Fear and How to Break Through It

Last week felt like the never-ending week. I was afraid it would not end, and crummy things would keep happening.  (Please note, these are mostly #FWP crummy things, not horrible things).  I was afraid.   Afraid that the “bad stuff” would not stop.

Fears. Fear of not finishing an event that I prepared for over six months, and spent over 12 hours the day of the race moving toward the finish line.


Looking at that fear logically, I need to:

  • Swim 2.4 miles in 2 hours & 20 minutes.  This is a 3:37/100 yard pace.  I have this in the bag.  
  • Bike 112 miles by 6:20 PM.  That’s 12.44 mph.  Practice how to change a flat, and I can do this. 
  • Run a marathon by midnight.  Run at a 13:30 pace and I can do this.  

Sometimes you have to take a step back to figure out how to move forward.

No more bare legs for this girl!

In the end, I decided that I can only control what I can, and to work on those things.  And to try not to worry about the stuff beyond my control.  Lists are becoming good. And research.  Breaking down my fear of not finishing Ironman becomes a lot less worrisome when I look at it from the perspective of the individual events and the paces required for each one.

What have you been afraid of?  How do you address your fears? 

Triathlon Tuesday: Swim Golf

It’s almost warm enough to golf, eh?:)

Each week I do a few swim workouts.  Two are masters swim practices, and one is a swim technique class with my Ironman training group.  Last week we worked on swim golf.

What is that? It’s a way of finding your sweet spot in terms of how many strokes you take to go the distance as quickly as possible.  Kind of like cadence on a bike or running.  But in the swim, you play the game a little differently:].

Swim golf – or SWOLF – is an interesting drill, intended to measure efficiency in swimming. It’s important to understand how to use it correctly. Here’s the drill (source):

  1. Swim one length of the pool
  2. Count the number of strokes you take
  3. Get your time (in seconds)
  4. Take the sum of (2) and (3). That is your SWOLF score.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4, trying different combinations of stroke rate, stroke length, and effort. Which combinations produce the lowest score?
Don't just power through your stroke - be efficient (source)

Don’t just power through your stroke – be efficient (source)


I found this workout to be challenging, and am still trying to figure out my numbers.

Have you ever played Swim Golf? 

Sports Nutrition Saturday

I’m going to periodically chronicle my nutritional experiences as I go through ironman training. For a 10-17 hour event like Ironman, proper fueling is a critical component of your race day success.  Improper fueling, whether too much/not enough/not right can override all of the physical and mental training that you’ve been through for the past six months to two years, so it’s important to figure out your nutrition through training.  Please note that I am not a dietician or a coach, so what I am sharing is my own experience. Your experience may be different.  For advice, please seek out a sports nutritionist or qualified coach.  

So far in our shorter training blocks thus far, I’ve been using Nuun, and recently started using the Ironman Perform sports drink, since that’s out on the course.  So far that’s been working well for me (which is a surprise given my challenges with finding good sports drinks over the years!)

Today, I had a two hour ride on the books, followed by a transition run.  I wanted to see how the Ironman Perform would work with my mainstay from the 2013 season, Hammer Perpetuem. I decided I’d take a shot of the caffe latte Perpetuem paste every 40 minutes (starting 20 minutes into the ride), and drink the Perform throughout.  Water as well.

Less than half an hour into the ride, I started feeling my stomach. Being full. I know I didn’t properly fuel the night before for this training ride, so I wasn’t sure if this was the bottle of wine talking back to me.  It didn’t feel like that.  I was definitely noticing it again after the first hour. Thankfully I didn’t have to go to the bathroom; it was all higher up in my stomach. Since this is early on in training, I decided to take the 1:40 paste shot but did not feel like I needed to eat. I worked on spacing out in between that shot and drinking perform again.  By the time I got off the bike at two hours, I was feeling a bit better.

For the run afterward, I had a bit of water and no issues.


I think I had “delayed gastric emptying” going on after searching through Anatomy of a Gastroenterologist’s blog.  Also, after looking at what I took in, against my coach’s recommendations for intake, I did not meet the mark in hardly any of the key areas (caloric consumption, carbs, sodium).  Clearly I’ll need to plan a bit better for next time.