IRONMAN BAHRAIN RACE REPORT 69.1

The alarm went off and it was 4:15 am. I slept at 12 cause who sleeps on race night right? The dude on stage said even pros don’t so I figured I won’t even try and just stay up and stay relaxed. I had slept well 2 nights before so all was good I guess. The alarm goes off. I wake up, drink water and figure it’s still early anyways, so I lie down a little more. It’s funny how I’d fall fast asleep an hour before transition opens but no sleep would come to me 5-7 hours before. Weird.

I wake up again, have some more water and make a 7 banana smoothie not because I want to but because I have to. So I force some down. Gotta get a cleanse going. I then mix 2 electrolyte drinks with powders I got online and are suppose the best stuff out there. I have never tried them before. I always try new stuff on race day. A friend of mine recommended I take his pre work out powder supplement because it helps so much in the gym and it would keep me going long and hard. Now this is some funky stuff. Basically it’s a shit ton of caffeine with some anti-oxidants thrown in. Now, I NEVER drink caffeine anymore and haven’t in over 2 years. Which is great cause that will make me caffeine sensitive and it will work even better, right?. The container said take one scope but my friend recommended a scope and a half since its a long race. I was heading there not knowing that  the swim has been cancelled, we were suppose to start at 7. So I took it at 6:30 so that the caffeine kicks in. The swim got cancelled due to strong currents ( which I was disappointed about but applaud Ironman Bahrain for putting out safety first ). Race started at 8:15. I was jumping around the start line waiting for my batch’s turn. ( Every 5 athletes were sent out to the bike transition within a period of 15 seconds or so) . I had one gel on me only for emergency just in case I needed it. It was caffeine based, it was GU caramel macchiato caramel machiato

MY turn came up! I sped to T1 and passed my bike, had to run back and look for it carefully. The adrenaline was really kicking in. As I took my bike and took off, I saw the GU gel on the floor, had no idea how it fell off, I picked it up and got on the bike and away I went. ( Later saw another Gel on my race belt. Turns out someone dropped the one I picked)

All I had for nutrition were in my bottles and I wasn’t going to eat anything. That was the plan. We had one lane to ourselves and  the other 2 were for drivers. This year the race was way more organized, less people were complaining. The wind was brutal, at first all we had was head wind and I was just pushing through. After passing the Bahrain Bay bridge and heading towards city center mall was super windy that a few bikes in front of me were going side ways due to the head wind.

At the 22km mark exactly, my stomach began to hurt a little, then the more I pedaled the more it hurt. At 26km the pain was unreal. I don’t ever remember having this much stomach pain. I was riding with one hand on the handle and the other rubbing my stomach. I was barely pedaling. All I could think of at the time was is this what woman have to go through every single month? MY God. The pain was getting worse and then at 36k I stopped on the side and got off my bike. I was butt sore from not spending nearly enough time on the bike and my stomach ache nearly put me in tears. Lots of athletes passing by asked if I was okay, everyone’s trying to be nice while fighting their own battles. You can always appreciate a good gesture knowing what everyones going through. That’s it I wanted out, but the only way out was to get back on my bike. It was a tough time and not a porta potty in sight. I wasn’t sure if it was the pre work out supplement or my mixes or the combination of it all. It was then just me and the highway and everyone else passed me by then. All eyes were on  me.Some looked at me with pity, some with sympathy, some with curiosity.I felt like Simba when he was deserted and left for dead   ( for some reason Simba always pops into my head )help simba

10-15 minutes later I got back on my bike and slowly pedaled, just wanting to get somewhere I can get off. At 50k the pain was completely gone and I began to push real hard to make up for lost time.I must have passed around 20 cyclists and then I decided to finish the bike leg. I was getting hungry and took the GU gel and stared at it for a second, feeling very afraid. This gel was either going to make me or break me. I took it. Thank God I didn’t get anymore stomach ache but got a burst of energy. And from there I went head to head with the wind.

