Ironman Louisville Week – 250 days

I started my Ironman specific training program way back on December 20, 2010. That was 250 days ago. It’s been quite a journey. I suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain less than a week into my training. I healed up from that and felt great during the long, hard training sessions this summer. The long running workouts compiled and I’ve been dealing with ITBS for the last 6 weeks, no doubt caused by overuse. I’ve logged a lot of laps and miles over the last 250 days. He are some of my stats:


122.11 miles (that’s 8597 lengths of a 25yd pool)
76.11 hours


1,982.03 miles
105.47 hours


350.93 miles
49.44 hours

Bricks (additonal biking and running miles not accounted for above)
444.39 miles
28.56 hours


207.47 miles
18.85 hours

Other (Aqua Jogging, Rowing, Elliptical, etc.)
51.36 miles
8.43 hours

3,158.29 miles
286.86 hours

Most Ironman training plans call for 12-14 hours a week of training – that just wasn’t feasible for me. I happened to come across a training program that promised to get the same results with only 8-10 hours a week. Instead of long swims, rides and runs, it incorporated more high-intensity interval work. Don’t get me wrong, I still did an hand-full of 2 mile swims, 100 mile rides and 20 mile runs, but not nearly as many as most people training for an Ironman attempt. I spent a lot more time at the track and on the indoor trainer doing sprints than most. My average volume of training per week was 8-9 hours. I had a three 14 hour weeks and a few in the 12-13 hour range, but not many. I really enjoyed the training program and even without seeing the end result, I would recommend it. You can find it at
Now for a list of people that I must thank for making this journey possible.
Jessica, Kate & Adrian
My family. While they weren’t in the pool, on the bike, or pounding the pavement with me all those early mornings, they made sacrifices just the same! My wife is way more understanding than I deserve. She put up with me being out of the house literally EVERY Saturday morning (sometimes into the afternoon) for the last 9 months. She completely altered the way she cooked to help me eat healthier. She taped up my knee and hip butt when I was injured. After the birth of Adrian in March, she put her goals of getting back in shape on hold so that I could continue to train every morning. She’s encouraged me throughout the whole process and kept my thoughts positive throughout my recent injury. She’s heard about my training literally every day of this journey and never once acted like she was tired of hearing about it. In fact, most days she asks me how my workout went before I even get around to telling her. I love her so much and I will never forget how she helped me get to the starting line! I think she should start a “Ironman Wives Support Group” to help other wives of Ironman wannabe’s deal with their husbands! As for my children, Kate and Adrian, they have missed mornings with their Daddy and while they don’t know the difference, they have made sacrifices too. They’ve come out to races all season to cheer me on and I can’t wait to see them all at the finish line on Sunday!
Mom & Dad
They’ve been nothing but supportive since I started this thing called triathlon three years ago. They come to nearly all of my races and have encouraged me numerous ways over the last 9 months. While I know that they don’t like the beating my body has taken and of course my mom thinks I’ve lost too much weight while training for this Ironman, they’ve never once told me that I was “doing too much” or that I was “crazy”. The way that they raised me gave me the self-discipline to set this goal and accomplish it. 
My Mother-In-Law – Mendy
She was there for the first triathlon I ever did – a Sprint race back in August of 2008. Even though I don’t think she really understands what all of my races are, or why I do triathlons, she’ always been supportive. She offers to help out in any way…which most of the time means staying with one or both of our children – allowing Jessica to either get things done while I’m off training or come to my races. While she always says that there’s no need to thank her for spending time with her grandchildren, it needs to be said. So, thanks!
My Physical Therapist – Kevin Reichmuth
Kevin has been my go-to-guy for any and all injuries over the last few years. I’ve spent countless hours in the Dr. Rudy J. Ellis Sports Medicine Center lately. And while their new location is pretty nice, it’s not somewhere that I enjoy going to hang out. Over the last three years, Kevin has helped me recover from a knee contusion, runners knee, a sprained ankle, plantar fasciitis, piriformis syndrome and IT Band syndrome. While this may sound like a lot of injuries, most were pretty easy to recover from and didn’t keep me out of training very long thanks to Kevin. One day I hope I can repay all the favors that I now owe!
My Swim Coaches – Manny Nieto & Nancy McElwain
My wife got me an awesome Christmas present last year. A punch-card for 12 swim sessions with the Train Smart group. When I first started triathlon I couldn’t swim. I literally swam 25 yards and was dead. I worked with both Nancy and Manny back then and they taught me the fundamentals of swimming. I have to admit that I was a little nervous (doesn’t happen very often) when I first started swimming with this group on Wednesday mornings back in January. I considered myself an weak swimmer and I assumed that everyone in this group was an expert. With the coaching of Manny and Nancy, my swimming has come a long way over the last 8 months. They’ve tweaked my form and helped me shave almost 10 seconds per 100 meters off of my “race pace”. It’s been lots of fun swimming with these guys and I look forward to continuing it after Ironman…and some rest!
My Massage Therapist – Dee Dee Diamond
Most of my injuries are a result of muscle tightness and imbalance. I came to realize this after lots of time on the PT table with Kevin and the massage table with Dee Dee at the Training Studio. I would like to say that the time spent getting deep tissue massages was enjoyable…but it wasn’t. They are supposed to hurt – and they do! The hour long sessions of wincing while she dug deep into my muscles and fascia trying to release all of the tightness were rough, but they helped me. She was able to find all of my “trouble spots” and show me how to stretch and work these areas on my own. These sessions have also helped me learn how to “zone out” when I’m in pain…maybe that will come in handy on Sunday!
Swag Hartel
Swag is pretty well known in Louisville for owning Swag’s Sports Shoes. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know Swag pretty well and I always enjoy dropping in his store and talking with him about everything from running to politics. He has an opinion on everything – just ask him about something and you’ll see what I mean.  He agreed early in the year to sponsor me this season and it’s been a real blessing. He’s hooked me up with some awesome gear, including a tri top and shorts, multiple pairs of running shoes, socks, hats, shirts…basically anything that I needed, he gave me. What’s he getting out of all this? His logo on the shirt of a middle-of-the-pack Age Grouper. I’ve been a loyal customer for years and I will continue to be.
Chris Haragan & Chip Summers
These two guys are the owners of Air Equipment Company, where I’ve been employed for the last 10 years. They are not only great guys to work for, but they have been supportive of my Ironman journey in several ways. They agreed to sponsor me, which helped me out a great deal because this sport can be expensive. But their support goes far beyond monetary. I’ve had to make trips to my PT, the Massage Therapist, the bike shop, the shoe store, etc. at times during the day…and they’ve never once hassled me about it. They’ve asked countless times how my training is going and they just genuinely care. Great guys!
I’m sure I’ve left some people out that have been very key in getting me to this place and I’m sorry, but the old saying about raising a child holds true for making an Ironman…”It takes a village!”
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