Moving On

THE LAST POST REGARDING IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 

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R.I.P. LOUISVILLE IRONMAN 2020

It really didn’t take me too long to get over having the race I was training for come to an end.  I guess I had been expecting it to end for quite a while, but I just kept moving forward (a tried and true Ironman motto) in my training until the final word was announced.  So after having a week to think it over, here’s what I will most likely do going forward.

I will opt to take the automatic transfer to Ironman Chattanooga in 2021.  There is really no way the other three Fall 2020 transfer options are going to happen in my mind.  Three of us Gunner teammates were already signed up for Louisville, and two and maybe a third had not signed up.  So if we decide as a group to head back to Chatty in 2021 all I need to do is make the transfer official and start training next year.  If we for some reason want to do a different race then I will have no problem paying the transfer fee and do that race with the group.  But Ironman has some pretty specific rules on transferring, so I will have to take that into consideration.  We’ll have to talk that over.  I remember us talking about not wanting to do Chatty again, but I think that was the dreadful heat of the 2019 race influencing that decision.  It was an okay location, we enjoyed ourselves and I would go back.  But before I get too confident with all that, I have to realize that this is all conjecture.  There’s talk that this Covid-19 crap may stick around into 2021 and screw everybody’s race season up again.  So there’s that…

I will keep training, that really isn’t a big surprise.  I actually enjoy the weekly stuff, the long Saturday ride, and running is just part of who I am.  I can’t imagine not running.  Swimming on the other hand…  well, let’s just say that I do enjoy a cannonball splashdown after a long run or ride.  But I doubt I will do much swim training for the rest of the year.  The training won’t be anything too overwhelming, but enough to keep me fit and doing what I love.  I may join some local group rides now that it won’t interfere with me following my training plan.  I may also text a local friend to see if he wants to do some riding again.  We stopped riding together when my training became too specific and he just wanted to ride.  

I was kicking around the idea of doing an Ironman of my own making either at home or in Wisconsin at my lakehome and inviting my buddies to do it, but I’m not so hot on the idea now.  That would require us to keep training and following the plan and with the weather heating up and the fact we’ve had our bubble burst with Louisville, I don’t think any of us would want to do it.  I may, however, do a half-iron distance day of my own just because I already have the fitness to do that and could pull it off pretty easily.  I think the training plan has a 70.3 training day built into it coming up in a few weeks, so I may still do that.  I need to sleep on that a little.

Lastly, I have one more hope left of having an opportunity to race this year and that race is the Big Hill Bonk Last Runner Standing elimination ultramarathon.  This race was supposed to occur in April but got postponed to October.  I received an email last week stating that as of right now the race is a go until the race director finds out otherwise.  He gave us a drop dead date of September 15th, so we’ll know by then if he has to cancel it.  So since that tells me that the race is iffy at best, I’m not going to do any special ultramarathon type distance training and if the race happens I will just go up to Beloit and run 4.166-mile loops every hour until I can’t take it anymore.  And that’s all predicated on whether I feel comfortable around other athletes and doing the Covid-19 dance around each other.  If I don’t feel safe in that environment or it’s too big of a hassle I will opt out.

So there you have it.  I’m going forward with my daily workouts for fun instead of for a specific reason and we’ll see what happens.  So long, Ironman Louisville 2020.  Hello, Ironman Chattanooga 2021.

 

 

Ironman Louisville 2020 Is Canceled

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 16 – June 29 > July 5, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART XVI

Well, it’s over.  I finally got the email that I had been expecting for a few weeks now.

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Of course, the main reason the race has been canceled is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  But add in a lot of social unrest going on in Louisville right now, I think that trying to host this race during all of this is a huge headache for the City of Louisville and Ironman.

Actually, I am a little relieved, to be honest.  Had Ironman dragged on the decision to cancel to a later date, I probably would have been a little ticked off.  I’ve trained for 16 weeks of 30 and had I done more training only to have the race be canceled would not have made me happy.  Here are the options Ironman gave me:

  • Transfer to Ironman Maryland (Cambridge) 2020 on September 19, 2020
  • Transfer to Ironman Chattanooga 2020 on September 27, 2020
  • Transfer to Ironman Texas (Waco) 2020 on October 17, 2020
  • Transfer to Ironman Chattanooga 2021 on September 26, 2021

The option to transfer to Ironman Louisville 2021 doesn’t exist, as Louisville was given a 1-year extension on their previously expired contract.  It appears the City of Louisville has moved on from Ironman.

