Tri One On: When Pigs Fly
Sit down for this one, stop the presses, and hold onto your hat. I have stepped outside my running comfort zone and (barring a setback) I'm running a Sprint Tri in August. Yes, that is a pig flying outside your window. I am completely clueless and in "way over my head" on this one. I'm a self-proclaimed running addict who has taken the summer off from marathon training so I was in search for something that would stroke my need for competition. Why couldn't I have picked a pie-eating contest? I actually did that once as a kid, but I wasn't qualified for that either.
For those that have been monitoring my DailyMile posts, you've been noticing something strange with my workouts. I've been selecting swimming on the pull-down menu for posting workouts. Slight problem is my swimming looks more like my daughter's 5 yr old picture shown here that looks more like drowning. Besides the lack of form, my fairly busy business schedule has me doing the "hotel, motel, Holiday Inn" workout. Similar challenge to fitting in your runs on the road, but most of these kidney-shaped pools are built for kids floating in their inner-tubes and pissing their trunks. Ewwww!
Just like my first marathon back in 2007, I'm completely winging this one, but I've got a few questions and comments for those more experienced swimmers, cyclists and triathletes;
1) If you run a marathon, what do you do call it when you compete in a triathlon...as I wrote above, I'm not running a Tri..I'm swimming, biking, AND running. I really don't know the lingo at all.
2) After looking online for triathlon bikes, I found a great site that described ten bike options, but the best advice was, if you are beginning, use whatever is in your garage before you drop the cash. Good advice as my heart skipped a beat looking at the price tags on these bikes.
3) Are they called bikes or bicycles...how do you avoid the confusion of Sturgis motorcycle lingo vs. Sprint lingo? Aren't they both bikes?
4) Wetsuit. Same freak-out on cost of a new wetsuit, I may only use a couple of times (or maybe once depending on how this charade goes.) Advice...rental...SBA loan? If I go with a mountain Tri, do I need one with arms, or can I go sleeveless?
5) Garmin...pace...? I will have to swim the 400M by feel since I am not going to go out and spring for a water-resistant GPS watch. I'll want to have my Garmin for the other 2/3 of the race. Do I have it strapped to the bike?
6) Transition area. So many questions...any advice for the transition from swim to bike? I suppose this depends on what wetsuit I get, and how easy it is to get out of it. I will have to practice this in the privacy of my home--getting in and out of clothing really quick. This is a bit overwhelming.
7) Transition area part II? Do you normally ditch the bicycle helmet for running hat, or do you go hatless? Do they typically have an area to grab anything for the running leg, or do you strap it on to your bike?
8) Nutrients? This is probably another transition area item. Once I get to the 5K, I won't need any goo or Shot Bloks, and it looks like there's at least one water stop, so that leaves the bike leg. Just how much crap can you attach to the bike?
9) Clothing? Looks like this sport is getting expensive because it looks like I'm buying a tri shirt and shorts. I know how to buy running gear, but this is virgin territory for me.
10) Shoes in transition. I may have to go for those springy shoe laces that essentially turn your shoe into a slip-on. How much time am I wasting sitting there tying my normal running shoes into double knots. More like double "Don Knotts."
11) Bib and number? Color me stupid, but I don't know what I'm doing here either. Is there a bib on the wetsuit and on what you're wearing under it?
12) USAT License? I need a license to do this?....and what's the tennis association have to do with this?
Those are just a few of the questions in my mind, but there's also the lingo part...how do I blend in to make it not look like this is my very first time. (In case they haven't read this blog.) Perhaps some common phrases I can throw around like;
"Hey, did you see that wicked barbed wire fence crash on the 'Tour'?"
"You going to Kona this year?"
"Nice trunks!" No that last one sounds kinda creepy and I'm not even sure if they're called (swim)trunks.
What haven't I thought about? I'm sure there's something else big I'm missing out here. As I usually do, I'll be pouring over the blogs and pinging my local and virtual running friends who have more experience here. Pick one of the above and weigh in...I'd appreciate any and all comments.