Monday, February 23, 2009

Climb, Climb, Climb

Today I had a 1:00 ride scheduled. Normally this would be a Tues./Thurs. workout but as I mentioned in a previous post I'm shifting around this week's schedule to accomodate our early departure for vacation on Sat. morning. The workout today was to stay between HRZ 2-4 while doing some long climbs (I did 2" on the short end and 8" on the long). Since the weather outside is frightful I can't actually get out and climb so I simulate this by shifting gears on the trainer. I definitely felt like I was climbing when I got out of the small chainring, so it was worth it. It's always good to walk away from a workout feeling like you accomplished something!

Today I added a couple more events to the schedule. Gwen and I will be doing a 10K together in Saugatuck. It's the Town Crier 10K and from everything we've heard it's a really fun event so we're looking forward to it. This is 2 days after Gwen's capstone for nursing school is due so we're going to use it as a celebration run! I also registered for the Fisk Knob Time Trail which I'm really, really, really excited for. I'm going to try to add in a couple of TT's throughout the rest of the year depending on where they fall in regard to the rest of my race schedule. However, if I'm not able to do them this year then hopefully next year I'll be able to focus a little on the cycling. At any rate it'll be a fun couple of weeks for sure. If anyone is interested in either of these events the websites are:

Fisk Knob TT-
Saugatuck Town Crier 10K, 5K, Kids' Dash-

Finally, the Martian Marathon will be a go. It took me a minute or two to decide but I think that it's going to be a great indicator of fitness, a chance to work on nutrition, and a challenge for my mental toughness. I feel like I am fit enough for this so we'll take a shot! Wish me luck...

2007 Ironman

Watched the '07 IM today during my workout. Definitely made the workout seem to go by quickly. For those of you with short memories, or who haven't seen the '07 IM before, Macca (Chris McCormack) put the hammer down during the run and took his first victory in 6 tries. My boy Craig Alexander (who I am not ashamed to admit is one of the man crushes in my life) came in 2nd in his first attempt. Impressive!

On the women's side Chrissie Wellington absolutely dominated in her first IM on the big island. I would say that at this point she is probably the "face of the sport," as far as most people are concerned.

There were a couple of really neat "human interest," stories on this DVD. A couple of the stories that they covered were a 60-something, blind, grandfather making an attempt (success!), a guy from Georgia who didn't have any feet (He had the same set up as Oscar Pistorious... the "cheetah" runner from the paraolympics (success!)), and a 20-something who had been on the verge of death a couple of years earlier after a terrible carwreck (again, success!). I can honestly say that watching these types of stories makes training a lot easier. The montage that they do at the end of each IM DVD is one of the most crazy inspirational things there is. John Tesh's cheesy narration comes across as non-cheesy and the slow motion footage makes you want to get out and get active immediately. It's the triathlon version of March Madness' "One Shining Moment."

So, all-in-all 2007 was a great year for the IM DVD.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

End of the Week/End of ToC

Today I finished out the end of the week with a :50 Aerobic Time Trial on the treadmill.  I had to warm up for :20 and bring myself to the middle of my Heart Rate Training Zone (around 130 BPM).  Then, I ran 3 miles at the top of heart rate zone 3/bottom of heart rate zone 4 (between 145-150 BPM) logging my time for each mile.  Finished with a brief cool down.  It was a nice way to end the week out and I'm getting ready for a busy, busy upcoming week.  

We leave for Barbados next week Sat. morning.  Because of this I have to juggle my training schedule around this week.  Tomorrow is normally a recovery run for me but I'll be skipping that and jumping right into my Tues. workout.  Each workout will be done a day "earlier" and this way I won't have to skip any.  Undoubtedly, the following week while on vacation I will have a couple of missed workouts but I'm going to try to stay on it!  

