race day prep… warm up race #1

English: IronMan 70.3 Pucón 2009 (Start) Españ...

IronMan 70.3 Pucón 2009  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow’s the 1st race of the season… a “warm up” race that, as of this moment today promises to more chilly than anything. It’s been raining all day. Heck, it’s been raining all week. A week of wet, chilly runs and spin classes. Ugh. I don’t know what I was expecting. I may or may not have already mentioned that the vast majority of my races back in 2010 were in the cold or (and often AND) rain. Those race included multiple sprint tris, a half-Ironman distance triathlon and a full marathon run in the rain. Yes, it rained the ENTIRE 26.2 miles. Every last one of them.

Tomorrow’s tri is a brick workout in week 12 of the 70.3 training plan – we managed to time this first race perfectly. Except for the rain part. So, while the race tomorrow is just a .5 mile swim, a 14.4 mile bike and a 5K run, I will spend my evening steeling myself against the idea that I will be spending yet another few hours of my life submersed in water chillier than most normal people would tolerate, and then biking and running in 50-60 degree weather and into potentially driving, pouring rain. Hooray.

But I digress.

In the meantime, it’s prep time. Time to make sure I have all of my gear. Fortunately, the internet is chock-full of sample prep lists … what, oh what did we ever do before Google? Here’s my own preliminary version:

Swim / for the morning:

  • Warm clothes for setting up your transition area
  • Towel
  • Wetsuit
  • Swimsuit / tri suit
  • Goggles (plus an extra pair just in case)
  • Swim cap (including a neoprene cap to go under the race cap in case you’re swimming in water cold enough to freeze your noggin)
  • Baby powder for your swim cap
  • Timing chip
  • Watch
  • Body Glide, vaseline or other lube of choice – apply pre-swim and leave at transition area for shorter distances (may want to also include in bike to run transition bag if there are 2 separate transition areas)

Bike:

  • Bike
  • Bike Shoes
  • Socks
  • Bike Shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle / hydration
  • Race belt with bib # pre-attached
  • Arm warmers and leg warmers or Jacket and pants
  • Bike gloves

Run:

  • Running shoes
  • Hat or visor or headband
  • Socks
  • Water bottle

Other:

  • Snacks – bars, gels, chews, whatever you use for race day fuel (remember not to try anything new…)
  • Clothes for after the race
  • Advil or pain killers (depending on the length of the race and how prepared you are of course…less prepared=more pain killers)
  • Wet wipes – I usually have some of these or use a towel at transition that I dump water on and wipe my face off after I get off the bike. You know, to get all of the bugs off my face and outta my grill and all…

I fully expect I have forgotten something here. And I fully expect that even if I didn’t forget ANYTHING on this list, I will probably  forget something tomorrow. Hopefully it will be something really unimportant (though I’m not sure that on this list I’m willing to give up… baby powder, I guess.)

Anyway, recognizing this is the 1st race of the year and I’ve probably definitely forgotten how to do this, my other race day advice for myself and any other 1st race of the year individuals?

  • Give yourself enough time on race morning to do everything you need to do. Don’t forget to get up early enough to eat and let your stomach settle. What is that your mom always said about swimming after you ate?
  • You’ll probably have to park a little ways away and cart your stuff, so be prepared for that – bring a backpack or a gym bag or something (not like me, one of the first race I did, I just threw everything in the car and had to hand-carry it all in multiple trips back and forth from the car to the transition area. Not the recommended course of action).
  • Getting there early also means you’ll have plenty of time to set everything up so you can find it when you get out of the water and are running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to minimize your transition time.
  • And of course, getting there early will also mean you’ll have time to squirm and wiggle your way into your wetsuit in a more relaxed fashion. You know, with some dignity. Like the rest of us. Ha.

Good luck, have fun, and happy racing everyone!

