Three days into the new year I’m feeling a quick glance in the rear-view mirror might help me better navigate the path in front of me. No surprise that my main fitness goal was the Ironman California in October. That left the first half of the year to train for the San Diego marathon in June. The 16 weeks of marathon training fed directly into my 18 weeks of dedicated Ironman training. By the time I was ready to add swimming and biking to my routine, I was fit and ready for the additional duration and demand of multi-sport training.
I was training for 36 consecutive weeks in 2023, with a 2-week intermission or recovery time after the marathon. Within this training block, I ran the Carlsbad 5000 in what was a miserably slow time for me, participated in my first bike race at the Tour de Big Bear 50k, and felt the anxiety of racing in the San Diego triathlon classic, taking home a first-place age-group award. Just two weeks post Ironman I ran the Temecula Half Marathon in a sub 1 hour 30-minute time that I was quite stoked with.
Racing aside, and just as important, I spent many training sessions with my buddy and doing hill repeats with my local running club. Invaluable experiences. The huge amounts of motivation, inspiration, and information made finishing Ironman possible. And many thanks to my family for enduring my moodiness and weird schedule. I cannot thank my daughter enough for being my swim buddy and sight while doing my open water swims. She would paddle board next to me ensuring my safety and we both had fun. My wife, what can I say, thank you for encouraging me to become an Ironman. I would not have signed up if not for her. And of course, my son, who challenges me every running race. He’s now faster than I am in the 5k but I still outrun him in the longer distances. Keep chasing me down, I love it.
I incurred a few injuries along the way but for the most part, avoided any significant downtime. I had what I believe was a small stress fracture in my right foot, with even a bit in my left foot. Enough discomfort forced me to walk before I was able to resume. Maybe it was not a stress fracture after all because it was hit and miss, not sure, never got it checked out. I was on the disabled list for a couple days during Ironman training due to Covid, fortunately for me, it was a down week, and I did not miss any important sessions. My right hand, specifically my thumb, has yet to fully recover from Ironman. Not totally sure how or why my hand hurts to grip and push or pull or put any weight on it, but this might be an issue for strength training. I think it’s a result of death-gripping my handlebar in the last two hours of the bike in Ironman as it absolutely poured down rain and the roads were slippery. I will say that I was feeling this a few weeks out of Ironman during my swimming and cross-training but figured it was not going to be a big deal and pushed through it. Fortunately, during Ironman I did not feel any pain in my feet or in my hands. Interesting that my left-hand feels fine, even with the two titanium pins keeping my thumb together. One thing to note, not a single fall on the bike! 1,389 miles and 86 hours and not a scratch on the bike.
Speaking of distance and duration, here’s 2023 in numbers:
- Swim: 88,798 yards and over 28 hours (2% of training)
- Bike: 1,389 miles and 86 hours (55% of training)
- Run: 1,044 miles and 148 hours (41% of training)
- Cross-Train: 47 hours (1% of training).
Total Hours = 309 hours or 5 hours per week.
How do I feel about 2023? Great! I accomplished all my fitness goals and had fun doing it. My 15th San Diego marathon and 24th total. And... I am an Ironman!