Tuesday, 29 March 2011

So, you’re training for an Ironman……….

Well, this is all very interesting.  The button has been pushed, the accommodation has been booked, the enthusiasm is sky high…………..now to train.
So where do we start? Well, as mentioned in my previous blog, a coach has been appointed.  Whether he likes it or not, Ruley is the man who is going to ensure that I get to the start line in the best position possible, as fit as can be and uninjured – not a minor task in front of you Ruley!
At this stage, the coach has done nothing more than coax me into some semi regular training, a few swims here, a couple of runs there…….bike, what bike?  Nonetheless, I have gotten out most days in the last 2 weeks since I entered the race although Ruley’s phone bill will be going through the roof with the amount of text’s he has been sending me as a “friendly reminder” that I need to JFT.  I promise I won’t need to be pushed as much shortly mate, but damn it’s hard getting back into the habit!
Very shortly, I will be sitting down with Ruley and getting some guidelines in place to give me a bit of direction, but I've gotta be honest, he has some weird idea's sometimes.  I'm just not quite sure what he is trying to tell me here!!

Of course an important part of any training plan is also the nutrition side of things, and I have been very conscious of what is going in.  Just below you can see a very good example of me carbo loading on Saturday night at Sim’s 40th birthday!  This Ironman training stuff is awesome!

In all seriousness, (apart from Saturday night) I have pulled my head in and I am being very careful with the diet.  I’ll stress that I am not dieting, simply watching (and counting) what is going in.  I have found the point counting system that Weight Watchers use very good in the past and I have started to do this again and it has quickly started to work (nearly 5 kgs down in the 2 weeks since I entered the race!)
Ruley and I will need to sit down shortly and work through a proper plan for the next 11 months.  At this stage, just getting on the legs and dropping some weight is the priority but it will need to become more focussed.  As an added complication, since the last time I was in serious, committed training my circumstances have changed considerably.  I am now a single Dad and I have my kids every second weekend, as well as visit them twice midweek, normally Tuesday’s & Thursday’s.
I won’t be compromising my time with Jorja & Regan, so it’s going to be a matter of working out a plan that provides enough flexibility for these set commitments as well as the kids sport, school and hobbies where things are always popping up!
Just adds another dimension to what my training plan will look like, and later on I look forward to the long wind trainer and treadmill sessions on the weekends I have the kids. (I hate the friggin’ wind trainer!)
Another major change to my circumstance is that I have recently started a new job 6 weeks ago.  This was a huge change for me as I had been with my previous employer for 20 years.  So far the new job is going fantastically well, but I am conscious that it will also be a busy year work wise for me as I establish into the new role.  This will also need to be factored into the training plan.
Anyway, it’s all very interesting and, dare I say, exciting.  Having entered the race, started training and seeing the weight drop already has really given me a fresh outlook.  As I sit her typing, my legs are absolutely killing me after Fee dragged me out for a (slow) 10km run Sunday arvo………….but it’s a good pain.  I’ve missed it.  It won’t stop me cursing Fee though for putting me through that!
Don't be fooled by Fee.  She might look like an angel, but inside is a devil and proved it Sunday arvo on a hungover 10k run

This weekend was a bit disjointed training wise as between having the kids for the weekend and the 40th birthday, but I managed to get a quick run in Saturday afternoon, about 5k’s, and then the 10ker mentioned above with Fee.  Last night was a late one catching up on some work, so decided when the alarm went off Monday morning that a sleep in till 7am was the best idea ever. (Sorry Ruley)
So, where are we at so far?  Well, since signing up just under 2 weeks ago I have managed to fit in more training than I have done in probably the last 12 months, have pulled my head in with my diet, bar a small indiscretion Saturday night, and along the way have lost a bit of weight.  Official weigh in Monday morning was 115.3kg, a drop of 4.7kg total.
So it means so far, so good.  I haven’t expired during any of these training sessions yet, although I think it was close Sunday afternoon.  I wasn’t game to turn around, but I think the Mica Paramedics were following behind.  Kinda like when you see the ambo following the horses at the racetrack………..but much, much slower!
I feel good and realise how much I have missed the soreness and the tiredness – seriously, we all have to be farked in the head………fancy missing this stuff, but it’s true.  I know it’s still a while away, but looking forward to being able to mix it up with the guys on the bike again.  Well hopefully anyway!
So it’s off to bed – heading out on the bike in the morning.

