Friday, December 21, 2007

Triathletes Suck at Running

Slip and Fall

OK, this statement is simply not true. But this triathlete sucked at running on Wednesday, when she ate it so bad running down a concrete street that her hip swelled to the size of a softball, and somehow her knee, palms, elbows, and shin got into the action.

Noting a man walking up the sidewalk approximately 15 seconds into my run, I decided to look cool and make a quick glance behind my right shoulder before crossing to the other side of the street I live on while keeping up my pace (established approximately 2 seconds earlier). I looked over my shoulder, and took a step with my right foot and WHOOP! Like stepping on a banana peel, my foot slid right out from under me, and I landed on my right hip and hand and knee and shin. As common courtesy between men and women doesn't seem to exist anymore, the man walked right on as if he hadn't seen anything while I lay in the middle of the street. Nice.

I got up and found what I had slipped on: a giant piece of 1/2 inch thick plexiglass some punk left in the road. Nice. I put it on a fence, then continued my run and picked up the road trash on my way back so I could show it to my coachancé, and so I'd have a specific object to be pissed at, other than myself.

Moral of the story: Look before you step, or else you can get road rash that looks like you crashed your bike--except without the harrowing tales that accompany bike crash wounds. AND if you see someone fall, at least ask if they're OK. Especially a week before Christmas. Geez.

Triathletes Suck at Weight Training

Weight Training Pain

OK, so most of them are great. This one is not. Or at least she thought she was until coachancé told her to step it up and use the "real man's" leg press--the one where you add weights to each side, practically lie on your back, stick your feet in the air, release a lever, and do repetitions, slowly letting it come down toward you, then pushing it back up, then putting the lever back into place.

It didn't seem so difficult when coachancé came with me to do it the first time. He added 90lbs of weight, showed me how to do it, then I did it. So a few days later, when I was alone, I walked right on over to the leg press in the "man" section of my gym, ready to show off my mad leg-press skills.

I loaded up my 90 lbs, added 50 more because 90 wasn't hard enough the first time, took off the release lever and BAM! I didn't have a split second of slowly lowering the platform toward me before it came heaving itself toward my face. Thank God for the safety thing that keeps it from completely squishing you, and for my disgustingly flexible hips, or else I'd have been split in two.

Lying there with my feet by my face, I turned to look at the cute guy doing the leg press next to me, and made a discovery. "I didn't know all of those weights were on there!" I said. The weights on the bottom peg, which I thought were the spare weights, were actually (obviously) hung up on the machine and not in standby mode. In addition to the 140lbs I had added when I got there, there were already 270lbs on the machine, for a total force of 410 tridiva crushing pounds.

I wiggled myself out of the machine to the side, then started to take the weights off. Even with all of them off, it was a struggle to squeeze myself back in there and push the platform back into the start position when I had to start pushing with my knees beside my ears.

So much for strutting my stuff in the "man" section of my gym. I'm sure the people monitoring the cameras at the front desk had a laugh. I shall not be wandering over there un-coachancé supervised in the near future, embarrassed by my complete failure to recognize the mechanical properties of the leg press. Needless to say, I was not a Mechanical Engineering major.

Happy Weight Training! (Without turning yourself into a human pretzel!)



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

5th Annual Holiday Speedo Run

Every year, the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica unassumingly becomes subject to an onslaught of incredibly good-looking, practically naked people. And I’m not talking about the bizarre display MAC Cosmetics set up with half-naked men wearing makeup. The people I’m talking about run proudly in their Speedos–and for a good cause. Gathering at 1pm in Ye Olde Kings Head Bar, these pioneers of Speedo usage drink some liquid courage to warm up before they strip down. Then at 2pm, they unleash themselves on the world, singing Christmas carols and bringing merriment to all. And they do it to raise money and gather sports equipment for kids, so they can excel in sports, become proud of their bodies, and, in turn, run around in public in their Speedos when they are fully grown. Below are some pictures of this blissful day. Enjoy!P.S. Check out these two videos from the run!

Holiday Speedo Run-Jumping Jax
and Running & Singing

Awesome DudeBeer Shots

Let's Run!Santa's Big Helpers

Rudolph and FriendsSanta's Sexy Helpers

Santa HimselfSanta's Helpers

Thumbs Up!

For more information on the run, click here!

Happy Holidays!



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

LASIK and the Athlete--Cheating?

About 3 weeks ago, I had LASIK in my right eye. I had only moderately sucky vision at 20/40, but it bothered me to no end. If I got tired, my vision would get blurry. At dusk, everything was blurry. Since high school, I would habitually close my fabulous left eye (which somehow sees 20/15) to see if my right eye could read whatever my left eye could. This got me funny looks from some teachers, and a few college professors thought I was winking at them.

Swimming, the vision didn't bother me as much, since I couldn't keep my goggles on to dive in, so I didn't wear them to compete, making everything blurry anyway. But when I finally figured out how to keep the darn things on in college, I still would miss the wall sometimes. As a sprinter, that's the end of the race. You miss the wall or barely tap it, you're done for. Cycling at dusk or running in shady places, I just couldn't see right.

I wanted LASIK for a long time, but the thought of not being able to swim kept me from doing it. When I finally did my research, I realized I'd only be restricted from swimming and sweating in my eye for one week. That's it! I could do that! I found a doctor in Hollywood who had done the procedure on several pro athletes, and picked a day right after the end of my triathlon season (marked by coachancé's 70.3 World Championship race).

After watching a long video on what could go wrong, and initialing that I wouldn't sue if, say, the little flap they'd create in my cornea flipped off, I was almost good to go. They had to "drug" me first, to make sure I wouldn't fidget, with a medicine that all the Hollywood stars are addicted to, according to the tabloids at VONS. 5 minutes later, they came in to see if I felt "heavy" when I stood up. "I guess so?" I replied. Good enough! They took me into the surgery room, put coachancé on the other side of a glass wall, taped my eye open, shoved something in it so I wouldn't blink, then everything went black for about 15 seconds. And it smelled like burning hair. They were cutting a flap in my cornea. That was a freaky experience. Then a pulsating light glowed in a dot above my eye, then I was done. Ta dah!

I had to put an antibacterial and a steroidal drop in my eye 4x a day for a week, wear funny-looking aviator-like goggles for the day, and tape them to my face every night for a week, then use wetting drops 6x/day for a month after, and I'd have perfect vision until I'm in my 40s! Hurray!

Upon my return visit, I discovered that they had corrected my eye to about 20/15. As of now, my eye is a bit scratchy in the mornings, and a little blurry until I blink hard a few times, but after that the vision is crystal clear. There is definitely a bit of a glow around lights at night, but as I only had one eye fixed, the other helps out and it doesn't bother me at all.

An interesting article was written a few years ago about how LASIK enhancement was akin to doping in sports, especially in those sports that require great accuracy, like golf and baseball. The author, William Saletan, argued that LASIK is akin to a performance-enhancing drug. If Tiger Woods couldn't see 20/15 from his LASIK procedure, he wouldn't be able to hit the ball the correct distance.

Couldn't he have worn glasses that gave him the same correction before? Mark McGwire wore lenses that corrected his vision to 20/10. Superhuman vision is achievable without LASIK, if you ask your doctor to make your lenses correct your eyesight to this degree. And I doubt any Major League player would have trouble affording the costly LASIK procedure, should they like to have this vision burned into their head.

The advantages to LASIK over glasses or contact lenses? Total peripheral vision, and you don't have to rely on anything but yourself to get yourself around. I only wore my glasses when I drove at night, worked at the computer, or wanted to look intellectual, so LASIK wasn't a life-altering experience for me. I still haven't gone swimming since the procedure (off season!) so I'll see how much clearer the clumps of hair at the bottom of the pool are in due time. I have gone on some long bike rides, however, and the clear vision I experienced even while highly fatigued was tremendous.

I hardly consider LASIK akin to doping. Restoring your vision to what it was when you were young (or what it should've been then) is nothing like using drugs to get stronger muscles you never had. Hit the weight room to become stronger! And if you'd like to restore one of your 5 God-granted senses--with glasses or permanently, it's your right.

What are your thoughts?

Happy Clear Vision!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Trips to the ER and the Triathlete

According to legend, there are two types of cyclists: those who have eaten pavement, and those who will. According to me, there are also two other types of cyclists: those who acknowledge their penchant for pavement eating, and those who believe it will never happen to them.

