Okay! Enough with my slacking! On with the show... or shall I say , "The show must go on!" A little over two weeks ago I shared I was preparing for the Louisville Ironman on August 26th and working to raise money for the American Red Cross Colorado Chapter to help victims of the Colorado fires recover. If you've already donated that's great (please donate at my site here)! Recovery efforts from these fires are ongoing and efforts are being taken to help displaced families get back on there feet, help wildlife and animal shelters, and with fire cleanup and recovery (especially from flash flooding). I would like to donate a few hours and have left a message with the Pikes Peak United Way 2-1-1 to inquire about upcoming volunteer events that are taking place. I'll pass them on as find out more. If you are near one of the Colorado burn areas and would like to help with one of these efforts here a few key resources:
On to training! I shared I would offer a bit more about my routine and preparation in my first entry. In a normal week I'll average close to 10 hours a week for training. That's over the span of 30 weeks. In May and June I was training 12-13 hours per week. Each week I usually spent 3 hours in the pool, 5-7 hours on the bike, and 2-3 hours running. This would include warm-ups, cool-downs, and minimal stretching. But when I started having my problems running in June I found myself training back around base levels of closer to 8 hours per week. Without being able to run I found my motivation waning a bit. I've tried to spend more time swimming but going over 2 miles in the pool gets a bit boring. Thankfully with the summer months I can bike outdoors a bit more. That's definitely been my saving grace. Two weeks ago I had what amounts to a training disaster!
Camping with Sun, Aftan, and my nephew Adrian... "Team Trouble"
That's when I took the week long camping trip in and around Durango, CO with my wife, Dawn, 3-year old Aftan, my 6-year old Sun, nephew, brother-in-law, and parents that had been planned since April. I only did 2 hours of legitimate training between Monday and Friday! Only 2 hours!!! I knew the realities of being away from home on that type trip so I'm not frustrated or upset by that. I put my family first. The kids did their part to see I did most of my training by chasing them! They offered up precious moments of adorable happiness with more frequent delivery of over-the-top antics well-suited for a family melodrama!
I'll digress! To prepare for a full distance Ironman it's important to have help. It's important to train with people to avoid the doldrums of a rigorous routine. It's equally important for Ironman to have people around you who are inspired and believe! So instead of spewing facts about the raw mechanics of my training I'll share with you how the people around me are the keys to my success.
My wife, Dawn, has been with me at the gym in the pool and the regular 1-hour spinning classes we've attended. She's watched our kids on those mornings when I've gone on 5-hour bike rides and been there to hear each and every one of my training reports. She's taken the roller coaster ride of the ups and downs with me and for that.... I can never be grateful enough. My friend Jeremy also gets a credit with helping me with my other 1-hour spin class at 5:45am. The work with Jeremy has also helped me focus a bit more on core strength. This is so important for the sport of triathlon and can easily be overlooked. I'm now including push ups into my daily routine and shoot for 120 per day. Jeremy has also helped me to approach my training cautiously while battling my recent knee problems by helping me say, "You're right" when it comes to visiting my orthopedic specialist.
I have an awesome coach, Sheila, that I work with at Oracle and she has run triathlon's for nearly 10 years. Sheila is as mentally tough as you'll find and trains harder than anyone I know. If you think Ironman sounds tough she is doing Ultraman competitions. Sheila is a great inspiration for me and really helps me with the mental and psychological aspects of training you need to do insane, crazy, fun stuff like this! Not only that but she really likes pirates and rides with a Jolly Roger patch on her equipment (arghhh!!!!).
I also have Patrick Harris to thank for saying to me one day, "Sol, I'm signed up for Ironman! Interested?!"
"Damn straight. I'm interested! I love crazy, hard s(#$%! like that." By my measure Patrick is as good on his bike as he is a person. I've really enjoyed the few training rides we've gone out on and they have really focused and directed my attention toward longer rides that require strength and endurance. I can't keep up with Patrick... but I sure do enjoy going out on rides with him. It also helps me to know there is someone else that has dedicated the time and energy to train at 5am in the morning to make sure family and work commitments are met.
Are the new shoes helping me run again?
I've got to go buy groceries for the family this week now. Before I go I'll share that I had my orthopedic visit and MRI this past week to figure out the problem with my knee. Based on the fact I haven't been able to train at the distances required to run the full 26 miles I'll need to do on August 26th I'm hoping to use a strategy where I walk a mile, run a mile. An encouraging sign this week was that I was able to use that recipe to go 5.5 miles without agonizing pain for the first time in a couple months. Maybe all those needles in my leg from the physical therapy are finally starting to help!
For those of you praying and thinking about our shooting victim families here in Denver... please go and donate blood at your local blood bank. I've been donating every chance I get for the past 4 years and it's one of the best things I do. You'll definitely help save lives!!! More next time.