Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fighting the Dark Voices

47 Days.

That is the countdown to Ironman Texas.

It cannot come soon enough.

This weekend was difficult.  Every pedal, stride, and freestyle stroke was nothing short of torturous.  My mind spend each minute of training fighting back the dark thoughts that were begging to quit.  My legs spent each minute of training being agreeable with my mind.

In the end neither my legs nor my mind were strong enough when stacked against my will.

Every. Workout. Complete.

Now that the whine-fest is done ...

Something positive happened this morning when I was about 14mi into my long run. The body was feeling the wear and tear of the previous 17 weeks of training.  I was on the Ironman Texas run course and I was hurting, bad. Once again I was thinking to myself why in the heck am I doing this and wanted to quit?  And right at this point for some reason I started reflecting back on all the training, the ice baths, the races, the pain, the soreness, the bike crash, the early nights to bed, and the even earlier mornings to rise.  It was at this point I began to smile and realized I had officially earned the right to attempt an Iron Distance race.  The hard workouts, the early mornings, the pain - it was all sort of the right of passage and I have now earned that right.  I finished the run with a strong kick.


Bike:32h 22m 21s  - 610.66 Mi
Run:15h 50m 32s  - 110.37 Mi
Swim:16h 46m  - 36300 Yd


  • Galveston 70.3 is this coming weekend.  My plan is to take it very conservative and practice my pacing and nutrition for IMTX on May 21st.  It is going to be hard to not race because I am pretty much a meathead and will easily get caught up in the moment.  BUT I need to keep reminding myself that if I do race the recovery will be much longer and hurt the following weeks training.  I'd like to finish around 6hrs.
  • On Friday Annie and I had dinner with fellow Blogger Shannon @ Iron Texas Mommy and some other peeps from the Beginner Triathlete forum.  She drove down from Dallas for the Endurance Nation bike ride that was happening on Saturday morning.  We had a great time - Shannon is awesome and we all got to hang out on the bike course on Saturday too.  It is always great meeting other bloggers who you follow because it is like you already know them from their postings.  Shannon is doing Galveston next weekend so it will be great to see her again!
  • Random things heard from our kitchen tonight: "I didn't know canned goods had expiration dates?" and, "The directions say to use a microwave safe plastic wrap? Is saran wrap microwave safe?"
  • We don't cook much.
  • The IM Texas run course in The Woodlands is fantastic.  Lots of shade and extremely spectator friendly.  Just a great venue for an Ironman.
  • This morning after our run we were standing around chatting with some of the folks in town with the Endurance Nation group.  Many of them were from much cooler climates and they were dying in the humidity.  The funny thing was before the run a few of us locals were talking about how great a morning it was to run and how it was sort of chilly.  It did warm-up so their complaints were not unfounded but if these guys think it is hot now then May 21st is going to be brutal for them.  Luckily for us the weather has been steamy so we are all pretty much acclimated and will be ready on race day!

Thanks for Reading,



  1. Don't forget "Do you know what the wattage on our microwave is?"

    I have no doubt that you are ready!

  2. Oh dear... *shakes head*. You better not end up with a cooking related injury. haha :)

    You totally have earned the right to not only attempt, but kick butt, at the Iron Distance!

    Sounds like you have a good plan for Galveston. Go easy on Jon and don't beat him too bad :)

    Great month and way to push through the tough times.

  3. Oh my goodness... you and Annie crack me up!

    Like I told you before... you are earning that title now - the training is WAY harder than the race. That's just the day that you show up, show em how far you've come, and pick up the shirt, hat and medal! :)

    You are going to have an amazing race this weekend.

  4. I too am ready for IMTX to be here. I am starting to feel like I am in fighting shape, but more than anything, I am ready to reclaim my weekends!

    You are rocking your training and there are good weekends and bad weekends, it is the tough ones that make us stronger.

