08 December 2009

Planning a Plan

I have delayed it long enough. I have to start looking around for plans to attempt my Ironman on 12 September 2010 in Sandusky, Ohio. It feels particularly daunting looking at 4000 yard swims, 4 hour bike rides and 3 hour runs in the dead of winter. It always feels especially nauseating waking up to pitch black arctic winds and three feet of snow over my car to go swimming at 5:15 a.m. Am i going to complain? Only slightly from time to time. But no one wants to hear it, least of which, my wife who puts up with my obsessive craziness because she is the most patient human being on planet Earth.

Ah, but if I don't start training soon, I shall suffer the bitter consequences of being ill-prepared for the Mecca, the gold standard of endurance events: Ironman. My goal this time around is to find a plan that gives me some idea of what I should be doing in terms of nutrition. That was my biggest weakness this season. I trained well and felt confident in the disciplines, but I did not really train with my nutrition, unless I was going out for a long bike ride. I did not exactly dismiss my nutrition entirely, but I just figured I am only doing a few long brick sessions near the end of my training, why use my pricey gels and recovery drinks during low volume workouts. Well, now I've learned that you to practice using nutrition in training to see how your body is going to react at various points in the race.

Speaking of training, I think I now have a fairly firm 2010 race schedule. I will mix in some smaller races—5, 10K's, trail races, etc. but here is the short list:

Cats Half Marathon, April 2010: This is a ridiculously difficult half marathon course. I ran the course this past summer—unofficially—with Adam and Vanessa. We stopped counting hills when we reached number 50. Afterwards, our legs were pretty fatigued and cramped. We looked like cowboys getting off of a steed at the end of the day, but we convalesced with some Ben & Gerry's ice cream afterwards. I would strongly recommend ice cream following this race.

Spring Forward Formula 1: The format for this race is a R2/B10/R1/B10/R2. Last season, I did a "Poor Man's" Version of this race with my training partners. Poor Scott had 3 flat tires. We waited for him to change his tires. We all won our age group.

Keuka Lake Triathlon: This is one of the earliest triathlons of the season on 5 June 2010. I have never personally run this race, but I have heard it is often a brutal temperature change from the swim to the ride. The lake has usually not turned yet, and the air is hot and humid. Mr. Hall said that he did not even know he knew how to backstroke until he did that race. The water was so cold, he did not want to put his face in it. Good times!

Cayuga Lake Triathlon: This is one of the most scenic courses that I have raced. The
ride takes you past several Finger Lakes wineries along Cayuga Lake. If you can resist the urge to stop for a tasting, you will make it to a run turnaround at Taughannock Falls that is nothing short of breathtaking—a 215 foot drop—making it 33 feet taller than Niagra Falls, and one of the largest single-drop waterfalls east of the Rockies (Thanks Wikipedia!) Of course, by that point in the race, you will most likely already be out of breath, but that scenic gorge and that beautiful waterfall will put a smile on your face and keep you motivated to finish strong.

My first attempt at this race was after a 10 hour car ride through the night coming back from Maine. I can not wait to see how I will do on this course with some sleep.

Musselman Half-Iron: The race director, Jeff Henderson puts on an unbelievably well-organized event. The race day nutrition, volunteers, awards, post-race meal(s) were second to none. I met with Jeff Henderson about two months prior to the triathlon to discuss the Arts Triathlon that I put together with some colleagues the same weekend. We had a half hour meeting. Two months later, he saw me race morning and remembered my name. I felt like Norm.

Rev3Cedar Point Ironman: Two words: I'm scared. I am not too proud to admit it. I know Sandusky pretty well having gone to school up there. It is pretty flat, but 140.6 miles is still 140.6 miles.

Crankskins: Finally, thanks to E.J. and the fine folks at crankskins.com for throwing me some love and becoming an official sponsor for my 2010 race season. I shall be sporting some sweet new crankskins on my ride this summer. Pictures and updates to come.


Kelly said...

Hey...Here's a discount code for Rev3..."TRAKKERS115"

That's a big season, Mark!!

Medievalist86 said...

Hey buddy, congrats on picking a race to shoot for. If I were home, I would run the Cats Half with you, just so I could seek redemption on that course. Although I will say, maybe we should try that one again in December. Maybe late December...Good luck figuring out the nutrition stuff. Isn't it interesting how the non-physical aspects of training sometimes are the hardest?