I accidentally set my alarm for 4:40 p.m. instead of a.m. -- not the first time I have made this mistake, but I will definitely be more careful from now on (especially when someone is waiting for me)! The good news is that since it was not too late, I still managed to run 5 miles that morning before work. It was a great run despite the cold (I was running in my super warm and soft Nike top Allie sent for Christmas - thanks, Allie!).

Mark was so nice about the whole thing and even came over on Thursday without harassing me about setting my alarm correctly. I also told him next time he should ring the bell or call but he didn't want to wake anyone else.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Mileage

Well, it is official. I have never run this much in my life.

November Totals

185 miles
41.1 average miles per week
27.5 hours
8:58 average pace
18,000 calories burned
151 bpm average heart rate

The last 2 weeks have been high volume weeks which had me run 20 miles for my long run two weekends in a row. I am happy to report that the second 20 miler was easier than the first and the recovery from the second 20 miler has also been easier. I did go for a long swim the day after my 20 miler this week and I wonder if that has helped my muscles as well.

Next week is a taper week which will give my legs a chance to rest a bit (only 34 miles this week, 12 mile long run) to prepare for the upcoming high mileage weeks.

I am also working on my race schedule for 2009 and will post that soon - nothing like planning things a full year in advance!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Silver Lining

I have always been a morning person, but waking up with a 4 on the clock 5 days a week has made me even more of a morning person (ask Doug, I often doze off on the couch before 9 pm!). Some mornings are better (read easier) than others to wake up and get going, but I am always happy when my run/swim is behind me and it really is a great start to the day. This morning I did a short run and it was fairly cold with a bit of wind as well. Since I start my runs so early it is always dark which makes for a quiet albeit sometimes lonely run. Well this morning, when the skies lightened I noticed the sun rising and had an ephiany. Not very many people watch the sunrise each day and I get to do that! There is my silver lining!

I can’t complain too much though, because for my last three mid-distance mid-week runs (9 miles each) my training buddy Mark has schlepped over to my house to run with me. I will pick a running partner over music any day of the week! It makes the run go by so.much.faster. Plus, Mark makes me do speed work which I am not great about doing on my own, so that is an added bonus. I can really see a difference in my run times as a result of doing speed work and doing more mid-distance and long distance runs.

Tomorrow is my first 20 miler warm-up for the marathon. It should give me a good indication of where I am in my training and what sort of finish time I can expect in January.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

See title of the post and replace caterpillar with Anne ... all of this training has me hungry all. the. time. Seriously, when I am not eating food, I am thinking about food! I always love good food, but burning so many calories a day requires the consumption of more calories. I can only imagine how Michael Phelps feels having to consume 12,000 calories a day!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Marathon Goals

It has been just over a month since Longhorn and I am in the thick of Marathon training. The last three weeks I have averaged 31.7 miles per week and I am track to running 42 miles this week. Getting up really early is a drag, but for as much as I hate the loss of daylight savings because it is so dark when I get home, I love that my morning runs don't stay too dark for too long.

All of this training gives me lots of time to think about my goals for this marathon. First and foremost, the number one goal that I have when I enter any race (or start anything for that matter) is to finish. With that said, I have "just" finished two marathons already. I didn't give the distance the respect it deserved and I struggled through the last quarter of both races and ended up with times of 5:55:12 (Austin) and 5:23:09 (Maui).

See, I used to find the concept of "going long" (running long distances) to race long ridiculous. Seriously, why would anyone run 20 some off miles to run 26.2 miles? Well, that was my "just survive" mentality. I have learned to race long, you have to go long on a regular basis.

Now, there is a lot of debate in the running community on how to define long, but I define it as anything greater than 10 miles with at least several 15-20 miles runs along the way. It is all about muscle memory and teaching your body to endure. So, what does this all mean for me and my Houston Marathon goal time?

Well, based on my training I should be able to break the 4:30:00 marathon mark. If you recall I mentioned Oprah in a previous post - she ran the Marine Corp Marathon in 1994 is 4:29:20. I have to beat Oprah!

Here is a cool link that lists celebrity /athlete / political figures marathon times:

So, Goal #1 - to finish
Goal #2 - beat Oprah
Goal #3 - beat P Diddy, let's face it -- if the man can drink and party all the time and run a sub-4:15 marathon, I should be able to as well!

My ultimate goal (dream race, perfect conditions, etc.) would be to break 4 hours -- heck, Sarah Palin did it in 2005, but that would mean maintaining a 9:10 min/mile pace. I can do that for mid-distance runs, but my longer runs have been more in the 9:15 - 9:30 range.

So, there you have it ... my marathon goals. Note for the record that this goal is for the January stand alone marathon -- I am sure my Florida Ironman Marathon will be quite a bit slower due to cumulative fatigue.

One Year and Counting

The Florida Ironman is one year from today. I thought about this fact as I was running this morning and I tried to imagine what it would be like to hear Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) say, Anne Moore you are an Ironman ... I got chills!

Here is to a year of hard training - may it be fun, safe and injury free!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Holy Schnikies, Batman - I'm in!

Yesterday was the 2008 running of the Florida Ironman which means that registration for 2009 opened this morning at Noon. Registration sells out a full year in advance and often in minutes after registration becomes available online.

I stalked the website all morning (sometimes the link for registration goes live early) and at Noon it went live. Unfortunately, the website server was busy and it took forever for the registration page to become available. I was a nervous wreck. I finally asked Doug to try on his computer and he managed to get to the registration page ...

... and now it is official, I am registered for the 2009 Florida Ironman! Whoo hoo!

Let the training begin (well, after the Houston Marathon)!

For those of you who don't know the Ironman distances are a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 miles run all done in 17 hours or less. Crap, what have I gotten myself into?!?!? :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Next?

