Happy New Year

2012 is right around the corner and it’s time to set my goals for next year. I accomplished my main goal for 2011 and that was to run 1,000 miles in the calendar year. That was such a huge accomplishment for me and I am extremely proud of myself for running each and every one of those miles. 2012 should be a great challenge for me. I have a few things planned out and a few things that I need to hammer down.

This is what I have going on so far for 2012:

  1. Lean Out Challenge – This is a 60 day challenge that I’m participating in through CrossFit. It’s all about nutrition, my main issue when it comes to being fit. I will not be drinking or eating any sort of fast food for 60 days.
    1. Each meal has three positive or neutral values:
      • -2 cheat meal: not Paleo quality, not Zone quantity. (-10 possible per day) +0 paleo meal that includes dairy
      • +1 paleo meal: all Paleo rules apply (5 possible per day)
      • +2 zone meal: all standard Zone rules apply (10 possible per day)
      • +3 Paleo/zone meal: paleo quality in zone proportions. (15 possible per day)
    2. “Rule of 5” bonus points:
      • +1 5 meals per day (1 possible/day)
      • +1 fewer than 5 hours between meals (1 possible/day) -1 more than 5 blocks per meal (-5 possible per day)
    3. Exercise:
      • -10 fewer than 3 WODs/week +0 3 WODs a week
      • +10 4 WODs a week
      • +20 5 or more WODs/week
    4. Bonus points:
      • +1 64oz of H20 in a day
      • +1 8+ hours of sleep
      • +1 if half of carb blocks are from veggies
    5. Deductions:
      • -1 for each alcoholic beverage. (-5 possible per day) -1 for no PWO meal (before leaving the gym)
      • -1 for less than 3 grams of fish oil/day
      • -1 for each carbonated beverage

  2. By the end of 2012 or December 21st, I will be in the single digits of fat percentage… meaning I am not now.
  3. Train and complete Ironman Louisville.
  4. Run/Bike/Cycle 2,012 miles for the year. I don’t think this one will be hard especially since I will be completing 7% of that all in one day on August 26th.
  5. Have my credit card balance down to zero by March 1st. This has been lingering for some time now. Something about traveling all last year and going out of the country twice in 3 months…. the only downfall of #whynot.

2012 should be an interesting year. I’ll keep you updated throughout each of my adventures this year. My race schedule is still pending but the only one that I am officially registered for is the Ironman in Louisville, KY. I’m sure there will be more to add to that. What are your goals for the new year??

I Am An Ironman – Ironman Louisville 2012

11 hours, 55 minutes and 58 seconds after jumping into the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, I became an Ironman. It has been a weirdly incredible journey over the past 9 months.

Between December of 2011 and August 26th, 2012, ish got real. I lost my job. I sold my house. I sold nearly all of my possessions. I moved 1,361 miles away. I was a bum. I swam in the Pacific. I cycled in the mountains. I ran on the beach. I got a job. I moved 1,329 miles back the other direction. I rode on Route 66. The job changed a great deal. I discovered Austin…. and at the end of it all, I swam 2.4 miles in the Ohio River. I cycled 112 miles through Kentucky’s rolling hills. I ran a marathon in 93 degree heat. I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. I became an Ironman.

Race Week: With any endurance event training, there is a taper. It’s the worst part of training season. You’ve spent so much time training and putting in the time and effort for race day that you can’t sit still. You have to unfortunately. With the unknown looming, it has been worse. My previous 3 marathons, I knew what to expect. I knew my training was on point. I knew what it took to make it 26.2 miles. This race, I had no clue as to what was coming on Sunday, August 26th. That’s what made race week nearly unbearable.

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My roommates and coworkers threw me a little “Good Luck and Don’t Die” party on Wednesday. It was awesome and I they even made me a motivation book. Thursday morning, I took off to Louisville. I got settled in my place and went to get checked in. There, we were given our countless items we needed for the event. The best item we received was no doubt the awesome backpack. Thursday night, I explored the part of Louisville that I was staying in and found it to be a really fun city. I just couldn’t take part.