Coachancé falls into the first group. He chose his health insurance knowing he'd average about 3 trips to the ER per year. I'm more of the second kind. I acknowledge that I will hurt myself at some point, though I'd really really like to keep my skin on my body. Therefore, I ride with my hands gripped way too tight on my handlebars, and a laser-focused mission to avoid every little thing in the road. My health insurance only exists to help me should I have some kind of catastrophic crash, so it's not like I haven't thought about it.

Because coachancé had only gone to the ER once this year, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised to get a call Monday evening that he hurt himself on his bike and was going to the ER. He did, after all, have 2 more trips there to fulfill in less than one month. This accident was different, however, than the last frightful, blood-gushing-from-head crash. When jumping a speed bump at work in his sneakers, his foot came of the pedal, and he came to a running stop. But the bike didn't stop. The big chain ring stopped in coachancé's leg, leaving a line of very deep puncture wounds that look like a shark bite. (See below.)

Leg Chain

Now that is the ultimate cyclist's scar! Some people get chain ring tattoos. That wasn't hardcore enough for the coachancé. Now I'm just praying his ER trips will fall below average this year, and this'll be the last of it!

Happy Biking to Work!



Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Who Would You Race If You Could Race Anyone

And why? I just watched Fight Club where the big question is, "Who would you fight if you could fight anyone?" So the coachancé turned it around on me and made it into a tri question. He picked a guy in his age group who beat him at Vineman, then whom he beat at 70.3 Worlds. Tight competition. Good race. Maybe paring yourself against Macca wouldn't produce the most gratifying race, unless you're Chris Foster (a local triathlete who beat Macca at Nautica Malibu this year). Got someone in your age group who shows up at all of your races and always beats you with seconds to spare? Let's hear it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

5 Things You Never Want to Hear Your Signifigant Other Say, Part 1

...but they've probably blurted them out at some point, being a triathlete...and you might have accepted these statements as normal, being a triathlete yourself...but that the other 99.8% of the population would call into a radio station and ask someone like Ryan Seacrest's advice about how to deal with their "deranged" partner:

  1. (from girlfriend) "Man, my legs are so hairy! It must've already been at least 2 months since I last shaved!" (Obviously, she's been wearing long cycling pants during the winter, and is working on creating drag to improve her swimming. She is not becoming a wildebeest.)

  2. "I pooed in someone's front yard. And wiped with river rocks." (Clearly, your city-living sig. other was on a long run and the previous night's turkey chili disagreed with their athletic endeavor.)

  3. (From boyfriend to hairy girlfriend) "Feel how silky smooth my legs are! It's like I'm sleeping with a man and you're sleeping with a woman!" (Boyfriend must have an upcoming race, or else is impervious to the cold. Girlfriend is hairy for reasons previously stated in #1.)

  4. (From girlfriend) "I ate 5000 calories today." (Now, in the world of triathlon, this might be a huge turn-on. Not only does your girlfriend eat far more than iceburg lettuce, she is also more lean and buff than any girl you know, even if you watched her eat half a jar of peanut butter, a monster cookie, and countless other booty-building foods throughout the day.)

  5. "I broke the seal on my bike / run." (This, too, in the twisted mind of the triathlon might be a turn-on as well. It's hard to get a flow going while you're on the bike or running--or out in public in general. "Awesome!" might be your reaction to this statement. You probably thought it was pretty cool your bf/gf pooed undetected in someone's yard as well. You are a rare, rare breed. Never ever say this if your sig. other does something like, say, knitting to satisfy their thrill-seeking side.)

Want to add to the list? Post a comment or email TriDiva at!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Why Athletes Should Remain Humble

Even if you're an athletic superstar who wins every race, who has sponsors lining up who can't wait to pay for your every expense, and who has hot women/men throwing themselves at you, you should never ever let your head swell with pride. Remember you have been blessed with a gift to kick ass, just as one of the competitors whose ass you kick might have been blessed with the ability to shrewdly manage your finances.

Use your victories as a reminder that it's time to celebrate someone else. Pop open that bottle of Champagne, spray it on the crowd, then go home and spend time with your buddies. You know, the people who are still your friends even though you routinely give up beer night for a long run? You'll become a better athlete for cultivating your friendships.

Want proof nobody likes a cocky jock, including higher powers? This guy got cocky, so his celebration was struck down within seconds.

Cocky Jock Video

(Sorry, I had this as an embedded video and it messed everything up in Firefox!)

Happy Racing! Happy Winning! And happy celebrating your friends and not yourself!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Catholic Marriage Counseling and the Triathlete

Engaged Encounter LogoAt first thought, a getaway up in the mountains of Santa Barbara for you and your fiancé might sound romantic. Heck, that might even be your idea of a perfect honeymoon! But throw in 39 other engaged couples, a priest, a few couples older than your grandparents who will lead the weekend, separate male and female dorms, and psychological warfare, and you have what the Catholic church likes to call: Engaged Encounter.

Being a skeptic, and having watched “License to Wed” twice, I was looking out for subtle signs that the church was trying to tear me and coachancé apart. The first effort to test our relationship came on the drive up. We left LA at about 4:30pm, arrived in Santa Barbara around 7:00pm (when we were supposed to be there), then were faced with this sign on the narrow windy mountain road up to the church: ROAD CLOSED. When the little old lady called me the night before we left to ask if I had any questions, why didn’t she tell me that the only road in all of HER directions was closed? It was a test. I swear.

When we finally arrived, pooped and hungry, two pair of 80 year-old lovers signed us in, then proceeded to get crackin’ on our lessons, because we had 44 hours to pack in every major discussion we could possibly have over our lifetime, and going to bed at 9 was, apparently, a practice only held by young triathletes in their 20s and not 80 year-old marriage nazis who no longer needed beauty rest.

Journals were set on all of our seats—journals that would soon be filled with the key to a long and happy marriage, according to the octogenarians. The first page was titled: Introduction. The first question? Why did I come here this weekend? My answer? Because the Catholic Church said I had to, and I love spending time with my coachancé, and I want to see how many times I can make him cry in one weekend.

That’s right, coachancé is the perfect guy; he is incredibly romantic, and infinitely better at expressing his feelings—especially if they’re mushy—than I. So I made a “Coachancé Boo-Hoo Tally” and kept note of each time I made him cry, and what page in the journals did him in.

Monday, November 26, 2007

2 Ironman Arizonas?

In 2008, IMAZ is on...twice! Race organizers say that the "event is being moved to avoid high winds and warm temperatures that have plagued the first three years of the event, with each race held during April." Putting on two events next year will allow IMAZ to offer qualifying spots for Kona, which would disappear if there weren't a race between April 2008 and November 2009.

What are your thoughts? IMAZ was my first Ironman, so I am pretty bummed it won't continue as one of the early season races. There was something very hardcore about training in December and January, then racing in ridiculous headwinds, that made doing IMAZ extremely satisfying.

I suppose if you're one of those people who want everything to go perfectly, and would prefer a high temperature in the high '60s, the November race will be an ideal option. However, if you're like me, you loose all motivation around Thanksgiving, and would have to anticipate a 5-10lb pre-race weight gain.

Being from AZ, I prefer the warmer temperatures. The wind at last year's race was a definite advantage to those with rock solid mental skills (and ginormous quads). I suppose the possibility of racing 2 IMAZs in one year might make some crazy AZ-loving triathletes try to go for the double (then we can compare their times and try to deduce if the move to November really helped anybody out...not taking into account the possibility that said crazy triathletes could train their butts off and become infinitely faster between April and November...)

I suppose there is only one reason this makes me truly sad. It's like if you finally got to witness a New Orleans Mardi Gras, then a few years later, they moved it to November. Automatically, you get old person syndrome and start to say, "Well, I remember when Mardi Gras was in February!" (Obviously, this could never happen...and Mardi Gras has been going on for a little longer then IMAZ...but hopefully you get my point.)

And one more reason: I like Spring more than Winter/Fall. So as a personal preference, I'd rather go to Phoenix in April.

And one more reason: It's easier to get motivated to train right after I've gorged myself over Xmas and feel an itch to get back to super-triathlete mode than it is to get motivated after having already been training for several moths for other races.

What do you think? IMAZ at the end of November: good or bad?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Xterra World Championships--Halloween Party Pictures

Some pictures from the famed Halloween party for your enjoyment! (Note: the winners, Blades of Glory, got 2 round trip tickets to HI from CA. If only I had brought a costume...wearing a pink scrunchie and calling myself a Spice Girl didn't get me much except some laughter from an Asian boy who then decided his costume of a t-shirt and shorts made him a Spice Boy.)


