140.6 – Week 24 of 24

Yes, the final days are here.   365 days ago, or there abouts, I decided to participate in a full Iron Distance Triathlon.   I looked at what was out there, and settled on Rev 3 in Cedar Point.   This was due to price, location, time of year, and the fact that I could get into the event.   Ironman branded events sell out in minutes, and the one I wanted in-fact sold out in record time.    23 weeks ago, I started my formal training, which started with about an hour a day of workouts.   Swimming 1,000 yards, running 4-5 miles, and biking around 30 miles or so.   In 23 weeks I have put in lots of time training, just ask my wife, and have gone the distance in two of the 3 sports.   I also did my own 1/2 Distance “Race”.  This was to put it all together, do the transitions, and to judge times for the full.   Those times were 7:31 total.   1.1 mile swim = 40:55; 56 mile bike = 3:34; 13.1 mile run = 2:52.   To double that I would be looking at 15 hours, which is likely not going to happen, so I am shooting for 16 hours.

I just registered with the event and now have some time to think about what the hell I was thinking!   My Bib is #64.  I have a ton of Tattoo’s to put on and stickers to cover myself and my equipment.   Transition bags and extra “Special Needs” bags for anything I need to get through the 2nd half of the bike and run.   Grabbed my swag bag and looked around, but it was still very early.   Looks like most of the vendors won’t be here and open until tomorrow.   I did go and drive part of the bike course, but was running out of daylight, so I decided to go rest.

My Wife and Daughter along with some great friends will be coming up to watch and cheer me on.   They are amazing and I’m sure don’t know how much it means to me that they are going to be here.  It will be a long boring day for them, but they came nonetheless.  A few members from Mojo will also be participating and I’m looking forward to having dinner with them on Saturday.    They have been great and motivational.   I don’t think I would have attempted this without the ability to lean on others who have done it before.

The weather is forecasted to be just about as perfect as anyone could ask for.    I’m still hoping for calm wind’s, low temps, and no rain!    The next time I write, I will have completed my personal challenge of 140.6!   I’m looking forward to that finish line.

Eric
@SQLPilot

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140.6 – Week 20 of 24

All I can start off with is WOW, I have 4 weeks till my event! Training has, well to be frank, sucked for me over the last two weeks. I’m getting in most of the long stuff, but my weeks are filling up with work and personal obligations, so I’m not getting everything done. I’ve had two long bike rides (80 and 100 miles) and have had issues with hydration and/or food on both of them. Either I feel like I’m stopping every hour for the bathroom (lots of triathletes just go while riding, but I don’t think I can bring myself to do it), or I feel completely exhausted from not eating enough. I did switch to Hammer nutrition and also added some real food too to make me feel satisfied. If you’ve never done a 100 mile/6 hour bike ride, let me tell you it is LONG. I will need to check my watch again too, it stopped collecting data on my 100 mile ride, and I don’t want to lose it on the long course.

This week I have a few hours every day, but Saturday will be a 1/2 Iron distance. Completely on my own and not supported for water or food, so there is a lot of planning. I do hope to have a few folks from my club (Mojo) to join me for parts, especially the swim, but this is an individual sport. I’m feeling rather good about the swim, the bike for 56 will be ok as well. The 1/2 marathon I’ll have to go easy on. I don’t want to mess up my knees now with only a few weeks left.

As for the next few weeks. I have a somewhat light week this week, then next week is hard again. The last two weeks prior will be taper, but not sitting on my a$$. Next week I will swim the entire 2.4 in open water, and I will ride the full 112. Again, I will be easy on my run, but would like to see 15 miles or so.

During the Rev3 event, I’m shooting for 1:25 Swim, I’m crossing my fingers for a 7 hr bike, and then I have no time requirement for the run, just to finish before midnight. I would like to run at least 11Min pace, but I have to keep going back to my primary goal. FINISH 140.6!

I did decide on my clothing though. I will use a sleeveless wetsuit in the swim. On the bike I am going to have bike shorts on and not tri-shorts. I know this will hurt my transition time, but I would rather have a little comfort on my 7hr ride than be 10 min. faster in T1. Also picked up some new running shoes as well, and have been breaking them in over the last week. Nothing will be new for the race, and that is the way I like it. I also will be using my water belt on the run. I know it will be provided every mile, but I would rather have it with me. I also can carry some more hammer food as well as raisins. I’ve been using them a lot as they have a huge carb content. On the bike I’ll have 3 bottles, two are fixed and won’t change, the 3rd will be used to replenish my aero bottle. The other fixed one will have a high concentrate of Hammer perpentuem to last me 8 hours.

