Triple Brick…SOC Lifestyles…Wow, I’m Tired…

I’m tired.

Mentor Margaret says that’s what happens about now. You’re just so tired of  training, tired of getting up at 5 a.m., tired of the pool, tired of your run courses, and perhaps particularly tired of your bicycle seat.

About 3/4 of my Teammates are doing the Vineman ironman-length race on Saturday – 2 days away! So exciting! [NOTE: It’s “ironman-distance” not a sanctioned Ironman race – that’s why they can’t use the “M-dot” logo.] I will be up there most of the day to support them, and hope that everyone does great. I’m kinda jealous, I might add. Because on the day they have the Vineman, we have a 75 mile bike ride; on the day after, when they are DONE, we have an 18 mile run. And another century the week after. And a…

I’ve had some trouble dragging my sorry *ss to work out. I still have the nagging psoas issue, but I just feel tired all the time. Starting August 1, H and I will be going full-bore back onto a Good Eating regime – meaning, stopping all that “good stuff” that has crept into our gullets over the last few months. Alcohol, caffeine, bread/starchy carbs, milk products, gluten…no mo’. I’d like to lose a bit more of my “fuel belt” (a/k/a belly) before the event, and this is the only sure way I know to do it. By cutting out sugar/caffeine/etc., too, during the Ironman, things like the Coca-Cola that they pass out at the final miles of the marathon give you a real Kick. I’m all for that!

One of the big things that happened last week was my SOC Lifestyles interview went up. Michelle Bateman and I had a BLAST doing it. Here is the link. You can “scroll through” the talking parts if you don’t want to hear it (how I went from Couch Potato woman to an endurance athlete in 8 months), but you should definitely watch the parts where I take Michelle out to “do the sports.” We had to film it backwards – Run first, Swim last – for “hair and makeup issues” – and I surprised Michelle with not only a “finish line” (made up of a bunch of my scarves tied together!) but also by talking very seriously about how “technical” the bike part was – and then unveiling a TINY pink girl’s bike and a big white beach cruiser (with a basket) for her to choose from. It was such a blast.

So what else is up? I’ve been swimming at Aquatic Park with my new buddy from the JCC, Jane. Each time we go she’s been more comfortable; last week she smoked me. (She’s an amazing swimmer – just not an open water swimmer.) Last week we worked on sighting; she can now swim straight, too. It became a running joke that I would look up to make sure she was OK, not see her, stop swimming, and discover she’d basically set off at a 90 degree course to her previous line during the 3 breaths I had not watched her! It really was funny.

This time at the Park we had a little bit of an adventure. First, when we were getting into our wetsuits, a guy walked by on a cell phone saying “…oh YEAH, amazing, yup, a shark in Aquatic Park…” and then he walked on past. Jane didn’t hear him, but I did, and I was PISSED. She was just getting her heart rate down on open water swims – the LAST thing that she needed to worry about was a shark. I am quite sure that the guy was just being a jerk.

Then, just as we were at the end of our hour swim, we “ran into” a sea lion. I had made Jane purchase a flourescent pink swim cap so that I could see her – we joked that the sea lions needed to take up the “colored cap” as well! That was a big big surprise.

And now, for the Triple Brick. Last weekend was the “Triple Brick” for us Ironman Louisville/Canada folks (30 mile bike/hour run/30 mile bike/hour run/30 mile bike/hour run without stopping – it took something like 9-10 hours). (Vineman folks are on their Taper, so came out to do a bit of a bike and then cheer us on). Cue Music Here. (ha!) As head Coach Dave said in his email to us: “Triple brick is Freaking Hard and it’s meant to really test your plan, which is exactly what we saw out there.”

My biggest “question mark” going into the Triple Brick was still whether my nutrition plan would work. As I have said before, I have moved totally over to Infinit Nutrition. (If you click on that link, I get some “Infinit bucks” so I’d love you to use it.) They custom-make a “brew” for you with all the salts/carbs/protein/amino acids/caffeine/etc. that you need. I had used it for the Century, and some other training, but not for a long cross-sport training like the Triple.

I started the first 30 mile loop rarin’ to go – all sunscreen’d up and following Margaret, Josh, Sedonia and Nick. The course was fairly similar to the course that we had done the Double Brick on a few weeks before (when the Vineman folks did their Triple). Very pretty – out in Danville. My DailyOM Horoscope for that day was guiding my day: It was entitled Flowing Tranquility:

You may be feeling laid back which could make it easier for you to go with the flow and take things as they come today. Perhaps this sense of serenity might be due to your recognition that there is really little in life that you have to worry about if you allow yourself to put your trust in the hands of the universe. Being able to simply let go and let life take you where it will may not be easy, but you can give yourself gentle reminders throughout the day should any fearful or doubtful thoughts arise such as “I feel relaxed” or “Life flows easily through me”. As you do this, you could notice that this gives you greater peace of mind through a more permissive and accepting attitude of whatever may happen to you today.
Trying not to control things but instead to simply let them take their course brings more tranquility into our lives. Our ability to release into whatever might occur may not be something that comes to us easily – even when we are the most relaxed, negative and worried thoughts may crop up. Once we know this however, we can easily come back to our state of peacefulness by using simple affirmations or prompts to gently help our minds release any thoughts that we are holding onto which also hold us back. By letting yourself go wherever life takes you, you will find tranquility in the quiet acceptance of the way things are today.


Sedonia and Nick rode side-by-side down the back country road, and Margaret and Josh rode side-by-side behind them. There was no traffic for miles. I was behind them; I had a mirror on my sunglasses, so could see traffic and give the “CAR!” warning if anything came up that would need everyone to get back single file.

