First, thank you for all of your sweet comments to my last post on balance, or the lack thereof. And a double thank you for all of your triathlon questions! I’ll do my best to answer some of them here and the rest will be answered in some upcoming posts.
Q: Kimra asked, “How did you decide which Ironman course(s) to do and what were the big factors for you?”
When I was first considering an Ironman, I did the same thing that you do when you search for a PR course: find the flattest and fast one out there. Ironman Arizona is known to be among the flatest and fastest — I was sold.
Q: Alisa asked, “When you got injured for IMAZ did you know you wanted to sign up for another one? Did you know that you didn’t want it to be IMAZ?”
When I got injured and fell to the ground, the only thing that came out of my mouth was, “BIG RACE! BIG RACE!” My inability to use anything beyond one syllable words was an indicator of the shock I was in, but I can honestly say that there was never a doubt in my mind that I would finish my quest to become an Ironman.
I can pull eight of my dad’s quotes out right now that could apply to this situation, but my favorite is always, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it.” A really shitty thing happened, but honestly, it could have been much worse. I’m thankful that I listened to my body, took the three months to recovery properly and to rebuild my strength one mile at a time. When I fell off the horse, I got right back on. I never doubted that I would try again — that’s just not who I am. I can’t give up that easily.
As for how I picked the next one, I knew that I had built a really solid base and I didn’t want all of that to go to waste. Thus, with the counsel of my doctors, physical therapists, and coach, I outlined all options, analyzed race dates and my estimated recovery times, reviewed course features (I knew I wanted a race that had a wetsuit swim and no humidity/overwhelming heat), and IMCDA presented itself as the perfect option.
Q: Kimra asked, “How did triathlon training affect your running speed?”
Ironman training is all about endurance and not mapping back to the speed you would have if you were training for a running race. I’ve had many chats with my coach about this as I’m usually the one complaining, “I want to go faster! I want to PR! My speed is going away! Blah, blah, blah.” But he is quick to remind me that while you can work on your speed, Ironman training is about ensuring that you can withstand the day-long, grueling event, and honestly, survive. My running speed has definitely taken a hit, but I’m excited to build it back up post Ironman.
Q: Rhea asked, “What does Chicken Face do to help you spot him when he’s spectating?”
Q: Becca asked a few questions, “Where do you run to get in your distance? Do you do a different route every time? How do you stay energized for work? What do you do about sunscreen? What brand or type works best, how many times do you reapply, and how do you put it on when you’re all sweaty and/or wet from swimming?”
Well Becca, creating new routes takes time, of which, I don’t have much. Thus, most of my routes are the same routes around my neighborhood. If I need something new, I’ll ask a friend to go and for them to pick the route, or use MapMyRun.com to search routes that other people have uploaded in my neighborhood.
As for staying energized for work, go to bed early! Yup, you will become the equivalent of your grandmother. But don’t get me wrong, 3 p.m. hits and I want to crawl under my desk and pass out. I’ve also been known to drive to the pool after work and take a 20 minute nap in my car before I head in. In fact, I did that very thing today.
To answer your sunscreen question, I was lucky enough to be given a bottle of Coola sunscreen and I LOVED it. Organic, smelt great, I was in love. Then I went to buy some more and holy expensive! So I just switched to the generic Safeway spray sports sunscreen and it works quite well. Just spray before you ride or run, then re-apply whenever you can. I’ve also tried Neutrogena for my face and when I sweat, it dripped into my eyes and burned like crazy. Moral of the story: make sure you get sweat-proof sunscreen. A few tips from a fellow ginger who burns easily: I prefer the spray sunscreen because I can reach more places on my back.
Q: Kiki asked, “Are you really comfortable on your bike for 112 miles? I LOVE my road bike, and would not have a problem being pretty comfy for 100+ miles, but my Tri bike is NOT comfortable after about 35 mi…but I was just wondering if riding in aero for that long will be a challenge for you?”
My tri bike is really the only thing I’ve ever known so yes, I am as comfortable as one can be for riding 112 miles. I go in and out of aero as there’s no way I can be hunched for 6+ hours, but have gotten quite comfy on my bike. My best advice would be just to keep at it, get a good fit (which I know you said you had), and make sure you have a seat you like. There were a lot of other questions about nutrition and what to wear, but stay tuned, those answers are coming soon.
Oh and Sarah, you asked about my finish line dance. Here you go.
Hope my two cents help and happy running!