Conrad Stoltz and lady friend.


Jimmy Archer rocks out.


The Winners! Blades of Glory.


Mr. Xterra, Will Kelsay, and Mr. Xterra, Jamie Whitmore


Dirty Santa aka. Dave "The Big Kahuna" Nicholas


Rocky Horror performers.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


XterraWorldsBike(The "Beast")

I usually don’t get nervous before a race. Because, really, what’s there to be nervous about? I’m doing it for fun. I’m not there to win half of my yearly income (in fact, I lost it getting there…OK not half! Close though.) The best I can do is go as fast and as hard as I can, which is exactly what I’m going do, so what’s there to be nervous about? I’m not even thinking about winning because this is the World Championships and my 4th Xterra race ever and I don’t own my own mountain bike. It’s really all for fun. Nothing to be nervous about, right?

What about loosing all of my skin on lava rock!? Blowing a tire on my rental bike—the tires look like they’ve been glued on with years of dirt and grime. I’ll never be able to get them off the rims! (See above photo...although I did wash it...) All right. New focus. New goals:

1. To return with the same amount of skin as I leave T1 with.

2. Go as hard as I can except for in spots where my superhuman awesome strength would run me right off the trail and blow goal 1.

3. Run fast.

4. This should have been a goal before arriving: learn how to fix a stupid flat-FAST!

OK I’m not nervous anymore. My skin-protecting goal may make me a ginormous wuss on the mountain bike, but I’ll be thanking myself when I don’t look like a patchwork person in my wedding photos.

Xterra races start at a perfectly practical 9am. The World Championships was no different. I awoke calmly at 6:30am, slathered myself in sunscreen, made my “skinny Elvis” breakfast and jumped in the minivan with Coachancé for the bazillionth ride down the 5 mile stretch of windy road that passes all of the gorgeous resorts in Makena. Our 7:15 arrival time put us far ahead of most competitors, and I got a killer spot on the end of the rack.

(Note to self: arriving at 7:15am to an Xterra race qualifies you as somewhat of an anal retentive geek, as most of the pros and the people who would soon be bombing by me on the bike got there at a cool 8:40am. It’s true. I watched Jimmy Archer and Will Kelsay waltz in like they just happened to be in the area with their mountain bikes and thought they’d maybe get in a race before going to chill on the beach with their buds.)

After body marking, (Body Marker: Are you wearing sunscreen? Me: No. Me In My Head: She must think I have really oily skin…oh well.) Coachancé went off to warm up. I figured I’d be getting plenty warm on this sunny, humid (well, to someone from the West coast), day with a high of about 85. It would be perfect. So I stretched and sat under a tree until spotting Coachancé and deciding I should try swimming with my top tucked into my shorts since that was the plan and I had never done it before. This was not a wetsuit legal race because the water around Maui was perfectly calibrated by the island Gods to lure people into it in the least amount of clothing possible. (i.e. like 78 degrees)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Importance of Your "Off Season"

I received an email recently from a local coaching company touting how they don't believe in an "off season". This time of the year is "Pre-Season" not "Off-Season" they say. Improve your "limiter". It seems to me they've replaced sound coaching advice with company fiscal goals. (I also don't believe in the term "limiter"!)

An "off season" is absolutely necessary to prevent burn out, and provide a mental and physical break from what may have been 9+ months of racing for you. If you're a true exerciseaholic triathlete, as most of us are, you are not going to sit around and get fat in your off season. You will continue what coaches like to refer to as "active recovery".

Before you even think about going hiking or finally giving your slower friends a chance to go on a ride with you for fun, think about this: take a week or two off completely. Fix the leaky sink your spouse has been bugging you about for ages. Take your kids to the park (heck, if you chase them around, you'll even be doing some "active recovery" then!) Don't worry or think about "training". Just enjoy your life without it for a few weeks. Sleep in. Bake cookies. Enjoy the holidays.

Then, when you get the itch to do something, do whatever the heck you want. When I feel like getting my heart rate up just for the endorphin rush, I like to go do the elliptical at the gym. That way, I can read trashy magazines and/or watch E! on the gym tv and get in an hour long workout. Or I'll go to one of my gym's spinning classes and zone out to someone else's blaring tunes (I'll try to figure out which classes have younger instructors so I won't be stuck listening to oldies for an hour...but maybe you like that kind of music!)

My point is this: yes, you may be jazzed from your last competition. You know you can do better and want to do anything and everything you can to shave a few minutes off of your bike (new P3 this year, anyone?) or a few minutes off of your run & swim (massively expensive coach, anyone?). That's cool. But I swear you'll run yourself into the ground and into the poor house if you heed these coaching companies' "THERE'S NO OFF SEASON!" emails. (Translation: our business gets sluggish in the winter months, so we're going to guilt you into paying us now to make you faster!)

Go hiking. Learn how to surf. Go skiing. Showshoeing! XC skiing! You're a triathlete. You're an active person who loves to challenge him/herself outdoors. Try something new for no rhyme or reason. You may even gain some strength in muscles you don't typically use in your habitual tri training and return more fit than ever. Don't worry about gaining a little weight. Have you ever seen how fat some of those Tour de France guys get in their off season?

Everything in moderation. Check out the movie "Surf's Up". When you're not having fun anymore, you're doing something wrong (a surfing penguin even figured that one out). Taking no time off now because a coaching company has magically decided that a day after your last competition it's "Pre-Season" could be the straw that breaks your achey back.





How'd I do? Here's a hint:

World Champ

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Xterra World Championships--Island Observations


In a convenient twist of fate, my uncle works for Pleasant Holidays, a travel company specializing in Hawaiian vacations. He hooked us up with a sweet hotel room about 5 miles down the road from the race in Kihei. On the short drive across the island, we managed to locate a Safeway, a Cold Stone (coachancé’s lifeline) and a Subway. Not to mention several Starbucks and a Denny’s. For some reason, even though Hawaii is an American state, I hadn’t considered it’d be overrun by mega businesses like the mainland. Somehow the Borders placard and the Outback Steakhouse neon sign looked out of place against the backdrop of a gorgeous clear blue ocean, lush vegetation, and an ominous volcano. No worries, though. It’s easy to get lost in one of the gorgeous mega resorts along the coast and realize that despite the many people holding Starbucks cups, you’re truly in a mystical and exotic locale.

We walked along the coast to stumble upon a very nice restaurant and loaded up on sushi and seafood and rice. Little did we know that would be the first of many Mahi Mahi meals to come. No complaints here!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Xterra World Championships--The Arrival

Xterra Worlds

I don’t know what I expected when I boarded the plane to Maui with my coachancé on Friday to get to the Xterra World Championships. To be honest, I really wasn’t thinking much about the race—my thoughts were more on the “I want to go snorkeling!”, vacationey side of things. I was just getting over the worst saddle sore in the history of female kind, and the fever and sickness that came with the toxic antibiotic I had to down for a week. If anything, I was praying my crotch was up for the bike ride and didn’t give the rest of me much thought.

We left LA at a very reasonable 9am and touched down in Maui around 11am. I love getting time back. The warm breeze that swept through the open airport made me instantly happy (I love hot weather!) as did the lei the Pleasant Holidays people gave us on our way to baggage claim. I only checked my liquid stuff (sunscreen…chamois butt’r) and kept my helmet and all other tri-related stuff with me on the plane. I could make due wearing the same thing for 4 days, but could not race without my lucky flower to mark my transition area or mountain bike shoes.

Coachancé upgraded the car to a minivan so we could shove the bikes we were going to rent in the back without much effort. Turns out everyone else rented a minivan, too. I’ve never seen so many Dodge minivans in my life as there were driving around Maui.

First, we picked up coachancé’s rental bike. A full-suspension Kona something. I laughed at the granny seat they put on it. “Last full-suspension on the island, I’ll bet!” said the owner. I didn’t tell him we were about to drive to Haiku to get mine.

Renting a bike didn’t bother me one bit, as:

1. It cost just as much to fly with a bike and

2. I don’t own a mountain bike anyway! I’d have been borrowing somebody’s foreign-to-me bike no matter what.

The bike emerged from the back of the shop: a Gary Fischer. It must’ve weighed 35 lbs. It had a bald spot on the back tire, and looked like it had never ever been washed. It was a beast. Also adorned with a cushy seat, this bike looked like it had been thrown down the mountain, or seen some gnarly crashes. This bike had seen so much more of the island’s trails than I ever would in one weekend. It would show me how it’s done. The Beast and I clicked.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Mother of All Saddle Sores (Not for the faint of heart!)