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open water swims…

A few years back, I signed my mother up for her first triathlon. She had been saying for years and years that she always thought about doing one, that she thought it’d be fun. And she never signed up. So one year, for her birthday, that was her present. Happy birthday, Mom! Now before you deem me to be an evil child, you should know 1) that I flew home and did the race also, and 2) my mom was perfectly capable of finishing a sprint tri, probably without even training for it (she just needed a little push. You know, in exchange for all of that love and support she gave me when I was growing up. Oh, how the tables had turned, haha).

Having said that, my hubby put together a training program for her to follow. Which she did, to a T. Except for the part where you have to get into the open water. Despite my strong encouragement to go find a lake, ALL of her swims were in a pool. Which is fine, except that race day open water swims are not pool swims. Dark, murky water. Cold, sometimes chest-freezingly, brain-numbingly cold water makes you gasp for air. Makes your lungs freeze up. Makes you want to get back out (the same way you came in – the short way!). Add the hundreds of other people splashing and kicking around (and the stress of potential fist or foot to the face hazards) and the open water swim can be enough to sink anyone. Now my poor mom learned this the hard way. She made it through and she completed the race, but not without some emotional scarring. She has since completed a half marathon and last year, a full marathon. But I’m not sure that I will ever get her in the open water again…

English: Open water swimmer

Open water swimmer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Determined not to face the same traumatic experience as my mom did, my hubby’s taken a different approach and yesterday faced the freezing cold lake for the first time. Mano a mano. Fifty-five frigid degrees seemed not to deter him though I’m not sure why. Perhaps one part of why he has already hit the cold water is because he knows that he might well be facing the same conditions on race day. When I went through this two years ago, with the exception of 1 Olympic distance race, every single one of my race day lake swims was in water temps between 55-58 degrees – not exactly tropical soaking temps. Regardless, I’m proud of him for facing the open water swim. And not only that, but for spending a full 25 minutes in it! He goes into this weekend’s 1st tri, and the tri season, wiser and more experienced than those who haven’t yet braved the cold, dark open.

It’s funny, the things that wear you out when you’re swimming in the open water. It’s tough to fight your natural instincts to gasp for air as your chest and lungs submerge. You can’t see the black line on the bottom of the pool because the water is dark and gloomy and murky. Mentally, it is exhausting to try and NOT lose your cool when you see something dark and shadowy below you. Especially if it’s big. Or moving. Toward you. Even perfectly logical and rational people like myself can easily imagine the fictitious black octopus of death swimming menacingly towards you with its eight poisonous legs ready to grab you and drag you to the depths so he can eat you for dinner. You’re such easy, unsuspecting prey. Oh wait, that’s just a tree branch. Safe…? For now…The point of all of this is to say, I highly recommend you don’t make race day your first open water experience. First of all, if you live in this neck of the woods, you can wait for the water to warm up, but really – there’s a chance the water really might not be any warmer on race day and you’re certainly going to have to deal with it then, aren’t you?

And perhaps most important (at least as far as I’m concerned), you’ll want to learn what your personal reactions to things may be – both physiologically and mentally. For example, I know I need to get in to the water and submerge myself just before the swim starts. So that initial panicky cold has faded enough for me to control my breathing. If I don’t, I spend the first leg of the swim trying not to hyperventilate. Also, you will probably want to check out your wetsuit before race day. I have a friend who didn’t and found out at the start of the swim that the neck of her wetsuit were like tiny little angry toddler hands strangling her as she swam. Joy. At least it was just a sprint distance. It was not her most favorite triathlon experience.

And I know that I’m comfortable in the (pool) water, but open water makes me J-U-M-P-Y! But the more I’m in the open water, the more I’ve “survived” the open water – maybe it IS safe after all? And I’ve found that orangey-amber colored goggles literally brighten my view. Rose colored glasses. Think about it- nothing bad or scary ever comes from somewhere bright and sunshiny. Yes, it’s a total head game. Mock all you want, it works.

