Thursday, April 22, 2021

3 Weeks In

 Yup, that's right, I am 3 weeks into this second journey to Ironman!  Well, it's a half Ironman but it sounds a lot cooler to say "Journey to Ironman" than it does saying "Journey to half Ironman"! So, what can I update the one or two readers that still actually read blogs...

It's a lot tougher. I can say that without hesitation!  7 years and 30 lbs ago is nothing like it is now. I have been consistent in hitting my planned workouts, but I am also not sweating the one or two that I have missed. (My goal is to hit 80% of my planned workouts). In April I should hit 9,700 yards swimming, 75 miles on the bike, and 27 miles running during this first month of training.  But, I have missed a bike or run so I will get close.

Besides the obvious 7 years age difference and the obvious 30 lbs heavier than when I last completed, there is also a difference in my recovery time as well. I have been so danged tired after these first few weeks, I mean like go to bed at 9 pm tired. I also have a different drive than I did the first go-around. I mean, I KNOW I can do this, cause I have done several 70.3's. It's not a milestone like it used to be, the unknown factor of "can I actually do this" isn't there. The mental toughness has not yet come back like it did in the early years where you know you had to tough out a long run. Now I am more like "screw it, I want to walk", and that's cool with me.

When I do this race on Oct 3rd, I will have just turned 50. Just being on the starting line will be a win for me, providing I stay healthy. Just crossing the starting line and hopefully beating anyone will be a reason for me to celebrate. So this race is definitely not about winning or a time goal.

Apparently, for me, it will be all about surviving the training!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


 Yes, it's true.  I am starting over, from the very beginning, starting from scratch, back to the old drawing board. Starting April 5, I am back to training for Ironman Memphis 70.3. The road seems very long and the bumps seem huge. First off, right now I am weighing in at 224 lbs, which is about 35 lbs more than when I last raced. I will be 50 by the time the starting gun fires, more than 7 years older, and I am coming off a torn calf muscle, which kept me in a boot for almost 3 weeks. 

So I have basically 6 months to get ready to run a half Ironman on Oct 2nd.  I did like any normal triathlete would do, and that is getting a plan together. The second thing I did was adjust the pace from the original plan to a resemble pace, and third I adjusted my attitude from competing to completing. 

It's true, my tri shorts are tighter, my cycle shoes are old and 56 miles seems like an eternity. I have Stella out, and she is looking pretty, the trainer is tuned up, the Garmin 945 is charged, the goggles are cleaned and the Hoka are laced just right.

Wish me luck and I will update as the journey begins on April 5, 2021!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

IM Memphis 70.3 Cancelled

It really came as no shock, but when I received the email the other day, informing me that IM Memphis 70.3 was postponed until 2021, it stung a little. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand and support the decision that was made. A well known hospital like St Jude would never sponsor anything that could possibly put people at risk, but still, I wanted to race.

I have to say I felt my training was right where it needed to be. The swim distance was already doable and already within the 47 minute range for 1.2 miles. I know with over a month I would have gotten that time down to under 45 minutes.

The bike was going well. I have had long rides of between 30-45 miles in my training plan and really felt good afterwards. The speed ranged around 15 mph, but that was due to much traffic on the Greenline around Shelby Farms and not knowing the path on the group rides. All other rides had been done on the trainer, so you know that 2 hours of spinning, means 2 hours of spinning, no coasting. So I felt really good about where I was on the bike.

The run. Now, this is the area that is not my strongest segment. It's something that I have never really been great at. I often used the excuse that I started running at 218 lbs, vs. the 187lbs I used to run at while doing Ironman and that is why I am slower. Truth is this, my knees hurt more because I am not 187 lbs! I have been losing some weight, thanks to all the exercise and watching what I eat, and I have been improving on my runs. My mileage was where I wanted it to be at this point as well. The course at Shelby Farms was going to be ruthless no matter what, but I still had time to get there.

So, overall, I am disappointed, but I understand. They have postponed this till 2021, and I will have just turned 50!  So in a way, it could actually turn into a milestone age race for me.

So what is next?  Am I retiring?  Am I racing?  We will have to see...

Either way, I want to say thanks to whoever reads this, I know blogging is archaic at best these days, but it is still a good way for me to get out what I want to get out.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Ironman Memphis 70.3

Ironman Memphis is scheduled fro Oct 3, 2020. Currently, the city os in a state of hold, determining if the city will require everyone to wear masks while out in public.  Makes me wonder if we will be racing???

It is hard enough trying to train after a few years away from the sport, but the not knowing if it is even going to happen is maddening. It is basically a hurry up and wait for the decision to come down. I am still training and following my plan, because I do not want to not train, and then find out it is on! I will admit however, that training on the bike is getting tougher every day.

I have already decided that even if it gets cancelled, I will still continue to swim and run. I will not miss the bike at all honestly, but until we hear official word, then I will continue to ride.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Running: It's a bunch of conversations in my head!

So I have been running on and off again, mostly off. I think my tally includes a whooping 8.41 miles in June, a major improvement in July to 20.59 miles and a total of 6.33 miles in August. It's not that I don't like to run anymore, cause I really do. It's just different now.

But why?

Well, I am about 25 lbs heavier than when I was training for triathlons and really running. I contribute the gain to June type totals and not running and to hitting the gym. I have gained a lot of muscle over the past months, it's not like I am a blob or anything, but it's tougher at 210 lbs vs. 185 lbs. This is not an indictment about my weight, honestly I am fine with my body, but I can tell it is just different.

