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Showing posts from 2018

Sunshine instead of snow: IM IWLQ 70.3

My spiral down from Kona Ironman WC felt like one in which I had no control. A month of relative rest and recovery did not tempt my niggles to heal. As I write this, I am not sure what makes me think a month off from training will do it, then. Regardless, I battled my head and ultimately rose to the top of the psychological nutcase leaderboard. Each week after Kona felt like one less week I had to rebound and get at least some form of running into my schedule. My body just did not want to. Enter in my new-found use of the stairstepper. For a couple weeks, I watched my heart rate reach levels it would have had I instead found myself outside on the Centennial trail, running easy with my girls. I oscillated between its use and that of the treadmill, keeping the incline no less than 4% grade. I suppose it helped confirm my body still knew how to put each foot forward at a faster than walking pace. I later found out it hardly served as the best preparation for the undulating course IM IWL

Ironman World Championships: My gut-busting demise

Upon returning home from Whistler, British Columbia, I wasted no time creating opportunity to prepare for my next race, the Ironman world championships. You don't spend one thousand dollars on a race and not give yourself the benefit of trying to succeed. Ultimately, I have grown more in the past two months of preparation, and finally, my appearance and completion of what now stands as the hardest race I have ever finished has left me with a new appreciation for what real character building looks like. No, I did not physically "grow a pair," even though airport security scanners still sense something suspicious in my groin that results in a courtesy pat down before I can leave TSA. Metaphorically speaking, however, I did. In the following months of August and September, I have never substituted my tank tops, short sleeved shirts, and shorts for long sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. I have never intentionally driven in my car without air conditioning. I h

Another step, another milestone: Ironman Canada 2018

The Zebrasuit, by EpixGear A distinct memory from Sunday's race stands out among all others that linger in my head. I'd just returned from Green Lake, finishing the first loop of the run. I hurt. I staggered. I really had to pee. Having to follow the arrow on the path that diverted me away from the finish line really messed with my head. What awaited me in the fourteenth mile involved one significant paved climb, followed by multiple steep paper cuts of climbs on the gravel path to the turn around at Lost Lake. My motivation to continue waned like the sphincter control holding back a gusher of overly concentrated urine. I dribbled, and I finally gave in when I spotted a porta potty at the aid station. My lead cyclist who followed me over the entire duration of my run looked relieved as well, taking the opportunity to get some ice water from the exuberant kids otherwise distracted by the excitement of handing water to such poor, overheated adults. Sitting on the John, I lost

Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene

Photo by James Richman I crossed the finish line in Coeur d'Alene last Sunday completely overwhelmed with the knowledge I'd executed a race plan I initially felt excited, but slightly worried, about earlier last week. Even though the saddle sores I'd grown as a result of spending nearly eight hours on my bike the Saturday before riding the Chafe150 century ride had healed, my brain still felt numb. My uncertainty did not seem to discourage my coach, Derek, however. It appeared he'd planned this all along by the way he followed my progress all day and called out splits to me from different spots along the run course. My feet kept up with my churning legs, but I had no real conscious control over their movements. It just "happened." Photo by James Richman Overall, if I had the power to change anything about last Sunday's race, it would not involve any part of my swim, bike or run. Instead, I could have done without running into a drinking fountain

F2C Nutrition Makeover

Eight years ago, if someone had told me the nutrition I reserved solely for racing would one day bleed into my daily nutrition, I probably would have smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and responded with a significant amount of uncertainty and sarcasm. I think back to some of the gels I used to consume, protein powders I used to mix, and hydration products I would drink in my efforts to make it through my bike ride and eventually my run to the finish line. I cringe just thinking about them. Grainy, clumpy, and off-putting. I won't even begin to describe the stomach upset and indigestion some of these products induced. When a triathlon team of which I called myself a member introduced me to F2C Nutrition five years ago, I decided they probably could not taste any worse than the products I had grown so accustomed to using. I started using Glycodurance, and much to my surprise, the more I used it, and the more I experimented with their other products, the more I realized how much my eve

SilverStar Mountain Ski Resort Rendezvous

I found myself marching through each day of every week for the past couple of months in a routine I really cannot complain about, but I wonder if I should feel differently. Up until this past Thursday afternoon, I appreciated this normalcy that allowed for consistency in my training. Yet when I think about how comfortable I have grown to feel with arriving at the YMCA five to six mornings of every week to swim, I realized I might have developed a bit of an illness. Or, perhaps, a screw had wiggled loose. Is not this type of "love" for the pool and all its qualities meant only for devoted swimmers? You mean, I'm not supposed to get out of the pool, shower in TriSwim products meant to counter the effects of chlorine, only to dry off from the shower and slather on (I mean, coat myself in) lotion so I can go to work and still smell like chlorine? Wow. I've grown accustomed to constantly scratching myself as a result of drying out like a human version of fruit leather. M

Another year of big dreams and lofty goals

'Tis the season for posts about accomplishments, goals achieved, and last year's totals surpassed. On plenty of social media outlets, I've witnessed the beginnings of goals established and dreams shared of race plans for 2018, and I feel the excitement, too. For instance, a brand new Adamo ISM PN 3.0 saddle arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and after today's ride, I wonder why I haven't replaced the road version of their saddle with their triathlon-specific saddle sooner. My crotch dreams of bigger and brighter days on my Time Machine 01 this brand new year of 2018, scaling mountains and covering many miles as we prepare together for Ironman Canada at the end of July. In Riverside State Park, using my MTB to enjoy cooler temperatures while keeping up my efforts to improve my bike handling skills and cycling efficiency.  I had the pleasure of finishing off 2017 healthy, and much of that feat I owe to making F2C nutrition's Pharmagreens a daily drink. Packed w