My 70.3 Nutrition Plan

Finding a nutrition plan for race day is essential for optimal performance.  Without proper nutrition all the training in the world can be negated.  I will preface this post by saying that a nutrition plan on race day is not just a one-day thing.  Executing on race day is a culmination of many inputs that take place in the weeks and months before.  However, certain steps can be taken to avoid having GI distresses or “bonking” and thus minimize the risk of performing poorly.  Today I will address race day nutrition only.  Like I said the entire week leading up to a big race is important, but I will save that part for another day.

So lets get down to race day nutrition.  Obviously everyone is different and has personal preferences.   I am going to provide you all insight to exactly what I put into my body and you can take from it what you will.  The most important tips that apply to everyone are:

1. Practice your race nutrition on long training days to ensure that your body can handle it.  Once you have a formula in place keep practicing it and do not stray away from it at all on race day.

2.  KEEP IT SIMPLE.  The less diversity, the less chance for disaster.

3.  Feed off the course as much as possible.  If the race will be providing powerbar endurance drink on course I would advise you to train on that formula.  especially if it is a 70.3 or full distance Ironman as this will allow you to carry less on your bike since you can take on fluids at every aid station.  Also if you train on powergels and powerbars you will be able to utilize on-course nutrition at aid stations.  This can come in handy when you say lose your nutrition on the bike or in transition.  Instead of worrying about it and going back to get it you can continue on and just re-load at aid stations without a problem.

4.  Pack light.  The big secret in my opinion is that you do not need to load yourself and your bike down before an Ironman bike leg.  You just don’t!  Sure a lot of athletes are sponsored by companies who make gigantic fluid holders and the like..but those people are being paid to weigh down their bike.  As long as you aren’t reliant on some specific formula of drink that you have to pre-make you will be fine with just one bottle on your bike as you start out on the Bike leg of any race from a sprint to an Ironman.  Why?  Because you can just get more drinks at the aid stations.  Re-fueling along the course is ridiculously easy, all you have to do is stick your arm out every 10 miles and get a fresh drink.  Thus with just one bottle holder on your downtube you can successfully keep yourself hydrated over 112 miles.  Now take what I say with a grain of salt if you need more fluids.  If such the case than feel free to add another bottle on your bike.  I just would like to make the point that having one of those gigantic fluid containers on your bike is really not necessary.  Look at Macca’s bike setup from Kona last year.  He won the race so I am guessing he stayed hydrated….his setup is extremely clean.  No extra parts on his bike.

With that said here is my race day nutrition plan:

4:00AM – Wake up and immediately drink 2 large glasses of water.  I add a small fiber supplement as a personal thing.  DO NOT ADD FIBER ON RACEDAY IF YOU DO NOT USE IT ON A DAILY BASIS!!! I supplement with this everyday so therefore my body is used to it and it does not give me unexpected issues.

By 4:30 I have my pre-race breakfast down.  This consists of:

Coffee – as much as needed to get my system in order.

Banana –  1 medium size

Natural Unsweetened Applesauce – amounts vary by distance (about 1 to 1.5 cups for a 70.3)

Protein Powder – 1 scoop chocolate flavor

Nature’s Valley Granola Bar – 1 package

and more water

After the breakfast is down I will either relax or get my race equipment in order depending on what needs to be done.  For the Syracuse race I chilled out for a little and we were on the road a little after 5AM.

6:40AM

My race started at 7:40, so at approximately 6:40 (1 hour before race start) I had 1/2 of a powerbar and some more water.

7:15AM – began sipping on a red bull, I drink 3/4 of a small can before I head to the start line.

7:25AM – With 15 minutes to go before start time I popped my last gel with 1x the caffeine for the last boost.

Since I usually swim somewhere between 30-32 minutes I will get some fluids in immediately on the bike and then about 15 minutes into the bike leg I will begin my regular race nutrition.

BIKE NUTRITION:

(hopefully powerbar will be kind enough to take me on their team next year.  It would sure cut my nutrition costs a bit!)

15 minutes in I will take 1/2 of a powerbar.  As in all distance races I will start with solids first and then move to more easily digested foods as I near the run.  For 70.3’s that means I take in 1 powerbar over the first hour and for full distance Ironman’s I take in 2 powerbars over the first two hours.

I focus on eating every 30-45 minutes.  30 if I actually FEEL hungry and 45 if I feel fine but want to maintain a consistent fueling strategy.  At syracuse I felt hungry so I ate every 30 minutes.  So it basically went.