Friday, I met a group from the IAMTRI Group (a great resource for Ironman Louisville if you can tolerate sifting through a few 100 pointless email notices). We went on a 20 mile bike ride of the course and followed that up with driving the course. It helped big time to have some sort of knowledge of the course before actually racing it, being an out-of-towner. I met two guys that I hung out with the rest of the day at the IAMTRI Fundraiser event and then at the Athlete Welcome Banquet that night. The food wasn’t terrible and the event was all about getting you pumped up for the race that was to take place on Sunday morning.

That night, I slept awful. I just couldn’t get much sleep. I woke up early and rode my bike down to the practice swim session in the Ohio river. Jumped in and had a nice, leisurely 18 minute swim. Afterwards, I went back to where I was staying and packed all my transition bags. Double and triple checking everything I needed was included. I then went and checked my bike and bags at transition. Let me tell you, I thought I spent plenty of money doing this triathlon thing… sheesh! People have dropped some coin on bikes and gear. It’s incredible the amount of cool stuff one can have on a bike. Once that was done. It was time to hydrate, fuel up and relax. My parents, sister and niece all came into town that night and we went to eat at this Italian cafe. Spaghetti was the meal of choice, naturally. Once I had my fill, my family dropped me off and I was in bed right around 9:45. Perfect.

Race Day: 3:40am – Alarm goes off and I jump right out of bed. I slept amazingly well. I got up about three times to go to the bathroom which was a great sign as inconvenient it may be. I immediately went to the kitchen and made my two sweet potatoes, 2 bananas and 2 bags on instant oatmeal. It was slightly tough getting all that down for breakfast at such an early time but I knew I needed it. This is where all the mental games began. My dad picked me up at 4:30 and I made my way into transition, getting my tires aired up, nutrition on the bike and my Garmin in my run gear back and began making my way to the swim start.

For Ironman Louisville, the swim begins about 3/4s of a mile away from the transition so athletes must walk to the start to get marked and grab their spot in line. I got my spot towards the front, but there were still several hundreds of people in front of me. No sweat. I sit down and cool out just trying to think of the day ahead. The time was 5:40 by this point. It was going to be a long day.

Time absolutely flew by and 6:35 was here. I took my gel that I brought with me and the line was slowly creeping up as people were beginning to stand in line bunching up towards the front. At 6:45 or so, the announcer came on the speaker system and we could hear the National Anthem and at 6:50, the pros were off. It was very cool to see what fast swimmers look like in the pro field. Then it was the age grouper’s turn. I never had nerves as those are usually accompanied by cause for concern and never once did I have that. Excitement is what I would describe the feeling I had as the gun went off and the line began moving. HERE WE GO!

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SWIM – 1:13:35
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I’m smiling all the way to the start. I get to the end of the dock and jump in feet first. Swimming all those times in La Jolla and here in Barton Springs prepared me for this moment. Open water swimming is a different animal and you HAVE to practice in order to survive it. I immediately got in my rhythm and headed up Tow Head Island. It was .8 miles up the channel before turning around and heading down the river for another 1.6 miles to the transition. My breathing was better during this swim than in any other practice swim. It was weird but I was thankful for it. Every third stroke, I’d take a breath. Sighting was incredibly simple with bridges to target with every look. Also the line of swimmers helped too. My right ankle began to ache a bit so I had to quit kicking with my right foot for a while and it bothered me for the rest of the swim. It seemed to take forever to get to the first bridge but once there, the second bridge came right after and we were nearly done. In the past, I’ve exited the water and been dizzy but this time around, I was perfect. The pain in my ankle simply just went away also. I never thought about it again. I was excited and all smiles again. I heard my sister screaming for me and saw them and waved.

