Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My swimming sucks

55 days without sticking a toe into the pool will do it.

At least I'm consistent.

Did I really sign up for a 3862m swim 340 days from now? IN THE FREAKING OCEAN!? WITH SHARKS? AND WAVES? That I have to follow with a 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile slog? And finish before midnight? Of the very same day?

Hmmm, but looking on the bright side, if I can do exactly that pace at IMFL, I'll be out of the water in 2:02!!! That will do it!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Florida Surf

"Prepare for the worst, hope for the best"...anything can happen race day. This is what the surf looked like a couple of days before IMFLA in '04...so during this upcoming season, if you have a chance to practice in big waves..i'd suggest you do!!! I know I will!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fortune cookie

On the day before I launched my Fifty Week Training Program for Ironman Florida, we got carryout Chinese food and my fortune cookie read:
"In great attempts it is glorious even to fail."
I can't fail if I arrive at the starting line in fifty weeks fully prepared to go the distance. The rest of that day will unfold as it will.


Now that the initial excitement has settled down some, along with my post-ChesapeakeMan high, I'm finding it a little hard even to think about IMFL. How are some of the rest of you feeling? Those that just did IMFL or another ultra-distance race; or who are looking at it as their first one, nearly a year away; maybe with the pressure of another important or long race, or two or three, in the meantime....

I know at least one other hopeful here who's feeling a tad tired and maybe a bit swamped. I figure, we're here to help each other through these feelings as well as to share the gung-ho ones. Judging from the dearth of posts, I'd guess not everyone is chafing at the bit to hit that starting line!!!

I got a $10 refund on my registration from Active.com. Anyone else get one? I don't seem to be able to find info on what that's about. Maybe it's an Active.com bonus or something.

Friday, November 18, 2005

IMFL race reports

Some links to race reports from Ironman Florida in previous years for our edification and inspiration (I'll add to this list as I come across them):

Thursday, November 17, 2005

On the road

I'm still on vacation through the weekend, but as soon as I get home I start my FIFTY WEEKS TO BECOMING AN IRONMAN training program. (No, I don't have all the details quite worked out yet, but I'll post it all here whenever I have any little glimpse of enlightenment about it).

I heard a good saying on the radio today that I wanted to share (yeah, I was listening to conservative talk show radio on the road, go figure) that is appropriate to that 50-week training program that I'll be launching next week:

"You don't have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great."

And what did YOU do today to prepare yourself for Ironman Florida 2006?

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Well, not bummed about New Mexico, which is gorgeous....

Today we went to Carsbad Caverns and hiked underground, then went out and hiked on trails down to "Rattlesnake Canyon." It's wonderful. And we did not get lost... :-)

But I'm bummed because I'm not running. I think the last I ran was last week with Mica. It's been really, really windy since we got here... 20+ mph, uncomfortable; and, where we're "parked," I can't just run out the door and onto the road (we're right in town.) I'd have to drive someplace to run. This bums me out. Also, running has felt so crappy since Chesapeakeman.... not painful anymore, just crappy. I don't know how I'm going to do RNR Arizona in 2 months. Maybe I'll change my registration to the half, if I can. Or maybe I'll do training in "doubles" -- instead of 8 miles, do 4 in the morning, 4 later. Four feels doable. If I can get my long run up to 15 miles, I'll be a go. I've done that before. But right now, I feel like running will never feel good again...

Friday, November 11, 2005

IMFLA where will you be?

As you can see if you do a search in google for PCBeach, there are not shortages of condo's/hotels.
I just looked at the NEW Boardwalk (which is the host hotel for IMFLA) it looks pretty nice and the race venue will be right there!! So where's everyone thinking of staying so far?

This is the NEW Boardwalk as you can see it's pretty nice, the old one wasn't pretty.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Hmmm. Vertical Man has termed the enthusiastic rush and unanimity in signing up for Ironman Florida that many of us have displayed as "creepy". Further, he labels certain IMFL registrants defectors.

Defectors and creeps, unite!

Need we remind those IMMOOers of the many good reasons we had to sign up for IMFL rather than IMMOO, that we thoughtfully considered as early as last May? Shall we review again the Top Ten Reasons to do IMFL instead of IMMOO:

10. Friends and relatives can travel too. They will if they know what's good for them. Friends and relatives will like the Florida Gulf coast in November much better than the middle of Wisconsin in September. They're not stupid.