15 min in – 1/2 powerbar

1 hr – 1/2 powerbar

1.5hr – 1 gel (Kona blend – non-caff)

2.0hr – 1 gel (Straw-banana – 1 x caff)

Then about with 2 miles to go before transition I took my last gel on the bike.

While on the bike I make sure I am consciously drinking every 15 minutes.  However, I do not only drink every 15..whenever I feel like grabbing the bottle I will.  I usually go through 3-4 bottles during the bike, making sure that I pee at least once.

My only “special” nutrition, meaning that it can’t be found on-course is that in T1 on my bike I pre-make one bottle consisting of:

2 scoops powerbar endurance (same as is on course)

1 scoop Base Salt

1 scoop Base Amino Blend

I consume this drink mix over the first hour of a 70.3 to ensure that I have properly stocked my body’s stores.  For a full distance Ironman I will make 2 bottles and have them both on my bike.  I will say that this mix of powerbar and base is one that I utilize on a daily basis.  Coupled with the amino’s and salt in my training and racing drink I supplement with Base Recovery Activator post workout in order to aid in my recovery.  Base Recovery Activator is a L-glutamine powered supplement which I am a firm believer in.  I have seen and tried a lot of supplements but the long and short of it is that you don’t need all the fancy crap that the industry tries to sell you.  Amino Acid’s are the building blocks of a person’s body and supplementing these can be extremely beneficial to an endurance athlete.  You really do not need to go nuts in terms of supplements since their isn’t anything “magicial” out there.  Keep it simple!

Run Nutrition:

This is as simple as it gets.  I grab 1 package of clif bloks that are laying on my transition mat and away I go.  I supplement this with water or powerbar endurance at every aid station.  Over the last 3 miles I will change to Coke if I feel like it.  Otherwise, my fueling consists of 1 clif blok every 2 miles.  This provides for a sustained burn as opposed to taking one whole gel every 30-45 minutes.  Since 1 blok equals 1/2 a gel I am getting the same amount of calories however I am spreading it over the entire run thus creating a slow burn in hopes of avoiding any peaks and valleys.

After the race I find my bag, pop the Base Recovery Activator pills (4 of them) and drink a bunch of water.  If I can find a protein drink like a muscle milk I will throw that down too.  Usually at this point I am not ready to eat a solid meal so for the first hour after the race I will try to get as much water in me as I can and maybe a coke to bring some life back to me.  After the stomach has settled down I will make my way to the athletes food tent and grab whatever I feel like.  The rest of the day I let myself enjoy whatever I want, but the reality is that by that time all I really want is a giant salad at night and maybe a big bowl of greek yogurt and peanut butter.  The joy of pigging out on ice cream and chicken wings wears off the more races you do…trust me you feel better the next day.

So that’s what I do on race day.  I hope that gives you some insight into actual race day eating and maybe provides a few tips to people.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave me a note.

 

-Turbeau

Is social media polluting our brains?

As the saying goes “to much of a good thing is a bad thing”.  The social media outlets that are available to most everyone on a daily basis have really become prevalent over the past few years via the internet, they were their before but they have really become HUGE in the recent past.  Chief among them are Facebook and Twitter.  The argument can be made that these platforms have really taken it to the next level.  My only concern is if that next level is really beneficial for the population as a whole.  Sure, its great to always know what your friends are up to, or what the latest deal on a product is, etc..etc..However, the reliance that is placed on these sites is tremendous.  I would have to say that for the majority of people these two sites along are where most news stories are learned.  These sites are by no means official outlets for news stories either, thus the propaganda game can be played.  Not only propaganda from companies looking to make a buck, but also from your friends, your family, and random people worldwide.  A negative thought or post however untrue that is posted for everyone to see becomes public knowledge.  Previously this “thing”, this negative connotation did not exist.  Now the seed has been planted and doubts and second guessing make begin to creep into someone’s head.  I find myself avoiding this type of media more and more because it is not beneficial to what I am trying to do.  As an individual I analyze myself every second of everyday.  Why do I need someone who is not in my inner-circle, who doesn’t really know or understand me planting ideas into my brain?  Don’t get me wrong I love having the ability to share my thoughts and connect with people instantaneously, I just wonder what it is doing to our culture.  Not long ago we used to be a culture who was rooted in close community type environments where everyone supported each other and didn’t want the other to fail.  All to often I feel like everyone is looking for their own edge, striving to figure out a way to be on top of everyone else.  Aren’t we all in this together?

