Monday, June 6, 2011

Training for the Ironman 70.3 in Boise Idaho

When I was in Boise visiting my family 2 or 3 years ago an event was held in the Boise area for the first time. The Boise 70.3 Ironman. I thought that sounded like something I would like to try someday. I had just started riding a bicycle and was enjoying it but had not really done anything to substaniate a fitness level. I put it in the back of my mind and when I came home I kept riding the bicycle and competing with myself in various races and rides to keep motivated to get better.

I did longer and longer rides until I did the first century in Tucson in 2009. The Tour de Tucson 109 miles in about 5 hours and 23 minutes. I was actually slower by a few minutes in 2010 but I did not train as much and it was a very windy day. There have been other century rides as well but mostly just three to four mornings a week at 20 to 40 miles. As I seemed consistent with the bicycle I thought it might transfer to other areas of endurance athletics as well. It just isn't an easy transfer of activity or motivation.

I did incorporate pull ups into my exercise ideology. A funny thing happened on the way to the ball game. I was at a high school football game and the Marine recruiters were there with a pull up bar and giving out treats. I jumped up and grabbed the bar and could not do one pull up. In the process of doing it I felt the exertion in seemingly every muscle in my body including my feet. The strain was nauseating and the fact that I could not do a single one disconcerting.

I started stopping at the grade schools and Junior High schools and doing pull ups on the monkey bars. I got up to one then two and so on util I can now do 11 slow fully extended pull ups. I bought a door way pull up bar and have a full size one on my back porch. Every day I go out there and look at it and say I don't feel like doing pull ups today then I grab the bar and do them. It is such a short work out but its better than nothing. This has been good therapy for my back, neck and shoulders. I have had some issues over the years and various surgeries on my shoulders. At this time however I am as pain free as I have ever been. It feels great. I have separated my shoulder twice in the last two years as well and both times the healing has been fairly quick and without ongoing issues that I can tell.

About two months before the event I got a trial membership at a Gym with a pool and started swimming laps. I would swim for 30,40, 50 minutes and felt like I could do it. I only did about 8 work outs in the pool. About 10 days before the even I heard about a triathlon in Show Low, AZ. They had an Olympic distance and half Ironman distance. I thought the Olympic would be a good test so I went to the triathlon store on Wednesday and rented a wet suit. I went to Saguaro lake on Friday to do an open water swim with the club. I found out very quickly that I was not in shape for the swim.

I went to Show Low on Friday and did the event on Saturday the 4th of June. The swim was torture, with the wind blowing and waves and all the swimmers. I barely made it back. The swim was almost a mile. The bike went fine and then I did the 6.1 mile run without too much trouble. I had run 6 miles about two weeks before and that and about 5 other runs at the track of varying distances was my training for the 70.3 that I would do on the 11th of June 2011.