Let the Taper Tantrum Begin!

Aug 25

Sweet fancy Moses, I’ve made it to my pre-Ironman taper. It’s that glorious week where you only have a crap-ton of workouts on your schedule instead of the usual ass-ton. Unfortunately, it’s also that time leading up to the race where you go through your “taper tantrum,” a whirlwind of emotions and paranoia where you overanalyze every little mundane thing and make it out to be a bigger deal than it is. Below are things that have gone through my head this week during my taper tantrum: I feel feverish–I MUST BE GETTING SICK My throat is kind of scratchy–I KNOW I’M GETTING SICK I’m feeling a little tired and rundown–I HAVE MONO, IT’S THE ONLY EXPLANATION My left Achilles has been nagging me–THE TENDINITIS IS BACK AGAIN, NOOOOOO I feel fat–I’M NOT GONNA FIT IN MY WETSUIT OR BE ABLE TO HAUL MY LARD-ASS UP YELLOW LAKE I haven’t been swimming enough lately–I’M GONNA DROWN ON RACE DAY There have been a couple triathlon swim deaths in the news–I’M DEFINITELY GONNA DROWN ON RACE DAY My bike’s shifting has been a bit wonky lately–MY BIKE’S GONNA BREAK IN HALF ON RICHTER I was tired during my last long run–I’M GONNA HAVE TO WALK THE ENTIRE MARATHON Dr. Perry mentioned I was a bit dehydrated–OH SHIT, I’M TOTALLY SCREWED My wetsuit ripped a bit before the Friday Night Swim–I’M GONNA HULK HOGAN THE DAMN THING WHEN I TRY TO PUT IT ON BEFORE THE RACE I had a bad swim at the Friday Night Swim Race–THEY’RE GONNA HAVE TO FISH ME OUT OF THE WATER DURING THE SWIM PORTION AND TN MULTISPORTS WILL DISOWN ME Teresa wants me to have a good race–OH GOD I DON’T WANT TO LET HER DOWN, SHE’LL BE SO DISAPPOINTED Feet felt a bit crampy after the drive up–I HAVEN’T BEEN STRETCHING ENOUGH, MY MUSCLES ARE SO TIGHT THIS IS NO GOOD The race day weather report keeps changing–OH SHIT I’M GOING TO BE UNDER/OVERDRESSED AND WILL FREEZE/ROAST I DON’T EVEN KNOWWWW Thankfully, this article popped up at the right moment, telling me to get the fuck over it and reminding me that I’ve done plenty of training and I’m ready as I’ll ever...

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No Tolerance for A-Holes When the Running Shmood Hits Hard

Jul 24

No Tolerance for A-Holes When the Running Shmood Hits Hard

I’ve officially hit “burnout” phase of Ironman training. You all know the feeling–you just want to go into hibernation mode after logging into Training Peaks and seeing what your week’s worth of workouts looks like, and even a one hour recovery spin at an easy heart rate feels like a two and a half hour threshold sufferfest. Not helping matters was the fact that I started a new job right when my last big training ramp up hit, so balancing a demanding (yet thus far exciting) work load with over 15 hours of training has left me exhausted and cranky. August 26th can’t come soon enough. Last week I was faced with a two hour run that I very much did not want to do, but since I hadn’t had a long run on my schedule in a while (minus my Rev 3 Portland run off the bike), I forced myself to grab my running shoes because I figured the workout was crucial. Plus, since I was already mentally and physically drained before even starting the run, the workout seemed especially beneficial since it’d probably emulate how craptacular I’d feel at around mile 18 of the Ironman Canada run course. I took off from my house rockin’ a pretty wicked running shmood (that’s “shitty mood” for those of you who aren’t hip to the Mediocre Athlete lingo). My legs felt heavy, various body parts ached, I felt like I needed to sleep for 14 straight hours, the sun was too bright, it was hot and muggy out, my stomach ached, you know the drill. Every ten minutes I contemplated throwing in the “Fuck this” towel and heading back to my house, but I forced myself to run further out and intentionally place my groggy ass far enough away that I’d have to run back without being able to cut the workout short. You’ve all had one of those days where you feel like ass and just want to get through your workout–you’re not in the mood to talk to anyone or put up with any bullshit. All you want to do is stick your head down and swim, grit your teeth and bike, or squint your eyes and run,...