I cherish my family and true friendships more than anything else.  When everything else goes away if these two pillars do not exist I would literally crumble.  Nothing else really matters as long I have this foundation.  Knowing that I have this support allows me to build whatever life I want.  It feels to me like many people follow a pre-determined route in life instead of risking it and blazing their own path.  It’s risky and its scary to be different.  But the long and short of it is that we are only given a short period of time to make our life meaningful.   The people who you think of as being innovators and super successful are those who broke free from the grasps of the typical “daily life”.  They knew they had something special inside of them and they fought to make it known.  Everyone has this something inside of them, it just takes the effort to bring it out in the open.  Having an unknown in your life is not a bad thing, it can keep you honest and working hard to better yourself.  I suppose where I am going with this thought is that negative thoughts, negative energy, negative ideas however small in seemingly innocent which infiltrate someone’s brain can only bring detriment to that person.  Social media in many ways allows this negative energy to roam freely…its fast and effective.  I myself am not sure how to truly avoid negative energy in my daily life because being connected to everyone is so essential to survival these days.  If you want to make enough money to put food on the table you have to open yourself up every day.  You need to be on facebook and twitter to succeed in our new economy.  The POPE is on twitter for crying out loud.

Do what makes you happy, be with people who make you happy, and strive to make others better.  It’s not easy to accomplish all of these.  I was listening to a podcast recently and it was said that they key to success in life is to be nice.  Yes, the key to everlasting happiness is to just be nice.  Keep yourself happy and full of positive energy.  When you are full of self-belief and positive energy you can attain your goals.  Don’t be influenced by others and stay true to one’s self.  The brain is such a powerful tool that it can distort one’s own perception of themselves.  Instead of letting your brain work against you, make it work for you.

Stay happy, stay nice, stay focused…..always chase your dreams and strive for your goals…you really don’t know how much time you have to reach them.

2011 Syracuse 70.3 Race Report

Trying to stay warm

Swim:

I was very happy to get in the water.  I used the advice of female pro Samantha Warriner and got a little warmup run in before I headed down to the beach.  I ran with my wetsuit on in order to heat up the core and keep my body in a ready to go state before my wave went off.

I felt good in the water the whole way and the exertion level was on par if not more than Timberman last month.  However, my time suffered by about a minute, possibly due to poor sighting as it was extremely sunny out and the point where you made the 90 degree turn at the out section looked directly into the low hanging sun.   None the less I was out of the water in just under 32 minutes which turned out to be 7th place in my AG.  Even with the slower swim this is about where I am at with my current swim ability so apparently it was par for the course.  The swim as always is something I really need to work on as the lead swimmer in my AG was at 28 minutes and that’s where I need to head towards.

Once out of the water I had my wetsuit stripped and I made the quarter of a mile (at least) run into transition.  I was set up near the swim in entrance so I had yet another quarter of a mile (about) to wheel my bike to the mount spot.  While wheeling my bike towards the mount section my glasses were so foggy that I almost took myself out by running directly into a garbage can, if you look at the below picture you can see a large gentlemen just passing it to my left.  It would have been a mess!! Luckily I avoided it, managed to get to the mounting section, and was off and away with no real issues.

Bike:

Long run with the bike

Yeah the HR was still pretty high here as you can see by my facial expression.

The air was cold and their seemed to be some wind at the beginning of the bike ride, but the fact that the course started with a 10 mile climb made it feel a lot warmer.  I had arm warmers ready to go but never put them on.  The only extra piece of equipment I used were toe booties over my bike shoes.  Even with those my feet still felt like rocks until about mile 5 of the run.  Over the first 10 miles I kept my power output around a certain number as to prevent blowing myself up early on in the bike.  After the course began to level off I set about keeping myself in check and getting my nutrition in.  First was the solid powerbar and then the switch was made to powergels as the bike segment wore on.  I probably drank the equivalent of 3-4 bottles of fluid and took one pee on the bike.  Over the past few races I have had pretty good success with aiming my stream so it didn’t go ALL OVER my bike, however yesterday it didn’t go so well.  Luckily I had a bottle of water with me so a quick cleanup was done on the fly and I was soon back in aero.  Along the bike ride I had two other dudes who were around me the whole time.  For the majority they took the lead and were between 50-200 yards ahead.  Over the last two miles I ended up coming up to them and eventually overtook them before we came into T2.  I never went beyond myself to catch them, when I did meet back up with them it was because I biked steady the entire way.  I really don’t have much else to share about the bike.  I rode essentially with two numbers in my head.  One was a flat land roller power output and one was a max power output on the hills.  Other than that I just rode and let the cards fall where they may.  I ended up coming in at over 2:30 which was below my expectations but it was still a solid ride for me.  No mistakes were made in transition, so off to the run I went.

