December 27, 2006

Happy New Year!

The Iron H blog wishes all triathletes, triathletes in the making and non-triathletes a happy and prosperous New Year! Here's to great and healthy 2007!

December 21, 2006

Your Own Private Tri Goals

It’s that time of year to start thinking about what goals you didn’t achieve in 2006 and what you plan to go after in 2007. It’s time to list your personal achievement goals. Your fitness goals. Your family goals. Financial, career, home improvements, monetary, community outreach, and….your triathlon goals. I had one tri goal for 2006 and I achieved it. That was to finish an Ironman. Ok, so I wasn’t altogether truthful there. I did have other tri goals so I’ll come clean right now.

First, I wanted to finish the Eagleman 70.3 in under 6 hours: Nope…..didn’t make it. My excuse? I was trying to stay in my HR zones as I prepared for Lake Placid. Plus, the swim conditions were horrible. Still in the end…there really was no excuse because I was in good shape. This goal is on my list again in 2007 as I go for breaking 6 hours for the 6th year in a row. I think I know what I have to do.

Second, I wanted to finish Lake Placid IM in 13.5 hours or less. Missed it by 1 hour. Excuse? The HR zones again. I really held back on the bike. I have a history of bonking on the run so I raced in fear of that following the guidance of some experienced Ironmen I know. I’m signed up for 2007 and this goal is again on my list. But the bottomline is that it was my first IM and I had a blast doing it!

I believe that goals and resolutions can be great motivators but you have to be careful. You don’t want to put down too many and you don’t want to make them too hard. (Disclaimer: I have no Doctorate in Psychology only a BA so I’m no expert. Take my words with big grains of salt.) Goals should be reasonable in order to achieve around 75-80% of them. You may want to try having varying degrees of goals. Maybe 2 that will be achievable with just a little extra effort or training that you normally do. Then 2 goals that might require you to really turn up that effort and commitment a notch or two. You can make these but it will definitely cause some pain and suffering to get there. And then make 1 Supreme Goal that will be really, really tough to achieve. If you make it then it’s your own private Olympic gold medal. If you don’t, then buy yourself a pint or two of Ben & Jerry’s because you put out a hell of an effort. And don’t be discouraged because there is always next year.

Remember, there will always be something that comes between you and your goals. Family life, injuries, work commitments, race conditions, etc. The list goes on and on. The important thing to remember is that unless you are paying the rent with triathlon prize money, this is all for fun. Training is really the ultimate reward because when you train for a triathlon, you will generally end up being in the best shape of your life. And that is definitely a great goal to achieve.

December 18, 2006

Top Ten I-Pod Songs

The 2005-2006 training season was a break out year for Apple and the I-pod. How did we live without this thing? Not too long ago I was running the streets with a Sony Walkman. Thing must have weighed at least 5 pounds. I used to try clipping the thing inside my shorts but it felt like I was running with a sack of potatoes strapped to my waist. And don’t get me started about taking the time to change tapes or trying to tune in my preferred radio station. A 30 minute run became a 45 minute run. It was 30 minutes of actual running and 15 minutes of messing around with the music. Well, that’s old technology and in the past. I now have an I-pod shuffle. The shuffle only fits about 100-120 songs but it is sufficient….sort of. Those 100 songs do kind of get stale after awhile but it’s far superior to the Walkman. This year I’m thinking of asking Santa for a Nano then those 100 songs will mix in nicely with another 400 more.

With that spirit in mind, here’s my Top 10 songs that I love to run to. At least for now.

1. Vertigo: U2
2. State of Love and Trust: Pearl Jam
3. All About Soul: Billy Joel
4. Fool in the Rain: Led Zeppelin
5. Bad: U2
6. Wonderwall: Oasis
7. The Scientist: Coldplay
8. Rock and Roll Band: Boston
9. That Smell: Lynyrd Skynyrd
10. Ants Marching: Dave Mathews Band

December 07, 2006

Winter Ride

Well, the cold weather is finally making its way here in the East. We’ve had unseasonably mild weather throughout November. Then on December 1, it was 69 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s going on here? Is it Global warming? Perhaps. But to all of us that depend on the weather for training, this kind of weather had its definite appeal. I didn’t get a chance to get the bike out on Dec 1 and I regretted it. The next day, on Saturday, we gathered for a 90 minute, Zone 1 to 2 group ride. It was the start of IM training for some. For me, I’m pushing it off 1 more week. Anyway, at ride time it was a brisk, 37 degrees. It was definitely cold enough to break out the cold weather gear. But not as cold as a day last January. We had started a ride with the temperature at 27 degrees F with a wind chill of about 20. I was not prepared. At about 6 miles out, I started to get light headed not to mention that the tips of my fingers and toes were in this extreme, sharp pain. I tried to gut it out but unfortunately I had to turn back. The pain was so intense that I stayed in the car for 15 minutes, with the heat blasting, before I could drive home. It’s needless to say that I learned a lesson that day. I was under dressed for the weather.