Sure, you may get a little cold venturing out into the cold, dark. But all of these little things could really save your tush on race day. Doesn’t that make it worth it?

in the blink of an eye…

Yesterday we took advantage of the cool, but very pleasant weather, the Memorial Day holiday (day off) and a really fantabulous 70 mile long multi-use trail we have in the area that we had (remarkably) never used before. We were slated for a 3 hour bike ride this coming weekend (the end of week 11), but bumped it to yesterday because we had all the time in the world and who knows what the weekend would look like.

Along the way, we were graced by 3 moose and countless great blue herons in the river and marshes alongside the trail. It was quite easy to get distracted by the abundance of wildlife. And it would have made the time go by really quite quickly if it weren’t for a persistent headwind that kept us from really cruisin’.

We were making pretty good time despite the headwind. But our heads were on swivel sticks. Looking this way and that to glimpse all of the creatures we could see. And somewhere along the way, I decided to look down – at my shoulder, I think – and in that second, maybe two, I drove my bike right off the side of the trail into the soft gravel that grabbed my tire and threatened to take me down.

Now, I know what you’re thinking right now.  “Didn’t she just fall off of her bike not too long ago?”  I’m not going to justify that ridiculously inquiring line of thought with a straight answer (see answers here and here); suffice it to say I may or may not have some injuries that may or may not have originated from a certain incident approximately 5 weeks ago.

As is always the case when you’re falling off of your bike, it all happens in slow motion. Well, steering off of the trail happened in the blink of an eye, but what happened after that was Matrix-dodging bullets-slow.

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.”

“Not…”

“a-”

“-gain…!”

“(insert self-scolding)”

“@#%$^%)*!”

“Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Fortunately, in this particular instance, I was able to steer myself back onto the path and slow my bike to a stop. Rather gracefully considering the circumstances if I do say so myself.

And eventually, I was able to swallow my heart and put it back into its rightful place in my chest and get it to beat at a less frantic pace. Eventually.

Talk about a close call. I mean, really.

And I can hear you judging me – “GOOOOOOD-ness! Someone get that girl some training wheels!”  At this point, I can’t say I blame you. I will certainly not turn down training wheels. Elbow pads. A-D-D meds. Whatever would help. This is madness.

All I can say is this – please be careful out there. You may not have the same tenuous relationship with your bike as I do, but all it takes is the blink of an eye to steer off the trail, hit some gravel, or lose control and turn your training ride into a trip to the hospital or worse. I’ve had enough mishaps on my bike for a lifetime (or at least it feels that way with how things have gone lately). I think I might even start taking my own advice: Take ‘er nice and easy out there. Happy riding.

week 8 recap…


Day What I was supposed to do… What I actually did…
Monday Rest Rest? Meh, who needs it?
Thursday’s Bike 1:20
Tuesday Bike Short Hills (1 hour, 10 minutes total with 9×1 minute hill climbs) Wednesday’s run:
47 minutes with 9x:30 sprint set with 1 minute rest
Wednesday Swim (1625 yards)Run Speed Intervals (47 minutes with 9x:30 sprint set with 1 minute rest)  Lame-o Swim Attempt – ALMOST today’s yardage… 1500 yards
Thursday Foundation Bike 1:15 Swim:2x {50 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 50 fly}4×50 scull drill

5×300 (sight 1x per 25)

2×100 Cool down

Total 2300

 

Friday’s Foundation Run:  37 minute predator run

Friday Swim / Foundation Run + Strides set REST.
Ok. I’ll admit it, I guess I do need it.
Saturday Foundation Bike 1:45 Sunday’s Brick WorkoutBike 1:15
Run 30 minutes
Sunday Swim / Brick Workout Combine Tuesday’s hill workout with Saturday’s Foundation RideBike: 2 hours of hills, hills, HILLS!

the 15 minute rule…

Ever have one of those days? You know the ones, don’t you?  When it’s hard enough to convince yourself to change into your gym clothes, let alone leave the house and go workout. The days where you get to the trailhead or the pool or the gym and you’re not sure you have the willpower to even start. The days when you sit with your gym bag on the bench next to you, staring at the locker, just willing yourself to put your socks on. Change your shoes. You know the days.

