Anarchist and Mt. Baldy

The toughest single day of cycling I’ve ever done. This is the top of the Anarchist Mountain climb, a relatively steady 17km traverse that constituted our *first* training zone of the day. The second zone, Mt. Baldy, was a pitchier struggle over 14km that we did near the end of the day. On Baldy, I dropped my chain halfway up the climb, and halfway up a particularly pitchy portion (I had to ride *downhill* a few feet just to clip in again), which set me back a minute, and managed to f*ck up my rear derailleur so I couldn’t shift properly. This event was a kick in the gut, the emotional impact so pronounced, so dramatic that my *will to climb* turned into a *struggle to hang on* nearly instantaneously. What’s significant about this for me—and what probably saved my skin for the rest of the climb—was the fact I was able to recognize what happened *when* it happened, to acknowledge it, package it up, and thereby gain some purchase over it, instead of melting down completely. I actually said to myself, “that just happened, and that is why you feel the way you do,” instead of questioning “why me?” Part of this comes from experience (I’ve shouted down tantrums in races before), part of it from the mindfulness work I’ve done through various forms of meditation, and part of it from reading about, and trying to emulate, the strategies of others (e.g., see Matt Fitzgerald’s book *How Bad Do You Want It*). Could I have handled the experience better? Probably. Could I have handled it worse? DEFINITELY. . #cycling #triathlon #fatcamp2017 #motivation #anarchist #sasquatch #mindfulness #grit

A post shared by Ari Sarantis (@arisarantis) on

Wide View

#TBT to 2014 and the California Superbike School. The School has camps all over the world—I did mine at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and over the course of two days I learned critical lessons about riding, and, curiously, life. Proper throttle control, turning points, rider input—these are some of the essential and potentially life-saving skills you should employ on the motorbike, and coincidentally many of them translate very well to cycling (which accounts for my comfort and relative skill descending). However, another skill—the *wide view*—has implications beyond the track or the highway: Ever find yourself on a long, steep descent on your time-trial bike, full aero position, and you happen to look down at the pavement around your front wheel? It’s a little unsettling, isn’t it? You can’t keep track of everything going by, and you have to look up to gain some sense of perspective, to *slow things down*, as it were. Next time, extend this concept a little further: don’t just look up five, ten, fifteen feet in front of you. Look *wide*, take everything in—'truck at T-intersection, guardrail on the right, patch of gravel on the left, ocean in the distance'—and notice how time slows down, as if someone hit the “slo-mo” button on life. You minimize the risk of surprises occurring (which can lead to survival reactions such as target fixation = very bad), and you’ll have much more time to respond when they do. If this concept resonates at all in this context, ask yourself, where else might it apply? . #triathlon #motorcycle #cycling #tbt #lifehacks

A post shared by Ari Sarantis (@arisarantis) on

The run…

I respect swimming. I like cycling. I LOVE running. Last fall, I injured my MCL from what I think was a combination of (i) slightly asymmetrical running mechanics, and (ii) a couple-millimetres-too-high saddle on my new CX bike. A few hard workouts and I was on the injured list. It’s been an agonizingly slow return to form, but over the last couple months my cycling has come around respectably, and just recently my knee has really started to come online for running as well. And man, I am grateful. To be sure, cycling is one of my favourite activities and I salivate at just the thought of my Maui cycling trips, but with running—I don’t know, it’s just that much more visceral, immanent. Shedding my bike in T2 is tantamount to that moment when Forrest breaks away from his splints—that Tito Puente song (popularized by Santana) “Oye Como Va” often pops into my head, which, in the context of the song, translates to “listen to how my rhythm goes”. A few years ago I won my AG at the Kelowna Apple, and I remember playing cat and mouse with a guy during the last 20k of the bike. He exited T2 a few seconds before me, and within a hundred yards I had drawn even with him. I was holding a 4:01/km pace, and after about 10 seconds he said, “You go, man.” It was one of the best moments I’ve had in a race, and I look forward to getting there again. #run #running #runyyc #whyirun #triathlon #cycling #fitness #athlete #instarunner #instarunners

A post shared by Ari Sarantis (@arisarantis) on

The Iron-Man

iron-man

The first “Iron-Man” triathlon was held 39 years ago today, on the island of Oahu, conceived from a debate regarding who were the fittest athletes: runners, swimmers, or cyclists.

The first modern triathlon actually occurred a few years earlier in California — modern because there are documented instances of tri-sport events in France as far back as the early 20th century — but it was diminutive in comparison to the goliath distances proposed for that first Hawai’i race: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, so chosen because the race essentially combined three long-distance events already on the island.

Those ambitious distances have become the standard for “iron distance” races today, including those under the ubiquitous Ironman brand (owned by World Triathlon Corporation), as well as other organizations who put on iron distance events (e.g., Challenge Triathlon). Continue reading “The Iron-Man”