Tuesday, June 1, 2010

St. George Race Report - Preface

As many of you are aware, I haven’t been very diligent in keeping up with my blog the past months. Truth be told, I was just too tired…lame right? Well, I’ve had a few people mention that I have neglected things for too long. So, I’m back.

In November of 2009, I set out a 6-month training program for IronMan St. George. The program progressively increased in volume of training load. My biggest training week was greater than 25 hours, and I consistently averaged 16-22 hours per week over the entire 6 months. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I got up at 4:50 AM to swim with my Masters group. After getting the kids settled at night, I spent numerous hours late in the evenings riding my indoor bike trainer. I ran and lifted weights during my lunches during the weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays were my biggest training days of the week. Add in a full-time demanding job, a full-time student wife, four kids ranging 12-5 years of age, and moving into a new house, and you’ve got a better picture of what my life was like for the last 6 months. It was nuts!

If I were to tell you that every thing went off without a hitch, I’d be a liar. If I were to tell you I didn’t have regrets, again, I’d be a liar. The toll that such an undertaking takes is tremendous. It wasn’t just my commitment; it was my wife’s and my children’s. The whole family gave something for my ironman. If doing an Ironman is something you’re considering, be forewarned, it’s not just you that sacrifices blood, sweat, and tears.

There were times I was so exhausted, it was all I could do to get out of bed. I had an insatiable appetite and I couldn’t stop eating. I was grumpy; I was mean; I was moody. Sometimes I would be at work and I couldn’t get my brain to engage. People, who knew how hard I was training and how exhausted I was, questioned my sanity. People, who knew how much of a sacrifice my wife was making, questioned her sanity. Things around the house were neglected. This, perhaps, was one of the greatest strains our family has faced…and believe me, we’ve had some doozeys!

But, after it’s all said and done, I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished these last 6 months as a family unit…and some help from others. My wife finished two semesters of classes with nearly all As. My oldest daughter, Elise, has kept up straight As and has consistently progressed in her year-round swim program. Ethan has continued to do well in school and is really excelling in basketball and football. Grace is doing well at school, and is progressing with her piano lessons. And, little Mia is growing up to be a big girl; she’s just completed kindergarten and has consistently made her school lunches and got herself ready everyday for school.

It was my original intention this year to complete IronMan St. George (Done), IronMan Canada, and IronMan Arizona. Over the last 6 months, it has become abundantly clear to me that this task is impossible for me at this stage of life. So, The ammended 2010 schedule will be IronMan St. George and IronMan Arizona with some smaller stuff thrown in in the interim. Since St. George I've taken some time off to step back and reintegrate myself into reality. It's been nice. I have a canoe trip with my son and extended family scheduled next week in southern Utah (Moab) for 4 days. I've just been doing some maintenance training (<10 hours a week). I start training for IMAZ in earnest July 4th...that will give me 5 months. I'm sure, after everything I've written above, you're thinking I'm nuts for doing again. During St. George it dawned on me...I love doing this stuff. I love the energy I get from the spectators. I love knowing I'm doing something most would never consider attempting. I love pushing myself further than what I previously considered possible. If I could do it full-time, I would. If it paid the bills, I'd quit my job right now. I love being my childrens hero. I hope to do 100 ironman distance races over my life.

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