Tuesday, December 16, 2008
My 2008 training and race season was very casual compared to 2007. I carried enough fitness after completing Ironman Cda in 2007 to get me through Wildflower long Course (1/2 ironman distance race), a couple of olympic distance triathlons, a 1/2 marathon and a couple of 100 mile bike events in 2008. With that said, 2008 was very refreshing in regards to training and racing.
However, work was a very different story. In April 2008 I was transfer from my old office in Van Nuys to Downtown L.A.(an extra 20 miles). This change has forced me to wake at 4:15 AM and has caused me to get home just after 7:00 PM. Damn... what is left in the day?......Nada.
I have rolled with the punches regarding these time issues and have put together a plan for next year.... stay tuned to find out.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I first learned about Dick and Rick Hoyt (Team Hoyt) in the 80's while I was watching an Ironman Hawaii TV broadcast for my first time. I saw a middle aged man (Dick) pulling his adult son (Rick) in a boat through the ocean 2.4 miles. Then Dick carried Rick to his bike and pedal their combined 250 plus pounds of weight 112 miles. And in the end Dick transfered his son once again but to a running stroller and completed a full marathon. I was truly amazed with Dick's physical strength and love for his son Rick. At that time, I thought the Ironman was an impossible event that could only be completed by super-human professional athletes. Today, I know that anything is possible and that anybody can complete an Ironman Distance Event. The only thing a person must do is make the commitment to do it and put a plan in action. This video almost always makes me cry. I love seeing them fly down the finish line chute and cross the finish line. If a person can not find some motivation in this clip .... I don't know what will. Keep watching …. I will.
I completed Ironman Coeur D'Alene in June and have been enjoying the off-season with my wife and two small girls ever since. In an effort to foster more family time we bought a 32 foot motorhome. To this point we have used it to camp and for day trips to the Ocean. During the next triathlon season I entend to us it at Wildflower and perhaps the World Toughest Half in Auburn.
My goal now is to get my training back on track during this off-season layover. I am currently having a hard time getting motivated. I am the kind of person that needs an epic goal as a carrot to get me through a long stretch of training. Ironman was the perfect carrot last season but this season I don't have an epic goal. So for now, I am just trying to piece together next seasons races, my motivation and how I can keep myself and my family happy.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
The Marathon consisted of two 13.1 mile out and back loops. Throughout the year I have been training on a 6 mile looped course. So mentally I broke the run into 5 parts. Four 6 mile loops followed by a 2.2 mile celebration run. It is easier for me to think of completing loops than a linear stretch of road. For me, a loop means I have brought closure to a distance and can then forget about it.
The fist few miles were tough until I got my legs and heart rate under control. Fortunately, everything got under control and I found my groove. My plan was to take salt tablets every hour, run each mile and to walk the aide stations as I ate and drank. The plan worked beautifully. I was running a comfortable 10 min 15 sec mile pace and walking about 1 min 15 sec through each aide station. My legs felt great until mile 15. About that time I was starting to develop a hint of a cramp on the upper inside part of my left leg. I would stop and do a side stretch for a few seconds and it would be good for a couple more miles.
Boy I’ve got to say the aide stations were GREAT! They had water, Gatorade, cola, chicken broth, gels, bananas, oranges and plenty of happy faces. I used my own gu and took in aid station water and Gatorade until mile 15. After mile 15 I started in on the cola and chicken broth. At some aide stations I had water, Gatorade and chicken broth in one shot. I wasn’t sure if it would all stay down but it did. Others weren’t as lucky. I saw people throwing up and others laying in the grass along the side of the course. I would run by and say … “You ok buddy” and I’d get a no look thumbs up. I thought that was a classic sight. If a guy is feeling like shit, barfing out a lung and he gives you the “good to go thumbs up”. That’s Awesome!!!
Because the route was out and back for two loops I had many chances to see team mates (you know who you are) and family members many times during my 5hr 5 minute run. I continued with the run walk until the mile 24 aide station. Once there, I took a swig of water and washed off my face and arms with sponge and straightened out my race kit in preparation for my finish photo because there was no stopping me now. The last 2.2 miles were heavenly. I’m sure I was having an adrenaline rush because I was running strong and without pain. I could hardly count the number of people I was passing in these last couple of miles. As I made it up the last hill and made the last turn towards the finish line I could see the Ironman arch and finish line chute 400 yards away. The last 400 yards to the finish line is all downhill. As I approached the chute, I was able to give my Dad a high five and waive to my wife and girls. Once in the chute all I could see was arms and faces moving and clapping. The applause and cheering was deafening until I was a few feet from the finish line. Once I was within a few feet of the tape my mind went still and a peaceful feeling set over my body. I slowed to a walk and crossed the finish line with my arms over my head.
Once I hit the tape my body filled with pride, joy and excitement. I then heard those 6 sweet words “Jason Healey you are an Ironman!.” I thought to myself, “I am an Ironman!”…. I could live with that.