    Hope to ride with you soon on the IMTX course -- maybe weekend after Galveston? Saturdays are bad for me because of baseball and tball ...

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Well I have to say you seem TOTALLY ready to do the Ironman. Learning a lot from your blog...even though I'm doing a mini!

  6. yikes - microwavable plastic..that's scary.

    yes! You ARE ready to conquer the full iron distance! Every workout complete is freaking amazing. :)

  7. LOL @ Kevin's comment :)

    Nice numbers man! My coach told me in an email about a week ago: You can't be a rockstar every weekend, but these are the weekends where you actually progress the farthest because you dealt with the mental side of things.

    You have surely deserved the right to be an Iron distance athlete. You go this!

  8. I cook all the time and don't know what wattage my microwave is, probably because I don't use it so much.

    Jeff, you are ready! The feelings you are having are so natural, you are going to kick some ass, remember that! I felt exactly the same way before my 50K.


  9. I have 6 months of dark thoughts to go, I know it will be worth it

    Oh wow!! I am adding to the list of when I visit, that already has, I am in charge of the remote, to now that I will do all the cooking!!

  10. Endurance Nation does good stuff. Their Long Course DVD is well worth finding, especially if you are thikning of IM Louisville.

  11. That is hilarious about you and Annie in the kitchen. Love Kevin's comment.

    Yes, you have earned it. 100%. I love the way you described fighting through the dark thoughts and how your legs or mind were not strong enough against your will. That right there my friend is the mind of an Ironman. You totally have this.

    But first. Don't be a meat heat at the 70.3 make a plan, stick to the plan.

  12. You are so ready for the IM! It will be here before you know it.

    As for Saran Wrap, I hope it's safe to use in the microwave...that's how I cook my sweet potatoes - wrap'em in that, nuke'em for 6 minutes and yummy! :-) And yes, canned goods do expire...I learned that when I volunteered at the Houston Food bank (a very interesting experience!).

  13. You have been training long and hard, my friend! And the finish line is in sight now. You've got it!

    I think you need Jason to come teach you how to cook!

  14. An all-too-frequent thought in my mind at this stage of the training is "haven't I done enough yet"?!?

    Just bring it on and let me do what I've trained for! : )

  15. From one meathead to another... GOOD LUCK NOT being a meathead LOL!

    I get it man. It's the moment you are in and you want to just let go and hammer.

    Luckily those thoughts are few and far between with me. People have a harder time convincing me NOT to do something than to actually do it haha.

    Chalk it up as HTFU time and honestly have a great time this weekend, soooo cool!

  16. Love the right of passage story. Although I was floored when I realized you were doing a long run in the morning. I need to get on your level. I can't do a long run and then go to work.

  17. FWIW... I'd race the 1/2 so you are kinda tired the next week... it's a race after all my friend... with all the training you have done... recovery will not take long

  18. No one told me of the emotional roller coaster and the tired roller coaster with IM training. If they did, I wouldn't have believed them. Now I would.

    You are ready to rock Galveston. Good thing success doesn't come in a can and there is no expiration date.

  19. ur doing great
    excellent work grinding it out and thru the voices!


  20. When I read the title to this post, the first mental image I had was the scene from the movie Animal House where the guy has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other...except with you, the devil is saying, "go ahead, race'll be fun!" The angel is saying, "take it easy! It's a workout!"

    I continue to be blown away at the distances you're putting into your training. You are going to kill the Woodlands!

  21. I love your self talk!! You have earned it! You deserve to race the distance!!

  22. All of your training is going to totally pay off in your 70.3 and Ironman! You are doing awesome!

  23. Can’t believe it’s only forty something days to go! I love those positive thoughts you got towards the end of your run. You are right, you’ve earned the right to go and do this thing…simply awesome!

  24. Happy you had that light bulb go off about your training, you sound ready to me!

  25. You know what? Congrats on pushing through the dark place. You're gonna have to fight that place again during the IM, so consider it mental training!