Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Best and Worst Pets for Triathletes

You train. Hard. A lot. You work. You have family and friends and just maybe have found a significant other who will put up with your crazy schedule and decreased sex drive at peak training time. Do you really have time for a pet? Why would you want one?

Well, the answers are: yes, if you get the right kind. And: because they give you the unconditional love you might be lacking (mom and dad don't count) and teach you to care about something other than your killer abs for a bit of every day.

So now you want a little friend. Here are some suggestions for a pet that will fit into your trilifestyle:


  1. a cat- they're independent, so they won't freak out when you're gone most of the day. They're also fuzzy and cuddly so you can hug and kiss them and snuggle. (The downside? They might just destroy everything you own if you get one who resents being left alone every day. But as long as it's not your bike or tri clothes, who cares? Buy a scratching pole.)Cat

  2. a hamster- they're fun to watch. They will play in their little tubular home all day and play around in your hands when you get home. Not as much clean up as the cat (littler pet, littler poo), they also don't make much noise.Hamster

  3. a fish- the ultimate tri pet. Very low maintenance. They won't get pissed off and make noise at you when you're sleeping to come play with them. They don't cost a lot and if you're lucky, you might even get one who recognizes your presence and swims to the side of his bowl when you stick your head there to make fishy faces at him. Just don't name it Goldie, that's lame. How about Peter Reid?Fish


  1. a dog- ok, here this one out. Assuming you work out and then work all day long, a dog is not ideal because it needs love and attention. Not to mention bathroom breaks. They are, however, extremely intelligent and loyal and will definitely give you the attention and unconditional love you may crave, if frequenting your local tri club functions has not yet yielded a significant other. But coming home from a long hard day to find a yellow lake on your kitchen floor is not going to make your hectic life any easier.Puppy

  2. A bird- yes, they're low maintenance, but they sing. Not good when you need nappy time or sleepy time. And you don't want PETA on your butt when your bird suddenly eats it one of your restless nights. Not like you'd kill a bird or anything...Bird

  3. A ferret- they like to munch on your toes and bite holes in your clothes. Enough said. (And they're illegal as pets in California.)Ferret

So there you have it. If you feel your life is all about you, need some tlc, or a little more entertainment in your life that's not spoon-fed to you from the E! channel, try getting a pet! It may be just the change you need to get re-inspired about your training and your "you" time.

Happy pet finding!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

5 Reasons Why Tri Clubs are Better Than Any Dating Service

If you haven’t yet joined a local tri club, maybe it’s time you reconsidered—especially if you’re single. Here’s why:

  1. Every member has been prescreened to have similar interests to you. Triathletes, no matter what distance they’re training for, are highly motivated, positive, self-sufficient, nice, fun, goal-oriented people. And don’t forget athletic, good-looking, and muscular. Multiply those qualities by thousands of people, and you’ve got a dating pool made in heaven!Tricouple

  2. There are tons of opportunities to meet up with the aforementioned pool of potentially perfect matches under the guise of doing something else. “Training” is the number one best excuse for a date, as are club social events, races, and “carbo loading” i.e. chatting at your local brewpub. Triathlon provides many alternatives to the word “date”, letting you out of the preconceived notions of what should happen on a “date” and the awkwardness that ensues once said “date” doesn’t go as planned. A few more examples of alternative triwords to the word “date”: a “training ride”, a “recovery run”, and an “ocean swim” (if you really want to show off that 6 pack right away)…Runcouple

  3. Everyone you meet will be wearing spandex. If not at your first meeting, then very soon thereafter. So if you want to size someone up, or see him/her in a bathing suit, you won’t have to do any work at all. In fact, your future date will be happy to show off his/her body in the skimpiest outfits known to mankind. If Louis Garneau marked that top and those tiny bum-hugging shorts as appropriate, they must be!TriLady

  4. You can go out to eat, again under the pretext of something like “carbo loading”, and not worry about getting teased endlessly for ordering an appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert—and licking every plate clean! Your tridate will do the same.Pasta!