In case you were wondering, "What is Anne going to do now that Longhorn is behind her?" ... I thought that I would share my next athletic goal: The Houston Marathon.

I have run both the Austin and Maui marathons, but I never trained properly and I really want to see how good of a time I can record with proper training. So, the training started today after taking it easy last week (total of 4 hours last week). I am going to be logging a lot of miles, but hopefully I will be able to beat Oprah and P Diddy's times ... more on that later.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Longhorn Ironman 70.3 Photos

My sweet shutterbug took some great photos at the race last weekend (see below) and here is the link to the professional photos taken on the course:

Right Before the Swim Start

Running to Transition After the Swim

Three Shots of Transition Area (I am in the first shot with my back to the camera)

Coming off the Bike

T2 - Taking off helmet, shoes

Putting on running hat

And I'm off ...

Running through the water mister

Still trucking...

...and trucking...

...and trucking...

Crossing the finish line with fist pump (time on clock is from the pro start, not my wave)

Look at that happy face

My #1 Fan

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Longhorn Half Iron Race Recap - I did it! 6:20.43

Warning, this is a long recap! Pictures to be posted in the next week of so.

Race Week
I spent the majority of the week leading up to the race in Hershey, PA over-indulging on all accounts (eating, drinking, staying up far too late and generally have too much fun for pre-race activities). I got back to Houston Friday afternoon and spent the evening with the boys and un-packing and re-packing for the trip to Austin on Saturday. After staying up far too late again catching up on the likes of 90210 and Gossip Girl, I decided to sleep in Saturday morning which put us behind for our entire Saturday schedule. I figured it was my schedule, so I could break it J While I finished packing and did my 30 min easy brick (the last workout before the race), Doug took the boys to Mom Mom and Peepaw’s for the weekend. I hated to leave them behind, but a 6+ hour race is not exactly fun for little kids.

We finally left for Austin at 11:00 a.m. or so, a good 3 hours later than planned – but still ok by me. I read a magazine and slept on the drive over and I woke up pretty sluggish and my left arm was really bothering me. It was tingling and a bit numb to my elbow. I still had good range of motion, but it just didn’t feel right. Plus, my allergies started to act up and I was pretty congested. Talk about timing!

When we arrived in Austin we went straight to the Athlete Expo for packet pick-up and to visit some of the booths of the race sponsors. It is a great source for last minute supplies. I picked up a bento box for my bike, gels and a pair of sunglasses – all of which proved vital on race day. I also spent time with an ART (Active Release Technique - Link for more info) specialist who worked on my neck since it was nerves in my neck that were affecting my arm. The ART work immediately improved my arm but it was still not 100%.

We left the Expo and made the trek to Decker Lake to drop off my bike, which was required before the race. It was nice to not have to worry about that in the morning. I checked out the transition area and then Doug and I went to REI for a new CamelBak for me (nothing like waiting until the last minute!) and a lock for him.

With all of our errands behind us we went to DT’s house (an old friend of Doug’s from high school). DT kindly offered to let us stay with him and use his house after the race too, even though he was leaving town Sunday morning. We had a great pizza dinner at Frank and Angie’s, went for a boat ride on his boat on Lake Austin and then relaxed on the couch watching Knocked Up. I also took a Claritin D which helped with my congestion and my arm was feeling normal again too. I finally fell asleep just shy of 11:00 pm. I was mostly nervous that I would oversleep. I was glad that I double checked my Blackberry because the alarm feature is automatically set to NOT work on weekends, so even though I had set the alarm for 5:00 am, it would not have gone off. Yikes, glad I caught that! I had set Doug’s as a back up as well though …

Race Morning
(Low Temp – 65, High Temp – 90, Avg Temp – 85. Overcast with light sprinkles and some bright sun)

We woke up at 5:00 a.m. and I had my usual oatmeal and we were out the door by 5:30. There was quite a line to get into the parking area and for the buses, so it was nearly 6:45 by the time we got to the race site (1 mile away from the parking area). They were running so far behind, that they actually made spectators, including Doug, wait for later buses. No fear though, Doug made it to the race site 10 minutes behind me so we were not separated long – he actually ended up riding his bike instead of taking the bus. They pushed back the start of the race to be sure that no one missed it because of traffic.

I meticulously prepared my transition area to ensure that I would have everything I needed easily within reach. I put my gloves on my aerobars, laid my helmet on my seat and put my sunglasses on my bars so that I would not forget anything. My fuel (gels, bars, and Perpetuem) were on the bike waiting for me. At this point I was getting pretty hungry so I had a banana and a handful of Sport Jelly Beans before the start of the race.

After one last kiss and hug good luck from Doug, I headed to the swim start area with the other athletes. I chatted with a couple of people nearby and then before I knew it, we were singing the National Anthem, the Pro Wave countdown started (10, 9, 8, …), and then it was my turn.

The Swim (1.2 miles, 38:39.30, 84/90 Age Group, 1694/1929 Overall Place, 2:00 pace)

I got in the water, which was a perfect 77 degrees and waited for the horn. For the record, the race ended up being wet suit legal (you can compete for age group awards and wear a wet suit as long as the water is below 78 degrees), but I had never swum in a wetsuit and I was not about to try something different on race day, so I went without.

