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#62 How Not to F Up Your Ironman Season, the biggest mistakes triathletes make

[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5633022/height/90/width/480/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="480" placement="top"]What will get in the way of a successful (successfully executed)

What is a Successful Ironman Season

  1. Healthier and happier in the other side
  2. Not divorced, family not disgruntled
  3. Evolved into the next version of yourself
  4. Meet goals
  5. Managed yourself well in training AND racing

Habits that Really Get in the Way of a Successful Ironman, and may result in a DNF

  1. Not doing it for yourself or the healthier whys.  You are not “a real triathlete” until you do an ironman.  Peer pressure. Doing it for Status.  Unhealthy drive to do the really hard things to prove that you are good enough.
    1. Dreamboard or vision board.  YOU HAVE TO REALLY WANT IT.  For yourself for it to be enjoyable and “successful”. And not a shit show.
  2. Losing track of your why
    1. Dreamboard
  3. Not resting and recovering enough. Utilizing too aggressive of a plan, some plans cycle 3 weeks on and one recovery.  Some (ours) do two weeks on, one easier.
    1. Acknowledge that recovery is mandatory and do it.  (don’t complain about it)
    2. Have a plan that works for your lifestyle, life demands, etc
    3. Listen to your body, have a sounding board and alternative activities that are more “rest like” that are productive but won’t tear you down.  Wear you down.  Drag you down.  
  4. Not be consistent and disciplined.  Not get up in the am.  Staying up too late.  Have that 3rd glass of wine.
  5. Not learning the ever important nutrition discipline.  You need to be very consistent with what you try and make small changes.  Learn to ask your body specific questions in order to know how to fix the things that BEGIN to go sideways (before your yacking in the john)
  6. Not understanding the principles of hydration/electrolytes fueling
  7. Injury. How to communicate to coach (or …) and how to fix early before it becomes a big darn deal.  THIS IS A BIG ONE.
  8. Lack of strength training and self care.  Not fucking doing your yoga or stretching.  Ironman is a lot of motion in one dimension → injury. Strength training keeps all joints CENTERED.  Running, biking (in general) tend to not unless your form is PERFECT.
  9. Not honoring limitations
  10. Not preparing for course specifics such as bike elevation gain or hot runs, choppy water, wind.
  11. Not learning some technical aspects, mostly concerning the bike.  Bike stations, tire changing, dropped chain and generally not having a lot of bike handling skills.
  12. Not training smart, like heart rate training.
  13. Driving too hard, working too hard.
  14. Not having a coaching.  (Coral’s example of her first ironman. Sounding board, etc).  Or expecting/thinking that you can travel the EXPONENTIAL LEARNING CURVE by yourself.  The books and groups are awesome, however … if you are not perfect or slightly cra cra or identify with being a hot fucking mess … you might want to get a coach. Namaste.  There are some great structure programs with support groups that provide great plans.  However, they do not have tailored help and instruction for those that have specific needs.  Do you have issues like swim anxiety or hip issues …. Because in ironman, little issues become big fat issues fairly quick.  And might end a season or make a race a complete crap show.

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#61 The All Day Energy Diet with Yuri Elkaim

[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5629708/height/90/width/480/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="480"]   Coach BK and Yuri Elkaim chat about how important nutrition and  health eating is, especially when considering endurance athletes and female health.

Yuri Elkaim is a health and fitness expert, "energy nutritionist", and author of The All-Day Energy Diet. He wrote this book for himself - he battled for 20 years with crippling health issues, which included extreme fatigue - as well as millions of everyday people for whom low energy is robbing their lives.

Now, serving over 250,000 people on a daily basis via email and with over 15 million Youtube videos watched, Yuri is most famous for helping people enjoy all-day energy and amazing health in a very short period of time without radical diets or gimmicks.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health from the University of Toronto and is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Yuri is also a former pro soccer player and served as the strength & conditioning and nutrition coach at the University of Toronto for 7 years. He's on a mission to transform the lives of more than 10 million people by 2018. For more visit:


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#60 Ironman Arizona Triathlon Race Review

[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5629149/height/90/width/480/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="480"]Coach BK of BK Coaching and Ironman Triathlete Nelson Rodriguez chat about Ironman Arizona. This is an excellent race as a first time ironman race and to the newer to triathlon athletes. KEY POINTS Swim:

  • Self seeding rolling start in Temp Town Lake which looks like a canal.
  • Athletes enter the water off a metal type dock
  • The water temp is usually cooler with sleeveless wetsuits being just fine
  • 3 loop course with 2577 ft of gain
  • Wind can pick up later in the day and turn into a head wind
  • Roads are great and the support is excellent
  • 2 loop course that is flat
  • Just about the entire course is on pavement, which is very unforgiving
  • The run has zero shake so make sure to understand how to protect yourself from the sun and heat

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Boulder 70.3 Race Review, Report and Fun stuff

