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MIND OVER IRONMAN

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MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:37 am

Hello yea it's been a while, not much how bout you?

It's time for a new blog that stays focused on my up-coming pursuits. My first blog, Mind Over Marathon, got me through training for marathons and helped me achieve results even I did not consider before the journey began.

Then, the second journal, Mind Over Myself, helped me stay focused on "what I needed to do," to succeed. It kept me disciplined and it kept my running and triathlon goals at the forefront of my mind.

This new blog, Mind Over Ironman, will cover my triathlon journey going forward.
I thought this would be an appropriate title because I will be spending lots of time, swimming, biking and running in my preparation for the following:

Ironman Kansas 70.3, June 12
Ironman Racine 70.3, July 17
Ironman Wisconsin, Sept 11

Chicago Marathon, Oct 9
NYC Marathon, Nov 6

With all these events, running wise it breaks down to having 2 half marathons and 3 marathons to train for.

So, as you can see I have my hands full. During the next several months a big part of my focus will be on recovery. In fact, I almost selected, "Mind Over Recovery" as the new blog title.

I truly love training and racing and I have really come to appreciate, "the art of recovery." Am I an expert at recovery? No. But, I learn more about it as I go. I will try to become an expert at it.

The more I train the more I realize that many times, "less is more." For example, in training for the last few marathons I was also triathlon training and could not record all the running miles like I used to. I learned to run less as I put in more bike miles. And, you know what, my marathon running times have improved every race.

Also, I believe that the difficult bike miles and my torturously hard Vision Quest cycling/coaching class has made my legs strong enough where the long slow 16-20 mile runs are much less taxing on the legs. Where I used to feel pain during these runs it does not exist.

Another factor I just thought of that could be helping me a ton is P90X. The Ab Ripper has really made my core and hip flexors so much stronger. I'm sure that plays a big part as well.

Could it be that fewer running miles equals more recovery from running?

I have to remind myself that it is through recovery that our bodies become stronger. Recovery IS a component to training. It's part of the plan. Without it we will not benefit from all the hard training we put in.

Going forward I will share my training and thoughts here with you. I will try to post interesting facts about recovery, etc. Maybe some of you will benefit from something I say. If that's the case, it makes writing a blog worthwhile.

Paying it forward!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Peg Coover on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:38 am

I'm so glad you have a new blog over here. You are truly an inspiration, and a gifted athlete AND writer!
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KANSAS 70.3 RACE REPORT

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:40 am

IRONMAN KANSAS 70.3 REPORT
I was off to see the Wizard last weekend to participate in the Kansas 70.3 half Ironman event. It's hard to believe how fast the winter months passed moving swiftly into spring and before you know it it's summertime-event time-race season.

All those hours in the pool, the sweat fest basement bike trainer sessions and running would all soon be tested. The big question, "was I ready?"

I felt like I had prepared well. Swimming, my weakest part, should be so so. The bike, with all the Vision Quest training and trainer sessions would be interesting. How much better am I? And, the run: well I know how to run, that's for sure. But, how will I run off the bike?? These are the things that go through the mind.

THE RACE:

SWIM:

After organizing my transition spot ( T1 ) I put on the wetsuit and walked over to the swim start staging area. On the way there I ran into Chrissie Wellington and said hello and wished her good luck. Not that she really needs it. Just before the swim you will notice many other swimmers wearing various colored swim caps representing their particular age groups. I always think we look like a bunch of penguins standing around for our jump into the water.

I am in the mens 50-54 age group and in wave four. We are just behind the female pros with a start time was around 6:35 am. The nerves build as you stand there wondering what the swim will bring you. Would you swim well? Would there be lots of contact? Blah, blah, blah. Of all the triathlon disciplines, I think the swim has the most variables to contend with. The storms predicted to hammer the area somehow decided to melt before our eyes and bypass us. But, looking out over Lake Clinton you notice choppy waters.

Choppy waters, ha. I swim in Lake Michigan at Ohio Street Beach in sometimes rougher conditions. So, I should be fine, I think. Finally we are called into the water and become a bobbing mass of pink swim caps. This will be my first deep water start. We had to tread water for approximately 3 minutes before the gun went off. I was ready to start the Garmin and positioned in the front of the pack. I wanted to swim hard and separate myself from the pack.

