Balancing Life While Training


WEEK 5 – April 17 > April 23

As I wrap up Week 5 I feel a sense of accomplishment, mainly because it was the first time in a few weeks that I got all of the scheduled work outs in.  But in addition to doing all the training, life really hit hard this week with it’s own agenda and responsibilities.

We are now fully into spring and my yard has made it clear that it needs mowing.  My in-laws were in Florida, and I made sure to give their yard a trim as well before they return home this weekend.  My youngest is wrapping up a very busy freshman year of high school, and is so involved that she’s got me running her everywhere.  In addition to that, she also has her learner’s permit, which means I need to find time to help her learn that life skill as well.  Soon I will open my own pool, which will require it’s own set of special weekly needs.  I had to go get my boat out of storage Saturday.  Lastly, I made sure that I didn’t drop the ball when it comes to getting some thoughtful gifts for my wife’s birthday on Saturday.  What a week!

But fortunately for me, I am very lucky to have a supporting family and wife that allows me the time I need to train.  On her birthday, she had no problem with me cycling for an hour and forty-five minutes.  And I am very lucky to work a part-time job that gives me the freedom in the afternoon to do my thing.  I do not take any of that for granted.

Training for Ironman is a commitment in and of itself, but when you realize you have other responsibilities as well, then you really become dedicated and focused.  Learning to balance all of those things can be difficult, but seeing this is my third time training for Ironman, I have grown to adapt and really feel that I have got things in control and can tackle anything, especially 140.6 miles.

As far as training went, I got two solid swims in this week.  The bikes went really well.  I’m a little concerned about the high hamstring tendonitis and butt pain from running, but I will dial back the effort on running days a little, as I have a tendency to overdo it.  And definitely spend a little more attention to stretching that area.  Here’s to a wrapping up a great week of training.


2 Swims – 3200 yards this week / 8400 yards total

4 Bikes – 76 miles this week / 228 miles total

7 Runs – 26 miles this week / 125 miles total

WEEK 5 – 1/6th of the training is done!

I Will Need Two of Everything


WEEK 4 – April 10 > April 16

I spent Thursday through Easter Sunday in our new lake home in Minocqua, Wisconsin with my family for the first time.  It was awesome to get to spend the Easter holiday in our new home on the lake.  I had a great six mile run with my son Ben on Friday, and enjoyed our somewhat new running routes.  We had vacationed in the area for many years, so the Bearskin Trail is nothing new to us.  But it is refreshing to be running on such a beautiful trail again.

Friday we all took a trip to the local Ace Hardware store to get some stuff for the house.  We bought a ladder, a rake, and a bunch of other junk that we already own in our main home.  But now that I have another home to care for, I need two of everything.  And apparently that includes triathlon gear.

I came up for the weekend without my bike so I wasn’t able to get any riding in, and with buying two of everything else for the house, I started to consider buying another bike to have on hand up north.  It didn’t help that I had Triathlete and Bicycling magazines on hand with several pages of guides to new stuff to look at.  But just with all the other stuff with the house that I know we need, I have learned that we will have to pace ourselves with what we get next.  The lake home bike will be a very low priority, but it sure would have been nice to have had one up there.

As for the rest of the training week, I only got one swim done, but it was a decent one.  The planned called for a 1600 yard swim with a workout, but I decided to do a straight swim and ended up stopping at 2000 yards.  Felt pretty good.

Only two bike rides this week, both half hour spins with a brick run after each.  I missed the hour and a half Saturday ride, so I will make that up on Monday of Week 5.

Runs will always total seven unless I break my leg or something.  I had a nice uptempo 6 mile run with Ben, who told me that he has some pretty cool running ambitions after he wraps up his collegiate running career upon graduation in May.  He’s come a long way as a runner, and I see a bright future for him as a marathoner if he pursues those goals.

Easter Sunday in Minocqua



1 Swims – 2000 yards this week / 5200 yards total

2 Bikes – 16.5 miles this week / 152 miles total

7 Runs – 25 miles this week / 98.25 miles total

Week 4 is no more!


Texting and Ironman Training


WEEK 3 – April 3 > April 9


During last year’s training for Ironman Lake Placid, our group of five buddies decided to get a group chat going through texting.  Seeing that we don’t all live that close to each other, it was a good way to talk shop and build support for each other.

But it quickly turned into a competition.  To be the first one done with the day’s workout was always a good feeling.  And to send that text saying “Day Done,” was just as fulfilling as hitting the stop button on the watch at the end of the workout.  It also became quite annoying when the late-night finisher texted “Day Done” at 11:58 pm.  I finally figured out that there was a “Do Not Disturb” feature for the group and switched it to ON.