9. Panama City in Sunshine State vs. Madison in "Eat Cheese or Die" state.

8. Buoyant salt water on shallow warm beach course vs. cold pond scum.

7. Flat vs. Hills.

6. One loop bike course vs. two loop bike course. (Which I personally usually find very boring).

5. Two more months to train.

4. Two more months to save up registration money.

3. 83/2116 DNFs in 2004 (3.9%) vs. 212/2187 DNFs in 2004 (9.7%). That is, you're 2.5 times more likely to finish at IMFL and become an IRONMAN.

2. Faster finishing times by 20-25 min. based on course records: 8:21 M/9:26W vs. 8:46M/9:46W. Plus bragging rights!

1. The supportive presence of the members of the TRI BLOG ALLIANCE!

That said, we still will all train right along with you, watch your preparations, and cheer for you when you're out on the course. Because you'll do the same for us.

Mass swim start strategies?

One of the things that really scares me about the swim at IMFL'06 is the prospect of being swum over by all those thousands of strong swimmers. It may be unavoidable for me toward the end of the first lap, and during the entire second lap. BUT I'm thinking of ways to avoid the congestion during that scary mass start.

Now *if* I could swim in a straight line in open water (and no, I can't, yet), starting far to the side looks like a good strategy, without giving up too much time at the start. If the leg going straight out is 800m long, and you start a full 100m to the side, which is a LONG freaking way on the beach, and you swim straight out to the furthest buoy, you only have to swim an extra SIX meters. (If my math is correct. Remember your Pythagorean Theorem?).

Of course, swimming straight is the kicker here, because any deviations from that straight line cost you distance.

Thoughts from you more experienced Ironmen?

Or should I not worry about it and JFS? (Just Friggin' Swim).

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Help! They're scaring me again!

Check out all the great photos and blogging from Ironman Florida 2005 over at Iron Mitch: Triathlete Magazine's Memoirs of an Ironman.

HTML help!

I added a counter to take us up to IMFL, courtesy of Shelley. In so doing I seem to have screwed up the alignment. Nothing I do now seems to change it, including < align="right">. Any ideas on fixing this and making the right sidebar align all nicely to the right again, readers? Thanks in advance!

Update: I moved the countdown to the bottom of the sidebar, and right-aligned it, and that works okay. But if I move it up, somehow it makes the list items align to the left. Weird! If anyone has a fix, or can tell me where to put it in the header, let us know!


Don’t miss the coverage of the Ford Ironman World Championship this Saturday at 4:30PM, ET on NBC.

* * * * *
It has won a total of 13 Emmys. When it airs, triathletes across North America sit in front of their televisions engrossed in the stories and drama unfolding in front of them.

“It” is the coverage of the Ford Ironman World Championship that airs every year on NBC, and we are just a few days from seeing it! This year’s show will air Saturday, November 12 at 4:30PM ET. (Check your local listings for times in your area.)

For Ironman’s Executive Television Producer, Peter Henning, editing this show has been a tough process.

“Be careful what you wish for,” he said during a phone call from the editing suite last week. “This year every one of our features finished, and the incredible conditions made for an exciting race. Getting all that into a 90-minute show has been a challenge.”

If anyone is up for that challenge, it would be Henning, who has won more Emmys than the Ironman show itself over the years for his work on many sports projects including the Olympics, the Iditarod, the Tour de France and, of course, the Ironman World Championship.

This year’s show includes features on:

John Blais, who completed the Ford Ironman World Championship despite the fact that he suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Sarah Reinertsen, whose story brought a tear to the eyes of everyone who watched last year when she missed the bike cut off in Kona. This year she finished the race in dramatic fashion.

Robert McKeague, the amazing 80-year-old who became the oldest man to complete an Ironman race.

While the features will no-doubt be riveting, Henning says the show will also include a lot of coverage of the incredible day of racing, which saw Faris Al-Sultan claim his first Ironman World Championship, and Natascha Badmann claim her sixth.

So stay tuned to NBC this Saturday afternoon … you won’t want to miss this show!

Checking in

My oh my there are a LOT of triathletes heading to Panama City next November. I will be there as an ironsherpa or ironbartender, whichever is needed most. :) And, I'll find a way to volunteer for the race. I'm sure they need the help. If anyone has a friend, SO, or spouse coming along we could all volunteer together or put together a cheering station out on the course.