After a 2 hour and 30 minute ride in the cold rain Wednesday morning, I felt like a rockstar. I hate being cold and wet, but I did it anyway, and felt pretty cool about it. Nothing will stop me and my training, darn it! I put my soaking clothes out to dry and congratulated myself for my accomplishment—one that anyone in, say, Seattle, would find truly unimpressive—with chocolate cake.

The next morning in spinning, I found sitting on the right side of my crotch felt a little uncomfortable, so I shifted and ignored it. Later on in the day, however, I discovered something truly horrifying: my crotch was swollen on the right side. The mythical creation one of my college comedy troupe costars wrote into a sketch—the vag-ball—truly existed and I was one of the infected! Oh my GOD! Then came the pain. Then came the revelation that I couldn’t ride my bike if I didn’t have someone kill this unwanted growth. Saturday is a big training day, I need my crotch in top form for some good hours on the bike! But no! I will not go to an ER with a doctor who only has general knowledge about all body parts. I want someone who is expressly trained in female parts and specifically female parts that have morphed overnight into hideous golf ball like shapes.

Coachance told me this had, unfortunately, happened to him before (only not in the vag-ball fashion). The remedy? A visit to the ER a, a big needle, a knife, and some antibiotics. OH MY GOODNESS! WHAT!?

I arrived at my female doctor’s office early this morning and told them I had a very personal emergency and needed to see the doctor. After an hour of torture in front of a TV playing Kelly Ripa and then “The View” I was ready to face any and all surgical implements. Good thing, because I had to.

“Get me the biggest needle we have,” I heard my doctor say to someone just outside the door. Hey! I heard that! Oh God.

One giant needle injection of numbing stuff, one nice incision, lots of sanitary towely things and some “blood clotting” ointment later, I was “fixed”. I suppose this is what it’s like when a dog goes in to be neutered. I waddled out of the office to be slammed with the price of ridding myself of the painful and unsightly vag-ball: the Louboutains I wanted to wear to my wedding.

Good thing I thought it was ludicrous to spend so much money on a beautiful pair of red-soled, silver shoes. I certainly didn’t ever think, however, that all that cash would be spent on my crotch instead.

I was about an hour late for work, and of course when I waddled in, people were wondering what happened. How to explain? Um, “bike-related injury”. (Thanks, coachance.)

So learn from my mistake. (Even though I can’t exactly pinpoint what caused this, what is technically called a “labial cyst”.) Change out of your bike shorts RIGHT when you’re done. Keep it dry and clean down there. If you bike to work, bring a change of underwear, and make sure to lube up with Chamois Butt’r or something similar before any and all rides to avoid the chaffing that could lead to your very own, very expensive vag-ball. (And a mandatory few days off of the bike and an antibiotic prescription.)

Happy Saddle-Sore Free Friday!

VagBallRunFound this on the internet. Thought it was pretty funny. Extra points if you can figure out what it's actually for!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Mental State of A Sprint Champion

This race is so short and

So close to my home

I should not have to get up

Very early

I shouldn’t eat

The same amount

As I do when I’m riding

A century

But I like peanut butter

And banana sandwiches

And they’re called a

“Skinny Elvis”

So I eat

And get on my feet

Then roll down to transition

On a dark Sunday morning

My town is bustling

People are everywhere

But this time it’s not

To get drunk

(At least not yet)

No stumbling drunkards

Allowed in transition

I rack my bike

Then go out for a stealth loop

of the course

When I get back

Girls are crowding my rack

Even though I stuck a fake flower

And my wetsuit to hold my space

This not gonna work! I say

So they move their bikes an inch

The other way

Now I’ll have to beat them

To get my space back

Out of transition!

The race director yells

So much for a warm up run

I didn’t want to do it anyway

So I’m not too upset.

My plan: drink a Red Bull

To get my heart rate up without moving

I wander over to the beach

My wave doesn’t leave

For almost an hour after the

First one

Coachancé will be done

Before I get in

So I’ll have a sweet cheer squad

Yeah for me!

I spot a friend

And we chat

I cheer for coachancé as he tears up the water

I watch for my coworker

Whom I trained

Smiles and waves

On his way up the sand

I guess I should get in

So the water’s not a shock

And when the gun goes off

I don’t go bezerk

A 30 second warm up swim

And I’m ready to go

I line up with the other girls

They are sweet

And excited to be there

This is fun, I think to myself

Community events are cool

its fun to see

the town come out

for a tri

Off the gun goes

I’m on my toes

Diving through wave after wave

A few girls are ahead of me

But nobody can handle my

Trusty steed, Pinky

So I’m not to worried at all

Out of transition, I’m first on the bike

I begin to fly

Lots of people on the road

It’s quite overloaded

“Coming up on your left”

becomes the phrase of the day

I took my shoes off while on the bike

And was quite proud of this feat

No more clankety clank through transition

I’m all quiet on my socked feet

I take off on the run

This is so much fun!

I’ve run here several times before

It kind of hurts

But I have hurt worse

And I want to win

So I try

Through the finish line I go

No big fanfare

There were too many waves to know

Who’d be the female winner there

So home I go to shower

Grabbing my flower

Off of my transition

I have a lot of space now

The other girls are nowhere to be seen

I shouldn’t have been so mean!

Oh well, now I’m clean

Coachancé kicked butt

So it’s time to collect his reward

But what’s this I see

The female winner is me!?

Freaking sweet!

I am filled with ecstasy!

There is no reward

For the overall winners

Which is a little sad

But my 10 seconds on the podium

Is quite enough

For a moment of personal glory

No formal coaching

No nutritionists

No fancy bike fits

No heart rate training

Just guts


A positive attitude

A lot of chocolate cake

Magazine reading

And a desire to have fun

And now I’m a triathlon champion!

Woo hoo!

Happy Training!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Xterra USA Nationals Redux


The promise of the beautiful lake Tahoe scenery made the 2 hours in LA traffic, during which my fiancé and I drove all of maybe 15 miles, bearable. The plan was to leave around 2pm on Friday to make it up to Lake Tahoe and get a good night’s sleep before basking in the gorgeous mountain sunshine during an easy pre-ride of the bike course.

Coachancé decided we should take the 395 instead of the 5 in order to exchange the enduring smell of cow and fertilizer for a more scenic route. By the time we got to the scenic route, it was dark.

No matter! We were going to Lake Tahoe, baby! To race at Nationals! Awesome!

Once we turned to take the 50 toward Lake Tahoe, we thought we’d be on the home stretch. Too bad the home stretch decided to become engulfed in a white-out blizzard. WTF! (I believe cussing is allowed only in situations related to when the weather is not sunny and warm. That’s what happens when you grow up in Phoenix. And this was not sunny and warm.) WTF! I’m supposed to swim in a lake—and it’s snowing! OK, I’m hardcore. I can do this. Let’s sleep first.

I truly feel for all of the people who did the Xterra Nevada race. They went to sleep with snow flurries in their heads and woke up with it all over the ground before they had to go break the ice to begin their race.

Coachancé and I bundled up all nice and cozy to preride the course—right when other people were bombing down it. I believe he might have forgotten that the course is like a lollipop, and the part we’d share with Saturday’s racers included us riding straight up for 3 miles, and them bombing down at us. It was quite nice to finally begin down the Flume Trail—probably the coolest mountain biking trail in the world. Just sayin’. Non-technical single track with a mountain’s jagged edge on one side and a cliff overlooking all of Lake Tahoe to the right. Pre-riding allowed me to stop and enjoy the scenery—because you know, you’ll ride the way you look and if you’re going to try to take it all in on race day, a helicopter is going to be removing you from the mountain.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cycling and the Middle Finger

Have you ever been riding only to be honked at for no reason? Then suddenly you feel your fist rise and before you know it your middle finger perks up and you’ve just successfully pulled a move equally a-hole like as the guy who honked in the first place? What is it about raising that finger that just becomes automatic when you’re cycling in a big city? Is it because the action has become so ubiquitous on the road that it has lost all meaning but somehow remains ephemerally satisfying for the finger-flipper? Can I try to cram any more big words into one sentence!?

If I could talk to the drivers that honk because I’m not riding as far to the right as possible, I’d say, “Have you ever been hit by a car door?” to which I’d imagine the typical response would be “No.” to which I’d reply “Then you wouldn’t understand why I won’t ride any further to the right.”

