24 September 2018

Ironman Chattanooga - RACE WEEK! - The Race Plan 2018

24 September 2018 update

Thank you so very much for the most recent donations. Every amount is valued and appreciated as we ask science to find cures and treatments for Crohn’s and colitis.

This update will be very brief! I’m in the process of collecting and packing all my things for the trip to Chattanooga. I need lists to stay organize and make sure I have everything I need. I try to eliminate as many variables and stress producers as I can prior to the race – I don’t have control over everything but what I do have control over is what I focus on.

If you want to follow me on race day, it can be done by downloading a free phone app, Ironman Tracker. I am #138 (Henry Slade). The race starts at 7:30am eastern time on Sunday, September 30. Linda might post on Facebook during the race, depending on how hectic it is (and if she has enough battery life!) Jayne might also be posting and texting as long as it’s not too disruptive of her spectating and cheering!

Instead of giving training totals and the like, my “Race Plan” follows. It is long and not necessarily of interest to everyone. I’ve written a race plan for every Ironman I’ve done, as well as many other races. This plan shows what my goals are and how I intend to achieve them.

Thank you for your support and thank you for reading this far. No obligation to read “the plan”. FYI the goals are at the beginning.

Ironman Chattanooga Race Plan
Past Performances (for reference):
2015 Ironman Arizona splits– 11:29:27 – Swim1:01:08 (1:34/100m)/ T15min23s / Bike5:21.49 (20.88mph) / T27min33s / Run4:53.34 (11:12/mi) – 9th place of 149 in age group
2014 Ironman Chattanooga splits– 11:56:31 – Swim0:49:46 (1:17/100m-downstream)/ T1 9min55s / Bike 5:39:33 (19.79mph) / T211min30s / Run 5:05:47 (11:40/mi) – 22ndplace of 104 in age group

GOALS
Performance Goals
A Goal – 11:05:00 – Swim 0:55 / 1stTransition :07 / Bike 5:35 (20.75mph) / 2ndT :05 / Run 4:23 (10:00/mi) – Finish time will depend on if the swim has a downstream current or not.
B Goal – finish 
Outcome Goals
A Goal – win my age group of 60-64 year old men
B Goal – finish 
Process Goals
1)Mental: I will: Stay emotionally steady throughout for the entire race: calm but focused. Embrace the discomfort. Use my alter ego. Carry gratitude, joy, love, and strength in my heart
2)Swim: stay strong but relaxed and moderate, focusing on a solid pull and a relaxed kick, watch for swimmers passing who might be draftable.
3)T1: keep it smooth, flowing, and easy, going through the process, tuning out the excitement around me
4)Bike: get comfortable and go through checklists during 1st11 miles out of town. Start early with taking frequent breaks from aero to stretch the back. It’s a race but control effort when deciding to pass others. Repeatedly think checklist: aero position, relax arms/shoulders, nutrition status, full pedal stroke, time for aero break?, correct effort?
5)T2: Follow the steps deliberately and efficiently. Portapotty stop if needed.
6)Run: Ease into the 1st mile, walking as needed. Walk break at each aid station (approx. each mile). Be smart on the hills. Shift into my alter ego for 2nd ½ of marathon.
7)Finish: Leave it all out there. Live up to your Razorblade Slade alter ego
Experiential Goals
1)Represent my donors and Team Challenge with pride, good sportsmanship, and in a positive light
2)Race with joy, gratitude, and focus; SMILE
3)Embrace and enjoy my natural surroundings and fellow competitors
4)Thank and have fun with volunteers and spectators

FINAL WEEKS
*Quiet time for mental game, race plan, alter ego
*Taper off of caffeine
*Heat acclimatization just in case – sauna time
*SLEEP!
RACE WEEK
*Same as above
*Pack! Use lists
*Get stitches removed
*Quiet time for mental game, race plan, alter ego
*Stuff for flight – printed race plan, alter ego, ipad, neck pillow, snacks
*Stay in Zen bubble – avoid negative people and needless stress
*Attend Team Challenge meet ups
*Attend an Athlete Briefing
*Ensure enough water bottles for the race are at hand and labeled
*Charge Di2 gear shift battery
*Switch off “pause” on Garmin electronics and check display screens
DAY BEFORE
*Turn in bike, bike and runbags
*Relax, feet up, foam roll, back stretches, etc.
*Charge all electronics
*Eat dinner by 6:00
*Double check special needs bags
*Lay everything out for tomorrow
*Prep race nutrition, cut packages, ensure enough bottles and water, organize for race

