Friday, December 11, 2009

It’s been a while

My friends all know that I'm really bad (ok… horrible) at keeping in touch with people. I don't do it on purpose and I really hope it doesn't offend anyone; it's just the way I am. I get really focused on a few things and other things just slip, not that they are less important.

For the last year (ok, closer to two years) I have been focus on one day and one race. This consumed a ton of time and as a result I ignored many other things. After the race was over I have to get back to a few other things in my life and therefore this blog was neglected for a while as well. So here is a long post on what I have been up to since Ironman Wisconsin:

Post Ironman Wisconsin

My plan was to take about 2 weeks completely off after IMWI, get away from everything triathlon, then come back and hit the training hard until Clearwater to wrap up my season. Well things didn't really happen that way at all.

Usually have a big race I get a post race high that last for a few days, just like the post race soreness and then I'm back to normal both mentally and physically by the next weekend. This year was a little different. First off I never got sore, each day I woke up expecting to be sore and I was fine. I felt so good on Tuesday after the race I started working out again and felt great. The post race high, well that lasted a lot long than usually, more like 3-4 weeks instead of the normal few days. Pretty much every single day something about the race came up, or someone else contacted me to talk about it. It was really cool, but almost a little overwhelming. I have to say one of the highlights though was being Age Grouper of the Week on the IM Talk podcast (thanks Nemo!).

After all the attention went away, I pretty quickly burned out mentally on training and racing. It was weird because my body was fine and when I wanted to push myself I could hit all my workout targets, but I just didn't have any desire to work out or push myself. I was pretty much just done with Triathlon. At the same time a few other things happened as work got really busy and demanding, I wanted to spend more time with Theresa, see friends I haven't seen as much as I would like, and just get away for a little. So that's what I did, I stopped following any sort of a training plan and just did what I felt like when I felt like it. BTW, I also ate what I wanted when I wanted for about 2 months as well and the pounds sure add up quickly.

So I was about a 3-4 weeks away from Clearwater, getting more out of shape by the day, little to no desire to work out, and oh yeah, I had a unplanned Marathon to run in as well.

New York City Marathon

I can pretty much thank (or blame) my endurance sports addiction on two friends. Katie, the one that convinced me I could go from feeling like I was going to die on a 5 mile jog to doing a marathon in 5 months, has been running marathons for years and has done more marathons than I have done total races combined. A few years ago she got into running as a pace leader and always talked about how great it is and how much she enjoyed it. So I said I was interested in doing it sometime and to let me know if there was every an opportunity.

Sure enough when I was on post IMWI high still, I got an email from Katie with an offer to run the NYC Marathon as a pace leader for the 4:00 group. Of course I thought this was an awesome opportunity and wanted to do it, but I actually did the smart thing and reached out to Rich and Patrick first. I was pretty convince they would tell me I was crazy to consider running a marathon 6 weeks after IMWI and 2 weeks before Clearwater… but they said to go for it, so I did.

The problem came when I was burnt out on training, and now not only had about a month until Clearwater, I also had to be able to run NYC two weeks before I lead a bunch of people that were relying on me. I managed to motivate myself to do a few long runs, the good news was that since I wasn't training all that much in general the long runs felt pretty easy. I actually managed to pull of two 22 milers both under 2:30…not bad since I was almost 15 lobs heavier than IMWI!

The NYC marathon was an awesome experience though. I loved every minute of the race and had an awesome time talking to people and just enjoying the race, something I haven't done in a long time. I even carried a camera the whole race and took pictures and movies. I felt awesome after the race, in fact I even jogged to the subway (to stay warm), and then got on a flight home.

The next morning, well that was a different story. I went to get out of bed and almost feel over. I was as sore as my first marathon 5 years ago. It was different though, my muscles were totally fine, my hips and knees were killing me though. The soreness actually lasted almost the full week and I wasn't walking normal again until Friday. How in the world could I go under 10 hours in Ironman Wisconsin, never get sore, and start running again less than 48 hours later but after running a 4 hour marathon I could move for 5 days?

I thought about this for a little bit and discussed with a few teammates, the conclusion I have come to is that in the last 2 years, I have only run longer than 2:30 twice. Even though I have done countless 22 and 23 mile runs, they have all been around 2:30 or less, so my body was just not ready for 4:00 of pounding. Also, I ran NYC 13 lbs heavier than I was in Madison. I guess that weight makes a big difference.

Even with the 5 days of pain afterwards I still had such a good time in NYC helping others to meet their goal and just enjoying a race instead of racing, that I would do it again in a heartbeat.


After IMWI I was fired up and ready to crush it at Clearwater, but after the multiple week mental burnout and physical disaster after NYC marathon, my body had other thoughts. Clearwater quickly went from a race, to an event to enjoy. There has been a lot said about Clearwater so I'm not going to go into it, but the race lives up to it's reputation.

I'm very glad I did the race and I'm even more glad that I just did it for fun. I had a few choice words to during the race and right afterwards, but after I settled down I realized I really did have a good time. Theresa and I had a fun trip, got to visit family and it was just fun to race in a world championship. Plus it was awesome to know that untrained, overweight and racing at my IM target watts / pace, I could still pull off a 4:24 70.3 distance race…. It sure is one fast course.

Up Next

Now that all that is done with and the 2009 season is over, I'm back working with Endurance Nation and in the Out Season again.

I have a ton of goals I thought about for next year, plus a bunch have people have shared with me what they think I can do next year. However after my experience at NYC Marathon and Clearwater, and considering that Theresa and I are expecting our first Child this winter, I've decided 2010 is an "off" year. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to train hard and race, but not like I did in 2008 and 2009.

In 2010, I will be running the Boston Marathon and racing the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. No matter what I am going to enjoy both experiences and make the most out of them. If I feel great on race day and I want to race, then so be it. If not, who cares, I'm not getting paid for results, I'm going to enjoy the day and vacation.

Of course, since I don't have any major goals for 2010, I've already got a list for 2011 J

Also, I recently picked up a Garmin Edge 500 to do some testing with. Hopefully I will get around to putting a quick review up in a few days. Stay tuned if you are interested in reading more about it.


  1. Time to smell the deserve an off year after the last couple (no way I could ever keep up with your training regiment). Boston and Kona bound...not too shabby, wow

  2. Matt you are an inspiration. Great recap and look forward to following you in 2010 (both online and on the course!)

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  4. Glad the pregnant wife wasn't blamed for the weight gain ;)!!

    Congratulations on a great 2009 (and for qualifing for Kona, so I can return to my favorite place in the world, again!). As you know, I couldn't be more proud!!! I love being your support crew and can't wait to do it again in 2010 and beyond, and with a little helper along for the journey.