[Disclaimer:  I'm in AG 40-44 .... If you didn't National Lampoon's Vacation funny ... ) Let's just start off my saying that I pride myself on my most practiced and excellent snot rockets.  It's taken me years and one nostril is better than the other, but most of the time they are good and I don't end up with snot on my face, shirt or glasses.  So during  some portion of the Boulder 70.3, I went to blow a snot rocket and I hear this "grunt" to my left.  There is this dude there ... kind of hanging out in the draft zone.   I giggle a little and say,"hey you, shoot man.  Totally didn't mean to snot on you."  Which I don't.   If I'm riding with my training partner and she's behind me I'll just snot in my hand and wipe on my shorts.  (yeah yeah, glamous.) So I said, "Dude, you totally wouldn't have gotten snotted on had you said 'On your left.' and I proceeded to giggle for about a minute.  I don't think he was assumed.  I was.  Hahahaha. For this race report, let's go back to the beginning.  There was light .... AH!  Just joking.  There was a hot mess chic rolling through one life crisis after another.  Divorce.  Heart issue.  Heart surgery.  x2.  blah blah blah. [Disclaimer #dos:  this blog will represent all my voices and both personalities as I am a Gemini] So this race starts with heart meds all over the place, serious weight gain, this and that ... cardio doc dude saying to do "more normal stuff" and me being super stubborn and living life on my own terms.  So I came up with my #hearthealthyplan with some rules and stuff.  So I show up, not really sure how much of the race I would do.  But I DID SHOW UP. TRIP TRAVEL:   (no dead grandmas on the roof story) So Karla and I drive.  With a 2 bike rack.  Easy peasy.  Except this former mentioned person, having had a vehical/bike accident in Feb .... got a new Cervelo.  So ... car packed up (truck) and the dog living in the backseat .... who would have thought that the new Cervelo wouldn't share the bike rack with other bikes.  Not real surprising.  And said bike wouldn't fit in the truck either (with both wheels off).  Seriously.  So the car unpacked.  My bike goes in the truck, with everything fit in around it.  One bike on the rack.  Boom.  Done.  Presto.  On our way. Pretty awesome trip, was gonna work on training plans which Karla drove until she said "Hey, I'm hungry, I need food now." Then a minute later pulled over and threw up.  Which continued for 3/4 of the trip.  I felt really and for her and considering on the plate was a HIM .... not good. We get to Boulder.  We've rented a lovely house which is dog friendly.  The owner is awesome, living upstairs.  Life is good.  We get settled. Prepare for Athlete Check in,  bike check in and all that fun stuff. Boulder 70.3 is a very friendly race.  Tho getting to the Boulder Reservoir can be fun race morning everything else is super awesome.  There is a lot of community support and what not.  Last comment for now .... the website says "fast bike" course and what not.  While I would still say this is a good beginner race, it's NOT easy.  The bike course can be tough in some places. The altitude can be a big factor.  And it's usually hot.  The run course can be .... a sole sucker.  All that being said, it's a real good race.  The volunteers are the best, the RD is awesome, the bike and run stations are perfect and well manned.   And the "back of the pack" support is solid. Thoughts for a FB post: I wish I could describe for you the feeling of toeing up to the line of Ironman or 70.3. Simultaneously facing your best and worst parts of yourself. Being BRAVE. Not perfect and kicking ass anyway. Fear doesn't stop us. Suckage doesn't stop us. Pain and disappointment doesn't stop us. I feel ALIVE. That's what we are addicted to.   Bike Check In:  Very uneventful.  This race is organized well.  And again, all the volunteers are great.  One of the reasons why I keep coming back to this race.  I really want to do the full here but heart meds and altitude DO NOT go together.  More on that later. #nmf Funny side story and a new experience.  Sooooo, when you have a heart ablation you get put on blood thinners and I chose to be on one that's older and more researched.  Tho it comes with checking your INR (a measure of how fast your blood clots and you stop bleeding), managing your greens consumption and blah blah blah.  Soooo, I decided to get back on my garlic pill kick a while back with that blog on how good garlic was.  Soooooo, when I had my INR   tested before we left for out of town, it was 6. Ha.  Which is a BIG DEAL.  At 6 your kind of at risk for just spontaneously developing a bleed.  Sooooooo, you imagine eating a lot kale and multiply that by some number BK would do to thicken the blood.  ;) Sooooo, I had to have it retested in Boulder as it would be incredibly unsafe to race (bike) and have an accident.  Meaning if you hit your head you would be at a real big risk of your brain bleeding and turning into a green veggie. So one of the rules was ... whats the INR and there CAN NOT be any bike accidents.  So what happens.  We go out for a warm up bike.... and they forget or don't turn off the reservoir gates thingies.  And Karla helps with great enthusiasm .... "OH WATCH OUT WATCH" as the gate almost comes down on my head.  HA. Travel to Boulder Reservoir race morning:  GET THERE EARLY.  LEAVE EARLY.   So, you really need to play on leaving 30 minutes before transition opens if you are staying close to the race.  I've done with race 4 or 5 times, this time was odd as the race was delayed 45 minutes due to traffic.  Not sure what went on, but this was an oddity.  I think something to do with a traffic light misbehaving. [Disclaimer #tri :Only one F bomb dropped.  Once.] Pre Race:  So, had PLENTY of time to get things ready, meet all the peeps, get copious amounts of pictures and then still PLENTY of time to have a minor meltdown.  This race I had a lot on the line.  I was using it as a deciding factor if I was quitting endurance racing.  Can I train safely with my heart issues.  Can I race safely.  blah blah blah.  Because despite what most think about ironman triathletes being a crazy bunch that doesn't do "normal stuff" .... I am a very dedicated yogi and try to do all things in balance.  #namaste or #nmf. Plus I have this #hearthealthyplan that have all these rules and blah blah blah.  My educated response to the cardio doc saying "go do more normal stuff". ;)  (Listen to that podcast for more) So I had my minor (#minornotsominor meltdown, my identity as a HIM/IM racing was on the line). So I listened to "My Name is Human".  Over and over.  For like .... 60 minutes.

