Memorial Day

I’ve often heard that completing an Ironman Triathlon is the ultimate test of physical and mental strength. After running a race half of this distance two weeks ago, I thought that I agreed with this statement.

That was until I received a dose of reality last night. Jessica was working and the little one was fast asleep. This gave me some rare free time. I’ve taped several episodes of the HBO miniseries called The Pacific. The Pacific is similar to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. It focuses on the United States Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II within the wider Pacific War. For those of you that know me, you know that I love history, so I was excited to finally get to watch some of these episodes.

It was while watching this last night that I truly saw what a physical and mental test was. The Marines that fought on the jungle islands of Guadalcanal and Peleliu had to deal with circumstances that no human should have to. No food for weeks, no water for days. Not being able to shower or even change clothes for months at a time. Take a second to imagine that. All of this while there is someone trying to kill you on a daily basis. The soldiers that fought in Europe faced similar situations in the mountains.

These guys put triathletes to shame. Exercising for 9, 12 or even 18 hours straight? That’s a joke compared to what some of our soldiers have had to face. So take a moment this Memorial Day to remember what sacrifices our military has made for you.

2h25m on the bike in Zone 2.
Still trying to build endurance by riding in heart rate zone 2.
Avg HR for this ride was 126 bpm

2h26m on the bike
Covered 45.23 miles for an average speed of 18.57 mph
Avg HR = 128 bpm
Lots of hills on this route, here’s the elevation profile:

1h40m run
Covered 11.87 miles for a pace of 8:29 miles/min
Goal of this run was to keep my heart rate below 162, even on the hills. I noticed it creeping below my zone 2 minimum of 154 several times on the downhills and flats, but this was just meant to be a nice, easy run to build my base…so I didn’t worry about the HR being too low. Average heart rate ended up being 151 bpm. Here’s my pace chart from the run (still had plenty left in the tank at the end):

Swim – 0:41 (1.22 miles) – 33:12 min/mile pace
Bike – 6:36 (120.23 miles) – 18.2 mph pace
Run – 4:09 (29.68 miles) – 8:24 min/mile pace
TOTAL – 11:26 (151.13 miles)
Not a bad week back after slacking the week after my race. Next week is even more volume in my endurance building zone.

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