Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ironman Arizona Race Report and Results

It's tough to put an Ironman into words on a blog. I think for this very reason I may only do 1 of them next year. I'll start from the beginning of the trip...

Thursday- Jen and I got to the Moline Airport where my awesome parents were waiting to take the kids from us so we could be on our way. I rolled up to the checkin counter of Allegiant Air and the 15 year old looking kid said, "I think you will have to pay extra for the bike." I explained to him that last time I few Allegiant they only charged me for checked bag since I had so carefully packed this bike into a small case. He asked his boss who told him it only should be charged as a checked bag. I thought that would be the end of the debate but then he told me he was going to look it up. I couldn't believe it...why was this kid questioning his boss?? He was trying to find it but couldn't and one of the other workers told him to let it go. SCORE!!!! $25.00 to ship a bike! Flight landed in Mesa, AZ at 10:30 and we got our rental car. The guy behind the counter laughed when I told him I was going to get my bike case into the economy sized car I had reserved. He told me for $10.00 more a day he could get me a bigger car. We took our chances and it fit no problem.
Friday- Friday we left the hotel at 9:30 and made our way to the race site. I picked up my packet and then went to the pro meeting at 12:30. As expected the meeting was packed. They told us this was the biggest pro field in any race outside the world championship this year. I was pretty excited about that since I wasn't really going into this race with a goal of placing high as much as I was with a goal of racing fast. I thought the bigger field would help me get out of the water with other riders and lead to a faster ride. At the meeting they go over the course and the rules. They are all pretty similar. One of the female pros, Lindsey Corbin, asked all of us to wear a pink bracelet in honor of Sally Meyerhoff, an elite runner turned triathlete who was killed last March while riding her bike. I had heard about Sally because she was a GU athlete and seemed like a tremendous person as well as athlete. Friday night Jen and I attended the Ironman pre-race banquet. We were fortunate enough that one of the Ironman officials gave us a wristband for Jen to get in when we approached him about why athletes have to pay $30.00 for a spouse to attend the dinner. This is one of my biggest complaints about Ironman. They are a profitable company...a HUGE one at that. They do some incredible things but charging family members $30.00 to attend a pre-race dinner or post-race awards banquet is certainly not one of them. I feel it would be fair to give athletes and 1 guest complimentary passes to these things. The races cost well over $600.00 now. Family members make great sacrifices so their loved ones can train for and make an Ironman only seems right to me those same family members should get into the banquets without paying an absurd amount. The dinner was nice and the show that Mike Reilly (voice of Ironman) put on was a good one. He kept us entertained but I still stand by the fact they should not charge an outrageous amount for a family member to attend. At the banquet we found out the oldest athlete who would be competing was a 74 year old gentleman from Cedar Rapids, Iowa so that was pretty cool (Jen and I would later watch him finish on Sunday night). They also had the youngest competitor on stage who was an 18 year old girl that was racing to honor her high school basketball coach who was recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Saturday- Saturday was pretty uneventful. I checked in my bike and then dropped off my bike and run gear bags in transition. I also spent some time packing my special needs bags. I opted to go light on them. For my bike special needs bag I put one bottle of GU Ironman brew in the bag. That bottle has about 850 calories in it. For my run special needs bag I went only with a bottle of Red Bull. I was asleep by 8:30 anxiously awaiting the 4:00 wakeup call.

Sunday-Sunday was race day. I slept well. I was not nearly as nervous for this race as some of the other races I did this year. I was very confident in my fitness and knew I was going to shatter my IM Wisonsin time which was my big goal for the race. I got a good warm up in before the race and put on the Xterra Vendetta wetsuit for the last time this year. All the pros entered the water at 6:40 a.m. so we had 10 minutes to warm up. The water was cool at 61 degrees but that is the kind of temperature I love swimming in. It did not feel cold at all. I lined myself up in the middle of a pack of female athletes thinking my chances of finding someone to draft off would be better in the female pack than the male pack. At 6:50 the cannon fired and we were off! I wanted to swim conservatively and in hindsight I wish I had not done this. It was still pretty dark when we began the swim and it was not long before I lost contact with the main group. In fact, it wasn't long before I felt like I was swimming on my own behind nearly everyone else...males and females. The swim course was one big loop. We started at one bridg and swam down to a different bridge. I got to the bridge thinking we were turning around but the swim actually went a few hundred yards past the bridge. There was only one guy around me and when we hit the turn I was on the inside and I didn't see him again until late in the swim although I could feel him on my feet most of the way. I could see one other female pro ahead of me by about 25 yards but I could never close the gap on her. I felt like my form was getting sloppy on the way back in and with about 500 yards left the first amateurs passed me. They started 10 minutes after me and I was hoping to get in before they caught me but due to my error in starting out too slow I never swam fast enough. I wish now I would have just swam really hard and tried to stay with more of the group for longer. I feel like my swimming is pretty good right now but this swim didn't show it. I was out of the water in 1 hr. 3 minutes and we one of the last guys out. I got out in the exact same time as the guy who swam on my feet on the way back in.

