Friday, April 10, 2015

Challenge Time!

I know you are never supposed to say never, but I feel confident in saying I would never complete (or even attempt) an Ironman Triathlon. I can not fathom getting up one day and making it happen. Not to mention the hours and hours of grueling training prior to race day. It would be a huge stretch for me to imagine doing even one of the segments in one day. (But I am not willing to say never to that part.)

The Ironman includes the following done back to back: Swim - 2.4 miles / Bike - 112 miles /
Run - 26.2 miles. Not even if sharks, bears, etc. are chasing me!!!

According to an analysis completed by RunTri of 41000 finishers in 25 Ironman races the average time is 12 hours 35 minutes. If you are interested there is a ton of statistical info on RunTri's website.


Record times - Men - Andreas Raelert - 7 hours 41 minutes 33 seconds (2011) / Women - Chrissie Wellingtom - 8 hours 18 minutes 13 seconds (2011)

Recently, a  friend shared this story from Runner's World on Facebook  Eight years ago, Ginger weighed 280 pounds. This article recounts her story of losing about 150 pounds and completing an Indoor Triathlon at the gym where she now works as a personal trainer.  


One specific point in the article caught my attention and set my mind into overdrive. The gym where this woman worked out (and is now a trainer) offered a 6 week indoor Ironman challenge.

 "the Korte Recreation Center started the Indoor Ironman Challenge, a twist on a program they’d been calling the Couch Potato Triathlon. Members could sign up as individuals or as teams of three, and they had about six weeks to complete the iconic Ironman distance: a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. The goal, says Mark Rosen, director of parks and recreation at the center, was to counter the inertia that sets in when winter drags on. “By the time February comes around, people’s New Year’s resolutions start to dwindle. So it was a way to keep them motivated to stay in the gym.”   

Since I read this story almost a month ago, it has become much more to me. It has given me an idea for myself. That idea has helped me to rally through some dark days and give me something to look forward to. As I have written about, last fall I was pregnant with our first child. We were devastated when we lost our baby to a miscarriage. We tried for a few months to conceive again, but that did not happen. Our attempts to conceive were limited by the fact that I have MS and take medications that I can not be off of indefinitely. Due to the miscarriage and recovery, we have already exceeded the time my neurologist originally gave us and I will restart my injections this month. (I apologize to regular readers for repeating this, but I am always hopeful for new readers and want to catch them up to speed.) Knowing that if I were not pregnant in time, I could try something like this myself gave me something positive to grab onto.

At the time I got pregnant I was at my lowest weight in this journey - having lost about 34 pounds. Through this ordeal, I couldn't make myself fight on all fronts. I was battling just to make it through some of the days. As a result (along with a good dose of hormonal changes) I have gained almost 25 pounds. I hate that this has happened and I still have no baby in my arms. There is nothing I can do about that now.

I can get back on track. I can make this challenge my own. I researched a few programs online and have settled on a plan for myself. I think the indoor Ironman is a great challenge for the winter months. However, it is finally spring. And I plan to enjoy every moment I can outside!

And here is the plan....I am going to do a full Ironman Triathlon in 30 days!


I have divided each of the disciplines into segments. Of course, I had to change the run to walk. One day, I plan to be a runner, but I am not there yet. In order to count as part of my 30 Day Ironman I have set a minimum distance per workout.

Swim - 10 laps (84 total)
Bike - 5 miles
Walk - 2 miles

I didn't want to be trying to track a mile here and a mile there. I wanted to be sure I was doing an intentional workout toward my 30 Day Ironman. Each session will be timed and added together for my final result.

If I were to do the minimum distance per session,  I would have to do 8.5 sessions of swimming, 23 sessions of biking and 13 sessions of walking. Obviously, some days I will have to do more than the minimum or complete sessions in more than one discipline. My thought is these minimums would mean each session is approximately a 30-40 minute workout. To be honest, the swimming might be two hours!! Doggie paddle isn't the speediest stroke!

When I do the math at 30-40 minutes per session I am figuring on 22-30 hours to complete the challenge. Who am I kidding? I have no idea how long it is going to take me!  For the record, the official cutoff time for an Ironman is 17 hours.

This isn't an exact schedule. I just needed a visual to wrap my mind around what I need to do. This will help me with shorter term goals. I certainly can't wait until the last day and play catch up :)


Disclaimer: I don't want to offend any of the serious triathletes out there who have busted their buns in a serious way to complete sprint, Olympic or Ironman triathlons as they are originally intended. Those accomplishments are beyond anything I can currently fathom. Therefore, I am simply taking the Ironman spirit and distances as my inspiration and adapting them to a level which will challenge me yet I will have reasonable hope in achieving.  

Given that my exercise has been very minimal recently, I know this is going to be a challenge for me. But I do think I have structured it in a way that the challenge is still be doable with consistent and intentional effort.

I am super excited about this plan.  I would like to invite anyone else reading this to jump in and join me. Feel free to "steal" my schedule or tracking document or customize the challenge to fit your specific needs. I would love  for you to share your experience.

I haven't even started yet and I am already thinking of ways I can beat it next time - faster overall time, fewer days...



21 comments:

  1. Ahh, a woman after my own heart with all these charts and calendars! Thanks for joining my linkup party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After I posted this I thought I should have done an excel sheet for the time/distance tracker....back to the drawing board.

      Delete
  2. This is so exciting Anna! What a great idea!!! I KNOW you can do this. :) I'll be here cheering you on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shannon! I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

      Delete
  3. I love this so much! I think it's awesome that you took something that seems seriously out of reach and made it work for you! I'm excited to see how it goes for you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I can't even begin to imagine going an actually Ironman...yikes!

      Delete
  4. This is awesome! I am excited to watch your progress as you complete this goal :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I am excited to get started.

      Delete
  5. Oh that is awesome! I love to swim but need to find a way to make it happen but I can easily see you smashing this goal! What a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very curious to see how it works out. I am nervous about the swimming (and the suit!)

      Delete
  6. You know I'm in! Just made an excel to track my workouts :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I realized after I posted I should have made my tracker in Excel. I can always change that :) Live and learn!

      Delete
  7. Such a great idea! I did something like this with another online group a couple of years ago, where we could pick three activities (and thus I could sub in the swimming for something else!) to complete over the month. This is a great idea and such a healthy way to deal with all of the other stuff in life now (hugs to you). I can't join in right now, finishing out my half marathon training, but I look forward to cheering you and Tiina on!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am totally hoping this will help me get in a better mental space. I can't even imagine a half marathon. My husband is starting to get the half marathon itch.

      Delete
  8. I love this idea. It's great how you have broken it down into manageable chunks. Maybe I'll even join you in this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be great. I know it is going to be a challenge, but it should be fun.

      Delete
  9. I LOVE this... what a fabulous idea!! I will definitely be cheering you on from the sidelines! You've got me thinking about how I could do this too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you figure out a way to make it work for you too :)

      Delete
  10. You are so creative, I love this idea! I don't have access to a pool or a bike, but I like the idea of breaking up a marathon into smaller bits over the course of a month. Do you mind if I join in the challenge for just the running/walking part? I think this is doable for me and could help get me a bit more focused on the exercise portion of this weight-loss journey. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Make it work for you :) I will be posting updates throughout the 30 days, just let us know how you are doing in the comments :) Excited that it motivates you.

      Delete