The Return To Ironman Starts With 1 Step.

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I am on near 2-year return journey to the Ironman.  I am finding it difficult to wrap my head around the new me.  What I mean about that is when I decided to go back to school to pursue a dream, I put my triathlon and endurance training on pause. 






Well now that I am un-pausing I am struggling with the fact that my fitness did not pause along with it. I am really feeling like a totally new runner, struggling to find my pace and my level.  I keep thinking that it should not be this hard but the truth is that it is.  It is not because this is difficult, it is hard only because I am comparing it to when I left and I am not at that fitness level anymore.


Lesson learned that you cannot rest on your last achievement.  I am embarrassed to even claim to be an Ironman at this point only because I can barely run a 5k.


So this is where my health coaching comes into play and I take myself on as a client.  The struggle is mental and because I am comparing myself to a former version of myself.  That self is not gone, only changed.  And I can never get back to that old self, I can only forge ahead and create the next iteration of self. 


Basically you can only ever go forward and as long as you are making forward progress you are succeeding.  I intend to move forward at the pace of success this year and next.


Every day is a new PR as I am starting over again in my fitness journey with the right head on my shoulders, the right intention in my heart, and with the right tools at my disposal armed with the knowledge of how to utilize them to their fullest.


I get a do-over in a way.


I decided that the journey back to Ironman would start this year in order to give me time to lose the academically induced weight and to rebuild my base. My tri buddies are all doing Lake Placid (IMUSA) in 2017 so that is a possibility for me.  Also contenders are IMChoo, IMNC (the old Beach to Battleship), IMLou, IMAZ, or IMMD.   I prefer earlier rather than later and I prefer to train and race with a large group of people, so IMUSA may be the race!  At least I have a few months to decide before I must sign up.


Lake Placid is a heck of the course, being the 2nd longest running American Ironman race with Kona being the only one ran longer since it was the birthplace of the distance. Lake Placid is challenging with nearly 7K feet of climbing over 112 miles of bike, and an equally daunting run with 1.6K feet of climbing over the 26.2 miles. 





While I am still on the fence as to the specific IM I am going to tackle in 2017, having this beast in my sights is serving as great motivation because those hills + this current body = no way José. I need to drop between 75 and 90 lbs to be at my race weight for the Iron distance, and this is more important for this course in particular.  F= M x A...  Physics!


So forgetting the Ironman ahead of me because it is way too far off to even think of that without setting myself for burn out, I am turning this year to focus on my absolute weakness which happens to be the sport that got me into triathlon to begin with: running.  I am going to train for one of my favorite marathons, Detroit, which is exactly 30 weeks out. I have a 30 week beginner plan from Hal Higdon that I feel confident will get me safely ramped up over the spring to tackle longer distances this fall.  This 30 week build of run focused mileage will lead me right into the November Out Season, which will start a few weeks after Detroit Marathon and will help me gain speed on the run and reclaim some power on the bike before starting Ironman training in the late winter / early spring time frame (if IMUSA is the one I go for... I really am feeling ambiguous to that course for some reason).


Marathon Training Schedule: The Journey To Detroit
Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 Strength / Swim 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 3 m run 30 min walk 27-Mar-16
2 Strength / Swim 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 3.5 m run 35 min walk 3-Apr-16
3 Strength / Swim 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run FLY - FL 3 m run 40 min walk 10-Apr-16
4 Run /FLY - OH 2 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 4 m run 30 min walk 17-Apr-16
5 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 3 m run 45 min walk 24-Apr-16
6 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 4.5 m run 30 min walk 1-May-16
7 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 3 m run 50 min walk FLY - GER 8-May-16
8 REST 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 5 m run 30 min walk FLY - MI 15-May-16
9 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2.5 m run Rest 3 m run 55 min walk 22-May-16
10 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2.5 m run Rest 5.5 m run 30 min walk 29-May-16
11 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 3 m run 60 min walk 5-Jun-16
12 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m run 30 min walk 12-Jun-16
13 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m run Cross 19-Jun-16
14 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 7 m run Cross 26-Jun-16
15 Strength / Swim 3 m run 4 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m run Cross 3-Jul-16
16 Strength / Swim 3 m run 4 m run 3 m run Rest 9 m run Cross 10-Jul-16
17 Strength / Swim 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 10 m run Cross 17-Jul-16
18 Strength / Swim 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 7 m run Cross 24-Jul-16
19 Strength / Swim 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 12 m run Cross 31-Jul-16
20 Strength / Swim 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 13 m run Cross 7-Aug-16
21 Strength / Swim 3 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 10 m run Cross 14-Aug-16
22 Strength / Swim 3 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest S/R easy Ironman 70.3 Ohio 21-Aug-16
23 Strength / Swim 4 m run 8 m run 4 m run Rest 16 m run Cross 28-Aug-16
24 Strength / Swim 4 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 12 m run Cross 4-Sep-16
25 Strength / Swim 4 m run 9 m run 5 m run Rest 18 m run Cross 11-Sep-16
26 Strength / Swim 5 m run 9 m run 5 m run Rest 20 m run Cross 18-Sep-16
27 Strength / Swim 5 m run 10 m run Fly TBD TBD TBD 25-Sep-16
28 TBD TBD TBD Fly Rest 12 m run Cross 2-Oct-16
29 Strength / Swim 4 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 8 m run Cross 9-Oct-16
30 Strength / Swim 3 m run 4 m run 2 m run Rest Rest DETROIT 16-Oct-16




This time around I am no longer doubting myself or my training.  This time around I know that I can do it and that gives me the power to really truly own my training and my self as an athlete.  Everything is clicking for me in my head now, I am in the right space at the right time on nutrition and training and that has not happened in years. 


After a lot of false starts, knowing that I am setting myself up for a great success makes me excited to start in on the process, be it a lengthy one.







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