My Ironman Story
On October 4, 1998 I did my first triathlon, the Mission Bay Sprint consisting of a 500 meter swim, a 15K bike and a 5K run. It took me 1 hour and 24 minutes and finished in the back of the pack. I had just turned 40 years old and figured that a Sprint distance triathlon a year would be a great goal for staying in shape. I did the same race in 1999 and 2000. Then in 2001 I participated in an International distance triathlon consisting of a 1000 meter swim, a 30K bike and a 10K run, exactly twice the distance of a Sprint. This race took me 2 hours and 30 minutes and again I finished in the back of the pack. So the next year in 2001, I did a Half Ironman distance triathlon consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run. This is a bit more than twice the distance of an International. The race took me 6 hours and 57 minutes and I finished in the back of the pack. I am consistent if nothing else.
I was clearly hooked. In 2002, I did my first full Ironman consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. The race took me 13 hours and 8 minutes and finished once again in the back of the pack.
My goal has changed from a Sprint a year to at least a half or full Ironman every year. So far, I have done 14 half Ironmans and 6 full Ironmans. I really want to do a full when I am 70 years old and beyond. I have a friend, 17 years my senior, who I train with. He inspires me to keep going. I will need to be careful, listen to my body, rest enough and frankly, be very lucky to continue enjoying this sport for the decades to come.
I have used a few coaches over the years and have settled into the not very well known Coach Fackler Program. I swim, bike and run enough to finish whatever race is ahead of me. I do put in the necessary distance, but I don’t go super hard as it hurts too much. My lungs, heart and muscles don’t like the pain and agony. I add in a good dose of hard manual labor when I am in Durango and Pilates when I am in San Diego. I eat good food most of the time. I enjoy adult beverages in moderation. I relax and have fun. So far so good.
My next half is the California Half Ironman on March 29, 2014. If I stay healthy and with a bit of luck, that will be my 15th Half Ironman (aka 70.3). My next full is Ironman Mont-Tremblant/Quebec on August 17, 2014. Again, if I stay healthy and with a bit of luck, that will be my seventh Full Ironman.
See you out there. Train safe. Train smart.