BANG!

We are off. I swam as hard as I could. There were lots of other triathletes around me as we jostled for position. The contact was minimal but still there. People would hit your feet and body but I just kept at it. I am not sure how far I got before my chest and lungs were on fire. Where was the oxygen? I kept at it and thought this feeling would go away. The best way to describe this is hold your breath for as long as you can. You know that feeling in your chest just before you can't hold your breath anymore? That's how I felt.

The feeling was not going away. Thoughts of doubt entered my mind. Would I even be able to finish the swim? Should I swim over to one of the support boats and rest for a bit? I thought, "you can't come all this way to Kansas and not finish." So, I stopped for a bit and then did the breast stroke. Then I floated on my back for 30 seconds. Then I tried again and started swimming very slow just to catch my breath.

After a while I had my breathing down and was able to swim. I decided to just focus on technique and get this done. The slight side stitch kept me in check. Swim, swim, swim. I worked on exhaling underwater and taking air with the head turn. The swim seemed like it took forever. The choppy water was challenging but not so bad. I could see the swim finish and worked my way there. Once there I tried to stand but there were some big round slippery rocks to contend with. Once I had myself balanced I walked towards the swim exit and looked at my Garmin, 47 minutes. WHAT!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT IS CRAP.

Exhausted, I begin running towards my transition area and slowly take off my wetsuit. 47 minutes?? I can't believe it. I did not hurry this transition because I wanted to get my bearings. Once I had my biking stuff on I took off towards the bike exit.

THE BIKE

Time to forget the swim and see what all my bike training brings me. I started moderately and would let the legs determine the pace. It felt good to pedal and let the air dry me. People were lining the road and cheering support. In a few minutes I felt good and was ready to RACE.

Once out of the park we headed onto the rural roads of Kansas. This is a challenging bike course with all the ups and downs. Of course, the downs are not challenging but reaching the downs is the tough part. I was cruising. The legs felt great and strong. I passed a lot of people. There were a few riders in my age group that would challenge each other along the way. One of them is a new Facebook friend now.

What can I say about the bike leg? You pedal and do the best you can. On the uphills you shift to an easy gear and get up and then speed down the other side. Along the way you must take in nutrition to provide energy to finish the ride and also fuel you for the run. This is very important. I was hitting high speeds on the flat areas. Speeds of 22-26 mph were normal. My legs had evolved over the winter into powerful pistons. How cool. I just kept pushing and pushing and never had the kind of leg pain experienced at a Vision Quest class.

THANK YOU VISION QUEST AND DAVE NODA!!!! ( BIKE PR 2:44:35 )

During the 56 mile race I really was not passed by many people at all. I did pass many. Before I knew the big hill was in front of me. I'm only about 4 miles to the finish. Up and over and onward. The legs were somewhat tired from the hard effort. The big question: "What would happen once off the bike?" Soon the dismount line was before me and I stopped and hopped off the bike. I stood there for a few seconds and slowly started running to my T2 spot. Hey, I can actually run. After a few minutes I was ready to run.

Bike time: 2:44:35 ( A NEW BIKE PR )

THE RUN

Gingerly, with thick feeling legs, I started the 13.1 miles. Doing the quick step with fast cadence will loosen the pedaling legs. It did not take long at all for the running legs to return. Before the end of mile one I was at a decent pace. A pace in the 8's is good I thought. After the first mile the legs were moving fast and felt great. It did not take long at all to be running sub eight minute miles. This would continue. I think racing brings out the best in me. I push myself but don't really feel it like I would in a training run.

The run is a strength for me and I pass many many others on the course. Kind of like dominos, picking off people one by one. As I would pass I would try to see their age which is inked on their calf. I wanted to pass as many men in my age group as possible. As I went along through the camp ground there would be campers yelling words of encouragement. Kind of fun.

I kept pushing and pushing. As I passed people it made me realize that I am an ok runner. You see, most of these athletes are in phenomenal condition and look the part. As you pass one after another it kind of builds up your ego.

No problems so far. How nice. i do not feel any cramping potential at all. Maybe my nutrition was spot on. The miles just clicked by. It was not long before i saw the 12 mile mark and knew I only had one mile to the finish. I kept watching the legs of other runners to make sure I could pass another person in my age group. Ah, there's one. See ya.

