On my second-to-last day in South Africa, I raced the Totalsports Challenge Terra Firma. It's so named because it's based off the original Totalsports Challenge that runs concurrently, and has 7 events, and Dan Hugo has won it a hundred times, and those events are a mix of land and sea stages. The Terra Firma race skips the sea stages (two paddles and a swim) for those of us whose legs are faster than our arms. So it went: 50k road bike, 13k road/dirt run, 25k mountain bike, 9k beach run. The race is point-to-point with three separate transitions, so at Christmas after a suitable amount of wine I successfully roped Dan's uncle Michael into sherpa-ing me at the race! Except ...
I went with Dan to his family's traditional vacation spot, in Langebaan, a town on South Africa's Atlantic coast that is about a two hour drive from Stellenbosch. It was a great long weekend! It seems that a tradition in this community is for extended families to vacation together, so I got to meet some of Dan's uncles and cousins and also his friends' extended families as well. Everyone was incredibly hospitable to me, and very knowledgeable of both American politics/economics and world affairs. Conversations were consistently productive. Everyone was also very active so there was lots of training over the weekend, enough to finish off the last ...
This past weekend I headed to Aberdeen, South Dakota with one of my roommates, Will Kelsay, to race Xterra Forest Drive. We had five great days of non-stop adventure, presented in verbal and pictoral detail below. Thursday: Goal departure time: 12:30 pm on Thursday. Actual departure time: 12:34 pm on Thursday. Yes! We are already winners on the road to success! One lengthy celebratory lunch at Chipotle in the 29th St. Mall (I know, only 2 miles from home) later, plus realization we forgot some stuff at home, and suddenly we are at actual actual departure time of 2 pm. Can’t win ‘em all. Anyway then we drove and drove. We disagreed over music (boys and their Nada Surf, uhgh). We compromised via ...
I learned a few lessons from my race at Rev3 Quassy, one of which was that my race nutrition protocol could use a little fine tuning. I think the adjustments I made were really helpful at Rev3 Portland this weekend, hence this nutrition-dedicated blog post. 1. Race week meals: I've kept a gluten-free diet for nearly a year now. Because I don't have celiac disease, just a more typical low-level gluten allergy, I'm sometimes "relaxed" about it. But during a race week I definitely stick to my diet. Other rules I abide by are that the last big-ish meal should be 24 hours before the race, and dinner the night before is white rice, salmon and salad. And, you ...
Walking isn't really an activity in which I partake. It ranks up there with "playing games that aren't Scrabble" and "gardening" on the list of things I try not to do. Store that nugget away for a second. Now: Rev3 Quassy! I raced this past weekend. I enjoyed it. It was the hardest race I've done yet, in terms of percentage of course that was flat (I estimate it at 1.7%, which "coincidentally" is 1.2 divided by 70.3), and also in terms of the quality of competition. I can't wait for next year! It was absolutely beautiful, and I really enjoyed testing myself under difficult conditions. We had a no-wetsuit swim, I definitely would have liked the extra buoyancy but the water ...
The REV3 Knoxville weekend wound up being a nutritional experiment for me. Saturday’s totally well-planned lunch was Ultragen and a chocolate bar. And pre-race breakfast was, oh my god, granola instead of gluten-free hot oatmeal. Really the primary “experiment” was during the race. At the First Endurance seminar I went to back in February, Robert Kunz said that for an Olympic distance race you really shouldn’t “need” any calories. In the past I’ve eaten a ton during Olympic distance races – a full drink mix bottle, two to three gels on the bike, then one or two on the run. At that point I might as well have a cupcake and some pizza! Yesterday, I decided to try ...
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