Thursday, June 26, 2008

Training for Ironman

It has been a while since I last posted. After Eagleman, I have settled into my routine of Ironman Prep, more the isolation training phase. During most of my Ironman training sessions I workout alone and begin to move inward taking inventory on how I am adapting to the increased workloads, focus on quality of the workout, and begin identifying trends and devising plans to hurdle those obstacles that arise during racing. After consultation with Coach Dave, we are moving at a nice clip and I believe have a solid training plan for the next few weeks. I am feeling pretty good in the water as many of my workouts now are focused on time spent and quality of the swim as opposed to repeats etc, which are part of the Vasa workouts. On the bike, I feel I have made significant progress over last year. On my long rides, at 3 and 3.5 hours now (50-60miles), I am continuing to use a 23-11 on climbs to continue to build leg strength. On race day, I will be using either 25-12 or 27-12, as I want to keep legs fresh for the marathon. My runs have been of better quality since Eagleman. Typically on my quality day doing intervals, I am pushing much harder within limits and focused on more sustained interval efforts. Long runs have fallen into place nicely as I am able to recover on Mondays and hit it again on Tuesday. This I hope will lead to a more successful marathon experience this September. In the upcoming weeks, I will begin more focused on longer efforts and begin the real work phase of Ironman training.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eagleman 70.3

Another one in the books- I appreciate the folks writing about this and realize during this race, there is a lot to be thankful for! While racing, I try to remain focused and keep moving forward. On days like Eagleman 70.3, that was all I was able to do, but thankful that I was able to race. As I have posted before, I keep many of my thoughts to myself, but this experience with our group has allowed me to feel comfortable sharing some of the deepest recess of my feeble mind. On Sunday, as I said my pre-swim prayer, I was thankful to God to allow me to tow the start line and the rest was just icing on the cake. Not to mention that I was honored to have Ray and Mike Hannon from the doc crew to share in this experience.
The Swim was in the Choptank River and the water was "black" as the call it the Blackwater Refuge area. I began my temp bolus at 2 hours prior to the swim, at a basal rate of 70% (.91) my normal rate (1.3). I swam conservatively especially coming back home fighting the current, but felt solid and ready to bike. At 45 minutes a bit off where I would have liked, but nonetheless, satisfactory. Blood Sugar start of swim 210, exit at 180
The Bike was a winding 56 mile traverse through the Blackwater Refuse and surrounding towns. Flat, Fast, windy, and HOT. I kept a conservative pace and fueled according to my plan at 1 hour 30 minutes to start, and every 45 minutes to follow which consisted of mini pretzels followed by Gatorade and Vitalyte depending on the bottle I grabbed. Took in some Clif ShotBloks at mile 35 of the bike as blood sugar began to go below the 120 mark I set to "stay at". The winds hit at mile 30 and varied from 10 to 30mph, but blew in very hot air. Finished respectable and blood sugar was t 135 to finish.
The Run was NOT fun. With freshly blacktopped roads and a heat index over 110, it started ok, as I was keeping a nice pace for the first 4 miles. Between mile 4 and 5, I began feeling the heat effects and began slowing as I felt my brain beginning to boil. I began running for 10 minutes followed by 2 minutes of walking and walking through the aid stations, which were great! At the half way point, I employed Survival Mode. Get to the finish by putting 1 foot in from of the other. Started the final trek with a 5 minute run, if you want to call it that, followed by 2 minutes of walking. At each aid station, I was taking cups of ice and filling the front and back of my jersey with it an pouring ice water over me as I walked slowly through it. My heart rate was effected by the heat as I was not able to bring it below 175 despite walking. I was feeling the effects of dehydration. Of note I suspended my pump at mile 5, as at that point, what I was eating and drinking was not staying down and my Blood sugar was at 100. The final mile approached, and all I could think about is finishing and getting back to Denise, Bri and Tommy. I visualised Bri's priceless smile, Tommy's uplifting laugh, and my wife, well that is nobody's business! And got there!
The aftermath,was interesting as I finished with a blood sugar of 82, pump suspended, and Ray got a good shot of my CGM, only to have the bottom fall out about 5 minutes later where I dropped and went to medical. I typically don't feel too low at 61 and not concerned but this one concerned me as it was gonna be one of those lows. The medical staff was exceptional! Amazingly as Ray and I were talking a random person came up and asked about what softset I was using that could endure the heat and sweat. As she spoke, she pulled her pump out and said, Well, mine just came out and I wondered what would work better." Diabetics are coming out of hiding. What a way to finish a tough day!

The after-aftermath- I was pleasantly surprised to find a congratulatory, "Chop-ped" poster on my door at work. Nurse Betty done it again with her kindness and prayers to help me through another one of those races. As a friend, she constantly asks me about my blood sugar management and keeps me on point with my health and aids me with her spiritual guidance! It is this type of support is what the story is about!