Yesterday I had one. I made it to the pool. I did. I got that far. I even got into my swimsuit and cap, ready to roll. And I had the place ALL to myself and a quiet, calm water surface that was mine, all mine. Usually a place of extreme peace and serenity for me. Bodes well and I thought I was golden, but on this particular day, it was all downhill from there.

Physically, I felt fine. Well, a little tired. (But really what do you expect?)  But I thought I’d be able to push through. And that’s when the mental tired hit me. Really, I can usually push through that too. I consider myself to be pretty steely. Pretty mentally tough. Very much a mind-over-matter type of gal. It’s a point of pride for me. A hallmark of my character, if you will.

Yet yesterday, lap after lap, all I could think of was “i don’t wanna i don’t wanna i don’t wanna i don’t wanna.” Ugh.

And sometimes, this just happens to me. So every once in a while, I give myself permission to pack it in for the day. There are rules, however (can’t have myself just willy nilly throwing in the towel EVERY day, now can we? Talk about chaos…). Well actually there is just 1 rule. You ready for it?

No matter what, I MUST WORK OUT FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES.

I have to at least make an attempt.  If I’m still not feeling it when the chrono hits 15, then I can call it a day. Running, biking, swimming, whatever. And hey, at least I got 15 minutes of exercise (better than none at all…).

Here’s the beauty of this rule. For me, I almost always feel much better right around 12 or 13 minutes and then I’m in it for the long haul and able to finish whatever workout was on the books for the day. It’s practically like clockwork. But not quite. Almost always.

Yesterday’s swim was more like 25-30 grueling and mentally demanding minutes. But when just could not pull another 50 yards out, let alone another 1000+, I gave myself permission to jump out and hit the showers. And just like back in the high school swimming days, a long hot shower after some pool time makes everything better.

I got back on the horse today. And while it wasn’t a-mazing, you’ll be pleased to know that today’s swim was better. Much, much better.

 

SWIM 5/10/2012

2x {50 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 50 fly}
4×50 scull drill
5×300 (sight 1x per 25)
2×100 Cool down

Total 2300

on still not quite being prepared (again…)

The plan for Week 7 included three bike rides:

– 1 hill workout (1:15 total time including a warm up, cool down, and 11×1 min climbs with 2 minutes of active recovery), proposed for Tuesday

– 1 “foundation” ride (1:30), proposed for Thursday

– 1 long ride (2:30), proposed for Saturday

Admittedly, seven weeks in, I’ve been trying to see some friends this week and juggle some after work activities this week. So I decided to squish my hill workout in with my foundation ride and did a 1:35 hill workout one night after work. A twofer, if you will. Legitimate? Yeah, this week, totally counts.

While on my ride, 5 hill climbs in and getting a drink of water at the top, I reached underneath my seat for some strange and unknown reason and I realized something.  Holy geez. My seat pack – you know, the one with all of the supplies? – was not there.  Huh.  We had gone out and purchased pumps and installed them on our bikes so we’d be totally ready for next time. But after that, my husband had taken my seat pack off to give me a spare tube and it never made it back onto my bike. Which meant that all of those tools, and the spare tube, were ever-so-conveniently back at the house. Seriously. After all of my posturing about promising not only to be prepared for my own future flat-tastrophies, but also so that I could help save others if the need arose. You know, so I could pay it forward from last weekend. So much for good intentions. Chalk that up to a big, fat FAIL.

Might as well have been riding here!
Photo by fireflythegreat

Fortunately, I flatted not, nor did I run into any other dudes or damsels in distress. Whew. I didn’t miss my first opportunity to pay it forward…There is still time for redemption.

And, needless to say, the first thing I did when I got home was to locate my bike bag and reattach it to my seat. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I proclaim myself ready  prepared for anything.

