It's 8:32 am on Saturday, January 28th, and my infant son is sleep in my arms as I sit and type this. I've already rode 71.7 miles while watching "Endurance" (documentary on Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebreselassie), the Ironman documentary "140.6", and episode 1 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 14. I've also ran 4 miles, showered, made coffee for my wife, warmed up the car, cleaned the snow off the windsheild, and helped dress TaNihisi so that my wife could make it to her classes at the YMCA this morning. This week I finished and submitted the Fitness Trucking business plan and 2012 budget to executives at Prime Inc., taught my sons two swim lessons, went to my son's two wrestling matches, my other sons two Shin Do Ninjitsu classes, checked my daughter's homework all week, signed up all of my kids for online courses, consulted on two other projects, and rubbed my wife's feet. I can say emphatically that I am at my best and smack in the middle of the greatest effort of my life. Today I will do some stretching and some foam rolling and tomorrow I will do the routine on the Endurance Film's DVD Yoga for Athletes to finish Week #13 of my Ironman South Africa training. At this point, I am injury free and training well. When I got the powercranks around week #5, I couldn't ride longer than 20 minutes with the crank length set at 130. I couldn't even ride in the aero position. This morning I rode 71.7 miles in 3:54 with the crank length set at 150. After a ten minute warmup, I rode 10 minutes in the aero position and 5 minutes upright, averaging 18.33 mph with an average heart rate of 135 (Zone 2) and a max heart rate of 170. My fastest mile split was mile 71 at 20.45 mph with average heart rate of 148 (top end of zone 2) and max heart rate of 152. Earlier in the week I did an easy 12 mile run at 8:23 pace and a 4.9 mile run at 7:40 pace with an average heart rate of 144 (low end of zone 2) and max heart rate of 162 (right on line of zone 2 and 3). Thanks to my Endurance Films winter gear, especially my CS Custom  Tech Fleece Balaclava (http://champ-sys.com/cs-custom-tech-fleece-balaclava.html), I have been able to go outdoors comfortably. I love this piece of headware - it keeps my whole face warm and protected and yet I can still breathe! [caption id="attachment_1690" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Siphiwe in Endurance Films Winter Gear"]Siphiwe in Endurance Films Winter Gear[/caption] So my fitness is right where I want it to be in Zone 2. As for my swimming, on Sunday, January 15th, a day after riding 70 miles, I swam a master's meet at Ball State University. Though I won all four of my events in the Men's 40-44 age group, it just so happens that one of the fastest swimmers in the country in the Men's 35-39 age group also lives in Indiana: Ben Christoffel. Last year he had the fastest time in that age group for the 100 yd freestyle, the 2nd fastest time in the nation in the 50 yd freestyle, and the 4th fastest time in the 100 yd breaststroke, while in my age group I had the 3rd fastest time in the nation in the 50 yd freestyle, the 2nd fastest time in the 100 yd freestyle, and the 4th fastest time in the 100 yd breastroke. So two of the nation's fastest masters swimmers, one in Men's 35-39 age group, the other (me) in the 40-44 age group, faced each other. In the first race, the 50 yd freestyle, Ben won 22.09 to 22.60. In the second and best race of the meet, I got off to a great start and was winning at the halfway point. I was still winning after the final turn but I was starting to fade. Ben caught me with 15 yds to go and touched the wall first, 49.07 to my 49.36. I was less than a second off my winning time from nationals last year, and that was after a 70 mile ride the day before, so I was very satisfied. In our final matchup, the 100 yd breastroke, it wasnt even close. Ben crushed me - 1:01.08 to 1:04.28. I came back to win my final race, however, swimming a 57.72 for the 100 yd Individual Medley. Overall, my training volume from January 2011 thru January 28, 2012:  Actual training log for: ZuluRoadmaster 2011 Training Summary

Date Bike Run Swim
January  103.00 Mi - 5h 44m 07s   9.18 Mi - 1h 23m 45s   3300.00 Yd - 5h 45m 54s  
February  158.56 Mi - 8h 55m 22s   34.53 Mi - 5h 11m 44s   30975.00 Yd - 8h 42m 17s  
March  233.82 Mi - 14h 54m 29s   55.71 Mi - 8h 19m 11s   40000.00 Yd - 11h 18m 46s  
April  111.30 Mi - 6h 28m 36s   26.98 Mi - 4h 00m   33717.84 Yd - 10h 50m 02s  
May  249.18 Mi - 14h 33m 32s   53.73 Mi - 7h 52m 40s   27313.86 Yd - 6h 23m 12s  
June  203.38 Mi - 11h 58m 44s   63.03 Mi - 8h 57m 37s   29263.23 Yd - 7h 19m 01s  
July  386.56 Mi - 22h 22m 49s   83.22 Mi - 11h 53m 09s   28440.98 Yd - 6h 32m 51s  
August  343.46 Mi - 19h 39m 54s   78.95 Mi - 10h 48m 43s   26520.02 Yd - 6h 44m 35s  
September  414.76 Mi - 24h 18m 46s   89.41 Mi - 12h 47m 15s   26245.67 Yd - 6h 18m 29s  
October  102.91 Mi - 5h 58m 30s   23.46 Mi - 3h 02m 45s   9641.00 Yd - 2h 14m 51s  
November  322.87 Mi - 19h 31m 50s   77.67 Mi - 11h 50m 26s   35125.00 Yd - 8h 23m 18s  
December  404.32 Mi - 23h 49m 37s   75.82 Mi - 10h 05m 07s   34830.13 Yd - 8h 14m 58s  
Yearly totals: 3034.12 Mi - 178h 16m 16s Pace: 17.13 Mi/hr   671.69 Mi - 96h 12m 22s Pace: 08m 35s Mi   325372.80 Yd - 88h 48m 14s Pace: 01m 34s /100 Yd 
Date 2012 Bike Run Swim
January  435.94 Mi - 24h 47m 04s   Pace: 17.59 Mi/hr 95.31 Mi - 12h 52m 10s   Pace: 08m 06s Mi 36950.00 Yd - 9h 00m 18sPace: 01m 28s /100 Yd 
At this halfway point of my 25-week Ironman South Africa training, I am injury free. My main challenge now is fatigue. I have never been so exhausted in my life. I am not overtraining - its not that kind of fatigue, but at the end of the night I'm just spent, and I am up at 5:00 am six days a week. To combat this, my oldest daughter and my wife have each started making me batches of double chocolate esspresso brownies which I eat as soon as I wake up! My wife has even added cherries to the batch this week, so I have a special dietary weapon that is giving me a huge advantage. I am so lucky and grateful, too, that my wife takes my Paleo Diet for Athletes seriously. She's been making every meal from free range chicken and eggs, grass fed buffalo, turkey, wild alaska salmon,  sweet potatos, asparagus, spinach, peppers and quinoa. She also keeps me supplied with fresh watermelon, pineapple, honeydew melon and cantaloupe fruit cups, blueberries, blackberries, coconut water, and my Fitness Trucking 140.6 Organic Energy Bars. So basicly, she cooks two dinners: one for me, and one for her and six kids! Next month I am going to focus on planning (passports, accomodations, airline tickets, video documentary, etc) and fundraising. Halfway thru, countless bricks layed. Foundation done. Time to start on the doors, windows and spires of my cathedral.

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