I set the goal to do this race and to do this race my way. I decide to pass on having a coach (for good or bad) and decided to live or die with my training decisions. Other than my swim time I was completely happy with my overall race. In hind site, I could have gone faster in places but who know what kind of problems that could have caused later. In the future, I might do some things differently but for this race I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I enjoyed every second of the Journey. My nutrition was right on, my pacing was right on and I’m proud that I had the patience to hold back until the very end of the race. Having my family there to share in the experience was great and seeing them on my last 2 magical miles was priceless.
In T2 people were laughing about having to now go out and run a full marathon. I steadily peeled off my bike gear, applied body glide to all the important places and put on dry socks, tri-shorts, sunscreen and a hat and headed out onto the run. As I was changing, I was curious about how my legs were going to feel.
Once on the bike I completely put any thoughts of the swim behind me. After I clipped into my pedals and had a chance to look up I was instantly energized by the amount of spectators that were lining the streets.
My plan was to go out slow on the bike and let my stomach and heart rate settle a bit. I planned to ride the first 33 miles in one gear easier than I thought I should be in and concentrated on keeping my cadence in the 90’s. From miles 33 to 66 I planned to go a little over race pace (high zone 2 and into low zone 3 on the hills and from 66-100 hold a steady pace (mid to high zone 2). For the last 13 miles I just wanted to keep my cadence high and my head in the game.
My hydration and nutrition plan for a predicted bike time of 6.5 – 7:25 hr was to drink 24 oz of water for the first hour, Gatorade for the 2nd and 3rd, 16 oz Mountain Dew/ 24 oz R4 recover drink during hour 4th and alternate between water and Gatorade until the end. Food wise I elected to take 2 gu’s every 45 minutes and eat a P.B & J & and a small can of Pringles from my special needs bag at mile 64 along with my Mountain Dew. Additionally I was taking 4 salt pills an hour to help from cramping.
My plan worked great until about mile 76. About this time my right quad wanted to cramp when I tired to climb with a cadence below 65 on the steeper hills or if I tried to apply a lot of force to the pedals with a cadence in the low 80’s. Because of this, I decided to dial back the intensity and keep my cadence in the high 90’s. My first 56 mile loop I averaged about 17 mph and because of my right quad, special needs stop and two bathroom breaks I averaged about 15 mph on the second loop.
The bike course was beautiful. The first 30 miles take you through town and along the shoreline of the lake and then back into town on a reverse route. Once back in town the course heads north and into the hills. During each loop there were 4 to 5 decent hills and a total of 2600 feet of climb.
My family and team mates kept my spirits up throughout the entire ride. I saw my Wife, Dad and girls at miles 20, 37 & 76 and one of our team's coaches at mile 85. My girls were so proud of the signs they made for me and displayed them proudly. At mile 76 I stopped to give them all a high five and a kiss before I headed back out onto the course. Doing that easily got me through the next 10 miles pain free. Surprisingly my ass, lower back and legs weren’t in to much pain as I finished the bike course.
At the dismount line I got off my bike, handed it to a volunteer and make my way to my T2 bag and then into the changing tent once again. The volunteers at this race were great! The led me to my bag, offered me liquids, continually told me that I looked great and even offered to help me change my gear.
The swim start cannon went off at 7:00 AM and 2200 plus people poured into the 63 degree water of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The swim course was a two loop 1.2 mile counter clock wise rectangular. I started on the far outside and let most everyone enter the water in front of me. I had no desire to get kicked, punched and swam over for over for my predicted 1hr – 20 min swim. Even thought this was my plan, I still got kicked, punched, swam over and dunked. When these events happened, I stayed calm. The swim out to the far buoy seemed to take forever… because it did. I don’t know what the problem was. Was it the chop? Waves were breaking onto my head and forward moving arms. Was I swimming to wide? Perhaps if I got into the middle of the pack some of the waves could have been flattened out. Was my sighting off and causing me to not swimming straight? I had a hard time seeing the buoys so I sited off the top of a mountain in the background. Who knows but I swam a disappointing 48 minute 1.2 mile split. The month before I swam a 39 minute half ironman distance swim and thought that was slow but this swim was taking the cake. After completing the first loop, I headed out for the second loop. I decide to put the first loop and the miserable time behind me and just take it even easier on the second loop. I kept thinking … the swim is just a warm up ….. you have a long day ahead of you….. swim smart …. stay relaxed. The second loop didn’t feel as long but it took me about 55 minutes to complete. Wow, 1hr-43 minutes for the swim… how embarrassing. I exited the water and headed up to the grassy area near the swim to bike gear bags. Once there, a couple of volunteer stripped off my wetsuit, pulled me to my feet and sent me to my swim to my bike gear bag. Once I found my gear bag I entered the changing tent.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I received my wake up call and 3:30 AM and prepared my re-race breakfast. I ate two packets of instant oatmeal, one bagel, a Promax power bar and drank a 16 ounces bottle of Gatorade (approximately 800 calories total).
By 4:30 AM I was finished with my second nature break and was ready to take the short drive to the race venue. The forecast called for high of 62 degrees and a low of 46. My dad and I left Shannon and the girls at the hotel so my daughters could get a good nights rest and watch me later on the bike and then at the finish line. Once I stepped out of the car, I had determined that the forecast was right on. It was cold and starting to get windy. (more news about that later.) I dropped my special needs bags, check my gear bags, got body marked, check my bike, pumped up my tires, visited the bathroom one more time and found a quiet place to collect my thoughts before having to head down to the beach for the start.