Run:

At the beginning of the run I started out with one of the two other cyclists that were around me for the better part of the last 40 miles.  He and another guy that came from behind took it out strong and ended up distancing themselves from me by about 200-300 yards.  I kept them in my sight but covered the first 6 miles (first of the two loops) in a steady pace with my heart rate low.  My pace was where it needed to be and there was no reason to start pushing yet with half the race to go.  Other than those two cats I had one other carrot to chase after and that was none other than my best bud Mike Corona who started 5 minutes before me.  Right for the start the mission was for him to try and beat me to the finish line and for me to try and catch him before he made it.  Well over the first loop I did not see Mike at all.  I thought I had him in my sights at one point but it turned out to be another dude in a white top and black shorts.  As I started the second loop I made my way up the first steep hill at a steady pace and then began to slowly drop whateve hammer I was going to swing that day.  Luckily, my preparation allowed me to press on and get through the sticky miles 7-10 at a faster clip than miles 2-5.  It has historically been these miles that my pace suffers, however I stayed focused and kept moving along.  Everytime I had a downhill section to cover I took it on with full force and used my own momentum to really lay into the run.  Running downhill is definitely an aquired trait and essentially means having the ability to run at a very high cadence while letting your body go free.  At least thats how I do it, and its been working well.  I really used the downhills to my advantage and ended up coming around a corner at mile 10 to see Corona about 300 yards ahead of me.  I stayed steady and kept inching my way towards him.

Heading out for the first loop

With Mike in front of me I kept moving along.  At this time I saw Dan Jarecke of NiceTri coaching on his bike as he was cheering on an athlete of his, Bill Robertson.  Unknown to me, Bill was in my AG and was ahead of me.  However, Bill was struggling a little on the last part of the run.  I came up on him and told him to stay on my butt for as long as he could.  Unfortunetly I think the hills took its toll on his legs.  He ended up finishing a little behind me but still had a very fast day on the course posting an AG best 28 minute swim and I believe the second fastest bike split to back it up.  It was nice to meet Bill after the race and I look forward to following his career.  I believe he’s 28, so he will be crushing dreams for quite a while..

So on the run went and I must say it really could not have ended better.  With impecable timing I caught up with Mike just as we passed my Dad who happened to be posted up at the timing mats where the second loop began and where it also ended as the finishers were ushered straight on ahead for the last 1.5 miles.  This picture below says it all.  Two focused athletes at the tail end of a tough race.  Shortly after my dad clipped this picture I told Mike that he better not lose sight of my back.  For the next ~half mile I could hear Mike clipping at my heels.

Our own IRON-WAR
and away we go..

I ended up pulling away at the end by just a little bit but I hope that I provided some encouragement for Mike to finish just a little faster and to dig a little deeper.  Sometimes certain people can bring the best out in each other and no doubt Mike and I always make each other work for it.  It really could’t have ended any better.

And remember those two dudes I talked about earlier who passed me at the beginning of the run.  Well I ran down one of them with about 3 miles left and over the last mile I closed on the skinny dude who began the run at a blistering pace.  By no means did he slow down by a tremendous amount by I believe my the steady pace that I was able to obtain with an evenly split two loops allowed me to catch him him before the race ended.  I of course must thank this mystery 41 year old for giving me that extra little boost with a mile to go.  It always helps to have something sharpen your focus that extra amount near the end of a race.

Final Results can be searched for here:  http://ironmansyracuse.com/results/?rid=1143239856&y=2011

Swim: 31:45

Bike : 2:32

Run: 1:25

Total Time: 4:34

20th Overall

3rd in 25-29 Age Group

Another week in the books & The CUSE 70.3 GRUDGE MATCH

I wrote out the title of this Blog on Sunday evening, however I didn’t end up actually writing anything down.  Needless to say it is now Thursday and I am just getting some thoughts down.