I could hear the announcer calling off the names of the finishers. Finally I was in the finishing shoot and just kept the pace all the way. The last right turn unveiled THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. As I ran across the yellow brick road and through the finish I stopped right in front of Chrissie Wellington and she put the finishers medal around my neck. How cool is that.

RUN TIME: 1:42:25 ....(A TRIATHLON 13.1 PR)

OVERALL FINISH TIME: 5:21:35

PLACED 11TH IN MY AGE GROUP

WHAT I LEARNED:

1.)
I learned that I need work with my swimming. I need to figure out what happened with my breathing. Perhaps I forgot to breathe during the swim start. I will work on this and make it better. Forty seven minutes is 10 minutes longer than a crappy swim should be.

2.)
I learned that my bike has improved tremendously and I will continue to make this even better. I had a two minute PR on a much harder course than my previous PR at Steelhead.

3.)
Looking back, I probably could have pushed even harder on the bike and run.

My next race is Ironman Racine 70.3 on July 17. I look forward to the challenge.

PAYING IT FORWARD!!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:41 am

@Peg Coover wrote:I'm so glad you have a new blog over here. You are truly an inspiration, and a gifted athlete AND writer!

Thanks Peg, very nice of you. Good to see you as well.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:42 am

Hi Randy!!!! Great to have you here!! I like following your training and I'm glad that you'll be posting here with your updates. With regard to the P90X...that Ab Ripper is a butt kicker, isn't it? Believe it or not, I wouldn't have thought of that strengthening the hips. I will have to give that DVD another shot. Thanks for the input! bounce

Edit: I posted this and then saw your race report...Can't wait to read it!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:47 am

Mrs. Schuey,
Good to be hear. My wife asked me this morning, "is P90X Ab Ripper getting easy for you?" I said, " no, it never seems to get any easier." It is not only an ass kicker but a true ab ripper.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:11 am

I thought I would start my voyage here my posting my Mind Over Ironman initial blog and also the latest race report from Kansas 70.3.

Last week was basically a very nice and easy recovery week as I recouped from Ironman Kansas 70.3. I only ran twice during the week for a total 12 miles. My cycling mileage for the week was approximately 85 miles. These workouts were easy spins on the trainer and one outdoor 38 miler with the Chicago Tri Club yesterday. Last year I considered the 38 miler sort of a challenge. After all the winter Cycleops trainer sessions and my Vision Quest coaching I now consider this a recovery ride.

I also worked on my open water swims last week. Lake Michigan is 61 degrees but feels ok once I get started. I swam each 1 mile segment in 33 and 34 minutes respectfully. There were no breathing issues at all.

My next Ironman 70.3 is only 4 weeks away. It is the Ironman Racine 70.3. I look for redemption in the swim and maybe a faster bike and run.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Kenny B. on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:48 am

@Randy E wrote:

My next Ironman 70.3 is only 4 weeks away. It is the Ironman Racine 70.3. I look for redemption in the swim and maybe a faster bike and run.

The smell of a new blog. Sort of like my shoes (Still waiting on them). There is no doubt you will improve substantially on this upcoming HIM. You are just touching the surface IMO on what you are capable of doing. Look forward as always to follow along for the ride (I don't own a bike). Just don't tell my wife about all your IM races. She thinks that is cool vs. my multi-marathon quests or ultra fantasies. Rolling Eyes
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Michael Mitchell on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:57 am

Wow, great job.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Seth Harrison on Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:16 pm

Randy, it's great to see you over here. As I posted on your race report at the TP site, your tri was just amazing, especially after such a tough time in the water. I think your present emphasis on recovery is spot on. It's so hard to grasp the importance of giving the body the necessary recovery time to rebuild and get stronger. I've no doubt that a lot of my troubles over the years have come about due to my inability or unwillingness to incorporate true recovery into my training. Now it's imposed on me whether I like it or not!
So you have another HIM in 4 weeks? Not much recovery time, is it? Wink
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Natalie on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:50 pm

Looks like we'll be meeting in NYC!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:59 pm

Hi Kenny, Michael and Seth. Hope all is well and thanks for commenting.