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BIKE – 6:18:32
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Transition was great. The volunteers were awesome and one guy helped me the entire time I was in T1. I got my nutrition in me, water in me, my chamois cream smothered where it needed to be and my shoes on. Ran out of there, got sunscreen on and grabbed my bike… all in under 5 minutes. On my way out, I saw my family again. Waved adios to them and told them I’d see them in about 6.5 hours.

The bike section is pretty simple in terms of direction. You stay on a road for a long time, make a right, turnaround, make a right, stay on a road for a long time, couple of turns, do it again, stay straight and you’re finished. Things you have to take into account, hills. Lots of them.

Looking back on my training, the hill workouts paid off big time. Throughout the entirety of the 112, not once did I feel like my legs were in a tremendous amount of pain. I didn’t have any cramps. The biggest battle while on the bike for me is the mental aspect of it. 6+ hours is a long time to stay on a bike. I had a plan and I stuck to it, luckily. I took a gel/stinger waffle/bloks every 20 minutes, knocked out 2 bottles of water and/or Ironman Perform (similar to Gatorade) in between aid stations in hopes to have to stop at them to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom 5 times during the 112 miles, stopping every time to do so. It was just what I was hoping for honestly. It meant I was staying hydrated but also gave me a chance to jump off my bike and stretch my legs a bit.

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There were a few lengthy hills that made you work and you had to keep that in mind coming around on the first loop knowing you had to do it again. I kept a reasonably consistent pace considering that I stopped and took bathroom breaks, stopped to get my special needs bag, stopped to refill my aero bottle. My legs never felt too worn out but by mile 90, I was ready to be off the bike for sure. The good thing about mile 90 is that you are heading down the home stretch. The last few miles seemed to stretch out forever and I was extremely happy to see transition off in the distance. I made a few final turns, got out of my shoes and saw my family.

 

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RUN – 4:11:18
Coming off the bike, my legs felt surprisingly great. I gave my bike to one of the volunteers and ran down to grab my run bag. I made it to the tent, put on my compression sleeves, socks, shoes and gold bond medicated powder (clutch). I spoke with a few volunteers in there and had some water. With that, I was off again and this time in under 8 minutes.

My legs felt amazing, considering. I took off and I knew I was going out fast but I couldn’t help it. I feel the most comfortable running because that’s the thing I have focused on for over 2 years now. My first 2 miles were an out and back on a bridge over the Ohio River (where we swam earlier) and almost to Indiana. After that, the course cut through downtown and on one road all the way down making a 6.5 mile out and back. We did that part of the course twice totaling the full 26.2 miles.

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I ran without walking through the first 8 miles. My plan going into it was run as long as I could and then walk the aid stations from there. This started at mile 8. Also starting at mile 8, a sharp pain that came from a left calf cramp. This only happened twice and it only happened for a split second. At mile 10, this happened again but in my right calf. After mile 10, I had zero cramps the rest of the run. From mile 10 to 15 were consistent miles but my time was slipping slowly. I had it mapped out in my head at mile 13 where I could be when I cross the finish line. My goal of a 4 hour marathon was going to be close and had to keep consistent 9:30 miles from then on out. That was going to be tough. But after doing some math, I would still be able to hit my overall goal of a sub-12 hour race. I was shooting for it.

At mile 15, a lady ran next to me. We were doing the exact same pace with the same plan of walking the aid stations. We didn’t speak for the near hour and a half that we ran together but we knew what we were doing. We would push each other to start running after the aid stations (the hardest part) and we would stick together running the mile until the next aid station. In retrospect, this was huge for me. I don’t know if I could have kept that pace without her. Mile 20 is when things started to unravel. I had taken Ironman Perform, water, cola, chicken broth and oranges and bananas at the aid stations when I needed it. After mile 20, nothing was going down without a horrible feeling afterwards for the next half mile. I stuck strictly to water after that. At mile 22, I hit the wall. This was unlike any other wall I had hit before though. Nothing was cramping or anything but my feet were hurting big time. I had the chills but I was still sweating. I made a plan to walk the aid stations (1 mile apart) and then I would walk for 1 minute at the mile marker (roughly .3 or .4 miles from the aid station) and then I’d run to the next aid station. This continued until just after mile 24.

