Team In Training

One year out

We're one year out from Ironman Tahoe 2013, which will take place on September 22, next year.   With one year left to train and one year left to fund-raise, things are looking good.  Let's take a look at where I am. Things are going well on the fundraising front - This thing has been officially "on" for almost two months and I'm at 20% of my goal of raising $8,000 to fight blood cancer.  You can check my current progress at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and donate if you'd like.  If I can keep this pace up I should make my goal before the race next year which would be totally awesome.   Thanks to each of you who have already donated!

I'd like to make a special shout-out to the newly wed DiVerdi couple, who donated $250 and then had it matched by Adobe!   That's huge!

As far as training goes I'm also doing well.  I'm working on endurance in all three sports and trying to avoid sprints or over-doing anything in order to keep healthy. (except for one teensy-weensy little half marathon - see below.)  I've managed to go half-Ironman distance in all three sports in the last month which is reassuring.  Not in the same day - just individual efforts.

I'm nowhere near ready for the real thing right now but it's nice to be able to swim 2,200 yards or bike 56 miles and visualize what's needed to double the effort.  I'm feeling good about both of those sports and I can see how to build the volume to get where I need to be.

Running, however, is a different story.   Running is clearly my weakest sport and given the magnitude of the run and the fact that's its the last event, the run is going to be the hardest.  The only way I'm going to be ready for that leg is a slow, steady, smart build up in run endurance.

Having said that, last weekend had some over-exertion in the form of a half-marathon at the SF Giants Race.  It was way longer than I would ever go in a training run at this point but it was a lot of fun and it was a good chance to collect some data and experiment with my run/walk strategy.

The run/walk strategy went well (6 minutes jogging, 1 minute of walking) and my heart rate was looking good up through mile 11 when it started to climb a bit, indicating I was at the end of my range.  I couldn't have gone much farther without digging WAY deeper.  Normal amounts of soreness followed for the next couple days, so I think everything went very well.

In summary, things are looking good.  I've got a year to go and I'm pretty sure I've got the training under control.  I leave it up to all of you to make sure the fundraising part gets done as well.  I appreciate the help!

Let’s do an Ironman!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 22nd, 2013.   That is the date of Ironman Lake Tahoe and the culmination of my 14 month effort to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while getting myself back in top shape. I've participated in the Wildflower Triathlons for about 15 years now, completing the long course (half Ironman distance three times, 10 years ago) and the Olympic distance each year since then.  I was never into organized sports as a kid but I had a blast on the Cal Poly Triathlon Team as a grad student and I've been missing that level of camaraderie in sports ever since.

Although I've been coasting through the Olympic distance race at Wildflower for the last few years, I got some sort of new inspiration this May and I decided to step it up a level and get back to the long course.  I knew this would require some level of actual training, as opposed to simply riding my bike and jogging occasionally.

The same weekend I was having a blast at Wildflower my friend Greg entered the hospital for his third battle against cancer over the last 5 years.   It's August now and lymphoma is taking a heavy toll on him.   He's not out of the woods by any means and visiting him last month really drove home how difficult this has been for him.   His very survival depends on a huge network of support services, and the treatments he's received are the results of billions of dollars of research and development and years of hard work on cures for lymphoma.  Looking back on the impact Greg has had on me over the last 20 years drove me to figure out some way to help.

These two things are now interrelated.  By joining the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training organization I will be committing myself to raising thousands of dollars for LLS to search for a cure as well as offer support services to those with blood cancer and their families.  Over the same 14 month period I will be getting into the best shape of my life, in order to complete one of the hardest events in sports.

Team In Training offers a unique proposition.  In exchange for a fundraising commitment to LLS they offer a full-throttle 10 month long training regimen, including workout with coaches, practice races, skill improvement clinics, etc.  There will be a group of about 40 of us from various backgrounds that will train together for an Ironman.  We will be together for 10 - 15 hours a week for most of next year.  This will be like some combination of Cal Poly's triathlon team, boot camp, and a reality show.

Obviously this is going to be a huge undertaking, on both physically and on the fundraising front.  The Family and I have had many discussions about this over the last month and we are behind this effort 100%.   I don't generally ask for too much from others but this will require a large amount of support from lots of different people.   From my family I'm asking for a huge time commitment in order to train.   From my friends and associates I'm asking for the financial backing to reach my fundraising goals.  My official webpage with Team In Training is here, where you can monitor my fundraising progress or make a donation.

Regardless of whether I'm able to complete the race next September, this is going to be a blast.