Training has been going pretty well and this week I'll be getting some rollers (as I mentioned in an earlier post).  I'll throw some pictures up when I get them in and set up... hopefully it'll be this week, but with the limited amount of time I may not even get on them until we're back from vacation.  I'm also hoping to get in another "IM DVD Review," this week if I have time.  Next week will be great as well since I'll have a chance to get some beautiful and scenic runs in!  Gwen and I will have a lot of pictures and I'll make sure to throw some up on the blog.

Today was also the finish of the Tour of California.  Levi Leipheimer was able to bring it home and get his 3rd consecutive win in CA.  It was really neat to see as I've been following the Tour since the start.  This is the first time that I've really been tuned in to a bike race and it reminds me of how I felt after being glued to the TV for last year's U.S. Open to see Tiger pull out a huge win.  I'm hooked.  There is so much strategy and excitement in bike racing that I wasn't aware of.  After watching the first couple of days of the race I picked up an issue of VeloNews at Barnes and Noble and have been enjoying it over the weekend.  I have to say that compared to most of the triathlon magazines I have read I prefer VeloNews... Inside Tri is still on the top of the list though! 

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

LT Test on Bike

Just a quick one...I did my LT test tonight on the bike. It was a little rough since I had to use the road bike, Specialized POS, which felt completely uncomfortable. I felt too strectched out, really inefficient, and pretty uncomfortable in the nether regions. However, I muscled through it and I'm glad I did. Either way, my next one will be 100x better since I'll be able to use my baby...the Whisper Eclipse. I'll be getting set up with some rollers early next week. It's a little late in the season (at least it seems to me) to be getting on them, but better late than never. I need to work on my balance and this will be a great way to do so. Plus, like I mentioned earlier, I'll be able to get a speed read-out. I haven't been able to thus far because my speed sensor is attached to the front fork and the front wheel is stationary when using a rear wheel times for sure! This week has been good thus far. I'm feeling strong and don't feel like my body is breaking down.

2001 Ironman

I was a pretty big fan of the '01 DVD. It was neat because there were a couple of cameo's of athletes from the '91 DVD. Mark Allen and Paula Newby-Fraser (who competed in both...which is pretty amazing). The leaps and bounds that were made in technology are pretty spectacular but obviously since we "are from the future," we knew that it would be so. Tim Deboom took this one home which was neat to see as it was an emotionally charged year what with the attacks on the WTC being only a month prior to the race. I'm not going to lie though I was pulling for the cyclist turned Ironman, Steve Larsen. He had a crazy fast bike just dropping people left and right but couldn't bring it home on the run. Win some, lose some. They showed some neat footage of a memorial that was held prior to the World Championship and I thought it was fitting.

This was one of the year's where they focused on the "human interest," stories. There was the story of a marine who lost several members of his unit in a training mission, a nun, etc. etc. It's really inspiring to see the different reasons that people do this race, or any race, and I think that ultimately it helps to keep me motivated!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Triathlon Seminar @ The Shop and Workout Update

So it's been a minute since I've thrown a post up.  This week at work has been pretty busy but I'm happy to report that I've kept up with my workouts.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, this week is all about testing/checking my progress and thus far it's going well!  

Last night at Jade/Whisper Cycles Jim (owner) put together a "triathlon" panel to discuss their training techniques and answer any questions that we lesser experienced, less fit people may have.  There was a lot of good information and again I'm thankful to have The Shop to rely on for motivation, information, equipment, etc.  Unfortunately I didn't have a camera so I couldn't take any pictures but I'll start remembering to throw it in my pocket before I take off!  

