In less than two weeks, I'll be competing in the 2013 RedMan 1/2 iron-distance triathlon. I attempted this race two years ago and actually did manage to finish despite some setbacks in the weeks leading up to the race. My final time was just over 15 hours and when I was done I swore up and down that I would never do it again.
Over the next year (2012), I got lazy with my eating and exercising and put on about 50 pounds which was nearly everything I lost leading up to the 2011 RedMan. I realized in February that I was headed down a really bad path again and I was in a lot of denial about my weight gain, so I did some research and found out about a low-card diet known as a Keto diet, so named because of the ketones your body produces as a result of little to no carbs in your system throughout the duration of the diet.
I started losing weight and feeling really good about myself and so in April I decided that I wanted to once again attempt the RedMan triathlon. I contacted my trainer and friend Ryan Ellis from Conquer Training and asked him to put together a training plan for me. I also reached out to Steve Schlegel, owner of Schlegel Bicycles at 900 N. Broadway in Oklahoma City, and let him know that his offer of letting me use the beautiful yellow Giant road bike he gave me on permanent loan would not go to waste in 2013.
Two years ago, I did all my swim training in a lap pool in the neighborhood where my parents live. That was all well and good and I'm greatful that I was given the opportunity to use it, but I never knew what the actual distance of the pool was. I thought it was a 25 yard pool and as it turns out, it's really closer to 10 or 15 yards. So in 2011 I grossly under-trained for the swim portion of the RedMan and it showed when I struggled just to finish the swim. I vowed that I wouldn't let myself go through that again and so I bought a swim pass from Oklahoma City Community College and I've spent all summer there swim training.
This single change has really paid off for me, as I was able to accurately plan out my swim distances for each training session and I can tell that I'm far more prepared for the swim portion of the RedMan this year than I was two years ago. In fact, today I swam about 90% of the total distance (1.2 miles) and felt great. No cramping or struggling like I did in my first RedMan swim. Of course, RedMan is in Lake Hefner which is a lot different than a pool but at the end of the day, I think the distances are the most important rather than the environment.
One afternoon I was swimming and as I was finishing up, I was approached by a photographer from OCCC's Pioneer student paper. He asked if he could take some shots of me swimming and I happily obliged. When we were done he got my info but I neglected to get his. Fortunately I was able to reach out the the Pioneer online and e-mailed them inquiring about the photo. I wasn't sure they were going to use it or if they'd even still have it, but today I received an e-mail that not only did they have it, but they ran it in the paper as well! They sent me the photo that I led this blog title with and I have to thank Ronna Austin for sending me the photo as well as Grant VanWinkle and the Pioneer for allowing me to use it for my blog.
I will say that if you ever want to swim for recreation or train for any kind of athletic event that involves swimming, I cannot recommend OCCC's Aquatic Center enough. It's a great facility and there's a reason that it's used all the time for premiere swim events in central Oklahoma.
I'll be updating more about my training and everything else surrounding the RedMan 2013, so keep checking back for more or come check out the event on Saturday, September 21st at 7:15am at Lake Hefner!