Good luck in the training process!!!!


Triathlon PSA

While all of you are preparing for next season, I urge you to study the tenets of Triathlon T-shirt Etiquette. It may save you a bonk or a blister or a sprained ankle next year.

In the same vein, no one should be called Iron-anything who has not already finished an iron-distance triathlon within the cutoffs on a certified course. Not even in jest. To do otherwise is to tempt the Race Gods and invite bad mojo.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Darn, I can't post a picture. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. This evening it's not working.

I downloaded Nancy's training spreadsheet and filled in the first day of the next year of my life: 7 miles of funning (that started to be a typo but I decided to leave it.) Mica was a big factor in this. I set out to run an hour, about 6 miles, decided it was way too hot for the way I was dressed, and quit after 30 minutes (3 miles). Right about then I discovered a message on my phone from yesterday, from Mica, who lives fairly near where we are staying in Texas and wanted to get together. So I called her and she was at my place in 45 minutes!! By then I was wearing cooler togs, and Mica needed a 4-miler, so I got in seven miles rather than the 6 I'd hoped for. This will help me gear up for RNR Arizona, too, since I'm behind on that due to recovering from Chesapeakeman. Wow... one thing surely leads to another. This litany of races sounds like "The House that Jack Built."

Wizard of Oz and Ironman

Someone told me this over the weekend, who had heard from someone who had heard it from someone.... Maybe one of our readers knows the source of this?

"Doing an Ironman is like the Wizard of Oz. You need courage for the swim leg, brains for the bike leg, and heart to finish the run."

The challenges of some fellow IMFL entrants

Some other entrants in IMFL'06 will have their own interesting personal challenges to take on, but are being sponsored and supported by SBR Multisports in the so-called "Overweight Triathlon Challenge". We'll watch for them and cheer them on! (Neither one shows up on the entrant list right now, though, perhaps it's some special arrangement with the organizers?) Great deal for them - "All equipment for the swimming, biking and running will be provided by SBR Multisports, as well as nutritional counseling and plane fare and accommodations in Florida."

In the recent months the weight loss craze has gained even more momentum through NBC's reality TV show, The Biggest Loser. Just recently the new book adapted from the show, The Biggest Loser : The Weight Loss Program to Transform Your Body, Health and Life, hit bookstore shelves and has gained immense popularity. In response to this weight loss frenzy, SBR has created a year long challenge for two devoted, overweight individuals to help them achieve their goals of attaining physically fit and healthy lifestyles. Through the constant coaching and guidance of SBR, these two individuals will train for the Ironman Florida scheduled for November 6, 2006.

After a lengthy interview process, we've selected two candidates, Margaret Bravo and Michael Nelson. We hope the SBR community welcomes them and encourages Margaret and Michael throughout their next year of training. We will provide you with monthly updates regarding their progress.

Below we have included a personal profile of each candidate.

Name: Margaret Bravo
D.O.B.: 1/12/67
Height: 5'8
Starting Weight: 221 lbs.
Profession: Registered nurse at Nyack Hospital Labor and Delivery Unit
Marital Status: Married 15 yrs. with 2 children; Meghan 12, Katie 9
Athletic History: softball, basketball, swam, ran cross country
Previous Exercise Habits: swimming/coaching and playing softball
Longtime Dream: "I've always fantasized about being able to run a marathon."
Inspiration: "You asked me to say why I'd make a good candidate for Ironman. Simple. My 2 girls. I'd love to show them that you can face obstacles and overcome them. No more running and hiding for me."

Name: Michael Nelson
D.O.B.: 10/31/63
Height: 5'11
Starting Weight: 315 lbs.
Profession: Owns a wholesale meat distribution company and a fried chicken restaurant
Marital Status: Married
Athletic History: mountain biking
Why did you choose to apply for the Challenge?: "It's a way to erase so many bad mistakes with one concerted effort."
Fitness Goal: "To hike to the top of Mt. Washington with my wife and to have so much energy at the end that it looks like I'm on a stroll down 5th Ave."

