Reality: coming to terms in a positive light with your own weaknesses.
So the season finally kicked off for me with the first race of the season! I was totally amped to go out and test myself. I had so many questions regarding if I have made the right decisions in the last couple months. In some ways I was afraid of the pain. However as we all know we put this into the back of our heads as we line up to the start line and go. As the gun goes off, BOOOM! You start moving and the real person comes out as the pretenses fall away in pain. As Plato always said” you learn more about a man in an hour of play than in a day of conversation.” So I was off and warming up as I went as I arrived rather late. Here’s how the race went (it was a long course duathlon consisting of a 6k run, 45K bike, and then a 6K run):
1. First half mile attempted to warm up at the 5:40 pace or so we were running at, of course I had to go right off with the leaders.
2. I pull ahead of everyone as I feel empowered by the scenery around me.
3. Run ahead for the rest of the 8K putting 65 seconds onto the second and third place.
4. Super-fast transition (31 seconds)
5. Ride on the bike knowing it is my strength, however I have my clunker aluminum bike with the heaviest wheels one could imagine!
6. After 14 miles I get passed by the second place guy!!!!
7. In my head, I realize I must stay with him, the inner beast comes out and I go! In every triathlon I have done I have not been passed by another biker so the pride was on the line.
8. Stay 300 meters behind him and pass him with a half mile left.
9. We enter transition practically together but he is quicker and gets about ten seconds on me.
10. I catch up and we run together for 2 miles. I am having horrible cramps and am in immense pain. I try to take deep breaths and ease my stomach.
11. At two miles, my cramps go away and I am able to lay the hammer down and crush the rest of the run for the win!
OK, OK, that’s how it goes on paper but what’s the thought process! What did I learn about myself today? What can I tell you about why I had a successful race?
For me it all comes down to embracing the present moment, to forgetting about how many miles are ahead of me or what it might mean to win the race. I truly become the animal, hunting in the present for my own life, sanity, and a sense of being part of the energy of the world around us. While I know it is just play it feels like the most serious and real thing I ever do. In a sense it is, I have decided to make my career based off of how well I can race. However, all these ideas I had before the race have to disappear. For example, I was wondering how do I prove myself to my world class coach, what happens if I fail, am I prepared for my future, and most importantly am I going to be the person I believe I am? Finally I believe racing is simple, no persons technique can be the same as we must learn to embrace who we are and learn how to utilize it on the race course. This is what makes a deadly racer. So my friends, know that racing is more of a spiritual act and that the suffering brings enlightenment. Race to be who you want to be to yourself and to satisfy your soul not for an external award or praise from your peers. This is the key to finding your potential when you race.
To conclude, I look forward to the journey ahead of me as I have goals I only once dreamed of for this upcoming year. I have decided to embrace my dreams and chase after them! I will do it and you can also do what you dream of! Reach out and create.
I am going to use this blog to give recommendations about how to fuel during an Ironman and what I have done as well. Figuring out a nutrition plan can be rather daunting for us age groupers and tackling the question involves definitive planning. Very few of us have a nutritionist who figures out exactly how many carbs are body is able to consume per hour and writes out a whole plan. In other words, we are on our own to fuel correctly in an ironman. In the actual race one of the most important aspects is fueling right and this is what causes most people to drop out. From my perspective most pro’s fueling plans seem to be rather complex to me, such that I believe they may cause stress about things not working out. Of course the pros have many advantages that we don’t when creating there plan.
My plan is relatively simple.
Here is what I would recommend before the race starts.
1. Eat a breakfast that works for you a few hours before the race. Eat as much as you are comfortable with and don’t calculate all the calories. Just do what feels right. Avoid fiber and try to get lots of carbs in along with some fat and protein
2. Leading up to the race snack on something that works for your body and is relatively light. Should be carb based. Additionally stay hydrated but don’t over drink. Again do what feels right. Stay relaxed!
3. Get in some electrolytes right before swim, perhaps a gel and then your off.
Once on the bike your primary fueling should begin. I recommend either eating right away or waiting 20 mins if you tend to cramp up. Then eat solid food to start off with. There are still 8+ hours in the race and gels make a sloshy stomach after all that time. In order to get used to solid food, eat it on the bike in training. From here keep drinking water and an electrolyte drink. I tend to start with three bottles, one water, one electrolyte, and one carb based. I mix the carb based one with my solid food at start. From here the plan gets simple and I keep eating every thirty minutes exactly. I carry solid food for the whole ride. However, I pick up drinks from the aid stations. You will notice I avoid caffeine or any type of gel for the whole ride. This is because I like to save these for the instant energy I need when the going gets tough on the run. Always keep drinking and eating, its simple! Do what feels right for the most part and you will be good.
On the run I get food in early to sustain me for the rest of the way and transition to gels at a higher and higher frequency throughout. I try to get some fuel in at every aid station to keep me going.
As you can see, my philosophy is keep it simple. When you stress about what type of foods, and get to exact I find it constricts my mind. Food is food. It’s how one approaches the nutrition that will make it pass or fail. I use no special needs bags as food at aid stations is bountiful and saves complications. By no means am I saying my method will work for you, it is only a suggestion.
If still interested there are some much more lengthy and in detail plans from experts far more qualified than me. If you’re looking to create an exact plan as you should be look around and think about it a lot! Finally I encourage you to work on something that works for you instead of sticking just to one other ppersons plan..
My blog is a collection of topics including training, nutrition, sponsorships, and becoming the best man I can be. In addition, I write about my spiritual realizations that are intrinsic to the sport of triathlon.