Timed-Mile with Peripheral Arterial Disease – Progress Towards Returning to Ironman

I really am looking forward to returning to Ironman racing, but there is some work to do, first.

In 2008, I qualified for the Boston marathon, with the help of a great coach, Chris Hauth. I finished that marathon in 4:07:59, with seven minutes to spare, which guaranteed me a slot in the Boston Marathon, 2009

returning to ironman
Make sure you have a good coach! Chris Hauth spotted my heel strike, and taught me how to pace myself. Thanks, Chris!

Ten years later, I’m fighting to run a sub-6 hour in order to get back to Ironman, and take my friend, Frits, to Kona one day. So I signed up for the Asheville Marathon, March, 2020, and have started a 32-week training plan. I plan to add a timed mile on day one (Monday) of each week, to assess my progress towards returning to Ironman.

My timed-mile for week two was 18 minutes. Yes! 18. Bummer! And it hurt like crap. My average pace 10 years ago in Charlotte was 9:28 for 26.2 miles. But I’m 10 years older with progressive arteriosclerosis due largely to a severe genetic hyperlipidemia (horrible blood lipid profile, largely fixed with diet and exercise), but still there as an underlying cause of vascular disease – not to mention my abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The solution, exercise to (1) build collateral circulation, or new blood vessels, (2) conditioning, and (3) learning the skills I need to optimize blood flow to my lower legs, while running with PAD.

Training continued, and today was timed-mile day. Goal: For a 6-hour marathon I need 13:43:00 pace, so my goal today was to break this in my timed-mile.

returning to Ironman
It hurt like crap, but I learned a lot.

What did I learn?

  • My calf hurting is not a reason to stop running, it’s just pain. Not bad pain, good pain, the pain of conditioning.
  • My right foot “clomping” IS a reason to stop and let the blood back into my calf. It means I’m losing function. In the Maine Marathon, last year, I paid dearly for “clomping” that resulted in numb painful feet and a “death march” finish. Under-training didn’t help, either.

My race goal for Asheville is sub-6. Why sub-6 hours? Because I know I can do the 2.4-mile swim, once conditioned, in about 1:15. I also know I can finish the 112-mile bike ride in around 7:30, once conditioned (depending on conditions – wind and hills). With a 6-hour marathon, that would give me a race time of about 15 hours, including transitions. In the 78+ age group I might just get a Kona slot in the right race.

It’s really about the training, as the race is the icing on the cake. Taking Frits to Kona would be a Santa on top of the icing – memories of English Christmas Cake.

returning to ironman
Beautiful English Christmas Cake by Dunn’s Bakery in the UK. I can taste the marzipan, my only sugar addiction.

Wishing you happy trails,

kev aka FitOldDog

returning to Ironman
Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Source article link.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.