  5. Conversation will never fail. Even if you don’t eventually marry the first person you meet at your local tri club, you will have something to talk about. There are endless tri-related topics to choose from, and if you are both trigeeks (almost guaranteed, as you were prescreened, here, remember?), you will both be passionate about whatever the conversation turns to. Like 650 vs 700 cc wheels. Or wetsuit vs. no wetsuit. Or the ridiculous rise in race fees. There’s no way you’re going to eat $150 worth of Gatorade and Powerbars in that upcoming Olympic race! Goodbye awkward first meeting, hello instant connection.Tridudes

So if you’re not already a part of a triathlon club, check one out! There are tons of singles (hey, it’s hard to find someone who understands your drive to work out 30+ hours this week…but not in a triathlon club!), and endless fun events at which to meet them.

Happy tridating!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ode to the Long Ride

Lone Cyclist

When I start out all alone

sometimes I just want to go home.

Everything hurts and I'm in a lot of pain

and I certainly don't like to bike in the rain.

Then somewhere around mile 60

My body decides to do something nifty.

The endorphins kick in and I'm riding on high

I can't even feel that pain in my thigh.

I begin to fly up the climb

Making it to the top in record time.

And once I hit the top,

The feeling doesn't stop.

Nothing could possibly go wrong,

And I begin to sing my favorite song.

Then just at about mile 90,

Something happens that is quite slimy,

No, nothing to do with my numb toes,

A very juicy bug dies on impact with my nose.

Ewwwwwww! Splat! It's all over my face,

Its little yellow bug guts go all over the place.

And you might think this would ruin my endorphin rush,

But then I get to thinking and such:

Much better the squishy bug than me,

And so I ride home hapily.

120 miles I have covered,

New places I have discovered.

And I am so proud of me,

But I keep thinking of that juicy bee.

Poor fella was out for a Sunday flight,too,

But, hey, whatcha gonna do?

Happy long riding!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Goofy TriToon of the Day

Having a hard time finding a place to swim? Masters too fast? Too early? Is the redneck pool featured last week just not going to cut it? Here's an idea for getting what you need to get those workouts:

Lap Pool

For more tritoons, click here!

Happy swimming!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Office Etiquette for the Triathlete: What to Do When Work=Life for Your Coworker

Triathletes are a special breed. Through years of training, we have worked out that delicate balance between family, exercise, work, and personal time. We know that when one of those things overpowers the others, life gets rough. And the best way to succeed and do your very best is to find the best balance for you.

Happy Triathletes

But what happens when you run up against someone who hasn't figured this out yet? And what if you have to work with them? They may resent you because they don't feel you're pulling your load at work when you don't stay overtime. The "American Way", after all, tells us we should work hard because that's what will make us successful. And we all want to be successful, right?


Triathletes do work hard. We work very hard. But at ALL aspects of life, not just in the office. We tend to measure success not in how much money we make (as long as it's enough for race entry fees, food, and gear, we're set!) or in what promotions we get. And when coworker Joe Schmoe has dedicated his life to ensuring that people everywhere have their appropriate dose of pictures of Britney Spears' shaved head on the gossip website you work at (tailor this example to your situation), he's going to give you poo about "having a life". As if it's more honorable to stay late on Friday night to get that 10th photo of Ms. Spears than it is to spend time with your family or work toward another, say, Ironman.

So what to do?

Dartboard face

You could pin a picture of said coworker's face to a dart board at home, and in the 2 spare minutes you have to yourself before going to bed, launch darts at him. But that's a bit too passive aggressive for a go-getter like you.

boss talk

Speak with your boss so you have solid hours. That way, there shouldn't be any wishy washiness about when you're allowed to go. If Picture-Finder Joe Schmoe has later hours, or wants to stay later, that's his prerogative. In no way should it make you feel guilty at all.