The rest of this week should be pretty good.  Tomorrow I'll be throwing up another review from the Ironman DVD series.  I'm going to kind of skip around so tomorrow's DVD will be from 2001.  It'll be like a time warp going from '91 to '01... I'm guessing there will be significantly fewer mullets and neon colored clothing but I'm sure there will be a huge increase in barbed wire tattoos.  Hope everyone is doing great!  Check back in tomorrow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

1991 Ironman

This weekend I recieved my Ironman DVD collection! I'm going to give a review of each year's DVD (17 years worth!) for anyone who is interested.
First off, it's funny to see what television was like nearly 20 years ago. Everything about it is hilarious! The graphics, music, and generally everything else is really hokey. This was also a time when everything was "cutting edge" (as described by the commentators). Whether it's the mix of Gatorade to achieve the correct amount of electrolytes and carbohyrates, the bikes, or the heartrate monitors, everything is "state of the art." I guess that hasn't really changed that much but it's funny to see how far the sport, and technology in general, has advanced since then. One thing that I never realized before is that John Tesh is the narrator. I recognize the voice now that I know it's him but I thought that was pretty funny. Not exactly the guy you think of when you picture hardcore athletes. Anyway, moving on...
The DVD focuses primarily on the elite athletes. The more recent IM coverage I've seen has a really strong emphasis on those "human interest," type stories. I'm not sure when this started happening but I assume that it was probably close to the end of the 90's. Anyway, the race was basically between Mark Allen (USA) and Greg Welch (Australia). I found myself rooting for Greg Welch and I'm not really sure why but in the end Mark Allen broke away and whipped everyone! What amazes me is that despite the advances since then in technology the finishing times are extremely close. Allen finished with a time of 8:18:32. In 2008, champion Craig Alexander finished with a time of 8:17:45. To me this is a indicator of just how fit the athletes in the 80's and 90's were. Despite all the advances in aerodynamics, equipment, etc. there hasn't been a huge jump in performance. Mark Allen's bike sponsor? Huffy. How many triathletes are riding Huffy's now-a-days?
Alright, stay tuned for the next review. It'll probably be awhile since I'm trying to space these DVD's out. If I let myself I could spend an entire day and watch them all back to back but I'm trying to save them. I'm sure by the time I hit IMKY I'll have watched these things multiple times apiece but I'm trying to savor them.

Finish Strong

So I've come to the end of another week of training. I always try to end each week the way that I end each individual workout... strong. Sunday's are my "long runs." I did 1:30 on the treadmill today which equaled out to around 8 1/2 miles. Felt strong today, didn't push too hard and didn't get too bored. I was a little worried that my knee might give me some problems today as it was a little "squishy," yesterday but it didn't act up. I definitely feel like I am fit enough to handle the training workload that I have but you never know...
On a seperate note... a couple of days ago I applied for a sponsorship from a couple of different companies. As I've mentioned before I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ride for Whisper Cycles ( earlier this year. However, with the cost of this sport being so great I've been looking to pick up a couple other sponsors to help subsidize my costs. With that being said I heard back from Rudy Projects, (makers of sunglasses, helmets, etc.) and they offered me a limited sponsorship. I haven't yet signed the "offer letter/contract," that they've sent over but am planning on sending it back in the next couple of days so look for upcoming reviews, news, etc.!
Today I also watched the TV coverage of the Tour of California on VS (the banner above is an advertisement from TOC's website). I haven't ever really gotten into watching cycling on TV but it was actually pretty exciting. Coverage is going on for the rest of the week so I'm looking forward to following it. Check out the website for details:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Workout today was a 2:45 brick.  Felt a little rough at the end.  My knee started to feel a little puffy but once I started the run it went away fairly quick.  Not sure exactly what it was all about but I'm thinking that perhaps I didn't get enough fluids in.  I'll be experimenting with nutrition over the next several months trying to dial in my system so stay tuned!

