Thursday, September 29, 2011

Veggiesaurus

The day after my 70.3 I had a food celebration and crammed everything and anything into my gullet. Gas station candy, fast food, ice cream... you name it, I ate it. After which my stomach felt huge and I became uncomfortable in my own body. The bathroom activity alone was a terrible experience, I wasn't sure if it was because of my dietary indiscretions or if I was experiencing my first "Gu only" bowel movement.
Chocolate outrage....they were warning me.

Regardless, after that feeling and not having reached my race weight I decided it was time for a change. Since it's slipping into fall I knew that there'd be a few guarantees for this time of year....

1. Pumpkin injects itself into everything.... and my morning facebook stalking gets exponentially more annoying because everyone thinks pumpkin latte posts are oh.em.gee so intriguing.

2. Girls start FREAKING OUT about halloween costumes.... don't worry, just pick the most whoresome outfit in your closet and slap a name tag on it. Nurse, maid, chupacabra - doesn't matter, after 1 am your ass is freezing because you're only wearing 3 inches of clothing and the guy who was buying you drinks has moved on to the girl in her underwear (noble choice).

If a chick can pull of this name tag I'll buy her dinner.
3. It's the off season for races but the on season for getting fat..... Halloween candy. Holiday parties. Thanksgiving buffets. Christmas cookies. The temptations for terrible food choices get exponentially worse until that ball drops on your scale.

So as number 3 looms, here comes my impulse decision... I'm going vegetarian. I've been a carnivore my whole life, I love anything protein, even down to the crappiest mystery hot dog.  Mmmmm hot dog.

These are organic right?!?
It seems however that when I'm allowed to stick anything in my mouth, I do just that (get your mind out of the gutter). I watched Food, Inc., I talked to fellow healthy eaters, I read food blogs, they all backed my thought that I needed to do something extreme. I needed something that would short out my hardwiring and cause me to pause before I ate half a pizza or a fork full of cheese covered breakfast potatoes.

So, for 3 weeks I will eat a balanced vegetarian diet and find out if:
  • It makes me think about my choices. 
  • It makes my body feel cleaner, healthier and/or more fulfilled. 
  • It allows for enough energy and muscle fuel for workouts. 
The next natural question everyone I've told has had, "what about Mike??" As if he's going to keel over and starve. So I suppose if anyone wants to buy him a cheeseburger for lunch, I'm sure he'd appreciate it. Otherwise, my kitchen, get your bacon ass out of here.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have an onion or something....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Tinman wants an Iron Heart.....

On September 25, 2011 at 3:31pm I crossed a finish line.... not only did I cross a finish line but I let out a guttural yell, began crying and hugged my boyfriend longer than comfortably allowable in such a sweaty state. It was the day of my first half Ironman or as some prefer 70-dot-3. The following is my story:


Pre-Race
A week before the race I knew losing the 20 pounds to get me to peak race weight was impossible unless I got liposuction or dropped a toddler sized deuce, an uncomfortable thought. Despite standing on a self induced weight plateau I felt that my body was ready for the race ahead. So I tapered properly, packed up, checked my list (only once, Santa must be OCD) and got on the road towards Augusta, Georgia. 

Antici.......pation
We had about 40 triathlete friends who were in Augusta for this event so from the second I arrived I became highly over stimulated. My own neurotic thoughts about random things like whether I picked the right socks (in a weird turn of events this was in fact an important decision) mixed with the infectious  energy of surrounding people created "what the f*ck cat":
He thinks my race belt's sexy. It really turns him on. 
Worked up, I slept like absolute poop cakes the night before and waited for the clock to hit 4am, as if I was chained to the bed until it hit that exact hour. I watched my boyfriend climb out of bed to take the first of many pre-race potty runs... I myself had 5, just to be safe. And with that we headed off to the race...

