Shock tuning up for Ironman
It'll be a far cry from those days he spent behind the bench in an icy arena when former Woodbury High School girls hockey coach Bay Shock competes in the Ford Arizona Ironman triathlon on Nov. 11 in Tempe, Ariz.
A swim of 2.4 miles, followed by a grueling 112-mile bike ride, topped by a body-melting 26.2-mile marathon run through scorching cactus country -- quite a trade from the rink.
"It's really going to be something," Shock said. "This is the biggest thing I have ever done."
Shock, a teacher at Middleton Elementary School, has competed in several triathlons before, including the half-ironman in Chisago City last July -- a race he intends to take part in again this month.
"I got into triathlons after running Grandma's Marathon (three times)," Shock said. "Running marathons just wasn't what I expected. I finished, I was shot, but then it was like, 'well, now what?'"
After finishing his third sub-four-hour marathon, Shock began to look into triathlons -- no small task, considering he wasn't that strong of a swimmer and didn't own a proper bike.
"When I first started, I couldn't swim a full lap, I mean, I could swim, but I had a real hard time with my rhythmic breathing," Shock said. "I had a cheap road bike, but I wanted to do things right, so I bought a triathlon bike one year and then proper tires the next."
The total tally for the bicycle figured to be around $5,000, including a $100 water bottle.
"More than my car," Shock's son Andrew said.
"Lori (Shock's wife) likes it, she lets me spend the money," was the father's retort. "Which is good, because we're not getting any money back on the investment -- except for socks and a bag that I won."
As his stamina on the bike and in the pool increased, the burgeoning tri-athlete met new friends and fellow competitors at the Woodbury Lifetime Fitness, including spinning instructor Tiffany Lindstrom, who will also be taking part in the Arizona Ironman.
Last November, a group that included Shock, Lindstrom, Steve Olson -- a longtime friend of Shock's -- and three others from the area, traveled to the Arizona desert to train and also volunteer for last year's Ironman competition.
"If you volunteer, then you get preferential sign-up for the next Ironman," Shock said.
While volunteering allowed the group to be enrolled for this November's competition, having the opportunity to see the race close-up made a profound impact upon Shock himself.
"The elite competitors are something to watch, but what I really thought was neat was to watch the people that are struggling," Shock said. "To see people going through doing what they can't do but do anyways was amazing."
Shock has hired Derek Lindstrom of Beyond Performance to coach him for the final months leading to Arizona in hopes of ensuring that he will be able to complete this year's Ironman.
The regimen is strict, with his longest week coming with 18.7 hours of training -- which includes swims in Colby Lake, with runs and biking within and far beyond Woodbury's borders -- before the tapering into race day.
However, while Shock is committed to the physical exertions, he remains unwilling to give up some of his culinary favorites.
"I do try to eat right, lots of chicken and fish, but there's nothing I won't eat," he said. "Some tri-athletes won't drink beer... That's crazy talk."