Greetings fellow amateur triathletes and up-and-comers addicted to exercise endorphins!

I am currently writing you far from my home state of Florida on the eve of my first out of state triathlon, 3rd of the race series HITS endurance / HITStriseries of the year (5th overall) accompanied by my wife and cousin in the great Lone Star State.

In less than 24 hours, we three will be enduring the Marble Falls triathlon in what plans to be an epic race. You see, for us Floridians, we pretty much live at or below sea level with the only “hills” bridges (e.g. Skyway bridge) or landfills, both untrainable. So we resort to our bike trainers training in the “big chain” at high intensity intervals. Fortunately, our legs will be tested in what is known as the “hill country” in Mid-Texas. I don’t know what to expect, but my gut anticipates a true challenge.

With two years in the bank, I’ve acclimated to the sport with over a half-dozen
SPRINT distance races only until recently moving up to the (Oly) Olympic pace at Ocala. I knew going into it that race each aspect would be tough: both swimming and biking further than I ever have as well as running a fair distance.

Training for the Ocala race revealed holes in my game, especially in nutrition. One day I started with a 800m swim immediately followed by a 25 mile bike and all of a sudden in the middle of the bike leg, the epitome of “hitting the wall,” I stopped pedaling. I’ve read in theory how much glycogen we have stored and apparently I’ve exhausted any I had left. No energy left and no nutrition packed with me, I headed home with a new strategy. Eat after the swim! At Ocala, I secured a ziplock bag as my makeshift bento box for some dates and figs, which proved to be the right mix of energy helping me complete my first Olympic distance triathlon.

Here’s to finishing my second OLYMPIC!!! I’ll keep you posted.

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Oly, Oly, Oxen Free!

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