The Swim
Arriving at the swim start my anxiety doubled, possibly tripled...I'm not sure but I know I needed to pee again to calm down. I had made the decision to go sans wetsuit the day before and I was second guessing myself seeing so many waves suit up. My coach must've seen this because I was pulled aside right before my 8:52am start, given a pep talk and what was really needed, a hug (lame I know, but deep down I'm just a big vagina). The swim was massively quick and I felt like I'd barely exerted energy at all when I ran onto the platform 27 minutes later. I saw my friend Danielle 5 feet ahead of me and knew I needed to stay with her if I wanted to stay on track, she was my rabbit.

Total: 1.2 mi. (27:56)1:28/100m


Saddle up...I'm heading to the Carolinas


The Bike
After 3:53 in T1 I had already lost site of thumper... I started my Garmin and began watching my time closely, it was up to me. I had planned my nutrition meticulously and knew taking in enough fuel was half the battle of this distance. Too much and I was gonna throw up, too little and I was going to be the little engine that couldn't.... and then as if right on cue, I dropped all of my salt tablets. Not even 3 miles out the door and my meticulous plan might as well have been written in crayon. I decided I was going to get as much salt from performance drinks as I could. I chugged one, then did my first ever aid station bike grab - I spoke to the guy in slow motion figuring it'd be a little more entertaining, "thaaaaaank youuuuuu". He chuckled out of pity I think. My drink plan plus intaking sports beans or a waffle every 30 minutes kept me not only energized but let me launch ahead of two of my tri bike team mates in the last 10 miles of cycling.


Total: 56 mi. (3:09:33)17.73 mph


The Run
T2 lasted a total of 2:23 - socks, shoes, hat and I'm out and right on schedule. If I can just pull a 2 hour & 30 minute half marathon I can make it around 6 hours, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I do not have a fond love for running, not even a mild crush but what I had energy, still, somehow. I ran till the second aid station where I treated it like the open bar at an ex's wedding... 1 water, 1 sport drink, 1 coke, 1 cookie and a cup of ice. Back to running. At mile 5 the shit hit the proverbial fan and flung it around like a monkey on spring break. The foot problems I'd had in the past just resurfaced with spectacular timing... I knew there was only one answer, the shoes had to come off. How the hell was I gonna make it through another 8 miles of rain drenched, rock paved roads in my soaking wet thin gray socks?!?! It didn't matter how, I'd already gone 62 miles, I had to finish even if it was as my alter ego "Barefoot Chuck". Each step got more painful, more blister prone, more ankle wrenching, but I was close. With only a mile left I saw my coach for the second time that day. Standing in the middle of the road he said "if you have to drop your shoes, drop em"... what I heard was "GO"! The shoes hit the ground and I took off. Mom, dad, sweet sweaty boyfriend - I'm coming, I'm coming for my bling!!!!!!!!!! And I did...

Total: 13.1 mi (2:55:41)13:24/mi

Overall Finishing Time 6:39:26
The Aftermath
I was not hungry or thirsty after passing the line, all I wanted was someone to fix my feet. I hobbled to the massage tent where a nice lady looked at my them and responded "ohhh dear no, you need ummm, not a massage, a salt bath, maybe?" As the day went on my feet callused over but the hunger didn't set in until the next morning where I demolished 3 plates of breakfast foods....
Actual size. 

The next morning also brought a soreness I'd never known before. I couldn't laugh because it made my ass hurt, I couldn't walk faster than an 80 year old and I was chaffed in parts of my body I didn't know were chafe-able. After the dust settled and the muscles loosened up all I'm left with is my race goodies, the pictures, the memories, the bragging rights and the task of setting new goals. I think that's a pretty sweet trade off really.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

1st Rule of Triathlon Club....

I assume anyone whose reading this blog also reads Triathlete Magazine. It's a great little publication filled with articles on what to expect, how-tos and the must have products of the season (of course you need that $500 helmet, how else will you get faster?!?). However, there are quite a few things they always seem to leave off about the sport of triathlon that I feel are very important....