Three of the four options for transferring my registration are for races in the Fall of 2020.  Does it make any sense to think that if the October 2020 race has been canceled, that there will be any fall races in 2020?  I seriously doubt it.  I guess it may depend on the location and how they are dealing with the pandemic, but there has yet to be an Ironman or any other major race held in 2020 that occurred in the United States after the pandemic stay-at-home order.

Cambridge, Maryland is in Dorchester County, MD, and there have been a total of 201 cases of Covid-19 and only five deaths.  I guess that is promising.  I was expecting it to be somewhat higher.  Waco, Texas has had 1563 total confirmed cases with nine deaths.  And Chattanooga, Tennessee checks in with 2909 total cases and 35 deaths.  Chattanooga’s cases are on the rise, though.

The fourth is the safest bet, a fall race in Chattanooga in 2021.  But we all had just done Chattanooga and we weren’t thinking about heading back there any time soon.  It’s going to be a tough decision.

I’m not sure what the rest of my Gunner teammates want to do.  Jan and I were already signed up to do IMLou, but Dave and Alex were not.  I’m thinking Jeff was also signed up but I’m not sure.  So at least Jan and I have to make a decision on the above options.  The trouble for Dave, Alex, and possibly Jeff is that if you click on the Maryland website it shows it as closed.  So if Jan and I opt for that, we won’t be joined by the others.  Ironman Texas and Chattanooga are both open for registration, so those are the two options for this year that all the Gunners could be in on.  If I were a non-registered Gunner, I’d probably opt out of racing at all.  I have been hearing a lot of that on Facebook recently – people are sad that they can’t race, but in reality not racing is probably the smartest and safest thing to do.

The one last option that I may pitch to my buddies is to head up north to my lake home and do Ironman Minocqua – Team Gunners!  It would be a self-supported team “race” that we could do on our own, which would have its own set of issues.  But it might be a fun team thing to do.

I’m not sure what option I will choose.  I’ve got some thinking to do.

TOTALS FOR WEEK 16:

As for Week 16, I did have a pretty good week training up north in Minocqua.  I got in an open water swim in Lake Minocqua that Garmin tells me was 2178 yards, which is 70.3 swim distance territory.  I felt pretty good doing it too.  The other notable thing was that I discovered a paved bike trail system that can take me from Minocqua east to St. Germain and then north to Boulder Junction and then even further west to Manitowish Waters and Mercer. I’m not sure if all that is paved, but what I rode for four hours on Saturday was.  It’s a little technical, with a lot of twisting and tight turns and a lot of rolling hills.  I will definitely be exploring that trail some more.

  • Swim:  1 / 1500 yards
  • Bike:   3 rides  /   83 miles
  • Run:   3 runs  /  21 miles

I’ll post again in the next week or two about what I decide to do.  I have until July 16 to decide.

Lastly, I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to race Ironman Louisville in 2017.  We had a pretty good time then, and I set my personal best Ironman time there.

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2017 Ironman Louisville Finisher.  One of the best finish lines in Ironman.
Gunners-2-1
Stay tuned…

 

A Half-hearted Attempt at Week 15

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 15 – June 22 > June 28, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART XV

I’m typing this on my iPad and it’s a little bit of a struggle for this technology challenged old guy, but I promise to clean it up when I get back to my computer at home.  I’m surprised that I am even putting forth the effort seeing that I am on vacation. 


There were a few things happening this week that kind of screwed with my desire to train. The first is that knowing that my family and I were heading to our lake house for a week, I had some stuff to deal with before leaving. I did get most of the weekly stuff done, but I missed the long ride on Saturday due to the drive up north and then dealing with cleaning up the yard and moving a week worth junk in. 

So I opted to do the four-hour ride on Sunday and it went okay, but it was eerily similar to last week’s ride.  Had another tire issue that I just refilled with a CO2 cartridge a couple of times.  This bike is nine years old and I have never had a tire or tube issue with it.  I seem jinxed lately with flats.   The ride also ended with a similar bonk at the end.  It wasn’t really hot, but I was sweating as usual and most likely didn’t keep up with my hydration.  I felt so worn out at the end that I opted to jump in the lake to cool down and skip the 30-minute brick run afterward.

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My better half joined me on the ride for awhile on the Bearskin Trail.

My ride took me to Nokomis and I found a new place in the middle of nowhere called “Bubba’s”.  It looks like a large place for bikers to assemble for an upcoming event they have for motorcyclists. The USA War monument They built was pretty impressive.

