Gearing Up!

So, after my little freak out, I sorted out my brain (more or less… probably less… ;)) and did some exercise anyway!

I started by paddling for 18 minutes.  That was the equivalent of about 1.5km. What I find interesting about this is that my whole body vibrates as I paddle.  I sit my bottom on a low stool and prop my heels up on a low chair or open drawer, so I am in the approximate body position, but elevated enough I won’t bang the paddle on the floor. In the paddling position, with my knees slightly bent, heels on the same level as my butt, sitting very tall, I can feel my thighs, abs and back vibrate as they stabilise against the swinging of the paddle.  It doesn’t feel like that when I put my feet down, and I don’t recall ever feeling this way when I paddle in a kayak or surf ski, so I am guessing it’s just because I am unsupported from hips to heels.  It doesn’t feel bad, just kinda weird.

After my paddle I was feeling a lot better about everything, so I went for a run. I was scheduled to do 6km, but as I have a 10km race on Sunday, I thought I should probably aim for 10, but only got through to 7, then my knee said “nope”.  But on the up-side, it was a personal best 7km run!  A good three minutes faster than my last 7km!  So will have another run on Friday, hopefully 8+ and then on Saturday, a brisk 5km, so that I am ready to go through the 10km on Sunday.

Following my run, I came in and did an hour of spinning.  Damn the good music I had going, because I was spinning like a maniac, and the last four minutes were absolute killer!  I got off and was shaking so bad I could barely keep my balance to stretch out!  And there it was, two hours of exercise pumped out after I chucked a sad and thought “I just can’t!”

Well, yes, I can!!

So, anyway, I have been thinking (you have a lot of time to think when you spin, run, anything for long periods of time) about my gear situation.  So here’s what I think I’ll need to organise and prepare to do the day right, and maybe a few questions along the way:

The event starts with a run.
Considering the condition of my shoes, I am going to need a new pair of shoes, and probably sooner rather than later!  My big toe is starting to poke out of the top of the left one!
As for clothing options, I’m not too worried about what I wear when I run, I have plenty of comfy workout clothes that I run in and will have something to suit most weather conditions.  However, I have been playing with the idea of getting a tri-suit or long skins bottoms to wear for the whole day.  If I have a base layer of long skivvies and a tri-top (just a crop exercise top suitable for swimming) then I can wear that all day and will only have to add a few items, like a longer sleeved shirt against sun, or wind or so on… then again, that’s 8 hours in the same clothes and sweating like a pig for at least 5 and a half of them!  Piew!

The run leads directly to the river and you have to go down this steep and slippery bank to get into the water.  There is one obligatory portage, and more if it’s a dry year (and so far it’s been a dryer than usual winter in this catchment area) so there is the potential for more carry points.
So I need two things: a kayak or equivalent that is light enough for me to carry, or rugged enough for me to drag without getting damaged. I also definitely want shoes on for this leg, because you have no idea what’s in the water. So my debate is whether I should take the time to change out of my runners and into some water shoes (I have a pair, but they are so worn from Aqua classes that I’ll need a new pair), or if I just save the transition time and hop right in in my runners.
Downfall of the runners is that they will be wet and soggy by the end.  But if it’s a hot day there will be time to dry them at the lunch break.
I will also want a small ration pack and an electrolyte drink on the kayak, and I will take a short break to refuel.

Lunch Break:
The lunch break will be 30-60 minutes, depending on how slow I am… chances are good it’ll be 30 minutes, as there is a mass start 30 minutes after the last iron person finishes the canoe.  That’ll likely be me 🙂
I will need to take this time to eat something really recharging.  Rice and veggies, which is something I can exercise on, and will be very nourishing, will probably be on the menu. I’ll need to consider this carefully because I’ll need to eat well, but not feel too gross to get in and swim a very hard 1km open water swim!
I will also need to find the toilets, because this will be my last chance until the end of the race, and that’s probably 2-1/2 to 3 hours away.

So, if I’m in a tri-suit or skins I can just swim as I am.  Though the water could be cold, and a wetsuit, even a shorty could be very handy to just keep the core temp in check.  Goggles will be critical, and a swim cap would probably be good too.  I do have a shorty and the goggles and cap already.  The swim ends with a run up a muddy slippery bank, done barefoot, and then you sit for the transition to the horse leg.

If I’m in long tights the whole time, I won’t have to try to dry off enough to pull on long pants for the ride, as I have seen some iron people do. I’d just have to dry my feet, put on socks and shoes, and I’m thinking I could go back to my runners if I get enduro cages on my stirrups.  Then pull on the bib, put on the helmet and mount up. I have a synthetic saddle, so my wet seat won’t be an issue.  I’d like to have more food and water available on the saddle, and will need saddle bags that suit, so these will be a priority to purchase and test in the next little while. I’d like to also have a small first aid kit on hand, and a hoof pick, just in case something unexpected comes up.
This leg will be my best opportunity to be sure I have legs left for the bike ride.
Most importantly, though, with the horse leg, is my strapper.  I need one, possibly two people, that can tend to TK when I am doing all the other legs, who can saddle him, feed him, prep him, cool him, pulse him down, and tend to his needs while I am not around. Mat is an obvious choice, as he knows TK and the familiar will help with his pulsing down and vetting through cleanly. My cousin, Nell, has also offered to help with this, which is great, because then they can trade off and the horse gets constant attention. We will need to bring lots of water, sponges, feed, cooling blankets, a stethoscope, and possibly ice bags for the legs (though I don’t anticipate riding him that hard).  The strapper will also be responsible for moving the horse float from one location to the other, and then taking TK back to his paddock to rest once through the vetting stage, so they’ll have to be able to load him as well.

I, on the other hand, will simply run across the horsey finish line, hand my boy over and hop onto a bike, and won’t know if we vetted through until I cross the finish line in an hour and a bit’s time!
For the bike leg, if I am already wearing my runners, I will be able to just change helmets and hop onto the bike and go for it.  I don’t use toe clips, I use half-clips (like a cage), so I won’t need to change shoes again.
My bike is well and truly due for a complete service, but once that’s done I should be ready to rock and roll.
More water on the bike, and probably an electrolyte drink and a carbo shot would be good to have on the racks.  I need to reinstall my drink holder, and want to install a second one too.

I will really really want a toilet, and to sit down.
I think I will want hugs from everyone who is willing to hug a sweaty Iron Woman!!
I will have to remind myself to stretch or I will seize up!
Then I will want food. I’m thinking burger with the works, or similar.
Then I think there will be some definite sleep required! 🙂

I plan to book a massage for Monday late morning, and would like to take Monday off work.  I think I’ll also schedule a follow-up massage on the Wednesday.

I will probably be hurting for awhile, and will need lots of refuelling to keep myself sane and healthy!

And there it is, the start of the formulation of a plan! 🙂

And a bit of shopping to do…

But for now, off to Body Attack! Not going to miss it this week! 🙂


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