“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” – C.S. Lewis
Endurance sports is really about the journey. It is a never ending opportunity for growth and self exploration. Throughout this process plenty of mistakes are made and sometimes it can be a bit fun, humorous, and emotionally painful to look at some of those moments that didn’t go quite as planned. Here are just a few of mine. Enjoy!
- We are lost – During a 3 person team adventure race that took place during the night, myself and another teammate took a wrong turn during the mountain bike portion of the race. We road about 10 minutes before finally turning around and sensing something wasn’t right. Our third teammate was on course and waiting for us further up the trail. I don’t think he was happy with us as he had minimal light source that pretty much died in the middle of the woods while he was alone.
- 500 calories = Puke – During the start of the marathon leg of Ironman Wisconsin I ingested 500 calories worth of gel. That would be similar to inhaling five bananas and then saying to yourself, “now go run!” It didn’t work. I bloated like a whale and found a Spiffy Biffs to puke in 10 miles later. I was digesting nothing! I felt a lot better after cleaning out though and I didn’t look nearly as pregnant.
- Missed turn – In the bike segment of a duathlon (run-bike-run), myself and another racer missed a turn on the course. Luckily we figured it out pretty quick but had to back track about 25 yards. A little bit of a momentum killer when you are traveling 20-25 mph.
- Cone head – Exiting the lake after the swim portion of a triathlon and attempted to take the swim cap off by pulling from the top of the cap. That doesn’t work! The rubber merely stretches, yet the cap remains attached to your head. Nice!
- Old Shoes – When I first started getting into running, I was wearing old trail shoes. I was getting completely beat up from the running on the road until I picked up a new pair of road running shoes. Ah, so this is what it should feel like.
- No fat – For a short period of time I was on a virtually no fat diet. Healthy fats are critical for proper body functioning. Maybe that was why my hair was falling out and I couldn’t sleep.
- Not in the chip bucket – Running hard during the run leg of a sprint triathlon and as I approached the finish I could hear runners behind me. I found another gear but was red-lining a bit too much and could feel some acid buildup in my stomach. Immediately after crossing the finish line, I had to puke. Instead of puking on the ground I found the nearest thing I could grab which was a bucket that had all of the timing chips of racers that had finished. Oops. I said I would bring it down to the lake and clean it out but the volunteers said not to worry about it.
- Friction – A few wetsuit swims and long runs in the humidity without a skin-protectant introduced me to my close endurance sports friend, BodyGlide.
- Clip-less – My first ride with clip-less pedals on my mountain bike sent me to the rocks within about five minutes of riding as I was trying to negotiate a rocky section that required me to put my foot to the ground. Well, that didn’t happen.
- Where is my bike – After finishing the swim during a triathlon and then running to my bike in the transition area which contains 200 – 1500 other bikes has been a bit of a challenge more than a few times. Nothing like the guy running up and down the bike rows looking for his bike.
- Cute Shoes – I bought some trail shoes because I liked the style of them and didn’t worry about the foot type they were designed for. Well, they weren’t for my type of foot and created a few knee tweaks after about one or two runs in them.
- Root monster – I was finishing a seven mile trail run in which I was trying to push a bit of effort. I was in fairly good running shape and was preparing for a fall trail race. 50 yards from finishing my run, my foot clipped a root and I went down. I jacked up my periformis and ran minimally during the following two months.
- 10 down, 40 to go – I decided to start running hard in a trail race after completing 10 of the 50 miles. Um, not smart. I did have plenty of time to reflect on this choice during the rest of the race. Interesting conversation were had in my head.
Feel free to share some of your endurance sports blunders. I am sure we could all relate in some way. Consider this an endurance sports therapy session.
Posted on 23 Jan 2009
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