Catching up – Ironman Arizona, Surgery, Recovery…

I’m surprised it’s been so long since my last post.  Things have been nuts all the way around and I didn’t even have a chance to throw together a post-IronmanArizona blog post.  The truth is that I returned from Arizona completely psyched but also staring down the barrel of a massive work schedule along with getting things ready for my December 18th surgery, so it fell by the wayside.  In a nutshell, here’s my thoughts:

On Ironman Arizona –

Some Sweet Rides

Some Sweet Rides

I arrived out in Arizona on the Friday of raceweek.  In addition to being out in AZ to volunteer (and thus solidify a spot in the 2014 race), I was looking forward to rooting on and supporting TinMen Endurance – a group of 5 heart-transplant recipients that were all racing together to raise awareness for organ donor programs.  My buddy Derek successfully finished Ironman Lake Placid in July becoming the first American to complete a full-Iron race.  We all went to dinner on Saturday evening and I had a chance to meet the guys and their families and learn about their stories.  Sadly, only two of the five were able to complete – one was jumped-on while entering the water pre-start and had to be pulled out before the gun at 7am, and another was swept off the run course late-night.  A third (Kyle Garlett) took a nasty spill on his bike a couple of weeks before the race and just couldn’t make the start.  Many of you might know Kyle from his previous Kona attempts and spotlight segments on the NBC Kona broadcasts.

The race was fantastic.  I was able to join some friends out on the bike course during the day before my volunteer shift at the finish line.  I saw a couple of nasty wipeouts – 3 loops causes WAY TOO MUCH CONGESTION and I sincerely hope the rumors of elongating it to 2 longer loops in 2014 becomes a reality.  At one intersection I saw a tri-teammate from Delaware dash into a porta-john, and shocked him when he emerged to find me holding his bike with a good luck cheer!  My time at the finish line was incredibly inspiring and while I was completely exhausted after a long day on my feet (woke at 3:30am) it’s impossible to NOT keep going while these competitors kept streaming across the finish line.  It was an honor to participate as a volunteer, regardless of my registration.

IMAZFinishLine

I headed back to my hotel and caught a couple hours of sleep, then checked out and headed to Athlete Village to get a place in line.  The word on the street was that there was an unprecedented number of volunteers gunning for slots, and the long winding line appeared to have way too many hopeful people in it.  Once the sun came up the line began to move about 7:40 am and I ended up finding my way to the front and registering for 2014.

I Guess This Makes It Real

I Guess This Makes It Real

Surgery –

My hip really felt a bit “blown up” in the days leading up to the surgery.  Just to refresh, over the past summer I felt more and more discomfort while running.  After a round of PT treating what we thought to perhaps be a “groin strain”, an arthrogram revealed a torn labrum in my left hip.  We tried a cortisone injection to no avail, so it was onto arthroscopic labrum repair.

I look calm here, but I'm totally freaking out.

I look calm here, but I’m totally freaking out.

I’m not exaggerating, I was completely losing it prior to going into the OR.  My wife was really comforting though, and before I knew it I was waking up and only wanted something to drink really bad.

So there was a little more damage than my doc thought:

Beforehip

Red and frayed = not good. This is the anterior, and more damage was seen on the other surfaces.

But, it all cleaned up nicely…

Afterhip

Nice and smooth…

So the first couple of days were tough.  I needed crutches almost all the time and the pain meds were my best friend.  I used the hell out of my 110% Compression shorts and ice – ice and compression might just be the best thing ever.  I kept up stretching and my isometric exercises, and 9 days after surgery my doc was amazed at my recovery.  I had much more range of motion than would be expected, and he cleared me for bike, elliptical, pool, and core strengthening and just about anything I felt up to EXCEPT running!

So off we go.  PT begins tomorrow, and I’ll be working with a tri-teammate who is an excellent PT as well as a Level 1 USAT coach!  I’ve already been on an exercise bike as well as an elliptical, and the crutches are no longer needed.