So, it was December not January this past Saturday but I’m taking a lot of steps to prepare for the cold weather this year. Number one is dressing correctly. The day turned out to be delightful as the sun came out and it warmed up to about 42 degrees F. It was a good start but I’m positive that many cold days lie ahead. I can deal with the cold but snow is another story. I like to ride outside during the winter not in the basement on my trainer. That just doesn’t feel like riding to me.

We followed the ride with a 20 minute run and the training season, unofficially, was off to a good start. Now, I’m on my way to the camping store to buy some of those hot packs for my gloves and shoes. They work wonders!

December 02, 2006

Hey, All You Drivers Out There

If you are reading this, you are probably not the audience I'm trying to reach for this post. But who knows maybe this will reach one driver who’s not a triathlete, runner, biker or a combination there of and stumbled onto this blog. Can you see where I’m going with this? I'm talking about the road where drivers, bikers, runners, even walkers often meet. This post isn’t about the “nice” things that drivers say when they pass you. And it's not about the “nice” things they throw out their windows (not at you but just to get rid of it since it’s taking up valuable space inside the car). And it shouldn’t be about how they never want to move over to give you some space even when no other cars are coming at them in the opposite direction. It seems that if they pass that double yellow line, they will immediately be ticketed by the cops or worse yet, explode into a million pieces. God forbid! Why risk it? But if it were about that then I have to ask you: Why is that? What did our little group of health conscious triathletes do to the driving public to be treated like criminals? I can imagine a bumper sticker: This Car Speeds Up on Bikers and Runners! Are they so desperate to get to their destination 15 seconds faster that they are willing to risk a serious injury to someone or worse, killing them? We all know the stories of athletes that don’t come back from a training ride or run. I don’t want to go there but God rest their souls.

Ok, so here it is a public safety announcement. To all you drivers out there who are sharing the road with bikers, runners, walkers, people pushing strollers, etc., please SLOW DOWN! (I’m really trying to be nice here. No foul language. Offering the olive branch, amnesty, etc.) We’re out there doing something we love. We’re good for the environment and we only need a little bit of the road. You can have most of it. We mean no harm to anyone. And we have every right to be on that road with you. Just give us a break will you?

Ok, I’m done. Hopefully, the message came through. Good night all. See you in the morning on the streets of fire.

November 29, 2006

The Trade Off Factor

If you have ever trained for an Ironman, you know that the following statement is true: Training puts a strain on family life. In another post, I’ll discuss what you need to do to take the plunge but for this one, I’d like to address the “trade off factor”. The basic premise is that if you are going to receive then you have to give back. When I started training for my first Ironman last year, I had the family’s approval. However, I don’t think anyone realized the size of the commitment that was to follow. (More on that later!) This year, I was at a disadvantage. My wife and my three daughters knew exactly what I and they were getting into. So, there was a price to be paid or better yet, a trade off. In this case, it was our basement. It was cold, dark and not a place where three girls ages 16, 12 & 10, want to hang out with friends. It had to be renovated. And it had to be renovated by me. So, in addition to my $450 entry fee or whatever it was into Lake Placid, I am paying for my desire to do Ironman in another way. Every night and every weekend, I’m spackling, hammering and painting so my girls can have a “cool” place to go. And then I can train with a guilt free mind. I was hoping to finish before training officially started but it’s not looking good. Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to set up my trainer somewhere else!