The other issue that has poured a little water on my enthusiasm is that I discovered that Ironman has closed registration for Ironman Louisville. That’s a problem because 3/5’s of my Gunner teammates hadn’t signed up for it yet!  I’m not sure why they closed it, but I have a pretty good idea why.  They maybe trying to limit they amount of triathletes competing to limit the risk to everyone, but that’s not it.  They also may be trying to limit the amount of triathletes that they have to offer transfers to if and when they have to cancel the race due to COVID-19, but that’s not it either.  I’m now about 99% sure this race will get canceled next week.

It was mentioned on the IM Louisville Facebook page that the same thing happened to Ironman Ohio 70.3 – they closed registration and then the following week they postponed/canceled it.

So, now I kind of don’t feel like training. I know that I said last week that if the race survives past Week 15 that I would keep training, but I’m not so sure.  Feeling like the ax is going to fall on this race puts a damper on training for me.  Gunner teammate Dave says he’ll probably still train and look for another late fall race to do, but I’m thinking that there won’t be any racing this year for Ironman in the US.  Seeing that COVID-19 numbers are spiking in some areas again says a lot.

So I plan on training this next week while on vacation and doing what I can waiting for a decision to be made.  I just hope it comes sooner rather than later.

TOTALS FOR WEEK 15:

  • Swim:  1 / 1500 yards
  • Bike:   3 rides  /   85.5 miles
  • Run:   5 runs  /  17.3 miles (skipped the Saturday brick and the Sunday long run this week.)

Gunners-2-1

 

Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 14 – June 15 > June 21, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART XIV

A few weeks ago I talked about how my bike was making some clicks, groans, and other annoying noises that I should probably address before they become bigger issues, and as I rode this week it seemed like they were really noisy to me, so I decided to see if I could figure some of them out.  I had heard some people say that the bike shops have 2-3 week backlogs in servicing bikes due to the shops dealing with Covid-19 crazy people who all of a sudden need to have their bikes fixed so that they can ride during the pandemic.  I figured that I have enough skill to handle fixing a bike.  It’s not a car for Pete’s sake. What’s the worst that can happen?

Since most bike noises are bearing related and usually just require some cleaning and repacking with grease, the front fork seemed like it would be a good starting point and something I could easily tackle before I attempt to deal with the chain, derailleur, bottom bracket, and wheel axles.  I probably shouldn’t have.

I often say that I am handy enough to be dangerous.  I know I’m not my father.  My dad was a “jack-of-all-trades” kind of guy, and a master of many.  He could pretty much do anything.  He wasn’t afraid to build an addition to the house, or put on a new roof, or build a small shed/barn.  And as a pipeline welder, he was pretty skilled.  He always said that he could weld anything – anything except a broken heart and a butt crack.  That always got a chuckle out of me as a kid.  He also had another saying though – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I think every dad probably has said that.  That is pretty good advice.

Technically, my front fork wasn’t broken, but I felt that if I let the popping sound I heard when I turned the handlebars go for too long it could lead to something bad.  So disassembly began by unscrewing a bolt that holds a plastic cap on over the top stem of the fork and covers a couple of bolts that are responsible for holding the handlebars on.  Yes, two bolts clamp the aero bars to the fork.  Not bolt the bars to the fork, but clamp them to it.  You would think that would not be enough to handle the forces that I apply to the bars while riding but somehow they do.  Then the fun began.

Two metal spacer pieces needed to come off and they decided to be a giant pain in the ass.  As I tried my best to not mar them up with pliers, I twisted them back and forth to loosen them and move them up and off the top of the fork.  But they didn’t really want to come off by twisting.  Time to apply a little “persuasion”, and I grabbed a rubber mallet.  That seemed to be working but with every blow to the fork, I was extremely nervous about damaging a very expensive carbon fiber bike frame and fork.  I eventually graduated to using a big screwdriver and prying in my attempt to remove them.  The top one came off pretty easily but the second one required a lot more work but eventually relented and came off.  Under the second one there was another piece that the bearings seemed to be attached to and it for sure wasn’t budging any further.  It was awkwardly shaped enough that any tool I had really wasn’t effective.  So I decided that maybe I should stop before I break something really expensive and admit defeat.  With a couple inches of play now I had room to at least clean the areas where the bearing housing sits on the frame on both the top and underside of the frame, added a dab of grease to the area, and claimed a minor victory.  Then I tried to put it back together.  It was at this point I realized that I should have let a sleeping dog lay, and never messed with it in the first place.  More persuasion with the rubber mallet took place, a pinched finger resulting in a pretty good blood blister occurred, some touch-up paint applied to my now badly scratched up spacers, and with some patience which I don’t normally have, I got the thing back together.

