Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nathan's Race Report - Kristin

This was a last minute decision to do Nathans (thank you Michelle!).  I hadn't done an Olympic since Marquee back in May, so I was anxious to just get in a good brick, and that's how I told myself I would treat it.  
The Friday before I got in my first century ride, which was really hard at the end because of the heat.  I was concerned again about the heat during Nathans.  When the race started 40 minutes later than planned, I knew that meant we'd be running in the heat.  Ughhh!

Luckily I had Kim there with me and we kept each other company between bathroom breaks while waiting for the start.
Because the particularly warm September we were having, the water was 81ยบ, not wetsuit legal.  But I really enjoyed the swim without a wetsuit.  I told myself not to go out fast, but just keep a strong, steady pace.  I did just that and felt great!  I also tried drafting in the water.  Unfortunately I picked a swimmer who veered off to the right quite a bit, so I had to cut back to the left to get back on the course.  I'm sure whatever time I may have saved was definitely lost on that one.  Also I had my goggles fog so bad!  And on the way back in, I was making sure to spot every six strokes, but since our caps were orange, and so were the buoys, plus the fogged goggles, it was so hard to see, and I found myself slightly off course again.  Doh!  So I need to remember to treat my goggles with anti-fog before my next big swim.  

Swim:  1500 M - 32:23

On the swim exit, I heard my friend Lori cheer me out of the water.  This was so exciting because I knew my family wouldn't be there, and was kind of bummed since they are world class cheerleaders.  

Also, my tri top was gaping in the shoulders, so I took it in real quick the night before.  Well I left the seem not so smooth on the neck area which rubbed my neck the whole swim.  So I gave myself a nice raspberry that looked like a hickie.  Classy.  

T1:  1:49

The bike course is interesting.  There are so many tight U-turns that ruin your momentum!  But it is fun getting to see so many people on the course.  Unfortunately I found myself behind some UofA and NAU tri team members, so I couldn't help but push myself to pass them.  I passed three.  Yes!  But after a century just two days before, my legs were t.i.r.e.d.  They are still feeling the tired ache when I get on my bike and push the speed or try to climb!  But I'm happy with my bike time.  I averaged over 20mph which is really good for me.  
Also, on the bike course, I heard my friend Althea cheer for me.  I had forgotten her husband was doing the race, and she was there to support him.  Another boast!!  It's so funny how that can help your mental game in a race.  I so appreciate that!

Bike:  25Miles - 1:13:36

During transition 2, I ran past my bike rack!  Arghh.  So I ran under the bar with my bike and racked my bike backwards.  Oh well.

T2: 1:37

The run, as expected, was hot.  The first lap I was still trying to make my tired/dead legs wake up, but at least was able to make myself run through all the aid stations.  But by the time I made my second loop around Tempe town lake, I was steaming.  Where you can feel how hot the air is coming out of you with every breath.  So I stopped at each of the three aid stations and downed some water and powerade, and put ice down my sports bra, down my shorts, and in my visor.  Oh man, that felt so good and helped so much!  
Also, along the run course were Kate and Patty.  They were the cherry on top!  I went to the race expecting no cheers since my family was not there, but I had encouragement the whole time.  Thank you so much for that!
Run: 10K - 56:23

So despite the slower run, I still had an Olympic PR of 2 minutes.  

And besides my neck hickie, my other souvenir from the day was the mosquito bites that were all over my legs!  Turns out Kim wasn't the only one I was hanging out with waiting for the race to start, the mosquitos were there too!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I attended a lecture a couple weeks ago on race day nutrition. It was very informative and I'm really REALLY glad that I went. Nutrition is often referred to as the "fourth leg" of the Ironman. Mess up this one leg, and your day is going to miserable, cut short, or end up in the hospital.

The golden rule of race day nutrition is not to try something out that you haven't already tried during training.

So, these past couple of weeks I've been trying out what I learned from this lecture.

Hydration is not about drinking as much fluid/water as possible whenever possible. That approach can actually get you real sick, or even lead to hyponatremia which is superbly dangerous and can become fatal. Ideally, fluid consumption should be about 20ml per hour. I think on rides with my Little Giant, I was drinking too much water, but the next topic is where I was really faltering.

Electrolytes. Ideally, sodium should be taken at 400mg per hour. That may seem like a lot, but I know for me at the end of a ride, my skin is very salty. That means that I've used a heck of a lot of sodium. I've also been experiencing thigh cramping at the end of some longish rides, and calf cramping at the end of the Marquee run this Spring.

I got some salt stick tabs and a little coin purse to keep them in during a ride. I tried them out during this morning's ride. One, I wanted to see if they were going to have a negative effect on my tummy - no. Second, I wanted to see if my leg cramping would be helped. I tell ya....IT'S A MIRACLE!!!!! Although I could feel muscle fatigue, I did not have that just about to cramp sensation. HOOOOORAAAAY!

Calories. During the bike leg plan on taking in about 150-300 calories per hour. Half that amount during the run. The body is definitely burning more calories, but the stomach can only process about that amount per hour. During my reading of Rich Roll's "Finding Ultra" he talks about bio-available foods. These are foods that your body can quickly put into use without extended processing. Think trying to run, or anything else, after a huge steak dinner. ugh.

I experimented with making some rice balls and I've been trying them out the past couple of weeks. Again, to see if my tummy gets upset or gurgly, and to see if my energy levels are maintained, or at least don't bonk.

My rice balls are made with brown rice, quinoa, chia gel and pink himalayan salt as a base. Variations include roasted seaweed, with flax meal and coconut oil, or almond meal, goji berries and coconut oil. i make little balls and bake. So far, so good. No upset tummy, and no bonking. I'm not sure of the calorie content, but If I eat two every hour or so, seems like I'm doing well.

A few more weeks to perfect the nutrition plan in time for the Big Dance, but I feel like I've taken a HUGE step in the right direction.