I felt great as I made my way through transition. My legs and breathing were both good. I had a solid transition and passed the guy I got out of the water with and the female pro who got out ahead of me.

BIKE: The first 1/4 mile of the bike getting out of the park was a no pass zone but once we got out on the main roads I started pushing the pace hard. I had saved my Peanut Butter GU for this race and I took my first one early in the bike. Peanut Butter is my new favorite flavor of GU. It was awesome. The bike course is 3 loops with the way out going slightly uphill and the way back slightly downhill. The climb out to the turnaround is so gradual it is hardly noticable. We had a headwind going out. The toughest part of the entire bike ride was in the first 18 miles. My legs were not used to going at this effort for very long since I haven't raced in a couple months. After the first 18 miles when we made the turn to come back my legs felt great for the rest of the ride. Immediately after turning my speed went way up because now we were going down the gradual decline plus we had the wind at our backs. I was up over 30 mph for the first 5 miles or so on the way back. I saw my time at the first loop and it was about 2.5 minutes faster than I hoped to average...this was a great start. I felt really strong on the 2nd loop again going into the wind on the way out and having the wind at my back returning. I grabbed my special needs bag which had my 2nd bottle of Ironman GU brew and also a bottle of coke. Those were awesome! The problem with the coke is that it was still semi-frozen from sitting in our freezer all night. When I opened it I got a coke shower! The bottle was about to explode and when I took the cap off it did just that. I dumped as much as I could into my aero drink and the coke really helped keep me strong the next 20 miles or so. I went through lap 2 about 6 minutes under my goal pace for the bike and I was feeling better than when I started the ride. I began pushing harder on lap 3 and was going faster on the way out than I had on either of my first 2 laps. I was pretty exited about this but realized why when I hit the turn. The wind has shifted and instead of blowing out of the west it was now blowing straight out of the south. We would have a headwind on the way home. This was a huge disappointment because I had been looking forward to the "free ride" back home the final 18 miles. I had to work hard as the wind was definitely picking up as the day went on. I saw a lot of amateurs a lap behind me riding wheel to wheel as I went by them. I had passed only a few guys during the ride and a bunch of the female pros. I knew it would be a tough ride for me because I was all alone the entire that I mean I never had the benefit of riding with a pack like most of the pros. I'm the only one to blame for this because I can't swim. When they would go by me riding the other way they were in groups of 4-6 riders. They were all at legal distances which is smart riding. Staggering 10 meters behind the rider in front of you is a big help mentally and physically especially if the size of the group grows. I would not have this option beause all the guys faster than me on the bike already started it ahead of me due to my slow swim. I finished the bike in a time of 4 hrs. 46 minutes. I was really excited about being able to ride that time solo. It was 4 minutes faster than my goal time and 31 minutes faster than my time at Ironman Wisconsin. It also proved to me that I can get in great training indoors. I had not done an outdoor ride in the 4 weeks leading up to the race. I had great confidence that by using my Powerbeam Pro trainer I could be in great bike shape. I did a lot of interval work at high wattage levels to prepare for this Ironman. My back was never tight during the race which was my only fear of riding indoors so much.

