Monday, July 24, 2006

I am an Ironman!

It wasn't always pretty, it wasn't perfect but I finished in 13.28. I'll give all the beautiful details next week but a top three highlight was fellow competitor Catherine, also a first time Ironman, recognizing me during the bike as the author of The Merrill Life. I floated for the next 10 miles.

Swear to god, Mike Reilly said, as I crossed the finish line with Ben and Sam (dream come true), "Merrill you are an Ironman."

I am breaking 12.30 in 2008. Swear to god.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

7 days to go

One week to go until Lake Placid, and I am either ready or not. There is nothing I can do in the last seven days that will make much of a difference. I seriously am not sure if I trained enough to do well. And I am defining well based on my three goals for the race.

Goal 1 - Finish the race and have fun. Fun is obviously a relative term here. Exercising for 14 hours is not pure fun, but I want to make sure I enjoy the experience and don't get rapped up in my time. One day I can aspire for thesub 12 hour Ironman but this time it is just about finishing and being in the moment. And barring a serious injury, I will finish before the 17 hour cutoff.

Goal 2 - Break 14 hours. Thinking conservatively, if I can do the swim in 1.30 minutes, the bike in 7 hours and the run in a little over 5 hours I will break14 hours, taking into account transition times. This seems pretty realistic.

Goal 3 - Break 13 hours, 18 minutes and 11 seconds. Now we get a little competitive. This is the time Jessie, my ex-wife did for the 2004 Ironman Florida, which is unbelievably impressive to me. She is a better swimmer and biker than me, so the only way I'll beat this time is if I have a great run.

The question remains; have I trained enough for the race.

Yes I have biked more than I ever have in my life, with about five rides over 60 miles in the last three months. I have also hit the gym to power through at least one one hour workouts on the lifecycle each week. My legs have gotten really strong; I haven't cramped once on any ride, a problem I had in 2005 .

No My longest ride was only 90 miles, second longest 72. I also have not done any bricks.

Yes My running has remained consistent and is still a huge strength. I have averaged about 35 miles a week on 3-4 runs, and have had no injuries.

No My longest run has been a half marathon.

No I should have focused more on swimming but only managed 1-2 swims a week, with the longest being 1.25 miles.

YES This is the biggest strength I have going. I feel ready. I feel mentally committed to a good experience. My breakthrough at Wildfire was so big, so important. I am ready for cramps, for pain, for fatigue. I expect it and am looking forward to dealing with it the same way I did at Wildflower. For a final test, I did a 72 mile bike yesterday and a half marathon race this morning and I felt fantastic the last half of the race.

Could I have prepared better, absolutely. But I happy with what I have done and have no regrets.