Monday, March 19, 2012

Answers to Your Questions about the Double

Since I have had a couple of weeks to let the experience of the double iron simmer, I think I am ready to answer some questions. Some of them are similar questions, but I will answer all of them anyway!

What sort of cycling shorts, chamois cream/lube do you use?

I rode in my ti-suit (or unitard as my team likes to debate calling them) by Canari. I brought a LOT of changes, but never did change. I use a TON of TRISLIDE (who also sponsors my team). I also used bag balm, which is a classic, and really worked. I was really really worried about chaffing. I think that the worry paid off, because I had little to no chaffing, which is amazing.

Did you ever have times when "I don't think I can do this" crossed your mind? If so, how did you get past them?

George and I talked about this some. Before the race, YES. During the race, no. Before the race, I doubted myself a LOT. In fact, I think that this cycle of self doubt and accomplishment are part of the appeal of races for me. If I don't know if I can do it, it is more appealing to me. Twisted, I know. During the race, I have moments where I think, "this is dumb," "I could be comfortable right now doing ANYTHING else," "I'm not really sure why I do this," "uuuugggghhhhh," "I am STILL riding my bike?" In other words, I get tired of what I am doing. I never actually think about not being able to do it, but I do think about wishing I wasn't doing it. And then, I keep moving, the thoughts go away, and I move on to thinking about other things. Like Pop Tartss.

What kind of pop tarts did you eat? :)

Cherry! Yummmm. I didn't train with these. But George bought them "just in case." They ended up being what I wanted to eat. As long as it is mostly carbs, I can stomach it.

How did you feel the days following?

Sore! Swollen feet, but no blisters.

What's next?

Ok--I copied these in order that I got them. I didn't really want to answer this....not sure!

What made you want to do this race?

I like to know what I can and can't do. I like to figure out my own limits. I did 3 140.6's last year, and I knew that I was stronger at the end of the three than the start, so I wanted to see

 How many total participants were there?

32 in total

Are there more than one double IM in the US?

Yes, there is another on in Virginia in October.

How many avg hours a week did you train? Peak week hours?

Average at 25 hours/week of actual training. A couple weeks higher and a couple weeks lower.

How did you manage training and outside activities (aka job, friends, family)?

Friends? I didn't really have many in those two months who were not swim/bike/running with me! Job--I was tired from sleeping less. I had to run out of work as soon as I could to try to get everything done. Family--they were very understanding--particularly my husband. He was really good about stepping in and helping out around the house.

Did you monitor your heart rate at all during this event - if so what were target zones? 

No--I went on entirely perceived effort. Aerobic drift is SUCH a big deal in the long stuff, and I am pretty darn good at monitoring my effort.

Any specific nutrition tips in race (carbs/protein mixture)?

I don't really do protein. For me, I try lots of things in training, and keep it as carby as possible. The only thing my stomach doesn't really like is liquid calories. I don't like drinks--I prefer gels and water or bars or chews. I try to keep it between 200-300 calories/hour. Anne kept track of my intake so that I kept it even the whole race. I was closer to 300/hour on the bike and more like 200/hour on the run.

How many days did recovery take (i.e., able to walk "normally"?

Oh man, when I first stood up, I couldn't really walk. John and George carried me over to the massage table. I needed help walking to the car and into the hotel. After nap, I could walk again.

This may seem like a dumb question, because of course you did, but did you ever get tired? I mean, like super-tired, can't keep your eyes open, I'm going to fall over if I don't rest right now, tired?

I was really nervous about this, but it was never really a problem. I drank coke starting at midnight, and I also had these little coffee drinks from trader joes. They were perfect. Espressos and sugar. Done. It really wasn't that bad. Now, it totally messed up my sleep for the next week, but that night was fine! I think I was just SO focused on the goal at hand.

When did you first realize that temporary tattoos on your crew were essential to race success?

From the start.

Did George ever sit down?

I asked him, but he could not remember any sustained sitting periods.

Who choose Vanilla Ice for the dance mix?

