Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 1 - Ironman and the Fatguy.

February 7, 2013    245 lbs
Hello everyone. I'm Mike, a forty three year old, mostly unemployed, lifelong couch potato and everyman. Today I start a journey that will not only transform my life but may change everything.

Today, I started training for Ironman.

So why Ironman, one of the hardest races in the world? Because it's there! Just kidding. To me it's a challenge that seems just slightly impossible. And that is why I want to do it. There are other reasons that I will go into over time, but that sums it up for the most part. Also I want to show people that if I can loose weight and get healthy, anyone can.

Here is what I did on Day 1-

My first Ironman training workout was an "easy" run of 45 minutes. Easy and 45 minutes seem contradictory to me for some reason. My coach, Chris Hauth a world class coach and athlete, usually starts off his clients with an assessment test to help determine lactate threshold and general fitness. A local testing center can do the test but since Chris is coming into town at the end of the month, he's going to administer the test himself and he's starting me off with a few, general workouts to get my feet wet. When I saw the swim workouts, I told him it's about six times more training volume than I have ever done in one workout. His response, "Welcome to being an athlete.  .  ."
Tonight's run was the first I have done in a couple of months due to a injured calf muscle so I was a bit apprehensive about going so long. Even though the muscle felt like it wanted to tear, it didn't, wahoo! At one point I hear this clanking behind me. I turned to see a little old lady with a walker passing me.  .  . I ended up going about 3 miles at a very slow pace. Some pretty funny looks from the people who passed me. I usually run pretty slow so this is nothing new. It's like they are trying to figure out if they are seeing me in slow motion or not.
So how did I, a recently injured, mostly out of shape older guy, get a two time Olympian and world class Ironman to coach me?

I sent him an e-mail.

I had first heard of Chris from reading Rich Roll's book Finding Ultra were Chris coached Rich to compete in the Ultraman endurance race with only six months to prepare. The Ultraman race is a three day event were each participant must swim 6.2 miles then bike 90 miles on day one. Day two is a 171.4 mile bike ride. Day three 52.4 mile run. Chris's technique for building Rich's endurance up connected with me and I sought him out online. His Advanced Ironman Training Program or AIMP, was easy enough to locate.
So I sent Chris an e-mail and waited. A few days later I get a response and to say he was nice is an understatement! We worked out the details and he put a temporary plan together for me. He sent me a link and password to his WorkoutLog site and encouraged me to fill out the daily log as thoroughly as possible to make the coaching experience better. That was two days ago. Back to today.

Here I am at the start of my first training run today. Nervous about how my leg will hold up, but excited.
So am I starting at zero? No. But not far off.

I have done several 5k's (3.1 miles) and two sprint triathlons. (These are usually a .4 mile swim, 10 mile bike and 3.1 mile run.) Oh, and I did a 50 mile bike ride once. (I will document them in future post.) So how have I done so far?
Do you see that little star on the right side of the chart, that's me. Fifth from the end. That is about where I finish in every race I've done so far. So yeah, I'm not that far into it. In one of the e-mails, I sent Chris some goals that included doing a few races to hang out with friends. He admonished me for thinking like a "participant" and not like an "athlete." He was absolutely right of course. With one sentence, he changed my entire attitude.

This blog will chronicle my journey from where I am now to the finish line at Ironman Arizona in 2014. I will post daily or mostly daily, to keep everyone up to date with my progress. I will also discuss the races I have completed and what I learned about myself doing them. I will also discuss eating healthy and my struggle with weight loss. Be warned, I will be very honest, as that is the only way I can do it. I would like everyone who finds this page to be inspired and to try something to improve your health. Maybe try something that you may not believe you can do, just to see if you can. It's the best feeling.

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