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Ironman

What Ironman Triathlon Did for my life

I was chatting with a fellow Ironman Triathlete about coaching earlier this morning and we were having a little chuckle about how your perspective changes after a season or two of ironman. You get to a place where you have a ton of mental Grit to get done (and do it well) just about anything you set your mind to. And just a ton of other wonderful things that happen. Let's looking at this awesome list. Mental Grit: There is something that happens when you push yourself past self imposed limitations, over and over, and learn that yes there are limits, but usually we stop way before those. I was really gifted with this two times, once in my first IM in Wisconsin during the swim portion. I had almost drowned as a child so getting to the point of being able to do the swim well without freaking the heck out was a ton of mental grit, through the whole season and race day. It's was one of my most beautiful life moments. The other was doing the very best that I could at IMTX in 2018, where during the run it was a full moon, I was praying, and running. Running when I didn't want to. Running when everyone else was walking. Running to chase down a time that I knew I wouldn't get, but doing the best I could anyway. Heal your soul: When you allow yourself get stripped down during ironman season ... you see things about yourself that don't serve you anymore. Things that you know need to evolve in order to get the astronomical task done. If you're brave enough to face your demons and help them to heal ... your soul heals. You evolve into that next best version of yourself. And it's so much quicker than a lot of personal growth challenges. The feedback is pretty immediate. Kinda like pixie dust if you go the chops to look at it like that. A story from my life, I almost drowned when I was little. And that was surrounded by ample amounts of childhood trauma. So the swim anxiety that I experienced during swim was of the extreme nature. Through a series of hard experiences, many failures, techniques, not giving up and a whole bunch more ... I managed to move past fake it until you make it, to healing my heart. It was such a wonderful experience to complete my first ironman swim, Wisconsin Mass Swim start, probably one of the best experiences to be had, with no anxiety. That is the first time that I really grasped that I could move past my childhood issues. That I didn't have to live a life of dealing with my crazy. Some of it I could transform into a healed cornerstone of strength. Strong Body: If you are doing the training right, your body goes through a series of evolutions where you heal through injuries. If you have the help that you need, you end up cultivating a body that is more sound and balanced. You are left with a body that is epically strong, the mind is a metric f ton stronger and you feel invincible. You might still be a little fluffy and imperfect, but that's really not the point. Confidence: You have achieved something most people wouldn't do. You've done something that you thought you couldn't. You know how to approach fear and challenges and come out on top. AND .... sometimes those things roll downhill and affect your friends, family and maybe even the little people. #thelittlesarealwayswatching Training for something very difficult can be very rewarding. It can be very hard and I have seen where people don't make it. They turn and go another direction. And thats ok. You have to be READY to take on that challenge. Not feel like you are ready. Not think that you are ready. It's a little secret that your soul shares with you, drives you forward. When you are doing something and you think to yourself ... why the heck did I think this was a good idea, but somewhere in a secret place in your heart, a voice says to keep going. That READY. If you aren't ready for the difficulties, that just means you have other work to do to get ready. And that doesn't mean that attempting an ironman isn't where you do the "get ready" part. There is nothing that says that everyone will complete their mission the first time out. In fact, on paper that is just silliness. Most people that accomplish big A things fall on their face the first time. GRACE AND GRIT: Thats what I think triathlon and ironman really gifts you with. Hopefully we all learn that we are all very capable. We are all enough. We are all FREAKING badassly awesome and we don't have anything to prove. These hard things are just to help us learn and grow. Not prove a damn thing. Doesn't matter if you are overweight and doing ironman. Or a pro athlete finishing first. We are all wonderful human beings that have a voice, have a story and need to SHINE our love and gifts out to the world. This is what I think ironman helps us learn how to do. At an Ironman. At life. As a parent. Spouse. Friend. This is why I tell my athletes .... train train train for the best damn finisher picture you can. This attitude is the sum total of this. To let your heart and soul shine when you FINISH your goal. When you ACCOMPLISH what you set out to do. You will look back and see that on the inside ... you are soo beautiful and strong. You are enough. And you're badass. ;) <3

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Today winning meant being slow AF

There as been a lot going on in my life lately that while I have been managing fairly well, it still takes a toll. You've got your parenting responsibilities. For those of you who are parents, you know that sometimes raises little people can be down right taxing. This weekend and the last couple of months with my teenagers have been a challenge. And you parents know that when you have created, carried, sweated, bled, kissed and cried over those little people, this stress is a big one. Momma bear stuff.

 

Then you've got your "put food on the table" stressors. Running your own business and figuring out how to do that well, with more ease and what not isn't any small feat. Being your own boss is awesome and not awesome at the same time. It's real life stuff. Responsibility. Adulting. And the coaching world isn't an easy one. Especially if you try to do your best all the time and try to figure out how to lead your people to doing their best as well. It's real, raw and honest (and tough) at times. Especially considering that we attract people like ourselves. Hahahaha. OMG! ;) just joking. Not joking. Haha. I'm one of my biggest fans yet some days I'm like ... "BK seriously, get your ducks in a row, or at least in the same room."

