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,
6 thoughts on ““Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast!””
I love you, Dreven Dang!
Hi Steve…I’m about 2 weeks out from my TG, I was diagnosed with Gastric Cancer in August of 2016. I’ve started reading your early post and hope I’ve picked up a little knowledge that will help me out. Thanks for taking the time to share. Don
First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis I hope 2 weeks out you are finding the mobility getting a little easier. Reading blogs and the stories of others made a huge difference for my recovery so let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks Steve. I wasn’t really clear, I’m 2 weeks away from getting my TG. I do appreciate your blog and your offer to answer an questions.
oh man! Well in that case, I’ll be praying for you as you start your journey! Eat well!
I just had my TG surgery 30 July. After seeing you and Marne’s blogs, I decided I would sign-up for the half ironman in Des Moines next June to motivate me in my recovery. I have no idea if I will be able to complete it or even compete in it. I have done a half and full ironman in the past (2015). It’s been a while, but I am still active – at least pre-op. Right now I am struggling. Some days I feel pretty great, then other day I feel horrible. I struggled with IBS-C prior to surgery, and constipation is my biggest problem post-op. I really appreciate you sharing you recovery with everyone! It inspires me to believe this will pass, and I will live a relatively normal life!