Ironman Arizona 2014 – you’ll be my bitch…

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Eye on the ball

It’s been a while since I’ve updated on this here blog, so here’s what’s latest and greatest…

This will be a bit “stream-of-consciousness”, as that’s the way I tend to write most of the time!:

  • Completely psyched about the fact this in ONE WEEK I’ll be flying to Phoenix, Arizona for my first Ironman event.  I am volunteering at Ironman Arizona, and I am very much looking forward to absorbing the race atmosphere and learning everything I possibly can from those that are battling the 140.6 beast.
  • In Arizona, I’m looking forward to meeting/greeting with the pros and friends I’ve made on Twitter.  The Slowtwitch party at Tribe Multisports seems to be the place to be.
  • Injuries – Arthroscopic hip labrum surgery is scheduled for 12/18.  In addition I broke a tooth and that needs to be extracted ASAP.  It’s an old root canal job from 19 years ago and it fractured up at the root.  It hurts but its manageable and I’m getting by.  I should be able to get it done prior to my AZ trip.
  • I applied for Team Everyman Jack – these guys are one of my favorite personal product providers.  You may or may not know that I’m a bit particular when it comes to soap and shaving products – I’ve got pretty sensitive skin and the more chemicals a product has, the more I tend to break out.  I’ve moved to old-timey wet shaving rather than cartridge razors, and EMJ lotions and washes are a go-to for me.  Meredith Kessler tweeted that they have a triathlon team and are accepting applications for age-groupers.  While I’m not necessarily “elite”, I plan on racing lots in 2014 in some big places, and I do know quite a bit about marketing and positioning products well (it’s my day job, after all).  I went ahead and applied and we’ll see what happens.  I truly love their products and I hope I have a chance to represent them in 2014!

My fitness goals between now and my rehab (which would begin on 12/19) is to (a) lose some of my excess weight through better, cleaner eating and (b) increase activity focusing on aerobic base and flexibility.  My hip is feeling a little less angry than it has been, although I swam last night and it was very sore coming out of the water (too much flexion).  I’m going to begin using paddles and a pull-buoy to work my upper body a little more.  Anything I can do that’s as non-loading as possible so as not to aggravate the general area will be fine.

I think the sheer gravity and inspiration that I’ll witness at Ironman Arizona will get me back to a better mental place – focusing on the positive and keeping my eye on the ball.  It’s about OUTCOMES here, and my primary goal will be to get to a level that allows for a 70.3 in June and a 140.6 in November.  The byproducts of those efforts will be practically endless, and I’ll have that journey for the rest of my life!

 

First DNF – Actually a DNS…

So we just returned from a week in the Caribbean – Turks & Caicos is a wonderful island, and the wife and kids and I had a wonderful experience at Beaches T&C.  It’s all inclusive and a terrific place for families with kids.  It’s also a safe island which made some long morning runs possible.  They also have a roped-off swim area where end to end distance was exactly a quarter mile.  It made for some excellent OWS sessions.

On Friday after our unpacking and laundry efforts were underway, I headed up to the TriRock Philly Race Expo.  I was excited and felt ready to take on my first Olympic Distance race.  I’ve been working hard and felt prepared for the distance and the intensity needed.  I was super hyped for this bigger event.

I also had a chance to meet up with an old friend of mine Derek Fitzgerald.  Derek is a cancer survivor, as well as a heart transplant recipient.  He has been to hell and back, and found endurance training as an outlet.  Derek and I are from very similar backgrounds, and we both were active in the drum and bugle corps activity (I blogged about it here) and a big part of our personality makeup is the ability to push through barriers.  Our competitive nature lends itself well to triathlon and endurance training, and while neither of us are threatening any podiums any time soon, we believe that our physical best days are in front of us.  I’ve been in touch with Derek more in the last couple of years and he’s been answering my questions as I throw them at him.  By the way, Derek has a fantastic story and you can read more on his blog here.

So Saturday I went for a short swim in the pool just to shake out the nerves and blow off some steam.  I had a quick emergency issue with my bike that my shop helped me with, but I loaded up my bike, packed my gear and transition bag and went to sleep on time.