I also have lost some of that mental toughness I had. Thats hard to admit actually, but I can decide to shift into walking status a lot easier than before. I always thought I would be ok being a "completer" rather than a "competitor" but I'm not. And it's actually weird because I have it grand plans of running, will go as far as to make plans for the run, but when it comes time to actually run, I phase myself out of it.

One cool thing is that my wife and my oldest boy have really gotten into running and recently completed their first half marathons (send sponsorships here!  Inside joke!) I really did enjoy encouraging them and seeing them reach their goals!  My oldest boy has signed up for his first marathon in December! I have even toyed with the idea of running the half with him, and while I love the idea, I don't love the idea of training.

This morning I went to Shelby Farms here in Memphis and ran the Chickasaw Trail. Shelby Farms is a great place to go on a Saturday morning and I always realize that when I am there and wonder why we don't use it more often! Anyways, the Chickasaw trail is approximately 3 miles through the park, and is usually packed with people running, walking pets or riding bikes. I was running with my wife, or at least I started running with her (she is much better running shape than I am) and she ran on up ahead of me. I knew this was going to happen and we planned to meet up later.

As I was running, I constantly had these conversations in my head about not stopping! Many times it was mainly convincing myself to continue till I got to that tree, or to that patch of shade. And then the conversations then go to starting running again, and then they go to what does and what doesn't hurt!

I don't really know the point of this rant other than I doubt I am the only one that does this. I am sure we all have those random conversations to get us through our runs. One day, I am sure I will just run and listen to my music, but until then, I will keep talking to myself!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Need, Want and Have To...

This week I started something I have never done before.  I have officially become a boot camper. That's right, Wednesday and Friday mornings, I drag my sleepy butt up at 4:30 AM so I can go torture myself at 5 AM.  Each day is a little different I have found. Wednesday is more like a traditional class type of setting, while Friday is more of stations that we rotate to and from.

The main thing that surprised me the most about boot camp was how sore I was afterwards. I am also liking the accountibilty aspect of this boot camp. The thing I hate the most is the stupid bands that go around your ankles and thighs, man do those suck. It has been a long time since I really worked legs too. All in all, its great, except for the 4:30 alarm.

If I am truly being honest though, I am enjoying waking up early, getting fit and still being done by 6:30 AM. And then, I get coffee!!

I still really like the weight room, and even had thoughts of hitting the weights after class, but I quickly found out that was not going to be happening! The hardest part is trying to fit in everything I want to do and everything I need to do and everything I have to do. Sometimes those lines can get pretty blurred if I let them. So sometimes I have to get up at 4:30 AM in order to get done what I want to do. I have to get to bed at a decent time because I need to be able to to get to work and do my job.  I want to be back in shape. I need my job to provide for my family. SO basically, I have to control what I can control...

It's all clear huh?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

It's a Name I Earned...

It has been five years since I earned the right to call myself an Ironman, yet it seems like only yesterday.

In 2013, I did Redman Triathlon 140.6. Arguably the longest day of my life, but one of the most rewarding days. I still remember very distinct details about that day. I remember how nice the water felt due to it being so cold that morning. I remember a certain aid station on the run and the faces that were there, I remember the song playing as I crossed the finish line (Home by Phillip Phillips). I remember the high five I gave as I ran down the chute and I remember the one piece of pizza I ate ate after the race, followed by two IV bags.

I remember it all.

I remember it with pride and with regret. Regret because I am no longer where I was physically. That IM came at the right time for me and my family, with the way life has gone, I know that time of my life was the perfect time to train, I remember with pride as being a 43 year old first time Ironman. I remember the "what now" feeling I had the days after IM. I knew I had some healing to do, but I do regret not staying on that path because mentally, I will also be in IM shape. Funny how that works huh?

I also remember that every year around Sept 20th, I think it is time for me to get back to racing/ Maybe I won't compete anymore, maybe I will just complete??

Stay tuned and find out, because I am not even sure what the next chapter will be!

Sunday, September 2, 2018


So the other day was kind of a big day for me.  A day I have been waiting for at least a year to arrive...

The day I as able to stop taking blood thinners. I have been on Brilanta for a little over a year. I had to start taking it after I had three stents installed in June 2017. I had passed out while playing basketball and after a heart cath, I was found to have a 90% blockage and a 70% blockage. So they went in and fixed me, and then they piled me up with meds. Meds for cholesterol, meds for other stuff and the blood thinner. I was told I had to stay on the thinner for at least a year to help with the stents.

Now, I hated taking the blood thinner medication. It made me bruise really easily, in fact I often joked that if you looked at me to hard, then I'd probably bruise! The main reason I hated it was because any little nick, and I would bleed for at least 45 minutes. I hated it!  When I cut myself shaving, man, did I bleed.  Sometimes I would wake up and have blood on my pillow because of some little unknown cut that bled.  So I was really looking forward to that day when I gt the okay from my heart doc to stop taking them.

But, I have to say, it was a little bit weird not taking them anymore. Not like an addictive kind of thing, but a what is it going to be like not taking them kind of weird. So while I was looking forward to not taking them, I also had some concern as to what would it be like not taking them.

It's been almost two weeks off the Brilanta, and I can report that I feel no different off them than I did on them. Now I still have to take some aspirin, but I hear you should be doing that anyways. So the bruising has decreased a lot, and the bleeding is not near as bad as it was.

Long story short is that I am happy to have this behind me. I am feeling great!