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Registration opened at 9a.m. CST. I tried to get a jump on things by going to the site at 8:50, but just got "Sorry, registration for this event is not yet available." Again at 8:55... nothing. Finally, I left the computer, went to put on my eye makeup and fix my hair (we were going out to Nascar races, which I found not that enthralling). Back to the computer at 9:06 and, Bingo! Click HERE to register and I was in business. I'd heard of people trying for hours to reach the site so I was very pleased; even more so when my registration went through without a hitch (except a few do-overs following error messages, because I can't fill out a form right the first time, at least not on a computer.) But I'm IN!! I am so happy. And sorry that some folks I know waited too long and missed.... apparently registration closed in less than 3 hours. Is this some kind of new record or something? A couple weeks ago we were astonished on tri-drs when IM Wisconsin 2006 closed in seven hours.

So I count myself favored.

Tomorrow I start logging my training... Nancy cooked up a really cool training spreadsheet whose starting date is November 7, 2005, and I printed it out and am going to start filling it in.

Naproxen tablets are taking care of my shoulder but I think I'm going to wait till we get to Phoenix, our holing-in spot for this winter, to start swimming again, where I can do so under the eye of some kind of coach, hopefully refining my technique to avoid shoulder problems again.

I am already excited!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

They're in the water!

Good luck to everyone participating in Ironman Florida today!

And also very best wishes to everyone attempting to register for IMFL'06 on Sunday morning (including my husband who has received strict instructions on how to register for me while I'm off in New York). Woo hoo!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ironman Coverage

Ironman live will begin there coverage of Ironman Florida tomorrow a.m. Can't wait to watch everyone race tomorrow..GOOD LUCK GUYS!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

News from IMFL 2005

Iron Mitch is publishing great updates with lots of photos on his blog from Ironman Florida as it happens in 2005. Stop over and join the excitement!

Curt and friends on the Ironman 2005 blog are also down there participating and posting updates.

Thanks for keeping us posted! Good luck, triathletes!

Special good luck, smooth seas, and constant tailwinds to the following triathletes from the TRI-DRS email list:
Catherine (Katie) Paulson: #2169
Donna Rice: #2363
Martin Rice: #1720
Forrest Fowler: #1624
Regina Fowler: #2303
Judith Lenane (Mrs. Graham Wilson): #2331

and from the IMFL email list:
Donnie Walker #757

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


....finishing Chesapeakeman, Oct. 1, 2005... I tried to edit my initial post to include the pic but for some reason it wouldn't let me.


First of all, I would like to thank Nancy for setting up this nice blog. Hopefully over the year to come, we will have great stories to tell all about our training for IMFLA. I know i'm looking forward to it and especially looking forward to the people who are Ironvirgins and will get to hear those famous words in November..."You are an Ironman"...yes!!!!

Entry for 2006

Good luck to everyone!

According to the official website:

"When can I sign up for next year's race? On site and online the day after the race beginning at 9:00 A.M. CST."

Which would be 10:00 A.M. eastern standard time on Sunday November 6, 2005, for those of us living to the right of the panhandle. (Not very good for those of us on the starting line of the New York City Marathon at exactly that time!)

Signups will probably be on active.com - you may find it by linking from the Ironman Florida entry page, or do a search for it directly. I'd expect entries to sell out completely within 6 to 8 hours of opening - but it's possible it could close even sooner than that!

I'M IN!!!

And thanks to Nancy for setting up this blog and inviting me in!

Maybe my title is a little premature.... I'm not "in" the race yet, as registration is still an "if I get in." But I'm "in" this blog group with bells on!!

Training today:
2.1 miles, 21 minutes, around our RV park in Lewistown Lake Park, Lewistown, TX (near Dallas.)

My legs hurt. They started hurting after the first mile. I wasn't tired all over, just my legs. They stopped hurting if I stopped running, started again when I started again. I can't tell if I'm "out of shape" a month after Chesapeakeman, or just not recovered yet. Now that I've finished running, they don't hurt. I'll see if they're sore tomorrow. If not, I'll run some more. Or maybe bike.

I don't know how on earth I'm going to make the marathon, RNR Arizona, in 10 weeks. I thought it would be easy to stay in shape for it after Chesapeakeman. Not. The iron-distance triathlon itself was the easy part, apparently....


Welcome to the Ironman Florida 2006 Blog! We have no official connection with Ironman Florida - we're just a group of triathletes and bloggers from all over the place (most of whom have never met each other YET in real life) who are preparing to participate in the 2006 event. Throughout the year we will post things here of general interest to triathletes, or link back to relevant items on our own personal training blogs. Please join us in our journey!

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