Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Another Day

Got up this morning and ran yet another 5k.  I ran it in 22:30, but it's an approximately measured route anyways.  Yesterday's route I finished in 21:30.  I'll try to stick to the same route in order to compare times, but either way, I'm out running. 

My feet are feeling great, which I'm very happy about.  Just another day in the path; I've got a lot of these ahead of me.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Good morning crew!  (I can still say that, it's only 11:20am).

I'm back on course.  My ankle is still a slight bother and I'll be sure to continue being careful with it, but I ran a 5k this morning and felt great!  I still feel it's my cardio/chest that is holding me back as opposed to my legs, but I'm sure I'll come to better understand that or overcome it in time.  I've got a good friend here that is a runner himself, so he may have some ideas.

My plan is to keep up with my goals and then some time later in the week I'll either do a 10k or do second 5k later one day.  But for now, it'd time for some eggs.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Minor Setback

Ok, so entries this coming week will be short, but I want to keep up as much as I can.

After eleven hours of driving yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the beach - great way to start the weekend, right?  I got convinced (quite easily) to do a run at the beach.  However, running at the beach barefoot takes quite a hardy set of feet.  So the point of today's title is that I got a couple blisters within hours of arriving.  I managed to get approximately a mile run in, but then opted to walk the rest in order to attempt saving my feet for the rest of the week.

I didn't make it for a run this morning, so I'm one 5k run down from my goal.  I did make it to the gym for a workout though - arms and core.  Then I played some raquetball, which felt pretty good on my feet, so I'm hopeful that I'll be back to running tomorrow morning, albeit lightly for at least a couple days until I can pop these blisters.

I am sticking quite well to eating healthy though, so bonus on that front. 

Ok, I'm out.  Ciao!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Videos & Next Week in Goals

Today I'll give you a few of the videos about the Ironman.  Then I'll give you my goals for the next week.

The first video (Video #1) is just an Ironman overview type video, a trailer maybe.  This is the video I watch every day.  The opening narration is absolutely why I'm shooting to doing this, "The Ironman is every person trying to find out what he can do."  It gets me into that competition mentality.  Then the video of the swim, the bike, and the run with the pump-you-up music really gets me in the mindset of knowing "Kurt, this is gonna' be incredibly difficult, but you know you're gonna' do it."  Finally, at 1:47/1:48 when they start showing people cross the finish line, everything comes together.  I know a lot of people will find it odd that people would feel this way, but watching people cross that finish line just gives me SO much of a rush.  That's why this is the video I watch every day.

From there we'll dive straight into a heartbreaking story about a specific set of competitors that I remember seeing on tv back when I was a kid (Video #2 and Video #3).  Every summer, they televised the Kona, Hawaii race and while I can't believe that these guys ever actually did that specific race (you have to qualify specifically for it), I'm sure it must have been videos LIKE this one that they had shown during the Kona race.

These kind of touch on two points.  First, it's incredible to think - if you aren't already in the sports field - that so many people with so many different levels of ability are out doing such a grueling race.  We're bred from high school to think that all the sporty people are well built jocks who can out-compete everyone, that they're the young crowd and twindle out as they get older.  But I'll be the first to tell you that in the triathlons I've raced in, I've watched people three times my age (I'm 24 years old) pass me.  That's right, PASS me.  It really brings home the fact that you are what limits you set for yourself.  If you have no limits, then what you can do is endless.  If you are restricted by the world's social conscious and buy into stereotypes and norms, then you will always be battling those self-imposed limits.

Secondly, if you watch the second video, especially from 4:27 on, you get a taste of just how inspirational these two have been to not only the physically or mentally challenged, but to the every type of person.  It honestly chokes me up to listen to her read that letter, to know that a single person just trying to help make their son's life the best it can be has given everyone else an example to live by.  I wish that was more of the every day case in this world and I hope someday to be able to look back and say that I've had that effect one even just one person.

But ok, enough of the emotional.  Time to show you the real risk of this type of race.  Here's a video (Video #4) of two women coming to the finish line of an Ironman who have literally worn their bodies down to the very last drop.  I wish I knew the stats, but all I can say is that there are a LOT of people who enter this race and never finish.  It's awe inspiring, emotional, and such a thrill, but if you don't know what you're doing, you really are putting your life on the line.

Here's another (Video #5) that I think is just INCREDIBLE.  People will push themselves to their absolute limit and the risk in this race is that you've brought together a lot of people really willing to test how far they can push it.  I do not envy the medical teams on hand for any Ironman event.

And then there are plenty of training videos (Video #6).  That video is one exemplifying the extent of training that people take on to really compete in these races.  And then remember that most of these people not only have their training to focus on, but also their full time job, their significant other, their kids, and then whatever you might classify as a social life, HA!

So those are some videos I've kept tabbed on my  browser.  They keep me motivated and keep me within a realistic mindset that this isn't just choosing to pay the registration and show up.  If I want to start AND finish, this is gonna' take a lot of work.  I thankfully don't have children or a significant other to split time with, but I certainly do have a job that tends to take 50-60 hours/week.  So we'll see how well I'm able to keep up with my goal for training.

