Posts in Category


Two weeks out and I’m feeling relatively okay with where I’m at. Last weekend I ran 14 miles with some hills, the weekend before I open-water swam then bricked in a 33-mile bike. The distances aren’t going to be a problem, through stringing them together will be most certainly be interesting.

My open-water swim experience starts and ends with some races I did back in Arizona (re: no wetsuit necessary). We’re pretty lucky in that just about 40 minutes from our home is a section of the Snake River that’s perfect for swimming and time-trialing (flat and pretty straight with little traffic). The university rowing team has a boathouse down there and a couple of 2k courses buoyed, which makes for great swim practice. She kayaked next to me while I swam out almost a mile and then back; The water was a chilly 54 degrees but in the wetsuit, it actually wasn’t too bad. And I am not a fan of the cold water.

Nutrition is going to be a little bit of a wildcard. I’ve been training with Clif Bars and Clif Shots, which they’ll have on-course, but I haven’t been training well. Most of my long days I’ve gone with too little fuel and bonked. Just haven’t been smart about it. I believe that I have a pretty good plan for race day, but I guess we’ll see how well it works:

4:45am – Breakfast: instant oatmeal with almond butter and agave nectar. also a banana, water, and small coffee
6:00am – Preswim: ClifShot
6:45am – T1: ClifBar
7:00am – Bike: aero bottle with straw will have a Nuun, will drink (and refill) as needed. behind the seat will have a bottle with 6 ClifShots mixed with water, will drink 1/6 of that every 30 min on bike.
10:00am – T2: ClifBlocks
10:15am – Run: Will start out run with a bottle in-hand filled with a Nuun. That’ll get refilled as needed and will take another ClifShot about every 3 miles. Will start drinking Coke at 10 miles or if I seriously bonk after 7.

Those times are obviously approximated and rounded as a guide. I know that I can handle Clif Shots and there will be aid stations with those every 15 miles on the bike and at about every mile on the run so I should be solid. Will probably carry one in my water bottle pouch thing just in case.

Post-race nutrition is going to consist of a hoppy IPA and a burger.

The last few parts for my tri bike “war rig” should be showing up on the doorstep here tomorrow. Those would be a new set of rubbers (Conti Grand Prix 4000s), an XLab Mini Wing behind-the-seat water cage setup, and a carbon Profile Design seatpost. Just cuz. I went with the XLab Mini Wing for it’s compatibility with my ISM PR 2.0 saddle; It’s got some weirdly angled rails that a lot of hydration systems won’t mount to. My next post will cover the bike setup more specifically.

The other thing I need to work out this weekend will be my bike transition. I don’t think I’m going to do the whole “shoe’s already clipped into the pedals” thing…but I’m going to try to out to see if it’s feasible. I also need to practice how I’ll dismount the bike, which sounds dumb but I haven’t gone into a transition zone in nearly decade and I’d rather not eat shit in front of a crowd.

Those are my thoughts for the day. I’m going to snap a few pictures of the bike this weekend and slap up another post on that, since I think it’s cool. Also on Thursday is my last athlete check-in with the physio so I’ll get a final set of numbers. I can already tell ya that I wish I were about 8 pounds lighter than I am (though I have no idea how much I weigh). Anyways we’ll see. Adios.

The training calendar reminded me this morning that I’m a mere ten weeks from Coeur d’Alene 70.3, which is April 24. Things are pretty well on track as best as I can tell. I’m coming off of a bit of a foot issue that arose due to some overzealous (non-scheduled) running. Took two weeks off and am easing back into the weekly mileage.

Last Saturday went out for what I thought was going to be a chill 5-miler but then the weather turned. Total downpour began less than 10 minutes into the run and the crux was a 20 mph headwind, with rain, on a mile-long grade. Brutal. Type II.

To circle back to the foot-issue, the AT reassured me it wasn’t PF nor was it a fracture. Simply a strain. After some time off (10-ish days) I started a prescription of daily foot exercises and stretches such as picking up a towel with my toes, standing and walking on my toes, rolling out the bottom of my feet on a ball and also a frozen plastic Coke bottle (which feels great).