Train safe.

Friday, 25 March 2011

So, the Go Button has been pushed!!

So, after recently returning from IMNZ where I was able to watch my Shepp Tri Club mates all cross the finish line with varying degree's of success, the thought had started to cross my kind - "Is this something I can do" I asked myself.  In typical fashion, that was as far as the thought process went, so there I sat at 8am last Tuesday morning waiting for entries to open for IMNZ 2012.

The rego process was pretty painless and interestingly, my finger never seemed to hesitate when hitting enter, and soon after it was official - I was in!!

"So where to from here" I asked myself.  Better check out Trannies, was my thought, to see who else had hit the go button as well.  It appears everyone had the same thought and the race quickly sold out with a day or two.  Unbelievably, a total of 21 members of the Shepp Tri Club have entered with a good mix of experienced athletes and newbies.  At least with a crew this big, it will make training for Ironman a bit easier.
Several days later, Steno asked me (via Trannies) to document my Ironman journey.......purely for comic relief obviously!

So this is why I have started this blog - to put some thoughts down over the next year or so about my training, thoughts, fears, good times, bad times and everything in between.
So before we get started, perhaps a bit of background so you can see where I am coming from.

Let's see:
Late 2004, I was a fat, uninspired snoozer sitting on the couch, having pretty much stopped playing any sport and working 50/60 hour weeks.  I had an 6 month old daughter who, if I kept on a similar path, might be lucky to have me around until she was 18 or so.  Obviously a change was required, so I got myself a bike (Giant Boulder MTB) and started to get out a bit to try and drop a bit of weight and get some fitness back.  Oh yeah, by this stage I had maxed out to 125kg's!

Over the next 18 months or so, I persisted with the riding, started to run a little and the weight started to drop off a bit, eventually dropping nearly 20kg's.

After moving to Shepp, I was introduced to the Shepp Tri Club and in March 2006 purchased my first Roadie (Azzurri Uno).  Around this time, my son was born and my family was complete. In November, I completed my first Triathlon, the Shepp Hexman (633/30/7).  By then I had the triathlon bug and decided that I needed to do more.

Shepp Hexman 2006.  You can see the smoke in the background from the bushfires.

Over the next 12 months, I did a variety of sprint and Olympic distance races, including the Noosa OD race in November 2007, followed by my first HIM (Shepp) 3 weeks later, finishing in 5.33.  At this stage I was down to approx 100kgs.  I followed it up 3 weeks later with Canberra HIM, which unfortunately was my one and only DNF.  A shitty, wet day saw me suffer 4 punctures on the bike, the last of which was at the 90km mark.  By this stage I had cracked the shits and walked back to transition to watch my mates finish.

Shepp HIM 2007.  The steely look of determination to finish my first HIM race lol

In Feb 2008, I went to Geelong and completed the inaugural Geelong 70.3, finishing in 5.31 and felt pretty happy with myself.  On Feb 14th (4 days after the race & Valentines day) I went out for my first recovery ride.  Approx 20km into the ride I was at second wheel and we were approaching a right hand corner when the rider in front of me lost his back wheel in some loose gravel.  Unfortunately, I had nowhere else to go apart from over the top of him and landed on my noggin, knocked myself out and when I came to, realised I had damaged my shoulder.

Geelong 70.3 2008 - smashing the bike leg!!

I managed to mount my bike and ride the 15km home, got my favourite jersey off and walked myself to the hospital.  I had a grade 4 dislocation to the AC joint, had damaged my rotator cuff and torn several ligaments - not a bad job.

