Monday, August 19, 2013

I Would Like To Have One

Another week of training has wrapped up, but not before we saw a huge display of bear poop on our trail run yesterday. My friend, Joie, must be a poop connoisseur because she could recognize the types of berries in the poop and conclude that, indeed, it was a bear who laid this huge dump. She also knew ‘twas not fresh.

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I am glad it was not fresh because it would suck to be attacked by a bear and not be able to do my Ironman. I guess I should say it would suck to be attacked by a bear and not be able to raise my children before I said anything about Ironman, but what can I say? (Btw, I always get it mixed up – i.e., what you are supposed to do when approached by a bear vs. a mountain lion. I know with one of them you are supposed to look really big like you are a monster and one of them you are supposed to play dead).

The run was long (13.7 miles), hot and lovely. I don’t usually run with a Camelback (just camel toe), but there is not exactly a 7-11 on this remote trail so I suck on this bag instead (mmmm…Slurpees).

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In other news of the week – I finally got fitted for a triathlon bike. Tri bikes aren’t like other bikes. Just to make it confusing, every bike will you fit you differently, so it’s not like you can say you’re 5’ 5” and pick a bike. The fit is hugely important.

You can see below in the first picture I’m set up like my road bike (the one against the wall). The second picture I am set up how I will be on a tri bike. Seat is higher and closer to aero bars. Crank is smaller. Aero bars are lower. And, a bunch of other crap I can’t remember. So, at least now I know based on my fitting, which bikes and sizes will work for me. The pain in the ass thing now is just finding a bike I can steal afford. My back has been killing me after I get off the bike and I am blaming it on my current poor fitting.

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You’ve been waiting for it. Here’s how this week wrapped up with training:

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I’m not sure what the “other” category is. Probably time in the bathroom reading People Magazine.

Bike – 97  miles
Run – 32.7 miles
Swim – 4.4 miles (~7,800 yards)

Totals: 134.1 miles. 15 hours, 5 minutes.

I think I’m holding up pretty damn well with the training except for Saturday. That day I had to bike 2.5 hours, run 20 minutes and swim for 75 minutes. I did all of those workouts consecutively and I thought I fueled pretty well. However in the last few laps in the pool (hour #4 of the workout) I got dizzy and drunk feeling. I stopped the swim a couple of minutes early. When I walked in the house Ken took one look at me and said, “I’m no doctor, but I think you need to eat something.” I have decided for sure that the reason the swim is at the beginning of a race is because if it was last everyone would drown.

This has nothing to do with anything (except that writing about the bear in the beginning reminded me of it), but did you see this last week on CNN?

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Is this a joke? If not, I would like to have one.

What kind of hydration pack, belt, bottle do you use while you run? On short runs when it’s really hot I carry a handheld. For runs longer than 1.5 hours I use a Nathan fuel belt with 2-10 oz bottles and stop for water. I use the Camelback sometimes on long, hot trail runs.

Have you ever seriously bonked in a race or workout? I don’t know if I’ve ever had a true bonk where I just can’t keep going. But, I’ve for sure had times when I felt depleted and sick.

SUAR

49 comments:

  1. I've bonked hard a couple of times-ha ha- that sounds so dirty. It doesn't happen often but it's pretty ugly when it does. Once was on a ride in the wind and rain and my poor hubby had to ride and about 18 kph just to so I could stay on his wheel.
    I use the same Nathan you do - I think it's the speed belt and I love it.

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    1. I've been looking at the Nathan 2 belt as I use a single bottle belt and am finding it too heavy when it's full. I am concerned that I can't get the bottle back in the holster. Do you find the Nathan easy to use?

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    2. Yes, very easy to use. Here's the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/Nathan-Waistpack-10-Ounce-Nutrition-Flasks/dp/B000NHLHFW

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    3. Thank you. I'm going to give it a try. BTW - Your posts are so inspirational. Good luck with all your training. And I thought marathon training was hard. Ha!

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    4. Marathon training IS hard. Just different!