Great question. I am not sure if it was George or Sparkles, but honestly, it's on both of their ipods.

Can we figure out a way to market and brand these "ultra crewing" bingo boards?

SHHHHH!!!! Don't say that in public. Patent Pending. ;-)

Do you have an iron stomach (did you get sick at all during the run from eating pop tarts etc.)? 

I've never thought of myself as having one, but I didn't have any problems, so I guess I do! I tried and ate a LOT of different things in training, because, when you train that much it is exhausting to eat the same things all of the times.

How did you come up with your nutrition plan?

I have worked with Ilana Katz here in Atlanta, and we developed a plan. The plan means nothing if you haven't practiced though!

 What was more difficult to accomplish: all the training or the race itself?

Easy. The training. It is WAY harder to rearrange your life, manage fatigue, deal with constant little physical issues, get your self mentally up for it every day than the race. The race was a blast compared to a January of 25+ hours of mostly indoor training mostly by myself!

 What motivated you to even attempt this?

Ummmmm.....I like the long races. When I finished Cedar Point 140.6, I told George that I still felt fine and could keep going. He said, "there's no award for who still feels good. You need to speed up or you need to go longer." I sped up some in Cozumel, and then I still felt good, so I decided to go longer.

And what motivated you to keep on "moving forward"?

The next lap. I was SO in the moment during this race. It was all about getting it done.

 How long was the recovery process?

Blech. It was different than a single. There is of course soreness. But this one left me with very frustrating sleeping problems. Three weeks post race, I am starting to feel like myself again. My motivation has needed a recovery too.

What was the course like? Flat as a pancake?

Pancakes are mountain ranges compared to this course. BUT--pancakes don't have wind, and the course did. 

Was there anything you did during training that clicnched your success, or was it a combination of things?

Consistent work. I really missed VERY few workouts. You just get up, get them done, and move on to the next one. I think that having 3 140.6's from just last year really helped. I went in with a strong base. 

What would you change in training or race if you did it again?

Hmmmm.....I'm sure there are little things, but this race went SO well for me. I was physically, mentally, and logistically prepared. I had the race I wanted to have, and now it's over. 

And.... will you do it again? ;)

I'm in no rush, but never say never. I have lots of other adventures I am thinking about right now.

How could you stay so calm throughout all of this? 

I think that's part of the training. There were plenty of not-calm moments before the race that probably balance it out!

When you were out there were you just exicuting your plan and was it that that gave you confidence? 

Yes, I really never thought about the whole picture while I was out there. I was just doing the worked that needed to get done!

How did you and Coach come up with your plan? 

I didn't come up with any of it! My coach did it all. We had limited time after Cozumel, and we just worked with what I had. Coach has gotten me to every finish line I wanted to get to, so I trust in the plan. 

So are you thinking about a triple?

Not really. I don't think I like the idea of not sleeping for two nights.

Ok, well, that's all I have! I you have any more, let me know, but otherwise--it's almost time to move on!


  1. These were awesome. Still in Awe of you Kacie!!!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to answer all those!

  3. You are one sick chick
    Of course that's what my folks say about me (not the chick part), so I guess it is all relative.
    You know, They used to have a Deca IM in Mexico......

    1. They still do! In fact, a guy at the race had done it, and he had a 1406.0 sticker on the back of his car. I took a picture of it; evidently, a lot of people took a picture of it. There was another guy there who had done a DOUBLE DECA about twenty years ago. Yes, that's 20x the Iron Distance. It took him nearly a month.

      I don't think that we'll be doing either of those, but we'll see!

  4. Love all of your answers! Both the informative and the funny ones. You need to market the bingo boards for everything from 5k road races to ultras - too perfect! I would totally buy several.

  5. Love these answers Kacie... so honest and fun! :) I am still telling everyone I know that "my friend Kacie did a double Ironman with a smile the entire time". You are my hero.

    Ps... one more week and we can be training partners... when you want. And if you want to just be eating and drinking partners for a while, I'm totally cool with that too! :)