Gwen and I went for dinner tonight at the Kellogg Manor House somewhere near Plainwell.  Dinner was really, really good.  Sitting at the house I remember hearing that not only was Kellogg a cereal magnate but also a huge promotor of sanitariums... as well as some borderline crazy stuff.  Not completely sure on that but I'll have to Wikipedia it sometime and see if I'm right.  At any rate, he did well for himself, obviously, as was evident by the beautiful house.  It was a good time and Gwen and I were able to enjoy some quality time.  Unfortunately... triathlon/training (or nursing school for that matter) is not always "for lovers," but Gwen has been very supportive and understanding and I like to think that I've been able to reciprocate.  Hope everyone has had a great Valentine's!  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jade/Whisper Bike Maintenance Seminar

Today was the Bicycle Maintenance Seminar at The Shop ( or check them out they are absolutely great bikes!  I'm sure everyone knows how picky I am about the things that I use a lot.  Whether it's my MP3 player, laptop, cellphone, golf clubs, running shoes, etc. so you KNOW it's got to be a great product!!!!).  Got out of Thurs. Manager Meetings and booked it over there.  We started promptly at 6 and Jim gave us a rundown of pretty much anything that I would ever be able to do myself on the bike.  A lot of the information was over my head but I was definitely thankful for the opportunity to learn some more about my bike, and bikes in general.  This is going to give me some peace of mind the next time I feel like there is an issue and as always if there is something I can't figure out Jim is there to take care of it!  We all received a copy of the "Park Tool Big Blue Book of Repairs," and there is a ton of information in it.  I've perused it a little this evening but haven't been able to really get into it.

The seminar took just about 2 1/2 hours and so I didn't make it home until just before 9.  I'll say this without going into great detail... Guinness is definitely sick... luckily Gwen, being the great wife she is, took care of his issues and her Mom is going to bring him in to the vet, again, tomorrow (which is really, really helpful and much appreciated).  Anyway I ended up hopping on the bike a little late and busted my butt with a "muscular endurance workout."  Then I lifted weights (although I use the word "weight" loosely).  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, this week is definitely intense but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

Alright, off to enjoy the rest of the night.  As an aside; I'm going to try my first "survey."  I've been tossing around the idea of doing a marathon at the beginning of April to kind of open the season up but am not completely sure if I should or not.  Weigh in on it and let me know (I'm leaning towards yes at this point).  It looks like a really fun, low-key event.  Check out the website ( and then let me know what you think!  Rock out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Higher Ground

So I was in Midland for work most of the day which meant a lot of driving.  Luckily I was able to hitch a ride with a coworker and didn't actually have to drive.  Got to see Cody... he's working out there for a bit now.  Needless to say by the time we made it back home it was pretty difficult to drag myself to the pool.  You would think that being stuck in the car all day would give me some sort of desire to bust out but unfortunately that's not always the case.

Long story short I was able to make it to the pool and get my swim in (1:15 basically doing sets of 300's/drills/kicks/etc.).  On the way home I was struggling to motivate and make it on the treadmill (again... 1:15 run).  I was basically resigned to miss a workout tonight when "Higher Ground," by the RHCP came on!  One of the ultimate motivators for me and my saving grace I guess!  Once I blasted this song in the car I was re-motivated!!!  I came home threw on the shoes and started the run.  So now here I am loving life, hanging out with Gwen and the dogs, taking in some X-Files, and getting ready to train tomorrow morning (have to get an early sess as we have the Bike Maintenance Seminar at The Shop tomorrow).  As you may have noticed by all of the exclamation points I was really excited about all of this.

The downer for the night was post workout Guinness peed in the crate after he ate his dinner tonight.  Never a fun time trying to wash a three legged dog in a shower where he can't get good footing but between Gwen and I we were able to take care of it.  He's been so sick lately between his skin issues, losing weight, etc. that it's hard to get mad at him.  Plus, he's so cute. 

Gwen has been studying hard so we'll be glad to spend a nice Valentine's Weekend together... stay tuned for training and weekend festivity updates...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Recovery Run/Swim

Couple of cool things going on today... today was Dad's birthday.  The original Boeve triathlete is enjoying another year and hopefully another summer of triathlons! 

