Friday, January 29, 2010


This has been a week of ups and downs as my wife daughter and I just returned from a mission trip to Mexico with Homes of Hope and witnessed what life is really about and how God can bring about true change. That was the up part of my week. The down part is I found out that Ironman Arizona (IMAZ) the race I was targeting is completely sold out! All of my plans, even scouting out the course now seem purposeless to me. It's really put me in to a funk. I even had a nightmare about it.
I'm sure your asking, why didn't you register sooner? Why do all of this planning, and training before even registering? First of all, the day after IMAZ 2009 I received an e-mail saying that the race sold out the day after the race! They have onsite registration the day after IMAZ and it sold out then. I never had a chance. I still had one more option. The Ironman organization saves Community Foundation slots for each race to raise money for local charities where each race is being held. I still had a chance...the problem is these slots are $1,100 each! Not exactly what I was budgeting for the race entry. Still, I had a chance to enter the race if I was willing to pay the fee. My plan was to compete in IM California 70.3 in March. If that race (my first Half Ironman) went well for me I would register for IMAZ. I wasn't about to spend $1,100 only to fall flat doing a Half Ironman. This week it was announced IMAZ is completely sold out. Even the Community Foundation slots. Now my goal of finishing my first Ironman this year is in serious jeopardy. Not because I haven't done the training, don't have time or have an injury, its because my race has sold out! How frustrating is that!
As I continue to train for IM California I'm trying to not let these circumstances bring me down. Some day I may still be an Ironman...or at least Half an Ironman.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rock and Roll Marathon Phoenix Arizona and Ironman AZ Course Preview

No I didn’t run the marathon but my amazing wife Liz did completing the certified course unofficially at 3:40:05 qualifying her for the Boston Marathon. I’m so blessed to have a wife who is so athletic and we can spend many of our hour’s together training. Liz is such a naturally gifted athlete and this is an awesome accomplishment. Congratulations! You’re going to Boston!

While Liz was preparing for and running the marathon I had a chance to scout out the Ironman Arizona run and bike course. For the run and the bike you must complete three laps which allowed me to run and bike the entire course of each. The timing also worked out that I was on both courses at the same time of day I would be on them for Ironman Arizona (IMAZ). Saturday late afternoon and early evening I started out on my one lap (8.75 miles) of the run course. IMAZ is in Tempe with the main transition area at Tempe Towne Lake Beach Park. I’ve read complaints that the run course is not flat and that you have to run much of it on concrete. I thought the run course was very nice and even scenic compared to where I often run, the Santa Ana River trail here in Orange County CA . No it’s not flat because you cross and re-cross bridges that span Towne Lake and the Salt River but there are no 15% hills like the OC Tri. I had a great run. It was maybe the easiest eight mile run I’ve ever done as I visualized doing IMAZ. Granted I didn’t swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles before my run but overall I loved the course.

The bike on Sunday morning was a little different. I’ve heard all about the bike course, windy, uphill, ugly, monotonous, mine field for flats. I generally feel good to great on the bike but this morning I did not feel comfortable. Maybe it was due to the 12 hour recovery time from my run the night before. Whatever it was the course did not help and I was only riding 38 miles today. It also didn’t help that I missed a turn and ended up on a desolate road being chased by not one, but five pit bulls on four different occasions. The course is as advertised, a steady but gradual uphill in to a headwind for 18.6 miles as you ride thru desolation. I was riding at 60% of my MAX HR (except when chased by the pit bulls) and was averaging between 15-18 MPH. I was reminded of the lava fields in Kona and thought at least Arizona has cactus and pit bulls. I could see how this course could wear on you. Once I got to the turnaround things changed dramatically. I was now going 22 MPH while taking a drink and soft pedaling. I averaged between 24 – 27 MPH on the ride back. From what I’ve heard of Kona, this course is much easier in the sense you have a headwind followed by a tailwind where as Kona it’s just brutally windy the entire time on the bike. All in all a very successful weekend for Liz and I. Having the opportunity to pre-ride and run the IMAZ course fueled my desire to be an Ironman even more.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Due to some computer problems I haven’t posted in weeks. Since my last post when I talked about morale I’ve transitioned in to a state of serious training and my morale has been good to very good. Getting past the holidays and starting the New Year has been huge motivation for me as I know these are critical weeks to my training for Ironman 70.3.
This is what my current training week looked like:
Sunday: 9 mile tempo run at 8:55 pace.
Monday: REST!
Tuesday: 1 hour hard bike with hills.
Wednesday: 4 mile speed work run and 30 minute 2,000 yd. swim.
Thursday: Brick workout. 1 hour bike with hills followed by 2 mile easy run.
Friday: 30 minute 2,000 yd. swim.
Saturday: 3.5 hour 67 mile bike.
This weekend I’m traveling with my wife Liz to Phoenix Arizona for the Rock and Roll Marathon. Liz is hoping to use this race as her Boston qualifier by running a 3:40. OF course I will be supporting my wife during the race but the rest of the weekend for me will be spent scouting out the Ironman Arizona course. Since IMAZ as its know has a bike and run course where competitors have to run and bike three laps of each, I will be able to run and ride the entire course this weekend! Updates on Liz and my IMAZ scouting report when I return!