UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

1) So, um, yeah. Wore an ugly boot for a few days by order of the podiatrist, and answered the question "was it worth it?" more than once. Hells, yes, it was worth it. It's always worth it to grab those endorphins for a few days.
I feel strong. I feel brave. I feel beautiful. And It lasts a little longer each time.

2) The people I've met in this sport are the only people I've met who consistently I find interesting and worth my time. Not content to sit still and say, "I wish" they are much more likely to borrow a bike or a wetsuit, and say, "I will"


3) I'm going to do Buffalo Springs again next year. Lighter, and better trained.
I must. I can. I will.

4) Ceolho said, When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize his dream. That's a really nice sentiment, but it's a cop-out.
The universe isn't going to help me finish and Iron Distance. Only I can do that.

5) Bandura, on the other hand, said in his work, "Exploration of Fortuitous Determinants of Life Paths, " that we make our own luck. Sure, you might stumble upon a really good sale, or fantastic weather, or in my case at Kentucky - a situation in which the finish line was held open longer than usual because of unusual circumstances - but none of that would have been meaningful had I not shown signed up, shown up, trained up.

6) Trying to describe a long-course triathlon to someone is like trying to explain the concept of "Trillion" to a 3rd-grader. Their eyes start to glaze over. I just leave it at, "triathlon" or, "marathon" and let them ask questions, if they want to do so.

Random bits of advice for the slower athlete desiring to finish an ironman:

7) Do a half iron. Do more than one. Double that, add about 10-20 percent, and count on that as your iron finish time. Figure out from each one what you need to do differently, and change how you do things.

8) Do and train for a marathon or two, especially if you are heavy for your height. You, the heavier athlete, need to know what it takes to be upright and moving on your feet for 5 to 7 hours. It wouldn't hurt to do a couple century rides, either.

9) Train on hills (running and cycling) whenever possible. There are flat iron distance triathlons, but not around where I live, and the other ones sell out in about 10 minutes. Anyway, even if you are doing a flat one, it's better to be overtrained. The more you do scary nasty hills the more you are likely to say, that's a hill? That' ain't NOTHIN'! in the middle of an ironman.
Iron Distance can really play with your emotions - you'll want to give up. You may feel despair. But if you can look at that hill ahead of you and say, Oh, I've done this hill; this is like the one on Tramway, so I know I can do it then you're free to focus on the physical instead of being mired in despair.

10) Train to your weakness, more than you think you need to. If your weakness is heat, train when it's hot. Your body will adapt. If your weakness is swimming, train as hard as you can in the worst conditions.

11) Find an ironman that is lenient about cutoff times. (aka, NOT NA sports!!) Non NA sports races may say there is a cutoff time, but check the finisher's list; the OKC Redman, for instance, has a cutoff, but I was there in 2006 when they closed up all the aid stations and followed the last runner around in a golf cart, acting as a portable aid station, until he finished after midnight.

12) If you don't make it the first time, there's always other races, and other chances. Enjoy the journey, don't just make it a means to an end.

13) This is stuff I've learned. I make no guarentee that I actually practice what I preach all the time. I'm a work in progress...
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10 comments:

  1. Ok, I'm a dork but what is "NA sports"?

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  2. Thanks for the advice - I really appreciate it!

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  3. I quoted #1 in my LJ as you explaining why I do this (even if I have exactly one race under my belt).

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  4. Hey!! Love your blog...thanks for the inspiration!

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  5. Thanks for the Ironman advice! I've been reading your blog for a couple months now and I am truly inspired by what you do! I recently signed up for my first half iron distance triathlon and am contemplating taking on Ironman Wisconsin next year. Your blog gives me that little bit of more inspiration that I need to get over my fears and take it on! Thanks!!!

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  6. This post is jammed packed with excellence! Thank you ~ I look everywhere for Ironman advice and these nuggets are do-able ~ THANK YOU!

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  7. Great entry! While it is true some of those things wouldn't have happened if you had not put yourself in the situation (therein the universe, at the least, cooperating), I do think there is value in every good, bad, challenging, easy, wet, hot, grimy, salty, sweaty experience -- uh, but you knew that already.

    Thanks always for sharing!

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  8. Love your blog, even though I don't comment often. Really like your advice to individuals who want to do an iron distance race. I know so many people who sign up after their first sprint, or even before they've ever done a triathlon.

    I waited for over 20 years after my first triathlon, after competing 57 races. IM Louisville was my 58th race. I only made it halfway through the run (lots of reasons, mostly heat/nutrition). Anyway, I hope to try again in a couple years (will be in 55-59 age group then).

    Keep up the good work/advice. Love to read all your thoughts and experiences.

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  9. Such a great posting, I finished my first sprint after becoming addicted to your blog and realizing it was all quite possible. So many of of your early posting really resonated with me on so many levels...

    Now I'm hooked...Think the wild and wacky world of the internets is quite a magical thing-

    Thanks again for all you share, tho' I'm damn glad those sweet onion potato chips aren't available in Canada.

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  10. Amen to number 10. Amen. I am a believer.

    Come on you know you and Baboo want to come to sunny California for Vineman 2010!

    OK, considering the conditions last time you all were there, maybe the "sunny" part wasn't the best selling point, but still...

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