Today was my "recovery" day.  That means 1/2 hour run and 1/2 hour swim.  Distance-wise I did about 3.25 miles on the treadmill and 1 mile in the pool.  I felt really good today which was nice after the weekend.  The rest of the week will slowly increase in time and volume each day so by the end of the week I should be feeling pretty good.  On Thurs. this week I'll be attending a seminar at The Shop to cover bicycle maintenance.  I'm really looking forward to learning some techniques for taking care of the bike and fixing those "minor issues" that pop up every now and then.  Hopefully I'll be able to take some pictures and throw them up for everyone!  Stay tuned.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be hovering around 60 degrees.  There aren't many days where the temperature gets that high in a MI Feb.  I don't have a run in the schedule (Tues./Thurs. are Bike/Lift or Bike/Yoga or Stretch days) but may try getting out for a short one to get some fresh air in the lungs.

I guess that the 2009 "race season" has officially begun for me with the first 5K this last weekend.  I think that Gwen and I will probably do another shorter run like that sometime soon (although she is definitely feeling under the weather right now so maybe it will be later rather than sooner).  We'll keep you updated...


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Upcoming Week

The picture to the left was taken last night... late last night.  Needless to say today is a little rough.  Gwen and I have been lounging around and are going to take advantage of the nice weather and just enjoy the day! 

My legs are definitely a little more tight than I would have expected this morning but I'm guessing that running at a moderate race effort and then following that up with a brick has something to do with it.  Today will definitely serve as a "recovery day" in more ways than one.  

Looking forward to next week's schedule see that it's going to be a long week.  I have 14 hours "booked" which is one of the longer weeks that I have had thus far.  The following week is shorter time-wise but I have an aerobic time trial run, lactate threshold test on the bike, and will be setting my t-pace once again in the pool.  All in all it's shaping up to be a decent couple weeks of training.

I don't think I can overstate how ready I am to be able to get the bike out on the road.  I'm chomping at the bit and will be glad to throw in some hills and get a chance to really push myself.  Alright, wish me luck.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Snowmelt Shuffle and Brick

Pictured Above:  Gwen and I
Pictured Above:  Roy and I

Snowmelt Shuffle Race Report:

The weather today was beautiful.  Pretty rare for February in Michigan.  Perfect day for a 5K.  It was almost 50 degrees out and the sun was definitely shining.  It was really windy out today and it made running down 8th St. seem almost like you were running through a canyon.  The headwind was an added challenge for sure but it made it a little more interesting.  The run itself went pretty well... I think that it's safe to say that Gwen, Roy, and I all were fairly happy with the times that we ran.  I ended up just over 23 minutes which was fine with me.  Post race we enjoyed some breakfast at The Windmill.  No better way to cap off a morning jog than with some eggs and toast.


My brick today went really well.  Definitely my favorite type of workout.  I had Gwen take a couple of pictures so that I could get an idea of where my aero positioning is.  I have gotten a lot more comfortable in the saddle and am starting to get the position I need.  I'm feeling great now and am glad to have my workouts for the day over with.  Gwen and I are going to watch a couple episodes of Twin Peaks and then who knows... alright, off to enjoy the rest of the day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inside Tri is here!

It's finally here!  My issue of Inside Triathlon came after a lot of anticipation and multiple days of checking the mailbox.  The photo above does this sweet tri rag no justice.  The cover photo is a shot of his Lanceness hammering down in the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel.  

Tomorrow morning Roybert, Gwen, and I will be participating in Holland's annual Snowmelt Shuffle 5K.  Immediately following I have a 2:15 brick to do!  Brick workouts are by far my favorite workout.  I'll throw up a race report sometime after the workout.  Wish us luck!

The Search for the Ultimate Playlist

Living in Michigan at this time of year means that I have to log a lot of training hours on the treadmill or on the trainer. This can result in a really, really boring and monotonous workout. To combat these effects I do one of two things: a. I listen to my iPod or b. I throw a DVD (usually the X-Files… unless it’s dark in the basement… you’d be surprised how easily your mind begins to wander and the next thing you know you feel like someone is standing behind you… but that’s a different post altogether). As a general rule I don’t like to workout with the iPod… or any other electronic device. It breaks things up but I think that it can be really distracting and in the end most events don’t let you use one anyway so I figure it’s best to train without. However, I haven’t found a good way to break up the indoor workouts without watching a DVD or listening to music so I guess it’s the lesser of two evils.