Number 10. Pre-race/ride includes quite a few people with hands down their pants... don't worry, you didn't accidentally show up to the "public masturbator's first annual tri" - applying chamois butter to your favorite parts is just an awkward situation.

Number 9. There's going to be a point in your tri career when you're going to be very pissed that you got fingernail stabbed by an overzealous "stripper" - but very happy that you can use that line for the rest of your life.

Number 8. If you see someone on a bike who keeps adjusting what seems like their knee (comes out of the saddle, swings a knee out and plants back down) you've just become a mind reader because that maneuver is the equivalent of yelling "Jeeeeebus my taint hurts!"

Number 7. If you see someone continuously look back while on their bike or run, they're surveying the scene for "fart radius" - word of advice, speed the hell up before this individual crop dusts the area.


Number 6. Everyone loves the guy who knows the nearest breakfast joint, if you're trying to make friends in this community, study up and become the awesome.

Number 5. You will inevitably have a weird bathroom story.
Examples: Friend of mine had to piddle after a long run... she went to sit down as every lady does (well most) and slid right off the seat - culprit: sweat butt.
My moment came when we launched on a 50 mile bike ride and I did not get a chance to have my morning carbo-unload... the moment we pulled in after the ride I ditched my bike and dead sprinted (ok more like squeeze ass jogged) to the bathroom, sat down and mid bomb realized I was still wearing my helmet. Safety first I suppose.

Number 4. Body glide goes everywhere. If you're not sure if you should put it there, put it there. Why they haven't created pre-race body glide baths is beyond my knowledge but hopefully it's in the works and I call dibs.

Number 3. There's a lot of people wadding around in the water before a race... you'll never know who's warming up and who's using earth's porta potty. Either way, don't be judgmental... it's not a sin to pee, it's just a way to skip the line.

Number 2. Triathlon is addictive. Don't kid yourself into thinking you'll just do one to get it off the bucket list, because it will just change from one triathlon to one 70.3 to one Ironman to 10 Ironmen and so on. Triathlon is athletic heroine and if you wanna be inducted into the club, you gotta be ready to pay up for the high.

Number 1. The first rule of triathlon club is EVERYONE talks about triathlon club... and they won't shut up. If you start a conversation with a triathlete about triathlon expect to be there for awhile or come up with a great excuse to walk away, I suggest "I forgot I left my cat on fire".

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dirty Deeds....

Today ends the hardest week of training I've ever experienced. It wasn't because of intensive workouts, there were no accidents or major incident. The hardest part of this week was admitting defeat long before I'd ever reached the butterflies of the start line....

At the beginning of the summer I started doing hopscotch over the idea of doing a marathon with a group of sarcastic-ass runners appropriately self proclaimed "BAMF". These folks were from all around the nation brought together by their passion for races, beer and ridiculous pillow fights. We all signed up, booked a hotel and started doing the Carlton... *snap, shimmy, shimmy, snap*
Boys keep showing up in my yard - something about milkshakes??

Fast forward a few months.... the dust has settled and we are now 3 weeks away from launch. I experienced what every athlete will come to know at some point in their athletic career - a time when life gets in the way.

First priority was trying to make my new business successful (still working on it) - second to that was training for my first 70.3 (winning) - and falling in last was trying to get up to running 20 something miles without a pair of wheelies or a jet pack. But during my run yesterday it hit me... Crap, I can't afford a damn jet pack.

The little nugget saying "you're not ready, get ready already" had finally grown into "you've run out of time". And with great enlightenment comes an anxiety attack, I'm going to disappoint. If you're not a robot or giant bag of douche you know that disappointment is the worst of all guttural feelings (second only to chipotle). But once I let it sink through my bowels and accepted that I was going to have to relax and let it pass, I felt a little lighter. We informed the authorities of our descent into "training smart" and with that it was done. There was sad emoticons and talk of a serious crew disbanding but nothing that would end friendships or cause a random french guy to say "fire ze missiles". It came down to the simple fact that I would get my 70.3 medal, but the 26.2 bling and the BAMF flashmob would just have to wait....