Now when it got really windy I would tell my legs,” easy girl, easy”. Don’t know why i’d call them that but it worked and I’d spin on a low gear with high cadence and just embrace the head wind. I reached  T2 in 3 hours and 32 minutes ( not counting the 10 mins stop). I got off the bike put on my running shoes and visor cap and surprisingly didn’t quit yet. I continued running. I decided to use the bathroom to urinate because I didn’t want to half way of the run. Legs were mush but guess I was going to run anyway. Entering the bathroom, luckily saw a cleaner there who was kind enough in helping me unzip my suit from the back ( also the 1st time wearing this suit to a race) . After the bathroom, I started jogging again and maaaaan was it hard to get running again. My legs were so stiff, mainly my thighs felt locked up. I asked myself whether I really wanted to do this. “Are you really going to run a half marathon Hady? really? Your longest run being the 10k a month ago and before that…? ” So I felt an injury coming. I could have run it but I don’t have that racing mentality anymore. That do it no matter what mentality, even if you finish crawling. I have nothing to gain by doing it and a lot to lose. I could have done it and injured myself and spend time recovering. I’m all about health over fitness. I used to race no matter what before and I did finish races and ended up injured a lot. Not doing that ever again. I don’t have anything against that mentality IF you’re well trained. I know my body very well and it was trying to tell me something and I listened. Sure this is a mind game but we need to get out of this physically well or as well as we can.But me knowing what I knew, training for a month, that was enough reason to get out of it. So after 2.2k I headed to the finish line smiling and everyone cheering me thinking I actually finished the race. Awkward moment there.

After the finish line we had chiropractors and physiotherapists to work on us and boy was that that the highlight of my race. I had a sore upper back and burning thighs. The physiotherapist did some voodoo on me and I was up and cracking. Fantastic work, I felt rejuvenated. They’re an awesome clinic called In touch, and they definitely In touched me very well. You can check them out here

One of the main reasons I wrote this post is tell people that “it’s okay “. It’s okay to forfeit a race if you feel you’re going to get injured. It’s okay to listen to your body when everything else is telling you to push. It’s okay to tell people you DNF ( did not finish) . This doesn’t mean you’re a quitter, this means that you have raised above opinions and criticisms and you listened to the one most important and sacred thing to you. Your body. But if you want to go all out, knock yourself out, i’ve done it a lot in the past and it’s an experience. It’s worth it for some and they love it!! It all depends on what it means to you. I choose health over fitness and I urge you to do it at least the majority of the time.

And here’s how I celebrated my DNF . Best vegan pizza I’ve had so far.
pizza

I want to personally thank Sh. Sager and the Ironman Bahrain team ( Suzy, if you read this, awesome job) tri life for being there for the athletes and for taking customer service a notch up, and for always looking out for me. Endura, the amazing volunteers, and everyone who cheered me on, and last but definitely not least Intouch.

Advertisements

How I stay trim year round

I’m trim all year long with sometimes little to no exercise. I remember winter last year I was super busy and was ordering and eating out every single day, and of course what do we do on the weekend? You guessed it We eat out some more! I gained 8 kilos, and no not muscle but by fat! Fat that gave me man boobs, a horrible belly and maybe a cute butt.

It was a harsh time. Then I cut down eating out to 90%, eating the same exact foods I eat out but home made. I lost half the weight. I was shocked. I’m eating the same amounts and eating the same type of foods, why did I gain weight at the time? It’s the sh** they put in our foods. That’s what got me big. I really hated my man boobs. I’m glad to have regular boobs right now. Really puts me at ease. Then came ramadan and I went like 80%-90% raw and lost all the weight that I put on. I was literally stuffing myself with bananas, mangoes, avocados and watermelon. What a beautiful month of raw foods. Miss it. I vlogged about it almost daily on my Youtube channel, you can check out the series right here

So what do I eat to stay lean all year round? And mind you, I’m a foodie. I’m all about the vegan dishes that make you go…mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmm. Here’s a typical day in the life of what I eat. In the morning I always start with a liter of water. Then depending on if I’m working out or not I eat. If I am then I just have a date or 2, or nothing. Smash in a liter of water while and then hit breakfast. Breakfast consists typically of fruits. I usually make a smoothie in the morning. Here’s a recipe that’s a staple for me. Coconut water/milk or regular water, 12 bananas, blueberries and chia seeds. The base is always at least 10 bananas, the rest I just throw in what I have that day.

