Sunday, August 19, 2012

IRONMAN NYC - Race Report - Almost

Well not yet first I have to go back and try to fill in the holes that I left from not blogging this experience. 
There are two stories to how I got to actually registering for the inaugural 2012 IRONMAN US Championship in New York City and New Jersey ("IMNYC" going forward).  There is my story and my buddy Fred's story and since this is my blog you will of course get my version.  Race was opening at noon on June 15, 2011.  The one fact we agree on is that I did make the first call to him around 10 am that morning letting him know that the race was going to open and that it would likely sell out in minutes.  Fred was signed up and training for his first IM - 2011 IMFL first week of November 2011.  And as my story goes for the next two hours "Fred" did his best to convince me to sign up for IMNYC.  Telling me how great it would be since it is close to home (2 hours away).  Travel would be less expensive and it would be great that our families could come see us race (we would later find out this was not a very spectator friendly race).  So after hours of "Fred" convincing me to sign up I called the good wife and got her blessing.  We were both lucky enough to get in the race before it sold out 11 minutes after it opened.  

I knew my goal was to someday be an IRONMAN but I also knew at my current weight (on 6/15/2011) of 280 pounds it would not be a good idea.  My plans were to follow a 30 week program from the book called "Be Iron Fit".  But as it turned out we were 60 weeks away.  So I could start the 30 week program and not do the real big weeks since my goal was not to do an IRONMAN 30 weeks before my actual race.  Things started out good and in the first 8 weeks I was down 20 pounds, at this pace I thought I could do the race at my birth weight.  But then a week of Disney with the family and I quickly put 10 back on.  From there the weight was up in down between 260 and 275 over the next few months.  The official 20 week plan was scheduled to start on January 17, 2012.  I would be lying to you if I told you I had even one week where I hit every scheduled workout.  And to be honest I think I may have missed more workouts then I actually made for most weeks.  Now you see why I was in no rush to blog about my training. 

I did my best to hit the long rides and runs on the weekend, and tried to get in the water at least once a week.  I know not your ideal training for an IRONMAN but that is what I did.  Then the reality test came and Fred and I went up to our scheduled Half Ironman up at Hunter Mtn first week of June.  Long story short I had a great (great for me) swim and started out with a nice ride but at about mile 17 - 20 came up with some bike issues.  First flat tires, then after getting that fixed and having walked on my already beat down cleats my cleats would not click in to the pedals.  The last part of the bike was the more challenging and not getting to ride it was not good for my training.  Not to mention not getting to run.  My weight was 265 when we went to Hunter Mtn.  I had major doubts in my head at this point and although Fred and I didn't discuss it I am sure he had major doubts for me as well.  I should also mention there was another issue I had on another local ride we went on in May.  I mentally broke down and called my wife 13 miles from my house to come and pick me up.

At this point Fred and I had been doing our long rides and runs on the weekends together but after Hunter I didn't call him and he didn't call me for the next weekend workouts.  I just felt like I needed to get my ass out there and find out if I could do this or not.  I also didn't want to drag him down and hurt his training.  So I refocused my diet and did my best to make as many workouts as I could.  It wasn't every workout on the schedule but it was more than I was getting.  I was hitting 60 - 70 miles on long rides but running was more lower miles more times a week.  Running almost every day for an hour but again not getting a long run on Sunday like the schedule called for.  Fred and I were still talking to each other just not working out together.  Then one week our rides crossed each other and we rode a little together before I had another bike issue.  My rear rim actually cracked 56 miles into what was to be one of my longer rides (I was feeling a lot better on the bike now).  Fred got in 100 miles that day I was hoping for 85.  After that day we started riding and running together again.  Our runs were being done over in Philly on Sunday mornings (really a great place to run).  I switched to 4:1 run/walk and this was just what the Doctor ordered.  Fred and I did this for the last few weeks up to the race. 

I seriously doubt I would have got to the starting line if not for the help of Fred.  There was also a trip up to the race venue in the last month or so of training.  Real eye opener seeing the course especially the run course with all the hills.  YIKES.

Race day weight was 252 pounds.