The first leg I stayed far to the right and away from the main pack because I was worried about being mauled by the other swimmers. It didn’t take long for my competitive juices to start flowing and for me to realize I was putting myself at a disadvantage (e.g., swimming further) so I made my way closer to the buoys and the main pack. After the first turn, I spent the rest of the swim with the main pack and I am happy to report that I didn’t get kicked a single time! There were definitely people swimming by me, but I held my line and they went around me. I also did a better job sighting (looking for the buoys and the shoreline) on legs 2 and 3 of the swim. That, combined with the fact that I was able to draft a bit off of the faster swimmers (totally legal), made the swim fly by. I looked at my watch at the last buoy and was shocked that it read 35 minutes. I made it out of the water in 38:39. I was worried that Doug was going to miss me because I told him that the earliest I would be out of the water was 40:00, but that it would likely be closer to 45:00 or 50:00. There was a long run from the shore to the transition area and the chute was lined with spectators clapping and encouraging us – it was phenomenal. About 2/3rds of the way up I saw Doug holding a sign that read, “No more water … Run baby run” and then he immediately went into shutterbug mode.

I knew right away the swim was short because even with the best drafting in the world, there was no way I would be faster in the open water than in the pool. The Pros estimate that it was likely 200 yards or so short, which would have added about 4 minutes to my time (which still keeps me under my goal time), but it was a USAT sanctioned event, so the swim will be recorded as 1.2 miles and my time will just be a personal record (PR)! I am disappointed, but from what I hear it is pretty common for the one portion to be off a bit, and in particular, the swim.

T1 (3:56.50, 46/90 Age Group)

I got to my transition area, sat on my towel, put on my socks, and slipped on my bike shoes, which I had already loosened the straps on to make sure they went on quickly. Then I just grabbed my CamelBak, put on my sunglasses and helmet and started running with my bike towards the bike start. Doug was there again to cheer me on holding up his great sign.

The Bike (56 miles, 3:22:25.45, 59/90 Age Group, 1524/1929 Overall place, 16.6 mph pace)

I hopped on my bike at the bicycle mount line, clipped in and took off. I spent the first mile putting on my gloves and getting adjusted and then I settled in for the long ride. My nutrition plan was to drink water and Perpetuem every 15 minutes to be sure that I had a steady stream of calories coming in so that I would not bonk on the run. This really helped the time pass quickly as I was really only counting down in 15 minute increments. The course was fairly hilly, although only a couple of steep hills and there was quite a bit of headwind. There were four aid stations on the course where they do bottle handups (volunteers stand by the side of the road and hand bottles of Gatorade and water to bikers as the speed by). This is a pretty dangerous undertaking because many bottles hit the ground leaving debris in the way of the next cyclist until the volunteer can safely remove it. I stopped at the second and fourth stops for bathroom breaks. My bladder was full and I didn’t want to compromise my nutrition (not drinking because I was full) and I wasn’t ready to do it the other way (on the bike while you are riding – ewww). There was actually a wreck directly in front of me at my first stop which was pretty scary. Both cyclists were able to get back up without any medical or bicycle issues. I had a power bar at about 1.5 hours into the ride that really hit the spot as well and I took a salt tab to make sure that my electrolyte balance stayed in line. There was a timing mat around the 28 – 30 mile mark so technically people could track you on the course, but no one that tried to track me seemed to be able to make the program work. Before I knew it we turned the corner and enjoyed a tail wind for the last 10 -12 miles. I kept a good pace on the bike, but I was not pushing as hard as I could because I wanted to save my legs for the run. In retrospect, I could have pushed a bit harder, but my time and pace were respectable and I was happy with the outcome. The good news is that I was not exhausted when I got off the bike, so I had done something right! I hopped off my bike at the dismount line and ran to my transition area to change into my running shoes. I didn’t see Doug at first when I got off the bike, but he yelled and waved at me as I was running into transition.

T2 (2:15.00, 27/90 Age Group)

I ran my bike to my transition area, racked it, took off my helmet, swapped shoes, put on my running hat and grabbed my gels and power bar and I was off. Once I was on the course, I found places on my tri shorts and top for the gels. My T2 was faster because I didn’t have to deal with changing socks and the run from the bike dismount to the run start was not as long as the run from the water to transition.

The Run (13.1 miles, 2:13.26, 42/90 Age Group, 807/1929, 10:11 min/mile)

The start of the run really set the tone for the rest of the race. There were tons of volunteers handing out Gatorade, water, gels, food, towels, sponges – you name it. It was awesome! As soon as I rounded the corner I saw Doug again holding a sign that read “Nice wheels, now let’s see those sexy legs!” It made me smile and laugh, which was perfect timing right before I headed out to run the hills. I started the run a good bit slower than my normal average pace, but I was not sure at first how much slower I was going. I ran the entire time, hills and all, but it took my body a bit to adjust. My calves were a bit tight but that quickly passed. If I struggled on a hill at all, I reminded myself how much easier it would feel when I got to the top. My only complaint would be that each mile was not clearly marked so it made it difficult to judge my pace. I finally just decided that I would run until I was finished, so it didn’t really matter where I was …

I was really proud to run up a steep hill dubbed “Quadzilla” that many middle-of-the-packers like me were walking. Doug rode his bike to see me a couple of times on the first loop and at one point rode by and screamed, “I love number 830” and some guy next to me responded, “Me too!”. It was pretty funny.

The only thing bad about doing a two loop course is having to run by the finish line and keep on trucking, but by the start of the second lap I was feeling great and I knew I would be able to finish the race (my #1 goal). I caught Doug at the beginning of the second lap noshing on some nachos, I think he was surprised to see me! Starting the first round of hills on the second lap I ended up running with a 31 year old guy from San Antonio (I only know his age because it was on his leg and the announcer at Quadzilla said he was from San Antonio – more on that later). It was GREAT to talk to someone and it not only helped to pass the time, but it really picked up my pace. We ran together for a couple of miles and then I dropped back as I felt him pick up the pace. As we parted he said, I am sure we will run into each other again.