In the end, things seem to have turned out okay.  I relearned that some jobs should probably be left to the pros no matter how long it takes.  And by some stroke of luck, I no longer hear the loud click when I turn the handlebars.

~~~swim~~~bike~~~run~~~repeat~~~

The rest of the week went a little like this:

I opted to do the Monday hour-long swim instead of doing a 30-minute swim on Tuesday and Thursday.  It went okay, but it did wear me out a little.  I think I may alternate my swims by doing one hour-long swim one week and do the two 30-minute swims the next week.  I think it may be beneficial to get used to that hour of suffering.  And I wasn’t too bored to death.

My Saturday three and a half long ride started out okay but ended kind of bad.  The wind direction was favorable for a change and I got at it early (around 6:45am) to beat the heat and the crowded trails.  I had plenty of fuel and water and was hydrating well, but around 2.5 hours into it I could feel the bonk coming on and the heat was getting to me.  But just 10 minutes after that my rear tire went flat just like a week ago.  Not sure what caused it, probably a pinch flat.  Fortunately, there was a shady, grassy area nearby and I took my time to recover a little while I changed the tube.  When the job was done I got back to riding but I wasn’t in a good place.  About 15 minutes from home I rolled by a newly built home that wasn’t yet occupied and refilled my water bottle with cold water from the hose bib.  When I got home I skipped the 30-minute post-ride brick run and opted to rehydrate and cool off in the pool.  I basically staggered into the pool.  After a nap and some lunch, I felt good enough to do an easy 30 minutes of jogging.

I think the bonk was the result of dehydration and a little bit of heat exhaustion.  I was drinking, had salt capsules and really wasn’t overdoing it.  I just wasn’t exceeding my sweat rate with water consumption, I guess.  And the heat was just adding to the issue.  I did 2019 Ironman Chattanooga in 13:37 with 95 degree temps that felt hotter and did not feel like this.  Training is not just doing the workout; it’s not just swimming, biking, and running.  It’s also about learning to recognize the external factors and adapting, too.

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Thankfully I found some shade to do this repair.

The Tuesday run was fine and I texted my Gunner teammates that it felt effortless.  Wednesday’s bike/run brick wasn’t so effortless though.  I think I jinxed myself.  On Friday I ran for an hour and it called for 7.5 minutes of Z4 after 45 minutes.  I did fine on that but I think intervals longer than 3 minutes are tough for me to do because my mind will eventually wander, and my tempo will fall off and then all of a sudden I will realize – “Oh Yeah!  I’m supposed to be running hard right now!”  I’d rather do 2 X 3.5-minute repeats with a minute jog in between.  My mind can handle that I think.

 

TOTALS FOR WEEK 14:

  • Swim:  1 / 3000 yards
  • Bike:   3 rides  /   95 miles
  • Run:   5 runs  /  30 miles
Gunners-2-1
Next week – I attempt to fix the bottom bracket!  Happy Father’s Day!

Riding and Thinking

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 13 – June 8 > June 14, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART XIII

Most of my inspiration for the topics for this post comes from the time I am in the saddle riding my long Saturday rides and trust me, I’m doing a lot of thinking on those three-hour-long or more rides.  This week is no different.  Here some thoughts and things that happened this week.

I should have kept the Ironman-O-Meter from last week turned on this week and asked it if I was I going to keep riding the same old route out west of home to Elwood because I was getting a little tired of doing that route, and sure enough I changed it up this week and rode east on the bike trail to head south toward Peotone and then west from there.  I usually ride the Elwood route on training days of less than 3 hours as it takes less than 1.5 hours to get there.  I can ride much farther on the other route.  I’m sure I will get sick of that pretty soon in the seventeen weeks that are left too.  But it was a nice change of pace that refreshed my mind.

As I was riding the Old Plank Trail that heads east I quickly became perturbed at the amount of inconsiderate users that were starting to dominate the trail.  They walk three or more wide, they ride in groups and pass with oncoming riders, and that’s just a few complaints.  It used to be dominated by the regulars like me who put fear into those who came out on the trail, but how the tables have turned.  When I first started triathlons and began riding a lot I was very glad to have the trail available to me, but soon realized that it wasn’t very safe for me to be on it.  Too many people not following the few simple trail rules so that we can all get by without impacting each other.  I soon realized that I felt safer riding on the roads than I was on the trail.  I’m fortunate to live in an area of Chicagoland where north of me has everything the city can offer, and immediately south of me is pretty much a farmer’s paradise.  I just need to find a quiet set of streets to get me to where I need to go without using the OPT.  Sad that a cyclist doesn’t want to bike on a bike trail.