Seth, here is an interesting link about scoring your recovery.

http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Determining_Your_Race_Recovery_Time.htm

I had an excellent taper going into the 70.3. I also had a very light week last week with basically very low intensity workouts. I scored a 21 on this little test. Now, I wish there was a results column. Guessing, I think I am just about fully recovered from the Kansas 70.3.

I have to add that what I am saying above about being recovered applies mainly to swimming and biking. I don't think I am completely recovered from running yet. I can just tell that from when I have run last week. Won't be long though.


Last edited by Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I wanted to clarify that I'm not fully recovered from running the 13.1 miles.)
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:00 pm

Natalie Wolf wrote:Looks like we'll be meeting in NYC!

Natalie, looking forward to meeting you.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:56 pm

@Randy E wrote:
Natalie Wolf wrote:Looks like we'll be meeting in NYC!

Natalie, looking forward to meeting you.

I'm looking forward to meeting you both there!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Kenny B. on Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:12 pm

@Randy E wrote:Hi Kenny, Michael and Seth. Hope all is well and thanks for commenting.

Seth, here is an interesting link about scoring your recovery.

http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Determining_Your_Race_Recovery_Time.htm

I had an excellent taper going into the 70.3. I also had a very light week last week with basically very low intensity workouts. I scored a 21 on this little test. Now, I wish there was a results column. Guessing, I think I am just about fully recovered from the Kansas 70.3.

I have to add that what I am saying above about being recovered applies mainly to swimming and biking. I don't think I am completely recovered from running yet. I can just tell that from when I have run last week. Won't be long though.

Great info on recovery. Think I will share it. Thanks
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Schuey on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:39 pm

Well Randy it does look like you really have your hands full! I'm glad to see you over here and you posted your blog here. You have always had goo information to share and I have always seemed to learn something new from you. Look forward to reading about your journey this summer and fall and look forward to your posts.

Going to go and checkout out that article you posted on recovery. Something that I think I need to do a little better. I know a lot about it I just don't always execute it very well at times.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Seth Harrison on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:49 pm

That was a good article of recovery Randy. Thanks!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  ChasMcG on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:05 pm

Randy! I'm excited to follow you here as well as FB Very Happy

You really are an inspiration with everything you have acheived with weight loss and your continued progress in all 3 areas. I'm so proud of you. I wish I could say I'm interested in Tri's but I would be lying to you, however, I love reading your success in them!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Schuey on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:16 pm

@Seth Harrison wrote:That was a good article of recovery Randy. Thanks!

Approval

I liked the Modifiers for Race Recovery chart. I think the writer is right on with his statement "How fast an athlete recovers from an event depends on several factors before, during, and after the race."
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:38 pm

Hi everyone, thanks for the warm welcome. I'm glad you all liked that recovery article. I'll try to share other interesting items. It's nice for my links to work on this site.
It seems like this is a tight knit group of people which is nice. Lets grow old together.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Kenny B. on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:44 pm

@Randy E wrote:Hi everyone, thanks for the warm welcome. I'm glad you all liked that recovery article. I'll try to share other interesting items. It's nice for my links to work on this site.
It seems like this is a tight knit group of people which is nice. Lets grow old together.

That would be nice.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Dave Wolfe on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:52 pm

With all this recovery going on I no longer feel bad about forgetting my running clothes today -- the forced day off. I look forward to following a great training cycle. king
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Tom H on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:53 pm

Randy, great race report. I love the details and the story threaded in amongst them. I'll be following your blog with interest now that I'm on the bike and in the pool. But 3 HIMs that close together followed by 2 Marathons separated by a month, sheesh, what an over-achiever!
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Randy E on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:58 pm

Thanks Tom.
But, it's not 3 HIM. Actually, it's 2 HIM and 1 full Ironman followed by Chicago and New York. I may just use Chicago as a long training run and just enjoy being out there.
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Re: MIND OVER IRONMAN

Post  Tom H on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:00 pm

@Randy E wrote:Thanks Tom.
But, it's not 3 HIM. Actually, it's 2 HIM and 1 full Ironman followed by Chicago and New York. I may just use Chicago as a long training run and just enjoy being out there.
Even more impressive! I look forward to meeting you in Chicago.
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