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.

How to be pure

He was staring at me non stop. It was probably my man bun. I was looked at in weird ways by abusers, liars, hypocrites, cheaters with a few thieves thrown in. But they were better people than I was. They were the chosen ones, all hand picked by God himself. Anyone to forfend by what they believed was wrong, were WRONG. There was no messing with those people.

I was covered in shame, trying to hide my face using my hair. Since they weren’t pleased by the man bun, I untied it and let my shoulder length hair cover my face so I could hide behind it. I took a peek through the layers and they weren’t happy at all. It felt like they were casting me out of heaven forever. I left there with hate and promising to grow my hair even longer. I have now become stubbornly hateful because I was jealous of those who had the key to heaven. Since I was out anyways I was gonna be bad to the bone.

After watching Terminator 2 for some motivation on being bad to the bone I got even more upset because the bad guy was liquid metal and there was no way in hell I could be like that. Great, now hell too.

I took a good look at myself in the mirror and realized that I wasn’t casted our of heaven yet. I am not dead yet. I have time to redeem myself and have a clean bun instead of a messy one.I figured I’d start there. I felt better about myself. I went in to work lifting my bun with pride. It was all neatly tucked in and I was getting less dirty look and more clean looks.

I then saw someone walk in with an undercut. How dare he walk in here looking like that?!!! Where does he think he is? This is the middle east. Then walked in a women with a pierced lip. HOW DOUBLE DARE YOU? You both ought to DOUBLE DATE. I then remembered how I was casted out of heaven with mere judgmental looks. I stopped casting them out and smiled at them. They looked at me weirdly. I smiled even more hoping they could the read the smile, which read ” It’s okay, I understand. I know what you go through sometimes. And I’m not casting you out of heaven, don’t worry.” They walked out and we lost 2 potential clients. But at least they walked out knowing I was with them.

I made another decision , to never try and cast anyone out of heaven again or give them judgmental looks. We are all going through our own journey and kindness always wins. I was gentle with myself and It worked. The gentler I became with people, the more they accepted me and I them. I formed a bond with myself and a pact to never judge anyone based on appearance, race, color or food choices ( I’m working on this one ) .

And how did I get my self out of hell after being casted out of heaven?! It was one good decision. And I think that’s something I ought to work on more often. Making better decisions. 

I have rid myself out of the purist mentality a long time ago and have met and made more friends with people from all walks of life. Some who didn’t even walk much. And I’ve accepted them in my heart. It all started with a better decision. So the next time I make a move, I’ll think of the better decision and take that one step forward. We will always be on a high horse and look down at other, the purer we are. Lets rid ourselves of purity. It’s non existent. Making a better decision exists and the next good decision will be to post this.

DONT BE A PURIST. MAKE BETTER DECISIONS ( Note to self )

 

How I soul create 

As I walk towards the gazing sun with my backpack and tent, I stare at the sun and hope that like in the movies, I’ll hear a voice telling me “H A D Y….Y O U  A  R E   T H E   C H O S E N   O N E” . But instead I taste the salt that’s coming out of me only, and hear silence.

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My eyes hurt now. I haven’t worn sunglasses for over a year, but I’ve never stared at the sun for that long before. I take my cell phone out and start browsing topics I find interesting. I want to be a writer. So I started this blog, in the hope of it taking me somewhere. I already feel better. I wanted to swim in the ocean, so I walked back to my car with disappointment that I will not get to hear my calling in the desert. I drove to the nearest ocean and took off all of the heavy hiking equipment I had on, boots, prescription glasses and just dived right in. It wasn’t really a dive, I had to walk towards the shallow water first and it stayed shallow for quite some time, I was almost going to turn back disappointed but the water eventually had covered me from head to toe. More salty flavor, but this time it wasn’t coming out my body. I guess it was a good idea to replenish my salt stocks.

I didn’t expect the ocean to tell me anything, but I felt liberated. Isn’t that what we’re looking for?. Why did I want to hear my calling from the sun, wearing hard shell pants, a fleece pullover, a hard shell jacket, warm socks, insulated boots, and high gaiters in the midst of summer?  Is that the way that I want to remember my calling? I want liberty, freedom and justice for all. Ok, that’s a little over the top but freedom will do for now. Until my next post.