Even though the man in a hurry who feels like my presence in his lane is going to somehow make him late for his very important life (importance emphasized by the white ’89 Camry) ends up right beside me at a stoplight, this conversation never happens. Hence the immediate satisfaction of the finger flip.

But you know what’s an even better solution that I’ve been working on? The ginormous smile. That’s right. This baby will piss off that very important man more than any middle finger. Why? Because mean people don’t know how to deal with smiles…even if they’re not completely genuine. And you’ll feel better, too, because smiling releases serotonin and makes you happy. The finger? Probably makes you feel a little poopy inside.

So smile cyclists! Smile away at all of those evil drivers! (Unless they hurt you. Then finger flip away!)

Happy Cycling!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stink at Mountain Biking? Try This!

Have you ever decided you’d give your road bike a break to get down ‘n’ dirty on some sweet single track only to find you’re a real wuss off road? You try to avoid every crack or bump in the trail, believing your tire will somehow wedge itself into it or blow on it while you try to tell yourself your big fat knobbies can take it? So what if your big fat knobbies can take the trail ahead and you can’t? Is there any hope for a cycling junkie who wants to become more well-rounded in the sport and kick ass on and off road?


And what better way to learn than trial by fire? Grab a buddy (or 4) and sign up for a 24 Hour mountain biking extravaganza! Try a 2 person 8-hour race, part of the 24 hour dirtfest. Or grab some more friends and make it a day! (And night…) Chances are you’ll get to go around at the approximately 10 mile course at least 3 times. And on that 2nd or 3rd turn, you’ll already start to feel like a pro! (Note: TriDiva recommends bringing at least one extra friend to keep you company while your mountain biking buddy is tearing up the course.)

What is this craziness TriDiva speaks of? It’s called 24 Hours of Adrenalin, and it truly rocks. ( The people are friendly, and the course is just challenging enough to feel that you’ve conqurered something, but it won’t kill you self-professed MTB babies.

Finally, what’s more fun than a race where you get to take a break, camp, and drink while you’re racing! (Crits were never this much fun!)

So hit up a friend to borrow his/her mountain bike and get your adrenalin pumping. Pretty soon, you’ll want to be just like those guys who race the whole 24 hours solo. Been looking for a new goal after Ironman?

Happy Training, Adrenalin Junkies!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Road Etiquette: Old Men and TriDivas

This one is for the ladies. And for the old men who can’t be content to take a position staring at the ladies’ bums...from far far away.

Have you ever been on a ride—one of those most fabulous rides where the weather is perfect, you’ve been going for a few hours and still feel great, and nothing, not even the honking horns or attempts on your life by evil drivers can bring you down—only to pass an old man on an uphill who takes this move as a direct threat to his manhood and subsequently feels he must silently race you to the top?

Ah yes. I will now attempt to define the mysterious behavior that occurs moments after an old man has been passed by a TriDiva. (And by old man, I mean either older than the TriDiva kicking his butt, or any man who still has his head up his own butt and can’t stand being beat by a woman.)

Upon being passed by a TriDiva, who of course will give a friendly “Hello!”, an old man cyclist will do one of three things:

  1. He will not acknowledge the friendly “hello” and silently pick up the pace, not allowing the TriDiva to complete her pass, subsequently making her stay in a traffic lane as she cannot then pull over in front of him.

  2. He will acknowledge the hello with a rude and piggish grunt, allow the TriDiva to pass, then hammer like there’s no tomorrow and try to play leap-frog up the hill with her.

  3. He will not acknowledge the “hello”, will draft the TriDiva almost all the way up the hill (not taking advantage of the view as he is blinded by a testosterone rage), then try to make a break for it as if crossing the peak of whatever hill they are going up first means he is some kind of superman.

So what’s a friendly, beautiful, competitive TriDiva to do to ensure this undeserved competition stays fun and doesn't disrupt her perfect ride? Here are some ideas:

  1. Kick his ass.

  2. Fart and/or snot in his face when he drafts you.

  3. Be overly friendly. Mean people can’t stand that.

Happy riding! And remember, most older cyclists are nice people, but if you find an OldMan Cyclist, feel free to use the suggested actions above or make your own! I’d love to hear what you come up with!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cross Training Idea: Chasing After a Wave Runner

Need incentive to swim as hard as you can in rough water without being chased by a shark or other large animal? Try this brand new exercise! (Note: fiancé may be substituted with friend/coach/exercise buddy/dog/etc…)

Step 1: Take your fiancé’s family wave runner for a spin with fiancé attached to your back.

Step 2: Drive as far away from shore as possible.

Step 3: Decide to allow your fiancé his chance to drive. It is his, after all.

Step 4: Take your hand out of the kill switch to trade places with fiancé.

Step 5: Fall off of wave runner.

Step 6: Cuss loudly as wave runner takes itself for a joy ride, unburdened by you and your fiancé’s combined mass.

Step 7: Sprint freestyle in a lifejacket across lake with fiancé laughing behind you while you pray you won’t have to swim back to shore sans wave runner or sanity.

Step 8: Praise a higher power for waves that turn the wave runner in a 90 degree angle.

Step 9: Violently remove kill switch from unruly wave runner.

Step 10: Remount wave runner.

Step 11: Repeat as necessary until you feel you’ve had a sufficient workout/ sufficient embarrassment from other seafaring people who have not lost their vessels.

Happy Cross Training!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ode to a ’96 Raleigh M7000 (it’s a mountain bike)

When I was a teen

You were so pretty and clean

I rode you to school

To make the other kids drool

We did our first race together

In nasty ass weather

You always made me look so cool

Then came college and you were boxed up

Shipped to the snow in a big truck

You sat outside and got a little rusty

But that was OK, you were always trusty

40 pounds of silvery steel, you will never die

And that is exactly why

Even though your rear shock goes from side to side

Your breaks don’t work and your gears grind

You still go downhill pretty well

And even though my friends give me hell

I will not replace you, this I promise

Because if I did, I would certainly miss

Your constant squeak that lets me know you’re there

And the way you decide which gear to wear

Because my Raleigh, when I was a teen you were free

And so forever together we shall be

A bike and rider intertwined

Oh Raleigh M7000 I’m so glad you are mine!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Your First 100 Miles in the Saddle

dddI remember my first 100 mile bike ride...or my first official "Century" ride. I chose the Ojai Valley Double Metric Century so I could stay with my pseudo Grandma, and so I could brag about my endurance bike-riding capabilities. I had SPD mountain biking cleats from 11 years ago, a bike I like to call the "Silver Bullet" (the paint is all stripped off so it's incognito), and 5 Luna Bars stuffed in my pockets and my little bike bag.

Mistake #1: Luna Bars--especially the chocolate kind, which is the only kind I will eat--are disgusting on rides. They melt. When I finished the ride, I had chocolate all over my face, and nobody was kind enough to tell me; I discovered this fact when I looked at myself in horror in my pseudo Grandma's bathroom mirror. How many people had I chatted with while covered in what resembled poo slimed all over my face? I shutter at the thought.

Mistake #2: I went alone. That was cool with me, but having just rode my second "official" Century ride this weekend with the coachancé, I now realize how truly fantabulous the whole experience can be when you go with someone you know and like. You can pretend to be doing a stage of the TDF by taking turns pulling each other and blasting past all of the other riders. (Of course, you can always tag along with someone else's little peloton. But what if they start conversing about such gag-worthy topics like, say, wedding planning?)

Mistake #3: I had no salt pills. It was 100 degrees outside. At that point in my life, I had no idea what a salt pill was or that they existed, but this is a case where ignorance is certainly not bliss. I cramped. Big time. And at the end of the Ojai Valley Century, there is a nice big ass climb.

Mistake #4: I had my bike gearing set up like this: 12-21. I didn't know it didn't have to be that hard. It was my first road bike, and I just wanted to ride. (I also had...and still have...full fingered mountain bike gloves. I'm convinced they'll keep me from getting skin cancer on my fingers.)

Life is all about learning from mistakes, so the second time around, coachancé and I had a grand old time.

#1: I ate PowerBars and Gu and Gatorade. Ironman training did me good.

#2: Coachancé came with me for what became his first 100 mile ride ever. He kicked butt. I am so proud.

#3: I had salt pills. No cramps. They are a little miracle drug unto themselves.

#4: I rode the same bike. Same gears. Different shoes and pedals. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

So get out there with your buddies and do a Century ride! What have you got to loose besides bodily fluids? (And many of them are for charity, so you can do something good for others while you do good to your beautifully muscular physique!)