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The Quickest Way to Come Down from an Ironman High…

Sep 10

…is to get sick. I’m not surprised that Jas and I both got sick after the race. (Well, he got sick about two days after the race, while my body managed to fend off his cooties until Saturday, at which point I succumbed to the plague.) I had actually been really lucky all year and didn’t get sidelined from training with colds or the flu; in fact, I haven’t been sick since last fall. Guess it’s that time of year. I nursed a scratchy, sore throat on Saturday and Sunday, then transitioned to a head cold complete with snot and congestion. On Tuesday I decided to nut up and went to track practice to run an easy three miles (and afterwards my legs felt as stiff as if I’d run 20), but the next day my body rewarded my efforts to get back on the exercise saddle by hitting me with a fever. Damn you, immune system. I guess that’s what I get for venturing into porta potties barefoot and for ingesting Vaseline of questionable origin. Jason has taken advantage of my weakened state by constantly pestering me to shell out $1,200 for a community slot into Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Sample conversation: Jason: “You’ll do sub-12 hours. I know it.” Me, blowing my nose: “You’ll have to do better than that.” Jason: “Yeah, I know.” We had talked about taking next year off from full Ironman training and instead focusing on half Ironman distances, but of course all of that flew out the window once Jas found out that our friends Mark and Jeff were doing Coeur d’Alene, so now he wants to race with the cool kids. I, on the other hand, would like to actually make an attempt to save some money this year instead of pouring all of my available funds into triathlon-related expenditures. When I remind him of our pledge to be more fiscally responsible, he hangs his heads and pouts, “Yeah, I know” with a “you’re no fun” tone in his voice. I better shake this cold soon — I’m flying to Denver for work next Monday, come back Thursday, celebrate Jason’s birthday on Friday, and fly to Miami the following Monday night to...

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The Funny Thing About Tapering

Aug 19

The Funny Thing About Tapering

This is a tapir: This is a taper: Not the most traditional taper, but it’s how Jas and I roll. We’re less than two weeks away from Ironman Canada and have finally started to scale down our workouts. It couldn’t have come a moment too soon — I’m getting burned out on exercising and just want to get this pesky Ironman over with already. The taper’s timing was pretty crucial for us — we had a Portland wedding to go to and the Lake Stevens 70.3 race to spectate, so even though we didn’t have as many training hours, we still had to cram in a bunch of stuff over the weekend. We drove down to Portland Friday night and had dinner with a friend of ours. Jason and I got suckered into having a couple beers with our buddy, and after not having drank much lately because of the relentless onslaught of workouts, a measly two beers made me feel a bit tipsy. Stupid training. On Saturday we woke up and had breakfast with another friend of ours and his girlfriend. It was going to be a super hot day out, plus I didn’t want to run around downtown Portland, so after breakfast I went back to the hotel and ran in the fitness center. My treadmill TV was stuck on MSNBC at full volume, so I ran and watched some “Criminals Caught on Tape” show where the most recent footage was from 2000. After the run, we showered and got a late checkout. Since the wedding wasn’t starting until 6 pm, we had our bags held and figured we’d find a place to change later. We killed time by seeing a movie and getting some food, then we returned to the hotel and got ready for the wedding ghetto-style by sneaking back into the fitness room and changing in the bathroom. At one point someone came in and started using one of the treadmills. We got a weird look when we finally emerged from the bathroom wearing a suit and a dress. I bet she thought we were a crime fighting duo (or that we just got it on in a gym bathroom. Gross!). At this point...

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