Sunday, April 29, 2012


Today is special day for me.  We are about a week away from the big one, Ironman St. George. I've completed my training program and feel great!  I know I've done all I could have done and that gives me peace of mind for the race.

The seed to race a full Ironman was planted in 2010 while I was training for my first half Ironman.  I bought an Ironman hat and I figured if I was going to wear that around I better do a full Ironman to make it official.  Really the thought of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 then running 26.2 was a very daunting to say the least.  At the time, I hadn't even done all of that in a weeks worth of training let alone all in the same day. 

After racing the Boise half, the thought of doing a full Ironman became even more foreign.  I could hardly even walk let alone go do the entire race all over again!  Plus both of my knees were killing me.  The day after the race I figured I had done some permanent damage to them because they had a hurt that was much more than just sore.  It was the kind of hurt that I felt in my shoulder before I found I had to have surgery during my first year of playing baseball in college.  I went to a physical therapist for a month and it didn't get better.  He recommended I go to a surgeon.  I did, the surgeon had me do an MRI (this was getting to be an expensive sport :) )  and he visited with me about the results.  He said that I had incredibly tight IT Bands and that was the only thing wrong.  I asked him if I really needed an IT Band and if he could just take them out and donate them to charity.  We both laughed and then he told me I might want to take up a different sport.  That was in July of 2010.  I stopped training for the summer and was close to selling my bike and other gear.  I decided to give it a break for a while instead and see what happened after a long break.

I didn't think much about Ironman again until the early spring of 2011.  I had the bug to start training again but I was very worried about the IT Bands acting up again.  They felt normal since I had just taken a 8 month break, but it was in the back of my mind.  I started training again, this time taking every precaution possible to take care of them and things went well.  I had gained a bunch of weight and it started to come off.  I continued to ease into running, biking and swimming and ended up having a great half Ironman race that year in Boise.  The thought of racing a full Ironman crept back into my mind, but still, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and then run a marathon was still a very foreign concept.

I did a few olympics the rest of the summer and before I knew it, fall was here.  A few friends and I started kicking around the idea of racing Ironman St. George in May, but I just wasn't 100% ready to commit.  It was about this time that I found Reece's Rainbow and learned of the situation of so many special little children with Down syndrome living in orphanages scattered across the globe.  I knew I needed to do something to help them.  This wasn't just a desire to help, but more so an actual prompting that I needed to act and act now.  I knew I was supposed to become involved, I just wasn't sure how.


Over the following weeks the images of these children continued to flood my mind.  Andrea and I would stay up at night and read their profiles and look at their pictures fighting back the tears.  That's when it hit me.  I knew I needed to do a full Ironman and that I needed to do it to create awareness and raise funding for my precious little orphans.  Without hesitating, I committed to race Ironman St. George on May 5, 2012.  I would race for orphans with Down syndrome!

No longer did the distance of a full Ironman seem daunting.  No longer did I question if I could put in the time and energy needed to do this.  There was no fear and I had no doubt that I could make this happen.  You see, I was not racing for Brady Murray.  I wasn't racing so I could tell my buddies that I was "an Ironman", I was racing for orphans with Down syndrome!!  Not only would I race an Ironman for these kids but I'd run through a wall for these kids!

So the training began.  I had a good base from the training I had done throughout the year already for the smaller races, but it was time to take it up a notch.  This is what my typical training week has looked like since January:

Monday        5:00am-6:30        Cycling Intervals (30 miles)
                    7:00am - 7:30am  Hard Run   (5 miles)
                    Noon - 1:00pm    Swim  (1 mile)
Tuesday        5:00am-6:30am   Long Course Swim (2 miles)
                    7:00am-8:00am   Running Intervals (7.5 miles)
Wednesday   5:30am-7:30am   Cycling (40 miles)
Thursday      5:00am-6:30am   Long Course Swim (2 miles)
                    7:00am-8:00am   Recovery Run (7 miles)
Friday           5:30am-8:00am   Long Run (13-20 miles)
                    Noon - 12:30pm  Swim Drills
Saturday       5:00am -11:00am Long Ride (100-112 miles)
Sunday          Rest

To make this schedule work I had to learn to go to bed earlier than I was used to.  I would be in bed by 9:30pm each night and I admit, there were a handful of nights that I was in bed by 8:30pm because I was dragging! 

I travel a fair amount with my work added another dimension to the training.  I have trained at Grol's Gym in Preston, Idaho; Sports Academy in Logan, Utah; Clearfield Rec Center in Clearfield, Utah and Gold's Gym in Orem, Utah and of course, the YMCA locations here in Boise.  I always wonder what the person checking me in at my hotel would think when I'd come in with what appeared to be a weeks worth of luggage, a bike, bike trainer and my trusty foam roller and only stay for one night.

Another aspect I've learned is so important is the nutrition you take while you are training as well as throughout the day.  I am ALWAYS hungry.  This is very hard.  I will eat all my lunch at work and feel like I could eat 3 times that much food.  The evening is the worst.

During my training rides and runs I keep very close count of the amount of fluid I bring in to my body as well as the amount of calories.  On average I will eat/drink around 400 calories per hour in a long ride and drink around 260-320 ounces of fluid during a 6 hour ride. (That's 8-10 32 ounce Gatorades!)  Lots of bathroom breaks!  Here's a picture of my nutrition for one of my long rides.

During the last 5 months I've been humbled by the experiences I've had.  From seeing Eli find his family, to so many friends coming forward to help, donate and spread the word for these kids.  To get to make a video with Nash and receive comments from around the world from individuals showing their suppot to name a few.  I remember the initial promptings in my mind back in November to do this and I am reminded that this is nothing of my doing, but truly is the doing of a loving God watching over his precious little ones.  I have no doubt that if we have sincere desires to serve him, he will put us to work!!

Andrea has been so supportive of me all the way.  The reality is she really has made this whole thing possible because of her selflessness and willingness to let me do what needs to be done to prepare for this race.  I've made it a point to do almost all of my training before my children wake up so I can have my evenings with them.  We love reading stories each night and my daughter and I are almost done reading the book "Ramona Quimby and her Father".  It's been a lot of fun!

I am also very thankful for Harold at TriTown and his wise ways.  He's my coach but I also consider him my friend.  It will be awesome to have him and his calming personality there in St. George next week.    

So here we go.  Time to strap on my helmet and clip into the pedals.  It's Ironman time!  I promise to write a full report once I'm back home and have had a moment to unpack.  You can follow my progress of the race live by going to the Ironman St. George website and using their athlete tracker program.  The race starts May 5th at 7:00am.  I hope to done by around 7pm or so that evening.  It's going to be a long day, but in the end, it's an absolute honor to get to do this for these precious children!!


Here's my stats starting in January of 2011

Yards SWAM        295,100
Miles BIKED         4,884
Miles RAN            1,192
Total HOURS        549

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