There are always times when you might be asked to stay later to fix something. And if you can, and it's not an every day occurrence, it's up to you to do so or not.

Just remember: if you do the best you can do all the time (which is a motto most triathletes live by), you should have no regrets. There will always be "haters" who are jealous of your thriving social live, your kick ass athletic physique, and your amazing athletic accomplishments. They don't like you and give you a hard time because they're jealous.

Jealous Coworker

Take pity on them. And maybe one day, buy them a swim cap or something and encourage them to tri, too!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Heat is Coming--Will You Be Hydrated Enough?

So it may seem a little untrue to those of you where the high tomorrow is, like, negative 11. The thoughts and best wishes of all the triathletes in warmer climes are with you. But in places like LA, the heat has been coming. Slowly but surely. And with heat comes a whole new game of hydration and nutrition to keep your performance at top notch!

Hydrate or Die

TriDiva's first Camelback held about 20 oz of water, and had little water droplets with scary faces all over it that said, "Hydrate or DIE!" Subtle? No. Cool looking? Hell yea! And while she wasn't really paying attention to the advice of those little water droplets when she bought it (the Camelback was purple. She was 12.), she gets it now. Those little water droplets were little fairy godmothers in disguise. Or something like that.


During the colder months, we sometimes forget to adequately hydrate ourselves. We don't feel sweat dripping down our faces, arms, legs, back, neck, etc...and think we're not loosing too much H2O. Then we carry this very bad habit over into the warmer months with disastrous consequences.

What does dehydration do to your performance?

As your body temperature rises, your body sweats to help cool yourself down. Water also plays a key role in your metabolism AND lubricates your muscles and joints. It is the basis of human life. And if you're not getting enough, you're in big trouble.


Even minimal body water loss can have big bad consequences. Besides a resulting electrolyte imbalance, here is a table that shows you just what's going on in your poor water starved body:

% Body Weight Loss Estimated % Performance Drop Normal Temperatures High Temperatures and/or Strenuous Exercise
1-2% 5-10% Impaired Judgment, Irritability, Headache, Muscular Aches Sweating, Flushed Face
3% 15% Thirst Reflex Initiated, Sense of Fatigue, Tight Sore Muscles, Increased effects of 1-2% Symptoms Profuse Sweating, Noticeably (to others) Impaired Judgment and Confusion
4-6% 25-35% Profound Thirst, Dizziness, Muscle Cramps, Weakness, Fatigue Very Irritable, May Act Irrational, Pale, Severe Headache Especially at Base of Skull
7-8% 40-45% Nausea, Vomiting, Severe Vertigo or Dizziness, Somewhat Irrational, Severe Muscle Cramps, Staggering Cold, Clammy Skin even though Core Body Temperature may be 104 o F or higher, May Have Stopped Sweating
9-10% 50-55% Collapse, Very Irrational, Unconscious Skin Pale, Cold and Clammy, Stopped Sweating, Muscles Tense & Contracted, Pupils Normal or Dilated, Pulse Weak and Rapid, Low Blood Pressure, Respiration Shallow
8-10%+ 45-55% Heat Stroke *Skin temperature may be 102-104 o F and the core temperature may be over 108 o F which, if prolonged, will lead to kidney failure and death. Heat Stroke Skin Red, Dry, & Hot, Sweating has Stopped, Severe Headache, Extremely Weak, Numbness and Tingling in Extremities, Muscles Tense and Convulsive, Confusion, Dark Urine (if any), Pupils Contracted, Pulse Strong and Bounding, Rapid/Shallow/Labored Respiration, Delirious, Unconscious, Comatose

So as you can see, DRINK! And replace electrolytes on a hot day by putting some Gatorade mix in your water and taking electryolyte tablets. You're a hardcore superstar. No triathlete wants to be known as the guy we all lost because he just couldn't down enough H2O. Save your heroic exit for a magnificent bike crash when you're 100 at Kona or something way cooler like that.