 

 

p/s – to whom it may concern, that is not be misconstrued as “bring it”… I’m perfectly happy never touching my fixin’ tools…

week 6 recap…

Week 6 recap:

Day What I was supposed to do…

And what I actually did…

Monday REST Rested. Well, walked. I needed the fresh air. And I needed the rest. Walking was a good compromise.
Tuesday Bike 1:15 – with 10×1 min short Hills Swim: 2200 (in place of Wednesday’s swim)400 warmup2x300 (50 kick/100 swim/50 kick/100swim), :30 rest

3×200 pull, strong effort, :20R

3×150 (50free/50 choice/50free), :20R

100 cool down

Run: 45 min predator run (negative split)

Just flip-flopped the runs and did Friday’s workout.

Wednesday Run(50 min with 12x:30 sec intervals)

Swim (1950)

Strength training (Gotta fit it in somewhere. This week it ended up bumping a swim out, but c’est la vie!)Tuesday’s Bike workout: 10×1 min hill climbs, 2 minutes active recovery, 1:15 total
Thursday Bike 1:30 Swim: 2400 (in place of Friday’s swim)600 warm up6x50 (alternate 25 drill/25 swim and 25 kick/25 swim) with :15 rest

6×50 (25 sprint/25 easy) with :20 rest

2x{4×50 fast, :30 rest /200 pull}

2×150 (50 free/50 choice/50 free) on the 3:15

100 cool down

Friday Run 50 mins with 4x:20 strides with :40 sec recovery

Swim 2000

Run: 50 min, 12x:30 with 1:30 active recoveriesWednesday’s workout!
Saturday Brick – 1:15 bike/20 run Brick – 1:30 bike/ 20 runWhen I first hopped on the bike, I could tell my legs were tired from the previous day’s sprint workout but once I warmed up it was alright.The twenty minute run was alright – still feels funny to hop off the bike and try to run. My legs didn’t feel like bricks, per se, but it was a slower run for whatever reason.
Sunday Swim (1700)

Run 40

Bike 1:00. This was supposed to make up for the Thursday 1:30 ride, but we made it out to our turnaround faster than we thought and I was BEAT and sucking wind so we called it quits early and came home to eat crepes!

 

Weekend warriors (with the wounds to prove it…)

Weekends are a great time for relaxing and recovery. Unless you’re training for a 70.3. Then weekends are a great time for those long workouts that just can’t fit into the workweek (there is only so much daylight, right?).  Only, we like to get away on the weekends, go exploring, get out and see the world. Which presents quite the dilemma.

Thus, we find ourselves “multitasking” as we attempted to do this weekend.

This weekend we trekked out north of Seattle to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival based in Mount Vernon, WA. We hit it just right – beautiful weather, blue skies and brilliant tulips fields.

Apparently this is a very popular thing to do and we were lucky to have enough foresight to bring our bikes along with us, thinking this would be a great way to 1) avoid the traffic and 2) get a 40 miler in as our training recommended for the weekend. Two birds, one stone?  Excellent (or so we thought…)!

Here’s what actually went down. We parked our car at a local park near the river and launched from there. Three miles in, these bikes are already paying off big time. We’re soaring past lines and lines of cars. We’re really applauding our wisdom. Freaking geniuses, we are. Four miles in, we’re quietly taunting the cars as we go by, making faces at the kids trapped in the back seats.

And less than five miles in, I say something to the tune of “hmmm, I wonder if we have an spare tubes on us?” or “hmmm, I’m not sure if I have any backup tubes… sure hope we don’t get a flat!” and mere seconds later, Jason gets a flat tire. Bad timing? Karma for the taunting? That’s what we get for being ill-prepared? Eh. Yeah.

Here we realize that my hunch was correct – we hadn’t checked our backup supplies before we left home. But fortunately, I had a spare tube and just as we’re getting ready to use the only CO2 cartridge I had to inflate the tire, a guy in a truck pulls up and pulls a pump out of the back of his truck. (Turns out there was an official ride going on and his bike shop was providing the support vehicle.) Anyhoo, we pumped up the new tube, patched the old one so it would be ready for next time and we were in business, once again flying past those poor fools sitting in miles-long lines to get into the parking lot. The tulips were well worth the trouble (though had I been sitting in a line of cars, I might have thought differently…).

