Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh Canada!

How does one do an Ironman with almost no training? We are going to find out tomorrow.

Basta decided a while ago that he doesn't need to train much to do events. He didn't train much for the Boston Marathon and finished it without trouble. He wasn't fast, but he hadn't planned to be. He took his camera and shot pictures the whole way. He frolicked with the Wellesley girls. His longest run leading up to that event was 16 miles. He did a smattering of shorter runs, too, but nothing substantial. He never ran more than once or twice a week.

Before that, he did the Palm Springs Century ride with no training, too. He hadn't been on his bike in ages, then jumped on it and rode the course with his group of triathlon friends. They said he was whining quite a bit the last 20 miles or so, but he did it.

Now he thinks he can do an Ironman with similar inadequate training. As I said before, we moved and started remodeling. That whole scenario was very time consuming for quite some time. We're still not completely done with the remodel.

Mostly he's just not making the time to train. He wants his training to be easy and convenient, which isn't realistic. He needs to plan it around work and contractors and social obligations and all of that. He hasn't done it. He doesn't see how people with kids ever get any training done.

He ignored my training plans that I made for him. At 16 weeks out from this event I started to strongly suggest that he start training for it. He said he would. But he didn't.

At 12 weeks out, I told him that this was the longest he could put this off. 12 weeks is considered a minimum training length for anyone leading up to an Ironman. He said he would, but he didn't. He ran a couple of times, so that was something. But it wasn't Ironman training.

I started signing him up for events, just to get him to get some exercise. He did the OCTC duathlon and a few 5ks. He rode his bike twice during the week with a group that rides hills on Wednesdays after work. He did four long rides with his triathlon buddies. 80-100 mile rides with hills. He swam in the ocean, 1-2.4 miles each time, on six occasions. He ran with his dog 3-5 miles a few times, and he ran 14 miles with a buddy once.

That's it. That's the sum total of his training. On all the other days of the 12 weeks leading up to this, he did nothing, exercise-wise. Walking the dog doesn't count.

Now we are here in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. This is a beautiful place. We're here with the core triathlon group, six of us total. Four competing and two of us spectator-spouses.

We're all staying in a condo together and it's been great. We're a short walk to the starting area so the location is perfect. We have a view of the lake, a pool and hottub in the back, a full kitchen, laundry, and four bedrooms. Couldn't ask for a nicer place.

We've been here since Wednesday. The event is tomorrow. We've done the expo and bought a load of stuff. The athlete's banquet was last night. That was inspirational, as it is intended to be. Sister Madonna Buder is here, competing again at 80 years old. She looks fantastic.

The people here are so friendly and welcoming. Canadians are good people. All of the volunteers at the event are local Pentictonites. They love hosting Ironman here.

Tomorrow is the big show. How will Basta do? He thinks he can match his Brazil time, at least. I think he's dreaming. I think he'll finish, because he's stubborn that way. But I think the hilly bike ride will take it out of him and he'll end up walking much of the marathon. I predict a 15 hour finish.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


tap tap tap Is this thing on?

Um, hi. Yes, we're still here. Basta and I. A lot has happened between last post and now, just nothing much of the training or triathlon variety. Hence, no posts.

Since Ironman Brazil last year and our failed Whitney attempt, there's been Thanksgiving and Christmas. Party time. Then we sold our big house in the harbor and moved into a cute little new (to us) house not far away. It's much smaller, much quieter, and we're much happier here.

However, the stress of the above was quite high. This is not a good time to be buying or selling a house, as many of you know. If you haven't tried lately you may think it's a good time to buy a house, but it's not. Prices may be good but getting a loan is a ridiculous process. Banks have gone from, 'here ya go, and don't you need an extra 50K for some remodeling?' to 'oh, we don't care how well qualified you are, we're going to just keep asking for more and more documentation so that we can delay lending you money as long as possible.'

Grr. But now that we own the place, we're remodelling it. The kitchen is a gutted hole right now. We're eating out of a fridge and microwave in the garage. It's rather like camping. Camping without the pure air or the mountainous scenery. Which does get old after a few days.

In addition to all of that, Basta has essentially taken on another job. In addition to his regular sales job, he's gone back into lawyering part-time. His spare time that he used to use for training is spent doing that.

I point out that there are people who work longer hours and also have kids and greater family/social obligations who still do Ironmans, but he is uninterested in that. He wants his training to be convenient, and it just never will be.

So he's been telling people that he's an Ironman, planning for future triathlons, soaking in the glory and admiration of those who don't do these things, and not hardly training a whit.

He signed up for Ironman Canada with a group of friends. Late August.

He agreed to do Wildflower as a relay with buddies. He'll be doing the run. Early May.

And he has Boston. The Boston that he qualified for last year, remember? He finally gets to run that run. In two weeks.

Many weeks ago I started pestering him about starting training for Boston. I made him a training schedule, which he completely ignored. He did none of the workouts. So I didn't make him another schedule for the next week. I told him to just keep the original and do it -- when he finished it I'd make him a next one. He never did.

He did work out a little. A run here and there with friends. He did the Tour de Palm Springs -- a century ride -- and survived it. His riding companions said he won the biggest whiner award the last 20 miles or so, but he finished.

Finally, about three weeks ago, he agreed to get serious about his Boston training. Five weeks to get marathon-ready? Ha.

Basta is convinced, you see, that he is capable of finishing any distance without adequate preparation. I may be guilty of fueling that assumption since I've expressed my amazement at how he's been able to finish some events. However it came to be, he is sure he'll finish Boston just fine. He is not looking to PR, just to enjoy the Boston experience and have a fun day.

So, five weeks to train up to 26.2 miles. I sent him out on an 8 mile run to see how he did. He did it, but he was sore and achy afterwards. He said he was amazed at how much running ability he's lost. Really? After not running much at all for 7 months you can't run like you used to? Shocking.

So we backed off to 4 miles. Rest a day, then do 4 miles. Then 6. Slowly building up again.

I'm trying him on essentially a Hanson's program, or a least a Hanson's theory approach. Lots of shorter-distance running rather than less frequent, short runs with one serious long run each week. The total mileage in a week is the same, but the body doesn't get the destruction caused by the very long runs.

It seems to be working. His aches and pains are normal. He ran 16 miles yesterday. That will be his longest run prior to the big show. It's not enough, I know, but it's as good as it's going to be. For the next two weeks he'll run more 8, 10, and 12 mile runs, then we'll fly off to Boston.

It's going to be fun. We're both really looking forward to it. We can use a little vacation to get away from all the remodeling dust, too.