A couple of nights ago while watching “Twin Peaks” our DVD player crapped out on us. This meant that when doing my bike workout yesterday my only option was to throw on the iPod. I have a couple of playlists that I created for working out but I’ve listened to them so many times that I have started to hate them. As a result of this I typically hit shuffle and hope for the best. This can either be really great (when “Fight Like a Brave” pops on while I’m in the middle of working my way towards my max rpm or “Killing in the Name Of” at anytime) or really, really, really bad (nothing is more deflating than Tom T. Hall coming on in the middle of a sprint… and don’t ask why I have Tom T. Hall on my iPod).

In lieu of this I am working on creating the ultimate workout playlist. I firmly believe that this is one of those unachievable dreams. I’ve been down this road before and I always end up putting on a song I think is great but just doesn’t work for me (i.e. Metallica’s – “Enter Sandman”). There is also the overplay effect which I mentioned above. But alas, I’m trying. So help a brother out and leave a comment and let me know if you think I should add something in!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When 1:45 = 2:30

I was definitely ready for my workout this evening.  I spent most of the day in the car driving just to Mundelein (just north of Chicago) for work.  Needless to say when I got home I was ready to hit the gym and get it over with... you can't look forward to all of them.  

I had been planning on doing just under 2 hours... 1:15 swim and :45 run... but I didn't look at the schedule close enough.  It was 1:15 of each.  This may not seem like too much of a curveball but let me say that when you are planning on a certain time it can be tough to swallow an extra :45.  But for every workout that I dread there is the feeling of satisfaction when it's over.  There's something about gritting through the pain, boredom, soreness, fatigue, etc. that makes you feel like you've really done something worthwhile.

On a separate note, I would like to put it out there... swimming is definitely my least favorite of the 3 disciplines.  A quick list of reasons why swimming is not my favorite thing:
  1. I have the feeling that whenever I jump in the pool I am swimming through other people's urine.
  2. My hair now has the consistency of straw.
  3. Can you say "Ashy?"
  4. Awkward locker room convo's.
  5. The many, many children that go to the aquatic center each night.
  6. The feeling that I'm like a hamster running on a wheel...
Alright, a couple of things quickly before I "sign off."  

Last night there was a "meet and greet" at Jade/Whisper Cycles... or "The Shop" as it will now be known.  I got a chance to meet some of the other athletes that Jim is sponsoring.  In particular I was pretty excited to speak with Matt Smith, a local uber triathlete.  He gave me some advice on nutrition which I will now start experimenting with trying to dial everything in.  He also gave me some reassurance that sticking to my training plan will get me where I need to be!  Thanks Matt!

Secondly, I decided today that I won't be registering for Tri Del Sol.  Instead, I'm going to do a Half IM... the Muncie Endurathon.  I think that it will be a better prep. race for me.  It'll give me an indication of where I'm at and the biggest thing is that I'll have an idea of where my nutrition is at.  For those of you who aren't aware, nutrition is huge for longer distance racing.  You need to make sure that you are staying hydrated, getting enough electrolytes, carbs, etc. etc.

Last and most importantly is something that I forgot to mention yesterday.  Most of you know that Gwen is in nursing school now and will be done this Spring.  She's been extremely, extremely busy... busy in a way that I couldn't ever imagine.  Anyway, I think it goes without saying that without her support and understanding I wouldn't be able to even begin to think about doing an IM.  

Alright, until next time...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It has begun!!!

Hello blogging world.  This is it... the first official post to my blog.  I guess it feels good.  

Where to begin?  Where to begin?  I suppose I should start by stating my purpose.  From there I'll give you a brief background and catch you up to speed on what you need to know, and then I'll fill you in on where we go from here. 

