Monday, October 1, 2012

The Training Truly Begins

 (The formatting will be fixed later!  Some of us don't work on this during work hours... cough... Gina.. cough)

It seems so long ago now. The world was still fully in summer's fair grasp. September 1st. And with youthful fervor, training for the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 began.

(What October probably looks like in cold places right now.)
Now October descends. Smiles and sunshine have been replaced by grey skies self-doubt as raceday quickly approaches (I'm being dramatic, the race is 8 months and it was 84 just a couple days ago). Not that I was smart and wrote down the events of September, but if memory serves, pretty much all I've done are A&W workouts.... that is not a reference to Rootbeer (though real beer probably didn't help), but rather Atrophy and Wither through inactivity.

I've done endurance events like this before. Marathons, Halfs, long bike ride events, and sometimes a combination of a couple whether on the same day or on consecutive ones. If I do say so myself, I'm quite good at formulating a flexible training plan in my head and sticking with it. Generally that plan consists of doing:
  1. A long run/ride on weekends that stretches in distance each week until meeting or exceeding race distance
  2. Staying active during the week with short runs, spinning classes, yoga, circuit training, etc. Things like house painting and helping friends move count, too. (Only once did I also incorporate swimming into the regime, and as I sit here reflecting, I realize that preceded my current PR in the half marathon. This further cements the ultimate point of this post, which I swear I'm getting to, keep reading.)
  3. Rest. No matter how good you feel, take two days off a week, one preferably the day before your long distance workout. And then listen to your body. Feeling worn out, sick, sore, etc? Lighten the load that week. Right now I'm killing it at this phase of the training.

This “seat-of-the-pants” training schedule has served me pretty well in the past. A few times I'd try to chart out specific distances on a calendar or loose-leaf sheet of paper that would invariably end up getting lost, thrown out, or ignored.

“Failure to plan is planning to fail”

But nothing I've done in the past compares to the caliber of next June's undertaking, and as I've proved to myself this last month, aimless wandering just is not going to get this done. This required drastic measures. But first, a quick aside:

Things that do not help when training for an Ironman 70.3

Being swimming timid - Stupid pool, stupid goggles, stupid hard to do breathing. Get me a snorkel.

(Beasley's.  There aren't enough words.)
Football season starting – And all the barbeques, tailgating, and Monday/Thursday night games that go with it.

Beasley's - “Hi, my name is Justin”.
“Hi Justin.”
“It's been five days since last eating Chicken and Waffles. It's a constant battle every day to avoid the delectable combination of crispy and sticky, salty and sweet, southern wonderfulness at my go-to spot downtown. Hmm... Actually come to think of it... I have... somewhere I'm supposed to be... if you need me I'll be near Martin Street.”
(and honorable mention to Chargrill, Cookout, Tyler's Tap Room, and $2 Busy Bee Beers)

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia reruns – What would I rather do than go swimming? Anything really, but high on the list is grilling at Conrad's and watching morally bankrupt people compete with one another to hilarious results.

(Always Sunny.  Conway knows what I'm talking about.)

 Being a Picasso of the frozen yogurt stand - Cappuccino yogurt base layer, topped with raspberries and maple walnut sauce. Then a peanut butter yogurt layer topped by a Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup conglomeration. Finally a coconut yogurt layer and finished with cookie dough, blueberries, and strawberries. Tremendous, but probably packing around 2400 calories.

(My yogurt architectural abilities is both a gift and a curse.)

Oktoberfest! - The Germanic portion of my heritage demands observance of this sacred holiday through the consumption of Marzen lagers, pumpkin ales, and anything else with alcohol in it.
(Should of saved the gore for a Halloween post)

Grapefruit sized ankles/Soccer – Truly, the primary culprits. And continually re-aggravating said ankle due to an inability to sit still.

It is time for excuses and lack of discipline to be damned. This is a two pronged attack.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's my pleasure to introduce what will be my second-Bible for the next 8 months. “Be Iron Fit – Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness”

Next up is the less glamorous student planner. Conveniently segmented to begin in August 2012 (taunting me of when I should of started getting in the pool) and concluding in June 2013, just enough to encompass race day. Here I'll meticulously keep track of workout distances, durations, frequencies, perceived effort level, heart rate, calories burned, and whatever other data I'm supposed to be tracking. Or at least I'll try really hard to because I'm seriously not at all that anal.

Within their pages lie the road map that'll lead from Jordan Lake, through the scenic roads of Chatham and Wake County, and finally triumphantly down the sparkling streets of fair Raleigh, America's best city. <Source:>

October 1st will be remembered as the day the training truly began. Or, as another Iron Man said coincidentally enough in this summer's blockbuster the Avenger's:

Captain America – Stark, we need a plan of attack!
Iron Man – I have a plan. Attack.

(Yes, this will be getting taped to the front of my training log.)