I was very fortunate to be about 1/10th of a mile from home when my rear tire started going down.  I heard a pop and some hissing just as I was getting to my road and was able to coast it easy back home.  Inspection of the tire revealed a small rock to have punctured the sidewall all the way through to the tube.  I guess it’s time to switch to the new Continental 5000’s that I have been avoiding.

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Thought about taking a little break on the ride, but something told me not to.

Thursday was an interesting day.  I work as a non-sworn employee in a police department and we did the Torch Run as a group.  Several of us had done it already virtually, as was suggested by the event organization, so for me, this was just to join the gang and be part of the team.  Or to please the chief.

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My virtual Torch Run picture.  I raised $130 for the Illinois Special Olympics.

It was a bike day so I decided to bike to work, change into running shoes and then run and ride back home.  We all did the required two miles, but I decided to add a third time trial mile just to see where my short distance speed stands since all I ever do is easy paced distance running.  I turned a 6:35 mile and was pleasantly surprised.  I think if I just focused on speed I could probably get under 6 minutes for a mile if I pushed hard.  But that is not my goal right now, and I shouldn’t do dumb things.

Swimming is going well and I feel like I am getting more comfortable and stronger in the water, but I am thinking of maybe doing an hour-long swim on my Monday rest day instead of doing the Tu-Thu 30-minute swims.  Monday seems like it needs something, and having to swim after a bike or run always gives me leg and foot cramps.  I will consider it.  Sixty minutes is a long time to be bored to death swimming back and forth in the pool.  Swimming sucks.

My Sunday long run ended the week with a nice conversation with a couple other runners I met along the way.  Mary and her husband Chris were both wearing Ironman visors as was I and we quickly started talking about Ironman and what races we were doing and what we thought was going to happen.  I was surprised she knew of my son and it was a nice change to have someone to run at my pace and talk with.  Super nice people.  We ran for about 2-3 miles together and then went our separate ways.

One last thought that I have been thinking about this week is my commitment to training for Ironman Louisville in October as I have been doing this past thirteen weeks and what will I do if it gets canceled.  I have said since the Covid-19 thing started that I will train like it is going to happen, and that hasn’t changed.  Ironman has not yet been told by the City of Louisville to cancel the race.  However, I drew a line in the sand this week.  If the race does get canceled before the midway point of Week 15, then I will stop following the plan for Ironman and just spend my week swimming, biking, and running as I see fit.  I will probably shift my focus to more long-distance running and restart my training for the elimination ultra-marathon that got moved from April to October.  However, if the race is still on after I pass Week 15, I will continue to train for it.  If the event then does get canceled for 2020 before race day, then I will try to do it on my own at home or up at the lake house in Minocqua sometime around Week 27 or 28 in the training plan.  I would hate to see twenty or more weeks of training be for nothing, so that is the plan.  Maybe I can talk my Gunner buddies into doing it with me.  The Gunner Ironman!  I’ve already got the t-shirt theme for it:

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TOTALS FOR WEEK 13:

  • Swim:  2 / 3000 yards
  • Bike:  5 rides  /  90 miles
  • Run:  6 runs  /  29 miles
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The Gunners will get it done!

 

 

 

 

The Ironman-O-Meter

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 12 – June 1 > June 7, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC and SOCIAL UNREST!– PART XII

Lots of questions have been going through my mind lately, so I thought I would break out the old “Ironman-O-Meter” (patent pending) and see if it can provide some insight to what the heck is happening.

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Question Number 1:  Will this race be held in October as expected?

Ironman-O-Meter says:  About a 15% chance.  I was at a 10% chance of it happening about a month or so ago, but I am just a little more optimistic about it than before mainly because of what Ironman Corp. is doing planning-wise.  Although they have canceled or postponed many of the spring races, they have moved several to the fall.  I take that as a good sign, mainly because they want the races to occur as long as they can be done in a safe fashion for everyone.  A lot of the cancelations come as directives from the host cities that are sticking to state guidelines for dealing with Covid-19.  USA Triathlon and Ironman have both come out with safe practice policies recently that will allow us to race more cautiously, so that is a little more promising.  There are plans to eliminate a lot of the social event things that Ironman does for a race, as well as making the race more athlete self-supported.  I may be forced to carry my own nutrition on the bike and run instead of having well-stocked aid stations which is not a big deal.  I train that way all the time.  The City of Louisville, where the race will be held has had some social unrest due to a shooting recently, but I hope the crisis will settle down by fall.  I would think that with the losing out on summer and fall sports, Louisville might welcome us dopes on spokes.