I ran the next section by myself but I said good job to almost everyone that passed me or that I passed. I got back to the park section with 2.5 miles or so to go and saw Doug again. He asked me if I had about 2 miles to go and I said I was not sure (turns out it was about 2.5 miles). At that point I felt awesome and my pace really picked up considerably, and sure enough, as I was running up Quadzilla for the second time, I saw my buddy from earlier in the race walking. As soon as he saw me started running and said that was just the motivation he needed. I shared the pretzels I had picked up at the last aid station with him and we chatted for a mile or so. We crossed the Quadzilla timing mat together and the announcer sitting there said, “I have two people pushing hard, Anne Moore and I Don’t Remember His Name from San Antontio.” The timing mat was there because they gave a prize to the person who had the best split up Quadzilla. I didn’t win, no surprise there! The pretzels were a great snack (thick pretzel sticks so they were easy to hold) in addition to the gels that I had every 45 minutes or so. I think I took three gels on the run course, in addition to a couple of electrolyte tabs. This time, my buddy from San Antonio had to drop back and he wished me a good finish and I took off.

I passed a lot of people on that last half mile or so and I felt so fresh. When I entered the finisher’s chute I went into a full on sprint and passed one last person as I heard my name and I crossed the finish line and did a fist pump. I can’t wait to see the photos.

It was awesome.

Total Time – 6:20.43
Overall Place – 1206/1929
Gender Place – 287/513
Division Place – 51/90

Post Race
As soon as I crossed the finish I saw Doug holding a sign that read “I love my half-iron chick” and I saw our friend Matt and his new finance Honey as well. I did not know that they were going to be there, so I was really excited to see them. After someone took off my timing chip, I got my medal, water bottle and finisher’s towel and took my finisher photo and then went straight to Doug for my hug, which he gave without hesitation even though he hates sweaty people!

The first thing I told Doug was that I could do it again (meaning, I could have kept going). After chatting with everyone for a bit we went to the athlete tent so that I could get my Freebirds burrito and then I went to wait in line for my post-race ATR.

After waiting for about 10 minutes, it was my turn for ATR. The doctor worked on my hamstrings, quads and calves and it hurt like hell, but I felt so much better afterwards. It was amazing how quickly I went from feeling like “I could do this again” to tired and sluggish. One of the reasons that I did not stop to walk at all on the run was that I knew if I stopped it would be so hard to get going again and this post-race experience only verifies that premise for me. The adrenaline was really working its magic in the last portion of the race.

After my ATR and Freebirds I went back to the transition area to pick up my bike and my belongings and then we all walked about a mile back to the car … so really it was 71.3!

Doug and I said goodbye and thank you to Matt and Honey and we made our way back to DT’s house to shower and rest before driving back to Houston. I laid down as soon as I finished my shower and fell straight to sleep!

Around 6:00 pm, we packed up and headed back to Houston. To Doug’s surprise (and my own!) I didn’t sleep on the car ride home. It was nice to chat with Doug and recap the race.

Thank Yous
There were so many people in the days leading up to the race that wished me luck on the blog, by phone, in person, and by email. It was so nice to have so many people rooting for me from afar – family, friends, colleagues. Words cannot express how much it meant to me. It goes without saying that Doug, as always, was my rock. He was there for me through every step of this process and his presence at the race made each step that much easier knowing that I would see his supportive face just around the corner.

This trek, 6 months in the making, is over, but the overall journey is just beginning.

Side note - The race was nearly 75% men. Overall place includes both men and women. Age group (AG) is women aged 25 – 29 (and we apparently had a very stacked division).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Athlete Tracking

Should be available at and/or . I am bib number 830.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I can't believe race day is one week away! I am excited and nervous / anxious / scared. I keep telling myself that I have logged the hours and the miles and that I am ready. This is a personal journey and I will be telling myself over and over again on race day to just swim, bike and run my own race.

I looked at my race logs to remind myself how far I have come - I just finished my 23rd week of training and have logged the following:

Total Hours: 166.72
Total Running Miles: 435.63
Total Biking Miles: 1189.35

Weekly Average:
Hours: 7.25
Running Miles: 18.94
Biking Miles: 51.71

My understanding is that Athlete Tracking will be available at -- I will try to update the blog with additional details as I learn more.

I couldn't end this post without saying thank you. Douglas, thank you for your endless love and support - without you this journey would not have been possible. To my boys who help me keep things in perspective. To our parents who take every opportunity to brag about me to everyone they know (and even people that they don't know!) To my friends and co-workers who generally think that I am crazy and humor me by listening to me talk endlessly about training. My training buddy Mark who logged countless bike and running miles with me and made the training hours go by that much faster. And of course, thank you to all of you on the other side of the computer for being a part of this journey.

Week 1 of the Taper

It was nice to have some down time during the week but I felt strangely guilty on the days that I was free at lunch and not heading to the gym. Next week will be even stranger as I cut back even more on the time. I will be traveling though, and that will help keep me preoccupied so I will not be nervous all week about the race!

Training week of September 8:

Monday – a.m. - 1 hour swim (2300 yards)
Tuesday – a.m. - 1 hour spinner
Wednesday – a.m. - 1 hour swim (2100 yards)
Thursday – a.m. - 1 hour run (6.75 miles); Lunch - 45 bike /15 run
Friday – a.m. - OFF
Saturday – a.m. - 2 hour bike ride (30.5 miles); 15 min run
Sunday - p.m. - 1 hour run (6.75 miles)

Total workout time: 8hours, 15 minutes
Total distances: Run: 15.25 miles Bike: 58.50 miles

Favorite workout this week -- Doug and Ryan accompanied me on my bike ride this week, which was a lot of fun.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Let the Taper Begin!

