BILL MURRAY

My Success Story:
Occupation:  Pharmaceutical Scientist

Races Completed:
Chicago Triathlon (2006, 2007)
Elkhart Lake Triathlon (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
Wauconda Sprint Triathlon (2008, 2009, 2010)
Pleasant Prairie Triathlon (2009 2011)
Lake Geneva Triathlon (2009)
Bangs Lake Triathlon (2010)
Tyranena Half Marathon (2009. 2010)
Madison Open Water Swim Challenge (2010, 2011)
Galena Triathlon (2010, 2011)
Door County Half Ironman (2010)
Wisconsin Half Marathon (2011)
Reach out and Run 5K (2011)
Ironman Racine 70.3 (2011)
Ironman Wisconsin (2011)

Goals Achieved:
Endurance training and racing was the last thing I ever expected to be doing as I
hit my mid-40's. I have always been active, playing team sports (baseball,
basketball, softball, etc.) and working out 5-6 times per week my entire adult life.
The thought of running 5 miles, or biking 30 miles (to let alone swimming at all)
never appealed to me, though. Then one fateful day in 2006 I decided to do an
Olympic triathlon, just to say I did it.  As most anyone can tell you, once you do
one, you typically end up going back for more.  So for the next couple years I
trudged along, working out on my own, doing a couple triathlons a year, doing OK for
my age group but really not seeing any huge improvements.

In 2009 I stumbled across The Fitness Pursuit website, and decided I’d go see what it was all
about.  After talking with Coach Matt, I decided I’d start getting serious about my
training, and joined the TFP family. Over the past three years I have seen
incredible gains in my fitness level and race results.

My first race after starting my training at TFP was the Elkhart Lake Olympic
Triathlon, which I had done the previous year.  My finish time was 15 minutes faster
than the first year (after just two months of training with Coach Matt). I was
sold.

In the following two years I continually increased my distances and continued to
challenge myself. I continued on with the sprint and Olympic distances, but also
added half marathons and two half Ironmans.   Coach Lauri put together the training
plan for my first half Ironman, and the week after the race she asked, in passing,
if I was going to do Ironman the next year.  I said “maybe”, which apparently wasn’t
the right answer, since the next week she told me to volunteer for Ironman Wisconsin
in order to be able to sign up the next year.  

2011 was the year dedicated to Ironman Wisconsin.  The first thing we decided was
that I needed to drop some weight.  I had already dropped about 15 pounds since
working out at TFP, but another 10 was needed.  So I bought a Body Bugg, became
diligent in my food logging, and dropped the weight relatively easy in 8 weeks. 

The Ironman training plan put together by Coach Matt was challenging, as you’d
expect, but also planned in enough recovery weeks that I stayed relatively injury
free.  On top of that, I was traveling internationally for work about 1 week per
month, which made balancing the longer workouts, rest, and recovery that much more
difficult.   Through it all, though, the workouts were designed to balance the need
for long training days with the bodies need for rest.

I completed Ironman Wisconsin in 11:45:15, which was 45 minutes faster than I’d
commit to, and 15 minutes faster than the best time that I thought I had any chance
to make.  Looking back at my journey from working out on my own through my TFP
training one stat shocked me.  My run pace for the Elkhart Lake Olympic triathlon
the year before I met Coach Matt was 9:05/mile (for the 6.2 miles).  For IM
Wisconsin, my run pace was 9:15/mile (for 26.2 miles).

Advice to Others:
Trust the coaches, follow the plan.  There will most likely be times that you think
you’re running or biking too slow, you’re not doing enough miles, you have a rest
day that you don’t want.  Avoid the temptation to go longer, faster, or more often.
One of my biggest training mistakes before training at TFP was going too fast too
often.  I had heard “you need to go slow to go fast”, but didn’t believe it. Believe
it!