Then I woke up around 12:15am yacking my brains out.  I have no idea how or why.  I’m assuming it was a viral bug and NOT nerves since I was excited but pretty chill and confident over the whole thing.  I was laid low for a couple of hours in which every gram of carbs and ounce of hydration left my body.

Then the tough decision had to be made.

Do I:

  1. Tough out the race in hot humid conditions, testing myself at a new longer distance and risk a terrible race experience and possibly set myself up for physical setbacks and extreme dehydration?
  2. Play it safe knowing that the odds were against me and that the two real prizes of the season were to be the NJ State Triathlon (July), a shot at USAT Age-Group Nationals (maybe a remote shot) and my Half Iron race in September?

 

I chose #2.  There is too much riding on the next couple weeks of training to get ready for the 70.3 distance.  Beyond that there are two additional things that have been added to the bucket list:

  • Philly Marathon in November
  • Ironman 140.6 race TBD in 2014.  Considering either Lake Placid (relatively nearby and able to practice the course ahead of time, but hilly as f&*k) or Arizona (early November so more time to train, modest hill elevation but its in the freakin desert for cryin out loud).

 

So in the end, I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m re-hydrated and well-fed and looking forward to cranking up the training this week.  It’s time to focus on the long goal and relaxing on the short-term in favor of the big prize.

 

Devilman Triathlon Race Report

Note – I blogged this on the airplane today on my iPad, so there are bound to be odd autocorrect items in here I haven’t found yet.  Also I was so race-focused I took only one photo the entire day (which is below).

The Devilman Tri would be my first race of the 2013 season. The race also marks the first official race for my tri-team, the Delaware Swim and Fitness TriDawgs, and my first chance to put the “superman” suit on and sport my new team kit.

The race is interesting as an early season event, as the distances are odd, but in a cool kind of way. Their Sprint race is actually a bit of a sprint-and-a-half, and their longer distance event is called a “half-lite”. I opted for the Sprint, in that the slightly longer distances (.4mi swim, 21mi bike, 4mi run) would be a nice bridge to my first Olympic event in June (TriRock Philly).

Overall, I came into the race in decent shape, but perhaps a bit undertrained. I had made some significant gains in the water over the spring (swimming with the Dawgs on Saturday mornings and latching onto some harder workouts helped), my bike is lagging a bit due to weather and travel. My run is merely just OK and I have a lot of fitness left to build across my training, but I figured I would train up to and through this race just to see where I was.

The race was located over in South Jersey, so I woke early having packed the day before. Actually I spent lots of time during the week painstakingly preparing my lists for packing, as well as a comprehensive race plan that I hoped to follow to the letter. If you’re the type of person that craves structure and benefits from solid planning, you should take a look at this template that I found in Triathlete Magazine.

Aside from my transition bag the truck was already loaded with my bike gear, and my bike on the rack on the back of my SUV. There’s no way that fiddling with that in the cold dark would be fun. I woke, showered (something I HAVE TO do) and had a light bite of quinoa bread, almond butter, and banana with some water and a coffee. The coffee was purposely chosen to help speed digestion and clear out any unpleasantness that might haunt me on the racecourse. For the record, it worked and close to the race site I jumped into a Dunkin Donuts to take care of business.

Check in for the race was simple, however there was a lot of walking. I happened to park right next to two teammates which was nice, so we all headed over to check in and get bodymarked. I made it over into transition early and set up my patch. It was pretty chilly out (about 49 degrees) with a wind blowing about 15 mph. The water temp was rumored to be about 61 degrees, which confounds me how race organizers consistently publish “expected” temps that are completely unreasonable (pet peeve). There was supposed to be a swim warm up, but I didn’t see anyone partake.

Here's my patch.

Here’s my patch.

It amazes me how the time runs away when waiting for the race. I went from too much time to kill to “Crap, need to get to the pre-race meeting!” I had actually put my wetsuit on early, figuring I could get used to the tightness a bit and stay warm (wise in hindsight).