I thought that maybe we would not be as text happy this time around, but I was wrong.  We must all have iPhones, because there is a new feature where you can add a response on a text, adding a thumbs up, or a couple of exclamation points, or even a “HA HA” if it struck you as funny.  This just makes it easier to respond to a text when you might not have done so before.

The interesting thing about the texting is that we have a group of guys that are supportive of each other and keep each other honest in our training for another Ironman.  We all know what the day calls for, but sometimes you can’t do it.  And even though you get creative and arrange to fit it in another day, you still feel obligated to tell the group that you missed it or had to do something else.  The text is sent, making it known to the others that you fully intend not to let the others down and will definitely get it done.  We hold each other accountable, and we hold ourselves accountable.

It can get annoying getting a text from the group that their day is done, and yours is still in the works.  But if it takes a text to get us to the finish line together, I’m all for it.

Day Done > send ↑

Week 3 Wrap-up

The weather is starting to get better, with the weekend climbing into the 60’s and 70’s.  The pool was closed for Tuesday due to Election Day voting going on at the school.  Not sure how that is sufficient reasoning to close the pool, but they did it anyway.  And I was away at a conference Wednesday through Friday, so I missed the Thursday swim.  So here I am being accountable once again for missing the swim training.  Just like the texts we share with the group, it’s a just a little note to remind myself that I need to hold myself accountable and get it done.  It’s early yet, and with the weather getting better, I will have my own pool open soon and won’t be at the mercy of the school schedule.

Cycling and running went well, with a few indoor runs and trainer rides.  I am starting to get that sore calf issue again, along with some calf cramps that seem to be common when I start adding mileage.  I know that it will eventually even out.

The last thing on my mind has been my weight.  It seems like I struggled to keep the weight off in January/February/March, getting up around 175 pounds.  I have never been that high ever.  The puzzling thing is that I am still doing at least a run every day and watching my intake.  But it just snuck up on me.  After my long ride on Saturday, I weighed myself and was glad to see I was back under 170.  I hope to see sub-165 soon.


0 Swims – 0 yards this week / 3200 yards total

4 Bikes – 52 miles this week / 135 miles total

7 Runs – 27.75 miles this week / 73.25 miles total

Happy 19th Birthday to my middle child, Ashley!  Nice way to wrap up the week!

Treadmills, Rocking my Brain, & New Digs


WEEK 2 – March 27 > April 2

The weather forced Friday’s 45 minute run indoors to the old dreadmill.  I’m very grateful that I have access to two treadmills, and I am very glad to have that option when the weather is bad.  But my goodness they can suck the life out of you.

I decided to use the treadmill at work for my run.  The workout room has a TV, but it’s mounted on the far wall, hasn’t worked in a couple of months, and I can never hear it anyway.  But we do have a rockin’ speaker system that I can connect my iPhone music to through Bluetooth.  So I usually flip that thing on and crank up the classic rock that was once new rock when I first heard it.  Maybe I’m classic now, too.

I pulled up a playlist and hit shuffle.  The first artist was The Heavy, with a song called No Time.  My kind of tune.  After that came Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road.  After that song came Runaround  by Blues Traveler.  It was at that point I decided to try to remember all of the artists that played during my run.  I was surprised at first that I couldn’t remember the first artist.  It came back to me and then I began repeating them over and over.

Next up was Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Then came Billy Joel.  He was followed by a band called Grouplove.  After each new song, I would restart the process of repeating the artists in order, sometimes having momentary memory lapses, sometimes flipping Blues Traveler with the Boss, and often forgetting about Billy Joel.  But it would eventually come to me.

The next groups were Pearl Jam, Genesis, Robert Randolph & the Family, and Jack White.  Gerry Rafferty finished up my 5.25 mile/45 minute run with Baker Street.  

I must say that trying to remember the names of the artists was somewhat difficult, but also fun.  If one of my coworkers had walked in while I was repeating them over and over again, they would have thought I was strange.

But I got my planned run in, exercised my body and my mind, and actually enjoyed the dreadmill for once.  I think I will make this a habit.

The rest of the week was easy but also exciting.   I wasn’t able to swim due to spring break at the high school and the pool being closed.  That’s the easy part.  The exciting part is that my wife and I closed on a lake home in Minocqua, Wisconsin.  We were up there for the closing on Monday, and spent a couple of nights there.  I got in a couple of runs on the local roads and trail, and scoped out the riding options that look to be very hilly.  I can’t wait to get up there every month and do more training, especially some open water swimming in the lake!

Can’t wait to enjoy the training perks that the new lake home has to offer.  Just need the ice to melt first.


0 Swims – 0 yards this week / 3200 yards total

4 Bikes – 42 miles this week / 83 miles total

7 Runs – 25.5 miles this week / 45.5 miles total


Week 2 for Ironman Lou is no longer due!