Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ironman Arizona 2011 Training Report

First off, thanks to Kirsten for giving me so much support over the past 12 months. She's endured hundreds of mornings alone (some to her delight I'm sure:) while I was out playing on the bike, Rillito running path, and mountain trails. Also, many thanks to all our friends who have posted such wonderful comments about the event. Training for and finishing an Ironman triathlon was very much an individual experience for me, but being able to share the outcome with friends and family makes it all the more meaningful.

Training for this event really started a year ago today. After signing up online a day after last years event the clock started ticking, and the countdown was on. Training consisted of doing what I love; riding my bike, running, swimming and cross training. I trained 6-7 days a week, rode about 4,550 miles, ran over 1,400 miles and swam 94 miles. I trained from 30 minutes t0 7 hours per session. Cross training consisted mostly of rock climbing, tennis, hiking, and bicycle commuting to work.

I burned a lot of calories. These numbers are a bit exaggerated because they are calculated by my watch or bike computer but it's the best estimate I've got. I burned around 220,000 calories biking, 174,000 running, and 28,000 swimming, and 103,000 cross-training.

I spent a lot of time training in each discipline. I spent 275 hours biking, 210 running, 58 swimming, and 190 cross-training. Most of these hours were spent alone, without music. Yes, I had plenty of time to think and learn about myself. It was time well spent and I encourage others to try it.

The key to high volume training for me was to keep it fresh and interesting. Maybe I could have trained smarter and finished faster but I can truly say I never burned out and never over-trained. I logged all my athletic activities this last year and spent 37.5% biking, 28.7% running, 13% hiking/climbing (mostly on rock climbing approach and descents...thanks Dave!), 12% tennis, 8% swimming, and 10% in the gym.

And now it's over and another year begins....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ironman Arizona: A video

Adrian outdid himself this weekend by finishing the Ironman Arizona - his first - in 10 hours and 41 minutes. He completed the 2.4-mile swim in 1:10; the 112-mile bike in 5:21 and the 26.2-mile run in 3:58. I put together a brief video of photos from the event.

I'll let Adrian write about what it was like to start and finish an Ironman event. On my end, I saw what seemed like every possible emotion expressed on the faces of the 2,800-odd participants. Relief and pride; fear, doubt and frustration; and of course, elation. I wasn't just watching an event. I felt like a voyeur.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Goblin Valley 50K: Details and photos

Adrian and friends Billy and Gar all participated last month in the Goblin Valley Ultra Marathon. The 50K race - as well as the 25K and 10K running events - is held in Goblin Valley State Park, a hodgepodge of mesas and sandstone formations located in the San Rafael Swell about 32 miles north of Hanksville.

Adrian and I drove up from Tucson and arrived a day before the race. We camped with Gar and Nicole and Billy outside of the state park off between county road 1013 and a small wash tucked alongside a steep cliff. We set up our tent and gear among desert scrub and juniper and dozens -- and I mean, dozens - of old fire rings.

The following morning, the boys were up before sunrise to prepare for the race. The sub-35 degree temps encourage me to stayed in the tent as long as possible. We all piled into the Subaru and drove to race start, just a few miles down the road.

The race began at 8 a.m. Adrian finished the 50K course in four hours, 20 minutes and came in second place overall. He was the first man to finish. The woman who won finished in three hours, 55 minutes. Gar and Billy stuck it out together for the entire race and finished in five hours, 50 minutes.

Below are a few photos from the day. 

Cold start.

Sunrise at Goblin Valley State Park.

Heading back through the wash.

The final mile is through the hoodoos.

Lost among the hoodoos.

Adrian approaches the finish line.

Adrian cheers on Billy and Gar.

Coming up the road and then a final push through the hoodoos.

Billy and Gar approach the final pumpkin


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The first man across the finish line ...

First man to cross. Meaning, the race winner was a woman.

Adrian and I left the warm temps of the Sonoran desert last week for the much cooler -- OK cold -- environs of Utah for a 50k run at Goblin Valley State Park. We met our friends Billy from Colorado as well as soon-to-be-from Montana friends Gar and Nicole. The run, which Adrian, Billy and Gar all participated in, began at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. 

Adrian came in second place and was the first man across the finish line. Billy and Gar completed their first ultra marathon in good style and within their time goal despite a niggling leg injury and a stomach issue. Stay tuned for more information on the race, and the rest of our travels through Utah, including Bryce and Zion national parks.

Photos: Mount Rainer summit bid

Our three-person team -- Adrian, our friend Robert, and me -- began our Mount Rainier summit bid around noon. We decided to take some extra time and spent two nights on the mountain. The first day we hiked up the Muir snowfield and camped below the hut. The next day we hiked to Ingraham Flats. At midnight, we began our climb to the summit. We reached the summit by sunrise and were back at our tent by 8 a.m. After a nap, we packed up and headed all the way down to the car -- and later pizza and beer.

Here are a few photos of our summertime adventure.

Ready to begin our climb.

View at sunset looking south. That's Mount Hood in the background.

Another sunset shot from the Muir snowfield. 

Hiking up Muir snowfield.
Approaching Ingraham Flats, the last camp before the summit. We set up our tents here and then started our summit climb at midnight that same day.
About 50 feet from the summit. Winds were consistently above 30 mph and gusting above 45 mph. Check out the lenticular cloud behind us. That cloud would eventually hover over the summit and would close the door on any climbers hoping to make it to the top later that day.

Adrian and me on the summit.
The official summit is behind me. We were the second group to summit that morning, right at sunrise.
On our way down the mountain. Our friend, Robert, is in the back. I'm in the middle and Adrian was the leader. Check the rope for an indication of how windy it was.

A morning view to the south as we descended.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adrian finishing the Boston Marathon

I have the video, but .... I can't seem to figure out how to turn it right side up. So here are some photos of Adrian pre- and post-marathon.

At the exhibition, picking up his number.

Trying on the official 2011 Boston Marathon shirt.

At the finish.

It's over! Not a PR, but at 3 hours, 29 minutes, Adrian was able to enjoy the race.
He even sampled a beer en route, courtesy of some Boston College students.

A marathon and some chowda in beantown

I'll let Adrian give a rundown of what it was like to participate in the Boston Marathon (back in April). Here's what I can tell you: People from every station in life were geeking out about the event. Every where I went, I overheard people talking about race strategy or saw folks running. I don't care if you're a runner or not, it was hard not to get excited about the marathon.

I noticed a difference when we changed planes in Philadelphia. There were people all over the airport donning gear from previous marathons. Our connection to Boston had a dozen of other marathon qualifiers on board. Once we arrived in the cradle of liberty, the anticipation for the marathon was palpable.

The city itself exceeded my expectations. And the rainy day that followed the marathon didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the city. We bought tickets for a trolley tour and jumped on and off at various stops, walking between points of interests as the weather allowed.

Watch out for another post with video of Adrian's finish and photos around town.