November 25, 2006

My Old Friend the Pool

Although, I don’t officially start training for IM LP 2007 until December 6, I jumped in the water the other day for the first time in a long time. The pool has been a stranger since July 23. Oh, we’ve gone out on a few casual dates since then but nothing serious. I recently looked at my training log from 2005-06 and I had been in the pool quite a bit around this time last year. And in 2005, my “official” training program didn’t start until December 24. That was a mental bummer. But this morning, I finally rose out of bed at 6:15 (quite late!!) and arrived at the Y 25 minutes later. I have been dreaming of this for weeks and living with the guilt for not making it a reality. However, the ice was broken and I slipped on through. Even after the short session, the endorphins were firing. It felt great! I’m back with my old friend the pool. I don’t want to push too hard, so maybe, I’ll hit the trails with my mountain bike tomorrow. Let the pool sit for the weekend. Play hard to get. But maybe I’ll surprise my old friend and attend a Masters class Monday morning. Oh, wouldn’t that be nice! Hope there are no technical problems with my alarm clock.

November 15, 2006

2006 Ironman Lake Placid Final Thoughts

The “high” from race day lingers but it’s slowly fading. Training for 2007 begins in a few weeks. Here are some final, fragmented thoughts that I wanted to get down as my last and final on IM LP 06.

*The “Watch Me Finish” clip on the Ironman USA website is incredible. Watching that moment when you become an Ironman is priceless. Hint to first timers: try to finish by yourself with no other participants around you. You’ll get a better shot!

*The Black Bear in town is excellent for breakfast. Not bad for lunch too!

*Swim the course on the Friday before the race. It makes all the difference in the world.

*Take a weekend in the Spring and train in LP. Getting to know the bike course can be quite helpful. I didn’t do that the first time around but will try to do it in 2007.

*Make sure you get the right size T-Shirt after you finish. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t check and it was 1 size too small. Fortunately, I was able to rectify the situation.

*Thank as many volunteers as you can. They are the best! They make your race a lot easier, let me tell you.

*Say thank you to the spectators as well. They stay there all day cheering you on and calling out your name. It’s inspiring.

*Experiment more with your Heart Rate Zones during training unless you are quite positive about them. I have some doubts about mine and wonder if I could have pushed a little harder on the bike.

*Push hard on the bike during training once or twice.

*Get your free massage at the end of the race.

*If you want to sign up for next year, remember that as a participant this year, you don’t have to lay out any cash for about 3 weeks.

*Ironman North America runs a great race!

November 10, 2006

2006 Ironman Lake Placid: Part IV

The Run

I had a better time in T2. It was 5 minutes plus. I felt really good coming off the bike and onto the run. The legs felt fresh and I knew then that the bricks that I had done in training were about to pay off. As I exited transition and ran into town, I felt like I had a huge smile on my face. I was riding high from the fact that I was actually doing an Ironman. Was it a dream? No, this was reality. The volunteers and spectators were just great. Since your race number has your name on it, they cheer you on and call your name out as you pass them. I tried to thank as many as I could.

My strategy was to run to every aid station, grab Gatorade, walk through the station and then continue running. I also decided to walk up every steep hill. At first I was confused on the run as I was seeing other runners coming in. I didn't realize that is was an out and back. I was drinking orange Gatorade Endurance which was a good change from the Lemon-Lime on the bike but I was starting to get sick of it anyway. It was beginning to get that syrupy taste but I tried to force it down. I didn’t want to bonk. Chicken broth was being served and the thought of it was making me sick. I was going to try Coke but didn’t want to hit on it so early in the race. I scrapped my own nutrition (Clif Shot Blox, Z Bars) and dumped them after the first loop when I saw my daughters Molly and Grace. Basically I was drinking the Gatorade, eating oranges and grapes and at one aid station they had watermelon, which tasted great. Unfortunately, I never saw the watermelon again. I finished the first loop in a little over 2 ½ hours and was happy with that. I knew I would be slower on the 2nd loop but at least mentally I had a shot at a 5 hour marathon. It was also the first time that I have ever run 26.2 miles. The crowds were incredible as I headed out and they gave me a boost mentally.

At 15 miles I had to go to the bathroom and lost time waiting for a porta john to open up. I saw Jim coming down the road and he passed me. I never was able to catch up to him after that.