Well, it is 2 weeks until race day! I just completed my 22nd week of training (I started April 21!) and I am ready for this hard earned taper. I am getting nervous about the race but I keep telling myself that I have logged the training hours and that I am prepared for the 70.3 miles that lie ahead of me.

I found out that the race will be tracked on, so those of you who want to track me from afar will be able to do so. My race number is 830 and I am starting the race at 7:44 a.m. I will find out more about tracking and post the information here.

... Speaking of waves, I am particularly nervous about the swim start. There are 14 waves and I am starting nearly smack dab in the middle in wave 6.

Here are the waves:

Wave 1 - Pro - 7:30
Wave 2 - Men 24 and under and Men 50+ - 7:32
Wave 3 - Women 40+ - 7:35
Wave 4 - Men 35-39 A-K - 7:38
Wave 5 - Men 35-39 L-Z - 7:41
Wave 6 - Women 25-29 and Women 35-39 - 7:44
Wave 7 - Men 40-44 A-K - 7:47
Wave 8 - Men 40-44 L-Z - 7:50
Wave 9 - Men 25-29 - 7:53
Wave 10 - Women 20-24, Women 30-34, Athenas - 7:56
Wave 11 - Men 30-34 A-K - 7:59
Wave 12 - Men 30-34 L-Z - 8:02
Wave 13 - Men 45-49 - 8:05
Wave 14 - Clydesdales, Relays, Aquabike

I think that I have established that I am S-L-O-W swimmer and there are a lot of fast swimmers starting behind me, which means that I am going to have people swim OVER me (literally). I am going to just have to swim on the outside to give people a lot of space so that I don't get kicked in the face!

Hurricane Ike Stinks!

Two weeks of peak training partially interrupted by the stupid hurricane!

Training week of September 8:

Monday – a.m. - 1 hour swim
Tuesday – a.m. - 1 hour brick (45/15)
Wednesday – a.m. - 1 hour swim
Thursday – a.m. - 1 hour bike; Lunch - 1 hour run
Friday – a.m. - 1 hour run
Saturday – OFF - Hurricane Ike interrupted my training! I missed my long ride.
Sunday - a.m. - 45 min run

Total workout time: 6 hours, 45 minutes
Total distances: Run: 20.17 miles Bike: 30 miles

Favorite workout this week -- My swims, my coach actually said "you are starting to look like a real swimmer" !!! Yahoo!!

Training week of September 15:

Monday – p.m. - 1.5 hour run (9.7 miles)
Tuesday – p.m. - 1 hour bike (est. 16 miles)
Wednesday – p.m. - 1 hour 42 min run (est. 11.2 miles)
Thursday – p.m. - 1 hour bike (est. 16 miles)
Friday – OFF
Saturday – a.m. - 1 hour swim (2100 yards) and 3 hour bike (47 miles)
Sunday - a.m. - 15 min recovery run, 1 hour swim

Total workout time: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Total distances: Run: 23 miles Bike: 79 miles

Favorite workout this week -- I feel like I hit a stride with my runs this week

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hello seventies ... degrees that is!

Training week of September 1:

Monday – a.m. - 1 hour swim; p.m. - 1 hour bike
Tuesday – a.m. - 1 hour run (6.75 miles)
Wednesday – a.m. - 1 hour swim; Lunch - 1 hour brick (45/15)
Thursday – Lunch - 55 min run (6.1 miles)
Friday – a.m. - 3:45 bike (61.5 miles)
Saturday – a.m. - 2:00 run (13.75 miles)
Sunday - Rest Day

Total workout time: 11 hours, 40 minutes
Total distances: Run: 28.35 miles Bike: 89.5 miles

Favorite workout this week -- The weather was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L towards the end of the week which made my long bike ride on Friday and my long run on Saturday just delightful! Send your good weather vibes for October 5 my way please!

Friday, September 5, 2008

One month and counting ...

Taking a deep breath ... one month until race day!

The next two weeks will be "peak training" meaning that I will have the longest workouts yet followed by two weeks of taper so that I will (supposedly) be in peak physical shape and ready for 70.3 miles of fun!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Training in full force

Training week of Aug 25:

Monday – a.m. - 1 hour swim
Tuesday – a.m. - 1 hour bike (est. 16 miles)
Wednesday – a.m. - 1 hour swim; Lunch - 50 min run(est. 5.5 miles)
Thursday – a.m. - 45 min run (5 miles); Lunch - Brick (25 min bike / 10 min run)
Friday – Lunch - 1 hour run
Saturday – a.m. - 2:40 bike (42.5 miles) followed by a 30 min run (3.1 miles)
Sunday – Rest Day / 4 mile walk

Total workout time: 8 hours, 45 minutes (not including rest day)

Total distances: Run: 21.1 miles Bike: 66.5 miles

Favorite workout this week -- Hmmm ... can't say I had a favorite this week.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let's Go Racing!

Saturday I competed in the Clear Lake International Triathlon (not sure why it was called "International"). My goal for this race was to do a practice run for the Longhorn in 6 weeks - meaning a fast, steady, maintainable pace.

I was sure to properly hydrate and to not push too hard on the bike as to save my legs for the run (thought process here is that gaining 5 minutes on the bike will be erased if you kill your legs because your run time will be so much slower).


- 2:22:09 time
- 8th in age group (AG) of 17 competing
- 1000 meter swim time - 29:37(14th of 17)
- T1 (transition time between swim and bike) - 2:12 (11th of 17)
- 18 miles bike time - 53:43(7th of 17 at an 18.3 mph pace)
- T2 (transition time between bike and run) - 1:13 (5th of 17)
- 6.2 mile run time - 55:22 (5th of 17 at a 8:56 pace)
- 180/273 overall

Lessons learned:

Overall, I am happy with my performance. I know that I could have pushed harder on the bike and definitely on the run, but I felt very strong at the finish and had a lot of energy left. The top 3 in my age group finished between 2:04 and 2:15 and places 4 - 8 were separated by less than 2 minutes. It is clear that transition time can play a factor. It is also pretty clear that if I want to be competitive I need to get faster in the water!

