As we prepare for the One Drop Caicos Adventure in June 2017, we are doing a ton of training. These training diaries are stories from the field and things I have learned from my time in training.
With just under two weeks left until we take off for our One Drop Caicos adventure, I had just one more system to test out. I have spent the last six months training my body to handle to long miles on a stand up paddleboard and in the pool and on foot and on my cruiser. Now I just had to make sure that all of my gear could handle going from a swim to a hike and then back to a swim.
I knew my body could handle the two disciplines but hiking in dry clothes can be very different than hiking in wet clothes for that precious skin that tends to get chaffed.
Once at the pool I laid out my gear for the hike It reminded me of setting up my transition area in my triathlon days, except for the fact that I would be strapping on a twenty pound backpack after I got out of the water.
The first hundred yards in the pool I was cursing myself for not training in the pool more during the spring. My arms were tight and burning and it felt like every stroke I was pulling my body through caramel.
But by the end of the 400 meters I had loosened up enough to regain my confidence. I jumped out of the pool and rolled on my socks from the toes, an old trick from my triathlon days to avoid pulling sticky socks over wet feet, and threw on my Lalo Tactical shoes.
I had no doubt that these shoes could handle the water. They were made for Navy Seals going through BUDS training where they stay wet for days on end. They never get soaked and stay light even if they’ve been through a bucket of water.
A quick check of my sugars. 106. Perfect. Now for a quick two-mile hike.
What I failed to realize in my planning was that the pool is at the bottom of a valley. So any direction I walked it would be straight up hill. And I suck at hiking uphill.
But the workout had to be done. i had to know whether my gear would work.
My drybag held up perfectly; stable and comfortable but I will need to wear a shirt instead of a tanktop. The straps hit right at the front of my arms as I swing them and after 15 miles that skin would be rubbed raw.
At the top of the hill, I started to slow a bit. Walking all of a sudden felt harder than usual. i had doubts whether I could finish the last downhill mile.
When thoughts like those come, it usually means I am low.
Another check to confirm. 75.
A vanilla Gu energy gel fixed me right up and I was on my way again.
The best part about hiking straight uphill on the outward bound part of a hike is that the second half is a pleasurable downhill and a great view.
Once at the pool again, I jumped in for a final four hundred meters. I was most concerned with calf cramps from the warm water.
A few years back I did a reverse triathlon where you run first, then bike, and then swim. And it was a total cramp fest.
Most of that was my fault. I spent the night before in a bar with Tony and Michelle who were racing the next morning and downed about half a dozen diet sodas, which started the massive dehydration cycle I was on. A bent site overnight added to it.
The morning of the race my kids did their first (and only) triathlon, which meant I was in Mommy-Mode, focused on them instead of myself. I hadn’t noticed that I was riding the 400’s all morning.
By the time my race started, I was massively dehydrated and, of course, undertrained. The cramps started during the run and progressed during the bike, but I managed to keep my feet moving and just dealt with the pain.
But once I dove into the 85-degree water they seized up like never before. Pain was at a 10 immediately. I had to jump out of the pool to try to work them out before finishing. I think the pain left a lasting impression on my brain. It is for sure something I want to avoid feeling again.
But this time, I had hydrated, watched my sugars and felt no cramps. if anything it felt good to kick my feet and give my calves a chance to stretch out after the uphill hike.
The nine swims between each cay are now something that I am most looking forward to.
I finished the workout at a terrific 115. For my last major training session before i leave, it couldn’t have gone any better. I am now confident in my training, confident in my gear, and so ready to get out there and enjoy every second of this trip.