Yes, I have finally made it home from the three week Thailand Triathlon Adventure 2013. Barely. And I must still be within 10 feet of a toilet at all times. I'm dead serious.
They actually had to re-seat me to be next to the bathrooms on the plane to accommodate my clock-work like mid-flight poo-mergencies.
So what the crap happened?
Although this entire trip was the epic adventure of a lifetime (just wait till you see the killer photos below), just 2 days prior to the flight home I was struck (inconveniently, 2K into the run portion of the Half Ironman triathlon) by the liquid poopies from the depths of hell. Big time.
As a matter of fact, for the first time ever during a race, I actually pooped my pants.
Shat my chamois.
Soiled my spandex.
Whatever you'd like to call it.
And we're not talking "tire streaks" or "liquid toots" here. I full on exploded in my pants. Like, they were full, and then spilling out onto my legs and into my shoes.
At one point, my entire lower body was covered in "mud" and I had to run back behind the house of some old Thai dude to hose myself off so I could at least cross the finish line without appearing to be a giant crap-covered Timex advertisement crossing the finish line.
According to the docs at the medical clinic, at some point during the week I acquired some kind of opportunistic bacteria that was likely from the lagoon water in which we swam during the first triathlon of the week.
If it's any consolation, it wasn't just me that came down with this malady. I spoke with dozens of others who were struck by the same puke-a-rama, flu-like symptoms and flaming liquid poo that makes you scream with pain, clench your teeth, grab hard onto the nearest solid object so that you don't get blown away, and wonder how you're still alive when it's all over. Think Dumb and Dumber, but for skinny people in spandex.
My personal malady decided to strike during the actual race, just a bit before I hopped onto a plane to head home. Thanks, little poopie bacteria. I needed that. Much, much appreciated, especially with the 9 hour layover in Seoul.
So...that being said, how was the actual RACE, which I know everyone comes here to read about?
It was good, but I'm so freaking exhausted from clenching my sphincter and hatching baby bacteria, I'm going to to give you the bullet points, and then some really good pics below. As usual, leave your questions, comments or feedback below:
-Thanyapura Triathlon Camp. This absolutely rocked. Thanyapura resort rivals any of the best Olympic training centers I've seen here in the US, and I was very stoked to be able to teach a camp there, accompanied by the likes of pro triathletes Jurgen Zack and Tamsin Lewis, and featuring lectures, workshops, bike fits, swim videos, and much more. For just a taste, listen to a sample lecture from the camp here (and definitely stay tuned for me to be doing more camps at this resort).
-Laguna Phuket Triathlon, the race that I consider to be a destination event and the best race on the face of the planet was great, mostly. Swam hard, biked hard, and went through the majority of the race poised to repeat as the overall age group champion until I lost the pack of lead riders and a flat tire derailed my speed for the last 3 miles. I went into the run at a 5 minute deficit to the leader. Rallied for a top 20 finish anyways. Good to know I had the fitness to take it thought, despite my new mass gain protocol.
-Experimented with new nutrition, since I'm not in ketosis right now. Used the very cool new "Infinit-E" solution from Millennium Sports, combined with their CRE-O2 creatine I'm using for my muscle mass gain and their Athlytes capsules to prevent any clumping. 300 calories per hour. Great stack, and the Infinit-E tastes good and burns clean. I'm a fan. As usual, I also ate 10 Master Amino Pattern, an X2Performance and a packet TianChi before the race. I used the same fuel solution for both races. Too bad most of it wound up in my pants for that second race. But nonetheless, this mix worked very well and was something I have been wanting to experiment with as an alternative to Superstarch, since I love to "guinea-pig" new fuel mixes.
Here's the full description for you nitty-gritty nutritionists out there:
INFINIT-E™ is an incredibly versatile and effective fueling product. Comprised of four ideal carbohydrate sources, natural betaine (an osmolyte) and l-taurine, INFINIT-E™ provides optimal, balanced energy and cellular protection against exercise induced free radicals and environmental stressors.* INFINIT-E™ has low osmolality aiding rapid absorption and won't cause digestive issues. INFINIT-E™ contains ZERO artificial ingredients and is banned substance free!
GLUCIDEX® is a high grade, high molecular weight, long chain glucose polymer (complex carbohydrate) derived from NON-GMO potato. Glucidex® is a fast carb with high bioavailbility for rapid absorption and muscle glycogen synthesis.* It has low osmolality and provides an ideal source of calories without exceeding osmotic balance.* Glucidex® potato maltodextrin has high solubility and a very clean taste with a low measure of sweetness. It is NON-GMO making it a preferred choice over typical corn based maltodextrin products. Glucidex® is GRAS!