The lake swim went well, but it was much more difficult than my pool swims. First, even though my age group started last and I stayed at the very back of the pack at the start knowing that I would be slow, I kept running into other swimmers / other swimmers kept running into me. The water was pretty warm and yucky - not ideal swimming conditions. Finally, sighting was pretty tough. Sighting is what you do as you swim to make sure you are following the right path (along the buoys). I felt like I was zig zagging quite a bit which made the swim longer. Sighting better in the water would have saved me a couple of precious minutes.

The swim was my least favorite part, but it was manageable and I didn't feel exhausted when I got out of the water! 6 more weeks of training in the pool and I should be able to fake my way through the 1.2 mile Longhorn swim.

Travel, Taper, Race weeks

Uploading the photos and blogging about vacation has been keeping me busy so I am long overdue for a training and race update. First and foremost, training and traveling, whether for work or vacation, is tough work. You are at the mercy of the equipment available wherever you are (bikes, pools) and of course, the weather!

The week of August 4 I traveled the Chicago the evening before Houston was supposed to be hit by a tropical storm and the same evening that Chicago WAS hit with major storms. I got diverted to Indy and ended up spending the night there before catching an early morning flight to Chicago (which was also delayed) so I ended up losing a day of workouts. I missed 2 workouts on vacation too, one was a swim that I skipped because of jelly fish and the other was my long bike ride. Missing the swim was probably worse because after nearly 24 hours on my feet (with Tyler on my back) at Disney, I got some endurance work in!

Running on the beach in Destin was a neat experience. I love the beauty of the beach and the people watching is awesome. Unfortunately, my feet were not as impressed with the surroundings and I got the blisters to prove it. Thankfully, I am no worse for the wear and I still got the benefits of the beach workout (see Runner's World article at the bottom of the post on beach workouts). I googled beach runs on our drive home from Destin because I surprised at how difficult the run was and it turns out that I was not imagining it. Beach runs are tough work outs. No wonder why people who live by the beach have such great bodies!

Since this last week was a race week, my training schedule was reduced to get me ready for the race. I am still waiting for the official results to be posted so I will blog about the race itself and the results in a separate post.

Also, as a side note, my swim coach has been on vacation for 2 weeks, so I have been following the workouts she left for me ... when I have been able to make it to the pool! I am glad that she will be back this week!

Also, after the last 2 lower volume weeks (taper and race prep weeks) this coming week will be beginning the peak training in preparation for Longhorn in 6 weeks!

Training week of Aug 18

Monday – a.m. - 45 min run (5 miles)
Tuesday – a.m. - 1 hour pool swim; Lunch - Brick Workout: 45/15 bike/run (est. 15 / 1.75 miles)
Wednesday – a.m. - 60 min spin (est. 18 miles)
Thursday – a.m. - missed pool swim because of weather Lunch - 45 min run (5 miles)
Friday – Easy Brick to prep for race (15 min bike / 15 min run)
Saturday – RACE (1000 meter swim (.6 miles) / 18 mile bike / 6.2 mile run)
Sunday – Rest Day / 4 mile walk

Total workout time: 7 hours, 30 minutes (not including rest day)

Total distances: Run: 17.9 miles Bike: 37.5 miles

Favorite workout this week -- RACE Day ... minus the swim :)

Training Week of Aug 11 (vacation and taper* week):

Monday – a.m. - 35 min pool swim
Tuesday – a.m. - 60 mins bike followed by 12 long hours walking at Disney
Wednesday – Off (no time to workout after a late night and early morning)
Thursday – a.m.- Brick (45 bike / 15 run)
Friday – a.m. - 45 min beach run
Saturday – Off - Driving home from vacation
Sunday – a.m. - 1.5 hour run (10+ miles) -- this felt easy after the beach runs!

Total workout time: 4 hours, 45 minutes (not including 24 hours (literally!) at Disney)

* Taper week means that I purposely cut back on training after the previous weeks of tough training to give my body a break

Total distances: Run: 16 miles Bike: 30 miles (both estimates)

Favorite workout this week -- Sunday long run because it felt great after a low volume workout week

Training Week of Aug 4

Monday – a.m. - Masters Swim Class: 1:15 hours lunch - 50 mins running (6.0 miles)
Tuesday – Lost Day to Travel Snafu
Wednesday – a.m. - 60 min spin (overlooking Lake Michigan at Sunrise on the gym balcony)
Thursday – a.m. 45 min run; Lunch - Brick (45 bike / 15 run)
Friday – 2:15 bike (38 miles) followed by 1:00 run (6.6 miles)
Saturday – OFF - Drive to Destin
Sunday – 45 min run on the beach

Total workout time: 8 hours, 50 minutes

Total distances: Run: 23.25 miles Bike: 69 miles

Favorite workout this week -- Despite the blisters, the beach run was a great change of pace

Link to Runner's World Article:,7120,s6-238-263-266-8164-0,00.html

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Isn't it ironic?...

I started training to lose weight and tone up. Working out was all about burning calories. I didn't drink things like Gatorade because I didn't want to take in calories I had worked so hard to burn. What's ironic, is that now I am having to spend quite a bit of money to buy products that I can use while I train to take IN calories so that I can work out longer.

I know it is important, it just goes against every fiber of my being ...

Eating Humble Pie

My confidence on the run and bike has been pretty high as I have been going longer and faster on a consistent basis. On my runs, I have been gradually adding speed work to my workouts (which seems to be working), but I haven’t had workouts where I am exhausted in the middle of my workout – until Wednesday.