RACE MORNING:Timeline for tasks, mental state, arrival, etc. (note: use your own time increments)
4:00 Wake up and eat immediately
4:10 First bathroom
4:20 Shave; tri kit, heartrate strap, watch; body glide; apply race tattoos; sunscreen arms, legs, lower back, neck, face;
4:45 2ndbathroom
4:50 Use checklists to carry stuff down, load cars, and leave
5:00 Race site: Check bike (ez gear, tires), bike nutrition (have checklist), bike computer, drop Special Needs bags
5:50 Shuttle to Swim Start lineup
6:00 Sip Osmo drink; headphones song: Hall of Fameby The Script, etc.
7:00 Transition Closes
7:05 Start doing warm up – arm swings, resistance tubes, push ups
7:10 Drink Beet Elite/aminos drink; pee 
7:25 pour water on face and shoulders, fix goggles, ready to roll
7:30  Race Starts

SWIM: Goal time :55 with a moderate current, 1:07 no current
~Keysfor Success (pacing, mental, technique/physical):
*Sight a straight course, not just buoys
*Find someone to draft as available
*Early catch
*Steady, sustainable, even effort
*Relax legs and feet, using light kicking
~Mental: “Strong and steady”

T1: Goal time :07
~TaskList: get bag; dump bag, speedsuit in, goggles/cap off into bag, towel dry shirt and spread on ground; put on: chamois butter, shoes, arm coolers(?), gloves, glasses, helmet on, running mount on bike; Ride easy - it's not a sprint!
~Nutrition: water bottle with UCAN/Perfect Amino
~Mental: steady, calm, efficient

BIKE: Goal time 5:35 (20.75mph)
Keysfor Success (pacing, mental, technique/physical):
*Get comfortable in saddle and run through checklist
*Checklist – relaxed arms/shoulders, back position and status, nutrition, pedal stroke, effort
*Frequent back stretches – stay ahead of pain
*11 miles out of town is a WARM UP
*Hold back on first loop
*Resist the excitement
*Shift often, spin up the hills, aero and pedal down hills
*Stay alert to avoid drafting
*Sink into pads, head tucked, eyes rolled up “turtle view”
*Ride steady to run strong – heart rate below 127 (zone 2)
~Nutrition (up to 300 cal/hr)
*Fuel 5 carbohydrate powder and maple syrup in 40oz water (Speedfil) – sip every 10min, chasing with water
*Water w/Nuun electrolytes in aero bottle
*Clif Bloks – 2 sleeves, cut open (200 cal each)
*UCAN bar – 1, cut open (180 cal each)
*Perfect Aminos at ½ way
*Caffeine starts at 40 & 90 miles
~Mental: take in nature; “Sh’ma Yisrael”; song: Hall of Fameby The Script

T2: Goal time :05 (including bathroom stop)
*Deliberate, thoughtful, measured effort. BREATHE
~Tasklist: shoes off before dismount, handoff bike, helmet off; Note card to volunteer – “Please tell me to take gloves off”, Aquaphor on toes, socks on, shoes on, hat on, wrist bands, race belt; Portapotty if needed
~Nutrition: Shot Blocks, tabs bag in pocket (10 SaltStick Melts, 5 Amino tabs, 2 – 1/2  Caff tabs for 2ndloop), Hand-held water bottle with UCAN, amino, etc;

RUN: Goal time 4:23 (10:00/mi.)
*Resist the excitement - walk first hill and control heart rate - low 120's (zone 2) early
*Walk aid stations
*Focus on: form and efficiency and ease 
*Run on perceived effort but check heart rate and pace (take hills into account)
Nutrition(up to 200cal/hour)
*Water and ice – drink 16-24 oz per hour as needed from aid stations
*Clif Bloks – 1 sleeve/hour (200cal)/1 block every mile
*Clif Shots (gels) – 1 every ½ hour during 2nd ¼ of run
*Electrolytes – 1-2 Saltstick Melts every hour as needed
*Tums peppermint as needed
*Caff 1 tab – at 2nd loop
*Red Bull option during 2nd1/2
~Mental: “What if this is the way it’s supposed to feel?” “What if I’m a stronger athlete than I think?” Alter ego – Razorblade Slade; song: Hall of Fameby The Script

BOTTOM LINE: This race is about pushing limits, challenging myself to tolerate discomfort, qualifying for Kona, and proudly representing Linda, my family, Team Challenge, my donors, and my honored heroes.

