MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




After the Ironman

Friday, July 4, 2008

It’s been nearly two weeks since the race up in Coeur d’Alene, and life in the Lovato family has continued full-swing. Amanda proved to be top Vato this month, bringing home the overall victor’s trophy, and ensuing paycheck, after winning the Spirit of Morgantown half iron out in West Virginia.

I, on the other hand, resorted to my second profession as dog walker extraordinaire. Luna and Blue were overjoyed to have me in recovery mode, as it added up to several great dog walks in the Boulder foothills. After five days of complete inactivity (minus aforementioned dog walks), I ventured out for an easy spin last Saturday. The legs were feeling pretty good, and the energy levels were coming back around. A short swim and short run topped off my training for the week/ weekend, and next thing I knew Monday had arrived.

Week two after an Ironman is not quite as fun as week one. The Ironman Finisher Appetite (IFA) tends to wane after five or six days, and the ability and desire to eat everything and anything tapers off. IFA is actually one of my favorite things. If I regret the order I placed at a restaurant, or if I made the wrong meal in my kitchen, all I have to do is wait an hour or so and I’m hungry all over again.

Week two is when the desire to train will normally creep back into the picture, but the ability to train is maybe not quite there yet. The energy levels have a lot to do with that, and mine took about nine days to get back to par.

Week two can be very indicative of how hard I raced. A couple of years ago, after my fastest Ironman race to date, I was still unable to get going in week two. I felt some residual soreness in the legs, and my desire to move was still missing.

Week two this time around has been pretty good. I know I raced hard up in Idaho, but to be surviving the final half marathon, as opposed to really pushing it, really gave me a bit of help on the recovery side of things.

Talking to my Ironman Yoda last night, I inquired as to how I should approach this next ten days before I toe the line at the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, which is an Olympic Distance race. With only three weeks between CdA and Chattanooga, I did not know how to best maximize the time. The suggestion from Yoda: do a 5K running race.

Having heard about an event sponsored by a local brewery, one in which BEER is the prize, I thought I’d take the suggestion and jump in to the race. Fortunately for me, it was not a 5k, but rather a 4k, in honor of the Fourth.

I say fortunately for me because jumping back into the short distance race scene meant that I was about to blow out the pipes, and blowing out the pipes often means blowing up. This meant I would be blowing up one kilometer closer to the finish line!

Avery Brewing offered the winner his weight in BEER. They offered a case of BEER to age group winners. And they offered two sixers to each person who finished second in his or her age group. Referencing the above photo, you will see that I finished second in my age group.

The details are a bit fuzzy; perhaps they are clouded by the lactic acid that moved into my brain, making their way up from my arm muscles (which none of the others in front of me seemed to have).

What I do remember is the first mile split reading 4:55. Next thing I remember thinking was that I was glad I only had a mile and a half to go. Somewhere around 2 kilometers into the race, I felt the arms get heavy; the legs were still moving. Turnaround number two meant I had almost a mile to go. A whole mile!? I resisted the urge to rock my head back, chin up, and shoulders back. Mile two was a more conservative 5:20. I had regrouped a bit, and was saving for that final 400 meters. With a quarter mile to go, I kicked into another gear.

To be totally honest, I was very pleased to find that I had that fifth gear. I had not used it in several weeks, or months. I held onto fifth place, and as I previously mentioned, second in my age group.

And now I will drink my reward.

11 Comment(s)

jameson on 7/4/08 said:

racing for beer? where do i sign up! Enjoy the recovery… you deserve it!

rr on 7/5/08 said:

I live for the IFA. More room for chocolate, plus cool new veins I never knew I had sticking out all over.

4:55 is scary fast.

CoachLiz on 7/5/08 said:

I hope the weather yesterday was good for you. My husband is up in Denver for work and he was driving around to the ski towns today and said it was raining.

Congratulations on winning your beer!

Amber and Eric Rydholm on 7/7/08 said:

Shoot, I got second in my age group for the 12k in Coal Creek (3x as long) and got a pint glass without beer in it. What was i thinking?

Tri*22 on 7/8/08 said:

So rumor has it Matt Russell ratted me out on Friday at the race haha. Yes, I’m a fan of both you and Amanda :) 1st yr triathlete here…totally addicted to the sport and I think you guys are awesome!!

Congrats on the free brew!

Sugar on 7/8/08 said:

guess you aren’t on the team tbb program? ;-) LOL

good job!

Comm's on 7/8/08 said:

Damn Michael, those are insane splits on a 4k. you sure earned a couple of those brain grenades.

BTW, great job at CdA, followed you all day on IM tracker, it was working all day for once!

lisazapato on 7/11/08 said:

michael, just wanted to say i really enjoy your blog. i found it through amanda’s, which i found through ST, and just yesterday i decided to go back and read through the whole thing, from the very first post. very inspiring and very interesting, you are quite the writer! please keep it up.

non-triathlon related, i just love how clearly your love for your wife shines through your blog. it’s really moving and i love it!

congratulations on a great finish at CdA.

Derek Griffiths on 7/11/08 said:


I wanted to let you know I have added your blog to our growing list of blogs at Colorado Runner.



E-Dub on 7/16/08 said:

I just hope the guy who beat you didn’t have a beer belly. He did, didn’t he??? j/k ;-)


Coach Mike on 7/28/08 said:

Michael – I have enjoyed following your exploits through Chuckie, Triathlete/Inside Tri/Xtri, etc., etc., etc. I have to agree – enjoy your recovery…where did you get the DOPERS SUCK blend coffee?

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