Lunch would be a cup of rice ( a cup of rice is what some cook for a whole family of 4) , some steamed veggies, or a vegan stew along side that.

Dinner maybe another 10 bananas, or some baked sweet potatoes. Sometimes around 3-4. It’s great with cinnamon and brown sugar. Ahhh man, I’m drooling.  But here’s the thing most of my food has very very very little to no oil or salt on it. We condiment our food using spices, herbs, lime, homemade sauce/dressing etc. My food is always naturally low in fat, and high in carbs. I don’t mean processed carbs, but whole food plants. All from mama nature. Mother’s always got it right.

This is a typical day for me and slightly varies from time to time.

Welcome to the high carb world where restrictions of portions isn’t just in my dictionary. To see more of what I eat or my shenanigans, follow me on Instagram @elcotth or add me on Facebook: Hady Elcott. Here’s also another way I stay lean.

Cut carbs Cut life.

 

 

5 days to ironman 70.3 Bahrain

I’m sore  and haven’t tapered yet. Ordered top of the line nutrition and a wrong order arrived. I have been swamped with work and cannot say no to it, because as a freelancer you just can’t refuse work, not at this stage of my life at least.

I’ve trained for this race for under a month. My longest run was the 10k I wrote about around 3 weeks ago. And it wasn’t even fast. I’m trying to sleep more, but it can be challenging.

I have a few ticks up my sleeve and will see how it goes. Humble goal: 6:30, non realistic goal: beating last years time of 6:10 ( which I was kind of in shape for ) and the  unattainable goal under 6 hours.

For now, eat super well, try and get as much sleep as I can and easy workouts. Work load is increasing by the day. That’s good if it was any other time. But that’s life. Throwing curve balls at me. Just have to me focus and deal with it the right way.

To all you tapering. I salute you. See you at the start line.

Today’s triathlon!

It started at 6:30 am. By 5:45, I was I having breakfast (dates and bananas) and sipping on a liter of water.

I told myself I have loads of time, but the water I was sipping on ( 1 liter ) really made time fly. It was 6!!!! I got my bike, packed my bag and just took off and in the car  I realised that I  forgot my swimming cap and goggles in my apartment, so I took 10 seconds to decide  whether I go back for them or not, I ended going back up since they were essentials and I’d basically be setting myself up for a disastrous swim.

I get there 6:20 and the bike racks are all taken and there’s no place for mine, so I was forced to lean it against a wall somewhere behind all the bikes. Anyways I get to the beach and 2 minutes later and its showtime! It’s 2 laps of 750m. The first lap was a technique mess where everyone is just struggling to get in a good swimming position and we’re all trying not to get sucker punched or kicked by the swimmer next to us. The second loop was very smooth for me, I had a good steady heart rate and I was using the best technique I know of and did pretty good ( 34 mins). Not bad for a 6 day swimming training plan ( which I only did 5 of ).

Then moving on the bike, I put on my shoes and ran to the start line and took off nice and easy, I haven’t been on a bike in 2-3 months and the last time I actually was on a bike I did a 20k ride which I struggled to complete. I was mentally prepared cause it was all a big nice day out where I get to ride my bike. Everyone was passing me and I enjoyed smiling at them and giving them a thumbs up. So this was also a 2 loop course (20/20) and the first loop was pretty easy but the second loop wasn’t hard but boring, all I was thinking of is how can people ride for 180km, GOD!!

I had no motivation to push whatsoever, I just wanted the ride to be over with, I wasn’t really tired, just had a sore butt due to not being on the saddle for a long time.Then comes along a friend ( bless her ) and we start and have a conversation about kids and she just gave me that push ( thanks Dana, oh and by the way she’s a mother who has a one year old, now feel bad for yourself for not working out) and I eventually left her behind but that conversation and her faster pace made a world of difference. I finally finished in 1:30 ( one hour, 30 minutes and not one minute, 30 seconds. I’m not there yet) and I was pretty pleased with myself for riding on a pretty good pace with no pain on ZERO training.  Then I handed over the chip to my fellow team member to go out and run. Boy, was I glad that it was over cause the weather was beginning to get hotter and it got brutal, so I finished in perfect timings where I enjoyed a good breeze on the bike. She arrived half dead from the 10k run, it was definitely a hot one. I got sunburnt  

 and I promised myself I’d sleep early but here I am.

ok FOOD. Most people wonder what I ate before the race and I mentioned it above but that’s the wrong question . The right question is what did you eat the day before? We run on last night’s glycogen on not on breakfast. For dinner the night before I had an amazing banana date smoothie that tasted like candy. 