Wednesday's training called for a swim workout in the morning and a run at lunch. My plan was to run for about an hour and the training guide instructed me to pick up the pace at 10 minutes into my run from a comfortable Z2 heart rate (slower, aerobic, fat-burning, comfortable pace) to a more challenging Z4 (faster, anaerobic, harder to maintain pace) for 6 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of jogging and then another 6 minutes of Z4, 2 minutes of jogging and then finishing the remainder of the workout at a Z2 level.

I have done things like this before, usually towards the end of my workout (opposed to the beginning) and I have had relative success in executing that strategy (like on Monday when I did a 7 minute Z4 segment at the end of the run).

So, the first part of my Wednesday run went really well -- the actual Z4 running was challenging but manageable but when I finished I still had half of my run ahead of me and I was spent! Every step sucked. I wasn't in pain, just tired and my legs felt heavy. All said and done, my average pace was actually pretty good overall (8:46 per mile) and I learned a valuable lesson from this workout. One thing is that hydration and nutrition are very important -- I didn't have enough to eat before my run and I think that my work out really suffered because of it. Also, you learn more from a tough workout than from the easier ones.

One thing I have been reading a lot about is that each workout is supposed to have a purpose and the purpose determines the intensity and duration of the workout. Speed work makes you faster. Long runs / rides work on endurance. So, long runs and rides are supposed to be done at a slower pace. I say this because I am not good at following the prescribed guidelines and my long runs are normally faster than they should be, so this week I tried hard to do the prescribed speed work and to go slower on my long run.

This week and next week are higher intensity weeks (even higher than the plan I am following) so that I can have a bit of a taper week when we go on vacation the following week.

Training this week:

Monday – a.m. - Masters Swim Class: 1.5 hours lunch - 53 mins running (6.1 miles)
Tuesday – Brick Workout: 40 mins biking (est. 12 miles), 21 mins running (2.5 miles)
Wednesday – a.m. - Masters Swim Class: 1.5 hours lunch - 53 mins running (6.1 miles)
Thursday – 60 min spin (est. 18 miles)
Friday – 1:16 min run (8.25 miles)
Saturday – 41.5 mile bike ride (2.5 hours) followed by a 45 min run (4.75 miles)
Sunday – Will be a rest day / plan on a 4 mile walk

Total workout time: 11 hours, 15 minutes (not including rest day)

Total distances: Run: 27.7 miles Bike: 71.5 miles

Favorite workout this week -- Definitely NOT Wednesday for reasons explained above. Probably Saturday because I had a great ride (with friends) and I was proud of myself for doing the run alone on the hills after the ride.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Running in the Rain

This last week of training was pretty good and I felt pretty strong. My weakest area is by far swimming. I know that I can physically swim the 1.2 miles that will be required come race day, but I want to do it more efficiently and I want to stop fighting the water. For those of you that are swimmers, I am a classic “flat swimmer” – i.e. I have no rotation. So, to become a better swimmer I decided I was going to start over and I joined a Masters Swimming group that meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 – 7:00 a.m. because it was clear that I wasn’t getting any better on my own.

For the past 2 weeks I have been doing nothing but drills. Swimming on my side (a lot), swimming on my side and rotating to the other side (a lot), 10/10 drill, 5/5 drill, finger tip drag drill, breathing drills, etc. all with fins. The coach is fantastic and she has been very helpful and patient. Today after an hour or more of drills I actually got to take off my fins(!) for my last 100 yards I got to actually swim … and I enjoyed it! I actually like swimming now and I am excited about what is to come (hopefully, better swimming!). Now, with that said, I am slow. I mean, painfully slow. SLOW. I am slower than I was BEFORE I started this program.

Coach Jan assures me that starting next week when I am doing more of my swim workouts without fins, my speed will slowly come back. Technique now, speed later. Don’t the swimming gods know that I am not patient?!? Ok, ok, I may not be patient, but I am committed to getting this right and I am confident that when October 5 comes around I will ready. I may be as slow as I was when I started these classes, but I will be swimming much more efficiently which means that I will be saving my legs for my stronger sports, the bike and the run!

Training last week:

Monday – Master Swim Class: 1.5 hours
Tuesday – Brick Workout: 40 mins biking (est. 12 miles), 20 mins running (2.3 miles)
Wednesday – 45 minutes biking (estimate 12 miles) – swimming rained out
Thursday – 45 mins a.m. run (est. 5+ miles in the rain), brick workout at lunch (15 min bike and 15 min run)
Friday – 27 mile bike ride (about 2 hours)
Saturday – 10.5 mile run (1.5 hours)
Sunday – Rest day / walked 4 miles (1 hour 10 minutes)

Total workout time: 8 hours (not including rest day)

Total distances: Run: 19.5 miles Bike: 51 miles

Favorite workout this week -- running in the rain with my neighbor Anna. It was actually quite refreshing and good practice in case it rains on race day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's official - I am registered!

I have been waiting to register for the Longhorn 70.3 -- waiting for what I am not sure -- but I have been waiting. Well, today I read on the Houston Racing Forums that there were less than 200 spots left, so I decided it was time to pull the trigger and register. Once the races get so close to being full, there is usually a rush and the remaining spots are taken quickly.

Speaking of registering, I have been doing a little reconnaissance on the registration process for the Florida Ironman. The 2008 race is November 1 this year. Athletes that are racing in 2008 are able to register for the 2009 race the day before the 2008 race (so that they don't have to stand in line for 2009 race the day after the race). Then the morning after the event, from 9a - 11a general registration opens at the race site. If, and only if (and it is a big if!), there are any spots left, online registration opens around Noon (race site time) and spots fill quickly, often within minutes.

