I just thought that I would give a little update on the Ironman side of things. For those of you interested you can view the “Ironman Training: God’s Proving Ground” link over there in the right hand column for a history of why I am doing this thing. Early on I was giving weekly updates. I realized that not many would actually be interested in that so I haven’t done much updating. I thought I would give a short recap here as I am now two weeks away from the race.
The first picture here is week 2. The second picture is week 24. Obviously, my hair is a bit longer. No it is not a Sampson thing. No I am not Elvis. And actually, the hair thing and the Ironman thing are not in any way connected. In fact, longer hair is more of an anti-Ironman thing. Many of my fellow athletes will have their entire bodies shaved. Not me. For one I will have on a wet suit for the swim. No need to shave for speed in the water as the hair will be covered. All the other athletes will be in wet suits too so they don’t need to shave for this reason either. Second, there is no evidence that shaving improves speed on the bike. The only real reason to shave for cycling is because it makes pulling off bandages and cleaning wounds easier if you crash. So shaving then seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Shave…crash. Shave…crash. Shave…crash. And since I do not plan on crashing, no need to shave. And third, let’s be honest. I am not in the group of dudes that will be competing for the win. The few seconds that shaving may save me will not matter at all. I will not be in a sprint at the finish for the win, wishing I had less hair holding me back. So I prefer to keep all my hair. As for my head, I have just for some time wanted longer hair so I am growing it out. Don’t worry, I will not get to the pony tail stage. A couple more inches is about all I will go I think. Admit it Bill. You are jealous.
So for the training update…..I am done with my long workouts as of last Thursday. I worked my way up to bike workouts of 100 miles, run workouts of 17 miles, swim workouts of 2.5 miles, and combined bike followed by run workouts (known in the triathlon community as a BRICK) of 5 hours. I am also 15 pounds lighter and am stronger. I have gathered all the equipment I will need and have my nutrition (Lorna Doone shortbread cookies) and hydration (Gatorade and water and Coke) strategy for race day locked down. I am now in a “taper” phase which includes workouts of much shorter duration but still at race intensity or slightly above race intensity. I will take about 4-5 days completely off the end of this week into early next week. Then I will get in some brief workouts in all three disciplines in Phoenix on the 10th, 11th, and 12th. We are driving out on the 8th and 9th. The race starts at 7 AM Phoenix time on April 13th. They are in the Mountain Time Zone but do not observe DST.
If you care to follow my progress, the race can be monitored via www.ironmanlive.com. Athlete tracking and web cams will be available for the entire race. My goal is to finish between 12-14 hours. Feel free to keep track if you like. Also feel free to call all the local hospitals in Phoenix after the race to find out which one I am at so you can send flowers.