the unpredictable journey

getting started to tri: beginner gear

Triathlon can be super overwhelming. There is all the gear that these crazy people (also known as me) use for not just one, but three (!) sports. How on Earth do you make heads or tails of what you need? I’m hoping to help with what I think can be a very basic list of items to have if you are a beginner testing the waters of triathlon, but extras if you find you really love it.

Swimming: Beginner

  • Swim suit – Go for a quality suit like TYR or Speedo which will last you much longer. It will be cheaper in the end than a cheaper suit which will wear quicker and need to be replaced more often. You can find them at a discount at places like Buy the suit for the size you are right now. Purchasing a bigger size will cause the suit to drag in the water and actually wear out faster. If you purchase a suit that’s too small or your ideal racing size, yeah, good luck getting that on.
  • Goggles – You want a good, quality pair of goggles. I use the TYR Special Ops. The lens curve means that I don’t have weird corners in open water swims that would happen with flat goggles. Either way, get a good pair. You should be able to press the eyes sockets to your face with light pressure and they should stay on and make a good seal without the use of the strap.
  • Cap – If you are a female or male with hair I’d recommend a swim cap. This helps streamline you and save your hair from all the chlorine damage that will happen. I personally prefer the latex caps over the thicker silicone ones, but find your preference.

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swim lane

I belong to a city recreation program. We have numerous gyms around the city and because I’m a resident it ends up being $20 a month. For me that’s a steal for a pool. Especially with both my husband and I participating in triathlons. However, with the aspect of a city pool, comes cluster time in the swim lanes every now and then. To be fair, it’s more often than not. While I appreciate the training for dodging people for IM open swim, sometimes it can be frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to come unhinged when a kid jumps in the lane on top of me. I have learned to use that as an opportunity to teach the kids (it’s always kids) some swim lap ettiquite. You wouldn’t ram your car out into traffic and hope people see you, treat the swim lane the same way. Also? If your head position is correct in the water, you can’t see them coming at you anyway! I just try to be honest, explain that they need to make sure everyone in the lane knows they are getting in, while also explaining the danger of just jumping in. Read More

locker room chatter

Last week I was getting ready for work at my gym. I had just done a long swim session and at that point I think I was close to being ready.

There were two women who were in the same general area with me and started having a conversation about the swim session their coach/trainer had given them. They started with the general chatter, then it turned to the workout they were about to start.

I don’t remember word for word but in their minds the workout was impossible. I want to say the main set was 6×300 and the woman was having a hard time grasping swimming 1800 as part of the set at all if not the total for the entire workout. She was totally and completely convinced that she was not capable of doing any of the workout. She started planning on how she was going to adjust the workout and cut things short before she even got in the water. The coach wanted to her to work too hard and she wouldn’t be able to swim that far. Read More

Blackland Triathlon 2014

I love this race. This was my first ever triathlon back in 2010 and I come back every year. The course is consistently the same, the support is great and they have a fun kids race beforehand to provide for some inspiration if you are lacking. For me this is where it all began and I go back to remind myself of where my love of triathlon started.

Sometimes it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the awe and status of Ironman. I’m not going to lie, I feel pretty darn good when people find out I’ve done several Ironman’s and are truly impressed. But the roots of triathlon for me go back to the local scene, where it’s your friends Michelle and Erik who are in charge of the run course, and the race directors remember who you are because you’ve raced with them so many times, your friends kid is the one who body marks you and your local bike shop who knows your bike almost better than you do is there to help with any last minute issues.

I’m not going to lie, my goals for the race was to podium and grab an AG National spot. Aging up into the super competitive 30-34 age group I knew I had my work cut out for me. I know I’m in Ironman training, but I was hoping the week of taking it easy after last weekend (100 mile hotter than hell bike rally Sat with a hottest half marathon Sun, ouch) my body would bounce back a bit and support me. Valor Triathlon Project next year has a small group where our goal is to storm nationals and with my no Ironman plan next year, this fit perfectly. Spoiler: it didn’t happen, but I’ve got a bit of fire in my belly come January and some short course work to do. Read More

shaping the future

I can’t believe we are at the tail end of August. This year is flying by and I feel like I’m barely holding on!

After a disappointing race mentally at Texas, coach had me right back in the mix of training. I think she really knew I needed to not sit and wallow, so I became focused on working towards the next goal: IMAZ. Arizona was always the A focus this year, so it was a great way to learn some lessons and apply them to the next IM.

Beautiful day for a ride on the IMLP course

Beautiful day for a ride on the IMLP course

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