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    5. I have the single use bottle and I'm not a fan either. It's heavy and rides up around my waist. I'm definately going to try your Nathan belt.

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  2. I've never bonked, but I've definitely felt cruddy during some training runs. The funny thing is that I feel les cruddy on shorter runs than longer runs ...

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  3. I also have the 2-bottle nathan belt. and yes, the olinguito is for real! here in DC we are flipping out.

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  4. For someone who'd like to train for an Ironman someday after my kids get older-i'm honestly wondering-how is your sex life? Do you have energy for you love life?

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    1. Sorry...not going to put details of my sex life on the Internet...even I have boundaries and limits!! That said, I do think it's important to make sure your entire family is on board before you commit to this. In my life, marriage and family come first. My coach understands this and supports me in giving attention to those things - date nights, etc.

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    2. Fair enough :) I guess it is the whole family going through this process.

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    3. You know-I really could have worded that better too-sorry about that. Ironman has been a long term goal for me and reading your training...it seems so overwhelming physically. I was just curious if there was still time and/or energy for date nights, going out for dinner, etc.

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    4. No problem, I think it is a good question and definitely one to consider before you make the choice to do it!

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  5. I bonked at the very beginning of a 5K in February. It was EFFING cold and I wore shorts with no cover up before the race. Walking 3.1 miles blew, but I had no choice; every time I'd try to run I'd immediately get a side stitch and my (rare) asthma would kick in. Fabulous.

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  6. Considering 7 people have been mauled by bears in the US in the last 5 days...it's a good thing that scat wasn't fresh.

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  7. You are killing these workouts! I use the Camelback that looks like a fanny pack and sits just above your ass. It works pretty well but I try to get along without it if I can!

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  8. Super solid week of training, glad the bear wasn't anywhere near by!!

    I use a handheld water bottle when I run long in the heat, the waistpacks were never my thing and I haven't bought a running camelback yet ( I have a nice hiking one but its too big to run with, it's a daypack one).

    I've definitely bonked in workouts and in races, I've cut workouts short but knock on wood I have never had to DNF a race (but there are definitely slower crappy race times from bonking!

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  9. I bought the UltrAspire Spry pack this summer and am seriously in love. I have had other hydration packs but always hated the bite valve. This one has a different spout on it that I find much easier to drink from. Plus - zero chafe and I can haul along everything I need in the pockets. I've been using it for every run and race all summer!

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  10. yup....bonked so badly during a half that i passed out and an ambulance had to come get me! i was ok for the most part but it took a few weeks for me to recover...i guess when i give, i give it all!! the funny thing was that my husband ran right by me but didn't stop and tried not to stare as people were helping me. he did a personal best though...haha!!

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  11. I wear a Camelback on long runs - it is fine as long as I wear something between it and my sports bra (I prefer running with just a sports bra and shorts!) - my first time using it I did 16 miles and had a couple of deeps holes in my upper back by the time I finished.

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  12. I only know because a 12 year girl got mauled here in Michigan the other day...bear = act big & yell.

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  13. Right you are. Never play dead. Bears eat dead animals.

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  14. I've been doing lots of trail running and my all-time favorite hydration pack is the Nathan Vest... The vest fits nicely and it has pockets in the front so you can easily access them without taking off the vest. It's quite convenient. :)
    I'm sure you could find some pics on my blog from some runs.

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  15. I run mainly trail runs and wear a Nathan Intensity 2L which I only fill to 1.25L on average. It is the most comfortable for me but I find it takes me a few minutes to get it sinched where I want it. Once I have it positioned well it stays put.
    Bonked? Yes we ran a trail race in the pouring rain and I was seriously hoping for a ride back to the car for the last 3 miles but I made it thanks to another runner who pushed me through (Thanks Katie)
    I just bought a cook book geared toward endurance athletes you may find interesting, Feed Zone Portables.
    http://feedzonecookbook.com/category/portables/ I have made a few of the recipes and they pack well and are easy to make but do require some planning.

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  16. I prefer a hydration belt vs. handheld. My poor posture just gets worse.