Anyway, was told to wear a sling until "it felt ok" and was promptly back on the bike 10 days later.

Not long after I had decided I was going to run my first marathon and I selected a small trail marathon in August of 2008 to be my race.  From here I entered into a 20 week run program to try and give it my best go.  The weight continued to fall off and by race day, I was down to 85kg, a total loss of 40kg since I started this whole fitness thing.

Training had been going extremely well and all of my training runs indicated that I was on track for a 3.40 odd marathon. Unfortunately, the race went pear shaped as I ended up crook a few days out with an ear infection.  Race day was shithouse with a fair bit of walking from halfway for a 4.57 finish.

Over the 20 weeks of training, the shoulder had started giving me a fair bit of grief, so after recovering from the ear infection, on advice from my GP, I got a referral to a surgeon to check things out.  After the prerequisite MRI's and CT's I finally got in to see the surgeon in Feb 2009, having just completed Geelong 70.3 in 5.29.  The surgeon advised that unfortunately surgery would be required and it was determined that a ligament was to be taken from my knee to assist with the repair.

Surgery was set for 26/3/2009 and was very successful.  I was told that i would be in a sling for 11 weeks and the first 4 weeks I would be couch bound.  I think I underestimated exactly how long 11 weeks is because it felt like the longest period of my life.

Having said that, only 5 days after surgery and still heavily under the influence of painkillers I was told by my then wife that marriage was no longer any fun and I promptly found myself single for the very first time in nearly 20 years.

Gotta say, the next few months in particular were a pretty low period.  My marriage had broken down (seemingly overnight, to me anyway), I was stuck in a sling and, for the first 3 weeks after surgery, I was also on a crutch due to them having taken the ligament from my knee.

Anyway, managed to get through the rehab for my shoulder over the next 8 months or so, finally found another place to live and settled in to try and get back into my training and racing.

Only one thing missing.............my mojo!!

I really had no desire to get back on the bike, running was the last thing on my mind and swimming.......what's that?

Nonetheless, early in the new year (2010) and with entries quickly filling for Geelong 70.3, I made the ridiculous decision to enter.  The race was completed on 2 x swims totalling 2.5km, 9 x bikes totalling 576km's & 3 x runs totalling 30km's.

Race day was a mess with me coming home in 6.47. Interestingly, whilst this was my worst result it was my most satisfying race.  I had carried a photo of my kids all race and had pulled it out during those few low moments during the race. Without them, I don't think I would have finished.  I crossed the line and gave their photo a kiss and had a little cry.

Since then, there has been bugger all training sessions and my weight has continued to blow out.

So that brings us to several weeks ago, where I sat at my computer with my finger on the button, ready to hit go on IMNZ.  "Why not" I thought, "lets have a go at this bloody thing".

So, after receiving my confirmation email, I promptly jumped on the scales to see where we were at, and what we needed to do.  It wasn't pretty!!  All that hard work to drop the 40kg's was gone and the official weigh in was 120.0kg.

So what does this mean?  Well, for a start I think that to be realistic race weight needs to be 90kg or better, so it's a matter of dropping the weight.  A coach has been appointed (thanks Ruley) and the training has started, albeit slowly and the following sessions have been completed:

15/3 Bike 29km at an average of 22.6k/hr
18/3 Walk approx 10km (90mins)
19/3 Bike 43km at an average of 26.3k
21/3 Run/Walk 4.0km
        Swim 700m
22/3 Swim 1.0k
23/3 Run/Walk 4.0k

So it's a start!  Obviously plenty of work to do.  However, due to a combination of the training and pulling my head in with my diet the weight has started to come off and I have dropped 3kg's in 10 days - only 27+ to go!!

So thanks to Steno, you are now reading this blog.  Now that we are up to date, I promise that I won't ramble on as much from here on.

I'm looking forward to the next year or so and the challenge of getting fit again.  Let's see what happens!

Cheers Ayto