Those at the event cannot register for friends, etc. (you have to have an ID to register) and race registrations are not transferable nor can they be sold.


I am going to have to stalk the site on November 2 and hope that I get a spot. Ironman Canada and Lake Placid sold out at the race site and never made it to online registration. Uggh.

There is one additional and expensive way to get a spot at an Ironman event. There are Community spots whereby you can donate $775 to the North American Sports Community Foundation (benefits children athletic charities in the host cities) in addition to the $525 race registration fee. The good news is that should I decide to go this route (hopefully it will not be necessary), my company will match my contribution and the Community Fund allows others to contribute on your behalf (i.e. you can raise the money). There are a limited number of Community spots though, so the fundraising time is limited.

I knew it was tough to get a spot, but I thought that was mainly due to the fact that you have to register a year in advance. I had no idea that people who wants spots who are prepared to make the commitment a year in advance don't always make it into the race.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rest Day

Rest days always make me feel guilty, but they are a very important part of training, or so I have read. I haven't had a rest day since Friday the 11th, so I am taking today off -- you are supposed to have a rest day about once a week -- and we are going to Galveston for some family fun. I am tempted to take my bike but I am going to be good and truly rest today, although I might attempt a short swim in the open water, just to get a feel for it.

Training this week:

Monday - 5.8 mile run
Tuesday - Brick: 40 mins bike / 20 min run
Wednesday - Masters swim (5:30a - 7:00a) -- all technique focused
Thursday - 5.8 mile run
Friday - 45 min bike on trainer
Saturday - 10 mile run
Sunday - off

I missed my long bike ride this week and a one swim, but I will be back on track next week. This week was a run heavy week for me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Common Triathlon Lingo for Non-Triathletes

For those of you who are interested in being a part of this journey but who are unfamiliar with the sport I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of the tri lingo so that this blog is easier to navigate.

Some Common Triathlon LINGO...
(courtesy of

Brick Workout
A type of workout that triathletes do to simulate race conditions. Most triathlons are in the order Swim, bike, run. When triathletes switch from bike to run, their legs feel weird. A brick workout lets the racer practice the unusual feeling, so it feels more comfortable during a race.

Body marking
Because there is a swim involved, paper numbers cannot be used to mark the athletes. So each triathlete's race number is written on arms and legs. This lets officials mark down numbers as triathletes exit this water. This helps them to keep track that everyone exited the swim, also helps to identify triathletes throughout the entire race.

The latex swim cap that is given to each triathlete as they enter a race. A different colored cap will represent each age-group.

Clipless Pedals
A type of bike pedal that bike shoes attach to. There is a cleat that attaches to the bottom of a bike shoe(with screws). The shoe will then "clip in"to the pedal. This will allow pulling up on the pedal, during the pedal stroke. They will make a bike rider more efficient with each pedal stroke.

The most well-known triathlon distance. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. The distance is referred to as "long distance". The IRONMAN triathlon started in kona, Hawaii, back in 1978. The event is done every year. In the 1990's IRONMAN does not just refer to the race in Hawaii, but is used when talking about the distance.

"Half" IRONMAN distance. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. This is the race distance that I am currently training for.

Olympic Distance Triathlon
Consists of a .9 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run. Probably the most common distance of triathlon offered, although some races modify these distances. The Olympics will be this distance. The race I am planning to do in August is this distance.

Sprint distance
A race that consists of a .5 mile swim, 15 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run race distances (some races modify these distances). The race I did last week was about this distance.

The part of the race where the athlete changes shoes or equipment to move onto the next part of a race. There are two in every triathlon. They are from swim to bike, commonly called T1, and bike to run, commonly called T2.

Transition Area
The place set marked off for transitions to take place. All the equipment the athlete will use in the race is placed in this area. The bike is parked at a rack with the racer's number. Bikes, helmets and shoes are place here for the so transitions can take place quickly and orderly.

A sport that consists of three sports, most commonly swim, bike, run.

The United States triathlon national governing body. They set the status quo, and regulate on how people qualify for the national championships.

Based on your age. It is the time you will start the swim. Age-groups are sent off at intervals to ease congestion in the water and on the bike course. The time is then subtracted from a racer's finishing time.

Worn during the swim to keep swimmers warm. Water must be 78 degrees or below, in order for racers to be allowed to wear wetsuits. They also help make a swimmer more buoyant. This will let slower swimmers swim faster, because they are better positioned on top of the water. Weaker swimmers like wetsuits, while stronger swimmers hate them. I would love to get to wear a wetsuit for the Longhorn, but the water will likely be too warm.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Launch of Iron Dreams

I think I caught the fever ...

I competed in my first triathlon since 2002 and I did surprisingly well! Granted, it was only a sprint distance tri, but I was happy to see some of my training pay off!


- 5th in age group(AG) of 21 competing
- 300 meter swim time - 7:44 (18th of 21)
- T1 (transition time between swim and bike) - 2:04 (9th of 21)
- 12 miles bike time - 37:09 (3rd of 21 at a 19.4 mph pace)
- T2 (transition time between bike and run) - 1:25 (9th of 21)
- 3 mile run time - 24:57 (4th of 21 at a 8:19 pace)
- 23/123 females
- 134/392 overall

So, I decided to start this blog to focus my training for the upcoming Longhorn Ironman 70.3 (half Ironman distance) in Austin, the Houston Marathon in January 2009 and perhaps the Florida Ironman in November 2009. Yikes. There, I said it. I am seriously considering doing the full Ironman next year. I have to decide by November 1 of this year, because the race sells out in mere hours. I am going to have to stalk the website to get in.

Anyone care to join me?