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Allison Moehlis: Building the Base for a Half Ironman Triathlon

“Rest up! Only 10,900 feet and 13 miles to go before your next stop at Base Camp. See you there.”
Sir Edmund Hillary

“I had only one superstition. I made sure to touch all the bases
when I hit a home run.”

Babe Ruth

“... appealing to the conservative base ...”
The Washington Post

“I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn’t itch.”
Gilda Radner

There are many definitions for the word “base” and I have learned one more ... “Building my base.”

You see, at this time I am not actually training for the Santa Cruz Half Ironman Triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) in September, I am “building my base,” the actual training, or focusing on the tasks of a specific event, doesn’t start until mid-May, 16 weeks before the triathlon.

According to Matt Dixon, an exercise physiologist based in San Francisco, “base” is “aerobic development, or increasing the ability to use stored fat for energy and allows improved overall efficiency and endurance.”

This cracks me up because my body hordes fat as if it is expecting to endure an Alaskan winter at any moment. Efficient fat utilization seems like an oxymoron.

To me, “building my base” means exercising much more than I usually do.

Before embarking on this journey, I averaged five to seven hours of exercise per week. Now I average nine to 12.

It has come to my attention that I am going to have to finish a 1.2 mile swim and 56-mile bike ride wanting to do a 13.1-mile run. To glean this spirit, I am trying to push my biking ability at this time.

To do so, I not only trained for the Solvang Century (100-mile bike ride), I did it with added weight on my bike  Ultimately, this will improve my triathlon performance, but it isn’t exactly triathlon training.

Also, “building my base” means learning to manage my time and focus on my priorities. One of the biggest challenges for me is that I love doing a huge variety of things and I want to do them all.

Most important, I don’t want my family to feel orphaned by this new challenge of mine.

Of all the definitions of base, home base is really what it is going to get me across the finish line. It is because I have so much support from my home base that I am able to even consider the Half Ironman Triathlon in September.

Noozhawk contributing writer Allison Moehlis is proud to have earned many participation medals for completing half-marathons, metric century bike rides and triathlons. When she is not basking in the glow of her medal collection, she is a working mom of two bright and talented daughters and a happy wife of 16 years. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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