RUN: I had a great transition to the run. I put on my racing flats after changing socks since my bike pair got wet a couple times while going to the bathroom on the bike. I grabbed my GPS watch and headed out feeling great. The GPS took a bit of time to locate the satellites while I was running. At about 3/4 mile into the run it came on and I was running sub-6 minute mile pace! I couldn't believe it. It felt too easy. My big problem was that my stomach was about to explode and I needed to find a bathroom quickly. At the 2 mile aid station I pulled my jersey down and rushed into the portapotty to relieve my stomach. When I got out I looked at the watch and saw my average pace was 6:45 and that included the stop. I was stoked. I knew if I could average 7:00/mile I would break 9 hours which was my ultimate goal. I was running about 6:00 pace and it felt easy. I had to decide if I would back off to 7:00 pace and hope to maintain that throughout or if I should continue on at my pace hoping to build a cushion incase I exploded later. I chose to go big. I was beginning to pass some of the guys in front of me and I felt like I was gliding. When I saw Jen she was excited about how much ground I was making on guys in front of me and I said, "I can run this pace all day." That became my mental phrase for the next 10 miles. When I would pass by spectators I would say, "all day"...mentally firing myself up...forcing myself to believe I could actually hold this pace. By mile 12 reality was setting in and my pace was slowing considerably. By the 13.1 halfway point my average pace had increased to 6:25/mile. I knew that meant I could average 7:35/mile on the back half of the marathon. I was hoping to stay around 7:00 pace for awhile to continue building that cushion but things started going downhill fast. By mile 18 I was to 6:45 pace average. By mile 20 I was at 6:50 average. I remember thinking I could run 8:00 pace the last 6 miles and still break 9 hours. The last 6 miles were pure mysery. Some of the guys (and even girls) I had passed began to pass me back. I kept telling myself to dig be willing to suffer more than I ever have. The will to break 9 hours was there but physically my body was not allowing it. The last 6 miles are a bit of a blur. I thought the 2nd place female didn't pass me until 2 miles to go but Jen said it was closer to 5 miles to go. I remember going up the only hill on the course and it took everything I had not to walk. My pace up the hill was over 10:00/mile. I would have to finish this marathon in some extreme pain. I realized with 2 miles to go there was no way I was going to break 9 hours. I gutted it out to the finish line and crossed in 9 hrs. 5 minutes. Despite not breaking 9 hours I was still thrilled. It was 1 hr. 1 minute faster than my time in Madison and it is a time I can be satisfied with if it's the last Ironman I ever do. I ended up 32 of the 55 guys who started the pro race. I think I was 39th overall counting the 3 female pros and 4 amateurs who beat me. I lost about 9 spots in the last 5 miles of suffering. The feeling of crossing the line knowing I had achieved what I set out to was awesome. I have to give thanks to Jen for allowing me the chance to get in one more race this year. I knew there were some people who thought my decision to start my 3rd Ironman of the year was a bad one. I never doubted it would be my best. I'm so glad I decided to race one more. At the finish line 2010 Ironman World champion Mirinda Carfrae was kind enough to take a picture with me. Jen and I returned Sunday night to watch finishers cross the line for the final 90 minutes of the race before the midnight cutoff. It was in this 90 minutes when I saw who the real warriors of this race distance are. These people were out on the course for 16 and 17 hours. As tough as the day gets mentally for 9 hours I can't even imagine what it is like for 16 and 17 hours. We witnessed people finishing with prosthetic legs and arms, we saw the 74 year old from Cedar Rapids finish. We saw 3 guys finish carrying a fellow competitor they befriended out on the course. We saw a woman finish with her head bandaged probably from falling on the concrete in the darkness of the run course. It was incredible seeing how many spectators hung around until it was all over. I'm glad I went back to watch the finish. It's something I won't forget. Jen and I hung out in Arizona on Monday before heading back. The bike fee was still only $25.00 on the return trip as well. Now it's time for a month break from training. It's time to get out of shape. I'm a firm believer that to get in better shape one has to first get out of shape to allow for the big adaptation from a year of training to set in. I started this past year 57 weeks ago and I was so blessed to be healthy through it all. I'm so thankful to have sponsors like Healthy Habits who always have my bike ready to race. I'm thanful to have Kaminski Pain and Performance Care and Laurel Darren to keep my body ready to race and recover. I'm blessed to have companies like Kiwami Triathlon Wear, Xterra Wetsuits, Zipp, and GU Energy who provide me with the tools I need to race successfully. I'm also so thankful to Russell Constrution for helping me make these races financially possible. Jim and Michelle Russell have also put a lot of money into the non-profit campaign called "Live Uncommon" which aims to get people healthy and active. It's been awesome watching Live Uncommon grow and inspire people to live healthy. I'm thrilled to be part of it. Check out the website to see how you can inspire people in your community to be healthy. In the next few weeks I'll decide whether I want to continue racing professionally or go back to amateur racing. I'll also set a race schedule for next year. I'm so thankful for all the nice comments on the blog and all the well-wishes I received through phone calls, texts, facebook messages, and e-mails. I was not out on the course alone. I knew people were following and I thought of that often as I was struggling. You got me through to the end with a HUGE PR. For that I cannot thank you enough. I only hope I can inspire you to DREAM BIG as much as you have inspired me to do the same. Lastly I must give thanks to my tremendously supportive wife Jen who allows me to do this. Without her love and support I don't even want to imagine how out of shape I would still be...and how much I would weigh. THANKS!! DREAM BIG!

