Just another day in the office: this morning I charged up the ipod, strapped on the Camelbak, put some money in the running sticks, pulled on the SLS3 compression socks, stepped into my Avia Avi-Rhythms and headed out the door for another 4-hour jaunt. It’s amazing how easy a 4-hour run becomes when you do one practically every other day. “Well gosh,” you might be thinking, “Don’t you get bored? What the heck do you think about during a 4-hour run?”
No actually, I can’t say I ever get bored. I really love my long monster runs as running was my first love since my geeky teenage years. But since you asked, there are many many things to think about actually…
- You think about this week’s training, and your upcoming races.
- You think about all your teammates who are racing in Kona this weekend and how you witnessed how hard they trained every day and know they will do fantastic.
- You think about how hard you’ve been training yourself and how much progress you’ve made just this past year.
- In fact, you think about how you have already almost accomplished everything you ever wanted to do in triathlon–according to that list of goals you wrote up for Coach when you first started talking to him 2 years (and 20 pounds) ago.
- You start thinking about a new list of goals.
- You think about how Coach always said he believed that anyone with two arms and two legs could break 5 hours on the bike and 3 hours on the run without taking drugs.
- You chuckle and think about some of the “challenged” athletes who don’t have two arms and two legs and how one of these days they’ll go that fast too…if they haven’t already.
- You think about Rudy Garcia-Tolson and how you met him years ago when he was barely a teenager at one of your first sprint triathlons in Southern California, how he inspired you to go to prosthetics school, how he went on to become a multiple gold medalist at the Paralympics, and how he is now 21 years old and attempting his first Ironman in Kona this weekend.
- You think about the social project proposal you’ve been working on this week and make some editorial changes in your head.
- You think about your family and how lucky you are to have them be so supportive, and how you promised your cousin’s daughter that you would be home for Halloween and would go trick-or-treating with her.
- You think about what you want to be for Halloween, and are leaning towards your favorite G.I. Joe chick, Lady Jaye, and how it’s bullshit that she didn’t make the new live-action G.I. Joe movie but Scarlett (your sister’s favorite) did.
- Despite that bullshit, you still hope you’ll get to watch the G.I. Joe movie on the flight home because they sure aren’t showing it here!
- You think about the cookies and iced coffee you will get at a convenience store somewhere at the halfway point in your run. (You think about all the peanut butter you used to eat every day but don’t any more, and don’t regret it. You end up getting peanut butter cookies.)
- You think about how this time last year you were at your first rookie camp with Coach and the rookie team, how you couldn’t run 15mins without your shins hurting, how Coach turned you into a heel-striking shuffler and how happy you were to leave that camp being able to run 2 hrs pain-free on the track.
- Sometimes an old song comes onto the ipod and you think back to where you were back when you first heard that song.
- You realize you are now running on the Jeju ironman run course and are surprised at how you thought it was so hilly 3 months (and 10 pounds) ago and now you barely even notice any hills.
- You wonder how much of your improvement is due to the amount of weight you’ve lost and how much it’s due to Doc’s coaching. The two are correlated of course.
- You laugh because your coach and teammates thought you were pretty huge when they first met you (10-20 pounds ago) but what they don’t know is that you actually used to be MUCH BIGGER. In fact, over 35 pounds bigger back in 2004 between your second and third ironmans. And how that would make a great blog post, you even have the embarassing pictures to prove it.
- You toss around some blog ideas in your head.
- You seethe with jealousy over James’ latest blog showing all the free schwag the Kona teammates are getting, and how it’s like Christmas in Kona! ***jealous jealous jealous!!!***
Well 4+ hours and all those random thoughts later I arrive back home and discover it is like Christmas in Jeju too! I have two big boxes greeting me and even with the runners’ high, my spirits are lifted exponentially higher:
yippee I love mail!!!
Mom has sent me back the triathlon gear I thought I didn’t need! When GreatMan was originally postponed, I had thrown my BlueSeventy wetsuit and other race necessities in with the dead warrior horse and shipped them home from Switzerland. Anything to help avoid the evil excess baggage fees. Then upon learning the race was still on but postponed, well hmm “Mom I need my stuff back!”
taking photos of yourself can be hard.
She even threw in what every triathlon superstar dreams of…a brand new Camelbak!! Oh, best day ever!! I am super excited to try this out in a couple days during my next monster run…it is a new model called the Annadel (the men’s/unisex model is called the Fairfax) and comes with it’s own sternum strap:
don't laugh, you would look tired too if you just ran 4 hours.
The two models I’ve had before (the Charm and the Hydrobak) didn’t have a chest strap so I had to rig my own, MacGyver-style, to minimize the bouncing on my back. They managed to build in some bigger compartments for storing stuff like your keys and snacks (e.g. emergency cookies for a monster run), without adding very much bulk to it.
isn't it great how the one I just used is so salty??
It’s so pretty! I love the periwinkle color, although when I do make it big and Camelbak fights amongst other hydration pack companies to sponsor me, it will come in a pink teamTBB color scheme.
Anyway, thank you to Mom, Cousin Vicki who arranged the shipping to Ariel, and Ariel for sending it down here to me!
The other box came from my newest (and very own!) sponsor: Yogavive, which makes all-natural organic apple chips. They are called Yogachips and each one-bag serving is only 35 calories with no added sugar or preservatives. They sent me a big box of 100 bags of apple chips (yeah the whole box is still only 3500 calories!!) in all five flavors: original, cinnamon, caramel, peach, and strawberry.
I wonder how long it would take for me to eat all this
My favorite flavors are the original and strawberry. These apple chips are actually a perfect match for me as Coach has been calling me a “born-again” with regards to the changes I’ve made to my diet this past year, especially the last couple months. Other than the massive amounts of Gatorade I drink when biking and running, and the monster run cookies, for the most part I’ve eliminated processed foods out of my regular diet. I would go as far as to say over 90% of what I eat these days are whole unprocessed foods. If I do eat anything processed, I’ve gotten particular about checking the list of ingredients and try to keep it to five ingredients or less, with names I recognize. Obviously this is difficult in Korea when I can’t read the ingredients at all, so much easier to stick to things that don’t come with a nutrition label! E.g. I’ve been eating sweet potatoes during my bike rides…boiled and sliced:
they're just like French Fries without all the fat
I know some of you are concerned I’m not eating enough with all this weight I’ve lost recently (that’s what happens when you get famous, first they say you’re too fat, then you’re too skinny, it never ends) but it’s funny…I think I may actually be eating more carbs than I ever have–they just come in the form of bananas, sweet potatoes, oats, and much more rice than I’ve eaten in the last few years.
these like the Yogachips have the "Superstar Snack Seal of Approval"
I have to go to the store every other day to get more nanners and taters. And yeah, I am being a really good Chinese girl now, using the rice cooker every day and making boatloads of rice! Ok, that is enough preaching from this “born-again” but I have had some inquiries on how I’ve gotten so lean. Not that I’m qualified to give out any nutrition advice as I have yet to prove that I can keep the weight off, but that’s my plan! Let’s just say I have finally found what works for me and I’m sticking to it. Clearly the chocolate croissant diet in France didn’t work.
Well, too bad my teammates all left already, I guess I don’t have to share my apple chips!
Thank you Yogavive!!