Still trying to plan out my transitions, bike prep, and any special needs bags I might need. Also need to ride/drive the course to review it for hills and see what I can guess my speed will be. I won’t do that until the weekend of at this point though. Lets hope for calm waters, and no wind! This is starting to feel very real. A year ago, I could joke about the distance a bit. Today I find them a touch overwhelming. I will have to rely on my training and trust that the hard head that got me into this, will also get me through it.

I’ll try to write again just before the event, as well as a follow-up.

Eric
@SQLPilot

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140.6 – Week 12 of 24

I haven’t written in 6 weeks, how time flies.   What can I say… I’ve been BUSY!   Training is getting long and it is hard to fit in my Family/Work/Life/Training.   Having said that, I’ve done pretty well at keeping on pace.   I had a bunch of travel in May and that was hard to get training in, but I did my best.   I did miss some days, but have tried to balance out my one off day with my schedule.   I did miss a few more runs than I had hoped, and it shows.  It is hard to believe that I am half way done with training though.   3 months to race day!   Or should I say “Event” day.   I won’t be doing much in terms of racing.   My goal has been, and will be, to finish, period.

I just finished week 11, which was my last build week of the first build block.   Week 12 will be a recovery week, then I’ll have 3 more build weeks.   This is truly build.  I have biked and ran further than I ever have.   I made to PR’s at 52 miles on the bike and 13.2 miles running.  Swimming is still right at my PR of about 1.2 Miles in one session.   I am seeing my bike speed increase just a bit too about 16 MPH, but my run has fallen.   I did some reading on heart rate and burring fat calories so I slowed down.   There are some limits on how many calories your body will use from food on an hourly basis.  If you teach your body how to use the fat, then you can get twice as many calories to burn on your race day.   The catch is you have to keep your heart rate in a target zone.   In my case that is 141.   I do a good job on the bike with this, but the run is very hard.   My rate last year for running was around 160, so running at 141 feels like walking.   My pace is around 12:20 now, but I hope to see that increase as my body gets better at this fat burring thing.   I need that to happen for a variety of reasons!

I’m feeling pretty good so far.    My knees are really feeling the runs, but the swim and bike are going well.  I’m wondering if some sort of compression sleeve will help my knees as they feel like they are swelling during the run.   My legs and feet are getting a bit of numbness after about 2 1/2 hours on the bike, but I’m trying out new seats and will be getting new shorts as mine are pretty worn out.  I’m currently riding the ISM Road and I’m going to move to the Century.   That is supposed to have more padding.   I guess I’ll see.

I’m starting to look at nutrition on the go.   I’m using GU’s both gels and Chomps.   I’ll be trying out some Power Bars products as well as BLOCKs.   I’m still looking for a liquid to drink on the run.   I’d like to be closer to 300-400 calories per hour on race day, and these gels are only about 100 calories each.   Also I want to put a water bottle in my aero bars on my bike.   I think it will be a better way to drink and an easy reminder to drink more often.   Staying ahead of dehydration is a big key to finishing.

Questions I have for race day are…

  1. How many bags do I need for T1/T2 and what are these “Emergency” bags I have heard about?   Not sure what to add to those yet, or if I need them.
  2. Do I take all of my own gels/gu’s or should I use what the race offers?
  3. On my long runs, I am getting chafing on my chest.   I used to cover the areas with Band-Aids, but I doubt they will stick for 26 miles.   I might end up running with no shirt, even though I’m not a fan.       After 8 hours of swimming and running, I doubt I will care any longer.   TriSlide works well on the bike, but did not help on the run for me.
  4. What to drink on the bike/run?
  5. Do I need salt?
  6. To use bike shorts or tri shorts?

I’m not sure I ever went into what equipment I am using so here it is.  If you get into this crazy sport you will find these are the big items.  After these, there is still plenty of money to spend on parts and accessories for comfort.

  • Felt F75, Aluminum with Carbon Forks and a Carbon Seat Post
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS
  • iFitness hydration belt
  • Pearl iZumi bike shorts and Tri Top
  • Garmin 910xt Multi Sport Watch
    • Speed and Cadence sensor
    • Shoe Pod
  • Speedo mid length swim suite and Speedo goggles
  • XTERRA Vortex Sleeveless Wetsuit
  • Eric @SQLPilot
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140.6 – Week 6 of 24

It has been a few weeks since my last update.   I am currently going to finish Week 5 tomorrow, but because of vacation my long days were done yesterday and today.   I’ll finish this week with around 85 miles traveled over 9+ hours of time.   This has also been a week of longer distances and new experiences.   I had the opportunity to swim in a lake, testing out my open water skills, along with swimming with my Wetsuit for the first time.   Both went well with about 1.15 Miles done in just under 40 min.  I was consistent with my two laps of about 20 min. each.  The first lap I had a hard time getting in the grove.  My heart rate and breathing were not nearly as good as they are in the pool.   I ran into that a bit last year with Lake swimming, but it got better the more I did it.   This also included signing the “Wall of Fame” at the Lucky Lake Swim which, if you are ever in Orlando, I suggest you check out! Thank You to Lucky for letting the public invade his beautiful lake house every morning.