Ironman Chattanooga in 2 weeks

17 September 2018 update - A Dreaded Injury

Along with some repeat donors, I have quite a few new donors since my last update so I thought I’d take a step back and explain things. Anyone who has so generously donated to my fundraising efforts for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team, receives a weekly email update on my progress in training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona… just in case you’re interested. If you’re not, no biggie, you can just ignore this! This is my 2nd to last update before Ironman Chattanooga on September 30. I’ll continue with updates after that since I’ll be racing Ironman Arizona in November.

I am truly grateful to all of you who donated to my fundraising efforts. Thank you! I get choked up and tearful every time I see the name of who has donated. I just feel so much gratitude and appreciation to all of you. I am still in first place amongst the Ironman Chattanooga athletes with $9,430! I think it will take $10K to stay there so I’m hoping to reach that before I head to Tennessee (via Atlanta). Also last week I had a generous donation (a LOAN) of race wheels by an athlete I coached a couple of years back. These race wheels are made of light, aerodynamic carbon and can make quite a few minutes of difference, especially in a 116 mile ride. It is especially generous of him as he has a race of his own on the same day that I’m using them! Thank you Joe!

The week went pretty well with training as I start to cut back on the volume. On Saturday I got in an 83 mile ride followed by a 4 mile run. It’s always a little surprising to get done with a ride that’s shorter than what I’ve done lately and then think “is that all?” It’s a little ridiculous but after going over 100 miles week after week, I can tell the difference.

Sunday morning I swam a 2.4 mile ocean swim race in Oceanside. The waves picked up and it was a challenge to get out past the breakers and then again at the harbor entrance. I was doing pretty well until I got to the rough conditions at the harbor. I couldn’t find the buoys so I managed to swim 100’s of yards off course until the Harbor Police boat sounded a horn and pointed to my right. Oh well, sometimes stuff happens! By then my left shoulder and biceps were hurting some so I backed off. I still finished in 4th for my age group. I was also proud of how the 4 athletes I coach did with their swims.

I came home instead of going out to breakfast with them. I wanted to avoid a gut full of breakfast food just before doing my 2 hour long run. I dragged my feet preparing at home for the run, filling water bottles, getting nutrition out, and loading a little ice chest. Our freezer drawer frosted over and was stuck. In my attempt to dislodge and “fix it” I managed to slice my hand open on a sharp metal edge. Swearing ensued. Dr Linda looked at it and said we needed to go to urgent care, probably for stitches. In the car I was already formulating ‘work-arounds’ so I could continue training and do the race regardless of what the doc said. Linda was right, as usual, and I got 6 stitches. I’ll likely miss just 1 swim workout this week – I’ll be able to swim again on Friday. Riding and running aren’t compromised (I did the long run today, Monday) and I’m grateful for that!

One last thought: I am nearly 62 years old. Triathlon training is like a fountain of youth to me. Training and racing, being engaged in setting goals, moving, going outside to act like a kid and swim and bike and run is truly a gift. The benefits are many. I encourage everyone to get off the couch and start by doing what you can do and just enjoy what we humans are meant to do: move. 

Next week will have my race goals and how you can follow me on race day, live.

Here are the lower (taper) numbers for last week:

Weekly totals: 18hr 13min (not counting 1hr 45min sauna time); 180 miles
Swim 3hr 48min – 14,004 yds (3 swims), longest: 5,054 yd
Bike 8hr 09min – 143 miles (3 rides), longest: 83 miles
Run 5hr 38min – 29.4 miles (3 runs + 2 brick runs), longest: 11 miles
Strength Training 2hr 35min
Weight – 153.5 lbs

Thanks for reading this far!

Ironman Chattanooga in 3 weeks

10 September 2018 Update

I am truly grateful to all of you who donated to my fundraising efforts. Thank you! I am still in first place amongst the Ironman Chattanooga athletes with $8150! I think it will take $10K to stay there.

This weekend was why Linda and I coach the San Diego Team Challenge Tri team. We had 24 athletes finish either a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon while raising funds for cures and for sending kids with Crohn’s or colitis to camp. We had 10 first timers who all overcame various hurdles to cross the finish line. Linda made a “non-swimmer” at the began of the season an open water swimmer by race day. The transformations we see and experience can be amazing and rewarding and emotional. We also managed to get the word out through Grace, our 11 year old honored hero, when she was interviewed on live TV about the colitis. She has had it since she was diagnosed at THREE YEARS OLD. Here’s a link to the clip: https://www.kusi.com/9th-annual-san-diego-triathlon-classic-at-liberty-station/. Scroll down to the 2ndvideo on the page.

