Slowly but surely, I’m making progress to catch up to the training blocks with these blog posts. Right now I’m only two weeks behind. The one key message to share as the final results of Block 3 were calculated: I am my own worst enemy. Why is that? My swim, bike and run are all solid (though I know I need to continue working on my bike power), my mental game is spot on. I know what I can do but I sometimes limit myself with thinking of the things I cannot do. Through the encouragement of my team (ref: Ironman Los Cabos | Thanksgiving) I’ve been able to push those barriers further than they’ve ever pushed. My results prove it. I started block 3 with a 10k PR, then I PR’d my half-marathon and half-ironman races. Everyone has been supportive and encouraging Everything points to a GREAT Ironman experience, but the one thing looming in my head is the 6000′ of climbing I’m going to take on in a little more than two months.
So, what happened during the five-week Block 3?
Reeling in from Michigan State’s B1G Championship win against Ohio State and birth to the Rose Bowl, I started Block 3 pretty amped and ready to take on a three-week vacation/train-cation. First things first though – it was Nikki’s birthday! Then mine and then Christmas and New Year’s! Aye Carumba!
In that mix though, I was able to pull off another half-marathon PR at the Live Ultimate 5k/10k/Half-Marathon, with a time of 1:28:10, placing 6th overall. Team Wolfpack won the Half-Marathon Team Award as well! The course was flat but challenging in that there was a little construction to deal with, several technical turns and about a mile or so of beach (sand) running. Everyone had the same challenges, but it was nice to overcome my own for a personal record.
On to Michigan we headed for the Christmas holiday. Nine days of travel was carefully planned for lack of bike and snowy, icy roads. I was able to find a gym not far from my in-laws where I was able to get in weights and the short treadmill running as well as the stationary bike trainer rides. I took to the roads though for my long runs and while a certain pace was the goal, the real goal was getting a solid run in on both occasions with the weather, road conditions considered. I was satisfied with both runs though my 2nd long run was cut short by 2 miles due to stomach cramping. Fortunately I felt better later in the day so we could go snowshoeing, then skiing the following day.
Upon returning from the snowy north, we enjoyed a Michigan State ROSEBOWL WIN on New Year’s Day, followed up with my first Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim. I swam respectably, considering the washing machine conditions and enjoyed the camaraderie with the Azura Florida Aquatics team.
After the Rough Water swim, reality set back in and after a three-week holiday (and a lot of good solid training during each of the three weeks), I was back to work. Somehow I kept neglecting mentally that I had a half-ironman coming up in just days. While I had a goal of beating a 4:40 time, my focus remains Ironman and well, during that week, getting back to work. It was a Saturday race so we headed over to Naples on Friday early afternoon to settle in and hit up the race briefing. With a 14 person dinner event (that started with 6), we finally got back to the hotel room late enough to allow pre-race anxiety settle in, making me feel rushed while getting my bike prepped and everything set for the next morning. There were only 250 half-ironman and 100 full ironman athletes toeing up at the start line. I exited the water 5th overall and was out on the bike with a rather foggy (new) helmet. The bike course was flat overall with just a little wind from the SE. I got passed a bit and raced into transition 18th overall but with a personal bike strategy that would eventually pay dividends over the next 90 minutes. I left the transition with two athletes barely in front of me, both of whom I was able to pick off in the first mile. It was in the neighborhood of 80 and I knew aid stations were only every 1.5 miles so I had my own bottle of water to bring with me. Another good decision. This kept me hydrated and allowed me to pick off another 9 people, allowing me to finish in 7th place overall and having finished with that sub-4:40 goal I originally set out to race. I need to note that I did not race for time though…that just happened. What I should note is that I FINALLY took my FIRST age group win in a triathlon! With a solid swim, a decent bike, and a hot run that wasn’t my hottest performance, my strategy worked well. It was a great feeling to pass so many during the run, so many great South Florida triathletes, some of whom I never beat.
Adding to the weekend’s excitement (other than having my wife there to support me), the race director was one of the best I’ve yet to meet and interact with. What a stand-up guy. Shout out to Mark Wilson of HITS! Also of interesting note was the guy next to me in transition happens to be one of the race producers for the new Challenge Atlantic City. More to come with Challenge AC soon (hopefully)!
Block Three Stats:
|Block||Swim Time||Bike Time||Run Time||Strength Time||Total Time|
|Block||Swim Distance||Bike Distance||Run Distance|
|3||47,422 yards||458 miles||142.9 miles|
Note that Block 3 includes 5 weeks versus the standard 4.
1. Trust the plan, trust the coach, trust thyself.
2. With proper planning and communication, training doesn’t have to ruin a relationship. In fact, it can enhance it. #ActsOfLove
3. Don’t be afraid to fail. Mistakes are inevitable. Learn from them. Then let them go.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Of course I wouldn’t be here without giving thanks to my friends, family, teammates, coaches, and sponsors!
13 weeks down, 11 to go (following the 3rd block)!