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After mile 24, I knew it was right around the corner. I found a guy that was keeping a steady pace. I stuck with him. We talked a bit and both passed the final 2 aid stations and right at mile 25, I picked it up. I had a sudden boost of energy and my feet quit hurting. A smile returned to my face and the crowd began to appear in the distance. I ran through downtown Louisville, made a few turns and there it was. The finish line. I entered the finisher’s shoot and heard the crowd. Then it went silent. I didn’t hear anything. I ran to the finish line, stopped, took a bow and crossed. I never heard my name called and I never heard the words, “You are an Ironman,” but they were said. I saw my family as soon as I crossed and I was filled with an unbelievable feeling. The volunteer asked how I was feeling and I said great. She asked if I needed medical and told her no I didn’t. I got my medal, my t-shirt, hat, water and Perform and then I kind of blacked out. I remember bits and pieces from the next 5-10 minutes. I struggled to catch my breath and was a little light headed but my legs felt relatively good. I was able to walk and get my gear, including my bike and then it was time to rest and recover. I earned it. I WAS AN IRONMAN.

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This has been a long, long, long journey to get here. Zip codes changed, people were met, stories were told, tips were given, training got longer, all for one goal. Though I trained solo for the majority of the 9 months, I definitely could not have done this with out the support of my friends, family and another Ironman Finisher and coach. Thank you to my friends who tuned me out and let me go on and on about training sessions, long runs, longer rides and all the laps in the pool. Here is a prime example to the right: In all seriousness, all of my Twitter followers and Facebook friends motivated me as well. Knowing that I had so many people tracking me pushed me to the finish line. I’d also like to thank my coach-from-afar, Stacy. She was always there to answer any question I had and sent me some incredible motivational messages to prepare me for my day. I Shawshank’d it, no doubt. Thank you to my family who always asked how things were going during training and who always wanted to hear my story. My mom, dad, sister and niece who were my support crew throughout the race day. Every time I saw them, I needed them. The boost that you get from seeing people that care for you so much is amazing during any event like this.

Looking back at the day 48 hours later, there were very few things that I could have done to improve this first time around. I was right mentally the entire day. Never did I think I wouldn’t finish. I was happy. I took things as they came and actually enjoyed them. Triathletes take themselves too seriously, all the time it seems, and I made it a point to not. Laughing, smiling and enjoying the misery can make an Ironman journey incredible and it certainly did mine.
Now I need to go shave my legs. They’re all stubbly.

I’m Ron Burgundy

I made it to Oceanside, California with all of my possessions minus a mini football that I left at Cole’s house. I’m somewhat upset because that football has been everywhere! Dallas, OKC, St. Louis, Cali, Turks and Caicos…. everywhere! But besides that, everything turned out just fine on my trip from Oklahoma City to Oceanside. It took roughly 36 hours, but I made it in great time!


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Saturday evening, we hosted a little going away party at my friend Cole’s house. It turned out to be a big success. Everyone seemed to make an appearance at some point in the night and only one person got hurt trying to ride one of my bikes so that was fun. I got to see most every one of my friends that have meant a great deal to me all through high school and college. It was a great way to say goodbye… the way we spent the majority of our time together… not entirely sober. Here is the only picture from the evening. We’re awesome at documenting nights like these.