The 2nd loop consisted of a bit more walking than the first loop. But at around mile 19 or 20, I was passed by 2 people who were fast walking. I decided that I wasn’t going to let that happen. I picked up my pace and ran past them and stayed ahead of them for the rest of the run. My stomach was starting to knot up and I was drinking a little Gatorade at aid stations and eating only grapes, which tasted great. I wasn’t sure if they were good for me but they were going down. The Gatorade was starting to gum up my mouth. I decided to start drinking the coke and that really gave me a boost. It also settled my stomach. At around mile 22-23, a guy named Scott started talking to me as we walked up the last major hill. He looked a little flat so I got him running again when we reached the top and I persuaded him to drink some coke. He was glad he did. He was number 1000 and I guess it hit people a certain way because they all remarked about it. At this point it was starting to get dark out and I just kept thinking that I was about to finish my first Ironman. That thought alone kept me going. The emotions started to creep in. Although, I wanted to try and finish before dark, I was happy with where I was. I noticed that the spectators that we passed on the 1st loop out were still there on the last loop in! They were just incredible all day. And at this point, they were really urging us on. Scott and I ran together all the way into town where he saw his family and stopped to say hello to them. But I just kept going. The pulse of the crowd was really pushing me on now. I hit one more aid station before the turn around and gulped down some more coke. That’s all I needed. I saw Jim a little later and shouted, “Jim O’Hagan, you are an Ironman!” He screamed back at me wishing me well. I met up with another guy, forgot his name, but he did tell me this was his 18th Ironman. Psycho!

I made the turn and started to pick up my stride. Near the lake I started to sprint. It felt just incredible. All the training days of getting up at 5 AM to swim, the long bike rides and long runs, the physical therapy sessions, the agony over whether the knee would be ok, it was all coming to a successful end. As I ran down the chute and into the Olympic oval, I saw another friend, Jim R., and he screamed at me that I had done it. I entered the oval and started to look for my girls who were going to cross the finish line with me. I saw them on the right less than 100 yards from the finish. We were lucky because no one was behind us and no one was in front of us. We sprinted to the line broke the tape and my arms went into the air. I was finally an Ironman! The voice of Ironman, Mike Reilly shouted out my name and that felt real good! 14 hours and 39 minutes. It was longer than I expected but I’ll take it. What a great feeling! I thought I would lose it emotionally. In fact, I envisioned it but I held it together. I was just too overjoyed and seeing the family waiting with smiles on their faces was the ultimate reward.

October 31, 2006

2006 Ironman Lake Placid: Part III

The Bike

I was shivering uncontrollably for about the first 5 miles. It was overcast and drizzling but it really wasn’t that cold out. But for some reason, I was shaking. I was glad I put my long sleeve dri-fit shirt on. It helped but it really didn’t matter because I was in a daze. A good daze. Al these people were cheering me on and the feeling was just unbelievable. I kept checking myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. I’d wake up soon and realize that I never pushed the final button to register. It was Sunday morning and I was lying in bed. But I was actually doing this! I was a participant in an Ironman event. That fact alone kept a smile on my face the whole day. I tried to say thank you to as many spectators and volunteers as I possibly could. It was their support and encouragement that carried me through and made this day special.

The first part of the bike course is rolling hills. I had heard that the first 6 to 7 miles was straight downhill but that is not true. You don’t reach that until mile 10. But when you do? Pure joy! If you are a speed junky, you’ll love it. I got the bike up to 40 MPH but there were people passing me so I know they were pushing 45-50. The road was mostly dry but I just didn’t want to push it too hard. All I needed to do was crash 10 miles into the bike. After that rush, the course continues on with a mix of flats and rolling hills. The scenery is just breathtaking.

My two main goals on the bike were to stay in my HR zone (65-75% of Max which was about 132) and to hit my nutrition targets. I was targeting 400 calories per hour which I pretty much hit. I drank Gatorade Endurance exclusively with some water mixed in. The goal was to down one 150 calorie bottle of Gatorade Endurance per hour. As I would approach another hour, if I wasn’t finished with the previous bottle, then I would guzzle it so I could start the new one on time. It took longer on the bike than planned so I ended up running out of my own nutrition. So, I started substituting bananas from the aid stations. This was definitely helpful to me later in the race. I think they helped prevent any muscle cramping. In terms of the target on the HR, I finished with an average of 138. Did I push just right and save enough for the run? Or could I have pushed harder? My time was about 45 to 60 minutes slower than I planned.

There were two big challenges on the bike course. First, the road into Wilmington before the out and back is a long steady climb that just gets tougher and tougher as you go up. I tried as best I could to stay in the HR zone but still slipping above my target quite a bit. The advice that was wringing in my ears was don’t attack the hills. So, I didn’t. On the 2nd loop, Jim and I pretty much climbed together and kept each other in check. It was also much more painful on the 2nd loop. The legs were getting weary. The second challenge was the last 10 miles into town. These were a series of tough, successive climbs that just were killer. Again, especially on the 2nd loop. Jim and I were pretty much together on this part as well. We both remarked how we couldn’t wait to run which sounded crazy because we had a marathon ahead of us and that was still the great unknown. But as you know, when you are in the saddle for such a long time, it’s good to do something else. Anything. I was just ready to get off the bike, plain and simple. That last 10 miles into town just beat me down.