 

Then spice all that up with some other personal stuff of my own choosing that I've decided to work on and you've got a big tall order. I've had my share of tough times in life and some things to work on to get to the next best version of myself. We all do. When we start looking at those things straight on, life gets sweeter but sometimes the cleaning up and healing of things is a little challenging at times.

 

I was listening to podcast today about the 10 pillars of health. This smartie doctor guy was talking about his system that works to address all the "pillars" of health. Very interesting stuff and you know, not really a new idea. The yogi's and eastern medicine have been working on this stuff for a long time. Here in the western world were we have our boot straps and type a/work harder mentality ... the idea that in order to optimize health by working on all aspects of life, well thats not common sense to us.

 

I learned this lesson pretty well last year training for IMTX after three failed heart surgeries and deciding to have a different go of it. Not using western meds to control A-fib and working on these "pillars". It worked really well and I was super pumped. Then came some personal stuff, again, of my own choosing ... and I got in over my head for a bit. Or maybe not, but more of my energy went into the personal growth pillar for a sec while I tried to really work on some things and heal up some old wounds.

 

BOOM! And so in the sunshine I'm working with a newer version of myself and have to acknowledge that in my balancing of my life, one of my "pillars" is a little lacking. And that would be the physical one. Where I'm not as fast on the bike or run as what I use to be or what I want.

I mean seriously. Three time ironman finisher. Countless HIMs under my belt and here I am. Fluffy, slow, strong and still very awesome. I would love love love to be 15 pounds lighter. Be stronger. Look outwardly how I feel. But right now, with all that has been going on, I am in a state of physique that, while not optimal, is doing ok.

 

I had set out to do a 3 hour bike ride. Followed by a bit of running. A little bit of that motivation to do all that volume so far out from my next HIM was driven by weight lose. Maybe to beat the fat down and force it to go away. How many of us think like that? More is better right?

 

GRACE AND GRIT

 

Well, I got to thinking. What would be the most lovely thing that you could do for yourself right now. After all, the training plan says an hour bike. So two is more than enough. How about BK ... you slow down and just enjoy the sun and acknowledge that fact that you can be out here. That you GET to do this. That you are healthy enough to even do an hour. Seriously. Love all the fat cells for a second and just LOVE every thing part of you.

 

GRACE: So I slowed down. Talked to all the cows. Really enjoyed the sunshine and the awesome cross wind that was blowing at a nice 20 mph. I focused on my daily reading of HOPE. And positive action, in the face of everything going on. Yep, I was a full mph slower than last weekends two hour ride which i was crazy happy with. This ride felt equally as good tho.

 

GRIT: I was kind to myself. I was strong enough today to give myself grace and the grit to KNOW that today the mph pace didn't dictate if the workout was a success. Grit to give other areas equal merit. After all, I was well within the plan. So the box is a definite green. And thats good enough. More than good enough.

 

It is a win.

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Endurance Triathlon Strength Training

GOOD ARTICLE

http://www.bonniekissinger.com/get-faster-with-strength-training/

STEP 1:  Trans Ab Test

https://youtu.be/pBW16_q4cLQ

 HIP Anatomy and Strength

https://youtu.be/l8rVI-5WhEM

Strength Work for SI Joint

https://youtu.be/uo1kFryOMlU

Sample Strength

[box]Plank / shoulder protract/retract. 1 min x3 Globet squats. 3 sets of 12. Standing reverse fly. 3 sets of 12 (5 pounds) Leg Press. 3 sets of 12. Cross arm cable pull. 3 sets of 12 (light weight) Dead lift. 3 sets of 12. Standing single arm row. 3 sets of 12 (light weight) Standing double arm row. 3 sets of 12 (light weight) Cable/band hamstring kick back. 3 sets of 12. Medium weight with correct mechanics. [/box]

