Ask Me Anything Day

Flying Rhino ArgyleI’m working on a list of blog topics for this blog for the next month or so (besides I swam, I biked, I still suck at running!) and so I thought I’d get a little help from my friends.  Is there something that you’d like me to blog about?  A burning question you have for me about my IRONMAN?  Ask away! (As always, trolls need not apply.) You can leave a comment here, or send an e-mail to ragen at ironfat dot com.  Thanks!


About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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16 Responses to Ask Me Anything Day

  1. lsstrout says:

    How does your dance training help or not help you with any of the IM activities?


  2. Moniqa Aylin says:

    How are we/you gonna survive the hills at the Austin Ironman 70? I really want to do that distance, but I really really don’t want to do it in Texas’ hill country. Training for the distance alone seems such a Herculean task; how does one go about preparing for additional elevation changes?


  3. What’s your nutrition plan for during the race? My nutrition plan was seriously flawed (i.e. I ate almost nothing) and it made me very ill after (i.e. my body sort of went into shock after I crossed the finish line until I could get some food down), so I’d love to get some tips on how to do it better.


    • Lyn says:

      Oh, this definitely. I’ve been experimenting with different energy snacks (Gu, jelly beans, etc) and would love any advice.


  4. Lara says:

    In a lot of ways, I find the “running was boring” and “swimming and breathing is hard” posts inspiring as they are, but I can see how you might start to feel you are repeating yourself. I’d like to hear about how you’re training for the transition parts, and also where you find that one kind of training helps or hinders another. Like, if you’re training heavily on the bike for a while, maybe that makes your hips tighten up (does mine; my psoas is pretty much a clusterfuck of doom that my massage dude has been working on for a year now with finally some progress) and that impedes your running training, or, just, the grind of running makes swimming seem way more fun. But for real, I’ve really enjoyed just the process posts quite a bit. About working on this specific behavior even though it means right now going slower, or whatever. The scale of the training curve is kind of hard to wrap my head around, so all that process and arc is kind of fascinating.

    (actually, unless I have missed it, I don’t know if you’ve described the whole arc of training? That might be interesting? Scary, but interesting. But I mean, the scale is kind of like the Marvel timeline in its epicness, you know?)


  5. I have a deep suspicion that doing a marathon or an Iron Man is bad for your health, but I’d kind of be interested in having someone lay out the ways in which This Is Not Healthy for Humans. (Especially if you have some info beyond “could result in spraining or twisting things”.)

    I’d also like to know how your interactions with other people who marathon or Iron Man are. Your trainers are generally respectful (I assume they’d stop being your trainers pretty quickly if that weren’t the case), but are the ones you have now the ones you’ve always had or did you have to fire some for being jerks about your size or anything else? Are you hanging out on IM message boards and finding humans both great and terrible? What’s IM ‘culture’ generally like? Do people usually train to just get to the end or to try to get a good time, or what?

    And I’d just like to second that I actually did start following this blog with the expectation that it would be a lot of posts about swimming, running, and biking. (One thing I’ve never quite understood about marathoning: practice runs are way shorter than the marathon ends up being. How do people know they’re ready for a marathon if they’ve only been running ten or fifteen miles? I realize that ten or fifteen miles is a lot, but 26.2 is still a lot more than that. For the Iron Man, are you going to actually be regularly swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 before you actually compete? Or are you going to run ten miles, swim a mile, and bike twenty-five miles a lot?)

    I also thought you might talk about how your eating is changing in relation to having to do more work. (That is, if you’re yet at the stage where you’re doing a lot more exercise than you used to. Maybe you’re still substituting IM training for dancing and your athletic stuff right now.)

    Are you missing the other athletic stuff you used to do? Is the IM training interfering with your flexibility for dancing?


  6. GratefulGran says:

    I would love to know where or if you have found some good bike shorts that you would recommend. Thank you!


  7. GratefulGran says:

    Also, have you been working on your transitions, i.e., changing from swim gear to bike gear, then to running gear? Any insight you can give into this would be great.


  8. ebay313 says:

    I guess the one thing that comes to mind for me is just the motivation aspect. You’ve mentioned that swimming, biking, and running are not the sort of exercise you really enjoy but choose for other reasons to do (challenge, get out of your comfort zone), and especially with the training taking so long I’m sure there are times you just don’t feel like doing it. So I’m curious about your own motivation, and how you get over that “I don’t want to do this!” or “why am I doing this?” Especially proceeding workouts more than during.
    i know for myself I enjoy lifting weights. Lifting heavy things is fun. Running… is hit or miss and more and more often a miss for me. I want to run a 12 mile obstacle course mud run this year (tough mudder) but I haven’t been running even short distances in awhile now and just talking myself into something that is less enjoyable for me has been difficult recently. So I’m always curious about the mentality others experience around their training 🙂


  9. fl_commenter says:

    Most triathletes go through a progression of events leading up to their first IM. I’m wondering when you’ve scheduled your first Sprint, Olympic etc. distances. Do you have any single sport specific events scheduled too? Open water swims, half and full century rides, 10K and half marathons?

    Thanks for your time!


  10. mrsa122995 says:

    Found any swim suits for actual swimming? Or did I miss that post? Recommendations? Thank you and you rock!


  11. KP says:

    I’m training for a 10-mile run right now (which, um, feels pleasantly short and jaunty in comparison to an Ironman), but struggling to find things to listen to on practice runs – my current “running” playlists are not long or varied enough, and I’m trying out podcasts with some success. So – do you listen to anything while biking/running? And if so – what works best? What do you enjoy most?


  12. CraftyKhandy says:

    Just found you today, I also started my triathlon journey in the fall of 2014. Looking forward to watching your progress!! I really just wanted to leave a positive note – but I have to say I am so very sorry for the hate thrown your way. ((hugs))


  13. Kathleen Murphy says:

    When will you begin to swim in a lake or ocean or otherwise not in a pool?


  14. Juana Tango says:

    Have your trainers ever worked with fathletes before? Did you make them aware of the fat haters you’d be encountering in advance? Are they at all surprised or shocked or dismayed by fatrassment? How do they respond to it and your experiences around it? Has training you made them more aware of the microaggressions fat people face when working out and in life period? What suggestions do you have for how to find trainers who are body diversity positive?
    When you’re really really mind numbingly bored what do you do to keep up the stubborn doggedness in continuing that day’s set goal? Can you write your blog while running on the treadmill? Since dance “cramps” your running – are you concerned that running will impact your dancing as you improve at running? Is it possible to quickstep or jive as quickly as one runs and do that the whole way instead (seems like that’d add a layer of fun if possible)? Do you have a motivational charm or motivational mantra to push through the tough moments?


  15. ^Ela^ says:

    Hi Ragen,
    I would be interested to know, how you deal with rest times and muscle soreness with a tight training plan like yours?
    I prefer weight-lifting or bodyweight-exercising to endurance sports, but I guess the problem ist the same – what do you do when your body is just too sore to excercise “on schedule”? I expirienced this a lot in the past and it really frustrated me – like, I do one workout and afterwards can barely move for a week – and it got a bit better after some blood-tests showed that my magnesium levels are really low (blocked by some medication I have to take), so I now suplement that (at lot!), but workout without feeling sore the next morning is still not happening for me (no matter what the workout was, how exhausting it felt etc.). I experiment with alternating my “normal” workouts at the gym with Yoga/Pilates at the moment, but I’d be interested to know if you have another tip or two up your sleeve from your long years of training? 🙂
    Thanks a lot for your time!


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