My health is still pretty good but I’ve added a 2ndantibiotic back into the mix. I’m trying to avoid having my symptoms decline as they did a year and a half ago. My back is still about the same as I neglected it the past few days. I weighed in at 154 this morning. That’s down 2 lbs since the last time I weighted. This is unintentional as I am eating pretty constantly and eating everything in sight. I chalk this up to the calorie burn of training, the lean muscle I’m carrying, and the revved up metabolism. Once I’m through with Ironman training for the year the weight starts to come back on and it’s hard for me to stop it!

Last week’s priority was our tri team so training, etc. was affected some. Mostly I had to miss a long ride on the weekend and only managed to make it up with a 2 hour indoor ride on Monday morning. The day after coaching at the race I did a 16 mile run that went okay. The other workouts during the week were a mix of above and below expectations. 

Looking ahead I will be gradually cutting back on volume as I taper, lose fatigue, and come into form for race day. It’s always a time I look forward to while simultaneously worrying. After committing so much time to following a routine and doing so much training, the emotions and physical feelings as training is dialed back, can be upsetting or confusing. I have plenty of experience with this so hopefully I will handle it well. 

There is much to do in preparation for the race in 3 weeks besides training, including taking the bike in for a tune up and getting some borrowed race wheels installed. I’ll use my old bike to train for the next few days. Sunday I’ll be doing an open ocean race in Oceanside. It’s a 2.4 mile swim, the same distance as an Ironman swim. I won’t skip other workouts to be rested because Chattanooga is my priority. I’ll be riding about 90 miles on Sat. and will do my long run (about 13 miles) after the swim race on Sun.

Here are the numbers for last week:

Weekly totals: 18hr 09min (not counting 1hr 01min sauna time); 102 miles
Swim 3hr 56min – 13,529 yds (3 swims), longest: 5,050 yd
Bike 5hr 51min – 99 miles (3 rides), longest: 37 miles
Run 5hr 38min – 31.6 miles (3 runs), longest: 16 miles
Strength Training 2hr 43min
Weight – 154 lbs

Ironman Chattanooga in 4 weeks

3 September 2018 Update – Beer at the Beach?
I am grateful to ALL my donors – Thank You! Last week a long time friend got me to the $6000 mark.  Then, over the weekend there were 2 donations that took me over the $8000 mark! I am so very appreciative to everyone. Currently we’re in 1stplace on the Ironman Chattanooga Team Challenge IronTeam, for now, and I hope to reach out to others to share the journey. I’d love for us to be the 1stplace fundraiser come race day! (online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade )

Here’s the 12th training update. No obligation to read! Looking ahead, there are 4 weeks of training until Chattanooga and 11 until Arizona.

I haven’t mentioned it in a while but I’m currently on one antibiotic to treat my ulcerative colitis (pouchitis) symptoms. It has helped me be in a pretty good position health-wise, which has allowed me to train at maybe the highest level I ever have. I keep my fingers crossed because I know I’m sort of on the edge as my GI health moves very VERY slowly in the wrong direction. It in no significant way is impacting training but I know where I’m at with things and I need to constantly be aware. The past 2 Thursdays were slightly affected as I had no reasonable access to a bathroom on the 90 min bike/60+ min run. This caused an “inconvenience” when I had to force my GI system to back up. People with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis have to worry about public bathroom availability much more than the average person out there. It goes with the territory.

The long run of 18.5 miles was late Sat. afternoon. After overeating at a not-so-great lunch, the run started out miserably. During the first few miles I was making all kinds of bargains with myself to just get some of it done. I thought I might not even get to the 6 mile mark! As the run progressed the bargaining stopped and I sucked it up and finished.  Admittedly it was much slower than it should have been but it actually got easier in the later miles.

