I do live by this rule, but I thought I'd embarrass myself a little by a little TMI today to EMPHASIZE the fact that it's very important to never try anything new on race day (unless you're a glutton for punishment).
On race day, they give out free samples, so easy to want to just eat a new type of gel pack or energy bar, right? well I suggest not doing that unless you have an iron stomach, or don't care about that $80 race fee (or more depending on the race). I have (or shall I say HAD) a slight sensitivity to whey protein. Over the last couple of years, I noticed that I could eat or drink protein drinks that had whey in it, in concentrate but it would bother me a little.
True to my word, I am in training now. Two weeks ago, I grabbed one of my favorite pre-made shakes and had it. I wanted to test how I would react to the whey! Let me tell you.. 12 STRAIGHT HOURS of chest-strangling hand-on-the-phone ready to call 911 allergic reaction! I missed my entire workout, and I was worthless for the next day's workout! I developed a FULL ON allergy to the stuff! I really have to watch the labels! This is something you DO NOT want to do on race day! missing 1.5 days of training, eh.. sucks, but missing a race, no thank you!
People are usually good about SHOES or BIKES for race day. Not too many people would think about wearing brand new sneakers or riding a brand new bike for the first time on race day, BUT many people get that spiffy new shirt in the goody bag and think "ooh I'll wear this."
Two years ago I received one of those cool 'tech' fitted shirts at a race. I am not a 'normal' size, so of course it was tight in the chest and arms, but I wore it anyway because it looked pretty cool! Well, 2 miles into the run I could feel the skin falling off of my arm! With every step I felt another layer shave off the inside of my arm, then as you add sweat and salt, OUCH!!! Now, had I actually WORN this shirt in practice I would have known it didn't fit properly and known not to wear it during a race. All I could think about for the ENTIRE run was how bad my arms hurt. Many of you know about Body Glide or Shammy Butter - this stuff is AWESOME - put it in your bag and keep it there (but dont leave it in your car, it melts). I now lube up my arms so this never happens again, I also KNOW my gear before a race!
Then, the reason for my post today, and the TMI part! Who thinks that you should TRAIN WITH a new shorts configuration before you use them in a race? well.. you should!
I normally have no problem with bike shorts. I do not need padded bike shorts unless the ride is more than 30-40 miles. Knowing this, and knowing that I have a Half Ironman (56 mile bike ride) coming up, I decided that I should start trying out some new things with 'longer' rides. I normally race sprints with spandex compression shorts (no pad). I thought, what if I had the compressions shorts on and after my swim just put the bike shorts on over top? ...
SO!.. I began a two hour spin class (thank you mother nature for a miserable cold rainy day). One hour in, I realized just HOW BAD of an idea this was. I will leave most of this to your imagination, but see the paragraph above where I talked about my arm and the shirt?? Well now I have this problem with the SHORTS!
As they switched instructors I got off the bike quickly and removed the bike shorts, but damage was already done. The 2nd hour was pure torture. The spin bikes at this particular gym are a little too big for me and make my shoulder fall out, so I had both ends making me miserable.
I just could NOT WAIT to get off the bike and get to the run (WAIT, did LAURA JUST SAY THAT????) For those of you new to my blog, I HATE RUNNING. I am not built to run, not even in the slightest! I am top heavy, my bones fall out of place and my IT bands are wound so tight you could use them for archery practice! BUT I love Triathlon and its the 3rd sport in it so its part of the game!
I was doing a brick workout (which is a bike immediately followed by a run), so I got off the bike wiped it down, quickly changed shoes and went to the treadmills only to be blockaided by this jerk er I mean employee "hey are you going to workout.?" -- Mind you I was red faced, dripping with sweat, I imagine I was already walking funny.. seriously?? he gave me a bunch of crap about my BAG.. and made me take it to the locker room ( I wish there were signs I would have done that before hand), so much for my transition!
I got back downstairs, onto the dreadmilll and started my run.
30 min to go in my brick and I would be done! I started and I found my CHI RUN! Haven't felt it in a LONG TIME! I can't believe something was actually going right today! Normally when I "RUN" I walk/run/walk/run. BUT Today I RAN! I RAN 25% further than I normally do, and I didn't HATE it :).
Then, as I looked out over the rainy gloomy forest this giant Turkey moseyed up the hill past the large window in front of all of us! I think it summed up my day!
I survived! I'm glad this wasn't a race day, and it really shows the importance of trying ANYTHING new, seriously even new SOCKS on a training day not RACE day!