I was to go off in the 2nd wave, and as the guys in the 1st entered the water, I could tell that the water was decidedly warmer than the air. At first this is a great thing, but 61 is still cold water, and while waiting to begin your body begins to lose heat rapidly – think of thawing frozen meat in your sink full of water rather than the countertop. The water was dark and muddy, and the much on the bottom was completely gross but warming on the toes at the same time! The one thing I sensed is my own reluctance to dig my head down into the murky water, and I knew that in order to swim fast today I would need to press the sternum down and “swim downhill” as much as possible (easier said than done).

I also knew we were in for some work when I saw 4-5 1st wave guys come out of the water before they made the first buoy!

At the gun, I tried to find rhythm and a clear path which wasn’t easy with the lack of vision and guys swimming and stopping every 10 strokes. I never had to break into breaststroke or flip onto my back, and I made my way around the counterclockwise box course and back to the exit. The run into T1 was pretty long, but I managed to pass a couple of caps from the first wave and certainly didn’t come out of the water at the tail end of my wave either, unlike my races last year. I was hoping to be clear from the water on the way to T1 in 15 minutes, and when I looked down at my Garmin I saw 12:00 and change so I was thrilled!

So into T1 I go, and I still see some bikes in my immediate vicinity so I’m feeling pretty good. The wetsuit came off and I skipped arm Warner’s and gloves, as well as socks and grabbed my nutrition, shades, and aero helmet and made for the bike out. The run to the road was over a road path of crushed stone, so in bare feet that sucked. The extra effort for a flying start was for naught anyway since I not only botched my mount but learned after the race ended that my beefy, unathletic leg swung low over my saddle and CRUNCHED my HydroTail carbon bottle wing!  I didn’t even notice until after the race when I racked my bike on my truck.  I had one bottle in the rear that held my repair kit, but I’m going to need to attend to that detail for longer races.

The bad mount was all on me – a combo of a brand new foreign bike and new hydration system that hasn’t been tested enough outdoors in brick workouts. I’ve only ridden the Slice outside twice before the race, favoring the trainer throughout the rainy cold springtime. Surprisingly I felt like I rode pretty well, and while I’m still not fit enough to stay in aero the entire time, I made certain to get as low as I could in moments of big headwinds. And there were winds!

Another glitch – I somehow messed up my Garmin in Multisport mode and I had no data on the bike beyond HR. I really wanted to be as close to 20 mph as possible, but with my bike time coming in a little longer than an hour I was a bit under that. Considering the winds I will take it.

T2 was a snap and I was able to get in and out pretty fast. The one thing that shocked me last year was my transition times – I felt Ike I was quick, but then I would look at the splits and see I weighed anchor for 4.5 minutes! I was determined to be fast here, and I think my total transition time for the race barely exceeded 5 minutes. I reset my Garmin for run metrics and off I went.

Almost immediately I was hit with cramping. I felt like my power was good through the day and my HR was really steady and actually a bit lower than I thought at moments. For nutrition I did take a gel on the bike and the run about half way through each leg, but I took a full serving of 30 EnergyBits prior to the race, and 45 min into the bike leg and I felt as if I had more gas in the tank. In fact I would guess that if I were tracking power numbers on the bike, that ride was my strongest sustained effort. I’m not sure if the cramps were over exertion, or maybe just a freak thing but I rarely get them in training at all. I was hydrating on the bike with a mix of Herbalife24 Hydrate and Prolong and I certainly wasn’t losing a lot of fluid due to the relative temperature of the day. I did take two quick stops on the run to stretch my quads and calves, but I still managed to finish strong and was able to pick off several folks on the run. I’m still a glacial-paced runner, but I’m starting to see splits come down.

My team had set up a tailgate near to the finish line, so I got a good ice in the last 100 yards or so. I was shooting for a total overall time in the neighborhood of 2:35, figuring that I’d be suffering a bit due to lack of training. I made my way over to the screens to see my time, but they were not serving yet, so I peeked at the collection of LED clocks by the finish. From what I could gather it looked like I broke 2:20, which made me happy, but upon further review my actual chip time was 2:08. It’s tough to estimate time passing in the fog of post-race euphoria I suppose!