Happy riding!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Catholic Marriage Counseling for Triathletes

If you or your coachance or both of you are Catholic, you shall soon discover the joys of getting married in the Catholic church (if you already haven’t). Typically included in these joys are: guilt (not the kind that looks like gold coins and is chocolate…oh sorry, that’s gelt), and an SAT-style, #2-pencil required “compatibility exam” with a special extra section for “cohabitating couples”. And a meeting afterward with a Catholic marriage counselor to go over your “problem areas”. The conversation looks something exactly like this:

Deacon: My spouse has habits/hobbies that I consider highly annoying. Agree, disagree, or undecided. TriDiva, you agreed!

Coachance: What!

TriDiva: It drives me nuts when all we can talk about is triathlon and training. I already told you that. (to Deacon) We were training for a big race. I was annoyed. It’s over now.

Deacon: Ok. Moving on. I understand that our relationship will change over time. Coachance, you were undecided.

Coachance: What does that mean?

Deacon: Well, you know, at first you’ll get married and you’ll do it all the time. I know when I got married, we did it on every piece of furniture. Whenever and wherever we could. Now, well, we’ve both developed pooches here and there. You almost have to schedule it in.

Coachance looks horrified.

Coachance can’t believe this is what happens in Catholic marriage counseling. TriDiva is highly amused (not that she knew either).

Deacon: Well, so you understand that the relationship changes over time?

Coachance: I guess….ok yes…

A few more questions, and the Deacon left us with these parting thoughts:

Shower together. You’ll save on the water bill!

Who said the Catholic church wasn’t hip?

Happy Marriage Counseling!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Downside to a Perma-Trishorts Tan: The Butt-Fold Burn

I have become very proud of my “neopolitan” tan, what my best friend likes to call the tricolor tan on my thighs. The top is butt-white (as it should be, it’s the part closest to my derrière). This is the part of me that my shortest pair of tri shorts cover, ending high on my thighs. The next phase in my whiteness, normally covered by a longer pair of tri shorts, was subsequently burnt when I did a long race in the short shorts. It turned a lovely strawberry color. Finally, the last part of my thighs is not really a chocolate color, but it comes as close as I’m ever going to get to being “tan”. Thus, the neopolitan tan.

I have defended the perma tritan on my thighs and back against countless bridal gown consultants, friends, coworkers, etc. I have learned to be proud of it.

So when does a perma tan become a very bad thing not worth defending?

The permatritan develops from wearing the same tri-related accessories day in and day out. For me, this is shorts and a tank top. So when I decided to have a beach day yesterday in boy short bikini bottoms, a part of my bum was exposed to sunlight that has truly never seen the light of day. It had been protected by my Zoot shorts for eternity.

Subsequently, I now have the most painful, horrendous sunburn of my life: the butt fold burn. The BFB makes it impossible to pedal a bike, swim, run, sit down, go to the bathroom, or do anything in which you move your thighs in a way that engages your bum. This includes all human activity.

So please, triathletes. Should you decide to enjoy a normal beach day in which you choose to wear something fashionable (i.e. NOT a Speedo or trisuit) that leaves parts of you exposed that only you and your bathroom mirror have seen, don’t forget to lay on the sunscreen!

This has been a public service announcement from FriedDiva.

Happy Beach Days!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Meditation on Post-Race Downtime

I should get up

But I don’t want to

Why did I set

The alarm?

I should do laundry

But I don’t want to move

And that would require

Raising my arm

Oh how did I ever become

Such a lazy bum

It was an almost instantaneous transformation

One big race

Is all that it takes

To turn my mind and body into a warring nation

Maybe the stink

Of my clothes and the sink

In the kitchen will get my attention

And so for now

I shall eat and watch “House”

Until my apartment is too gross to mention.

Happy Lazy Days!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flying, Bikes, Fatties, and Aero-Injustice

Thoughts from a recent flight:

  1. I always get stuck next to the fat person.

  2. Planes should have weigh-ins, then allow a total amount of weight per person. This way, twiggy girls can pack all sorts of extra clothes to keep warm, triathletes can bring their bikes, and obese people can fly—all for the same price.

  3. In #2’s proposal, bodybuilders would be screwed.

  4. Plane seats are quite small, and in the off-season, as per #2’s proposal, all I might be able to bring with me is a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms (yes, they have them now! Delicious!)

  5. Planes are freezing inside, even if you fly between, say, Phoenix and Las Vegas in the summer.

Happy Plane Traveling!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tricks and Tips to Pimp your Tri-Bike on a Budget

You dropped what could’ve been a down payment on a Ferrari a few years ago on your bike. You have no intention of doing that again for a long while (even though you’ve sworn to your spouse many times that the new Felt Carbon DA is calling to you personally whenever you see one).

But lately, even though you’ve bonded with your bike, and its saddle and handlebars have molded to your bum and hands respectively, it’s been looking a little bit…old fashioned.

Cooler looking graphics were introduced this year. New designs touting themselves as more aerodynamic have popped up. Sexier top tube lines have been formed. Instead of focusing on all of these promising-looking new designs, it’s time to concentrate on what you have. It’s time to pimp your bike out and get excited about getting back in the saddle.

Here’s how to recreate that fluttery feeling you had in your stomach every time you saw your bike in the beginning of your relationship:

  1. Give it a name. That is, if you haven’t already. And no, naming it the name with which it popped out of the factory is not acceptable. (Cutie Kuota, Felty…) Something more intimidating, fast, and menacing—like Dominator, or The Silver Bullet—will immediately restore a sense of adventure and mystique to your bike. Can you handle a Silver Bullet? While you’re at it, give it a gender, too. This way, when you’re talking about it with your friends, it will not be an “it”, but rather a “he” or “she”, instantly making him/her more like a member of your family than some outdated object.

  2. Choose a new color scheme. Maybe your bike is already bright yellow, but there are still ways you can detail your baby to give it a whole new look. First, decide what colors you want to race in this year. Then, you can pimp your bike accordingly. Not only will it look great, you will also look most intimidating (and like a pro) when your whole kit matches—right down to your socks. Pick a color and ride with it. (Hot tip: cruiser bike decals are cheap, and come in all kinds of neat designs and colors—like orange flames. Pick some up at your local bike shop and get ready to be envied.)

  3. Change your saddle. Choose a new one in an outrageous color. Yes, your bum might’ve grown accustomed to your old one, but your heart will go pitter-pat whenever you see that crazy orange or pink or blue saddle on your bike, setting it apart from the masses of more conservative black and silver saddles. Terry makes some great pink saddles for women. Fizik has also dabbled in color. Another perk to having an unusual saddle? It’ll be super easy to spot in transition.

  4. Change your handlebar tape. This is the easiest and cheapest way to give your bike a facelift. It can instantly change the look of your bike, and may be the only thing you need to recreate your initial love affair. Fortunately, people have figured this out already, and handlebar tape is readily available in every color under the sun to help you pimp your ride.

  5. Spray paint your bottle cages according to your color scheme. Got a pink saddle, pink flames, and pink handlebar tape? Bust out some hot pink spray paint and paint away! (Assuming you didn’t drop an additional $60 per cage to have carbon fiber cradling your bottles.)

So whenever you feel yourself looking at your bike, and believing that if you dropped mucho dinero on a new tri-machine, consider this: maybe you’re just looking at it the wrong way. It’s not the bike that’s fast, it’s the person peddling it. If Lance got on your bike, he’d surely beat all of your shiny-new-carbon-toting competition. Jump-start your engine by falling back in love with your bike. Give one or all of the tips above a try, and you’ll surely be on your way to a successful season.

Happy Bike Pimping!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vineman Redux


Excitement arose

as we drove and drove

North up and away

for a race last Sunday

Neither of us had ever been

very close to wine country

So when we arrived

we were overcome with its beauty

Twisty country roads took us along

toward the beach for the river swim

would the swim be wetsuit-legal?

wouldn't know until the race officials got in.

Then back off along the skinny roads

in a big arc we went

me noting grapes in rows and rows

coachance figuring where the road bent

Race day could not have been more fantabulous

Parents and a dear friend came out to cheer for us

With "It's my birthday!" on my right calf

the birthday wishes rolled in all through the half

People I passed and who passed me

all yelling cheerfully

Happy Birthday to me, indeed!

PRs all around

for my coachance and me

Fabity fab considering

the course was so hilly!

Then off to the vineyards

to taste some wine

and have a beautiful dinner

I'd go home more refined

(now I know the difference

between red and white!)