"No one is better an anyone else here"

"Need some time to think it over"

"Must be joking if thinking either if free here"

"Get up off your knees girl"

"Stand face to face with your God"

"and find out what you are"

"HELLO!  My name is human"

"and I came down from the stars"

"I'm ready for love and I'm ready for war"

"but I'm ready for more"

"I don't know if anyone's been fucking this ready before"

"Need some time to think it over"

"So figure it out, I'll figure it out"

"I figured it out"

"The bigger the river, the bigger the drop"

"I'm face to face with myself"

"And I know who I am"

"Hello, my name is human"

"I stole the power from the sun"

"I'm just than just a name"

"I came down from the stars"

Seriously folks, if that doesn't get you fired up to face your demons and get  your ROCK IT OUT hat on .... stop ready this post. DUDE,  those stupid heart meds turned me into a Phillsbury dough girl and my wetsuit was TIGHT.  Coach told me to wear his speed suit.  But I still have this thin tether to it .... so I got into it.  And darn it if it wasn't tight.  And I was a little ramped up. STOP THE FAT TALK!  Thoughts from the run.  We are sooooo attached to aesthetics.  It drives us crazy.  YES.  Being thinner than thicker is better.  Health wise that is a fact.  But seriously, lets give ourselves a bit of grace.  If it's a bit out of your control, more grace. And give EVERYONE else grace.  ALL THE TIME.  Because you have ZERO idea whats on their plate.   Judgement is toxic.  Self judgement.  Judging others.  GRACE.  (And that doesn't mean to have a healthy drive to lose weight.  Just stop the fat talk and do your best to drop the extra in a healthy and graceful way. #namaste) SWIM:  I was ready to rock out this swim.  I've been working my arse off in the pool.  Of all things that were out of my control, getting to the pool wasn't.  I was getting fast so I wanted to see .... sub 2 at some point.  Well, not today.  What you need to know about heart meds is that mostly the docs are big fat liars when they say the side affects are null.  Well, if you're sitting on the couch.  Beta blockers, especially if not selective to beta 1, can affect the lungs it a big fat way.  Just had an athlete experience this one.  Other ways of affecting the heart rate, like sodium channel blockers, if you've listened to the electrolytes podcast and can put 2 and 2 together, affect the ENTIRE body, not just the heart.  AND they cap the heart rate.  So .... if you are a little ramped up, and your wet suit is a big tight AND you are at altitude, your demand for oxygen (but not able to get the demand) can really jack with the body and the mind.  Like the cart and the horse in a tornado.  I've dealt with this kind of things for years, and for me I get a touch (or a lot more) of pulmonary edema.  Feels and sounds like an asthma attack.  Listen to that podcasts for more good info.  So having caught on to this pretty quick .... I thought to myself OH DUCK ME!  This isn't good for the heart.  This can end the day right now. So .... I had to really slow it down.  I totally started laughing when I found myself needing to swim like my first triathlon.  Kind of fitting.  Karma has a wicked funny sense of humor.  So I'm doing this awful swimming, find myself the LAST person in my swim group.  AND soon most the last in the LAST WAVE.  More giggling.  As I do know that I can make the time swimming like this.  OMG!  I wanted to quit.  Because who likes finishing last.  No one really waits for the last swimmers.  And you feel .... weak.  Loser-ish. SIDE THOUGHT from the run:  Why in the heck are we so attached to time as an indicator of performance.  YES.  We all want on the podium and blah blah blah.  Our society is so .... unfriendly to the middle and back of the packers.  We (no not everyone) judge based on time.  That you are a"good athlete" if you are fast.  You are a "good coach" if you are fast. So it makes those that aren't perfect, the ducking majority of us, not want to try, judge ourselves harshly and blah blah blah.  So ... toeing up to this race was hard for me from an athlete and coach point of view because I very well could have finished right under the wire.  This time I had 25 minutes to spare.  That's a crappy tire change or a bike issue or a major cramp .... So I'll get bossy for a second and say .... STOP JUDGING THOSE THAT ARE OVER WEIGHT, MIDDLE OR BACK OF THE PACK .... AND YOURSELF. [end of stern coaching voice] So, back to the swimming. I didn't quit because of two people.  Some chick with a AWA swim cap and my wonderfully brave friend Becky.  The swimming chick while continuing to swim said "you're alright" on one breathe and "come on" on the next.  <3 <3 <3.  And my brave friend Becky that I coach that I have ... sort of strongly encouraged her to work on her intense fear of swimming and sign up for a HIM.  ;) Just thinking of her and her bravery and trust in me gave me a crap ton of trust in myself and just generally the extra juju needed to get my mind right.  So I got my mind settled down.  The heart rate and stuff followed suit, got warmed up by half way to the first turn buoy. I did ESP/spy Wagner waiting on me and then joining me in the swim.  She (training partner) has swam with me enough she usually has a 6th sixth sense about when stuff goes sideways for me. So that helped too.  After that I picked up the pace and finished on my own terms.  Thank goodness! TI:  Transition was transition.  Nothing remarkable besides the amount of time I took.  ;) BIKE:  I've done this race a couple times so I knew what to expect.  The website says a FAST course.   It gives off the impression that it's easy and good for beginners.  While this race as a whole can be good for beginners, it's not easy.  And the bike can turn out to be not all that fast.  Especially if you react negatively to the 5000 ft in elevation.  There are a lot of places in the bike where it sort of sucks your soul for you.  But you are always rewarded with super fast places too so it all evens itself out.  The important name of the gain with this bike course is to maintain your rpms, know how to use your gearing to get yourself up hills and utilize the rolling hills and to NOT get behind in water, fuel or electrolytes.  (cause the run always sucks). They changed the bike course to keep in generally closer to the reservoir with the addition of a loop in the beginning.  Which I really liked.  It gave me flash backs to IMWI with the twisting sideways that get you under the highway.  So that was kind of fun.  But here you need to be careful.  When it says "caution" and "slow down", they really mean  it in Boulder.  Pay heed to that. So I'm half way through my bike when the snot rocket episode happened.  That made me giggle.  I did my nutrition spot on.  I drank my "bike bottle of water per hour" through my aero bottle every hour with refilling at the bike stations that were awesome as always.  I drank my fuel concentrate out of my bike bottle on the down tube, which I drank more quickly at the end of the ride to end up with a half way empty belly for the run.  And of course use my base salts for extra sodium every five miles.  Heart rate stayed at 135 for most of the bike, so .... very low zone 2.  Perfect. NOTE:  The cross winds on the DOWNhills with the race wheels (first time using them, I know I know..) was kind of fun and kind of scary.  I certainly didn't stay in aero for those bits of time as I heard Shelly's voice in my head about kicking my tail if I had a bike accident.  I was READY to get off the bike when the bike was done.  Tho I was a little irritated that the bike course was 2 miles short.  Whats up with that!?  Bike done!  Done well.  Maintained my planned pace. PACING:  I coach folks with this underlying thought.  Manage all parts of the triathlon well.  So for Ironman, make all decisions throughout your race that results in those last 13 miles ran well if possible.  Not just ... "oh I have plenty of time to walk.  Meaning:  do the hip strength work throughout the entire training cycle that results in strong hips so you can run at the end.  Learn how to pace yourself on the bike and fuel yourself properly so your tank isn't empty or collapsing in on itself .... so you can run the last bit.  Etc.   And I'll start this next sent thought with ... I adhere to time constraints.  I doesn't matter that I'm bouncing back from two heart surgeries and blah blah blah.  Everyone one has crap to deal with.   If I didn't finish this race in 8:30, I didn't completely accomplish my mission.  I would still be a badass, but I wouldn't take the medal.  I'd probably cuss and cry and all that.  Tho still knowing that I was completely a badass for even trying.  I had my plan for "just finishing" know that I would try to be faster but I knew what I could safety give in each portion.  Race management.  And sort of almost jacking up the swim, I hit everything spot on. T2:  It's hard to be close to the last biker in.  You still have a long way to go.  13.1 miles to be exact.  And I will completely admit it, this was the lowest time in my race.  I could easily say, "I quit" and really ... I had a good "excuse".  So ... I said "BK, suck it up for a second.  You're not even on the run course yet."  My legs felt D (dough).  O (omg).  N (null or nill take your pick) . E (Error).  I had left 1/2 a big container of water in transition .... OH OH OH:  Speaking of transition.  Some chick had moved my transition stuff before the race to accomadate her transition place that was incorrectly placed.


