This past week has been weird. No specified workouts, no race worries, no concerns about weather. I've eaten all sorts of crap (leftover Halloween candy and birthday cake) and don't feel one bit guilty. I passed on doing a couple of bike and run events held last weekend that I could have done just for fun. Instead, I allowed myself to be slothful and just pondered some things:
- Signing up for 2 irons 2 weeks apart was the best thing I could have done. They kept me honest in my training and gave me a chance to do both races that I wanted to do. I know I recover quick from long races and would have gone CRAZY if I only did GFT and was stuck "all dressed up with no place to go" two weeks later.
- Some folks run/walked to get through their iron tri marathons, I run/pooped. I came across Top 8 Race Fueling Mistakes Made By Ironman Triathletes and Mistake #3: Eating too much (too late) on the bike and Mistake #1: Mixing Sugars (between my bike & run nutrition) look to be the most likely causes of my GI distress. The only way to know for sure, though, is to do another iron tri :-)
- The next 3: Ironman Arizona (11/22), Ironman Cozumel (11/29) and Ironman Western Australia (12/5) are all sold out, however :-(
- Though training for and doing an ironman does require much more effort than a running standalone marathon, I find it them much easier to recover from. I'd heard this before from several others too. I think it's because swimming, cycling and running a slower marathon don't beat your body up as much. Aside: The current world record for most number of ironmans completed in a calendar year is 15.
- For me, the hardest part about doing an ironman was training in 80-90+ deg heat all summer long. Coach advised against me going to Kona to train because he thought it'd be too cool. He was right. Nothing but training in FL could have prepared me as well for GFT, plus doing so gave me a chance to find out about the major bike course change before race day. B2B was 30-40 degs colder and my main concern was just staying warm enough on the bike after the swim. GI issues at both races, while annoying, were not show stoppers. Two very different races, one awesome training plan to get me to both finish lines. Thanks, Coach Bill!
- Top 10 list of the toughest things I've done so far:
1. 1992, Watch my dad die of cancer
2. 2004, Earn my 2nd deg black belt in karate (bruised ribs, very painful sparring)
3. 2001, Earn my 1st deg black belt in karate (1st major athletic achievement, age 40)
4. 2006, Learn to swim (truly *hated* swimming back then!)
5. 2006, Ironman Florida (first rough water swim, survived but missed swim cut-off)
6. 2004-5, Raise $21K for 2 charities (first FR effort, very hard for me to ask people for $$)
7. 2009, Train for 2 iron tris, GFT & B2B (embraced the enemy: heat)
8. 2007, Olathe Marathon (first time I had major GI issues in a race, nearly DNFd)
9. 2004-5, Run 21 marathons in 9 months (my 21 Run Salute)
10. 2005, Run a hot August 5K all-out with no speed training (21:56 min of agony!)
You know the saying: What doesn't kill you ...
And a couple announcements:
Firstly, Team Hendryx is accepting athlete applications for next year. If you have a running, triathlon or fitness goal you'd like help with, they can help whether you're based in Orlando or elsewhere. My coach, Coach Bill, is the POC for Team Hendryx and can be reached by email at cwenner @ cfl.rr.com if you're interested.
And secondly, I'm going to take a BIG break from blogging and training between now and probably my next race, the Instep Icebreaker Marathon (WI) in January. 2009 has been a very busy year for me and 2010 looks to be even busier. I need to get a lot of stuff squared away in the meantime and apologize in advance for not commenting as often on your blogs during this time but will try to follow along as much as I can. Best of luck to everyone racing, esp. Molly and Jen who are both doing their first ironman (IMAZ) this weekend!