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Ironman Arizona Race Report – Getting to the Start

When training takes almost a year, and the race itself takes nearly half a day, the recap is sure to be wordy. To spare you, I’ve broken it up into more reasonable pieces. Without further ado…

Getting to the Start

Taking on an Ironman requires an inordinate amount of preparation and planning. Simply getting to the starting line is a small miracle, but thanks to my great support crew, I made it with shockingly few hiccups along the way. Sure, those 36 weeks of training were critical, but so, too, were the 1,100 miles between Austin and Tempe. On the Thursday before the race, Evelyn, Travis, and I loaded up the car and set off to Arizona.

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Ironman Arizona Race Preview

IT’S HAPPENING! The journey started 36 weeks ago when I completed my first workout of my Ironman training plan. Since then I’ve done (approximately) 368 workouts. 104 dips in the pool, 130 rides on the bike, 134 times lacing up my shoes. 418 hours worth of pushing myself forward. And now, when it felt like it would never get here, it’s time for Ironman Arizona!

IRONMAN-Arizona

On Sunday, all of the work done to this point will be put to the test. Mentally, I’m ready. I was ready months ago, mainly wishing to be done with training. Physically, I don’t think I’ll ever say “I’m ready”, but I’m ready enough.

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Trailer Crawling with Truck by Truckwest

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For six days, Truck by Truckwest, a new food trailer showcase, took over Austin’s mobile food scene. With a $20 pass you could access special deals at over 60 Austin food trucks, trailers, and carts. Some gave out free samples, others provided discounts, and a few put together exclusive menu items. As for the food trucks, the incentive came in the form of one, winner-take-all, voted-by-the-people $10,000 prize. I’d call that a big motivator!

So of course I participated in this city-wide food trailer crawl! In total I tried 17 different dishes from 15 trailers, with some surprising (and not-so-surprising) favorites. For me, my favorites came from my already-favorite trailers, like both stackers from Cow Tipping Creamery and the chopped brisket slider from La Barbecue. The dark horses included Valentina’s TexMex BBQ (smoked brisket tacos) and Llama’s Peruvian (Saltado de Pollo Sanguche (grilled chicken sandwich)). That’s not to say others weren’t delicious too. Most were excellent, with only one or two considered disappointing.

As for the event itself, I’d call it a big success. Considering the fragmented world of food trucks, where any given truck may not know it’s own schedule from day to day, coordinating such an effort is no small feat. For the most part, trucks were communicating their deals and honoring them just at the sight of a TXTW badge. Some were eager to have those badges come up to their window (Celia Jacob’s Cheesecake Experience comes to mind as being super enthusiastic). The only feedback for the event would be to create a mobile app to help organize a person’s TXTW experience, but that’s a future nice-to-have, and not a criticism.

So who got my vote? Well, that’s my little secre… COW TIPPING CREAMERY. Not for nothing, they are seemingly incapable of creating anything short of a masterpiece in ice cream form. Now, I don’t know if they’re going to win, but I sure hope they do. My fear is

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that the voting may become a popularity contest regardless of the food that was served during TXTW, but that can’t

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As for the winner… I’ll update this post when it’s announced shortly. But really, we’re all winners. Because that was a lot of food for not a lot of money. Can’t wait for next year!

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The Five-Trailer Lunch

Today I set out with two friends to do the unthinkable — have lunch at five different food trucks.  Ok, it’s actually not that unthinkable, and it wasn’t even hard.  And I didn’t even plan on it.  Wow that was some pretty lame bragging, huh?  Ok, let me explain.

five

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IMAZ Training Update – Turn It Up to 11!

It’s been awhile since we last spoke. I’ve had a bit of blogger’s block. Things at work have picked up, not to mention all that extra time put into training. But Ironman Arizona is getting close, so something had to give. A few weeks ago I mentioned training is ramping up (oh, and that I was going to give up reduce gratuitous, out-of-control face-stuffing. More on that in another post). For four weeks the training plan resembles a light form of torture, throwing everything at me to get me prepared for the Ironman. Here’s where things stand halfway through

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those four weeks.

Capture

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The Countdown

Seeing how I’m drowning in numbers from all this training, I thought one more couldn’t hurt. And this one is pretty important. As of posting this, we’re just inside 87 days until the big day. That’s also 148 more workouts (yes,

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I counted). That sounds so much worse. For comparison’s sake, I’ve already done 229 workouts. Actually, that just makes me tired.

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p>I’ve also added it to the sidebar so that it’s always ticking… ticking… ticking… … So keep checking back to see how much longer until the Facebook posts stop race day! And in case you missed it, here’s a look at my training calendar.

A Dangerous Declaration

Today my Ironman training gets serious.  I know, I’m thinking the same thing too: “What have you been doing for the last 5 months?”  That training was all well and good (and hard), but that was all considered “base building”.  Now is when the real fun begins.  For the next three months I’m going to be pushed farther than anyone should be.  There will be quite a few “triple” days, a couple 5+ hour days, and a handful weeks that resemble a part-time job of exercise.

missionimpossible
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Cow Tipping Creamery: A Quadrilogy (of Specials)

I know what you’re thinking:  “This is getting ridiculous.  Another  Cow  Tipping  Creamery  post?”  Well, yes.  Yes it is.  And is that a hint of jealousy I sense?  It’s not my fault you haven’t gotten your own ice cream yet.  You only have yourself to blame.  So in the meantime, let me tell you about all the specials that you’re missing.

*Note: This post was a long time in the making just waiting to be published, so some references may be a bit old.

ctc

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Proper Breakfast

For every time I’ve heard “breakfast is the most important meal

of the day” I think I’ve met ten people who say “I don’t really eat breakfast.” It makes no sense to me! If I could only have one meal per day, breakfast would be my choice. I mean, I subsist on cereal and milk to the point that some might question if I’m getting kickbacks from Big Cereal. So why then are there so few places to get great breakfast? Enter: Proper Breakfast.

Proper Breakfast logo

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IMAZ Week 18 Review

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Ironman Arizona is so close I can taste it!  Kinda.  I mean, I’ve been busting my butt for 18 weeks, with no fewer than 10 workouts a week, mostly two-a-day workouts, all while the temperature in Central Texas found its triple-digit groove.  So we must be getting close, right?  Well… no.  With Week 18 in the books, it marks the HALFWAY point of my 36-week training plan.  I’m not sure why it sounded like a good idea to take on such a long, demanding regimen*, but it sure feels like the race should be coming up.  For perspective, my go-to advanced marathon training plans are 18 weeks long.  My body is ready to race!  And yet we’re still in the “base building” phase of this thing.

*Oh, right, because it’s an Ironman…

Week 18 was a bit of a relief in training.  Most of the workouts were relatively gentle, especially compared to the brutal week before.  I know I”m making progress though when five hours of workouts on the weekend is “gentle”.  These next 18 weeks are going to really push me to the limit.  And I can’t wait.

Eighteen weeks down, eighteen weeks to go!