With your bike hanging towards you by the front part of the seat



Touch someone's bike or transition stuff




As I was saying before that tirade ... I basically washed my hair with the extra water.  It's my way of resetting mentally and cooling off.  One of the #hearthealthyrules for this race (all races) was I could NOT get sun burnt or too hot.  Or get dehydrated.  My DeSoto long sleeved cooling shirt to the rescue.  T2 was a bit long as I washed my hair, changed from my bike jersey to the DeSoto shirt, put my camelback on (fully loaded up with stuff) and sort of took some time deciding if this was actually something I was going to do.  Then I thought of my friend Kim, who inspires me to stop whining and get moving, dig deep and go for it. I had probably ran ... 10 times in the last 4 months.  No joke.  The two heart episodes and subsequent meds really got in the way.  One foot had been struggling a bit with some over pronation so I had decided to try out some black super feet.  Yes.  New for the race.  Yeah yeah.  But I had the regular shoe inserts in my camelback.  Off I go. RUN:  I was doing some math in my head.  I had 3:30 to do 13.1 miles.  That sounds like more than enough time, but only those that have done this race know how much the run kind of sucks.  It's hot. On gravel with ZERO shade. It ends up being H (hell) O (omg) T(task).  For me ... add in heart meds that cap the heart rate, so the leg muscles only get so much oxygen, I mostly melt in the heat anyways which makes my body want to raise my heart rate but it can't which means it can't keep itself as cool as what it wants to and as a FORKING bonus your up in altitude a bit so you are getting less O2 anyway.  #nmf I tried running for a bit and left like complete crap with a hint of "I love to run, lets go".  I told myself that it would get better.  Which I felt/knew that that was a big fat lie.  So kind of stuck in a bad attitude for a second until I get to where my coach was.  He's asking how I feel, which I did feel pretty darn good considering.  He says "ok, Kissinger, now go take it easy."  Ha.  So I continued trying to run but needing to walk through the huge mass of spectators thinking about the pace I need to maintain to finish and wondering if I can even do it, with most people assuming that I'm on my 2nd lap by now ... touch stuff that the "back of the pack" have to deal through.  Experienced some more discouragement with someone I knew and their judgement of my performance.  That kind of sucked.  So when I get out of the populated area, my attitude was in the tank.  Then I thought of my friend Kim again.  And I thought of the next mile.  And Andrea.  And the fact that we don't give up.  So I decided that I was going to try to run the downhills and see how fast I could walk the rest of the way.  I had planned on 14 min/mile.  That wasn't going to happen.  So more math in the head and 15 would do the trick.  16 would be cutting it super duper close. SIDE NOTE:  I have walked 13.1 before.  It sounds like it should be easy but IT IS NOT! At mile 3, with the Ironman tracker check in, I thought about ALL THE PEOPLE I COACH.  How much I care about them.  How much "stuff" they go through.  Looked at my avg pace, which was under 15 min/mile and decided.





