Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Am an Experiment of One

I woke up this morning and realized that I was done training; well I guess I mean done increasing my training, for Ironman Arizona. I began training for IMAZ on January 1st since I had fractured my foot and couldn't continue to train for PF Chang's Rock-n-Roll Arizona Marathon. During the course of my training I had two significant injuries that prevented me from running; a fractured foot that kept me out for a month and a wrenched adductor that kept me out for three weeks. Each time I had to start over again building my running base. On the up side…during my IMAZ training I did get in a marathon, albeit a slow one, and a 192 mile bike race.

Along this Iron journey I have variously thought of myself as a fierce warrior having completed 8 rides of 100 miles or more three of which included sustained winds of over 30 mph and one completed with the temperature never topping 35 degrees, a despondent piece of glass having suffered two significant injuries and the Homer Simpson of triathlon having had three bike wrecks, arriving at the pool without swimsuit or goggles, going to meet people for a ride once without a helmet, once without a front wheel and yes, even once without a bike!

But…I feel like I have learned a lot. I was actually planning on trying to boost my training volume a little more just one last time not because it was in my original training plan but in order to try and make up for some lost ground earlier in the year. This tactic would be my normal course of action and I suspect that it would have carried with it a 90% probability of some new injury. At this point I have pushed myself hard enough that my shoulders are getting a bit crackly in the water, I need to be careful when I accelerate on the bike so I don't wrench my knees and I have to start out my runs at a very slow jog just so my body can have time to resign itself to the fact we are getting ready to go on a long trip together.

My heaviest week of training during this time was 22 hours; last week was 20 hours. I have ridden 1841 miles, swum 40.5 miles and run a measly 158 miles, half of which was this month. Oh well, there's still a bit more to come.

I'm happy with my decision. I have one more 110 mile bike and another 90 miler but I think I'm going to scale back a bit on the run and the swim. I'm also going to throw in two sprint distance triathlons just to inject some fun into the equation, loosen up a bit and hang out with some neglected friends.

Unless something unforeseen happens like mechanical problems or really adverse weather conditions I think I will PR on this Ironman. More importantly; I have learned to read my body far better than ever before. I think I have a sense of when I have pushed to the brink…without going over the edge. I know I have learned to stop pushing through the pain when that pain is clearly not burning quads, fatigued hamstrings or rasping lungs.

Am I a good role model for training? No. Am I ever going to reach my "true potential" as a triathlete given my athletic proclivities? Unlikely. However, I am becoming "More Me" and a "Better Me" day by day. My training, my injuries, my mishaps are all me. Victories I may achieve are mine as are defeats.

I am an experiment of one; I design the study, carry out the protocol, analyze the data and reach the conclusion. Nobody gives me a road map nor would I want one…this life is mine and I'm not going to get a second change. It is up to me to love, work and play to the utmost of my abilities…to be fully engaged with eyes wide open and spirit on fire.

So I say rest a bit and then…
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!


  1. with one month left, I'd skip the "fun" sprints and "save" yourself for the big show - you'd absolutely KILL yourself if you did something stupid in a meaningless sprint, right? Criminy, you've been putting in 20+ hr weeks - you've only got 2 training weeks left and a 2 week taper - don't blow it now by twisting an ankle in the Po-dunk Family sprint tri - that PR will be WAY much more fun, won't it? I'm just sayin, you know, I could be wrong, here, eh, yo....dat's just me talkin here.

  2. Rest - a key factor in improvement. Do you get enough? Like I have said before, you're training leaves me tired! :-)

  3. You are one impressive fella on that bike. When I read your great posts I know that I need to ride farther and faster - thanks for the reminder, motivation and enthusiasm.

  4. "more training,"

    "an experiment of one"

    Spoken like a crazy endurance athlete I try to keep up with sometimes. Thanks for making me feel like a slacker :)

    Good luck at IMAZ, I'm pretty sure you will be dang fast there.

  5. Great Blog..
    Added you to my cool bloggers list!
    Us Clyds gotta stick together.

    I really gotta sign up for IMAZ 2008!

    rockon` and look forward to following your training/race.

  6. Myles, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to cheering on your PR at IMAZ!

  7. Thanks for popping by my little blog, Myles. Misty has our hotel info if you want to catch up with us in Tempe -- we'll be arriving there on the 12th, starting in Vegas, with a pit stop in Bullhead City/Laughlin to see our uncle.

  8. inspiring thanks Myles. Good luck but most of all, have FUN doing what you do. -chuck

  9. Holy Moly. I got worn out just reading about all of your activities. Good luck in the upcoming events, and please take your tire, helmet, etc. :)