Ironman #5 (Ironman Canada) is officially in the books. Hot weather (mid 30's C) & hi winds on the bike slowed me down a bit, but it could have been a lot worse. I got off the bike after really trying to be conservative. I had my slowest of all 3 IMC bike times, but it still wasn’t easy enough to let me have fresh legs for the marathon.
I have this tendency to really cramp in heat and exhaustion. Every Ironman before I’ve had real debilitating leg cramps. It’s hard to run when your calves and quads are seizing up.
As I started the run I thought maybe I’d held back enough this time, but only 1 mile into it I knew it wasn’t to be, but I’d planned 3 strategies for this: 1) compression calf sox 2) dump ice in the front and back of my jersey to keep my core temp down 3) pickle juice.
In case you’re wondering about #3, it was this magical potion that allowed me to keep running and actually run pretty strong. I’d read about this magic cramp cure just 2 weeks prior to the race and boy am I ever glad I did. It seems the acetic acid (vinegar) in the juice turns off the cramp response in the brain. Just 2 swallows and 20 seconds later and the cramps go away. For me it totally worked. The cure lasted about 30 minutes. And staying on top of this regimen kept me running cramp free.
I was on pace over the first 10k to meet my run time goal of 3:45, but over the next 20km I just had to slow down. The heat was too much for me....but I kept running. My previous IMC I was walking a good bit of the run because of the leg cramps. This time though as the sun got a little lower I was even able to pick up the pace again over the last 5 miles.
Pickle juice....who’d a thunk!!