Followed all the #hearthealthyrules

So I developed this pattern of run/walking, but mostly walking as running seems to make it hard for me to recover and actually walk significantly slower.  So .... nutrition, salt, water all spot on.  I got to say that the DeSoto long sleeve UV shirt was MOST EXCELLENT (yes, another first).  At the run stations I would pour water down my arms and back.  I was amazed at how cool it kept me.  Super pumped at the half mark as I knew that I had it in the bag.  Checked in with coach.  Happy.  Go through the crowd, most were encouraging and some ignored you.  Life as a "back of the pack".  Shame on them.  When you are at races ... don't be a dirty sock bag, stinky bike shoe or unnamed feminine product.

Praise Everyone

Encourage Everyone

Be a bright star that shines the way for them



I wanted to do negative splits now that I had paced well and knew that I could push a bit more.  HOWEVER, my left hip was starting to killllllll me.  And dudes.  My feet were really starting to hurt.  I was strong walking like a boss, passing a lot of people and moving my arms like nobody's business.  I had been experimenting for 2 hours how to walk the fastest.  hahahaha. And my wings were getting tired.  ;) I did accomplish negative split.s for the bike and run.  FORKING FANTASTIC! Finish was awesome!  Two of my fav people at the end!  Got me a BA finisher pic. This might have been the best race for me personally.  I followed all the #hearthealthyrules, coming out of this race knowing that I can do this distance safety.  The lessons that I've learned in the last 6 months have been hard ones.  But good ones.


Don't just yourself.  Don't limit yourself.  Don't let other tell you want to do.  

Being slow doesn't matter. 

Showing up does.

Create your own path.

#backofthepack #showup #bravingkarma #neverquit

    DUDE!  AND I got all my stuff myself AND score a whole pizza. AND AND I scored the best Mexican food.  EVER.  LIKE BEST MEXICAN FOOD. EVER.  Out on Arapahoe and 63rd in between some warehouses.  And outside was boxer friendly.

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#59 Ironman Triathlon Special Needs Bags

[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5564695/height/90/width/480/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="480"]

What to do with all of the bags you receive at your Ironman race

What the #?$% do I do with all these bags?! You just checked in at your Ironman race as are headed back to your hotel/condo wondering why did they give me all of these bags – Do I need them? What goes in them?   Where do I need to bring them and when*?  This can seem a bit overwhelming at first thought, so let’s demystify the process. There will be 5 bags, each with a specific purpose to be utilized in a particular time and place:
  • Pre-swim/dry clothes
  • Swim to bike (T1)
  • Bike special needs
  • Bike to run (T2), and
  • Run special needs.
The bags will either come pre-numbered or you will receive a sticker sheet with your race number to place on the bags.  It is best to think about what you want to put into these bags well ahead of time.  Make a checklist for each bag so that you will not forget a single item.  Lists are a way to keep a sense of control at a time when tensions can be high.  Having this control and order will go a long way to staying calm during your final race preparation.  Let’s take a look at each bag. Morning Clothes Bag – This bag is for your “street” clothes you wear to transition on race morning and/or your dry clothes for after the race.  Don’t underestimate how great it will feel to get on some dry clothes after being in clothes that can be wet and rather gross for so many different reasons.  ;)  One item that is always a post-race favorite are flip-flops (aka “slippers”, if you’re in Kona). Bike Gear Bag – This bag will be placed in T1 during the gear check-in and will have everything that you need for the bike leg.Transition_bags
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks
  • Cycling shoes
  • Chamois cream
  • Sunscreen (this is often available in T1)
  • Arm warmers/coolers (and any other special clothing)
  • Race belt with number (if required to wear it during the bike leg)
  • Nutrition (calories, hydration, caffeine, and electrolyte tabs – if not stowed on the bike)
  • Cycling race kit (if not worn during the swim leg)
Run Gear Bag – This bag will be placed in T2 during the gear check-in and will have everything that you need for the run leg.
  • Visor/Hat
  • Running shoes
  • Sunglasses (if not worn on the bike)
  • Race belt with number (if not worn during the bike leg)
  • Nutrition for the run (calories, hydration, caffeine, and electrolyte tabs – if you plan to carry some)
  • Body Glide
Bike Special Needs – This bag will be available to you, usually right around the halfway point of the bike.  This bag will be dropped off race morning*.  Some items for this bag include nutritional items and some basic “oh crap” bike repair items.  Know that these repair items are purely back-ups and you should carry them and more on the bike with you.
  • Nutrition – bottles of your special sauce, gelsbarscaffeine, and electrolyte tabs, etc.
  • Something yummy – if things aren’t going well, it can be nice to have a special treat that you know will sound good.  I always put a king size Snickers Bar in my special needs bag, just in case.
  • Spare tubes/tubular tire
  • CO2
  • Inspirational note or picture.  This is always nice to have…  You can even write a note to yourself with some words of encouragement.
Run Special Needs – This bag will be available to you, usually right around the halfway point of the run.  This bag will be dropped off race morning. Some items for this bag include nutritional items and comfort items.
  • Nutrition – bottles of your special sauce, gelsbarscaffeine, and electrolyte tabs, etc.
  • Something yummy – if things aren’t going well, it can be nice to have a special treat that you know will sound good.  I always put a king size Snickers Bar in my special needs bag, just in case.  Yep, I put one in each of my special needs bags.  J
  • Comfort items – extra pair of socks, long sleeve t-shirt, etc.
  • Vaseline/Body Glide
What you put in your particular bags is a very individual decision.  You have control over what you want out there on race day.  Know that Murphy’s Law is always in effect during those precious 17 hours.  I like to have a system of redundancies.  Think of a squirrel stowing nuts away for the winter.  Before I had laser corrective surgery, I had contact lenses stashed in every bag…  It is better to pack it and not need it, then to leave something out because you “probably won’t need it”.  Also, don’t forget to fully utilize your family and friends as Ironsherpas.  They will want to help and giving them a specific task, i.e. carrying your equipment and/or dropping off your special needs bags will give them a mission and save you the walk up the road. *Be sure to read the athlete guide to confirm when and where to deliver each bag.