Monday, November 21, 2011

IM Arizona

Quick post from the hotel in Arizona as we get ready to depart back to Iowa tomorrow. I was thrilled with the race. Despite being one of the last few guys out of the water and riding the entire 112 mile bike course on my own without being passed and not having the benefit of being in a group like I hoped I still had a solid ride of 4:46. I knew getting off the bike I needed to average 7:00/mile to break 9 hrs. which was kind of an ultimate goal. I went out after it averaging 6:15/mile through mile 10 including a stop at the portapotty to relieve my upset stomach. I suffered badly the last 5 miles and fell off the pace finishing in 9 hrs. 5 minutes. It was 32nd of the 55 pros that started. I'll put up a detailed report later this week when it all sinks in. I'm thrilled I made the decision to put in the work over the past 8 weeks and come to Arizona to do this race. I was overwhelmed with support through the blog, facebook messages, e-mails, and phone calls. Those got me through when the race got really tough on the 2nd half of the run. Thanks so much! DREAM BIG!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ironman Arizona Tracking Info

If you are bored on Sunday and want to know how my race is going this looks to be the best tracking coverage Ironman has had for a pro race yet. For the first time outside of the world championship the pro race will have athletes wearing a GPS device for real-time tracking. You can find the tracking at From that site you will click my name and then it shows you a map. From the map you will have to select the "pro" category and then check my name and any other athletes you want to see. There are a bunch of different options for what kind of map you get to see and how much you can zoom in. You can see quite a bit of information regarding speed, pace, elevation...etc. Only about 60 of the 100 pro men and women decieded to use the tracking devices so the place won't be accurate using this tracking. If you see the tracker stop moving for me hopefully it is because I went out of network coverage...the tracking network works the same as a cell phone network. From what I understand this shouldn't happen during the event. I will turn the unit on in the morning but then start wearing it after the swim. If you want to see places and such you'll have to go to They have their own tracking but it only updates when you cross over a timing mat which they place in various locations around the course. If you click on my name it will tell the most updated mat I've gone through. To watch the finish you can go to and they televise the entire race on the internet. I would guess I'll be finishing between 4:50 and 5:20 pm central time but if I have the best or worst race of my life that may not be accurate so the best way to know would be to see from the GPS site where I'm at and how far I have to go if you want to have a better idea. Thanks for will keep me going. Both Jen and I are excited for what the day will bring. DREAM BIG!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Challenge Looms...Ironman Arizona

It is rare for a training plan to go perfectly. The past 7 weeks have gone exactly that way for me. I thought my last race of the year was going to be at Ironman Wisconsin on September 11th. Within a couple days of finishing that race I had the urge to race again. What I didn't know if my body would allow me to be able to continue the 2011 season. I took 2 weeks off completely and then began a "trial" week of training where I would determine how my body felt after a week of regular training. I extended my "trial" a 2nd week and it was during that week I realized I was really starting to feel fit again and had the urge to race one more time before closing the chapter on 2011. I couldn't be more thrilled with my decision. I set up a 7 week training plan with a goal of getting leaner for this race than I've ever been for a triathlon. I have done exactly that. Through the 7 weeks I hit every single training goal I set for myself. I use a weekly checklist of goals to guide my training. I check them off as I go through each week. There wasn't a single goal through 7 weeks that was left unchecked. I lifted weights twice every week. I did speed drills, strides, lunges, jumped rope, and did push-ups all three times each week. I did plyometrics twice every week. I met my mileage goals running and biking every week. I surpassed my swim yardage goal every week. I surpassed my core work goal every week. This work has left me feeling more fit and confident than I've ever been going into a race.

