I'm leaving with Janet in the morning to drive down to outside of Houston, Texas, to check in for our first Ironman. The Inaugural Texas Ironman. Six months ago I felt like I had all the time in the world to train for this event. Three months ago it felt like time was standing still and it would never come. Last week I started freaking out that I hadn't done enough training and I may perish on the streets of The Woodlands, TX. Wow! The journey really is the destination. No matter what happens this Saturday morning, I know that Janet and I have grown as athletes, bonded as deeper friends, pushed our personal barriers past even our own imagination and really enjoyed all the miles we have covered together and apart over the last few months.
My thoughts turn to 30+ years of distance running and all the marathons I have done in the last 12 years; and I realize that they have prepared me for the race ahead by allowing me a glance into the depth of my soul. Let's face it, the race really happens in your head. It is a constant battle between the urge to stop so your pain goes away and the mental push to keep going because pain is temporary and the finish line is forever!
Good Luck to everyone who is racing this weekend. I will leave you with two thoughts and a short prayer:
The race is not only to the swift, but to those that keep on running....Anonymous
Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.... William James
The Triathlete’s Prayer
Oh God, you have taught us to compete with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Give me good courage to run this race to the finish.
Be with me when I am in the water and on the land, so that I may feel your presence in all things
In wind and in weather, in the beauty and the magnificence of nature in the passing scene and in the health and rigor of my body straining to meet this challenge.
May I compete in this race in a way that brings honor to You, myself and those with whom I compete.
When I finish the race, may I do so humbly and should I not finish may I accept it with equal grace knowing that I have done my best.
I declared myself heat tolerant this weekend in my recent Twitter. I did a 3 hour bike ride in 99 plus heat at 5pm in the Texas heat and could still spit when I was done! That’s a success in my book! It definitely took 2 full weeks of suffering in the heat and a good hydration plan to finally feel like my body had made the transition to feeling relatively comfortable in the soaring Texas summer heat.
Dehydration, heat stroke and hyponatremia are your biggest worries while training in the summertime. Whether you are in Texas or Rhode Island, when the temperature soars over 90 degrees, heat illness can seriously hamper your endurance training. Most of us have an “A” race on the calendar in the fall and require a lot of base training in the summer. No way around those long runs and even longer bike rides in the heat. The average triathlete can sweat up to one liter of fluid an hour while training and sweat contains about 3 grams of salt per liter. How can we conquer the heat? Preparation and constant hydration! Diligence is the key! Always stay one step ahead of the hydration curve. Remember that heat illness really can kill you and hyponatremia has taken out more than one healthy marathon runner and triathlete!
Here are some simple tips that will help you train safely in the heat:
Heat-illness is real! Be smart while training this summer! Follow these tips, heat acclimatize over a period of several weeks and be diligent about your hydration plan while training in the heat. Let’s get to those fall races stronger and without any heat-related training drama! See you on the run! Run Happy!
Cowtown Marathon kicked my butt! I'll admit it. I have again been humbled. It happens to all of us from time to time. I thought I was in good enough shape even though I had been lazy in my training lately. Too many things to do, not enough time. I was taught again to respect the distance. Yesterday's Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, TX was typical of the marathons I have run in the last two years: Freezing (25 degree wind chill factor), 30 mph wind in your face half the time, and added killer, rolling hills to the mix. I have not had good race karma. I thought White Rock Marathon in December was bad, but this was much worse and very hilly. For the record, I HATE COWTOWN! The last time I had run this race was in 1999. My peeps talked me into running it again because the Austin Marathon weekend timing didn't fit the schedule and this was closer to home. Never again....But truly it was not all the race's fault. It was poorly organized with random water stops and almost no spectators, but that's not why I had a bad day. I've been traveling too much, hadn't run enough (only one 20) and was mentally and physically tired. My absolutely wonderful running peep, Dr Steve Buksh, ran the whole way with me and should get a huge reward for not killing me when I started whining then ultimately crying (yes, that bad of a day). My hamstrings went into a seizure at about mile 16 from all the hills and we walked a good 2 or 3 miles. By 23 miles, I could barely run and looked like an epileptic. Definately not my day...but the lesson learned is to respect the distance. No matter how many times you have run 26.2 miles, it is still a formidable task and not for the weak or unprepared. The marathon humbled me yesterday and I learned my lesson....always respect the distance.
Now we can talk about delayed onset muscle soreness tomorrow when I can barely walk :)
Run Happy ....and respect the marathon or she will beat you into submission!
Is carbo loading all about eating more pasta?
Is there a magic formula?
If you are an endurance athlete who is fearful of hitting the wall,listen up: proper fueling before a marathon, triathlon, century bike ride, or other competitive endurance events can make the difference between agony and ecstasy!
If you plan to compete for longer than 90 minutes, you want to maximize the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles, because poorly fueled muscles are associated with needless fatigue. The more glycogen, the more endurance (potentially).
Read the entire article by Nancy Clark, a leader in sports nutrition.
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