Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Ironmanification of Josh Clark

June 20, 2009 -

Here I sit, on the eve of Ironman. Some nerves, but mostly just anxious and ready to go. Ready to embrace the race and the mystery's that will unfold throughout the day. It was one year ago after the Boise 70.3 when I knew that it was not enough. I knew that I would have to do a full Ironman, I would have to reach the top. What lies after this I don't know. Is there a harder challenge I need to find...or do I settle back into my comfort zone of 70.3's and try to get competetive? We'll see, but first there is tomorrow.

I started training and writing this blog back on January 1, 2009. I did four weeks of conditioning in January and started my 20 week Ironman training plan that I downloaded for free on February 1st. I weighed in at 218 pounds. I trained in the dark, the snow, the rain, the cold and ice. I trained early in the morning, and at night. I spent hours upon hours in the garage on the bike trainer, on the bike out on country roads, on the trails and in the pool. I stuck to my plan with a strict discipline. I trained while I travelled as I had to mix five business trips into my schedule. I ate nonstop, supplemented with everything, stretched constantly, and spent a ton of money for this.

I praise my family who endured the hours of training and even more the hours of me talking about Ironman everyday. Talking about my training workouts, my thoughts and needs. As Ironman and its trianing continually consumed my brain, especially as time went on, it was really the only thing I could talk about...and that is a lot for anyone on the listening end to endure. My wife who was the main recipient of all that talk continued to accommodate my schedule and needs. She baked me muffins, cookies and bars. She cleaned stinky, sweaty clothes day in and day out so I always had fresh gear ready. Thank-you honey, I appreciate all you did for me, for this race....I love you. I'm also thankful for the thoughts, prayers and well wishes of all my other family who constantly let me know they supported me and were thinking about me.

I worked out when I didn't want to, when it was hard, when I was sore, when everyone else was sleeping and when the weather would not cooperate.

From all that, I am here now waiting out the last few hours before the race. I lost 23 pounds getting down to 195. I built my endurance to levels that I had never experienced and I learned new capabilities and discipline that I had not fully realized before.

Despite all that, you are not an Ironman until you finish that race in under 17 hours. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. One more battle to be had, one more day to go.

Someone asked my why I was doing this. I wasn't really sure? Something is always driving me to want to go after the hardest challenge. I constantly want to push myself further and find new ways to do more. I feel I would look back when this race is over and know that whatever challenge I'm facing may pale in comparison and that I have no excuses.

On to today. Yukon and I headed out this am for a quick swim just to feel the water again. It was a good lil swim...water was still pretty choppy. After, we headed back to the house and took the bikes out for a quick spin just to make sure everything was running smooth.

We had to get our bike and transition bags setup by 3p so we started to work on that. After a careful hour of planning out each stage of the race and loading our five different transition bags we headed back downtown. We racked up our bikes in a seemingly neverending sea of carbon fiber. From there, we headed over to a couple areas where you drop your bike transition and run transition bags. You just drop them into these long rows of bags. I guess someone helps you get it when you need it and you go into the men's changing tent get all the stuff out, re-load it with the stuff you just took off and leave it for the staff to but back. We also have bike and run foods bags that we give tomorrow and you can pick up food or special needs at somepoint on the bike and run.

Once we were done setting up transition, we headed over to check out the finish line and chute. It was still being setup, but still fun to check out and imagine the feeling of seeing it again tomorrow.

The rest of the night consits of watching movies, including 300, and feeding out on pasta, bread and salad. I will hit the sack around 9p and be back up by 4a. Our plan is to be at transition by 5:30a and wait out the last moments flushing out the butterflies before the 7a start.

Day 171 Training Log - Just a quickie 10 minute swim in the lake today still getting used to the choppy water. Temperature is good though, and if I do drink up the least it tastes good. After that, I took the bike out for a 15 minute spin to to make sure everything is is.

Post Script: today is showing 67 degrees and PM showers for tomorrow. I can do that. I'm feeling anxious, energized, carb and sodium loaded and hydrated.

Here we go.....Let's do this! A great quote from the movie 300: "Remember this day men, for it will be yours for all time."

You can track Yukon and myself with the information below:

Get onto At the top middle there is a “live race coverage” box. From there look for Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene and click on “athlete tracker”. Once there you can enter our last names or bib #. Clark – 570 and McKinley – 512.

You can also watch the finish line live from the race coverage section.

Finally, I put a picture here of what I will be wearing on the run so you can try to look for me if you are in the crowd. Look for the orange Avia hat and white rimmed shades with red lenses. Also a blue 2xu jersey and black shorts.

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