    Bonk? Oh yeah. We moved to Oahu in January (from So Cal) and the heat and humidity killed me the first few times I ran. #FWP.

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  17. I read that article and I cannot believe this mammal was IN THE NATIONAL ZOO UNTIL IT DIED and no one realized it was a newly discovered animal! We suck at science!

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    1. I lived in DC for 3 years...the National Zoo is a shame, no joke

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  18. Would love to hear any feedback regarding running backpacks that are a good fit for women. I have my first 100km run coming up and I'm going to have to haul a fair bit of mandatory kit with me. I only have one shot to get it right so would be super grateful for any feedback. I'm in oz so I thought trail running was a bit of a worry with snakes, kangaroos and the odd drop bear. But bears? Mountain lions? You guys must run a lot faster than us out there!!

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  19. My primary hydration belt is this: http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/full-tilt-airstretch-velocity. You almost don't know it's there. Easy to retrieve and replace bottle while running. I added a cloth tag to the bottle retaining elastic so I can remove it easier with gloves on. The elastic pocket is great to fit my cellphone (Ziploc it to keep it dry). I've had it for over two years and still looks new.

    Anything over 8 miles, I use a camel back like you.

    Amphipod has lots of other hydration products too.

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  20. Dumb question here, but I'm not understanding. Why is a tri-bike fit so much different then the usual road bike fit?

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    1. The short answer is that the geometry of the bike is different to give the rider greater aerodynamics and efficiency. The main goal for the rider becomes preparing for a run after the bike, and that means that the legs have to be somewhat "saved" for the run. The angled position of the rider on the tri bike makes it so that muscle efficiency is improved vs. a road bike. And, there's lots more, but that's the gist of it, at least from what I can understand...

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    2. Thanks for the explanation. I think I get it.

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  21. In honor of your Ironman training! Keep laughing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGlegByTDLU

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  22. On the road I use a handheld and on the trails I use a hydration pack. I have a North Face pack that takes 3l of water and have space for many other items for the long days on the trails. I've bonked a lot and usually it is due to dehydration.

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  23. I have a Nathan's endurance pack and I love it! It is even sized for women which makes it fit all the better. I use it on all long runs and almost every run in the summer.

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  24. I use an Amphipod handheld (I believe it is 12 oz?) for runs over 1 hour. My longest run to date is 13.5 miles and this has sufficed for that. Once I start marathon training, though, I think I'm going for a belt because I'll need the extra fluid.

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  25. I carried a handheld “20 oz” (pretty sure it only holds 16ish) amphipod bottle in the spring before it got really hot. Now I wear an amphipod belt with two 10 oz bottles and have to loop back through my house on runs longer than 10 miles to refill. Not sure if I’ll go back to the handheld now. I love not having anything in my hands when I run.

    I sweat A LOT (roughly a pint a mile in the summer) and have bonked hard twice so far trying to adjust to my first humid season as a runner. But I’m figuring it out, and seriously looking forward to fall’s return. Happy Training.

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  26. Bear talk: I know it is a silly fear, but whenever I see you guys running in parts of the country where there is a possibility of grizzlies, it terrifies me.

    --Grizzlies/brown bears - don't run (unless you can run faster than the person you are with and you don't like them. I am kidding...sort of). Playing dead is the best thing to do with grizzlies. Here is some more info. http://www.glacier-national-park-travel-guide.com/grizzly-bear-attack.html
    --Black bears (much smaller) - Act aggressive, make lots of noise, bang things together if you have'em.
    --Mountain lions - I would not think you should run - that is like an invitation to "come get me." Maybe act aggressive.

    I actually recall a book at our small town library about "what to do" in certain scenarios, and some of these were in there. For real. Scary.

    Stay safe and maybe get some bear repellent?

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  27. I carry a handheld and a fuel belt (4 small bottles) and usually stop to refill the handheld. The belt holds my Nuun in 2 bottles and water in the other 2. I use those waters as my last resort when I can't refill the handheld.