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#58 Paleo for Women with a lot of talk about adrenal health

[iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5563466/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/yes/render-playlist/no/theme/custom/tdest_id/297231/custom-color/#87A93A" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Coach BK:  Cert. yoga/triathlon/nutrition Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD Coach BK and Dr. Ballantyne give a very informative chat on how paleo is a great way for female endurance athletes eat, how to improve adrenal health and have more energy. For a free athlete health assessment --> www.bonniekissinger.com/aha  

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Health Benefits of Garlic

GARLIC Garlic is probably the best researched and most commonly used herb in the world.  Native to Central Asia, garlic is now used in most every country's ciusine. Mention of garlic can be found in the ancient medical tests of Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome, some dating as far back as 5,000 years.  This world-renowned cure-all herb has been touted for everything from weight loss and infections to low energy, dysentery, snake bites and low libido (1).  A search through the research literature of todays yields over 4,000 citations on garlic, suggesting it is just as popular in modern times as it was in ancient times. Much of the research on garlic has focused on the organosulfur compounds, or OSCs, found in the whole clove, which are responsible for its flavor and distinct smell.  While allicin is probably the best recognized of the OSCs, there are actually many different types of OSCs found in garlic.  Some of these compounds, like allicin are dependent of enzymes that are activated when garlic is crushed, chopped, or chewed.  Others, like those found in aged garlic supplements, are formed during the aging process or are formed as breakdown product of other OSCs (2).  These OSCs are believed to be responsible for the majority of the health benefits of garlic though polyphenolic compounds and prebiotic fibers in garlic may also contribute to its health benefits. CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS Probably the best researched and most celebrated benefit of garlic is its ability to benefit the cardiovascular system.  Indeed, garlic has long been used for conditions that affect the cardiovascular system.  Research studies show that garlic supplements are quite ueful for the treatment of uncontrolled  hypertension, lowering blood pressure by about 10 mmHg systolic and 8mmHg diastolic, similar to standard blood pressure medications. (3)  Mechanisms by which garlic reduces blood pressure include inhibiting the aggregation of platelets, thus keeping the blood flowing smoothly (4), relaxing the blood vessels, and even blocking production of hormones that cause blood pressure to increase (5).  Garlic may also benefit the cardiovascular system by reducing LDL cholesterol levels and modulating inflammation (6).   ANTIMICROBIAL and ANTIVIRAL As far back as 1858, Louis Pasteur carried out experiments to confirm the historically recognized bacteria-fighting activity of garlic (7).  Today garlic is recognized for its ability to fight not only bacteria, but also fungi, viruses and parasites (8).  The OSCs in garlic appear especially beneficial for limiting the growth and even killing H. pylori, a microbe that commonly infects the stomach and causes ulcers (9).  Research into the effects of garlic on the immune system show that it can increase the responsiveness of several important antiviral immune cells such as Natural Killer cells and specialized gamma delta T cells (10).  Ultimately the increase in immune cell function has been related to fewer symptoms and reduced severity of cold flu as well as less time missed from work (11).  Beside fighting microbes directly, garlic may serve as a prebiotic, helping to strengthen the good bacteria so they are better able to fight off infectious agents in the first place (12).  Garlic also reduces the inflammatory compounds that certain microbes produce (13).   DETOXIFICATION Although much more research is needed to fully understand this connection, the OSCs in garlic are believed to support the body's detoxification processes.  First, OSCs  support the detoxification process, helping the body to neutralize and eliminate carcinogens and toxins.  Other studies indicate that garlic supplementation increases the liver's levels of glutathione and other important antioxidant enzymes involved in detoxification processes.  Furthermore, because many toxic compounds are eliminated from the body through the process knows as sulfation, by providing extra sulfur, garlic helps provide substrate to facilitate elimination of harmful compounds by the liver (14,15). BRAIN HEALTH The OSCs found in garlic display remarkably utility, benefiting not only the health of the body but also the health of the brain.  Some of the most interesting benefits of OSCs include their ability to increase growth of new nervous system tissue, protect the brain from beta-amyloid plaque induced inflammation and damage, and strengthen the blood-brain barrier (16,17).  Studies in an effective intervention-preventing inflammation from causing brain dysfunction (18).  Other studies show garlic increases the brains natural antioxidant defenses, helps with neurotransmitter signaling, and OSCs act as antioxidants themselves (19).  Overall, there exists a solid body of preclinical evidence suggesting garlic supplements have a promising future as prophylactic treatments for the development of neurodedegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease (20,21). OTHER BENEFITS Several of the OSCs found in garlic have been investigated for their ability to modulate inflammation (22,23).  Many of these studies have focused on garlic-related anti-inflammatory effects in the  gastrointestinal tract.  These studies suggest garlic modulates inflammatory reactions to pharmaceuticals, toxins, and pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract, making it applicable to a large portion of the population (22).  References available upon request.  