I started out Sunday afternoon making my rounds with my family. My mother was taking it really well….. she just had to make sure she didn’t make eye contact with me. I saw my grandparents, aunts and uncles and then for the finale had dinner at my parents where my mom made meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas and dumplings. Everything was fantastic and I knew it would be because that’s what I asked for. I said goodbye to them around 8pm and it was harder than expected. Nothing really hit me until right then that I was actually leaving to live elsewhere. My mom packed a bag of goodies like mothers do for my road trip and I was off to go pack up. I had been staying at Cole’s since there is an extra bed at his house and he had room for everything of mine (not much). I began to pack up and things got really weird. Amanda had cooked an awesome Chicken Calzone that she got off Pinterest and of course I had dinner again. As I was packing, my emotions kept getting worse. I don’t deal with real-life situations that well as I usually I clam up and don’t talk. This happened a bit this time around as well. I just kept thinking, “Who does this? What am I going to do? I won’t get to hang out with my friends? I may, in all honesty, not see many of the important people in my life, for a good while.” Everything kept running through my head. I went to bed around 11:40 that night hoping to make it out by 6… I didn’t actually get to bed until 1 for sure.

I didn’t sleep well at all. I had weird dreams. I had too much on my mind. Then I woke up and got ready for the day. I said goodbye to Cole and Amanda and I was off. 80 miles later, I stopped in Weatherford to have breakfast with Bo and Jamie at a diner in town. Delish. After saying goodbye to them, I was off.

Fast forward with pictures…. Western Oklahoma to California….

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I got into Oceanside at 4:30pm and was unpacked and asleep for the night at 7:30pm. Someone was tired. This has been a whirlwind the past 2 months and it has finally come down to me in California. I went to CrossFit yesterday and saw a few of the folks I met last time I was out here two months ago. They remembered me so that was cool. I’m known as the Oklahoma boy which is not. Today, I went and worked out at the local 24 Hour Fitness. I ran a few pick up games of basketball (for those who don’t know me that well… basketball is something that I love and am a huge fan of and for being 5’8″ and white, I’m not too terrible). I of course wore my bright yellow Kevin Durant’s and had to show up. I pretty much owned the place… seriously. I was on point.

Now for road trips thoughts:

  • I like when rappers put the word “drank” in song titles.
  • I heard “Rack City” no less that 11 times.
  • New Mexico sucks.
  • Arizona is exactly like you see in pictures.
  • Thank you to Guy Fieri for pointing me in the right direction for all my meals. Some of the stuff was completely out of bounds.
  • I really missed my cruise control that went out roughly a year and a half ago.
  • My car has really earned her keep around here. Since I have owned her, she has seen both coasts… a road trip to NYC and now one to San Diego.
  • I don’t know what all the fuss is about getting murdered in picnic areas, I slept just fine in one.
  • Talk radio – thanks for saving my life more than once on this trip.
  • LaQuinta – you think you are hot shit, don’t you?!
  • To the guy who was in the bathroom at the Love’s in Amarillo… tell the guy you’ll call him back as your destroy the bathroom.
  • I’m seriously glad I didn’t break down in New Mexico.


Thanks for riding along during this post. I hope to keep everyone posted as I continue on this crazy journey.

Ironman Louisville

Why an Ironman? Why a 2.4 mile swim? Why a 112 mile bike ride? Why a 26.2 mile run? Why all those three in the same day?!?

When I first started running two years ago, I jumped into it head first. I had never ran a marathon. I had never ran a half marathon. I had never ran a 10k. I had not ran a 5k since Cross Country in my senior year in high school in 2003. I put up the money for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon not knowing what I got myself into. I’m doing the same this time around for the Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky.

After completing my fourth(!!!!) marathon, I wanted to mix things up for 2012. I needed a new challenge. I know I wanted to continue running, but did I just want to do that? I thought about focusing on just running and potentially aiming for the stars to knock off 14 minutes off my marathon time for that coveted 3:04:59 marathon. I thought about maybe focusing on trail running and doing a few races here and there to see how that treated me. I thought about doing smaller triathlons to get my feet wet and see where that took me in hopes for the bigger ones. Naaaahhh. Let’s do this.

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I had been researching for several days and thought I found one just far enough into 2012 to be able to train for it. I sent out a few text messages to my sister, dad and a friend asking what they thought? They all said the same thing, “Go for it!” They all agreed that I could do it if I went about it the right way. I was terrified. I knew if I had enough time to train, I could do it. I sat down at the computer with credit card in hand. I watched a ton of YouTube videos for both knowledge and inspiration about the Ironman Louisville. After blacking out, I came to realizing I had just signed up for the most grueling day of my life, August 26, 2012.

