And So It Begins: BigK2012

Today marks the beginning of my 18 week journey that ends at the finish line of the Big Kahuna Half Ironman Race in Santa Cruz, CA on September 9.

Talk about taking on a huge time commitment.  As a grad student, I know it’s the perfect time for me to train for one.  I will have finished my second year and coursework.  I have an outside job where I work from home and set my own hours for the summer.  And I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, where summer’s aren’t too hot to train for something like this.

As such, I began this journey early this morning with a 5am wakeup call (well it was actually 5:30, but same difference, right?!).  Why the early wakeup?


I had to get a few hours of work in before I could head to the gym for my first workout of training: 1000m swim + 20 mile bike ride.


The view from the stationary bike (yes, that’s the ocean in the far distance).


Killed it.

And, just for good measure, I followed that up with a strength and cardio class I’m taking on campus.  Yeah, I was at the gym from 8:30-12.  Talk about baller status.

I got through this morning with a delicious breakfast – oats + goat yogurt + orange.  And then mid-workout insane morning I replenished my energy with a Vanilla CalNaturale and Nuun.


I actually had someone ask me this morning on Instagram (<3), so for those of you out there looking for a delicious dairy free and/or gluten free protein drink, CalNaturale is for you.  Here’s the deets from their webage:


Like seriously.  This stuff is like liquid heaven.  It tastes sooo good – it doesn’t even taste/feel like a protein drink.  I actually drank it post swim+bike, and then ran a mile about 15 minutes after drinking ~1/2 of it, and was completely fine.  I then completed an intense strength sesh without any complaints – except that I wanted more.  Hah.

**I am not being compensated in any way for this opinion.  It is truly mine.  If any brainwashing occurred, it was self induced.**

Anyway, with my first workout under my belt, I am feeling confident and strong, albeit a little bit tired (thank you 530am wakeup), and am super excited for the weeks of training to come.  I realize this is a little preemptive and I may start hating training soon, but here’s to positive thinking and positive starts!  As such, this is what my next three weeks should look like for training:

big_kahuna_wks 1-3

Ambitious?  Yes.

Will it all happen?  I’ll keep you posted – with (hopefully) weekly training updates, and changes to my schedule.  I’m following (mostly) the training schedule from here.  I’ve got a few additional workouts thrown in there (mostly for strength building purposes), plan to add some yoga in there, and as I progress I will probably be adjusting some (for example Thursday nights I do track workouts with my endurance team and Saturdays I might throw some longer runs in just for fun).

I’m also excited for the couple triathlons I have scheduled intermittently this summer as ‘practice’ tris to help get my transition times down.  I have a goal time in mind for finishing it, granted training goes according to plan, and really want to make sure than transitions aren’t what kills me as at my (first and only) tri last fall, I lost a lot of time during transitions.

Here’s to the new challenge, a guaranteed PR and the elatedness I feel now staying with me for the next 18 weeks.

Have you ever trained for a half ironman or ironman?  Have any suggestions for a newbie?!

Anyone know of any really good and very supportive tri tops/suits for women? I’m in the market for one…


6 thoughts on “And So It Begins: BigK2012

  1. How exciting! Happy training cycle! Going to check out that CalNaturale stff. Think Whole Foods would carry that? I hate ordering stuff like that online.

    • Thanks! You definitely should! Whole Foods should have it, but they’re all over – I buy mine at Safeway. If you go here you should be able to find stores that have it! I find it in Safeway by the Luna bars and ‘diet’ pills/products. Sometimes they even runs sales on it, which is a double win in my book.

  2. Lifetime carries those occasionally, so good! I recommend them too. I am not a huge vanilla fan but it was just a bit sweet and not overpowering.

    • The chocolate and chai are definitely my favorite, but the safeway near me carries only a limited supply of chocolate and no chai, so vanilla is my go-to.

  3. Some quick transition tips that I have found useful. You may already know all of these, but someone helped me when I first started triathlons. I hope these are somewhat helpful. Use Glide on your arms, shoulders, and legs to make it easy to take the wetsuit off after the swim. Have a dish pan with some water in it at the transition and have your towel spread out next to it. This will make it easy to step into the water to rinse the feet, step onto the towel to have a clean and dry place to stand while you get ready. Have your shoes in your pedals so you can run in your socks out of the transition area and then slip into your shoes as soon as you exit the transition. Same thing on the bike to run transition. Have your running shoes in place and ready to go as soon as you put your bike back on the rack. Simple things, but they will save time. You may want to go to a triathlon and watch people in the transition area. You might discover some other great ideas there too. I am definitely not a professional, but I’ve done several triathlons.

    • Thanks James! Those tips definitely help! I actually have only done one tri so far (and fell in love), but know that I dawdle at transition. I do need to practice hopping into my shoes on the bike. It terrifies me (to be honest). I know it saves time….but what if I can’t get my feet in?! Seriously, thank you so much for the tips! They should help, a lot 🙂

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