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Athlete Electrolyte and Hydration 101

(candid notes from the podcast.  Listen!!) INTRO Coach BK and Endurance Athlete / Nutritionist Rachel Shuck, chat about Electrolytes in a 101 kind of fashion.  What the runners and triathletes need to know to perform well, be healthy and be safe. BACKGROUND MAIN - What are electrolytes GOOD DESCRIPTION:  Active.com Electrolytes are minerals that, when dissolved in water, break into small, electrically charged particles called ions. Present wherever there's water in your body (think blood, cells and cell surroundings), electrolytes regulate your body's fluids, helping to maintain a healthy blood pH balance, and creating the electrical impulses essential to all aspects of physical activity -- from basic cell function to complex neuromuscular interactions needed for athletic performance. The water then serves as a conductor, allowing ions to move across membranes and carry fluid, nutrients and waste. In the process they trigger nerve impulses and muscle function and allow ions in the blood to neutralize lactic acid as well as other acids dumped into the bloodstream as waste. OR
  • Facilitate thoughts
  • Facility all movement
  • Control h2o
  • Control timing and sequence of “events”
-To be a bit geekie, electrolytes are ions (particles with a charge on them) that control movement of molecules. -Na, K, Mg, Ca are all positively charged -Chlorides, Phosphates, Sulphates, Carbonates are all negatively charged. -The ions (+ -) accumulate in the watery blood system of our body. All of our cells use that (+ -) charge differential as a driving force when they isolate (permit) some ions on the inside of the cell and others on the outside. In laymen terms:  Electrolytes ring doorbells and open doors.  Stuff goes in and out. Main Players are: Sodium - help "excite" nerves and muscles Chloride - help "excite" nerves and muscles Calcium - aids muscle contraction Magnesium - aids healthy cell function Potassium - helps regulate pH balance Phosphate - helps regulate pH balance What is sweat? NA 0.9 m/L, K 0.2 g/L, Ca 0.015 g/L, Mg 0.0013 g/L, trace elements, and obviously most h2o NOTE:  Don’t think linearly when looking or listening to the percentages mentioned of the elements and think that they are prioritized as Na more important and Mg less. YO!!!  Did you know that 4 - 10% of your water gets replaced with “fresh” water everyday.  Blood is approx 93% water, muscle is about 73% water and body fat is about 10% water.
YO!!!! Also, did you know:  during the metabolic process, you make your own water!  When muscles burn glycogen (fuel for the mitochondria), they release about 2.4 units of water for every 1 unit of muscle glycogen. :)) COOL UH?!?!  This helps the body protect itself against dehydration.
DRINKING As a rule of thumb we need to be drinking Body Weight x .31.  In long distance biking we say about a bike bottle an hour.  Tho these numbers are very individualized.  This you just need to figure out and train with consistently.  It really depends on your sweat ratio.  Which a good coach can do. NOTE:  Electrolytes ARE NOT Vit C or Vit B or or or   … soooo.  Products (and some fancy products) that use the work “hydrate” but have no Na, Ca, Mg or K (chloride comes with them) in them is misleading for electrolyte replenishment, aka helping you to hydrate or USE h2o.  Vit C does not help you absorb.
Interesting Factiod.  If you don’t have enough sodium, your body produces a hormone, ADH that helps to prevent you sodium to dip too low.  This hormone promotes inflammation in your arteries. HEED THIS ADVICE.  Do not take NSAIDS when it’s hot and your training/racing.  The prostiglandins produces are large molecules and are damaging to the kidneys. NOTE:  You can’t “stock up” with electrolytes.  It doesn’t work like that.  The kidneys are highly involved.  Let’s assume they are working up to par.  You can fill up the tank, but not stock up.  The body will balance everything out and get rid of what it doesn't need at that point. BACK GROUND INFO: http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=elyte-electrolyte-101 The membrane of every cell is composed of fat and acts as an insulator. By encouraging more of the sodium ions to accumulate in the blood stream, outside the cell (with potassium on the inside), they build up a charge on either side of the cell wall. That charge separation then becomes the driving force for all cells to be able to move the life giving materials in and out of the cell. It’s important to understand this because all the electrolytes are vital for cellular function and especially necessary for high performance. Simply put, without them we could not exist... even with the absence of just one of the basic 4 electrolyte minerals, we would be history. The list of functions that electrolytes control is endless but include; temperature control / fluid level / cardiac arrhythmia / respiratory rate / digestion / fluid transport across cells / ion transport / renal function (bladder control) / neurological function / signal transduction / thought / memory/ all the senses both gathering information and then transporting that message to the brain and to the muscles including the sense of touch / energy production / glucose metabolism etc. etc. It is easier to count the stars in the sky than to list all the functions in the body controlled by electrolytes. But the body, in its miraculous evolutionary way is structured to maintain it all in some combinatorial marvelous life-giving manner. The majesty of it all is so wondrous that the study of cells and of life can often leave one breathless. We frequently sit back in our research as the concepts unfold and are literally awestruck. The most one can attempt is to try and convey a small picture of this wonder. http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=elyte-inside-a-muscle-cramp Cramping is one of the most common complaints of athletes. It can occur at any time but more often at the tail end of their workout. Cramps are a one way street in the complete cycle of muscle action. All body motion is controlled by the opening and closing of ion channels that sit in