Racing with F2C Nutrition and DG Multisports

Racing with F2C Nutrition and DG Multisports
Photo by Craig Thorsen

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Race week finale


And then there was one. One more day. Our Whistler, BC vacation has transformed into race preparation for Bryan's fifth (my second) Ironman. The views, the scenery, the buildings and structures have not yet bored us. Truly, I'm thankful for the opportunity to have had the week prior to explore and enjoy as much as we could before delving into our races tomorrow. We could have spent an entire second week (if not a third) to completely uncover all of Whistler's secrets. Perhaps another time, in another season, we'll find ourselves up here again.

Today, Bryan and I finished our last tune-up ride and run before taking our bikes to T1 at Rainbow Park. The sun shown through today! Since our first swim last Monday, Rainbow Park has transformed into T1. Bordered by mountains and forests, some of the views from my bike's parking spot made T1 look spectacular. My Quintana Roo Cdo.1 rests at the end of the first row set aside for All World Athletes, part of Ironman's new marketing scheme.



We took the shuttle back to Whistler Village so we could drop off our run gear bags at T2. Again, I feel fortunate to have such a low number as to make my bag quite easily accessible. How fitting to have yet another mountain in the backdrop as tomorrow, we make our way off the bike to the changing tent before setting out on the scenic, challenging run course.




All in all, I am grateful when I think about the phenomenal week Bryan and I conclude. We've both trained for this race with two full-time jobs, and I feel proud of the way we both accomplished it all with three fur-kids and other tasks we've added to our plates (landscaping, growing our own food, and an ever-abundance of dirty laundry). We organized our training around very full lives. Yet I feel this is part of what makes reaching race day an accomplishment in and of itself. How blessed I am to have Bryan on my team. 



Here's a view from our walk yesterday.


^^ Looking up the river was pretty, but looking the other direction...well, need I say more?


Perfect.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vagina Monologues for the Ironman in training

I marvel at the view from the couch in our spacious, three-story condo. Simply put, Whistler is spectacular. Clouds currently idle over us, tangled in the mountains, yet it far surpasses the alternative: smoke clinging to Spokane, I left the city with eyes burning and throat itching. This morning, all I smell is mountain air.

After Boise 70.3 and 5 days of recovery, my first 5-hour ride met me in the way of a glorified ass whooping. I knew building to Ironman Canada would require considerable concentration and dedication, but I didn’t want to think what I’d feel like, what I’d think, and what I’d want to do 4 weeks into it.

Yet I made it. Six brutal weeks of 5-6 hour rides, long morning runs that had me up before the sun so as to be done before work, and too many 4000+ yard swims to count, I’m thoroughly enjoying the benefit: this small little town of Whistler, Blackcomb.

This Ironman will be my second, and for some reason, training for this one—compared to Ironman CDA—felt harder. Isn’t it interesting how Ironman training can make one embrace the beauty and fulfillment of a workout (of the entire experience, for that matter) in one breath, yet curse and swear out of frustration in the next? For this training bout, I had the pleasure of sharing some of it with Bryan. Not only could I commiserate with him, but he also provided a certain level of comic relief to the whole experience.

For instance, just 4 weeks into our build phase, I started receiving text messages from Bryan that read, 

            “This vagina just dragged his way through 2200 yards,” or

            “I ran. It was hot. I was hot. My penis was drowning in sweat,” and

            “I’m such a pussy. No juice in my legs. Believe it or not, I’m still slow.”

Truth is, Ironman training has seemed to make the holes in our "what's appropriate" filters bigger, and the things Bryan and I have succumbed to saying in order to express frustration, pain, or disappointment would make my mother cringe. Vaginas, pussies, and penises have made their way into mainstream conversation, and I’m not sure exactly how to feel about it. One part of me feels as though they accurately describe the moment. Another part of me feels like I need to find some hand sanitizer for my keyboard, and I’ll be damned if I’m ever to read this blog post aloud.

What's the allure of the God almighty vagina, anyway? I remember looking with disgust and disdain upon guys in high school who used it nonchalantly among themselves. I was raised to know the vagina as a body part, so imagine how I'm reeling with bewilderment when I say I've grown to know "the pussy" in an entirely different context. While I'll admit I own one, I can't ever say I've called myself a vagina outright. I may have admitted to some poor performances by calling myself a pansy, but never a vagina. And I've certainly never called myself a penis. So why do guys call themselves vaginas? What about this whole training for an Ironman thing has made us use such deprecating terms to quantify and qualify our training? Yet what's so insulting about a vagina anyway? What happened to parts are parts?

During one of our countless times climbing Mt. Spokane, Bryan decided he’d had enough following me at my measured pace. So he passed me. I thought to myself, why not congratulate him on his ballsy move? So I exclaimed, “Sir, glad to see your vagina just got a little smaller!” He smirked. It wasn’t ¼ miles up the road when I’d caught back up to him at a particularly steeper section. He looked at me and said, “I’m just going to Bear Creek Lodge. No further.”

To clarify, we’d set a point just past Kirk’s Lodge as our turn around point, maybe a third of a mile higher than where he only wanted to go. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the thought came to my mind, “Your vagina got a whole lot bigger. Can I find you a tampon?”

Vaginas, pussies, and other body parts aside, this round of Ironman training has proven to feel especially hard, but fulfilling to me as well. I’ve managed to keep my full time job as a physical therapist. I looked forward to the early 2 and a half hour long runs that fell on every Tuesday. They provided me an opportunity to enjoy a part of the day many people don’t get to see, and I could run with my two girls, Maci and Ryder, who noticeably enjoyed their roles in caravanning me—Ryder in front, Maci behind—through the woods and on trails that would soon transform into the Ironman course. We make a perfect team.

The final taper week to race day has come. We biked the first part of the course yesterday, and Callaghan Valley didn’t feel nearly as hard as the last time we rode it (no derogatory, dirty words came to mind). In fact, we entered Whistler Olympic Park and witnessed where the biathlon events and ski jumping took place in the 2010 Winter Olympics. The views and scenery were just as breathtaking as before. We enjoyed the Whistler Farmers Market yesterday afternoon, picking up some local produce—berries, cherries, and vegetables—that came from Pemberton Valley.

The view from my place on the couch hasn’t much changed since I began this post, and I hope it doesn’t. May Canada be good to us!


Bryan races as #265. I race as #141. Your prayers and thoughts would be appreciated.