I also took the opportunity to jump into a new pair of runners. For the past year or so I’ve been in Newtons which are lightweight, minimalistic, zero/low drop, and encourage fore-foot striking. Though I’m not certain the Newtons had anything to do with my foot issue(s), it was time for a new pair that I could break into before race day and I’d been hearing great things about Hokas, so I went for it with a pair of Bondi 5s. So far they feel great, completely different from the Newtons.

Yesterday was another PT check-in and numbers are solidly reflecting the increase in training over these past few months. Body fat dropped 4% since January which is significant and good to see, because my overall weight hadn’t changed much. Re-did some core tests and improved across the board. All good things.

Also made the big wetsuit purchase and opted for the Orca S6, which assists with keeping the legs afloat. Me being a relatively new swimmer will be thankful for this in the open water. I haven’t tried it on yet, but am planning on some river swims once the water temps get above 50 here in the next month or so. As for the bike, it’s still in pieces on my sofa. All that is needed is a headset and a stem (plus some hydration hardware). Build day is probably going to be that first week in May, which doesn’t give me a whole lot of time to get accustomed to riding in the aero position (which I’ve never done before) but I think setting it up on the trainer and spending a few hours per week on it with some weekend outside rides, all should be good.

At this moment, I’m actually on a flight to Austin, Texas for a bachelorette weekend. I don’t think I can afford the total lapse in training but I’ve found a pool that’s about 2.5 miles away from where we’re staying. Goal is to get up early, run to the pool for a swim session and run back. If I can average five miles of running and 2k of swimming per day while I’m vacation I think that’ll be a total success.

Primarily stoked to visit Mellow Johnnie’s, eat some crazy good BBQ, and just relax with some friends.

Signing out for now.


Checking in before March is over. Things are moving along relatively well; Swimming is up to about 9000 yds a week and cycling on the turbo is right around 5 hours a week. Running was rolling strong until about two weeks ago.

I was outside on a long run at about mile 6 my left foot start to cramp up. Slowing to a walk and then a stop, I stretched it out a bit and then went back at it to finish up another 3 miles. A few days later I noticed the same feeling, not quite a cramp but that’s as close to an explanation as I can give, while on the treadmill at mile 4 or 5. Then I began to notice the sensation when I wasn’t running, even had that foot cramp up on the massage table once. After giving it a few days rest I tried again in a different pair of shoes but that wasn’t solving anything so I’ve now been off the run for nearly two weeks with what I suspect is plantar fasciitis.

The dreaded PF. Shit.

Looking back at mileage, I may have ramped it up a little to much, to fast.

Week A: 16.4 mi
Week B: 9.16 mi
Week C: 15.2 mi
Week D: 14.1 mi
Week E: 13.9 mi
Week F: 20.2 mi
Week G: 18.7 mi
Week H: 19.1 mi

General rule is, increase mileage by no more than 10% a week to prevent injury. Right around Week F, things jumped about 31% and that held for three weeks until failure. Here’s the thing. I know not to increase mileage too much too fast. I knew the 10% rule. I’ve been tracking my mileage for months… but I wasn’t following a plan.

My actual training plan begins next week, 12 weeks out from IM70.3 Coeur d’Alene and now I’m not going to be able to begin at the necessary mileage but my foot is FUBAR. I know better and even further to my disappointment, I’m pretty sure the causation is at least partially due to a weak vastus medialis (inner quadricep) which was giving me some left knee pain a couple of months ago.

I took some time off, did some better stretching, knee pain went away and I was able to run pain-free for several weeks making significant gains until this. It’s a lesson in ignorance: I tend to the problem until it doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore. Can’t help but to think that if I had seriously worked on my hip and leg exercises religiously, this may not be an issue. But here we are and tomorrow I’ve got an appointment with my Athletic Trainer to see what we can do. Hopefully I caught it soon enough that a few weeks off will do the trick.

At least I’ll now have more time to devote to the bike trainer and the pool.