CLUSTER DEXTRIN® (Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin) is a new type of dextrin that is produced from amylopectin via a cyclization process. Cluster Dextrin® is a high molecular weight carbohydrate with almost no affect on osmotic pressure. This means it speeds gastric emptying leading to faster absorption and driving nutrient and energy replenishment.* Cluster Dextrin® is NON-GMO and is GRAS.
PALATINOSE™ (isomaltulose) is a low-glycemic (32) and low-insulinemic disaccharide (glucose & fructose) with enzymatically rearranged molecular bonds. We've added Palatinose™ to INFINIT-E™ because it is the only functional carbohydrate which is fully digestible yet slowly released. It provides a sustained energy release because is hydrolyzed and absorbed four to five times more slowly than sucrose due to the stronger binding of its glucose and fructose components. In this way it supplies glucose as fuel for body and brain at a time when the digestion and absorption of pure glucose has long been finished. For muscles and brain this means a constant stream of energy over a longer period of time compared to quickly absorbed carbohydrates. Furthermore, the addition of Palatinose™ allowed us to create a specific carbohydrate release profile by combining Palatinose™ with Glucidex®, Cluster Dextrin® and Trehalose®. Palatinose™ is GRAS!
TREHA® TREHALOSE is sometimes referred to as "mushroom sugar" because it is found in significant amounts in certain mushrooms and fungi, but the compound also appears in yeast, seeds, algae and in succulents ("resurrection plants" - desert plants that survive long periods of drought yet spring to life when provided moisture). Trehalose® is a multi-functional disaccharide (consisting of two glucose molecules) that when metabolized releases both molecules translating into quick energy. Trehalose does not produce the rapid spike in blood glucose seen with sucrose and other sugars because enzyme that digests Trehalose® is found primarily in the small intestine, which means it is not fully metabolized until 2 or 3 hours after digestion. This slow release process further bolsters INFINIT-E™'s sustained energy profile allowing clean, balanced glycogen replenishment.
INFINIT-E™ incorporates Natural Betaine Anhydrous. Derived from sugar beets natural betaine is an osmolyte which has been suggested to provide cellular support against environmental and exercise induced stressors such as dehydration and high temperatures.* Betaine is suggested to promote strength, power and endurance and is a methyl donor helping supporting the liver and cardiovascular system.
While L-TAURINE is often referred to as the second most abundant amino acid in muscle, some muscle biologists have determined that L-Taurine, (not glutamine), is the most voluminous amino acid contained in striated type 2 muscle fiber. L-Taurine is essential to cardiac function and increases muscle cell volume. For an athlete this seems important because expanded muscle cells boost hydration resulting in accelerated rates of protein synthesis. Additionally, supplementation with l-taurine has been shown to prevent oxidative stress induced by exercise. L-Taurine was included in INFINIT-E™ for its affect on cardiovascular support, cell hydration and oxidative stress quenching.-Challenge Half-Ironman. This race used to be a Half Ironman operated by the World Triathlon Corporation at "Phuket 70.3", but both it and Laguna Phuket Triathlon are now run by Challenge as the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest. I led the entire age-grouper field during the bike, came out of T2 in second place poised to beat my overall age-grouper 2nd place finish last year, then wound up jogging and pooping for 2 hours. Bummer.
-Managing bacterial issues. I went into Thailand equipped with activated charcoal, oil of oregano, goldenseal/echinacea tincture, high-grade probiotics and nascent iodine. With this potent natural mix of protectants, I've never had issues before. But apparently I swallowed a mouthful of something that even the best stuff couldn't protect me from. My taxi driver on the way to the airport informed me that all the wastewater from all the resorts in the area actually runs into the lagoon that we swam in. So it's possible that I could have simply swallowed a little Thai turd. Gross.
Beginning today, I'm rebooting my entire body with a Gut Cleanse Pack for 30 days. I want that slate wiped damn clean. Before I got on the plane, I also went into the Thanyapura Triathlon Resort for a Myer's Cocktail and high dose Vitamin C injection to try to boost my immune system and rehydrate my body. I think if I hadn't gone through any of these measures I'd be very bad off, but as of now, am simply a bit...regular. In a liquid sort of way.
Look for a future "special podcast" in which I address overseas health issues like this in a more detailed format, but in the meantime, leave your questions, comments and feedback below...
...also tell me, if you wanted me to arrange ONE triathlon adventure for you to go to anywhere in the world as the next big Ben Greenfield triathlon adventure where would YOU want it to be? Thailand? Pucon? Dubai? Norway? Somewhere else?
Let me know! And here's the pics (which include some absolutely HEARTWARMING photos of the kid's triathlon at Thanyapura):