  

  

 Anyways its past 12 so maybe I should name this ” The triathlon I did the day before?”

Why I hate Les Mills

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Les mills. Here’s a wikipedia definition:
Les Mills International is a New Zealand company that is the world’s largest provider of choreographed exercise-to-music group fitness classes distributed to health clubs. The first Les Mills program was BodyStep, with BodyPump being the first program released internationally. There are currently 14 programs,10 which are classified as “group fitness”, three which are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs and one that is classified “youth fitness.”

Now, why do I hate them? After attending many of their classes and being inspired to become an instructor myself, I realized that they’re just too much. Let me explain, they are dedicated  to excellence, while no one is excellent why even try, let alone try hard? Their workshops are filled with knowledge that helps you understand why you’re actually doing the workout and why you’re doing that particular set! Pfft, people just want to work out! Wrong or right!!

To be an instructor you have to go through a grueling 2 days of intensive workouts, information and you should even pay attention to the details. Could they make instructor’s lives any harder?

They worry about safety and always give options so that anyone and everyone can be a part of the experience. Mmmm not everyone wants to work out, God. Even my grandmother could join a class and have options. Embarrassing.

As instructors we have to cue direct and clear instructions so that everyone can understand AND it has to be kept simple. Why can’t we just take the microphone and sing along the whole song while we perform our workout, they can follow you know!?

And here’s their motto: “We’re on a mission to create a fitter planet. This doesn’t mean making people work out. It means helping people fall in love with fitness so that they want to work out.” I mean the planet is doomed, so let’s not try to save it. Sure it has inspired millions and they have changed lives, including mine to the better. Still….the planet is doomed.

So if you want to be a part of class that are on a mission to create a fitter planet, to inspire you to become a better and stronger you. To push you to limits that you had no idea you were capable, then by all means you can check out clubs such as Reps, fitness first and Dessange that are in Bahrain. But I know that we as human beings need nothing like this. We are doomed, so let’s just sit back and contribute to the destruction.

Les Mills Black JPEG

How we cater to obesity.

We were talking today in the break room and one of my colleagues felt very tired  cause they had walked a little today and we were then discussing how this country isn’t buit for walking at all. The weather doesn’t help, the dust doesn’t help, and clearly the lack of proper public transportation isn’t helping as well.

what are we to do when the infrastructure doesn’t cater to an active lifestyle? Here are a few tips that I do and some that I need to do more of. These were tips were discussed in today’s class as we brainstormed ideas

  1. Exercise: is a great way to get active, fitter and to improve our overall lifestyle. In Bahrain, we have many clubs that you can be a part of, think of something that you’re passionate about and go for it. Martial arts, running, cycling etc. This will help you stay motivated and will give you goals to work towards, especially if you’re part of a club/gym. A free option would be to gather friends/family and go to your nearest park and go for a walk/jog/run.ex
  2. Move a lot around at work : Use your workspace to walk around, every now and then. Get up and get moving. I usually go to an empty class secretly and do some jumping jacks or push ups. A more acceptable thing to do would be to just stroll around the office every 15 mins or so and slack off a bit.move
  3. Diet: I cannot emphasize how much diet plays a role in the battle against obesity, heart disease and even cancer. Eat a plant-based whole foods diet and beat all that preventable crap!fruits
  4. Active social activities: Here’s a fun one. Instead of going to coffee shops and staring people every week , a fun thing to would be bowling 🙂 or even billiards. We have plenty of those here in Bahrain, You’re being active, social and kinda getting fit there. Or go for a walk versus sitting down to talk trash. Think about it.bowling

Anyways, I’ll keep this short since I’m typing this as I’m standing.

Stay active and don’t let preventable diseases win.