With a half hour to the race start I put on my wetsuit, said good by to my Dad and headed out to the swim start. With about 10 minutes until the 7:00 AM race start the wind really picked up and cause white caps and waves in the lake. (Check out the flags and the water surface.... Cold and Windy)
Because of the choppy conditions, the race director offered people the option to skipping or only doing one lap of the swim course if they felt they would not make the swim cut off time of 2 hrs 20 minutes. About 60 people decided to take the offer and avoid the swim. They would be required to sit in the transition tent until 9:30 AM before they could head out onto the bike course.
The whole family then spent a couple of hours in the Ironman village. The girls make race signs, we all had some lunch and did a little shopping.
We stayed until 1:00 PM and then we went back to the hotel so the girls could nap for a few hours before dinner. Once the girls were up from their naps the whole family went to the Olive Garden for dinner.
After dinner we went back to the hotel so I could prepare for the next morning (Race Morning!). I went to bed by 10:00 PM and slept like a baby ironman.
We all got out of bed and down to breakfast (inside the hotel) at 7:30 am. The hotel offered cereal, bread, bagels, donuts, biscuits and gravely, oatmeal, fruit, hard boiled eggs, juice coffee and tea for free to all hotel guest from 6am to 10am.
After breakfast, we all piled into the minivan and drove a 25 mile portion of the northern part of the bike course. I then dropped the family off at the hotel’s water park and made my way down to the Ironman Village (10:00 AM) to retrieve my race registration packet and bike from the transport company.
(This picture was taken 2 days after the race.... stay tuned for race day water conditions)
After checking out the swim venue, Ironman village and buying a couple of hats and a sweater at the “Official Merchandise Tent” I headed back to the hotel to make sure my bike was in good working order before having to drop it off in T1 Saturday morning. After checking out my bike, I took a short nap, packed by gear and special needs bags and waited for my Dad to arrive at the hotel. My Dad arrived at 4 PM and we went to the 5:30 PM Athlete welcome dinner and mandatory race meeting in a huge tent near the finish line area by the host hotel & resort.
The dinner and race meeting ended at 9:00 PM and we went back to the hotel.
After signing up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, my wife and I decided to extent our stay a couple of days and turn the time after the race into a family vacation. Shannon and I packed up our daughters Katelyn and Sydney and made our way to the Burbank Airport for a 9:00 AM flight to Spokane Washington.
Fortunately, our plane was on time & we made our connecting flight in Las Vegas smoothly. Once we were down in Spokane (about 2:20 pm), we retrieved our minivan from Avis and made the 40 mile drive to the Holiday Inn Express in Hayden, ID. This Holiday Inn is a kids’ dream destination. I has an indoor water park, a bowling alley and an arcade directly connected via a air conditioned bridge.
After settling into our room we ordered a pizza and watched a movie in our room before tuning in early.
Week of 06/11: (02 weeks until Ironman CDA)
Monday: Sick - I woke up with the signs of a sore throat.
Tuesday: Sick - Sore throat is here. I have dicide to rest a couple of days
Wednesday: Sick - Rest Day
Thursday: Sick - Rest Day
Friday: Sick - Still a little tired
Saturday: Sick - Feeling much better
Sunday: Brick: Bike 1.5 hrs + 45 min run
My Goal this week is to make sure I get to Coeur d'Alene with out a Cold. It is better to mess up the taper then to show up really fit but to sick to start the race.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Week of 06/04: (03 weeks until Ironman CDA)
Monday: 4500 yrd swim (BT)
Wednesday: 2 hr-15 min bike + 45 min Tempo Run
Friday: 1500 yrd swim
Saturday: 3 hr bike + 60 min Tempo Run
Sunday: Off- Family Day
Week of 05/21: (05 weeks until Ironman CDA)
Monday: Off - Travel day back to L.A.
Tuesday: Off - Very tired
Wednesday: Off - Still tired
Friday: 3000 yrd swim
Saturday: 50 bike + 3 mile run
Sunday: Off - Family Day
Monday, May 07, 2007
Week of 05/14: (06 weeks until Ironman CDA)
Monday: Workout #1: 4000 yrd swim (BT)
Tuesday: Workout #1: Brick: 1 hr hill ride + 4 mile skill run
Wednesday: Workout #1: 5 mile Tempo Run
Thursday: Workout #1: 2000 yrd swim
Friday: Off- Travel Day
Saturday: Off - Light training pick Race Packet
Sunday: Race Day: World's Toughest Half Ironman
Week of 05/07: (07 weeks until Ironman CDA)
Monday: Workout #1: 3800 yrd swim (BT)
Tuesday: Workout #1: 5 mile skill run
Wednesday: Workout #1: 1 hr hill ride
Thursday: Workout #1: 2hr Run (BT)
Friday: Workout #1: 2000 yrd swim
Saturday: Workout #1: 4 hr bike + 1 hr endurance run
Sunday: Off- Family Day