Sunday was the long ride. I put in 119 miles in the saddle, followed by a 4 mile run. The ride started at 7am at home in Encinitas. I rode to the coast and headed north through Carlsbad. ½ way thru Carlsbad I felt something hit the back of my helmet. Then I saw a beer can roll on the ground. It turns out some passenger in a car driving by finished most of a beer (7:55am) and decided it would be hilarious to nail me with it. Fortunately it hit my helmet and fell harmlessly to the ground. No concussion, no injury, no bike damage, no crash. I was a little angry but also relieved to be in good shape. It was a Coors Light can. Ironically, Friday Corey (Son2) had been talking about that being my beer of choice way back when I drank. Due to my colitis I haven’t had a drink of alcohol since 1999. The ride continued into the hills, back to the coast, and up through Camp Pendleton and the San Onofre Nuc Plant. Back pain was nearly nonexistent. Thursday’s appointment with the physio and the resulting exercises have made a big difference. Hopefully that will continue.

“Heat preparation” continues for the possibility of a hot Chattanooga race. If the weather is mild, no harm done. Did 3 stints in the Sauna of at least 15 minutes. I’m build up to 30 or more minutes.

Here are the numbers for last week:

Weekly totals: 25hr 05min (not counting sauna time); 232.0 miles
Swim 4hr 06min – 13,418 yds (3 swims), longest: 4,318 yd
Bike 10hr 45min – 185 miles (3 rides), longest: 119 miles
Run 7hr 13min – 40.3 miles (3 runs + 2 brick runs), longest: 18.6 miles
Strength Training 3hr 01min
Body Wt. 156 lbs – plus or minus

Ironman Chattanooga in 5 wks

27 August 2018 Update

Here’s the 11th training update. No obligation to read! Looking ahead, there are 5 more weeks of training until Ironman Chattanooga!

Thank you to those who have sent kind words of encouragement! It was a heavy week of training and the fatigue is pretty heavy at this point. I’ve experienced this level of Ironman training fatigue many times so I’m not freaking out about anything. I know that I’m going slower too but that’s temporary. My tolerance of even small problems is low and my patience is lacking. On the other hand whenever I look in the mirror I’m amazed (yet again) what happens to my body when this much training is going on: lean/low body fat, defined muscles, veins popping. I can barely eat enough to fuel the training.

The injury to my hip flexor is essentially gone. I only missed a short 2 mile run last week. I’m still having issues with my back and psoas muscle. On the 116 mile long ride I decided to get a bee venom injection in my back. Unfortunately the little bugger stung my right butt cheek instead so it didn’t help my back one bit! Now I have a nice, puffy, itchy welt. My long run of 17+ miles was slower than I’d wanted. It was tough going but am happy to have gotten it in. 

This week I also began some heat preparation in case Chattanooga is hot like it was last year. I won’t do a lot of it until the final 3 weeks but I have returned to the sauna. 10 minutes 3 times last week. I’ll aim for 15 to 20 min each time this week. 

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. I am very close to the $6000 mark! If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 24hr 47min (not counting sauna time); 241.0 miles
Swim 3hr 56min – 12,642 yds (3 swims), longest: 4,267 yd
Bike 11hr 32min – 196 miles (3 rides), longest: 116 miles
Run 6hr 39min – 37.8 miles (3 runs), longest: 17.5 miles
Strength Training 2hr 40min
Body Wt. 156 lbs

Ironman Chattanooga in 6 weeks

20 August 2018 Update

Thank you to the 2 people who donated $100 each to my fundraising efforts! I am very grateful. Thank you to a couple of people who have me on their prayer list. And thanks to those who have sent kind words of encouragement!

Here’s my 10thupdate: Injury is one of those things that can really set you back. I injured my hip flexor last week, doing some stretching at the end of the day, working on what my physical therapist recommended. I over did it a little and heard a “pop”. It felt okay the next day so, after seeing the physio, I did a run after a bike ride.It started to hurt 2 miles into the run so I began walking. It felt better again so I went back to running and finished the 6 miles. I was my worst enemy in this situation and should have quit after those 2 miles. I didn’t do what I tell my athletes: “Live to train another day.” So I didn’t run the ½ marathon race on Sunday to avoid making it worse. I don’t think it was an outright tear but more like a shifting of muscle or tendon over bone. It’s improving quickly so, aside from missing the 1 run, I hope to ease back into running on Wed… with extreme caution. Mentally I’ve kept myself from panicking, being patient and focusing on doing what I CAN do.

Training is at its crucial, hardest part as there are only 6 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga race day. While this past week was a planned recovery week, volume will be high and with more race intensity during the next 3 weeks. Mentally I’m on a rollercoaster. One workout I’ll feel confident and know my training is leading me to a successful race. The next workout I might feel run down and fatigued, barely able to execute it. I know that this is the way it always is leading into Ironman so I try not to dwell on the negatives. I trust that when I taper, or gradually cut back on training, during the final 3 weeks, the magic will happen and have me rested and ready to perform.