Last week was a very solid week training wise.  The training hours were pushed up by a few from the week before and the building process towards IMFL felt like it was going along smoothly.  The only real change from week to week was that last Sunday I raced the Finger Lakes Sprint triathlon, so the rides and runs on the weekend were adjusted a bit.

I must say that racing the Score This Sprint series races this summer has been really good for me not only from a results stand point but from a mental and physical one.  The beauty about the brevity of a sprint triathlon, being only a little over an hour long for me is that it’s a great way to really get some quality efforts out of the body without completely wrecking it.  This means that the overall training plan for the longer races is relatively unaffected.  Thus, getting these types of short races on the schedule means that instead of grinding out another solo bike ride or run I get to spent time racing against actual people for actual times.

So leading up the weekend I was getting some intense and quality workouts in, making it to the pool each morning and getting in close to 20k by Friday.  This might not seem like an accomplishment to just get to the pool each day but when the commute is over an hour to the pool I would say that it is.  I am not complaining because I enjoy the peaceful time in the car with my coffee and my podcasts, but it does put a little strain on “getting it all in”.  Planning my week out in advance has become critical since I moved back home.  This is only temporary and well worth it for the benefits that will come in a few weeks.  Plus living back home has some tremendous benefits like being right on the lake, the fridge is pretty much always stocked, my trainer set up in the basement is awesome!…its pretty good living I’ve gotta say.

As for the actual race on Sunday all went pretty well.  I was very cold at the start of the race so when we actually got in the water (which was warmer than the air) it felt amazing.  The first 400 yards of the swim was right into the waves and the strong current that was heading toward shore definitely made everyone work.  On the way home that same current made the time go by pretty fast.  My goal in these short races is to bury myself and try to hang around the lead swimmers in the wave.  Usually regardless of the age group there are always a couple of people that can swim, that’s just the nature of triathlon.  Most of the time these are uber swimmers who have a long background in the pool, so being able to stay amongst them is an accomplishment for me.  I think I ended up 3rd in my age group out of the water.  We were the first sprint wave so I knew that as long as I could pass a couple of people in either transition or on the bike that I would be out front alone.  I must have caught one of them in transition because at about a half mile out of T1 I passed a youngster with “16” on his leg.  I would put money on it that he’s a high school swimmer who is very fast, hopefully he gets bitten by the tri bug and starts biking and running more…he’s got a natural advantage!

On the bike there was nothing really noteworthy.  It consisted of me grinding in my big gears trying to go as fast as possible on my semi-tired legs.   I think I ended up with about a 25mph avg with lower wattage than usual for a sprint.  None the less I got off the bike and immediately forgot where the heck my transition spot was.  I had a nice big yellow mat that I use to help me remember, however someone had conveniently placed their wetsuit right on it.  That someone was me…I’m a dummy.  After feeling very helpless for a few seconds I found it and then started wondering where run out was.  Why?  Well because their were people still coming in from the swim, in fact as I began my run their was a swim wave still leaving…so I realized this and started the run, weaving through people it wetsuits and finally got onto the run course.  It was pretty smooth sailing, when I hit the course I think their were 2 other ahead of me who were in the Olympic, Dan Pierce out of Buffalo and Steve Rosinski, a local from Rochester who was killing it.  Turns out Steve made up over 4 minutes on Dan on the bike.  Dan’s a great swimmer and a great biker so for Steve to make up all that time and actually pass him on the bike is saying something.  Steve went on to run sub 34 for the Olympic and win the race.  All I can say is that I am glad he wasn’t in the sprint that day, haha, just kidding I would have welcomed the competition from him!  I ended up with a 1:08 on the day for first place.  It was a great way to wrap up the sprint course season for me.  I am very glad that I was able to race in 4 of the Score This series races.  It was a fun way to keep the summer interesting.  And of course I must mention that once again Curt Eggers made the podium as he was right on my heels again..just as he has been all summer.  Pretty awesome for a guy who is old enough to be my dad.  Curt was 1st in his AG at the AG national championships back in August.  So congrats to him on a great summer season.  Hopefully our paths will cross again someday.