the membranes of all cells. Sodium (Na) contracts the cell and potassium (K) relaxes it. Similar action occurs to transmit a thought with Na and K triggering neurons (depolarizing) to both transmit and fire. In effect the electrolytes do it all. You can’t blink your eye or even see or hear without them. A heart cell begins the process with Calcium (Ca) signaling the Na ion channel to open to begin the contraction cycle. There are hundreds of Na and K ion channels on each cell. A half second later Magnesium (Mg) encourages K to rush in which relaxes the cell. That’s the beat of your heart or the closing of your fist. With a heart cell the cycle is non stop; constrict with Na and relax with K. Its quite easy to see what happens when a muscle cramps. In essence you have half a beat. If a cramp hits your heart, you’re history, but in a different muscle you’ll hurt, but recover. If you’re swimming in a race half way home, it could be a disaster. Whenever it happens, it’s the guys in charge of the relaxing half of the cycle, Mg and K, that are missing. Actually, what is happening, is that the high K concentration is sufficient to complete the back side of the heart beat, or leg pump, etc. Without those 2 electrolytes Mg and K, in plentiful supply, your muscles have only the first half of the action potential to work on. Over time, that’s a one way street, that can end up as a cramp. Cramps don’t usually occur when your doing sprints, they are the result of cellular stress (loss of electrolytes) over long workouts. THIS IS COOL!!! A number of coaches have tried “pickle juice” to prevent cramping in hot weather. Pickle juice is predominantly vinegar. Vinegar is acetic acid, and is used to remove sodium (Na) with individuals with high blood sodium levels. The coaches are lowering their athletes Na levels to prevent the first half of the muscle cycle instead of making sure that they have enough of all the electrolytes needed. Lower Na and you may not begin the cramp. Not exactly what the doctor ordered, but it can work. However, you are removing Na to restore balance, instead of providing the correct electrolytes that the body needs at that moment, which is ……..Mg and K. Training logic says that you want as high a level of electrolytes as possible, all the time, not robbing one, Na, to achieve balance. Sodium Closes (constricts) and Potassium Opens (relaxes) In essence, the closing and relaxing of a muscle is dependent on the four mineral horseman of function, calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K).  Sodium constricts and potassium relaxes, with Ca and Mg initiating each phase of the action.  If an individual is low in potassium, it appears that that singular event of low potassium can be sufficient to permit a cramp to occur. Without enough potassium available to complete the relaxing cycle, a random signal (or even a conscious one) to close by an out of balanced condition can leave almost any muscle in a locked position. To understand sodium’s influence on the closing of a muscle and potassium’s role in engineering the reverse (the opening), it could be helpful, though somewhat macabre, to examine the procedure for executions.  Generally, the act of hanging was replaced by electrocution, which was in turn abandoned by the painless, yet highly efficient act, of an injection of a high concentrated solution of potassium.  Flooding the body with potassium forces all muscles to relax.  Eventually the concentration of potassium becomes so high that it dwarfs the normal balance with sodium, thereby restricting any ability to affect a normal muscle function.  The net result is to block the beating of the heart.  In effect the prisoner relaxes to death. Essentially an execution by injection is the reverse of a cramp.  The execution is clearly an excess of potassium and the cramp appears to be the reverse.  The injection of potassium overwhelms the normal balance of sodium and robs it of its ability to initiate muscle function; the body cannot begin any function, you couldn’t even blink your eye.  The reverse of high sodium (or to be more precise, the absence of sufficient potassium) is an imbalance that sets up a condition for a cramp to occur.  The poor individual with insufficient potassium on hand may not be able to relax that muscle and must message or stretch the knotted jumble of muscle to force some potassium into the cells to turn off the tight cramping condition. The potential cure for a cramp would logically be to have available sufficient stores of potassium.  However, magnesium also plays an important role in muscle function, so it is necessary to insure an adequate supply of magnesium.  Calcium is also important, but there is a ready supply from our storehouse of bone which appears to be sufficient for muscle function.   However, the supply of sufficient Ca and Mg as we age, is often insufficient, even though normal blood test results suggest there is enough.  But, that is a subject beyond this current discussion of cramps.

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#57 Electrolytes 101 for Ironman Triathlon Endurance Athletes

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Coach BK chats with Ironman Triathlete and Nurse Anesthetist on the ins and outs of electrolytes and why it is so vital to understand to health, safety and good performance. 


Show NOTES:  www.bonniekissinger.com/electrolytes

Free athlete health assessment: www.bonniekissinger.com/aha



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#56 The Steep Learning Curve of Your First Half or Full Ironman

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Coach BK and athlete Barb chat about all the things that an athlete learns on their first journey (or 2nd or 3rd) in 1/2 or full ironman.  There are so many things to learn and develop.  Also, we sprinkle in a bit of chatting about experiencing your first DNF and how your attitude greatly affects the results.


Coach BK does free athlete health assessments and gives guidance on how to tackle goals, races and if a specific race would be good for you.



Free Athlete Health Assessment:  www.bonniekissinger.com/aha



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