Wednesday, May 18, 2011

But, I will be an Ironman

It has been nearly 10 months since I signed up for the first ever Ironman Texas. I cannot say that I have stayed absolutely focused this entire time, but I can say that I have worked my butt off. For those of you that don’t know (assuming that more than one person reads this thing), an Ironman is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run, all back to back to back. In training for my first Ironman, I have learned a lot of lessons. Here are just a couple:
  1. Lose the weight before you get to the hard training! I have found that it is just about impossible to properly fuel your body for the next workout while trying to lose weight. So I had to make a choice, lose the rest of the weight I wanted to lose, or stay strong and get in all of my training. In the end, I went with the latter. As my old boss used to say "Fat is strong, my friend. Fat is strong."
  2. Have a plan and stick to it! I had found a 20 week Ironman training plan and was determined to rip through it. But once I started the first week, I realized that I was WAY beyond where this plan was starting me in my training. So I started to add workouts, and change workouts, and leave certain workouts completely out. By week 2, the plan was about one third my own creation, and two thirds original plan. By week 3 the plan was about two thirds my own creation, and one third original plan (do you see where this is going?). And by week 4, the plan was completely thrown out. That went well for a few weeks until I started to second guess my planning and changing things up like crazy, then it just became "eh, I’ll do this today." Probably not the best way to train for a race of this distance. In the end, I would probably be stronger if I had stuck with the original plan even though it started so slow.
My original time goal for this race was 10:59:59. We will now call that my best case scenario race. It is still possible, but it will take a perfect race. My B goal is 11:29:59 and my C goal is 11:59:59. Really, if I can finish the swim in 1:10 (this will be my first mass start, which means I will be starting at the same time as the other 2750 competitors… in what looks like a very small lake… This might slow me down), finish the bike with a 20mph average, and finish the marathon in under 5 hours, I will be happy. 

As a comparison, the winning pro at an Ironman will finish anywhere between 8:00 and 8:40 depending on the conditions and difficulty of the course. Some pros could still be finishing as far back as 10:20. A time of 9:30-10:15 could qualify me for the World Championships in Kona, HI. The median finisher at Ironman Florida last year finished in 12:41:21. And people will be finishing all the way up until the 17 hour cut off time. So even my C goal won’t be a horrible time.

No matter what happens with this race, I can say that I would never have been able to make it this far without the help of my family and friends and especially Anna (everything else aside, how many times has she brought me my spare key when I lost my truck key on a long run or ride??). So thank you everybody for your help and support.

Well, as they say, the hay is in the barn. Come Saturday, it is time to burn that sucker down!


If anyone wants to follow my race on Saturday, you can go to then scroll down and click on "Ironman Texas" then click "Tracking" then enter in my bib number 861 to see what I have completed as the day progresses.  Gregg Johnson (my boss) is bib number 2421 and Gus Fontenot (another guy from Mobile) is 2120.

Also, I may not be able to finish my race, because some crazy guy is predicting that the world will end at 5:00 pm central time on Saturday.  That would be a 10 hour finish for me, I don't know if I can run that fast!


  1. Good Luck man, hope the world doesn't end.. at least not until after you finish!

  2. You will do great. FINISHING a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon, back to back to back, is a fantastic goal for 99.9999% of the rest of the planet, and reestablishing your goals as the result of things learned in training for your first full Ironman is a reflection of your ability to grow as an Ironman competitor. And, if you are raptured during the middle of the race, it will be easier for the rest of us to find you in Heaven! Dad

  3. hahaha...good stuff. Most important thing??? Have FUN!!! And that we both know how to do :) Sorry for the times I kept you up too late and you missed your morning workouts, but I guess I made it up by saving you when you lost your key that one, no two, or was it three, times. ;) I love you and I'm so proud of you, no matter how long it takes you to complete this ridiculous feat! I'm so pumped and ready to cheer you on!!

  4. Hunter, I told you before...No matter how you do, you will do it well. Your first IM finish will change your life, I promise...LET IT!!

    Now, GO GET SOME!!

    Jon M.

  5. Excited for you and praying for you! Anna had the best advice...HAVE FUN!