I knew that I would need to work on things. Swimming that distance and cycling for that length of time were the big questions when signing up and they still are. Running is of course my best discipline. I’m average at swimming but know I can eventually do it, especially with the time trial start (starting one swimmer at a time a few seconds apart rather than a wave start where everyone goes at once). I need to really work on building my strength for this leg of the race. Cycling is another huge question mark on my end. I’m not a strong cyclist. I finished towards the end of the cycling leg when only doing 13 miles for my sprint triathlon. Just 99 more miles and I’m there!! I have 9 months to work on that. I bought a indoor trainer and will be knocking the miles out on it until I can get out on the road on weekends and mornings that aren’t blistering cold. Nutrition is another big question mark. I eat relatively well throughout the week. Weekends… not so much. I need to pay closer attention to everything I’m taking it before and after workouts and when I’m resting. So all together, I need to do better because after I read this stat, I freaked my bean,
According to Suzanne Girard Eberle in her book entitled “Endurance Sports Nutrition,” “Ironman competitors expend 8,000 to 10,000 calories or more during the race.” These numbers are staggering compared to most human’s daily calorie needs of 1,500 to 2,500 calories a day.

I have spoken to the people that I do CrossFit with and one of the ladies up there has actually completed several Ironman. She has trained for them using strictly CrossFit Endurace. I’m looking into that but will still feel the need to get out and do long runs, long bike rides and long swims. I have no idea what I just signed up for!!

Wish me luck over these next 36 and a half weeks!

“Ryan Doonkeen, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, you are an Ironman,” is all I want to hear by 11:59pm on Sunday, August 26th, 2012.

Ironman Training: Mid-January

Swimming and cycling are my main focuses (focuses?) right now. Running has been my thing and I feel like I can put most of my effort towards swimming and cycling for the time being and not really lose that much off my run. I still run, but it’s nowhere near the amount I was running. So far, my favorite has definitely been swimming. Cycling is something entirely new to me and I’m just now learning the ropes. I have a ways to go but yesterday’s 24 mile ride was something I was encouraged by.

I’m no Michael Phelps (I don’t do recreational drugs), but I have already seen improvement in my swimming. I’m up to 1800 yards/meters in the pool and doing so at a fairly fast clip. I say fairly fast, because I’m only 3 weeks into training and I’m comfortable in the pool but not necessarily 2.4 mile comfortable. This morning, I woke up at 6am and went to the YMCA to get in my workout:

  • Warm up (400y)
    4 X 75 @ 1:30, 100 drill
  • Main Set (1200y)
    6 X 200 @ 3:45, build effort by 50s
  • Cool down (200y)
    2 X [4X 25 @ :35]

My coach told me last week that she’s creating these workouts with the idea that I’ll be getting out of the water, come race day, right at 1 hour. That’s a 2.4 mile swim in an hour. I can only hope right now!

Yesterday’s bike ride was one for the books… partly because it was only my 2nd real bike ride. This time, I went out with my coach and 2 other guys. They were taking me through the ringer, teaching me when to be in what gear and how to approach hills.

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Hills are something of particular interest due to the fact that I’ll be racing in Louisville, Kentucky where the entire bike course is rolling hills. I learned a ton just from yesterday and this gave me a little confidence boost. Confidence is where I am lacking when it comes to cycling too.

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One day, Oklahoma will not be windy and I’ll be able to enjoy my long bike ride on the weekend.

Stay tuned this week, I may or may not have some fun news (regarding training) a little later this week.

Koda CFE

Yesterday was the very first class of my CrossFit Endurance coaching career*. After going down to San Antonio for the CrossFit Endurance Seminar, I was really excited to get back to Oklahoma City and get going with the class. Folks at the gym were getting really excited about it as well with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in the not so distant future (pending the end of the world).