Here’s the kind of views were treated with:

What did I tell you? Totally worth it, right?

We left the first field and decided to take the long road to the next field and get some extra miles in… the weather was marvelous, the views were great and the riding was mostly good, except for the parts where you had to squeeze by the sitting cars on a narrow shoulder (which were fortunately few and far between considering and we avoided those roads as much as possible. About 2 miles from the second field, we rode past a huge field of daffodils on private property. Daffodils! At the end of the field, I had an opportunity to turn off the road so we could view the field safely (i.e. out of the way of moving traffic and other bikes), so I turned. As I’m turning, my back tire caught a pretty bad patch of loose gravel and… Down. I. Went.

Now, it’s been YEARS since I fell off my bike (excluding that time I fell off of the spinning bike, but I digress…). The last time I fell, I caught some gravel and ate it. I screamed bloody murder until someone came out to check on me. I was fine, but I wanted to some attention. You know how kids are… I was no different. I was hurt, I wanted some love.

The difference between then and now? Let’s see. I was going faster this time. Definitely. But I fell in slooooooooow motion. And my foot was securely clipped into my pedal, leaving me no choice but to go down with the bike.  And I’m a big girl now, so presumably, I fell much harder than before.  At the last minute, I distinctly remember thinking “holy crap, I’m going to land on my face” so I put my hands down.

The good news? Well, I didn’t land on my face. I took the brunt of the fall on my left elbow, the heel of my left hand, and my left knee.

I don’t remember if that’s how I landed last time. I didn’t scream bloody murder this time. There was almost definitely some cursing this time. And for a minute I thought I might throw up.

So now I am the walking wounded. I hadn’t put my bike gloves on because we were only going a few miles. I sliced the top layer of skin off the heel of my left hand, my elbow is swollen and bruised (and I can’t put any pressure on it without yelling), and my knee’s all skinned up and bruised (ditto on putting pressure on it) and I have varying levels of road rash from my ankle up to the side of my thigh. Awesome.

Being as prepared as we were, we of course had no bandaids. But Jason did for some reason have a little bit of toilet paper. We washed the dirt out of my knee and hand the best we could and me, being as stubborn as I am, pouted for a while about taking a spill and then determined that we would go see the rest of the flowers.

As fate would have it, as we arrived at the second field and changed out of our biking shoes, Jason looked at his rear bike tire (the one that we had changed out earlier) and wouldn’t you know it, it was flat again. Really? Really?!

Out come the tools again and we borrowed a pump from a more prepared soul who was locking their bike up next to ours. Sigh. A few minutes later, we had the old patched tube back on the tire and inflated and marched our stubborn butts across the street to the tulip display gardens with our fingers crossed the patched tube would get us back to our car.

Our very last stop was the street festival, which was within walking distance of the park where we had parked our car for the day, so we made one last stop figuring if we got yet ANOTHER flat, we’d just hoof it back to the car.

Luckily, we made it home without further incident, but suffice it to say, Saturday was a very tough day for biking. And did we make it the whole 40 miles we had planned, you ask? Oh heck no. We finished out the day with 12 miles under our belts. And which workout from this week called for 12 miles on the bike? Well, none. But sometimes you’ve got to know when to throw in the towel and live to fight another day.

week 4 (recovery)

Day What I was SUPPOSED to do What I actually did
Monday REST. And I maybe should have – I was tired from the previous day’s brick: 1 hour / 20 minute brick. Ran 40 min. It was 65 and sunny and I couldn’t pass up the bluebird day! So. A handful of sweaty lunchtime miles in the sunshine were just what the doctor ordered.
Tuesday Bike (1 hr) Skipped lunch – had to write a speech for my boss who at a big event in DC. Worked straight through the day… came home RAVENOUS and scarfed a bowl of homemade chicken parmesan. And then hopped on my bike an hour+ later for a quick 1 hour sunset bike ride.
Wednesday Swim (1300) / Run (40 mins) Strength training; 20 minute run packed into lunch.
Thursday Bike (1 hr) Another long day at work and I felt tired. I was able to squeeze a 35 minute run in between presentations and meetings.
Friday Swim (1600) / Run (40 mins) Caught a late afternoon pooltime and found one of my most favorite things in the world waiting for me – a laneline-less pool, completely empty and completely still. Quiet. Such a beautiful thing in my mind. So peaceful, so serene. Just lovely.

