TRI Training Check In: Humbling Lessons in Gear Vanity

It wasn’t until recently that I truly realized just how LITTLE you really need to run: good shoes, maybe a hat, maybe some music…and out you go. Swimming: not so much. Biking: not so much.

SWIMMING

Bare necessities: pool (I am assuming that filling my kid’s plastic pool, lying on my belly, and kicking won’t suffice), suit, swim cap, goggles. Finding a pool, not so easy. Braving the pool, not so easy. The swim portion will be the hardest part for me, in that I have had the least amount of practice. It has also pushed me waaaaay out of my comfort zone: parading around in a suit is not my cup of tea, but I am doing it. Reluctantly. Throw in the added bonus of doing so with a swim cap…I die a little each time.

First order of business, finding a lap swim suit. Apparently, they are made for the tall, hipless, booty-less types out there. Every.single.suit cuts into my behind: not flattering. Reason #245, 967 why I love running more: the pants make your booty look FABULOUS. Thighs compressed. No jiggle-age. The walk from the bench to pool in the suit: wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle…

Suit: on. Swim cap: on- I bite it and then pull over my head, almost suffocating. I am guessing there is a better way? Goggles: on.

I hop into the pool. COMPLETELY unsure of any “lap swim etiquette”…there are only two lanes open in this particular pool. Three others, next to the swim team practice. No thanks. Off I go, one lap, two laps…and I quickly learn that I am incapable of counting laps beyond four. I had every intention of keeping track, not so much. The ladies next to me appeared to have some sort of routine: freestyle, kick board, swim hand paddle thingies…I felt like a poser. No extra gear. Just got in and swam…my enthusiasm was obvious, no?

BIKING

Bare necessities: bike, helmet, bike shorts. I am guessing there won’t be many people racing the TRI with a mountain bike. From Target. I took it to have the flat wheels fixed and laughed at the fact that it cost half as much as the entire bike, not a good sign. Also, not a fan of the helmet. It jacks up my ponytail. And I tried wearing hat underneath but that didn’t work out so well.

Determined to train for this TRI, I headed out on my newly fixed tires. Helmet: check. “Fancy” bike: check. New tri shorts: check. Again, I felt immediately lost and missed the familiarity and comfort of running…the shorts fit all janky. The sticky band at the bottom doesn’t agree with my “athletic” thighs and makes more bulges in places where I don’t need any help. And I feel a twinge of anxiety when I have to pass someone, walking, biking or otherwise. I make a beep, beep noise with my mouth, I don’t have a bell, the people look at me like I am crazy. Maybe they are jealous of my awesome bike? I figure next time, I steal Jake’s “Cars” bugle horn and beep away…again, my enthusiasm radiates, no?

So, here I sit about a month out, woefully unprepared but determined to get it done. More worried about the jiggle-age: running from the swim to the bike, in a SUIT than the overall race. And realizing just how vain I really am. Thank you, compression capris for all that you have one for me and my booty and thighs. I have wondered for the last few months why I haven’t met many runners who have turned into triathletes- it seems to be mostly swimmers and bikers. From the ease of just getting up and going, to the butt flattering gear, running feels so much easier. Swimming and biking appear to need more time, commitment, money, and effort to get done…the one perk of biking so far, getting my biggest little man involved in the training:

T-minus two months til game day…

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4 Comments on “TRI Training Check In: Humbling Lessons in Gear Vanity”

  1. Sally says:

    Hi There. I love your blog, especially the kids stuff. You’re very creative. (I posted a link to your hallway spy game a while back on my craftandkids blogsite). I’m also a “runner” (I shuffle out the door for a short jog a couple of times a week). I used to do triathlons pre-kids and did a few more tiny ones with a post baby body (gotta love the extra jiggles). Tricks of the trade: wear a sports bra under your swim suit, and heaps of girls also wear bike shorts through the whole thing, swim and all, it covers wonderful things between the swim and bike leg. For the last few I did I slipped a running skirt over them after the swim leg. And for the shorter “sprint” distances, there were always a decent number of mountain bikes out there. Especially if you can find a girls only tri. And good luck with your training!

    • momruncraft says:

      Sally- thank you so much for your comment and advice!! This is a Sprint Tri with an open lake swim (which scares the bejeezus out of me!!).

  2. Alicia D says:

    this seriously cracks me up! i am living in the new “breadbasket” of women triathletes – mullica hill NJ which boasts a female women’s triathlon group of 450 members and counting that started grassroots about 3 years ago. they’ve been written up in PHila Inquirer and other publications and won some big “best triclub” award from Competitor Magazine last year. Whatever. 99% of my friends are in it. As am I, but i don’t Tri, I only run. My POINT is that I am so overwhelmed by all that you mention in the “biking and swimming” portion of these events. I can’t deal with expense of all the equipment, apparel, etc AND the fact that I aint puttin’ on a one piece skin tight suit in broad daylight for NOONE! I am not wanting to purchase a swanky road bike for almost 2K with clip in shoes (as everyone else i know has) reeealy? 🙂
    ps – good luck 🙂


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