I also rented a bike at Evolve Bicycles in Celebration which is just outside of Disney.  That process was painless, they put on my peddles, and I fell in love with the Litespeed they put me on.  Kevin even let me join his ride, although there was no chance in the world I could keep up with him.   Good Luck to you in IM Florida!

Today was a 1:20 run in addition to the swim.   I can see this will be my area for improvement.   I did get a late start, but it was HOT and I felt it.   I went through my 2 bottles of water and needed more to finish.   My knees feel like balloons and it was hard to control my heart rate at the end.   I was .25 off of my goal of 8 miles, but I was done.

Next week and for the following 2 weeks, my distances will just increase a bit, and I start some basic hill work.   That will finish out my “Base” phase and then things will start to get interesting.   My hip feels pretty good, and as long as I keep ice and resting my knees, I think I’ll be ok.   I also need to start adding some basic core work to keep the midsection strong to help reduce the injury threat.   My back feels good as well and I keep stretching exercises in for that.

I think that is all for now.   I’ll write again in a few weeks!

Eric

@SQLPilot

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140.6 – Week 2 of 24

Week 2 is done! This week was good until Saturday, just didn’t feel like working out, but I did anyway. I did feel good after, but didn’t want to start. About the same as last week in terms of soreness, which is not bad at all. I do feel like my arms and legs are tired, but not sore at all. Fitting this schedule into my schedule is the hardest part. Over the next 4 weeks I have lots of travel on the weekends which will also play into those problems for me. I’ll figure it out, running is always easy, it is the swimming and biking. I also picked up my new Tri Jersey for this race season. I’m happy with it! A custom one from my Tri Club (Mojo), I’ll include a picture below.
Mojo Tri Club

I’m down a few pounds, but would like to see more given the amount of working out I’m doing. Having said that, nutrition has always been my weakest area.

I am happy with all 3 sports at this point.  My times are good to me. I’m running about 10min. mile pace, biking just around 16MPH, and I’m just about 38 min. miles for swimming (~1:58/100yd). Based on those times, it will be about a 13 hour day. I would be happy with that time!

Injuries are still going good. My hip is feeling better, even though I’m using it more. I don’t understand it, but I’m happy with the outcome. The YMCA Pool is starting to burn my face a bit. I’m going to try some waterproof sunscreen to help with that, I’ll update that in next weeks post.

Week 3 is the same as Week 2 just a bit longer, Week 4 is my first recovery week.

See Ya,
Eric
@SQLPilot

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140.6 – Week 1 of 24

First I can say, I completed week 1. Going from relaxed to 7 hours of training was a jump, but I was trying to not hurt myself before training started. This week ended with 7 hours and 55.2 miles covered. I don’t feel too sore, but scheduling was crazy! It was pretty even with swimming and biking and a little less running. This is the same routine for the next 3 weeks, then a recovery week, and back to this “Base” phase again for 3 more weeks. The training is (3) 8 Week blocks with recovery weeks on each 4th week. We have Base, Build, Peek, then the last two weeks are taper to rest for the full distance.

See ya next week,
Eric

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The Start…

 

Well here I am.  24 weeks away from a wild and crazy goal I laid down for myself last year. 140.6 Miles; 2.4 Swim, 112 Bike, and 26.2 Run.  I have the plan all in place, and my Wife and Daughter onboard.  Now the hard part…Execution!   I’m going to shoot for making a blog post a week.   We’ll see if I can keep up with that and the 9+ hours of training to start.   I’m in pretty good shape from an injury perspective.  I have been resting for the last few months, only doing a swim, bike, run to keep some movement going, but not enough to stress myself.   I have a small nagging pain in my left hip that I need to watch as I start the long runs.   My Bike is in good shape and although it is not a Carbon Tri Hot Rod, it will get me through 112 miles just fine.  I will still be indoors for a few more weeks as the weather in Southern Ohio can’t decide if it wants to be spring or winter still.  I also have a new Wetsuit to test out before too long.   I also hope to drop about 15 lbs before the big race day.   At this point the biggest unknown is nutrition.   What to eat while riding/running and before swimming?   This is the part of endurance I know the least about.  I’ve tried some of the gels and such, and have found the GU Chomps and gel to be good for me, but can I do that for 13 hours?  That would be 26 of them, might be too sweet for that long time.   Also need to find something with some salt as well.    All things I can work through with folks at my Tri-Club (MOJO) and over the next 23 weeks.

 

Until next week… Eric

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