Question Number 2:  What chance is there of me joining a group ride with the local bike group?

Ironman-O-Meter says: About a 25% chance.  A group ride opportunity popped up on Facebook for Saturday that almost looked perfect for me, but I took a pass on it.  This is the same group of great people that I accidentally came upon riding last week and joined in, and I enjoyed some company for a change.  I feel a little safer on some rides in a group because groups tend to be more visible to traffic.  But very few of these riders are training for Ironman and the couple that may be training probably aren’t following the same plan that I am.  What happens when I join the group is that my prescribed ride usually goes out the window.  First to go is the tempo, which is almost always faster than the Z2 zone ride that I should be doing.  And secondly, the distance usually ends up being farther than what my plan called for.  Lastly, the ride can sometimes turn into a testosterone-fueled ride, with someone trying to be the big dog.  That someone is usually me.  It’s probably better that I skip the extra tempo, distance, and one-upmanship and stick to my solo ride. The first rule of the Be Iron Fit training plan is to follow the plan.  The second rule is to FOLLOW THE TRAINING PLAN.

Question Number 3:  Will all dog owners say that their dog is friendly while it’s growling and baring its teeth at me?

Ironman-O-Meter says: 100% of the time, every time.  While doing my Tuesday run I came upon a guy and his two little kids walking his dog off-leash in the nature preserve where the posted sign says pets aren’t allowed.  This dog did exactly what off-leash dogs do in public, he approached me very aggressively, with snarling and barking and got close enough where I took my pepper spray off the safety and was ready to unload it on him.  Now, I don’t want to spray the dog.  He’s just doing what dogs do.  But I also don’t want to get bit either!  The owner quickly yelled at the dog “What’s the matter with you?” like it was the dog’s fault he was off-leash in public.  A sorry was tossed my way as the guy retrieved the leash from his 6-year-old and I turned and finished climbing the hill.  On the way back down a few minutes later I encountered him again and although still not leashed, he was being held by the owner.  That’s when the guy says “Sorry, he’s really a friendly dog.”  Yeah, sure looked friendly to me.  Every damn time.  

 

That’s enough questions for the Ironman-O-Meter for now.  I don’t want to blow any circuits.  Thanks to Rebecca and Emily helping me design the Ironman-O-Meter.  It may need some tweaking, but it did the job.

 

TOTALS FOR WEEK 12:

  • Swim:  2 / 3000 yards
  • Bike:  4 rides  /  93 miles
  • Run:  5 runs  /  23.5 miles
Gunners-2-1
A little bit of a dial-back week this week.

Enjoying the Ride

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 11 – May 25 > May 31, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART XI

The weather was pretty awesome this week.  I was in upper Wisconsin at my lake home at the end of last week and the beginning of this week.  I was able to do a long ride and long run last weekend and began this week with a Tuesday run on the Bearskin Trail that runs through town before heading back home.  We would have stayed longer but the in-laws have sold their local home and were leaving for Florida so we needed to be back home to say goodbye.

Swim training began this week!  And although boring, as usual, it didn’t suck.  Well, it had its moments.  I only got in the Thursday swim because we were traveling on Tuesday, and I only did 30 minutes.  I tried using my Garmin 935 watch in the past for swimming in my pool, but it never read the distance correctly.  Garmin must have updated the pool swim feature for the watch as it now lets me customize the pool distance to a more realistic 15 yards for my pool.  Still a little long, but more in the ballpark than 18 or 25 yards, which were the only options before.  Anyway, here’s proof that I was swimming:

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Look out, Mark Spitz!  I’m coming for you!

The Saturday long ride was interesting.  I saw a lot of interesting things on this ride and thought I would share some photos.  These photos are screenshots from my Fly12 bike flashing light/camera.

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15 minutes into the ride and I had to wait for Mama Duck to get her ducklings across the road.

 

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This trucker gave me a nice wide berth on Hoff Road.  Thanks for sharing the road, trucker guy!

I caught up with the local cycling club that I follow and rode with them for a while, and I made a new friend.  Hello, Angela!