I was wearing myself down, doing things I didn’t enjoy even the idea, just so maybe I could find out if it was good for me or if I wanted to do that. People go through heaps of trouble and stress to look for what they’re calling is and don’t realize that it can be easier than buying a plane ticket to Ghana for a spiritual hiking trip. I have written about finding our callings previously but this post is an even a shorter cut to that. Makes any sense?

After that ocean swim I decided to mostly  do want I want (having a family prevents you from a 100% freedom but i’ll settle for  75-85%) and in regards to soul searching, I’ve found a cheaper and more efficient alternative to the Ghana trip. And probably safer too.Here’s what I do and my soul has been expanding since.

Stopped stressing about my soul. I stopped looking for meaning outside of my interests. If I don’t enjoy wearing high gaiters, then I decided I’m not going to do something I don’t enjoy to supposedly feel spiritual. I stopped overthinking what I love to do and did more of things I like and enjoy. Like this post right here.

  1. You will not feel awesome everyday. I don’t want to post everyday but I feel better when I do. I don’t want to workout everyday but I feel awesome after I do. The same goes with self love , work, teaching. You are not going to be happy waking everyday to do what you love, you will not love it everyday but you’ll definitely feel better after doing it, and that’s love. It’s messed up. Mood follows action.
  2. Take up a prova. Prova is the Italian word for “attempt”. I once thought I wanted to be a graphic designer because I like cartoons and I have a vivid imagination, so I attempted to take up a graphic design course  and dropped it 20 minutes later ( and I didn’t even get the full deposit back ). It just wasn’t for me. The seat I had to sit in, the boring software. I liked the idea of it but the reality was that it wasn’t my thing. So try things that you think you may like and see how it feels.
  3. Stop soul searching. And start creating. I started looking up classes I wanna take, courses and some I thought were fun, turned out to be a total disappointment of what I had in mind. I started creating content. Youtube, blogs, pictures and anything I could do to create. Then things and people come searching for you. Some want your help, your advice and some want to make a fool out of you. It’s all good.
  4. Create challenges. If there are things I feel good about after doing, then I try to challenge myself to do it everyday for a period of time and try and make a habit out of it. Every time I break that challenge, it’s harder to get back on, but I don’t dwell for too long, just maybe lose sleep for a day or two but then get back right at it.
  5. It’ll take time. Progress takes time, but when I stick I feel better a 100% of the time. Hang on to your happiness and good habits, you’ll be a better whole person for it. And as much as I hate to say this but patience is a virtue when it comes to soul creating. You don’t create in a week or a month. I think 5 years is a good time period to see where I have come. So don’t lose hope and stick stick stick. You fall off the wagon, fine. Cry for a day or two, make your life and everyone else’s a living hell then get back on it and feel better. Others will too.

I follow these simple guidelines for a period of time and I almost always feel better.On to creating some more soul. If you read this and felt like creating a soul for yourself. Let me know how it goes.

 

Your most effective weight loss tool

I’ve seen a lot of people obsess about how many calories they burn while exercising. I never really understood that but anyways. I’ve seen ads of exercise classes mentioning burn up to 700 calories and that class would be filled with people and bare in mind that is a lot of calories for one class.

People would leave this class feeling burnt out, and sore for a couple of days to come. All that for maybe hopefully reaching a calorie burn of 700!! It’s up to 700, meaning if you give it your absolute all with a little vomit heading out of your system, you may be one of the lucky ones to make it to 700 calories.

Today morning I went for a bike ride which was a training ride for the upcoming ironman in Bahrain which is in 2 weeks. We rode just under 3 hours with police escort ;). We got to go on highways we don’t have access to as cyclists on ordinary days so today was the exception and I wasn’t going to miss it. Today was one of the very rare days that I was all wired up to my phone. I usually just ride for without anything on me but today I had GPS, maps, calories etc. After the ride I took a look at my phone and I burnt a total of 1,583 calories! Let me write it down in words. One thousand five hundred and eighty three calories! I was shocked at how much I’ve burnt having fun ( and the occasional pain and lactic acid build up ) IMG_2410

What other sport do you know of that can burn that amount of calories with very low impact? Nothing I know of. At least not in Bahrain. The bicycle is your biggest weight loss and fitness tool that you will keep you trim, fit and awesome.

The bicycle is a great way to get outside, get a good dose of vitamin D and stay trim without destroying your body. Since its a low impact sport, your joints will not suffer the way it does with running, weight lifting etc.

And if you’re in Bahrain visit Trilife or Endura and get a Bicycle. Winter is coming.