Note
I raced at 221 pounds, and could have raced as a Clydesdale like I did last year. I figured on losing more weight than I have so I registered as a 40-44 instead. It turns out I would have placed 2nd as a Clydesdale!

 

Key Takeaways from the Race:

  • Bike fitness needs to be better.  Now that the weather is better I should be able to get outside more and push my limits.
  • I need to be bricking more frequently.
  • Open Water Swim sessions on Wednesday nights with my team are going to be very helpful.  I’m going to be attending these more once my travel calms down.
  • I fought calf and low back tightness the week leading up to the race, but surprisingly they didn’t impact me raceday.  I’m wondering if something in my stride or alignment “created” my quad cramps – my chiro and PT friends subscribe to the theory that an injury in one area can “trickle down” to other supporting areas.
  • EnergyBits work – flat out.  No Joking.  I felt as if my body was able to deliver higher levels of O2 to muscles, and my heart rate was a touch lower throughout the race, which shocked me.  I was pushing it too.

 

The post race tailgate was excellent. I learned that the team took several podium spots in the sprint events as well as the longer race. Apparently we have a group of teens that knock it out of the park in the 0-19 group. I was disappointed to learn that a friend of mine DNF due to back spasms on the bike, and another teammate went over his bars due to a bad bottle handoff exchange (note to race organizer – do not let 9 year olds hand out bottles!). He’s a surgeon and sustained serious finger tendon damage, and we are all praying he’s ok.

All in all, and excellent day. I felt as if there as more I could have done in prep, however life and family play big parts in our daily schedules. I need to find that balance again as best I can.

2012 Wrap Up Obligatory Blog Post

I'm not having nearly the fun i appear to be having...

I’m not having nearly the fun i appear to be having…

I’ve been a little lame in the blogging department lately.  Come to think of it, I’ve been pretty lame all the way around, but the funk I’m in is just ready to break and I see the clouds parting and the sun beginning to shine.

Yes there have been some personal setbacks over the past couple of months, but things are on the mend and I’m gaining a very positive and refreshing outlook on life, love, and myself.  I’ve got a ton of work to do, but I’m pleased at the work and the accomplishments from 2012:

  • I parlayed my first 5K (12/11) into several road races, a burgeoning triathlon addiction, and better health all the way around.
  • I’ve learned that I can run longer distances injury-free and comfortably.
  • Despite the 5 pounds 10 pounds I’ve gained over the past 6 weeks, I’m feeling pretty strong and healthy and have a bright outlook as we head into 2013.
  • I’ve learned to balance an aggressive career with triathlon training volume.
  • I’ve become much more interested in vegetables and eating cleaner (except the last 6 weeks).
  • I’ve become better about my consistency and training – harder and smarter.
  • Professionally, the sky is the limit.  Wonderful first full year at my company.

564073_4477185164427_398977974_n

For 2013, I’ve scheduled some landmark races for myself, and I’m sure I’ll add in a couple of additional ones too:

  • May 5 – NJ Devilman Triathlon (Sprint: 0.4 Mile Swim~20.5 Mile Bike~4 Mile Run)
  • June 23 – Philly Tri (Olympic: .9 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run)
  • Sept 8 – Diamondman Challenge (HalfIron: 1.2 Swim~56 Bike~13.1 Run)

I’m sure there will be others added as well.  I think I’d like to do the same Snowball 5 miler I did last year just to see how speed is progressing.  I’m not sure about LIVESTRONG, as it’s pretty expensive and the date is pretty close to Memorial Day weekend and the Diamondman.  We’ll see how things progress, but there are some other races that are on the watch list.  The schedule will take precedence, but I also have a lot of FUN racing, and I don’t want to lose that.

So I’ll be jumping back into formal training tomorrow with a solid trainer ride, followed by some core work.  I will be using January and February to build back fitness, and then March will be the sequenced HIM plan implementation.