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This white 1967 Olds Cutlass 442 was parked off of Hoff Road in the Midewin Nature preserve and rumbled by giving me a smile.
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This farmer was kind enough to give me space too.

 

Okay, enough with the photos.

The Sunday 8.5 mile run was interesting too.  I was coming up to pass a guy who was walking ahead of me, and as he reached into his pocket for his phone a deer appear not five feet in front of him.  He never saw the deer as it bounded right past him!  I was shocked that he didn’t see him.  Unbelievable how much you miss when you are paying attention to your dumb device and not your surroundings.  I enjoyed it though.

Lastly, with all of the turmoil going on in the country and especially in the midwest today, I refuse to let it get to me.  Focus on the positive and stay away from the negative.  I do my part to be a good upstanding citizen.  My best to you all.

TOTALS FOR WEEK 11:

  • Swim:  1 / 1470 yards
  • Bike:  4 rides  /  128 miles
  • Run:  5 runs  /  26.5 miles
Gunners-2-1
KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

 

 

 

Reliving Previous Week 10’s

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 10 – May 18 > May 24, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART X

As I wrap up this tenth week of a 30-week training plan, I was thinking about what was I feeling in my previous four Ironman training Week 10’s.  So I thought it might be interesting to look back at what I wrote about in those weeks.

2013 Ironman Wisconsin Training Week 10 – I was blogging my journey for my first Ironman on a triathlon blogging site that is no longer around, but my son Ben was able to recapture those posts.  It looks like I was actually looking forward to the next third of the training plan.  Hmm… imagine that.  I would never look forward to what was coming now!  Since I can’t share a link to the post, I will copy it below:

  • WEEK 10 – April 22, 2013Week 10 is in the books!  I can’t believe I am 1/3 done with the training.  Week 10 ends the Base Phase of the training program and now I am heading into the dreaded Build Phase!  The next 10 weeks looks challenging, with an extra swim added per week, along with some intervals added to the bike and run training.  I look forward to getting out of Heart Rate Zone 1 and 2 and into zones 3 & 4.  
  • This week took a hit, with heavy rain flooding many parts of the Chicagoland area.  We were spared here in Mokena for the most part, but getting outside was not in my plans.  As a matter of fact, even the Will County Forest Preserve District closed the two local preserves because of flooding, and those are my running and now cycling haunts.  But I did well inside, missing only my Sunday long run due to my daughter’s confirmation and party.  Sacrifices are a two-way street.
  • My butt is continually sore and uncomfortable in the saddle on long rides.  My Saturday 3 hour ride took that to a new level of soreness, and I am wondering if a better saddle may alleviate some of my issues.  I also think I just need to ride more.  I’ll get there.  
  • The swim this week wasn’t the best.  Tuesday’s swim was after a run, which caused me to cramp up in my lower legs and feet.  I just couldn’t swap them that day.  It is readily apparent to me why the swim is the first event.
  • I joined a Facebook group for the 2013 Wisconsin Ironman.  Good group of people and they have shared tons of valuable information.  I’ve been quietly respectful of them, but I will come out of my shell soon and interact with them more.  They are having tons of fun.  
  • WEEK 10 TOTALS:
  • SWIM – 4400 yards, 2 swims
  • BIKE – 77 miles, 3 rides 
  • RUN – 17.5 miles, 3 runs (skipped a long run again this week due to family responsibilities)

2016 Ironman Lake Placid Training Week 10 –  Another upbeat post in 2016 for Ironman Lake Placid.  There was a three-year gap between Wisconsin and Lake Placid, so it seemed like it was still kind of new to me.  Since this race is a mid-summer race, it seemed to be much colder than my other Week 10’s.  The best part of this week was the 3-hour ride with fellow Gunner John.

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John and I seemed like we were enjoying ourselves on a cold April 3-hour ride.  Probably not.

Read the actual post here:  2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 10

2017 Ironman Louisville Training Week 10 – Since I am training for Louisville again this year it isn’t a surprise Week 10 falls on Memorial Day weekend again.  It seems like I did a lot of assessing myself in 2017.  I see that I was starting to realize that all of that crazy swim training wasn’t worth it and I was happy to just do enough.  It worked well for me then as I ended up setting a swim personal best in the race.  Here is the post:  Memorial Day Reminders

2019 Ironman Chattanooga Training Week 10 – It seemed by this point I was doing more writing about the week’s experiences than what the ten weeks meant.  It looks like I hadn’t done any swimming yet, which is not surprising.  I learned a lot in 2017.  The post was about getting the crap scared out of me apparently:  Week 10 Wrap Up: Fear… Parts I & II