Single DeadLifting

https://youtu.be/z4yJ7mGVvJE  

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Embracing the dark

Our programmed minds work fast. A lot of things are coming at us, so we do need these trigger fast default values that we place on things. Helps us to process and deal with the world. We can have defaults that work for us and that hold us back. I believe our default value of “bad” for the adjective “dark” doesn’t serve us well. Light and Dark The darkside Anger as being dark The dark wolf (or black) The Dark Side of the Force ??? Black magic (they totally jacked up the word “black” with that one) The Dark Knight ??? Black cats Nightmare (night didn’t do anything bad ...) Black hearted Disney’s Hercules depicts Hell as dark (The Underworld) I could totally go on a tangent on how we thing the light is GOOD and the absence of light is bad, but Newton would beg to different and maybe some of the scientist and yogi’s too. Some think that the process of things (in a BIG picture) requires the cycling through light and dark (expansion and contraction) (sun to black hole ...) blah blah blah. Back to my point ... which is ... I think we do ourselves a big fat disservice when we default to anything with the adjective “black” or “dark” instantly gets a “bad” wrap. For all of my life, I have been scared of the dark. Not like .... “scared” but more like “fight or flight” heart rate is now “160 thank you and panic is ensuing”. Like PTSD. Hahahaha. You all are gonna start to like I need a straight jacket. An example of how I use to live with this ... I use to live in a house that the washer and dryer were in the basement (one of the quad level houses with 1/2 a basement with scary creepy steps ...). The basement light was a bulb with a string on it, the basement wasn’t finished, etc. So when I would be climbing (crawling) up the stairs with my laundry, if I was going to adult well and turnoff the light, I would have to exit in the dark. I would have a mini panic. Each and every time. My smart brain would say “Bk, you’re stupid. You KNOW there is nothing in this basement that would hurt you.” And the badass voice would say, “you could probably kick their ass even if they were here ;) ). Anyway, one of the voices would be “you are not safe”. That one is a hard one to deal with (or silence). In my coaching and life experience, we don’t heal (silence some voices) but having an underlying thought that it’s “bad”. When I tore up my right AC joint, that shoulder didn’t get better until I stopped calling it my “bad shoulder”. It lots lots better when I called it “bambino”. I tell people now .... “don’t slap the baby”. This goes for either dealing with hurt hamstrings, plantar fasciitis ... or the soft spots of the heart. It. Is. All. Energy. All of it. More of the point BK .... So the thought of doing night diving in Ecuador was sort of an interesting one. I’m pretty fearless and if there is a “reasonable amount of danger” involved ... I’m in. I guess I like living on the edge. I’m usually well prepared and what not tho. ;) I have an adventurer’s heart, which in this case just about completely won over my fear of not being able to see what’s around me. To lay in a bit of backstory ... not to beat it like a dead horse, but .... I have copious amounts of glorious stories from my childhood that explain why the heck I’m a touch cray cray. This is a good one. I might have been taken to see Psycho when I was ... way to young, 8 maybe. When Norman got the part about whacking his mom over the head with a shovel ... I finally ran out of the theater and sat (by myself) by the doors until the movie was done. What makes this super funny .... in a really ironic (perhaps f’ed up) way .... years later I had to visit my dad in Iowa for a month during the summer. He lived in this house ... that no joke ... looked EXACTLY like the Bates’ house. Ancient, creaky, 200 years old .... fill of dusty antiques, secret passage ways between rooms .... I shit you not. Hahahaha. I type this and what to laugh my ass off and cry at the same time. I stayed in the north room for years, which had the attic door, which lead to the attic, which housed a big ass colony of bats. Let your mind wonder for a bit. This house was the bomb really. It had a spiral back stair case and and and ... lovely. I finally got to stay in a better room that was a bit less .... anyway. I ended up 40 completely scared of the dark. **Back to night scuba diving** .... So the adventure voice was fully in charge until I was sitting on the edge of the boat to **fall backwards** into the “**not filled with light**” ocean in the “**no sun to be seen**” sky. But I know how to tell the scared one “shhh” it’s ok. Really. And that generally works anymore. As an aside. In the yoga world, we teach that back bends in general are filled with “fear” from not being able to see what’s coming next. hahaha. So this flipping over the side of a boat definitely pushed me WAY outside my comfort zone for a moment. “BK, what the f are you doing???” “Do we really have to do this?” I know exactly where these voices come from and that gives me power to shush the voices enough to get through until the adventure’s voice is loudest again. Or the warrior’s voice ... that ones pretty loud too. (as well as working towards those parts of me not needing to express themselves so much. Healing the soft parts.) Flipping off a perfectly good boat in the “unlight” .... I won’t lie. I sort of messed up the flipping business a little bit and ended up doing a somersault in the “can’t see shit” cold water. (Yeah yeah. It’s the ocean. Cold. I had a lot of neoprene on too. Add that in for those that know). And this is what the voices had to say. 1. Nice job BK! You are going to drown because you screwed that shit up and you can’t use your flashlight right now because you have no idea which way is up and you FOR SURE can’t blind anyone use your light wrong and being a jerk face. 75% 2. BK. STFU and figure out which way is up. 23% 3. HOLY F ME. Scared. This was just a feeling, but it’s intense. (The kind that you pee. Lizard freaking brain). 3% Looks like the snarky voice won out on that. And can apparently get shit done. ;) Once I got myself righted and my light on. All was good. GREAT actually. Like maybe voices said “F$ck YEAH!” This is way cool!!! It was surprising very serene, peaceful. There was something about without the constant site of those I was diving with ... I felt totally at peace with the ocean. I was INVESTIGATING. So cool. Our guide took us to a shallow cave where we saw and chilled with a sea turtle that was sleeping. I was at peace. And stupid excited to be experience this beautiful piece of the earth. Super glad that I didn’t let legitimate fear and issues stop me from experiencing that moment.     That’s the point?!     There are beautiful things in the darkness. The dark places aren’t necessarily “bad”. That dark wolf is a needed part of being badass. That’s your warrior. You don’t/won’t heal your soft spots saying they are broken or bad. Don’t let anyone tell you different. (ps.  I'm not afraid of the dark anymore.)