What a pool snob I am!

Warm up: 400
2×300 w/:30 rest (50 kick / 100 swim)
3×200 w/:20 rest
3×150 w/:20 R (50 free / 50 choice / 50 free)
4×100 swim w/:15R
100 cool down
(2600)

Workout courtesy of NTC Masters Swim, Coach Sara McClarty.

Saturday Bike (1:30) Well… if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t spent ALL of the time on the bike that I should have to date. So we looked back and last week’s long bike was 2 hours. That’s what we did.

Caught some rain around 1:15 that threatened to derail us, hubby had some challenges with bike fit and a shifter that just about broke in the last 10 miles, but we managed 32 miles for the day. That last 10 were all in one gear… haha. Might’ve been able to squeeze a few more miles if not for that.

Needless to say, his bike’s headed to the bike shop this week.

Sunday Swim (1700) / Brick (1hr /20 min) Had a volleyball game today (90 mins); then met up with a friend for brunch / lunch. Made the (ahem) smart decision to get the French toast and bacon… nice and light, eh?

Headed to Fleet Feet in search of new running shoes (and let my stomach rest), then made out for about 50/15. Found some perfectly wonderful rain / hail and a marvelous headwind on the far side of the lake. Ah, the delights of springtime training. We’ll call this week a victory.

so long, stinky ts…

Workout clothing has made huge strides in the past 10-15 years or so. Remember the old cotton ts we used to work out in when we were in high school? Running stairs during volleyball practice in those hot, “Heavy Cotton” Fruit of the Loom Ts? I mean seriously – they said HEAVY COTTON, like that was a good thing! My 1st 5k was in a cotton t and my reward for finishing said 5k? A cotton t commemorating the day.

These days, technical ts rule my closet and drawers. I’m more likely to do a race that promises technical ts to the successful finishers. Shallow, sure. But it’s the new standard. My old cotton Ts have been relegated to the bottom of the drawer and dozens more race Ts are stashed in a box, awaiting their future as a Race T quilt.

photo found here

I live in technical ts in the spring, summer and fall (and who am I kidding, winter too), sweating in them hours a day, every day. Especially when it’s race season. And while each technical t maker will undoubtably tout the “quick-drying, moisture wicking” qualities of the t-shirt, with some even claiming to have “antimicrobial” qualities that “CONTROL THE GROWTH OF ODOR CAUSING MICROBES”, after some time, these Ts too will stink. Even if you follow the proper care instructions, it’s just a matter of time. This season, though it is still early, I’ve noticed a few of my favorite workout ts are in definite need of retirement. How do I know this? Well. It’s like as soon as I start sweating in them, all of the smell of all of the sweat I’ve EVER sweat in them comes rushing out in a nasty rush of highly offensive wafts that aggressively attack my nostrils (and presumably the nostrils of those around me, if anyone should be so unfortunate as to be within a quarter mile of me at the time…). How embarrassing. You know its time to dump those old ts when, 5 minutes into your workout, people start sniffing the air, wondering where that horrible scent has arisen from and why, oh why, they must be present to bear witness to it on this of all unfortunate days.

Dear old ts, you’ve been good companions, nothing but loyal and efficient servants in times of overheating and high perspiration, faithfully wicking moisture away from my body in my times of need. But I’m afraid its time for us to part ways.

Running store websites are calling my name, their pages full of colorful new ts and the promise of a (temporarily) clean slate. It’s that time. Time to start anew. A-shopping I will go. Trust me, my nose (and your nose) will thank me later.

photo by Fleet Feet