I got a glimpse of that with Sunday’s long ride. I “only” rode 85 miles but averaged 19 mph doing it. That’s 2-3 mph faster than usual. It’s amazing how “easy” it felt after riding 113 miles the week before!

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. On Saturday we had a little get together with some of the kids who this fundraising helps. These kids have Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis and get to spend a week at camp with other kids just like them. It helps them see that they aren’t alone and allows them to make friends on a important and life changing level. While most of the fundraising goes to researching for cures, a small portion goes towards this valuable program. I am even closer to the $6000 mark! If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

Training totals will show a lighter week as it was a recovery weekand it was short on running due to the injury.

This week’s totals: 16hr 58min; 176.7 miles
Swim2hr 15min – 7,472 yds (2 swims) - longest: 4,272 yd
Bike8hr 55min – 158 miles (3 rides), longest: 85 miles
Run2hr 35min – 14.4 miles (2 runs + 1 short brick run), longest: 6.2 miles
Strength Training3hr 15min
Body Wt. 156.5 lbs

Ironman Chattanooga in 7 weeks (14 to IMAZ)

13 August 2018 Update

Here is the 9th update on training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona. I was asked about my passion for triathlon and why I do it. I have a long, complicated answer that might put you to sleep so here’s a short answer: 
·       I liked the 5+ years I spent as a teenager being a competitive swimmer; triathlon lets me be an athlete again. 
·       I am motivated and inspired by goals. 
·       Triathlon feels like the Fountain of Youth. I’m nearly 62 years old and I certainly feel much younger than nearly all of my peers (most of the time!) 
·       The people – the athletes I coach and the athletes I count as friends – are generally friendly, supportive, positive, and fun to be with. 
·       Being in good shape will hopefully allow me to do more things as I age – hiking, sports, activities with young people, travel, dancing (oh forget dancing… my problem hasn’t been lack of aerobic capacity.)
·       My brother Scott says I do triathlon because I can’t drink. I haven’t had alcohol since 1999, ever since we equated it with making my ulcerative colitis-type symptoms worse, so in a way he’s right!
·       And finally, besides the well-known benefits of exercise (e.g. reduced risk for heart disease), there are studies that indicate that endurance training can have a positive impact on mental capacity and possibly affect the onset of Alzheimer’s. Given my father’s health decline in his 60s and 70s, I want to try to avoid what he dealt with.
  
There are now 7 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga and 14 wks to IM Arizona and this was my biggest training week so far. I have started working on my race plan for Chattanooga but it still needs more work. Last week I shared my overriding, big, and maybe a bit audacious, goal: to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii by finishing first in my age group of 60-64 year old men. The race plan will reflect that. Looking ahead, this coming Sunday I’m doing a ½ marathon. I’ll work it somewhat hard but also don’t want to come out of it super sore or fatigued because that will negatively affect training the following week.

Thursday my fatigue really showed so I cut my ride short and skipped a run when my heart rate stayed extra low. Friday morning’s open water swim was 4300yd, more than the race distance. Saturday was spent coaching our Team Challenge athletes and then doing things with Marc and Courtney, who were down for a very quick visit. Sunday was a big training day: 113 miles on the bike followed by a 3 mile run. I didn’t feel torn to be riding so long since Linda wasn’t home either. I rode my old bike as the newer bike is in the shop getting it’s gear shifting repaired. When I pick it up I’ll also get it refitted to me to see if I can squeeze out more speed without making me work harder. Any changes will be very minor.


Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. I am getting close to the $6000 mark! If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 22hr 37min; 211.6 miles
Swim3hr 46min – 12,205 yds (3 swims) - longest: 4,275 yd
Bike9hr 46min – 167 miles (3 rides) - longest: 113 miles
Run6hr 40min – 37.7 miles (3 runs + 1 short brick run) - longest: 17.3 miles

Strength Training2hr 12min

Ironman Chattanooga in 8 wks

6 August 2018 Update

Here is the 8th update on training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona. Health-wiseI’m still on the one medication for my ulcerative colitis-type symptoms. I’m also getting some physical therapy to relieve some lower back pain and psoas muscle issues. The person working on me has put my on the right track. Finally, I strained my wrist on Friday while steering my car! It was red, the bone seemed to bulge, and hurt when I twisted it so I had it checked and x-rayed on Sat. to make sure it wasn’t something serious. It will be fine.
  
