by Fred Maggiore
Part I - Getting Older
Prior to nearing the ripe old age of 50, I never had the desire to do an Ironman distance race; it's funny what the perspective of aging up can do to a person. After more than 16 years of racing triathlons, I started to look ahead to the 2006 season, when I would race in my new age group; this was to be a building year for '07 and beyond. I started to think about taking up a new challenge, maybe even a full Ironman when I turned 50, late in 2007 or early 2008.
Part II - The Plan
Starting with some winter LSD (long slow distance) rides and runs, I would peak for my first "A" race, the Wildflower Olympic. But first I would do the UCSB Kendra Payne Memorial Sprint Triathlon without any taper, just for fun. I came into the Wildflower race feeling like I had a good longer distance base, hoping I could hold a slightly harder pace during the race, which I did, placing well. My first goal had been met, on to my second "A" race, the 70.3 Vineman.
I stepped up the distance training in preparation for the Half Vineman, and ultimately for the Long Beach marathon in October, which if everything went right, would set the table for my Ironman New Zealand training. I had finally committed to the idea that I would do an Ironman, even if I would wait to sign up as late as possible, making sure I could finish a marathon and not get injured. Before that, I would do the Ventura Olympic distance tri, training through it. I wound up getting two flats, placing well down in my age group, but happy with the effort.
I had probably the best half IM bike ride ever at the Half Vineman, trying to hold back the whole time while PRing the course. The run wasn't all that I hoped for, but I placed well and would be ready for the Santa Barbara Triathlon four weeks away. In spite of my marathon training focus, I had two great races that weekend in Santa Barbara, winning my age group in both the long and short courses.
It was time to put the finishing touches on my marathon training, skipping the Carpinteria Tri, by running at Long Beach. My plan was to run with the 3:40 pace group, running easy, as a very long and hard training day, working my nutrition and pacing like I would at an IM race, with a goal of not stopping. I finished in a respectable 3:42, the first 3:40 pace group finisher, without a single stop - mission accomplished!