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Test for your sweat rate

[box type="info" align="" class="" width=""] Every IRONMAN competitor anticipates, experiments, and maybe stresses a bit (or a lot) about race day nutrition, starting with the foundation of fluid replacement. They appreciate that dehydration can slow you down, wreak havoc with your gastrointestinal system, and lead to overheating. On the flip side, over hydrating increases your risk for developing exercise associated hyponatremia, a fluid overload condition characterized by abnormally low levels of blood sodium that can be serious and even fatal. To find your own hydration sweet spot for race day—not too much and not too little—you can set up a process to check your sweat rate throughout your training season. Got thirst? You may have heard recently that thirst should drive your drinking. While this is safe and prudent for the recreational exerciser to prevent fluid overload, we can all appreciate that Ironman events are not casual, no matter your race day goals. Just as you have a planned race day pace, you should also have a paced plan for hydration during the bike and run. However, endurance athletes will need to be prepared to adapt and adjust on race day as well. Getting started Start by collecting your own sweat data. You can start anytime, but should do this throughout the training season to capture changes in your sweat rate that occur with increased fitness, acclimatization, increased training intensity, and of course the full smorgasbord of potential weather conditions. Creating a flow sheet for tracking is wise as this allows you to review data from the past as you develop and refine your hydration. Race day weather can differ greatly from recent training conditions due to travel to other climates and venues famous for labile weather conditions. Looking back at your records allows you to confidently tweak your race nutrition plan accordingly as the race day weather forecast emerges. How to check your sweat rate Begin to think of your sweat losses as an hourly rate specific to the bike and to the run. Fueling guidelines are also described at carbohydrates per hour, so this is a good base for your full race nutrition plan development. While you are preparing for a long race, it is best to check sweat losses during shorter workouts- about 60 to 90 minutes. That’s because you burn stored fuel or muscle glycogen during exercise, contributing to the weight loss. Longer workouts mean more glycogen and water loss, so it throws off the data. It is also important to be well hydrated prior to workouts when you are completing a sweat check. Weighing sweaty clothes and hair also throws off your calculations as does consuming solid or semi-solid products during the workout, so stick with liquids. Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2015/11/calculate-your-sweat-rate.aspx#ixzz4vFxTn93z Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2015/11/calculate-your-sweat-rate.aspx#ixzz4vFtJmQic [/box] [box type="success" align="" class="" width=""] THE TEST 1) Weigh yourself nude right before a run (or bike). 2) Run at race pace for one hour, keeping track of how much you drink (in ounces) during the run (or bike). 3) After the run, strip down, towel off any sweat, and weigh yourself nude again. 4) Subtract your weight from your prerun weight and convert to ounces. Then add to that number however many ounces of liquid you consumed on your run (or bike).(1 pound = 1 pint or 16 oz. of water) (For example, if you lost a pound and drank 16 ounces of fluid, your total fluid loss is 32 ounces.) 5) To determine how much you should be drinking about every 15 minutes, divide your hourly fluid loss by 4 (in the above example it would be 8 ounces). [/box] Other Thoughts:

  • Many factors affect the sweat rate!  Check out the Electrolyte podcast for further educational information!
  • Because the test only determines your sweat losses for the environmental conditions you run in that day, you should retest on another day when conditions are different to see how your sweat rate is affected. You should also redo the test during different seasons, in different environments (such as higher or lower altitudes), and as you become faster, since pace also affects your sweat rate.

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Ironman Boulder 70.3 Race Review

[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5641824/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"]SWIM:  AG wave start, off the beach, standing waist deep start, buoys on your right, sunny on one side   BIKE:  Not flat, maybe not fast, a bit of a challenge     RUN:  Unpleasant.  Mostly dirt roads and can be incredibly hot.  Well supported.  

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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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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.

YOUR PLACE IS BY YOUR FRONT TIRE

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

DO NOT EVER EVER EVER

EVER 

Touch someone's bike or transition stuff

EVER

#nmf

ever

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.

YEP BK

YOU CAN DO THIS

FOR REALS

and

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

#namaste

#nmf

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.

Namaste

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

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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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