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.


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IMAZ Week 18 Review


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!

IMAZ Week 17 Review

Well that was exhausting. Ironman training just got real. Last week saw the longest training week of my life, both in

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terms of time and distance. 158 miles. Over 14 and a half hours. What made it so tough was half of those 14 hours were just Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday I completed my longest training ride ever! 53 miles around west Austin, with some beautiful scenery and probably the hardest hill

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you’ll find within the city limits. So steep that I don’t think I could do it again. The only way I made it up was because I didn’t know it was there. Definitely proud of myself for riding all the way up, but I did have to stop and take a breather at the top before continuing on. With that huge ride behind me, I headed out for a fast 6.5 miles just as the sun was flexing its muscles. By the end I was dead and grateful to jump in the neighborhood pool to cool down.

Sunday started with a rough 14.5 mile run. My legs felt empty, and the humidity made sure any generally positive morale was sucked out of me. I got home, and with an hour bike ride scheduled, I had to respect the lack of energy and sat in the bathtub to cool down. It took the better part of the day to feel back to normal and I hopped on the bike trainer to crank out the ride inside. So I spent about 7 of the 48 weekend hours exercising.

One more week until I’m halfway to IMAZ! Yay! Ugh.


p>Seventeen weeks down, nineteen to go!

IMAZ Week 12 Review

Congratulations to me as I finished up my first trimester of training and move onto the second. It’s really my own way to break things up. The training plan really focuses on building a strong base for twenty-two weeks, so there’s still some time before a real change in training comes along.

Anyway, Week 12 was a good week! It started with the CapTexTri, which went great! I took a few days off to recover before hopping back in the pool and some biking. The weekend was harder than I planned, but I think I was still recovering from the race. Saturday had a great 35 mile ride, which led to a tough 12 mile run on Sunday. The legs are tired, but I’m feeling stronger!


p>Twelve weeks

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down, twenty-four to go!

IMAZ Week 9 Review

My longest week of training is in the books!  And by longest, I’m referring to ever.   Twelve hours of swimming, biking (and biking and biking) and running.

On Wednesday my company had its semi-annual Fun Run, though I question their definition of “fun”.  It was a world of pain, culminating in an overwhelming stab in my pride when I finished in second.  “Fun” times indeed!

On Saturday my neighbor Kevin and I drove way out to the boonies for a ride hosted by the Austin Cycling Association.  We both did the 50 mile course (opting not to do the 61, 78, or 105 mile routes…).  It was a great day to be out for ~3 hours and enjoy the rolling hills and beautiful weather.

Nine weeks down, twenty-seven to go!  That’s 25%!!!

IMAZ Week 7 Review

Week 7 was tough!  My body was definitely still in recovery mode from the Boston Marathon, but my brain said “suck it up”.  So after 6 days of complete rest, I picked up where I left off.  Turned out that was a major shock to my body and for most of the week I was exhausted.  The big ride on Saturday was hilly like whoa, which left me extra tired for Sunday’s brick run-bike.  Finishing up Sunday’s ride was a relief, though a peek at Week 8 washed that relief away.

Seven weeks down, twenty-nine to go!

imaz week7

IMAZ Week 4 Review

This Ironman training thing is tiring!  Put another week in the books.  It was another long-ish week, coming out to nearly 10 hours, and finishing up with a hard run.  Not exactly ideal for what should be tapering for THE BOSTON MARATHON, but it felt good.  Even as a long week, it was still pretty run-of-the-mill.  That is, except for Sunday.

To close out the week I ran the Statesman Cap 10k.  It’s the biggest 10k in Texas and 5th biggest in the US.  I won’t get into the details now (because you can read all about them here!), but it turned out to be a harder effort than I probably should have run.  So now it’s just a matter of taking it easy from now until next Monday.  Boston here I come!

Four weeks down, thirty-two to go!


IMAZ Week 3 Review

Week 3 is a wrap!  It was pretty uneventful, other than those pesky 9 workouts.  Most notable was getting my new bike all tuned up!  I swung by Bicycle Sport Shop just before Trailer Food Tuesdays to pick up my ride.  When I dropped it off on Saturday, I had gone in with the intent of only getting the  crank arm fixed so I could screw the pedal back in.  To fix that?  Only $30 and two days.  But I also needed (according to the mechanics) a new chain, a new cassette, both wheels trued, new pedals, and a deluxe tune-up.

Needless to say, a little more than just $30.  But whatever, I was getting a great bike back up to nearly new condition… almost.  I took the bike home assuming all was well and good.  You know what they say about assuming, right?  It means you’re an idiot.  It meant I needed to take the bike back Wednesday evening to address quite a few issues, namely the wheels weren’t trued, I needed new brake pads (which should have been discovered in the deluxe tune-up), and the shifters wouldn’t, well, shift into the big gears (another item that should have been caught in the tune-up).  Needless to say, not pleased with the level of service thus far.

Semi-redeeming, the service I received Wednesday night made everything better.  It may have taken an hour and a half, but they fixed up all of the things left undone from the tune-up.  So now I’m all set with a new, awesome bike that’s going to make me go really fast and tackle the 112 mile portion of the Ironman.

Here’s a preview of what the new bike looks like.  Full post coming in due time!


Three weeks down, thirty-three to go!


IMAZ Week 2 Review

Well I’m not dead yet!  Actually, that may be how I start a lot of these posts.  The week started out pretty tame swimming, a few two-a-days in a row, and a solid 10 mile run on Friday.  That 10 miler was in place of an optional swim day.  I am still training for a marathon, so I thought running might be a good idea.

The big news (which will get its own blog post soon) is that I got a new bike Thursday night!  It’s red and fast and awesome.  Anyway, with that new bike and 3 of my neighbors, we set off to tackle a charity ride that supports a school near our houses.  It was a cold, windy morning when we put our wheels down for the 42 mile route.  We planned to regroup at each rest stop and I took off to see what the new bike could do.  I was flying!  Well, at least when I wasn’t going uphill into a headwind, which is what the first 11 miles felt like.

Unfortunately, as a result of my own poor mechanic work, around mile 28.5 the left pedal loosened itself out of the crank arm, stripped the hell out of the crank arm, and then detached from the bike while still connected to my shoe.  I went another 1/2 mile on one leg and decided riding the last 13 miles on one leg wouldn’t be smart.  I hitched a ride with the SAG truck to the finish line and waited for my friends.  Not awesome, but the bike is great and I can’t wait to get it back from the shop!

On Sunday, with tired legs and a bad taste in my mouth from Saturday’s ride, I amped things up.  Hazel and I set off for a quick 5 miles (7:35 min/mi for the little one!  She’s fast.).  I then dropped her off and knocked out 13 more for a really solid 18 miler.  With no time goal for Boston, I was ecstatic with how things went!

To refuel, Ev, some friends, and I went up to Pflugerville for food trucks.  What did we sample?  Well among other things… deep fried beef ribs!  So.  So.  Good.  So good.  They were a combined effort from Hall of Flame BBQ and a new trailer that specializes in hushpuppies!  Overall a really good week of training.


Two weeks down, thirty-four to go!