A Trip to Hell (part of Just Go's Blogapalooza)

As part of Just Go's Blogapalooza, today's post features a trip to a strange subtropical land--Hell, Grand Cayman.

We enjoyed a brief stop in Hell. The visit was booked as a shore tour with our cruise.

Our small group also stopped at a turtle farm and fed stingrays at Stingray City. Very fun!

IronMakeover readers and triathletes check out the Cayman Islands Turtle Tri.
Where's the most exotic place you've ever raced? I think the water bottle exchange would be on the left in the Cayman Islands, that would be tricky.

Hell was named for its strange appearance. The black limestone formations are filled with Iguanas of all sizes.

This tiny tourist stop has its own hell-themed post office, so we were able to send some postcards from Hell.

Read more experiences from this island attraction here:

Overall, the Cayman Islands were heavenly!

pictures: by Sara Cox Landolt

Shoes That Taste Good

I love my running shoes. (left: my current pair.) It's hard for me to throw them out when I've retired a pair. I try to find new jobs for them, like these will be my gardening shoes or these can be my mowing shoes.

But, I should just let them go. Better yet, I should recycle them. This site offers a list of homes and programs looking to repurpose our dear old shoes.

New shoes appeal to a mix of my senses:

  • touch (there are so many textures),
  • smell (I like new shoe smell),
  • sight (don't step on my new beautiful shoes!).

It seems I should also consider taste, especially when shopping for a new pair. Next time you shop, take note how shoes' colors are described. Some examples:

I once bought a pair of running shoes because I got hooked on its color (a pretty brown and pink). Not a good idea. Now, with shoe colors like rootbeer, orange popsicle and chocolate, I could be in trouble.

Not sure how to choose your next shoes? Read these guides on shoe fit and selection.

http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/shoelabshoefinder/0,,s6-240-325-329-0-0-0-0-0,00.html http://www.asicsamerica.com/sports/running/shoeFitGuide.aspx

Or, if you're a triathlete, you could look to the elite triathletes and see what they are wearing.
(Thanks Active Toby for these links!) Slowtwitch.com recently ran two features:

Tell me:
- What flavor are your shoes?
- What do you do with your retired shoes?

Taste Triathlon with a Relay

As a kid in gym class you most likely ran a few relays. You and your teammates may have passed plastic batons along a track, raced scooters around a gym or dribbled soccer balls across a field.

If you're curious about the sport of triathlon, then consider the triathlon relay to be your next assignment. Go ahead, recruit your own team and line up for your first triathlon relay. It will be lots of fun!
In a relay, typically one person swims, one person bikes and one person runs. This is great news, especially if one segment of the race gives you trouble. Simply assign that portion to someone else!

If you're curious about triathlon, a relay can give you a quick taste. And you don't have to commit to a full race on your own. Many triathlons offer coed relays and mixed generation relays.

Several years ago, my parents and I ran our first relay. I swam, my dad biked and my mom ran. It wasn't an easy race course. And, the weather wasn't super, but my parents hung in there. I'm still totally proud of them.
I'm so glad we had this family experience. How cool.
Go team!
Go to Active.com to search for a triathlon relay in your neighborhood.
p.s. Did anyone else hate the shuttlerun relay in gym class? I had problems grabbing that tiny block of wood.
Pictures by Sara Cox Landolt: My Dad has always enjoyed running, but he took the big leg of our relay. My mom started and ended her run segment with a burst of speed. It was very cool to compete together.

Words that Make us Move

My last post What NOT to Say on Race Morning lists some of our least favorite triathlon race-day expressions, including:

  • "So... are you ready?"
  • "That water looks really cold. I bet you wish you had a wetsuit."
  • "Wow, you're like the ONLY one here with a mountain bike."
  • "I've heard the hills are really bad and there's no shade at all."
  • "What are the distances again? That's it? Well, I can do thaaaat."
What, then, works to encourage and motivate us on race day?

This list of do's is harder for me to write than the above list of don'ts. My moods swing so much during each event. Something may motivate me early on during the run, and I may hate hearing those same words miles later. Overall, how the words are said, the tone of voice, the volume, the feeling behind the words, and who is saying it, all combine to make the words stick, or not.

Some words that work for me throughout race day:

- I'm really excited to watch you race today.
- What a great day for racing!

During the race:
- Get it done, Sara!
- You can do this, keep going!
- Go Mommy!

- Great race!
- I'm proud of you.
- Take your time, do what you need to do and then we'll pack up and head home.

Other signs of support:
- Making a home-made sign.
- Ringing cow bells.
- Showing energy and enthusiasm!
- Taking great race pictures.

What have your friends or family said, sung or written to make you move a little quicker as you swim, bike and run to the finish line?

Above Picture: Me this summer showing off a sign made by our oldest son.

Her World Famous Finish

Back in 1981 Julie Moss couldn't come up with a topic for her senior year project (PE major) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. And so, one rainy afternoon she turned on the tv and caught part of ABC's Wide World of Sports' Ironman Triathlon broadcast. Moss found her topic and would go on to compete in the Ironman in 1982.

It's funny how things work:

  • Moss found inspiration for her college project watching the Ironman broadcast.

  • A year later, her mesmerizing crawl to the finish would capture hearts worldwide and go on to become one of Ironman's defining moments.
If you haven't seen highlights of her race click here. Read Moss' race report here.

This year marks the 30th anniversary for the Ford Ironman World Championships. Follow 1,800 athletes as they swim, bike and run to the finish.

Catch live coverage Oct. 11th, 2008 at http://ironman.com/ . Tune in for NBC's feature Dec. 13 from 2:30-4 p.m.

Here are some of the stories they are tracking for this year's coverage.

Tell me:
  • What goes through your mind watching Julie Moss struggle to the finish line?
  • What is your most memorable race experience?