Combining ingredients changes their individual flavor

stirring the pot

Confession number one, I skipped the hike I had planned for Sunday morning. Sunday morning I realized there was no way I was going to be able to fit it into my day before Jasper’s birthday party because I still had some shopping to do.

Confession number two, I only ended up riding 20 miles on Saturday evening. The friends I went out with were not up to doing the 40-mile distance I had planned. I’ll try for that again this weekend.

Confession number three, I tipped over on my bike in front of all my friends. This was karma for me laughing at one of my friends who rode in circles because he didn’t want to unclip from his pedals to stop. At the end of our ride, we rode into the parking lot and rolled toward the cars. I unclipped my left foot and was distracted by a Ragnar emblem stuck to the back of a Mercedes. My weight shifted toward the right since I was staring amazed at what I saw to my left. I hadn’t unclipped my right foot and “Timber” down I went. Epic Failure.

I learned a bunch about triathlons out on the ride, things I had never considered before, such as needing to wash your feet off after the swim before you shove them into your socks and shoes and get on your bike. Bits of information like this from more experienced athletes are priceless. Can you imagine getting out of the water, running through the sand along the beach and then putting your wet sandy feet into shoes? Sure you can try to wipe the sand off, but you are not going to get it all. Sandpaper between your toes while you ride and then run could destroy a race.

Other nifty bits of information I picked up: turn your wetsuit inside out to put it on, put glide on your heels to get your feet into your wetsuit easier, and put a big black marker in your transition bag in case your number comes off (so you don’t have to wait in line to have it put back on!).

I looked at the maps and read all the rules on the Spudman website today.

  • No snorkels/fins
  • No drafting
  • No headphones/music players
  • T1 closes at 7:00AM. No bikes will be allowed in after 7:00AM
  • No tandem bikes

Whenever you combine things together, whether it is ingredients, people, or sports they change the flavor of each other in small ways. Running is about the only part of the tri that isn’t flavored by swimming and cycling in a triathlon.

I’ve completed five or so 100-mile cycling events and know that in a tri you cannot draft (ride inches off the back tire of the rider in front of you). Tri bikes are constructed differently so that you don’t fatigue your running muscles as much. The seat is closer to the handlebars and higher. You can use aero bars in a tri, but not in a cycling event. I know these don’t seem like huge differences, but they are.

Triathlon swimming technique is different from competitive swimming because you rotate your body more and use your legs less. Your forward motion comes from your arms and the rotational force of your core. This technique is called the TI or Total Immersion method. I’ve had the bug to break into triathlons for about a year. Last October, I bought the book and videos to teach myself the TI method. My swimming has improved immensely. Today I swam 32 laps (1600 yards or about a mile) in 40 minutes. Prior to using TI, it took me 30 minutes to swim just over twenty laps.

I was able to purchase a two-piece tri-suit, extra goggles, and a wetsuit (with the help of a friend) today.

There are three pieces in my triathlon puzzle left a block workout (swim and bike back to back or bike and run back to back), swimming with a wetsuit on, and an open water swim.

I start my on-call week on Thursday so it is going to be tricky getting these in before the race.




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