2011 FINGER LAKES TRIATHLON RESULTS

So for now its back to the grindstone.  I’ve been training as normal this week and will take Saturday as a semi-easy rest day in preparation for Cuse 70.3 on Sunday.  This race will be one that I will essentially be training though so a world record may not be broken this weekend, however this race does provide a great format for a grudge match between none other than the one they call “CUSETRI“.  Yes, this Sunday if you are lucky enough to be in Syracuse you can watch the GRUDGE MATCH between Turbeau and CuseTri play out on (Last year I snuck out the title by about a minute).  Mike will be starting 5 minutes before me and his goal is to get to the finish line before me.  My challenge is to thus chase his butt down on the run course..can it be done, can I make it 2 for 2?  Only time will tell….since I am staying with him this weekend I better make sure he doesn’t slip anything into my food.  Have explosive #2 during the run could be BAD!  AHHH !!  It’s going to be a great weekend in the Cuse for sure.

Let me know if your racing this weekend!

 

-turbeau

A report on “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie

Beleive it or not, Turbeau Curbeau was once a very astute student.  Here is an essay that I wrote for an English class way back when.  It is a report on the Salman Rushdie book titled “Midnight’s Children”.  The formatting when I copy and pasted it did not work out to well so I aplogize for that but it shouldn’t be to hard to read if your interested in learning about the book.  It is actually a pretty good book as it turns out.

“Smells like
music, hold memories.  She breathed deep
and bottled it up for posterity.” (Roy, 94)
The sense of smell through the use of a nose plays a crucial role in
both The God of Small things by Arundhati Roy and Midnight’s Children by
Salaman Rushdie.  In Midnight’s Children
Rushdie does not hide the fact that noses are key components to the history of
Saleem’s family.  His great-grandfather,
Aadam Aziz who had the first nose talked about can be seen as initiating the
fall of the family when his nose fell to the ground.  Aadam Aziz knelt to the ground and hit his
nose, when blood in the shape of diamonds came pouring out a hole opened up in
him that would not close.  This hole
would lead him and his family on a series of events that ultimately destroyed
the family and the generations to come.
It can be seen that in The God of Small Things, Roy creates a world seen
though the eyes of a viable die-able aged Rahel who sees and smells the small
things in life.  The God of Small Things
is full exotic smells, sights, and experiences that describe the drama of her
life.  In Midnight’s Children Saleem’s
connection with his nose lets him recall the evens of the past. He remarks at
one point that the “pickle-fumes stimulate the juice of memory.”  Thus, in both books the sense of smell and
use of noses is used to heighten and enhance the experience of each novel.

Smells plays so many roles in these novels that they need to be broken down into
segments.  Smells help describe forbidden love, to describe people, and it was used to describe “the small things” like
failure, feelings, and even food.  Smells and noses lead the characters of each novel through their lives.  It helps them put things into perspective and answer questions for them.  Smells remain
a constant and anchor memories of the past with them.  In both novels smells are used many times for a better understanding of the situation.

In Midnight’s Children certain smells and sensory experiences help to describe numerous important scenes.  The perfumed Coca-Cola girls and fizzy drinks disguised the “scent of failure”.  This one sentence about Ahmed and his
“secret” relationships can be broken down to see the sensory relationships.  Ahmed’s failure as a husband and businessman are apparent; he has lost the love of Amina and his money has been squandered by false hopes of big business dreams.  In order to compensate and mask his “scent of failure” in both aspects of life he covers himself with Coca-Cola girls and fizzy drinks.  Coca-Cola referring to the taste of a soda, and the fizzy drinks appealing to the sense of smell and the use of the nose that sniffs up the fizzy bubbles before a sip.  Rushdie intertwines so many uses of senses in order to give the reader the complete experience and importance of a scene.

Many smells in these novels are used accentuate the importance of a situation.  When Tai the boatman purposefully lets his
body becoming filthy and smelly, it is to make a point to Aadam Aziz in order to get his feelings across properly.  The
smell of Tai the Boatman is like his words are unmistakable. Tai prophesies what is to come and his words stick in the Aziz/Sinai family because as the saying goes, “Smells like music hold memory.”  In contrast the Sinai family uses smells in order to cover or mask their emotions.  Such emotions like anger, guilt, shame, and envy are covered up by “so called helpful or kind gestures”, well spiced meals, or false words.  Smell even is used repeatedly to drive home the feelings of a little man named Estha.  The smell, “Sicksweet.  Like old roses on a breeze.” (Roy, 8) This smell is one that Estha had taken on when he was a young boy at Sohpie Mol’s funeral and one that would stick with him as he was returned to his father.  This smell leaves a lasting impression on the
boy who had to many images on his mind.  “Cold handcuffs with a sourmetal smell.  Like steel bus rails and the conductor’s hand holding them.” (Roy, 31)  The sourmetal smell of a conductor’s hand bringing them back to a time when they were nearly born on a bus and its relation to what brought goose bumps on their skin because of the handcuffs that were placed on Velutha’s destroyed body.  The sour metal smell conjures up thoughts and memories about the past in their lives.   These scenes from the
novels give a brief introduction into how smell plays an important role.  Senses and smells become even more important
when forbidden love occurs and love laws are broken.