There are now 8 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga and 15 wks to IM Arizona and this was my biggest training week so far. I will start working on my race plan for Chattanooga this week. It involves things like pacing, what I will focus on when it gets tough, how I will take in nutrition and how much, and goals. My overriding goal is big and maybe a bit audacious: to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. In order to do that I have to finish first in my age group of 60 to 64 year old men, a formidable task since there always seems to be at least one guy that is ridiculously fast, but who knows? I will have other goals too that I will share when we get closer to race day.

Sunday, as usual, was a big training day: 102 miles on the bike followed by a 3 mile run, also known as a “brick” workout. The ride went far better this week than last week’s long ride. It was my fastest 100 mile ride this year, even though my gear shifterstopped working 5 miles before I was done. I was stuck in an easy gear so it was okay to climb the hill to my house but made it so I couldn’t pedal downhill. 

The long run this morning was the opposite of yesterday’s ride/run brick - slower than I wanted. But I still put in the training. Consistency is one of my hallmarks for success. Every workout may not go as I planned or wanted but success usually doesn’t happen in a straight line anyway. Is my overall trajectory going in the right direction? If it is, stay the course! And it was the longest run to date: 16 ½ miles. 

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 23hr 04min; 206.4 miles
Swim3hr 45min – 12,267 yds (3 swims) - longest: 4,275 yd
Bike9hr 17min – 162 miles (3 rides) - longest: 102 miles
Run6hr 47min – 37.4 miles (3 runs + 1 short brick run) - longest: 16.7 miles
Strength Training3hr 15min

Ironman Chattanooga in 9 weeks (16 to IMAZ)

31 July 2018 Update

Here is the 7th update on training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona. Health-wiseI’ve gone back onto one medication due to ulcerative colitis type symptoms. It was nice to have a 7 week break from meds but it makes sense to go back on for now. I’m also getting some physical therapy to relieve some lower back pain and psoas muscle issues. The person working on me works with athletes and has put my on the right track. 
  
There are now just 9 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga (16 wks to IM Arizona). I treated this week as a recovery week for swim and bike, knowing my training time would be limited with Linda’s and my mid-week getaway. It was very hot in Palm Desert but I got 2 good runs in… indoors on the treadmill!

Sunday was a big training day: 2 mile swim, followed by a 95 mile ride, finishing with a 3 mile run. The ride started out slowly as I wasn’t well-organized after the swim. I also didn’t really want to be on the bike because son Marc was in town visiting so even though we were together on Sat., and I’ll see him again in 2 weeks, I wasn’t very happy. After 20 miles I settled into a good space and rode quite a few miles at race pace. The final 15 miles were tough as I was tired and the summer traffic on the road in the afternoon along the coast was crazy.

The long run this morning was extra tough as it was pretty warm and humid, and the air was still. The sun was out and I definitely felt yesterday’s long day of training. It was the longest run to date: 15 miles. Looking ahead I’ll probably not do a training run longer than 16 or 18 miles between now and race day. 

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 18hr 30min
Swim 1hr 58min – 6,725 yds (2 swims) - longest: 4,050 yd
Bike 7hr 15min – 113 miles (2 rides) - longest: 94.7 miles
Run 5hr 06min – 26.0 miles (3 runs + 1 short brick run) - longest: 15.3 miles
Strength Training 3hr 15min

23 July 2018

Ironman Chattanooga in 10 weeks (IM Arizona in 17 wks)

This is the 6th update on training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona. Linda and I celebrate our 36th anniversary a little late with a short mid-week getaway this week. I’ve adjusted training so I won’t need to ride or swim while we’re gone. Below is how the week went but first a short answer to the question: "What’s your goal?"

Aside from fundraising for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (I’m currently slightly in the lead for IM Chattanooga athletes), I have 4 types of goals I’m training for. I have performance and outcome goals, the kind most people think of when they think of goals. I want to win my age group so that I can qualify for the World Championships in Kona, HI for 2019. I also want to get under 11 hours for my finishing time. My process and experiential goals are equally important and influence the other goals. I’m preparing myself to find a new level of suffering on race day. I'l also be ready to execute my race pacing plan and my nutrition plan. I will be happy if I manage to take time to be grateful to each of you supporters and if I cross the finish line with nothing left.