I started off the day by going to Oklahoma Christian University and hitting the track with one of the owners of Koda, Jared Muse, and another guy from the gym, Matt. They’re competing in the All Cities Open in Dallas this weekend and they were wanting to do one of their workouts for this weekend: 400m Run, 50m Hurdles+Front Rolls, Stadium Stairs (we substituted 30 weighted front squats) 50m Hurdles+Front Rolls, 400m Run. It was a quick workout, but it was tough.

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Once we knocked that workout out, we went into the gym and got in a little more cardio with a few games of 21. My shot was off…. I need to get back into playing. I’m blaming the shoes.

Next up, the 5:00pm Endurance Class. I was pretty anxious to get it going. 19 people showed up…19!!! Most everyone there had been actively CrossFitting for sometime but we did have a few new people so it was fun to introduce them into the CF World. I was admittedly a little nervous as the class began but slowly found my groove* as we got going. I’m sure I’ll get better as time goes by. We had quite a few experienced runners in the group which is exciting and I explained my experience with CFE which to me is a big plus. As was my case, I knew of someone that used the CFE methodology and it took until I finished a marathon (my fastest one at that) using CFE to completely buy in. It’s a learning process and there is a learning curve indeed to transition between LSD training and CFE training. Progression is key!

No one died so that was good. Next up, Day 2! This same picture will be taken at the end of the OKC Marathon in April. Great job, everyone! Keep it up.

* Denotes terms thrown around all willy-nilly like.

Koda Endurance

Next week, I begin something that I’ve been wanting to do for sometime now. I thought about it after completing my Ironman but had zero clue on how to go about it. I’ve wanted to begin helping people accomplish their endurance goals by coaching them. I’ve trained by myself for more than 90% of the time and it is tough to hold yourself accountable. It’s tough to wake up for those runs at 7 in the morning when it’s 26 degrees outside. It’s tough to get out on the track to run intervals by yourself. I know how beneficial it can be to have a group to call friends and training partners. Next week begins something special for me and it’s all thanks to the people at KODA CrossFit.

Next Tuesday at 5:00pm, I begin coaching a CrossFit Endurance class at KODA CrossFit. The classes are going to be held, initially, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm with our “long” workouts on Sunday at a time that works for everyone. We’ll be following the CrossFit Endurance website and will be preparing for our “A” race come April, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. This first week is going to be a week to feel everyone out and recruit a group of people willing to stick it out until April. We’ll be figuring out everyones goals for CrossFit Endurance and the race in April, whether it’s the 5K, Half or Full Marathon. I’m very excited to get things going!

Now for a little background: After running the Chicago Marathon (October 2011, 3:27), I had two months until the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon in December. I wasn’t necessarily done with running but I needed a change of pace after 18 weeks of juuuuuust running. I wanted to try out CrossFit because I wanted to push myself to a new level. I began CrossFit during that two month span and even tried out a few CrossFit Endurance workouts. I was still in the mindset of needing to get in my miles but even with that mindset, I didn’t get in those miles. The longest I ran was 11 miles and that was a month before the LV Marathon.

When I got to Las Vegas, I ran the entire length of the marathon without ever hitting the proverbial wall. I PR’d my marathon time by 8 minutes breaking the 3:20 barrier finishing at 3:19. It was incredible and incredibly surprising. After that, I was sold on the CFE methodology. I trained for my Ironman pulling many workouts from the CFE program over the 9 months of training and finished my first Ironman in under 12 hours without ever having a “rough patch” (used loosely) the entire day.

I can’t wait for next week to get here. If you’re interested in trying out CrossFit and find a new way to train for those marathons without spending hours and hours on the road beating yourself up, come get strong with us at Koda CrossFit and try out one of my classes.

Lake Don Draper

This past weekend, I attempted what was my first trail run out at Lake (Don) Draper in southeast Oklahoma City. I have been on a marathon training plan for roughly the last 7 months so I haven’t really thought about mixing it up with trail runs. I have wanted to try it for a while but I didn’t want to run the risk of injury so I just never went out there until now.

