Monday, October 3, 2011

96 Hours of Adrenaline

It's a new event that starts in Kansas City, takes you thousands of miles to Los Angeles, and ends back in Kansas City.  You will drive, fly, run, swim and walk for 4 days straight and whenever you are awake, you have to keep track of a 3 and a 1 year old child that you have to take with you and bring back to Kansas City ALIVE and uninjured.  Sounds like a daunting task, doesn't it?

The odd thing is, parents do this ALL THE TIME!  Good grief how do they do it?  I was a little leery of missing out on some training days, but managing small children at beaches and amusement parks required amounts of physical endurance I didn't know I had and I'm still recovering!

And here is the top 5 ways a family trip will prepare you for your next ironman race:
  1. While your wife will manage the kids and a diaper bag, you will get strength and endurance training by carrying your luggage in a transition bag backpack, your wife's bag, and 3 smaller bags for the kids.  You must carry these on the plane, through the plane, throw them on the overheads (down the isle from your seats since everyone put their stuff in the front bins) and then carry them off.
  2. Organization.  Your planning skills will be put to the test to make sure you have all you need for 4 days AND all your 2 kids will need for 4 days.  You will need to pack your gear as such to get to the liquids (for YOU and KIDS) and any computers at security WITHOUT holding up the line for 30 minutes.  Did you bring enough diapers?  Bring enough formula?  Bring snacks?  Bring enough changes of clothes?  Bring the right clothes for the weather?  Bring a stroller to lessen the load for item #1?
  3. Patience.  Triathletes are known for a lack of patience at times on race day.  So many are tempted to get on the bike and just GO GO GO and "burn their matches" or not "save their legs" for the run, or whatever your cliche is.  You can't blow your patience in the first leg of the flight out.  If you lose it day 1, you're done and the kids will take over.  Pace yourself.  Manage expectations and get plenty of rest in the days before so you are prepared to manage the trip.  If you are done on day one, that's not fair for your spouse when they need a break.  Don't go all out, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
  4. Nutrition.  BRING SOMETHING TO EAT!  Unless you want oversalted and overpriced airport food, bring snacks.  TSA are a uptight group, but they do allow snacks!  Don't bring a bunch of sugar and candy, though.  Sure, it's all happy and hyper at first but a sugar crash is ugly, and that's just the adults.  Sugar only gets you so far.  Nutrition will get you to the finish line or destroy you.  Don't forget hydration.  If you're dehydrated and trying to entertain a 3 year old and 1 year old for a 2 hours flight in a tiny 3 seat isle and dehydrated, then all you want to do is sleep and zone out and let the kids scream and cry.  Stay in the game and give your body what it needs to function.
  5. Have a plan.  If you get to your destination and don't have at least a loose game plan, you will be playing catch-up the entire time.  What's more fun than flying for 6 hours to get somewhere and waste 2 or 3 hours trying to entertain kids while you are trying to figure out what you are going to do?  Not much.  Race day will be upon you before you know it.  Be ready.  Don't be loosey goosey!
From me to you, vacations with small children can be fun, but they are taxing and rest will be hard to come by.  Don't get caught behind the eight ball!

Cousin Claire (tall) and R2 with Jessie - happy kids = happy trip

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