Friday, May 8, 2009

Triathlon Mania!

Triathlon Mania!

Sorry, writerly folks, this blog post is all about Triathlons.
triswim I’m officially signed up for the Issaquah Triathlon on May 30th. It’s a 1/4 mile swim in cool water (compared to the 80 degree pool I train in), a 15 mile flat bike ride (shit, I’ve been training for 10…need to up the bike miles), and a 5K flat XC run. Hmm…looking at that picture, did the dude on the left already take his wetsuit off or is he some kind of super-stud?? I’ll be the one rolling out of the water like a beached whale.
So this week I visited a Tri shop in Seattle and became acutely aware that being a Triathlete is not cheap, especially in this area because of the cold water. I had no idea how much gear I needed…it’s almost like skiing FCOL. I picked up a wet suit, a Tri singlet (a thing looks like a wrestling costume), a cap for my head, and a new pair of goggles. I’m planning on using my old POS bike. I’ve fixed it up a bit with new hand grips, a new seat, some lights, and road tires. It’s still nothing like a competitive Tri bike, which start at around $1700 and go up from there.
This morning, I ran a virtual triathlon. 40 mins in the pool, with a 20 min non-stop period which should be enough to cover 1/4 mile. Then I changed and showered (I’m worried that the chlorine will mess up my bike/run clothes) and went on a 10 mile bike ride. I changed again, then went on a 4 mile run. The whole process took three hours…however I think one of the keys to a Triathlon will be the transitions. I figure that if I keep the transitions down to 2 minutes each (instead the 20 mins they took today), I’m estimating a finish time of 1:52 or so. The transition from biking to running was brutal. The first mile felt like I was back in the pool, trying to run underwater. After that I loosened up, but everything’s going to be magnified when I run at race pace.

So here’s my Triathlon Event Checklist. After the race, I’ll update it with what I really needed.
  • Bike Prerace 
    • Inflate Tires
    • Check Brakes
    • Check Lights
    • Place in truck
    • Fill Water bottle for bike
    • Reconsider this foolishness
  • For the swim
    • Wetsuit
    • Singlet
    • Cap/race cap
    • Goggles
    • Chip
    • Sandals
    • Lose fear of drowning
    • Avoid the buoys area: too crowded
  • Transition 1
    • Somehow find my bike among the 1000’s there
    • Somehow get out of wet suit (assuming I actually managed to get in it)
    • Towel off as much as possible
    • Get on bike clothes
    • Eat some shot blocks/drink water
    • Put race belt on
    • Get on the bike and ride!
  • For Biking
    • Helmet
    • Gloves
    • Sunglasses
    • Biking pants (if cold)
    • Biking jacket (if cold)
    • Biking shirt
    • Socks
    • Shoes
    • GPS set to bike mod
    • Don’t follow misguided riders and ride an extra 5 miles
  • Transition 2
    • Find where the F I leave my bike
    • Take off bike clothes
    • Switch GPS to run mode and reset
    • More shots/water
    • Quick stretch?
    • Run for it!
  • For Running
    • Socks
    • Shoes
    • Running Hat
    • Running shirt (if cold)
    • Sunglasses
    • GPS set to run mode
    • Try not to pee pants since I doubt I’ve hit a potty yet
  • Post race
    • Collapse
    • Pee
    • Collapse
    • Find sandals/car keys
  • Other Preparation
    • Register for event
    • Pick up packet
    • Put numbers on appropriate items
    • Roll up socks so they're easy-on
    • Put on sunblock
    • Apply Anti chafe
    • Asthma medication
    • Prerace smoothie
    • Pack shot blox/gel packs
    • Fill water bottles/camelbak
    • Warm up
    • Pack
    • Learn how to swim in a friggin wetsuit and/or singlet.
    • Seriously, reconsider this foolishness
I’m sure I’m leaving craploads of stuff out but I’ll update this page as I figure it out.
  • XC: Cross country.
  • FCOL: For crying out loud.
  • POS: Piece of shit.
  • Tri: Anything to do with Triathlons.
  • Triathlon: A unique form of torture where participants are water-boarded, ridden out of town, then run ragged until their feet bleed and they vomit.
  • Wetsuit: A tight cocoon-like piece of apparel that squeezes the life out of you while you wear it and provides minimal protection against the cold.
  • Singlet: A very thin piece of apparel that squeezes the life out of you while you wear it and provides minimal protection against losing your dignity.

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