Well, almost anything.

We were a bit of a ways out of a lazy curve in the road and I glanced up, and saw a GRILL in my mirror. I couldn’t even formulate “CAR” – I just shouted “YIKES!” Everyone pulled into a quick single-file…as a Ferrari Club tore on past! It was SUCH an amazing sight to see! A 1/2 dozen or so Ferraris, different styles, all red (one maroon) roaring down this gorgeous sunny country road. Vrrrrroom!

The last car in the line was obviously a BMW that had gotten “caught onto the tail” of the Ferraris as they slowed down to get past us. I smiled and said to Margaret,” That’s their mechanic!”

I lost the “speed demons” on the back 1/3 of the ride (uphills, of course!) – but then along a straightaway that has a LOT of stop lights, I caught back up. Nick had a blowout that involved a NASTY puncture by a twisted safety pin (Sedonia stopped to help); Margaret, Josh and I followed the directions that said to turn RIGHT on Camino Tassajara and wound up doing an extra 5 miles when we found out that what the directions were “supposed” to say was stay on the road we were ON, it BECAME Camino Tassajara. Even with the detour, the whole tour took 2 hours. Then it was time to take a pitstop, and get off on the run.

The run was an out-and-back along a paved running trail (flat). I felt good, and did my “Airborne Shuffle” run. (Just running, no walking.) Coach Mike was out there to be sure that everyone looked okay and that the heat wasn’t taking its toll. My only misjudgment was not using the whole Infinit bottle (one bottle = 1 hour). That worried me a bit, because I try to be assiduous about “doing what I’m told” nutrition/hydration-wise.

Back into transition, and into the potty again for me (CERTAINLY hydrated!) I also saw Teammate Maria (“M-Dot”) Afan’s mom and dad – I had known Susan at a previous job, and that’s how I had initially met Maria. It was great to see her! She looked amazing. She was up in No Cal and had come to cheer Maria on.

Heading back out on the ride, I realized I was having to “guesstimate” a bit on the nutrition, because my Camelbak holds 3 hours’ worth of nutrition/hydration for me…and the bike only took 2. I still had “about” an hour’s worth of nutrition in the Camelbak, so I added 2 hours’ worth more and water. I figured that I should do my best to finish all of it, since I hadn’t finished off the entire hour’s worth on the run, and it was getting hotter.

Out and around the course…stopping a couple of times to do what I have realized REALLY helps me – just stop and stretch my back and shoulders. It makes a WORLD of difference.

On this round, on the “straight away” portion back (after dumping my chain on the way out – oy!) I ran into a cyclist, Raf, who said he had been on Ironteam before, and wanted to ride with me to Transition to see if anyone he knew was there (Mike Kyle, Kristie, etc.) Well, we got to talking and ONCE AGAIN, I missed a turn! This time we rode the “straight road” all the way to the highway! I was a bit embarrassed; we turned back around and came up the “correct” road, which added another 5 miles onto the route. I was going 2 for 2!

Out on the run again – and this time I wound up running OUT of hydration before getting back to transition! It wasn’t that far out (maybe 5-8 minutes), but far enough. After hitting the potty AGAIN (laugh), I mixed up the Camelbak and headed out.

On my first sip, I could tell that I hadn’t gotten the mix “right” – it was too weak. I had obviously put in 2 hours’ worth, not 3. I told myself not to sweat it – in actuality, the ride only TOOK 2 hours, so I should just try to get it all down, which would give me more hydration at the hottest part of the ride, anyway. And it was HOT! The “backside” of the ride had new tarmac, and the heat beat up from the smooth black surface. My feet were getting REALLY warm, but I couldn’t figure out a way around it. I just sucked down the Camelbak, stopped a couple times to stretch my back, and kept at it. I caught up to Sedonia and Paula turning down the last mile or so, and they looked a bit hot and tired. I suddenly got a surge of energy, and pumped on by. It was bizarre. Paula hooted at me!

The last run sucked. :-) I got off the bike, and Margaret told Paula and me that we should just run to the aid station and back, “no reason to kill ourselves.” I had to (can you guess?) hit the potty, then I headed out. Though the first 2 rounds I had been able to “Airborne Shuffle” through the entire run, I knew I would do a 5:1 run/walk combo. I also carried not one but 2 bottles of Infinit, because I was feeling low energy and a bit of a headache coming on from the heat. Oh and maybe a LITTLE from the fact I had been out there doing this for 9 hours!!

I was pretty much set to turn around at the Aid Station, but each time I would do the 1 minute walk, I would start up again and feel better and better. I thought I needed to remember that feeling for the actual Ironman, and so instead of stopping, I did the full hour out-and-back. By the end of it, I was feeling a LOT better, and was very surprised. That was a great learning for me. Just “keep on keepin’ on” and you can get through it.

Sedonia ran me in part way, and then near the end Simon and his wife were there to cheer me on. Then it was back to the cars to enjoy the sandwiches that Helen had purchased for us, and to pass around the “You Know You’re Iron When” T-shirt that Kathryn and I had made up (she did the iron-on and fit it to the shirt; I had of course collected the phrases). Once the Vineman is over, we’re likely to do it as a fundraiser. Too much going on this week!

And a few more “You Know You’re Iron Whens”…

“You know you are Iron when you email your personal trainer the race course description, map and elevation chart and her reply is: “OMG”.” (IronWu)

“You know you’re Iron when you’re heading down the freeway applying Body Glide to your neck to prepare for your open water swim.” (Jen Jay)