This brings me to the next week.  I'm going on vacation (yay!), but I can't let myself not do SOME type of training.  I'm heading to visit a friend who is a runner and the running portion of my tri is the weakest.  So my goal now that my tri season is over is focus on doing some running competitions.  So while I want to do maybe half a dozen 5ks, a few 10ks and then see if I feel up for a half marathon come October, I need to jump back into training (I took a week off after my last olympic this past Sunday to rest my ankle and finish a project for work).

My goals for the next week while I'm away.
1Run at least a 5k every day I'm on vacation (should be 7 or 8 days, so a total of 35-40k).  I'd love to get my friend to push me out closer to 10 or 15k, maybe even hit 21k (13.1 miles; a half marathon).  I know the distance from where I'm staying to the beach is about 7-8 miles, so that'd be a great run-swim-run opportunity.
2.  Fit in one good full swim session or take time for 3-4 days to get in the water and stretch back out
3.  I need to work on stretching and keeping my body from cramping, so I'm going to enlist some help in finding stretches that will help do that.  I'm quite a flexible person compared to most to begin with, so I've always found stretching to be difficult to feel benefit from until I'm halfway into some serious distance.
4.  Find some new healthy recipes to bring back into my repertoire.  I need help finding easy and tasty ways of getting more protein into my diet for recovery when I really get into training.

That's it - my inspirational (and informative) videos as well as my goals for the next week.  If I'm not able or motivated enough to get online this next week (I tend to find I don't get on while I'm on vacation; I'm actually a very anti-tech person when I'm on my own time), I will plan on being back on here as of the 5th of September.

Enjoy the weekend everyone and don't eve stop testing your limits!!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

What is an Ironman

Ok, so I figure my audience is incredibly small at this point and most likely will be for quite some time, so why not start off with a bit of the basics and bring all of us three up to speed.  haha

First obvious question if you're not into a wide variety of sports or at least triathlons specifically is "what is an ironman?"  No, it's not a movie, though I would take the Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts as a side any day.  Aaaanyways, what is an ironman.

An Ironman is the largest form of a triathlon, furthest distance and longest time.  Being a triathlon, it's broken up (in order) into swimming, biking, and running

Swim:     2.4 miles (3.9 km)
Bike:   112.0 miles (180.3 km)
Run:      26.2 miles (42.2 km); a full marathon
Total distance: 140.6 miles (226.4 km)

Most races have a time limit of 17 hours and yes, the first reaction from most people is absolute shock at the idea of racing for at least half a day.  Obviously given the time involved, the race starts early (around 7am).  The pros will finish in around 8 hours (at about 3pm) while everyone else straggles in sometime between 3pm and midnight, but from what I've heard and seen from videos/media time is that the transition area and finish line are PACKED from the time the first racer comes through until the last person arrives.  The people in this sport are incredibly supportive!

But for most participants, it's not a race.  There may be a few up to 100 pros that get to start first before everyone else and they surely are going for a top time, trying to make the cut for Kona or just achieve a desired rank.  However, for the vast majority, this race is a symbol of what they are able to do.  Once you cross that finish line, no one can take that away from you; you did it, you're an ironman.  I'm only two days into this blog and while I've gotten a lot of "wow, good luck" responses from my friends, most are still saying "um, are you nuts?!"  Even my best friend since grade school who knows me better than anyone else will tell you he thinks I'm nuts.  I'm sure it applies to a lot of sports, but in my own perspective, it doesn't matter to an endurance racer.  You're not out there running marathons or ironmans, training all but one day a week, getting up early for that pre-work workout, or going to bed early to maintain your sleep schedule because you want to be with the "in" crowd.  We're out there because we want to know one thing, how far can we go?

As unfortunate as it is, I must end here and go try to finish a project before I go into work tomorrow (I'm definitely messing up my sleep schedule a bit tonight).  I'll probably show you guys a few videos tomorrow about the ironmans - general trailer videos, some inspirational videos, and then a few insight videos about specific athletes that I even remember seeing on tv back when I was a kid watching the Kona, Hawaii Ironman every summer. 


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Welcome to My Journey

Hi.  My name is Kurt and I... will... be...  an Ironman

Welcome to my journey.

I will eventually come to all the details and updates in time.  But in short, this past spring a friend suggested I give a triathlon a try.  After four sprint triathlons, I jumped a bit early on the chance to do an Olympic triathlon and then a second Olympic a week later.  I was hooked! I've found myself filled with what people are calling "crazy" ideas.  I've found myself full of feelings I haven't had since my high school sport days, so I'm taking it all and seeing how far I can go with it.  The ultimate goal is I want to complete an Ironman Triathlon.  I want to be an Ironman.  And I want to do it before 2014.

So why am I starting the blog?  A few reasons actually.
1.  By making my goal(s) public, it will help me stick to them.
2.  I'm hoping I can find people to help me learn things (how to train, nutrition, racing tips, etc.)
3.  I want to use this opportunity to see if I can inspire even just one person to be more active and healthy

The blog will unfold on it's own, but I've got three years I plan to be here.  I'll post my training schedule, my general nutrition, my goals, my updates, my injuries, and my slip-ups (yes, they will happen).  Any tips, comments, questions, and such are always welcome.

So here it is:
My name is Kurt.  Today is August 25th, 2010.  And in three years I will be an Ironman.