A more perfect birthday

there never was

with family, friends, and a race

and, not to forget, some chocolate cake!

Happy Racing!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Tour de France on Your Computer

A friendly heads up (if you haven't already found it).

YouTube user "velo23" has been putting up good videos of all of the stages thus far in this year's Tour de France. So take a break from your work, fire up the YouTube and pretend that you're capable of averaging close to 40mph in a time trial. (Plus, there have been some pretty gnarly crashes. Those are always fun to watch!)

Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to Have an Un-Tri-Related Conversation

Admit it, it's hard--especially at the height of your training--to strike up a conversation that doesn't start out or end up about triathlon. Training. Running. Biking. Swimming. Nutrition. Injuries. Given you spend almost every waking hour training, or doing something so you can support your triathlon habit (i.e. the "day job"), it's hard to get your mind away from it.

At some point, your friends will stop talking to you.

Even your tri buddies may grow weary of your conversation. Before you end up discussing how great that last interval was with your bike (whom you've named), consider these simple rules:

  1. Read at least one thing totally un-triathlon related every day. Reading will expand your mind and give you something else to ponder. ("It's Not About the Bike" doesn't count. Try "The Wall Street Journal" or something. NOT the sports section!)

  2. See a movie totally un-sports related. Like the Simpsons movie, when it comes out. Everyone will love to talk about it, I'm sure.

  3. Travel. For reasons totally unrelated to triathlon. This will put triathlon in perspective, and maybe even make you feel a bit guilty about spending all that money on a carbon fiber bike when you see kids who won't even wear their new running shoes because they are the fanciest possession they own.Lake Como

  4. When you're doing your workout, focus solely on your workout. But when it's over, focus on the rest of your day. Yep, you had a great run this morning. Now enjoy the endorphin rush and think/talk about something else. It's over! Talk about this!

  5. Remember: Just because you're not reading sports related magazines, dissecting your last workout, wearing a heart rate monitor, or talking about triathlon, this does NOT mean that you are somehow going to "loose" what you've got, or that you are not a triathlete. The bracelet you've kept on your arm since your last Ironman half a year ago is proof enough. In fact, with a well-balanced life and a healthy perspective on how your hobbies fit into it, you'll become a better athlete. Guaranteed. You'll be happier, less stressed, and your mental game will be right on cue.

Happy Conversing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How NOT To Swim in Your Gym's Pool

Sometimes, that 4:30am wake up call for masters swimming just makes you want to smash your alarm clock and sleep until 4:30am the next morning. If you have a membership to a gym with a pool, maybe you'll tell yourself you can swim there later. Back to sleep!

But once you arrive at the gym, you remember exactly why you would rather miss sleep to swim masters than do a gym swim. Share this list of NOT TO's with your fellow gym swimmers to ensure a better experience for all (or, heck, post it in your gym and see how long it stays up!):

  1. Do not pee in the pool. It is already uncomfortably hot. You do not need to warm yourself up.

  2. Do not swim breast stroke like you must try to push off of both side walls to make yourself go forward. You will kick someone, and they might kick back.

  3. Do not act disgusted when a swimmer on a kick set splashes your carefully pinned up bouffant. You got in the pool. It has water in it. You are going to get wet.

  4. Do not swim back stroke unless you have the magical power to swim in a straight line, or unless your pool is indoors and you can guide yourself along a crack in the roof. You will run into someone. They might kick you.

  5. Do not try to time your push off with that of the hot triathlete next to you. It is hardly laudable to beat them across the pool when they're swimming an easy 50 and you are sprinting.

  6. Do not steal any pull buoy located on deck in your vicinity. Someone brought it there to use. Just because they don't have it shoved between their thighs at this instant doesn't mean they're not going to use it.

  7. Do not comment on the massive amount of leg hair or "Sasquatch" legs that one female swimmer has. It has a purpose. It is called "drag". She shaves only for races. Capisce?

  8. Do not start up a conversation with someone who is obviously watching the clock. They are on "intervals". They will only have 5 seconds to catch their breath before they go out again. "Hi" is the only appropriate thing to say at this time.

  9. Do not bring your kid and tell him he can play "lie on the bottom of the pool and look up at the swimmers." Yes, it can be amusing. But he also looks like he's drowned, and said swimmers will feel obligated to skip an interval to grab your kid.

  10. Do not try to circle swim. Each lane is good for 2 people only. Split it up and swim back and forth. It's highly unlikely you're going to swim at the same pace as that other random gym swimmer.

Happy Sleeping-In and Gym Swimming!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Underwater Bicycle Racing

Something to consider if you need to beat the heat! Or if you have injured yourself and still want to get the miles pool running...only weirder...

And as an added bonus, you can work on your bikini/speedo tan without looking strange.

Happy Almost-4th-Of-July!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Active Things to Do With Friends Who Don’t Tri

If you’re feeling down because you forgo social activity because it doesn’t mesh with your training—and your friends and family are feeling neglected—consider these activities that will keep you in tip top tri shape AND satisfy everyone’s need to be around your awesomeness:

1. Go for a long hike. After a hilly long hike, your butt and thighs will hurt more than any long hilly run you’ve ever done.

2. “Play” in the ocean (if you have one). You can then practice your ins and outs under the guise of “bodysurfing”, and challenge your friends to swim out to something and back (thereby getting in your yardage…but keeping up the appearance that you are just “playing”.)

3. Have a pushup or crunch contest.

4. Go out for Italian food. They’ll enjoy it and never know you have the ulterior motive of carbo-loading.

5. Go shopping. Watching your girlfriends (or the new upcrop of metrosexual dudes) drop tons of cash on clothes will make you feel less guilty about spending all of yours on spandex. I have yet to find a skinsuit that costs as much as a pair of D&G jeans.

Enjoy Your Friends! (And whip them into shape in the process!)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Riding Your Bike to Work

You are a triathlete. You love riding your bike. So why not get in some extra mileage and work on making your legs even sexier by riding to work? Here are some considerations to make when thinking about ditching the car for the Kuota.


1. If you live in a big city, it may very well take you less time to ride than it does to drive.

2. By riding your bike, you are doing your part to save our environment, so you can feel good about yourself for that contribution all day.

3. Effortless extra mileage can be added to your training plan.

4. No more listening to Ryan Seacrest’s psychobabble in the morning.

5. You can eat even more than you already do to make up for your work-ride caloric expenditure.


1. If you have an impressionable forehead, like TriDiva, you may be left with unsightly helmet marks that make you look like you’re a character from Star Trek that will last all day long and through every meeting you have. (Or, you might just get stuck with helmet hair.)

2. If your office has no gym nearby / shower facilities, you may stink big time upon your arrival. (However, this may also be a good thing if you do not enjoy contact with your co-workers anyway.)

3. Drivers are a**holes, a lot of the time. You may arrive at work frazzled, and with a sore middle finger you can no longer lift to secretly use vs. your boss or anyone else at work. (But you shouldn’t be flicking people off anyway…because they might try to kill you…especially people in Camry’s…there’s something about people in Camry’s and cyclist stalkers…)

4. You no longer get to listen to Ryan Seacrest’s morning psychobabble—and you actually enjoyed it!

5. If you’re the forgetful type, you may arrive at work having found you’ve forgotten work essentials—like underwear, a shirt that isn’t made out of spandex, or shoes that don’t have cleats attached. If you’re forgetful and still want to ride to work, make a checklist and get everything ready the night before.

Happy Commuting!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bike Crash Photo du Jour


At least it wasn't rocky...

Happy Summer Training!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Injury + Stress + Hormones = TriathleteDemon

If you are currently experiencing any of the following, please cease all social contact immediately, as you are probably unintentionally being an ass.

1. Stress at work

2. Confusion about your calling in life

3. Flat feet

4. Uteran wrath

5. Loss of a loved one

6. Split ends

7. Crappy gas mileage

8. Ingrown toenails

9. Enlarged chocolate intake

10. Sweat-induced acne

When you have calmed down enough and taken some sort of action to make yourself presentable, it would probably be beneficial to talk to someone. Until then, hiding somewhere with your chocolate stash may be the best option…or a long ride.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Exclusive! Squirrel Caught in Bike Spokes!

From a friend of a friend...and you thought that if you ever ran over a squirrel, it would just squish squirrel guts all over you...

Squirrel 3

Squirrel 2

Squirrel 1

Happy Suicide Animal Avoidance!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flexible Flat Feet? You MUST Read This!