Speaking of the bike, the TT project I’m affectionately referring to as the Rat Rod is getting closer to build day. The parts are strewn across the “reading couch” in my home office and with the addition of a headset, stem, and brake/shifter cabling, the bike will be ready to roll! I haven’t ridden a triathlon bike before so this is going to be a big step outside of my comfort zone. I’ll be documenting the bike build and initial rides soon enough, probably in late April!

As the time for the first 70.3 approaches, my training builds up, and as I work through my plantar fasciitis issue, I will be posting more regularly. Game face on.

Update: Saw the physio and determined it wasn’t anything more than muscle strain. Just running a little too much, too soon, in shoes that probably require stronger feet (Newtons). Easing back the mileage, introducing some foot strengthening exercises, and looking into some different running shoes should do the trick.


October 16th marked the official start of the Mackey IronMan Coeur d’Alene Training Camp. In standard training camp fashion, I’m kicking off the day with a swim session (coached) immediately followed by a nutritious shake. Then, because I’m a typical American adult, sitting on my ass for 8 hours at work. I am lucky enough to work on a university campus and there is a gym with a shower in the student housing next to my office…so I get to pop over there and pound out a few miles on the treadmill during lunch if need-be (hence the shoes, etc. under my desk).

But the Training Camp plan has been actuated and I have T-minus eight months until “taper week” which is roughly the week before Ironman 70.3 CdA. Not that there necessarily needs to be a full week of tapering off before a 70.3 but it sure sounds legit. And yes, eight months is a pretty long training camp, but it includes re-integrating swimming into my routine…which is my serious weak point.

Yes, we are currently in November and so I do have a couple of weeks under my belt. Plenty of early mornings and lunch-break 5k’s. All is good. No surprises. Nothing exciting to note.

Last week I did have another check-in with my work’s “wellness team” and things are still trending positively.

Test 3 (June 2017)
22.56kg fat mass
79.6kg fat free mass
VO2: 41.4ml/kg/min

Test 4 (August 2017)
20.5kg fat mass
77.4kg fat free mass
VO2: 47.2ml/kg/min

Test 5 (October 2017)
18.5kg fat mass
78.3kg fat free mass
VO2: 47.02ml/kg/min

Overall weight stayed the same but composition is better in both mass directions. VO2 is about level, but that’s within the margin of error for this form of testing. We’re going to schedule a full-blown V02 max test for January (which is about when I’ll turn 38) and then I’ll do another one 6 months later in July, after the tri.

So that’s it for now. The weather is turning to shit, time to be like Lionel Sanders and fully embrace the indoor trainer.

Just woke up from a nap on the sofa, after having fallen asleep watching the last stage of the TdF. Froomebot won, which was predictably fine, though I am stoked for Rigo and the Canondale/Slipstream boys. They showed up and for a $15 million dollar team to land on the final podium and rack up multiple jerseys with multiple guys while running against $30-$45 million dollar teams is hella respectful. And although Taylor Phinney isn’t quite my Dave Zabriskie, he’s my new homeboy to follow.

Speaking of DZ Nuts, I see that he and ‘ol Floyd Landis are running together pushing product for Floyd’s of Leadville. Specifically, CBD hemp oil soft gels. Geared towards endurance athletes as a natural alternative to ibuprofen, I’ve been wanting to give the CBD pain reliever thing a try for awhile now. If I end up giving it a whirl I’ll report back here to my wide audience of one.

In general, training is going solidly. I’m not working off of any specific plan, rather I’m setting broad weekly goals and am putting in whatever mileage or effort level feels right for the day. In fact, for most runs/rides I’m not even wearing a watch. Just getting out there and wearing myself out, then turning around and getting my ass back home. This is no strategy when it comes to actual race training but in the general “getting back into training shape” phase I think it’s perfect; Less risk of overuse injuries due to stubbornly trying to hit quantitative benchmarks.

Basically toe-ing the line.

I think I’m ready?

T-Minus 10 Weeks


This will be like last year but more and better.


Search stories by typing keyword and hit enter to begin searching.