Two months ago I decided to start training for a Half-Ironman. Is it crazy? Sure, but it is all relative. I simply enjoy triathlon as a hobby and have always wanted to attempt a half-Ironman with or without a stomach, so why not tri? See what I did there? With Marne attempting a full marathon, it is simply about continuing to enjoy life to the best of our ability and to take what our body will give us each day. Reading her blog literally made me pump my fist in the air. Go team No Stomach!
In motorcycle racing there is a saying, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” Aside from the no stomach aspect of training, this venture means tackling a few new variables around hydration, nutrition, and a low carb diet. During this season, I need to keep the big picture constantly in mind whenever I want to push my body beyond what it allows me for a particular day. I have to remember that I cannot just go out and follow some online training guide and hit every meter and every mile as prescribed. I cannot sacrifice the long term goal for the immediate satisfaction of personal records on Strava.
I have to remember the goal of this race is not about finishing is some arbitrary amount of time – it is about finishing the race. So, this means in my training there will be times when I have to slow down or even stop as I navigate intermittent intestinal pain, bowel obstructions and, at the same time, be conscious of relying on highly addictive opioid pain medication. My childhood friend and a fellow triathlete, Scott, recommended a resource I found helpful in this regard called, Primal Endurance by Mark Sission. In this book, Mark argues in his own way, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast and fast wins races.” As a former professional triathlete and now a successful trainer, he discovered athletes too often pursue the instant gratification of pounding away at difficult workouts under the banner of “consistency” without paying attention to their bodies.
A couple of weeks ago I started to feel the onset of another bowel obstruction. Usually a couple days on a liquid diet and I am in the clear, but in this particular case, it took a few days longer.
I’m going to do a video blog about what I do on a liquid diet soon, so stay tuned!
For me, this means no training on these liquid days as I lost 4 pounds during this episode. Primal Endurance encourages athletes to pay attention to what our bodies give us for that particular day, and some times our body demands rest. Good advice for the stomachless. Rather than sweating about the physical fitness I was losing as I fell behind in the training schedule frustrated at yet another bowel obstruction, or another bout of nausea; I found myself freed by paying attention to my body and taking what it will allow me to do, today. There is great wisdom in reminding myself whether in motorcycle racing, triathlon or the stomachless life, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and fast wins races.”
Grace and Peace to you in the coming New Year,