As I came into the transition area, my wife Sean, the girls and my father in law Al were there to great me. Jim was right behind me. It was the furthest that I had ever ridden! My longest training ride was 105 miles. The feeling of finishing that ride was like being on top of the world! And it’s not bad that someone is there to take your bike from you as well. Special treatment for everyone! As I made my way to the changing tent, I was psyched to be off the bike and into my running shoes.

October 25, 2006

2006 Ironman Lake Placid: Part II

The Swim

There I was standing on a small patch of beach about to begin the Ironman. I just kept pinching myself. It was a mixture of nervousness, excitement and disbelief.

Jim and I waited until about 6:45 before we entered the lake. I looked for the family one last time but never spotted anyone. Later, my daughter Molly said she was there at 6 AM but I never saw her. Bummer! I wanted to see them before the start. We swam across the lake to the far right side and decided to stand along the shore as the last bars of the National Anthem finished up. For some reason I felt unbelievably calm. I saw Paul, Mike, and Ken, three friends from the Y and wished them all good luck. Promptly at 7, the cannon boomed and we were on our way. That’s one amazing thing about Ironman. This race starts on time no matter what.

For the first part of the loop out, I stayed far right. The water was so crowded even out there. At Lake Placid, everyone tries to hug the inside line because about 8 feet below the surface, a bright yellow rope line runs the length of the course making it easier to stay on track. However, it’s rough in there. There's a lot of kicking and punching going on. But even though I stayed right, I still got trampled on. At one point I sucked up so much water that I was choking for what seemed like 5 minutes. I was able to regain my composure and never once hyperventilated. The turn was crazy as everyone was trying to get around the buoys all at once. On the leg back, I nudged my way to the insdie, close to the yellow line. As I said, it was rough in there but I was able to stay there for ¾ of the race. As I came in, I looked at my watch and it said 38 minutes. I think it rivaled my fastest 1.2 mile time. I was ecstatic. On the second loop, it was still very crowded inside but I was able to stay on that line for the entire second loop. When I came out of the water, I thought my watch said 1:07. I couldn’t believe it!! I found out later my time was 1:19 but was still very happy.

I was through the 2.4 mile swim within my target time of 1:20! I was in awe that I was in this race to begin with and I kind of swaggered out of the water. When I finally snapped to, I had one of the strippers take my wetsuit off. What a luxury that was! I began my run to T1 and saw some friends along the way. They screamed “great job!” and it gave me a lift. I ran into the tent and a volunteer handed me my bike transition bag. For some reason I was shivering so much so I took my sweet time. I was in no rush. But I was just taking in the whole scene knowing it would be a long day. When we were sitting in this tent, he felt like we were preparing for battle. Paratroopers getting ready to jump. Everyone wanted to get this bike ride to get going but we were all a little fearful of it as well. Because when the bike ends, it’s time for a marathon! After 15 minutes+ in T1, I finally exited. As I was running to get my bike, I saw my daughter Molly and it really juiced me up. A volunteer helped me with my bike and I was off. The seat and aero bar pads were dry thanks to the bags I put over them yesterday. Thank God. Although, would it have really mattered? I mean I was estimating being on the bike for a minimum 6 1/2 hours. Wet aero bar pads should have been the least of my worries.

October 23, 2006

2006 Ironman Lake Placid: Part I

It has now been exactly 3 months since the 2006 Ironman Lake Placid race. But for me, since it was my first Ironman, it feels like yesterday. Even though the birth of this blog came less than a week ago, I figured the statute of limitations would still allow me to debrief the biggest race of my triathlon “career”. Over the next 4 or 5 posts, I’ll review how it all went. It’s now or never. Training for the 2007 race starts in a few weeks and the memories of 2006 will start to slowly fade away.

Part I. Our arrival in Lake Placid up to the start of the swim.