Love laws are described in The God of Small Things, as they way certain people should “love” each other.  If these laws are not followed than the love is not proper and rules are thus being broken.  In both novels love laws are broken.  It is easy to see how they are broke.  What is more interesting is how each author conveys the breaking of the rules.
It can be seen on numerous occasions when the rules are broke that the authors are appealing to the senses to drive home their point.  Specifically, the sense of smell is used to aid the reader in learning about the love and being able to remember it just as
those who were in love did.  Smells don’t change and when in the years after love has been established, smells bring the
people in love back to a place and time of comfort and happiness.  Smells are not biased.  A wealthy man can smell horrible because he plays with filthy money all day, and a poor man can smell like roses because he has to sleep outside with no house to be had.  Therefore, a close look at smells and their relationship to forbidden love in each novel is a very interesting topic.

A good start for the topic of forbidden love and smells can be seen in a couple
who most readers would not think of first.  The first couple was one of the first to have a “forbidden love”, they
met because of faith, and it was faith they kept them separate.  Baby Kochamma and Father Mulligan shared an interesting “forbidden love” in such a way that it was never actually fulfilled.  Baby Kochamma became a nun in
order to be closer to the man she loved, a man that she knew she could never really be with.  It was enough for Baby to just be close to him.  “Close enough to smell his beard.  To see the weave of his cassock.  To love him just by looking at him.” (Roy, 25)  This use of the senses, smell and sight give Baby something to hold onto forever.   She remembers always the smell of the man
that she was so close to but could never really have.  Eventually Baby would try to replace the love she felt for this man with TV.  She used TV as an outlet to forget her true desires.  She became a different person; a woman who was once old and mature
became increasingly “baby-ish” with old age.  The inability for her to be with the man she loved haunted her forever,
as she would write that she loved him in her diary every night.

Saleem’s sense of smell deepens and alters with the addition of a literal one so that he
can now smell human nature along with the emotions in food, city, streets and
homes, and even within himself. Saleem begins to sniff out the dirty smells of
his country, and had relations with the “dirty” whores liked old Tai Bibi, who
can master the scent of anyone on earth.
This ability to master any scent on earth is what draws Saleem in.  Saleem begins to break the “love laws” and
visit the whore Tai Bibi who like Tai the Boatman tinkers with his stench in
order to make those she deals with feel certain emotions.  Saleem begins to be drawn to her because she
smells like his sister, the now famous Jamilia Singer.  Saleem is therefore brought back to a time
when he sister was still the Brass Monkey and he felt certain emotions for her
that were ones that also broke “love laws.”
This was a time when Saleem went to his sister and he could smell the
“shame and horror” of her reaction.  In the heat of “passion”, Tai Bibi
brings out this forbidden scent of his beloved sister. The use of smell brings
up so many emotions that Saleem feels.
Thus, Tai Bibi and Tai the Boatman use their smells to influence Aadam
Aziz and his grandson Saleem.  In
Saleem’s case it brings back all the emotions of a true love that broke all the
rules and was never able to be consummated.

