If you missed part one, you might want to refresh first. If you not, it is now March. I’ve spent a month in Japan, touring around and enjoying the hell out of myself. I did a little running and a touch of swimming, but in all honesty I mostly drank incredible Japanese beer and whiskey, ate their delicious cuisine of sushi, ramen and udon and visited as many sights as I could. Not a great start to training for your first IRONMAN 70.3. Bike. Check.
Running shoes. Check.
Swim Trunks. Check.
Now what? I spent the next day's research the heck out of anything I could regarding triathlons. I bought myself a fancy Garmin Forerunner 920XT, because well everyone else had one. It took me awhile but I did my homework and started training … if you want to call it that.
Two things before I go further: First, all I was thinking was, “I’m going to finish the race. Period.” That was the goal.
Second, I must stress that what I did is something no one in their right mind would call “training”. I loosely set out a number of days I’d do each sport and for the most part followed that schedule. Loosely. Often thrown off schedule through social pressure of friends and drinking. I also knew I wouldn't be able to do an introduction event like Trevor did before the IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria.
Let’s start with swimming. I’m not a good swimmer. I know how to swim but I was worried. I started hitting the pool about 3 times a week in the mornings before work. Haha. 3 times …. More like 1-2 times. When I first jumped in the pool I was embarrassed. Men and women of all ages flying by me, while I sucked air and my heavy ass lower body sank to the bottom of the pool. I looked like a horizontal letter “L” as I panted my way up and down the lane.
Trevor did the smart thing - he took lessons. I chose the self-teaching method using the internet. Be like Trevor.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I was good enough to finish the swim in probably just under the time limit (70 mins), but I wasn’t going to make it much under that. I resigned to just pulling my heavy ass through the water using almost exclusively my upper body. It isn’t pretty. But it gets the job done.
I soon improved enough to have confidence that I could at least finish the swim and get onto my bike - my strong point. Honestly, to make gains in the pool I knew I’d have to spend an inordinate amount of time for minimal overall race time gains - training time I didn’t have; well more like training time I didn’t want to commit to at the expense of other social activities. I thought if I spent the equivalent time on my bike or running, the overall time gains would be much better. Turns out I was right.
Two issues still bothered me: I had never swam in open water for an extended period, nor had I ever swam in a wet suit. I addressed both those issues in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean on April 26th, 2015; a day I will never forget.
Prior to this swim, that turned my hands a colour of red I have never seen before, Trevor and I drove out to some farm in the middle of nowhere to purchase a wetsuit. I’m not going to say it was a sketchy situation; no ..... no I am going to say it was a sketchy situation. Picture two ridiculously naive individuals buying wetsuits out of the garage of someone they’ve never met, trying the suits on in their office bathroom and, of course, paying in cash which was taken out from a sketchy Quickie Mart down the road. Just another adventure brought to you by Trevor.
Interesting story and all, as I tiptoed into the frigid pacific ocean in the first wetsuit I had ever tried on and summoned the courage to belly flop into the water and swim, I thought to myself, “Holy shit, I’m floating! I don’t even need to use my legs!” I felt good after experiencing the first (and only) wetsuit swim in open water before the event. I figured I’d be ok with the swim.
To be honest, my bike and run story isn't very exciting. I was a very athletic individual growing up. While I never had run more than 10 km, my running wasn't too bad and I wasn't that worried about it.
Biking has and continues to be my strong point. I rode a lot of mountain bikes when younger and 2 years prior to the IRONMAN 70.3 I had bought a new road bike and was getting pretty experienced on it.
So by themselves I had enough experience with the sports. Never did I put them all together in some crazy single event. June 12, Victoria 70.3 would be my first ......
To be continued ........