2020 Ironman Louisville Training Week 10 – Half of this week was split between home and the lake home in northern Wisconsin.  Glad to get away from the self-isolation and quarantining in Illinois to the beauty of the Northwoods, where apparently the State of Wisconsin doesn’t care if you go about your regular routine.

So here I am again, wrapping up another ten weeks of training and glad to be done with it.  As usual, I am hoping for better weather, for my butt to get acclimated to the seat soon, and for the coronavirus to not kill me or my race.  I’ll keep training like the race is on until it isn’t.

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TOTALS FOR WEEK 10:

  • Swim:  0 / 0 yards
  • Bike:  3 rides  /  75 miles
  • Run:  5 runs  /  34 miles
Gunners-2-1
One-third done!  Hey Carl!

Clicks, Ticks and the Same Old Tricks

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 9 – May 11 > May 17, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART IX

I’ve been training on my new gravel bike for most of the spring, mainly because the weather has been wet and I would rather ride that bike through the puddles than my triathlon bike, but I have been on the triathlon bike more now.  And it has been talking to me – lots of clicking and ticking sounds coming from it that the gravel bike being new definitely isn’t making.  I bought the bike in the summer of 2013, so it is getting a little old now and the sounds shouldn’t really surprise me much. But when I am riding over 20 mph at times, those little sounds probably shouldn’t be ignored.  I’m guessing my headset and fork bearings may need to be repacked with grease.  I’ll play around with it and see if I can get the bike back in a silent running condition.  A new bike would be an easy reaction to an aging bike, but I’m going to make sure my bike can last me as long as it can.  I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to pursue Ironman races.  I’m getting a little worn out.  The click and tick sounds could be coming from me as well.

As I did my weekend long ride on Friday instead of Saturday (moved my senior college grad Ashley out of Valparaiso University on Saturday – 2 down, 1 to go!) I could tell that my level of fitness while doing the ride has gotten better but it’s still a long way off.  First I had overdressed for the day and was sweating more than I should have allowed myself.  That lead to getting a tad bit dehydrated and a slight bonk while finishing up a planned 2 hour and 45 minute ride in 3 hours.  This is my fifth time training for an Ironman and it seems I have to relearn the same lessons each time.  But fortunately, I’m a quick learner and it comes back to me pretty quickly.  

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Every time I train for an Ironman, I guess.

It rained like crazy on Sunday and I didn’t get a chance to do my Sunday long run.  I’ll do it tomorrow.  One thing I don’t have to relearn is how to be flexible and get the job done.

Lastly, I finally opened the pool.  I think I set a record getting it ready.  The temperature is up to 85 degrees (yeah, I hate swimming in cold water), and the junk is all vacuumed out.  I should be able to swim next week.  

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I had to stop at my turn around point to empty rocks from my cycling shoes.  Good times.

TOTALS FOR WEEK 9:

  • Swim:  0 / 0 yards
  • Bike:  3 rides  /  74.5 miles
  • Run:  2 runs  /  9.5 miles
Gunners-2-1
I’m seeing a handful of fall races getting cancelled.  Waiting for the hammer to fall.

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 8 – May 4 > May 10, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART VIII

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!  I certainly miss my late mother and think of her often.  If you are fortunate to have your mother and father around, cherish the time you have together.

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My mom never knew me as a triathlete.  She would tell me to be careful when I was just a runner, worried about the marathons in particular.  I wonder what she would think about the Ironmans I have trained and raced.  I’m guessing she wouldn’t have been too happy about it.  That’s what mothers do, they mother.

Week 8 was a drawback week as far as training goes.  The training plan sneaks these in occasionally and it is always a welcome surprise.  It always seems to come just when you need it.  So this week ended with a reduced ride and run, and I reduced the run even more by eliminating it because it’s Mother’s Day and it’s a rainy Mother’s Day.  Maybe I will do it tomorrow on my normal rest day in Week 9.  It’s an easy hour run that I can do without much effort.

While training for my ultramarathon this past winter I had developed some nagging little injuries, but when the pandemic hit and the event got postponed, I was happy to slide into the Ironman training which heavily reduced my running workload.  I realized in Week 5 or 6 that I no longer had those injuries and was feeling pretty good.  But I’m starting to feel the little behind the knee thing starting to come back.  Maybe taking off from running on Mother’s Day is a good thing to give it an extra day of rest.  I’m guessing Mom would approve.

TOTALS FOR WEEK 8:

  • Swim:  0 / 0 yards
  • Bike:  3 rides  /  66 miles
  • Run:  3 runs  /  14 miles

Gunners-2-1
My wife is an awesome mother!  Happy Mother’s Day Kari!