The inaugural Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon is less than two weeks away, and following is a progress report from my last entry in January. I hope to send out one more post including more race specific details, but lack of time and an influx of stress may crash that plan, so keep an eye out for further updates as we get closer on my Facebook page, Taryn Spates, and Instagram, @tpspates.
A few things have shifted since I last reported on my journey toward Alaskaman, the most significant being that I lost two team members; my husband, Marion, and my brother, Peter. Please do not fret, I was not jolted by these events at all, in fact I pretty much assumed they wouldn’t be able to come as soon as they committed that they would. The fact is that both of them have exciting, demanding, and important priorities at work that need their attention, and I respect that.
My brother Peter just started a new top secret job a couple of months ago that he is thrilled about, and I am so proud of him for not only achieving, but having the guts to go after. He had been a Senior animator at Industrial Light and Magic for sixteen years, a very prestigious and enviable position in our business, and decided to take a leap and try something else. It worked, and I am really happy for him. That said, he is not completely off the hook, because I told him he has to come to Kona if/when I qualify for the IMWC.:)
Meanwhile, Marion is ALWAYS a wild card when it comes to attending my races. He made a heroic, yet extremely expensive last minute decision to venture to IM Lake Placid last summer, which was wonderful, but a bonus, and not a necessity. However, he has been incredibly impassioned about joining me for Alaskaman. He wanted to make a documentary out of it, and shoot footage from a drone, and buy a snazzy new camera, etc., but as his producer, I was able to see the scope of his “real” job as a VFX Supervisor on Netflix’ much anticipated revamp of Lost In Space, from a wider lens and knew that he was simply too important to be away from the project. Production is a different kind of animal, the demands never stop, and thankfully he is in demand. So, he will be helping move along Lost In Space while I will be fending off Orcas and hypothermia in Alaska.
Miraculously, I still have these two rock stars on tap to crew for me! I am very lucky because Eric races nearly every weekend, so they are used to travel, and Sarah has Sherpa duties down pat. I am thrilled to have these two hard-core love birds by my side for my trot throughout our 49th state.
As far as how my prep has been going, well it has been going just fine. Better than fine, really. My coach Hillary Biscay, the Smashfest Queen, www.smashfestqueen.com, has designed a credible work load comprised of both voluminous and intensity specific work outs that would have made me chuckle in disbelief a few years ago, but are now my new normal that I jump into every day. Also, I have been fortunate to have training partners for the first time, really, ever! My friend and fellow bad-ass TeamHPB teammate, Lynne, has been riding with me on every 100+ mile ride, because she is training for an Ironman as well. She will be crushing her competition at Ironman Canada on Sunday, July 30th. Lynne is a climbing machine, and a multiple Kona qualifier, so it has been an honor to pedal alongside her nearly every weekend. We have also been joined by Lynne’s longtime friend and training partner, Greg, who will be entering the Ironman ring for the first time in Canada. Lynne coined us the, “Triple Threat,” and I am aiming to represent, and hope to make them proud with my performance in Alaska.
Also, I want to mention that I have incredible support from my Executive Producer, artists, and everyone else I work with at 4 Max Post. www.4maxpost.com. An example of the tremendous atmosphere I work in is the day after I ran the LA marathon I noticed print outs of my splits strewn all over the building. No joke, my fantastic and hilarious EP printed out copies and placed them in our common areas, plus in every artist’s bay, so that the entire company would know what a great race I had. That is amazing. Anyone who thinks everyone in the entertainment business is vapid and fake, are woefully incorrect. We are real people who just happen to make a living working very hard to make the masses forget about their troubles and smile for a few hours.
Moreover, my co-workers know how important my training and racing is to me, and have been encouraging and supportive every step of the way leading up to Alaskaman. Most of them think it's nuts, but they know I love it, and will be rooting for me.
There is still plenty to do before I blast off to Alaska, this race by far requires more accoutrements than any other triathlon I have raced. For example, I need front and rear lights on my bike at all times during the ride. Also, I will need to have my phone on me at all times to serve as a tracking device. We’re not talking a chip for race results; we’re talking tracking my where-a-bouts in the humongous Alaska wilderness. Good times. In any case, I have crossed over from feeling really nervous to really excited, and I just can’t believe that after over a year of planning for this race it is almost here.:)