I started out googling a “trail running oklahoma city” and found a circuit of trails 2 miles south of where my parents live. I had no idea these trails even existed. I might have gotten into trail running and/or mountain biking before now if I had done a little research and wasn’t addicted to Taco Bueno and not exercising.

I got out there close to noon and headed out not knowing really how long I was going to go or if I’d get lost. Roughly a half mile in, I found a map posted and found out there was a trail that was 4 miles long so I decided to do that one. I didn’t want to make a wrong turn because the trail that was connected to this one went out for 12 miles and I DID NOT want to do 12 miles.

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The 4 mile “loop” was so amazing. There were so many turns on this narrow trail and so many places that you could lose your footing that it made for an exciting 30 minute run. It was a little wet and slipping was an issue a few times. I wasn’t running in any specialty shoe because I didn’t own any trail shoes so I was concerned a few times that I did slip. The biggest difference that I noticed from road running to trail running, 4 miles seem like forever. When on the streets, I can typically look down the road a mile and see the stop light, so I run to it. I don’t pay attention to my foot placement or anything on the road. I get in the zone and run to the next stop light. On the trail, having to pay attention to every step, the miles seem to go by slower.

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After getting done with the run, I went over to my parents’ house in hopes to play with the babe (my niece Kinsey) but they weren’t there so I just chit chatted with my old roommates for a while. My mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas Holiday and I told her some trail running shoes and possibly help with a race entry. What’s wrong with me?!? Anyhow, she gave me some cash and told me to go buy my gift and then bring them back before Christmas so she can wrap them. I came out with these bad boys!

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I want to continue to mix it up with the trail runs and I may have something mapped out for the future (2012 Race Schedule). So I’d like to see if I can get out there on Saturdays and squeeze in some trail running. I’m a fan.

Let the Training Begin

I’ve started my Ironman training following the CrossFit Endurance plan. I started on Monday. It is now Thursday. Am I worn out? Yep. Am I sore? Quite. Will I keep going? I have to.

Rewinding to pre-January 1. I spent New Year’s Eve with friends in downtown Oklahoma City. We went to CityWalk downtown but we left before the shooting… yeah, in Oklahoma City. Thug Life.

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I kicked off my nutrition plan first thing Sunday morning and began my Ironman training on Monday morning. I’m currently 5 days into it all and feeling pretty good/overwhelmed/terrified about everything. The nutrition plan actually has been fairly easy so far. I know I’m only 5 days in, but I’m feeling as if I can stick with this plan for the long term. Weekends are going to be the toughest part. It seems like I’ve been able to eat a ton and I’m never really hungry. I’ve had pork tenderloin, salmon (that my Dad caught in Alaska), hamburger patties, sweet potato, zucchini squash, broccoli, cauliflower, almonds, apples, applesauce, carrots. Like I said before, I started on Sunday. Monday night was the only night where I found myself having a headache because I’ve given up coffee/coke/tea as well. Trying my best to just drink water all day. I bring in a gallon jug of water to work everyday and I just work through that all day long.

I’ve had to step it up on my knowledge when it comes to training for this Ironman. Thank goodness I have a coach at CrossFit that has completed one and knows what it takes and knows what works and doesn’t work. She’s been a life saver already. I knew going into this that it would be a big time commitment physically, mentally and financially. I was prepared to purchase a few equipment items but I was not prepared to purchase the nutritionally supplements that would be required.

It’s been a learning experience for this first week and I’m still doing CrossFit. I’ve already lost all of those pounds that I put on over the holidays. Stepped on the scale this morning checking in at my playing weight. I’m hoping to lean out over the next few months before kicking everything into high gear.

I’m contemplating posting what I’ve covered each week just as a record keeper throughout the year, we’ll see. All I know, this year will be exhausting but I’m ready for it. Bring it on!