Why is Josh doing this?
Basically, this is a good way for me to let those who care know how my training is going.  I'm sure that at some time or another most everyone I know has asked me some sort of offhanded question about how training is going and the next thing they know it's hour 2 of the "Josh Boeve Triathlon Lecture Series."  Honestly, I feel bad when I go off on a tangent so I suppose this is a way for me to try to get things on the table without monopolizing a real life conversation.  That being said... don't be surprised if I still monopolize the conversation (whether or not I'm talking triathlon training).  

The "Self Performed Background Interview"
Josh:  So, Josh, tell me what possessed you to register for a triathlon in the first place... and of all things an Ironman?

Josh:  Well... I first got involved in this when my youngest brother, Jared, suggested that we challenge the old man (Dad) to a sort of gentleman's contest.  That is, we sign up for a triathlon together and talk endless amounts of smack (mostly between myself and Jared) and figure that the guy who comes out on top is the "real man" of the Boeve family (Dad won, but I think that I'm still the "real man").  Training for that triathlon (Reeds Lake) was a lot of fun.  I loved the feeling that I had when I was done riding the bike or running.  I definitely felt like I was pushing my body to the limit and with every day, week, and month gone by I could feel myself getting stronger and more fit.
The feeling I get from pushing my body like this is incomparable.  It is the ultimate feeling to push yourself beyond your perceived capabilities.  So, for me the ultimate goal is an IM.  There isn't anything I would have thought to be further from my physical capabilities.
The last thing I would mention is that for my family and I there was a lot of loss last year.  Triathlon is my way of celebrating life and the physical abilities that I have been given.  

J:  So how have you planned for this?

J:  The first thing I did was read through the Triathlete's Training Bible.  This gave me an understanding of the ins and outs of training, periodization, base training, etc.  Then, after reading that and realizing there was still a lot I didn't know I went out and found someone who put a plan together for me (Tom Trout- Tom Trout Coaching).  I've been using that plan as the template for my training.  It tells me each day what workouts I need to do, how long they need to be, etc.  This has worked really well for me thus far.  I started in October and will be training through the end of the September.  The second thing I did was work on surrounding myself with people who know more than me.  Specifically, I joined and began using it as a resource and motivator for my training!  I also was lucky enough to get a bike sponsor, Whisper Cycles ( or  Jim DeGracia, the owner, has been a great resource and has helped me gain a lot of knowledge and ability.

J:  So, sounds like you're pretty confident about all of this huh?

J:  I am.  I mean, it's hard because you don't want to be too overconfident going into something like this, but at the same time you have to believe in yourself!  One thing that I've found out is that there are a lot of skeptics out there.  That being the case, you have to be sure of yourself.  Of course I still have a lot of respect for the distance and apprehension about my ability... but I know that no matter what, this event, and the training leading up to it, have changed me for the better.  
When I look at it on a smaller scale I like to give this example:  a year ago I was nearly 200 lbs. (it took like 5 or 6 years for me to blimp up like this... slowly but surely).  I remember when I started running I figured that I would never be able to run more than a couple of miles at a time.  I also remember thinking that if I could just get to 175 lbs. I'd be happy with that (despite the fact that it was still like 15 lbs. heavier than I should have been!).  I couldn't imagine anything else.  Now, I'm sitting at 155 lbs.  and a couple of miles is a recovery run!  So... my point is that it isn't just physical preparation and fitness that will get you through.  Mental preparation, fitness, and most importantly toughness is just as important!

J:  So what keeps you going?

J:  My family, my friends, and the idea that if I can accomplish this... I can accomplish anything.

J:  Josh, you've been a great interview.  You are extremely intelligent and funny.  

J:  Thanks Josh, you aren't so bad either.

Where do we go from here?

Basically I'm hoping to post on a regular, to semi-regular, basis.  I'll let everyone know how training is going, my goals, my fears, etc.  I'll probably throw out a gear review every now and then for anyone looking for advice and commentary on what has worked for me.  Alright... until next time...