Best of luck to all of you and your journeys in 2013.  I hope you find your strength and inspiration along the way!

Race Recap – Rock and Roll 1/2 in San Antonio

(Note – I fully intended to pepper this post with photos of my race, but seeing as how the “water resistant” FuelBelt pouch I bought at the race expo woefully under-performed, my phone was toast.  I do not have a MicroSD card reader, so I’ll have to come back and add the few photos I managed to take.)

I spent the evening hours on Saturday carbing up.  I saw this tweet from Bella on the Riverwalk:

 

I figured that I would call it in, and then walk over and bring it back to my hotel room.  When I called, David the proprietor, he “shamed” me into eating at the bar and not eating in solitude in my room.  I’m really glad he did, as the restaurant was literally right on the Riverwalk in a secluded little pocket (almost hard to find due to some construction).  I had the lentil soup (first time for me, and I’ll be totally cloning this recipe at home), “Pasta Bella” (pasta of the day, sauteed Texas Gulf shrimp, red sauce, artichokes, shrooms, spinach, and red pepper flakes).  In addition to copious amounts of ice water and fresh bread and olive oil, I also enjoyed a single glass of Cab.  The wait staff was gearing up for what appeared to be an onslaught, but they took time to chat me up as I ate at the bar.  I really need to become more social, because it is so easy to retreat into what’s uncomfortable, even when the decision to do so is borderline anti-social behavior!

I headed back to the room and walked briskly  as I wanted to get a read on my legs.  I felt 100%, and I was confident that my lower body would answer the bell on Sunday.  I laid out all of my gear for the morning (the less thinking the better), and running races is so much more simplistic that triathlon!

I was amped up, to say the least.  The evening before I made the mistake of hydrating using a new Nuun flavor I picked up at the expo.  I love Nuun and have used it quite a bit in training, along with my normal go-to mix of 1/2 strength Gatorade and Blox, but this particular flavor had CAFFEINE!  Oooops.

So I turned in early, and I was completely packed except for shower stuff post-race and the clothes I would wear home on the plane.

 

RACE MORNING

I woke up on time and showered/shaved.  I watered-up and had a handful of smoked almonds along with a PowerBar.  I filled my bottle with 20 oz of Nuun (with the caffeine) and headed out the door.

I can’t wait to trim that belly fat off!

I was in Corral 15, and the corrals were very packed.  The crowd was a bit quiet, and everyone just did the cursory “dance” (back and forth, calf stretches, hammy stretch, etc – this really resembles the “Pee Pee Dance” to the untrained observer).  We’ll I did have to dash to the porta-john and I ended up just jumping back into my corral in time for our start.

We set off and I felt fine.  The temp was maybe a little warmer than room temperature.  My goal was simply to run very consistent splits, hold back at the beginning, and not walk (unless the conditions at the water stops required it).  I was also hoping to stay under an 11 minute mile pace.  I was keeping an eye on my heart rate, and I was happy that in the first four miles my HR never reached 169 and my pace was right on.

 

Some observations:

  • Mile 1 was my quickest mile (makes sense), and then my next was mile 13 (head scratching), but I wasn’t consciously trying to kick in to the finish.
  • I took some GU gel about 15 minutes before the start, and then gels at mile 5 and 9. This worked extremely well for me, as I never felt deprived or weak.
  • This was my first run of any significance wearing compression sleeves, and I thought they felt fine.  I didn’t notice any significant improvement in performance with them, and it’s probably not fair to compare my post-race discomfort in the days after since I’m pretty certain I would still be sore without having worn them.  Who knows, but lots of runners swear by them and at least I’ll have another recovery aid if I choose not to wear them on the road.
  • The sun came out around mile 3, and that changed the hydration strategy quite a bit.  I began taking water or Gatorade whenever it was offered, and dumped water down my tri-top.  It got hot out, and since our season changed up in Delaware it was a bit of a shock.
  • My iPod shuffle died about mile 10, so I ran the rest naked.  This is a bit new to me, but I was fine with it.  For 2013 I need to get away from the audio-assistance with the longer races anyway.
  • I remember passing mile 3 thinking, “OK, this is just like a 5K warmup to the (10 mi) Broad Street Run (I ran back in May).  When I passed mile 10 I had a similar thought, “This is just like a 5K warmdown after running Broad Street”.  The difference is that I felt like I was going to spin off the panet after crossing the finish at Broad Street in May.
  • The finish line was incredible chaotic, and the long winding chutes they make you walk through is almost like another race expo.  “No, I don’t want PF Chang coupons right now, I want a banana, chocolate milk, and a Gatorade.  Yes I’ll take that cold towel, but if you ask for me to sign up for anything I’ll scissor-kick you in the throat…”
  • One very small criticism is the water and energy stops on the course.  I wish they could make them clearer as you approach, as there was a lot of congestion with bobbing/weaving runners getting caught off-guard and not aware that a station was up ahead.  Broad Street in Philly does this really well, and with almost 40,000 runners it was very smooth.
  • I will say that the folks at Rock-and Roll run an awesome event.  The pre-event communication was tremendous, and I felt very informed and clued into what to expect as a first-timer.  I would whole-heartedly recommend the race series to anyone that is looking to tackle a distance race.

It was a longer walk than I expected from the other side of the Alamo Dome to the hotel area, but I made my way back to shower and catch a cab to the airport.  In hindsight I should have bought or brought 2 sets of compression sleeves – one to run in and the other to wear home.  My shoes were sopping wet, so I went the flip-flop route, and my full compression socks wouldn’t have looked right!

 

So I finally made it home about 9PM.  It was my birthday and my wife/kids had a little impromptu party set up for me which was nice.  I was away since the previous Wednesday and I was really missing home!

So all-in-all I am resting and recovering.  I plan to swim tonight and then lift tomorrow night while the girls have swim team practice.  I have a 20 week half-Ironman training sequence that I am reviewing now that I received from BeginnerTriathlete.com, and it looks extremely well-suited for my goals in 2013.  More on that later.

 

Touchdown in Texas

My flight miraculously took off on time from Philly and I landed in San Antonio without incident.  This pleasantly shocks me seeing as the East Coast and the Philly area once again had the scourge of inclement weather to deal with.  Thankfully despite the sleet falling I managed to get out ahead of the bad stuff.

I’m here in Texas for work.   A big part of my job is managing the relationships my company has with professional associations, especially those in healthcare human resources and recruitment.  I actually don’t present until Friday morning, but there are some meetings and social things going on this morning (Thursday) so I need to be here.

Of course that’s all well and good, but the presentation is one I’ve given about 25 times this year.  What’s really on my mind is my first half marathon on Sunday – also my 40th birthday.

I really starting running with purpose last fall, gearing up for a 5K in early December of 2011.  It took a lot of work to run for 30 minutes without stopping, and my goal for that first race was to not throw up, walk, or cry (and I was successful!).  Even before I warmed down from that 5K, I decided to find a race on or about my 40th and run 13.1 as a “stretch goal”.  Along the way I ended up falling into a bike purchase in June and I became completely obsessed with triathlon.  This was mainly at the inspiration provided by a buddy of mine who, as a cancer survivor and hart transplant recipient, is tearing up 70.3s, marathons, and is scheduled to do two 140.6 events in 2013!

I wouldn’t say I’m totally prepared for this race on Sunday.  I pushed it on the treadmill on Tuesday evening and ran some hard intervals for 30 minutes and the result is that I feel a little “twingy” in my shins.  It’ll be ice and friction massage later in my room, for sure.  I do feel that I can monitor my HR zones well enough to get through in about 2:15, so that’s the time I’m shooting for if all goes well.  We’ll have to see about that, but I really just want to have fun, suffer a little bit, and then head home to Delaware for cake and ice cream!

So I plan to blog a bit on my downtime – I’ve got lots to keep me busy (like a late expense report from October a mile long) but I’ll be here Friday night and Saturday for the race expo flying solo, so I’ll be bored and filling the time no doubt.