About a month ago I read a column from a triathlon coach who said his number one predictor of peak performance in his athletes is to look at their training volume in the 6 weeks leading into a race. His theory was that the best races almost always come at the end of the highest six week averages. This is one reason the coach encourages his athletes to race less and train more. A race typically requires athletes to back down in training before and after the event thus reducing the training volume for a decent period of time. With this theory in mind I compared my 6 week training totals leading up to Ironman Wisconsin with this build up to Ironman Arizona. I used the periods from 7 weeks before the race up to 1 week before the race. Before IM Wisconsin I was having some problems with my hamstrings which caused me to back off sooner than I would have liked and more than I would have liked. I didn't realize how low my volume was until comparing it with my Arizona prep. In the 6 weeks leading up to Madison I averaged 144 miles/week on the bike. Over the past 6 weeks I averaged 200 miles/week. For the swim I averaged 11,000 yards/week leading up to Madison. For this race I made swimming a much higher priority and averaged 17,700 yards/week. This was my highest 6 week average of the entire year far and away. For running I really cut back before Madison and averaged only 29 miles/week in the 6 week block. For this race I have averaged 57 miles/week. Adding this all up and knowing I'm 9 lbs. lighter than when I toed the line in Madison makes me really excited to race. I'm going into this race not worrying about who else is in the race. My goal for signing up was to cut a big chunk of time off my 10 hr. 6 minute PR from Ironman Wisconsin. I'll be racing the "Madison Jeff" when I'm in Arizona. I believe I can shatter my PR. I swam 1 hr. 2 minutes. I think I will be faster than that in Arizona but it certainly isn't the game breaker. I'll save much more time on the bike and run. I biked 5 hrs. 17 minutes in Madison. In Arizona I expect to be under 5 hrs. The run is where I will save the most time. I ran 3 hrs. 40 minutes. I would guess I spent nearly 20 minutes stopped at aid stations trying to find the right ingredients to get rid of my cramping. I hope to run under 3 hrs. 10 minutes. What will it take for this race to be a success? If I dropped 30 minutes off my PR the trip would be worth it. I think I'm capable of much more than that but I found out in Wisconsin just how tough the day can get. I hydrating every day this week with GU Electrolyte tablets in an effort to minimize the cramping that plagued me early in the race in Wisconsin. I'm also going to try to swim with less effort. I was already cramping out of the water in Wisconsin. I don't care near as much about my place out of the water as I do about how I feel getting out. The same goes for the bike ride. I'm really not concerned about my time as much as how I feel getting off the bike. I want to make sure I can actually run the marathon this time around. Regardless of how the race goes I'm glad I signed up for this one. It has allowed me to get into the best shape of my life which is really what all the training for this sport is all about. I didn't know if it would be possible to get into this kind of shape while working a full-time job and being a father to two awesome kids and a husband to Super Mom but I found a way to get the work done. Whether it was through riding my bike in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep or getting up early in the morning to sneak in some extra all worked out better than I could have imagined. Now it's time to execute the race. Jen and I fly out on Thursday this week. We will spend an extra day in AZ after the race. One thing I'm really excited about is going back to the finish line in the last couple hours of the race to cheer on the final finishers. It's something I've missed in my first couple attempts at Ironman. I won't miss it this time. I saw Dr. Kaminski today to make sure my body is tuned up and ready to go. I'll get my pre-race massage from Laurel Darren on Wednesday. If you are bored on Sunday and want to check in on my progress you can go to and there should be a link to athlete tracking. For this race all the pros are going to be wearing GPS tracking devices. I think the Ironman page will have a link to this info but if not go to From what I understand we will put the GPS unit on when we get out of the water and it will tell viewers our current speed, average speed, where we are on the map...and a bunch of other cool data. Knowing that people can see my speed will give me some incentive to keep going when things get tough. I already had my first "Ironman Nightmare" last night. In my dream I was trying to get through the first few turns in town to get to the main road on the bike that begins the 3 loop course and I could barely move. I was getting passed by everyone. I'm not sure why I always have these crazy dreams but I'm not letting that affect my self-confidence. I'm ready for my best one ever. I can't wait for the cannon to fire. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the prayers on Sunday. The forecast looks incredible right now and being on a fast course it should be a perfect day to race fast which is pretty much my only goal. There is a huge pro field of over 60 guys and 40 gals on the start list so that should ensure that I have people around me. I've learned in my first year of pro racing the toughest part is that the race can get aweful lonely. It was easier to be motivated to race for the overall amateur title than it has been to race for 20th in the pro race. I'm past that now and will only be looking to beat "Madison Jeff". DREAM BIG!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to run 18 miles at sub-4 mile pace...