    I totally bonked last week running in Texas. Having spent the last 3 years training in Germany then moving to Minnesota, my body just can't handle this Texas heat. Luckily I'll be back in MN next week. Anyway, I set out before 6am for an 18miler. The first 11 miles were fine. Then I met up with my husband at a hike/bike path. The plan was for him to run that path with me then run the 4.7miles back to my parents house. Right about the time I made it to the running path (think concrete trail completely out in the open with direct sun) the heat really began to takes its toll on me. 3.5 miles of a run/walk. By the time we headed out on the road to run home my legs couldn't handle much more than a walk. I had a slow shuffle for about a mile or so (mixed with some walking) then had to walk the last 3 miles home. Any time I tried to run my stomach would cramp up and my legs were just screaming at me to stop running. That was probably the worst training run I've ever had. For the next long run (20miles) I opted for a treadmill. I was dreading that, but it was SO much better than the heat.

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  28. For runs over 5 miles but less than 8 or 9, a 12 oz Amphipod handheld. I don't like carrying a bigger bottle than that; it just feels to heavy. If it's possible to refill mid-run, then I'm good with just that.
    But I've been doing some longer trail runs, and I live on the west side of the state where it's REALLY dry, so I recently got a Camelbak and I'm liking it.

    I've spent a lot of time in bear areas and, like tweetsweet above, I have heard that for grizzlies, if they actually attack you, your best bet is to play dead, curl up in fetal position, put your hands over the back of your neck to protect it. I think it is suggested that if you see a bear and it sees you but is not charging you, stay big (stand up, arms out), speak in a low calm voice, and back away slowly - don't run. I think the most common cause of grizzly attacks is sows defending cubs, which is why backing away and/or playing dead work, because you are therefore not a threat.

    For black bears, and I think the same is true for mountain lions, attacks on humans are actually more the animal trying to eat you than to defend its young, so being big, noisy, and aggressive, and fighting the animal off if it comes to that, will make you less attractive as prey and hopefully it will go looking for something less fiesty. On the front range, I think any bears you'd encounter would be black bears.

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    1. Yes!

      I live in bear country and I was going to add something similar to what Heather and tweetsweet said.

      You should NOT act big an aggressive with a griz. You play dead, curl up in a ball, and cover your neck. With a black bear you should be loud and make yourself look large. But both of these strategies should only be used if the bear is being aggressive toward you. If the bear does not see you, just back away slowly (don't run!). If it does see you but is not being aggressive, talk in low, soothing tones and back away slowly. If the bear becomes aggressive, you employ the other strategies. In general, you want to have at least 100 yards of distance between you and a bear (and the more the better). Anything closer than that and you should find a way to safely create more distance.

      Mountain lions actually concern me a little more. Bears rarely attack unless they feel threatened (and sows with cubs are definitely more dangerous than any other type of bear--or any other animal in the forest for that matter) or are surprised. Mountain lions have actually been known to stalk people (yes, this has happened to people I know).

      In addition to bear scat, also keep an eye out for trees with torn up bark. That is a pretty common bear sign. They rip up the bark to find insects. If you see a number of trees with ripped up bark (or logs that look like they have been torn apart), it is a pretty good indicator that there has been a bear in the area.

      And of course, the best defense is being prepared. Most bear attacks happen when people startle bears. Bears rarely attack groups of three people or more (although it has happened). Making noise on the trails is the best thing you can do. Little bear bells hanging from your belt is not going to cut it. That little jingling sound does not carry well enough! If you are going through dense trees or coming around a blind corner on a trail you should holler, yell, sing loudly, or do whatever you have to to make a noise that will carry FAR.

      Bear spray is great, and has saved people in bear attacks, but should only be used if the bear is actually charging you. If it is charging you, you wait until it is about 50 yards away (scary to let it get that close, but that is the distance at which it is supposed to be effective!), then aim at a downward angle and move the canister back and forth to make a nice cloud with the bear spray. I always carry bear spray on trails where I live (we have griz, black bears, and mountain lions). Bear spray is a good mountain lion defense as well. It can run about $50+ per canister and is not exactly compact, but it is not too heavy to carry.