My family and I arrived in Lake Placid on Friday, two days before race day. I felt like I was jamming the entire pre-race warm ups in between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. We swam the entire race course, went for a short 10 mile bike ride, picked up the race numbers, packed my race bags, etc. Next time, I’ll try to arrive a day earlier. The weather on Friday was beautiful and the hope was that it would stay this way. Unfortunately, it didn’t. It rained hard and steady on Saturday afternoon. We had to rack our bikes in the rain. Plastic bags were placed over the seats and the aero bar pads. The transition area was already soaked and muddy. Special needs bag had to be tied air tight so our bike and run gear stayed dry. We spent the rest of Saturday praying for sun on race day. Dinner was at 6 and then the rest of the night was spent doing last minute checks, hydrating and just resting. The five of us were packed into a tiny hotel room so right away there was some friction between what I needed to do (Go to Sleep) and what the family wanted to do (Watch TV).

The alarm went off at 4 AM and I jumped out of bed. Since my wife and three daughters were still sleeping, I used the bathroom as my final staging area. I made some coffee so I could get the nature call thing out of the way. I ate 500 calories, dressed, grabbed my special needs bags and went to meet my buddy Jim in the lobby at precisely 5:20. There was a light rain falling outside which bummed us out but it was what it was. The weather was just something to deal with. I was nervous but glad that this day had FINALLY arrived.

We had a 5 minute walk down to the transition area, with bikes and special needs bags in hand. We got body marked and walked over to drop the bags off. Downtown was humming and Jim and I started to feel the Ironman buzz.

Back into transition to set up my two Gatorade bottles and pump up the tires. I forgot my pump so asked someone if I could borrow one. No problem. It was the calm before the battle. We were all facing the same challenge today and everyone was happy to help someone out. After setting up my food in my bento box for the first bike loop, Jim and I decided to head down to the water. We walked on the red carpeting that would be our path back to transition after we exited the swim. This was the first indication that Ironman was special. The carpet was red not green like most other races! The path was already lined with people and we felt like rock stars approaching the start.

October 20, 2006

To Live and Die for....the Mets

Ok, I realize that this is only my second post and already I’m straying from the subject of triathlon. But following and rooting for the New York Mets is a great passion of mine. Heck, I’ve been doing triathlon for over 9 years but living and dying with the Mets for over 37 years! Since those magical nights in 1969 while watching the Metropolitans over take the Orioles on our black & white TV, I’ve been hooked. So, it is with these words that I declare that I’m in mourning right now after the 9th inning loss to the Cards last night.

Since this is sill my off-season for training, watching the NLCS provided some great distraction during this time. Training for my second Ironman (Lake Placid 2007) will begin soon enough so I’ve been enjoying my time watching the games. But now all that is over. And soon I will crank it up for another season. Training for Lake Placid will officially begin in early December. Right now I’m filling the days with a variety of activities including Mountain Biking, Weights, Yoga, some swimming, some running and some road biking. Nothing too strenuous, just keeping it loose and keeping a careful eye on the diet. And dare I say it one more time before retiring the phrase until opening day 2007: Let’s Go Mets!

October 19, 2006

First Day on the Blog

If you are reading this, then Welcome to My Blog! This is my very first post on my very first blog. So, thank you for finding me and reading what I have to say.

The central theme of this blog will be about triathlon for the average age-grouper. I'll focus on training and racing tips not just from me but from people like me as well as the experts. And it will also be about life. How do we fit all this training into our lives and make them both work?

I have been inspired by so many great blogs I’ve been reading over the last few months. Some have been triathlon related and some have not. They have all been an inspiration. My thoughts and ideas for this blog have been years in the making. My first idea was to create a website with the same theme before I knew what a blog was. But after reading others and understanding how blogs work, I knew this was the way to go.

I want to uncover the “secrets” of triathlon for all the newbies and veterans alike. (Whatever those secrets are; at presstime, the definition for secrets is debatable). Even if you have been doing triathlon for years, there is always something new to learn. I want to talk about motivation. What keeps us going at 5 AM on a cold, January morning as we rise from our bed and hit the road for a bike or a run or plunge into an icy, cold pool? How does our real life with family and friends overlap into our training and racing schedules? How do we keep everyone in our lives happy? These are some of the stories other triathletes want to hear and most want to share. But I’ll need your help to tell them all. So, please make sure you leave your comments on my posts with your thoughts, ideas, tips and stories. Let’s help each other. Let's make each other laugh.

Well, that’s it, for now. That’s the basic idea for this blog. I’m sure its content will certainly evolve over time. But when you strip it down, it will all still be about the Swim, the Bike and the Run. (There are other things it's about but I'll get to them another time.) Thanks again for checking out the Iron H blog! Hope you enjoy it.