Category: Endurance Sport


The hardest Big Pursuit I’ve done so far is starting a late night cookie delivery business for my local college campus. It was scary too.

I was more scared the morning I posted flyers about my grand opening than I was when standing at the start line of the Ironman triathlon at age 18, surrounded by 40-something-aged lifetime veterans. Arguably, it was even harder than biking across the U.S.

I guess I am the most vulnerable when I put myself “out there,” for all to see and evaluate. As strange as it may seem, it might just be an introvert thing.. You could imagine that, from the extrovert’s perspective,  one might feel more vulnerable achieving something for themselves without social support from their friends and family. Whether it’s more challenging to put yourself “out there”, or to go at it alone toward a personal accomplishment, working in your vulnerable area will make you grow.

Where do you feel most vulnerable?

What is the hardest thing for you to do? What if you did it….this year, this month, today, NOW?

The following is a list of things to remember when completing an Ironman triathlon, derived from my first Ironman experience as explained in Part 1. Or, in other words:
Lessons Learned from Things Done and Things Undone (that-would-have-been-helpful-if-done).”

Draft like crazy in the SWIM:
This applies especially to the non-Phelps swimmer.
Focusing on staying with the bubbly feet of the next fastest swimmer makes it easier to:
1)    Stay on course…without losing energy from trying to sight with ever-so-often head lifts.
2)    Stay strong…without pushing too hard, while heightening awareness of your effort. You’ll be more likely to notice your draftee slowing down than yourself slowing when swimming alone. If the draftee starts to peter out too much, consider finding another swimmer to draft behind.
3)    Pass the time…without wearing yourself down mentally. Having to “keep up” with the person ahead of you is a convenient distraction from the lengthy hour (or more) of swimming that must happen before T1. This early in the race, aim to emerge from the water energized by a smooth swim and enthused to take on the rest of the day.

Carry random extras on the BIKE:
Stick a small roll of electrical tape on your handlebars. Unroll and wrap the tape around as many times as needed to hold each item, e.g. once for a GU packet, twice or more for a banana, etc. This is useful not only for items you’ve supplied yourself to start with, but also for the food you pick up at each aid station, and for keeping litter to yourself.

Prepare for the heat before the RUN:
By the time you finish the bike ordeal, everything in T2 will have broiled in the sun all afternoon. Things to remember to bring to T2:
1)    A towel to shield your running shoes from the sun.
2)    A footstool to sit on, and to make shade for the shoes.
3)    A mini-cooler box to hold ice-cold water/fuel, and to sit on, in absence of a footstool.
4)    An extra pair of socks into which to switch from your cycling socks, and to give the feet a fresh start by preventing blistering.
5)    A drawstring bag/race number belt to hang conspicuously from atop the bike rack bar, and to clearly mark your transition spot. The bag is also good for holding a change of fresh running clothes.

Prevent cramping throughout:
Don’t have salt tablets/pills? Obtain paper salt packets from fast food chain stores (for free!). Consume 1 packet with several gulps of water every 1-3 hours on the bike. Carrying salt on the run is an easy and lightweight safety measure against cramps.