I was excited all week for my Sunday long run. It happens that Sunday is one of my favorite holidays of the year...Daylight Savings Time in the fall. The one in the spring sucks! I thought if I didn't have an Ironman in 2 weeks I would try to break the world record for the marathon. Since the plan called for an 18 mile long run I knew it was my chance to have the fastest pace for a run I've ever had. I left my car at 9:38 a.m. I went out 9 miles with and turned around. At the turnaround I set my clock back for daylight savings time. When I returned to my car after 18 miles it was 10:40 which means I covered 18 miles in 1 hr. 2 minutes...good enough for a 3 min. 26 second pace for the run. Although I wasn't able to set the world record for the marathon I was able to average under the world record for the mile over the course of 18 miles. I did the middle third of the run at tempo pace so that probably helped. Now I'm sure some of you are thinking that there is supposed to be some technical time when the clocks get set back but I've always operated by the theory that if you get the clock set back by noon you are okay since that's when the football games kick off here in the Central time zone.
Although the record pace run was the highlight of the week I had many other great workouts this week. It was designed to be my highest volume week in the build-up to Ironman Arizona. So far through 6 weeks I've stuck to this plan 100%. For the week my total training time was 29 hours. I ran 66 miles, biked 220 miles, and swam 21,300 yards. I knew the swim total was up there with my highest week of the year and after flipping through my training log I realized it was my highest week of the year. I'm really excited about this race because of how consistent the training has been. I've been 100% healthy, I have my weight down lower than I've ever raced a triathlon, and I'm recovering from workouts extremely fast which is a sign of how fit I am right now. Over the past 5 weeks I'm averaging 17,800 yds/week swimming which is almost double what I was doing last school year. My run average has been 59 miles and my bike average has been 209 miles. I've gotten a tempo run and interval running workout as well as 2-3 hard bike workouts every week. I've gotten a long ride and long run every week. My only worry is that most of my bike mileage has been done on the trainer and I wonder if that will affect my lower back during the race because I don't ride in the aero position throughout all the indoor riding. I have played with my position and have what I feel is a very comfortable, powerful, and aerodynamic position. Through 6 weeks I have been able to check off every box in my weekly goal checklist that includes all the small things like core work, weight lifting, running drills, strides, push-ups, jump rope, plyometrics, and mileage/yardage goals. I had a huge weekend of training. Saturday morning I began with a 4 hour trainer ride with 5 minutes at Ironman goal wattage beginning every 15 minutes. In the first hour I was at 230 watts, 240 in the 2nd hour, 250 in the 3rd hour, and 260 in the 4th hour. During the ride I watched the live streaming of Ironman Florida. It was awesome later in the evening to watch local triathletes Johnathan Schmidt and John Pfautz finish with PR's! Immediately after the 4 hour ride I ran 7 miles at a very comfortable pace that ended up being 6:40. I then did a 4,000 yard swim workout and later in the evening got back on the bike for 90 minutes and then did another 2 mile brick run. Sunday morning with slightly tired legs I did the 18 mile run and then swam 3,000 yards and rode the bike 90 minutes. I definitely will not lose weight this week because I was so hungry after the last workout I ate about 5x more than I normally do on Sunday night before "weigh day". This week Halloween came and went and for the first time since 1980 I did not have any candy at all. I'm guessing every year since 1981 when I was a 1 year old I have had candy every year around Halloween. This year I stayed away and it wasn't even that difficult because I'm commited to going into this race with 8 straight weeks of no junk in my diet. Instead of candy I substitute a Zone Perfection bar which is low in fat but high in protein. This coming week I will drop the volume down but focus on getting some really high quality workouts in. I will begin to cut back a bit next weekend to prepare my body to be rested in 2 weeks when the cannon fires. I'm so glad I signed up for this race. I think about it every day and it drives me to eat healthy and work hard. I really believe every day I've gotten better through the training I've done. Some days getting better means training less, and some days getting better means stripping myself to the core like Saturday when the training time was about 8 hours. Next week I'll post the details of the race tracking and coverage. I'll be wearing a GPS chip for athlete tracking so you can see where I'm at and what my pace is at all times after getting out of the water. My plan right now is to swim relaxed and try to catch a good group to hang with, ride conservatively around 4 hrs. 50 minutes, and be really fresh for the run. My running is better than it's ever been before and I need to make that my weapon of choice for this race. I was 3 hrs. 40 minutes in Wisconsin and if I'm smart I should be able to knock a ton of time off that split alone. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!