      Bear safety is a pretty common part of life if you want to get outdoors around here, so I have a lot to say on the topic (obviously). I have seen plenty of bears on and around trails, but I have never been threatened by one--thank goodness!

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  29. During short runs (60-90 minutes) & races (trail), I carry the Ultimate Direction Fast Draw 10 oz. Super light & a comfortable fit in my hand.
    Long runs, I wear my Nathan vest. I used to wear a belt, but prefer a vest these days.

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  30. I read this post when you first put it up, and I was like - WTF is this, national bear week?

    This past Friday, on a 20 mile bike ride with my husband in Western Wisconsin, I practically bumped noses with a black bear. I was about 30 feet away when we both discovered the other was there.

    Fortunately, the bear was equally surprised to see me as I it. After looking at me with confusion, it took off into the trees, away from the gravel trail.

    Now I come back to work this week with something like 7 bear maulings in the news, with all sorts of talk about how the bear population has just less than doubled in Wisconsin since 2000. Just about makes me nervous enough to quit riding/running that trail. Needless to say, it freaked me out that I was running the same trail, alone, just two days before.

    What do you keep with you to avoid attacks, anything?

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    1. Holy crap. That is so scary. Glad you are okay, but I bet that got your heart rate just a bit elevated!!

      You want to know what I keep with me in case of attacks? Nothing. I know, really smart. I see some runners running with bells on their fuel belts - guess that is supposed to warn an animal you are coming? I just figure that even if I had mace or something by the time I got it out of my pack, I would be done for anyway.

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  31. You're braver than I am! I wonder if anyone else on here has any suggestions.

    As for me, I started running that trail last fall with human mace on me. A guy at Gander Mtn (sporting goods store for those who haven't heard of it) helped me pick it out after he showed me how big a can of bear mace was. He was actually really friendly and showed me a little utility pouch made out of black nylon fabric that would hold the mace and everything... I think the pouch was actually meant to clip a flashlight or multi tool onto a man's belt, but it does the job for me just fine. The clip even fits on my hydration belt, and I keep it on my hip for quick access.

    Sideline - have you ever seen how big bear mace cans are? I'm sorry, but I'm not doing a 10 miler with something the size of an economy hairspray can in my hand. I don’t even like running with a water bottle in my hand. That’s why I bought a belt to begin with.

    Besides, I always figured the mace would do double duty of scaring off unsavory folks and unwanted animals, even if it wasn't tough enough for bears. For all the crap my family gave me about purchasing it last year, now I just yell at them "SEE! I TOLD YOU SO!!" It’s just too bad I didn’t have it with me on my bike… never thought I’d need it then.

    And, after some reading post bear encounter, I found this website that claims mace is enough to scare off a black bear.

    http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/pepper-spray/204-pepper-spray-questions-.html

    I'm still not sure if I am brave enough to run that trail alone again, but the website above has another page that says:

    Carrying a small can of pepper spray is a good way to feel self confident around black bears. It works as well on bears as it does on dogs. They don't go away mad, they just go away. This 4-year-old girl made this bear run away by spraying it in the eyes. The next day, the girl saw the same bear and it ran up a tree.

    http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/black-bear/bears-a-humans/119-how-dangerous-are-black-bears.html

    Not sure what I think about bear bells... I see a lot of info online that says bears tune them out much like bird whistles and water running...

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    1. Whoops! This was supposed to be a reply to the above!

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    2. Bear spray is bigger and different than regular pepper spray because it shoots about 3x farther.

      Bear spray IS very effective.

      Making noise is a good way to avoid contact at all. Most bears would rather not meet you in the first place.

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  32. Great week of training! Love the pics as well. I would never have thought what bear poop looked like! Scary bear stories in the comments here as well!! Yikes.

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  33. I use a Nathan handheld water bottle right now. I am def looking into getting a belt for longer runs (15 plus). I just got my new road bike and I am so stoked to take it out!

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