In comparison a final look at The God of Small things reveals how one of the
deepest and truest loves becomes remembered most by the smell related to the
untouchable class.  In this case the
untouchable smell that one of that class has, becomes a smell that makes Ammu
want to “touch, feel, learn, and live” and Mammachi almost vomit.  The Paravan smell that is related to the
untouchable class is what gets correlated with Velutha.  Velutha is the man who becomes Ammu’s love of
her life, her true love that lasts but a brief second in her life.  However, it is a love that brings the
downfall of a family and the splitting of two-egged twins.  A quote from The God of Small things on page
218 can sum up the love of Velutha and Ammu as well as shedding some light on
the love that Rahel and Estha share.
Both loves’ break love laws, this meaning that there is something in
society that deems these relationships however based in true, real love to be
wrong.  Wrong in the way that they should
not happen, however because of the circumstances it is these societal “wrong
loves” that bring out true happiness and comfort.  The quote begins, “The Great Stories are the
ones you have heard and want to hear again.
The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably.  They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick
endings.  They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen.  They are as familiar as the house you live in.  Or the smell of your lover’s skin.(Roy, 218)  This single quote tells so much.  It can be broken down to show that
the great stories mean great loves and that just as you can hear them over and over again, you can be with that person for the rest of your life without getting tired of them.  No matter what, the stories or the loves are comforting and reassuring.  There is no trick ending to the story or the love, you know that it will end in a certain way and that doesn’t matter ecause the only thing that does is love. Finally, the relation to the house you live in can be taken in many ways
as being a familiar icon of your life but it can also be seen as relating to
the history house where all the true love in this novel takes place and comes
to an end.  Then the relation to the
smell of you lover’s skin is truly relative to a lasting impression that
appeals to the senses.  The sense that
“Smells like music, hold memories”, and in this case the memories break love
laws but are the only ones that are about true and meaningful love.  The love that is invoked by these smells is
one that will last forever.

Plan to Succeed

I am in the office right now and have a few free moments in between tasks so here are some random thoughts about how success can be achieved through proper planning.  Please excuse any typos as I am writing quickly and not re-reading before i post 🙂

Success is born from hard work and desire.  Their is simply no way around actual down and dirty work if you want to get where you know you can be.  I would wager to say that 99% and maybe 100% of people who you think of as successful have obtained this perceived “success” because they had a plan.  Whether they knew it or not, they had a vision of what they wanted right from the beginning.  Some people are more visual than others so writing notes down and putting something tangible in front of them is the best way to get something to become real.  Others can think up their plan, and then execute it purely based on their thoughts.  For me, being a visual person I love to write things down and get it on paper.  It is this simple process that allows me to for the most part execute a regimented triathlon training plan on a weekly basis.  When things get written down and placed in their proper time slots you can visualize having the required time to do everything that you want to.

My advice to those who seem to never have enough time to get the training in that they want is to sit down every Sunday night and write out how they can accomplish the upcoming weeks workouts.  Personally, I take out a notebook and start filling out timeslots.  8:30AM – 5:30PM most every week gets filled with work hours as these are set in stone.  I then begin with my free morning hours which are usually 4:30 – 8:00AM.  4:30 – 5:00 is allocated for waking up, getting something to eat, and having coffee.  This leaves me with between 2-3 hours to make something happen.  If I don’t have to commute anywhere I am able to either sleep in a bit more and then go to the pool at 6 or I can run before I swim and then go to the pool after, if I got to bed earlier.  So after the morning hours and work hours I am left with a time slot of about 6-9PM.  Lately this has been partly a commute back home of an hour and then a trainer ride on the bike at night.  Even with the commute I can execute a 1:45 bike ride with a ton of focused work and still be in bed by 9PM with a dinner/post workout meal in my stomach.  For those who do not have such a lengthly commute, then all the better…I’d tell you to get to bed earlier!

I guess the main point I want to emphasize is that most everyone can execute a training plan when it is properly laid out in advance and tailored to the person’s individual needs.  It’s extremely important that the triathlete be realistic about how many hours they can devote to training.  If you are married, with children, and have a time-sucking job well then your schedule should look a lot different than mine…that’s just how it is.  However, I honestly believe that a person who is consistent in their training whether that be 10, 12, 14, or 20 hours per week will succeed.  The key is to do this week in and week out and to not get caught up in any bumps that may happen along the way.  If a workout is missed it needs to be put behind you and forgotten, usually the only thing that can come about when trying to “fit it in later” is that you overwork yourself and put your body into an overloaded state that can cause a decrease in progression because you can’t execute the training as it was planned.  Instead of worrying about a missed workout, capitalize on it and get to bed 30 minutes earlier if you can, or spend an extra few minutes with the family, or put the extra effort into the project at work.  This are all honorable non-training tasks and should not be looked down upon.  Live in the present and pour yourself totally into what your doing, once that is accomplished you can then move on to the next task.  I struggle with this as much as the next person, however for the most part I am able to succeed on a weekly basis because of two big things:

1.  I plan out ahead of time and make it visually possible to complete all my workouts.

2.  When I am working out I totally focus on the training and zone out from what’s “next”, doing so allows me to complete my training in its entirety without the external stess of work or other such things.  Use the training time as your own personal meditation, its not supposed to be a “chore”.

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