Challenging Conditions Channel Courage

(I wrote this a few years ago and never posted it. Here it is)

Courae is not the absense of fear.

Triathletes are considered lunatics, not because it is outrageous to swim, bike then run, instead that these disciplines go on for endless miles, in uncontrollable conditions, and with fire-in-the-eyes determination.   The ‘Tri Bug” is basically a burst of courage to overcome a physical and mental obstacle that simultaneously humbles and builds you up.

IMLT swim start rain run

My boss came into work the day after IRONMAN Lake Tahoe’s inaugural race with a 140.6 PR, and bragging rights to the advantage of growing up in the icy mountains of Colorado.  She was prepared for the freezing air temperatures with the emergency gear, with the game plan to stay calm and the reward was to head out to KONA World Championships in Hawaii few weeks after for a work expo.  Mantra was “The sooner you finish, sooner you can thaw out in Hawaii.”   Uncomfortable and unexpected conditions are intimidating, but not impossible to overcome.

Seeing her overcome that sudden weather change challenge with courage made me relieved I didn’t have any unexpected conditions racing in San Diego.  Then… Doh!

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Fashion on the Blue Carpet: KONA 2014 Highlights

Early on one of Roger’s selling points to me on triathlon was since I liked changing into multiple outfits, triathletes get to do that a lot in training and racing. It totally worked! I now have almost as much swim/bike/run clothes as I do work clothes. Putting giggles aside, let’s talk best and worst dressed at KONA 2014.

Where’s the light out of this darkness?

Swim  It was the only area of sport that’s still underwhelming as far as design creativity.  Only a couple color burst speedsuits stood out in the sea of black, so hopefully more brands will start to “lighten it up” in the water.  It could be because the water is so tropically amazing that the only color that doesn’t blend into the corals for pictures is black?

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This is the log of your life.

If it weren’t for the data analysis of exercise, I would have no interest in it at all, as I am an engineer (computer) by trade.  This data is to be used to improve one’s self, it is called self quantification, a process of trial and error to a point of fine tuning.  The first time I began logging was when I began weightlifting for size and strength, where I would need to track my macro nutrient intake (carbs/fat/protein), and my workout progress based off of preset templates.  Eventually I found what worked, and of course you do peak at some point, so you go back to your log and adjust for a new training or diet cycle.  Once you are in the routine, you can easily eye out the result – how many calories a handful of chicken has, how much weight I can deadlift tomorrow. It will never be perfect, that piece of chicken might have been soaked in oil you cannot see, or suddenly you are tired to lift the expected weight tomorrow – but it is generally consistent most of the time.

Too much logging? Never!

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Immersed in Water yet Thirsty

marathon swim fuelI’m trying to figure out hydration and fuel for swimming practice. USA Swimming posted about the importance of hydrating an average of every 20 mins; water for 1st hour & after workout, and 2nd hour electrolyte drink with “6-8% carbohydrate by weight to provide the perfect balance.” If you’re in a private pool, then a bottle with your name is safe and convenient. In open water (Marathon swimming in Olympics), you get these personal aid sticks that give you the fuel bottle mid-stroke.

But for middle-class adults, with public pool memberships, pushing yards in their single or shared lane, there’s no ushers, no secure spot for your fuel bottle & if you walk over to the water fountain you’ll lose your lane. So, then you can get creative…

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The choice to DNF

Falling in love with the HITS Tri Series in Lake Havasu, I was addicted to try another race of their series.  It is in Palms Springs, early December. I was thinking of another 140.6, but knew it was cold.  I heard horror stories, of 55*F water, with air temp even less.  But last year it was 61* water / 70* air, so yes it was a gamble on sign up, thus I choose the Olympic, as I have a particular goal in mind.  One week before the race the dismal forecast was out… mid 30*s for air, 58* for water… with gusts of to 60 mph, in rain! Still I wanted to see what would happen.
cold bike ..cold bike prep, it is much more torture than being on the bike than the cold water, where the water temp is warmer than air, and you have no wind in the face too. Continue reading