Can you touch your thumb to your arm? You have flexible joints. Got no arch? You have flat feet. And while there are several athletes that stand as living proof that you can still pull off some awesome run times—and even win some races in the run—your fun flexible body might just have a few things hiding under its skin for you.

Flexible Fact #1: You’re probably a great swimmer, with feet that flippity flop like giant paddles.

Flexible Fact #2: You’re probably pretty fun between the sheets.

Flexible Fact #3: You might just have an extra bone in your foot.

That’s right, an “auxiliary bone”, if you will. This little sucker has up and taken your tibial tendon’s connection away from the strong navicular bone, and made this important tendon attach to it’s little bony self.


What does this mean? If you twist your ankle—or even just run a lot—you can tear / aggravate the ligaments that are holding your “bonus bone” to your navicular. What does THAT mean? Your arch will feel like it’s on fire and determine for you that you must stop running. You may even have to get a cast put on to take the pressure off of this area and allow it to heal.

What does that mean? Pool running. But how can you pool run with a cast that can’t get wet stuck to your foot? You must buy a big ugly blue boot with a pump that will literally vacuum seal your foot inside of it, and also make you the nerdiest, strangest looking Smurf-person at your aquatic center.

On the positive side, should this become a chronic problem and a little bit of time off just doesn’t do the trick, you can get your evil little “accessory bone” removed, and have your tendon reattached to the navicular bone like a normal person.

On a more positive side, maybe a week in a cast with an ugly blue bootie will calm your little bone down. It got the attention it was asking for. Maybe now it’ll shut up.

So if you’re having arch pain, and have flat feet, and can put your feet behind your head, perhaps a little extra bone is to blame for your pain. Have it checked out before you do any more damage!

Happy Pool Running!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How To Win A Triathlon

1. Ride 90+ miles with 6,000+ feet of elevation gain the day before.

2. Decide that wasn’t enough and run in the pool for 30 minutes.

3. Run in the pool because you severely injured yourself 3 weeks ago and haven’t been able to run since.

4. Decide you will be so hyped up on endorphins (and Advil) for your goal race that the pain won’t matter.

5. Drink a Red Bull while walking to the swim to counteract the fact that you only got 6 hours of sleep. Laugh off the burpy side effects.

6. Borrow goggles from your local triathlon shop who happens to have a tent at the event because you couldn’t find yours anywhere.

7. Sight well in the swim.

8. Drop fancy Rudy Project glasses out of helmet in transition. Decide you don’t need them anyway. Keep going. Pray the girl next to you doesn’t step on them.

9. Play mind games with a roadie doing the bike leg for a relay team. Decide the burning in your quads is awesome. Push harder.

10. Step on fancy Rudy Project glasses in transition and crack off the arm.

11. Run like hell. There is no pain. The Endorphin/Advil theory is legitimized.

12. Bask in the glory of being the first female finisher…until you find out your coachancé won the whole thing.

13. Bask in mutual glory. Pretend you’re just like Lori Bowden and Peter Reid like 7 years ago at IM Canada…on a much much smaller scale.

14. Pass out.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Cursed Ankle

I want to run

But you are no fun

You don’t even want to swim

I thought we were one

And that you were done

If only I could cut off my limb

But oh ankle how much fun we’ve had

Think of the times when you weren’t bad

And we took off on explorative runs

I just know

That you want to go

Outside to play in the sun

So I’ll work with you

If you work with me

So we may once again live

In harmony

I will ice and you will feel great

And we shall once again dominate

My awesome ankle, are you with me!?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Living With Your Training Partner

Perhaps you have recently acquired a coachance. Or a boach or a goach (boyfriend/girlfriend + coach). After reading every Cosmo quiz to determine if now would be a good time to move in together, you realize Cosmo doesn’t know everything—and they certainly haven’t addressed the question of moving in with a training partner. Read this before you take that big step!

3 Reasons To Live With Your Training Partner (TP)

  1. You don’t have to get up earlier to meet them.

  2. They will KNOW if that last giant piece of chocolate cake is missing from the fridge, possibly deterring you (or not) from downing it after a stressful day at work.

  3. A 3am text message will not get you out of a workout. Instead of receiving a “You lazy butt, fine. See you on Thursday” message back, you could potentially get a bucket of cold water dumped on your head by a TP who doesn’t want to get a late start. You’ll feel better about yourself if you don’t miss your workout. Just keep repeating that statement all morning until your hair dries.

3 Reasons Why NOT To Live With Your Training Partner

  1. You thought your work out clothes stunk up your place. Sweaty spandex x 2 = deadly b.o. stink bomb…especially if you live somewhere humid.

  2. They will KNOW if that last giant piece of chocolate cake is missing. Blaming it on your fat cat only works once.

  3. If neither of you is a bike rack building genius, you’d better get some very comfortable saddles, because you’ll be sitting on your bikes to watch TV in the living room…and to eat breakfast…and to read the newspaper. 3 bikes was doable. Now you’ve got 6+. Might as well open a shop!

Now that you’ve analyzed the pros and cons of moving in with your TP, you’ll be able to make a more responsible and informed decision if it is right for you. Like if you’re moving in together and buying a nice big house at the same time, and in a dry area, 2 of the 3 cons will become irrelevant.

Happy Training!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

5 Things to Get You Excited About Pool Running

So you’ve twited an ankle, have tendonitis or your body has otherwise decided to make you stop running for a while. Instead of overdoing your cycling and swimming workouts to make up for missed runs—RUN! In the pool. That’s right, it’s not just for old ladies in exercise classes any more. Instead of dreading extra time spent with pruny fingers, think about these 5 reasons why pool running kicks butt.

1. You get to use the “aquajogger”—that purple floaty things you laugh at grandmas when they use it to aquacize. Only you look cool in it. And you’re doing a real workout.

2. Because you’re upright, you can carry on a conversation with the cute lifeguard (he’ll talk, even if he’s not supposed to.)

3. You can analyze and critique the strokes of all of the lap swimmers and possibly gain insight as to why people (like TriDiva) don’t go anywhere when they use their arms.

4. You can tack the workout on to your swim, giving you less transition time, less time to think about going out, and more time to read Cozmo…I mean Triathlete Magazine…with your breakfast.

5. Should you choose to tack your pool run onto your swim, you’ll have that much more time to get rid of your googlie-eyes before you are seen in public. (And in TriDiva’s case, this is much needed and appreciated!)

Happy recovering!

Friday, June 1, 2007

The BEST Bike Handling Skills

Betcha wish you could be like this guy! (I do!)

Click here to watch the video!

Happy riding! Try jumping off of a curb on your way to work this morning, then work up to the bouncy wheelie.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Xtreme Fri-Tri Photo

This can't have ended well either:


Happy Off-Road Training!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Injured? Don't Do This!

When injury strikes, we stubborn triathletes tend to ignore the pain--or we freak out about it. No matter which end of the spectrum you're on, these mantras should help you jump on a sane road to recovery:

1. I will allow my body to heal.

2. I will not overtrain another sport to make up for time not running/swimming/biking.

3. I will not freak out that I will become fat in my new state of lower volume training.

4. I will religiously put frozen peas on my injury, and take Advil.

5. I shall not whine to my friends about my injury, lest they ban me from future training sessions with them. Or from all social activity.

Chill! The worst thing you could possibly do is to train through your injury. Doing this will never let it fully heal, and you'll only to have to take loads of time off later when it leads to something bigger and more evil.

Happy Injury-Free Training!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Xtreme Tri Photo of the Day

This could not have ended well:


I have nothing else to say. Ouch. Nice photography.

Happy training!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Xterra Temecula—Get Ready to Sweat

From the point of view of an Xterra newbie:

The most brutal swim

Known to mankind

Kicked in the chin

And in the eye

Muddy transition

But that’s just fine

The dirtier the better

And I’m toward the front of the line

Off on my borrowed steed

Forgot to grab my gu’s

After 2 hours

I begin to loose my juice

Holy crap! A girl flies by

With my age on her thigh

(OK calf, but that doesn’t rhyme)

Must stay with her or else

I’ll be left in the dirt by myself

Up! Up! Up! We go!

Man do we run slow

I’m starting to break away

I really want to win today

But there’s a chubby dude in my way

I do not gracefully go around him

And the sight of my ankle twisting astounds him

Must keep running!

I’m almost there!

Oh! I see the finish line!

And it looks most divine.

Water! Food! Must stuff my face

Xterra was an awesome race!

Happy racing!