Ventura Cove, 6 a.m., pre-swim sunrise
There are now 10 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga (17 wks to IM Arizona). Fatigue was a little less this past week as I did less running to help the legs recover and be ready to do even more in the coming weeks. Friday’s open water swim got cut short

by 700 yd when cramps got my calves. They weren’t mild ones – they were the kind that struck suddenly and hard. Rather than risking not being able to ride or run over the weekend, I cut the swim short.

Great Blue Heron looking for breakfast
My long ride on Sunday went better than expected and was the opposite of last Sunday when it seemed like it was mostly drudgery. Yesterday’s ride was mostly good with a nice chunk of it near race pace. The roads were extremely busy along the coast (summer, beachgoers) so I headed inland to finish and hit the 100 mile mark. I followed it with a 3 mile run. Then I ate for the rest of the day!

The long run was shorter and a little slower than the previous few weeks… by design. It was “just” 10 ½ miles, was unaffected by the calf cramps from Fri, and went well. I managed to miss my 2ndrun of the week in order to help coach one of my athletes on the bike.

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. If you ever want to add to it (and help me stay in 1st place), the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 20hr 40min
Swim 3hr 16min – 11,393 yds (3 swims) - longest: 4,050 yd
Bike 11hr 03min – 178 miles (3 rides) - longest: 100 miles
Run 3hr 26min – 19.7 miles (2 runs + 1 short brick run) - longest: 10.6 miles
Strength Training 2hr 54min

16 July 2018

Ironman Chattanooga in 11 weeks (IMAZ in 18 wks)

This is the 5th update on training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona. Linda and I mark our 36thanniversary on tomorrow, Tuesday, and we’ll celebrate with a short mid-week getaway a week later. 

There are now 11 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga (18 wks to IM Arizona). Fatigue is pretty high after this full week. It certainly impacted some of my workouts so I will back off a little this coming week, at least for running. I’ll wait until the following week to back off on the swim and bike. I had some good training this week. The long run on Sat. was 15 ½ miles at a good pace and a mid-week hilly run on the treadmill both were good. Most of the rest of the week was less than excellent but I’m looking forward to a better week ahead. 

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 20hr 32min
Swim 3hr 29min – 11,663 yds(3 swims excluding a very easy 2000yd ocean swim on Sunday morning)
Bike 8hr 48min – 148 miles (3 rides)
Run 5hr 20min – 32.2 miles (3 runs + 1 short brick run)
Strength Training 2hr 56min

09 July 2018

Ironman Chattanooga in 12 weeks (IMAZ in 19 wks)

This is the 4th update on training for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona. My health has been mostly good. During the spring I was possibly headed towards surgery to help relieve some issues I was having with colitis and my j-pouch. A happy accident – forgetting my 2 antibiotics when I traveled on June 1 – has led me to being completely off the meds ever since and I’m functioning better than I have in a good while. 

I moved my Saturday long run to today in order to attend the wedding of a special young lady. A few years ago Missy was our Team Challenge team’s “honored hero” to help remind us why we fundraise. She has ulcerative colitis and had to give up her promising gymnastics goals because of it. She adjusted, moved forward, and dealt with this difficult disease as a teenager. Things weren’t easy for her and kids even made fun of her. Yet, she persevered. She even joined us to complete a triathlon. She was an eloquent speaker, she went to college (but had to miss classes, withdraw, and start over thanks to colitis), and she was chosen to be a student ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. SHE is an example of why I care so much about this cause.

There are now 12 weeks until Ironman Chattanooga (19 wks to IM Arizona). I was again happy with how training went this week. I have goals in mind and each time I execute training well, it’s like placing another building block into the structure I want completed for race day. 

Wednesday I did a 50 mile ride event that allowed me to push a little harder since it had a casual race atmosphere. I had another good Thursday run following a 25 mile ride – this one was 8.5 miles, mostly a bit faster than race pace. Friday morning’s open water swim was 4100 yards.

Sunday’s long ride was 85 miles, from Encinitas, north up the coast through Camp Pendleton, to San Clemente, and back. Followed that immediately with a 3 mile brick run.

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my fundraising efforts as part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge Iron Team. If you ever want to add to it, the link is: online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade 

This week’s totals: 20hr 41min
Swim 3hr 17min – 11,305 yds(3 swims)
Bike 9hr 25min – 159 miles (3 rides)
Run 5hr 28min – 32.6 miles (3 runs)
Strength Training 2hr 30min (missed 1 core-focused session)