For more on how water effects your sports performance, check out this article (where that table came from).

Happy drinking! (WATER!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Grapes--A Triathlete's Friend or Foe?

Grapes are available year round now thanks to international shipping (grapes from Chile, anyone? They are no longer some kind of exotic delicacy!) But recently in CA, they've finally become affordable. And by affordable, we're talking 99 cents a pound. Rich in antioxidants, crunchy and delicious, grapes seem to be the perfect snacking food for healthy people. Like carrots, only sweet and jucy and you get to pluck them off of a vine.


They are fun to eat and oh so yummy. Grape juice is touted as an excellent recovery food--it's high in carbs. So how could this little fruity orb of perfection ever be bad for you? Here is how the magnificent grape can be your friend and you foe at any given moment. Kind of like sibling.

Grapes=Friend:Happy grapes

  • Grapes contain flavinoids, which are phytonutrients that give grapes their pretty purple color--the darker the color, the more flavinoids there are (i.e. for most benefit, skip the green and go for the purple grapes!!!) Flavinoids have compounds that reduce the risk of heart disease! (Hence the "A glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away" theory.)

  • grapes and stuff made from grapes (grape juice, wine...) help reduce the occurrence of blood clots

  • grapes increase plasma antioxidant activity

  • grapes can lower your cholesterol

  • grapes can improve blood flow to the brain (feeling a bit daft lately? Have some grapes!)

  • grapes can help with hypertension

  • grapes just help your whole cardiovascular system--the one you've been putting to the test daily--a ton. Eat your grapes!

For more on how grapes are your friends, click here.

Grapes = Foe Grapes of Wrath

  • grapes have a laxative effect. They are high in fiber, and because of their handy neat natural little packaging, it's easy to eat an entire bag or two before you know it! And if you're one of those people for whom the adage "Running makes you Regular" holds true, you might be running to every available toilet for the next few days after your grape attack.

  • grapes can make you bloated. They are very high in water, and eating a bunch of them can make you feel all roly poly and not to mention gassy. Not a good feeling before a workout. Depending on how much you love grapes, this feeling can hang over until tomorrow. So if you've got a long run on Saturday, get your grape fix on Thursday or before or you'll be sorry!

So there you have it. Grapes are awesome. They're crunchy, delicious, nutritious, and fun. Just don't eat too many before a workout (even a few days before), or you'll be cursing the existence of places like Napa Valley while you're desperately trying to find a tree nobody will see your bum behind on your next run.


Happy snacking!

Monday, February 19, 2007

5 Reasons Why Triathletes are Good at Karaoke

It's certainly not an obvious link: triathlete-karaoke. But if you're a triathlete, it's time you tried jumping onto the stage after finishing your long run! Here's why:

  1. You're already so tired from working out, you don't need much alcohol (or any) to get you up there with no inhibitions. And a person without any personal filter = a karaoke rockstar.KaraokeGirl

  2. You've worked so hard on creating that rock hard body, you deserve to show it off. And there's nowhere better to do that than by taking center stage. (Heck, maybe you've even been practicing your rockstar scream on your long runs in an attempt to keep strange animals away.)Abs

  3. If you choose a Mexican karaoke bar, you can get free chips and salsa all night to fuel your dance in the spotlight and refuel yourself from the morning's workout. Mmmm. Chips and salsa...MexicanBar

  4. You get to be social--with your other tribuddies and nontribuddies alike. They don't need to be able to keep up a 6:15 pace for 20 miles to do this activity with you. And so they shall enjoy it thoroughly.karaoke bar

  5. You get to accomplish something cool and non-work related while not wearing spandex. This opportunity occurs extremely rarely in a triathlete's life. So wear a cute cocktail dress or a dapper collared shirt. Because tomorrow morning, you'll be wearing a speedo and wreaking of chlorine again.SuaveManCutelady

So get out there and get your groove on! Just google "karaoke bar directory" and the name of your city, and you'll find tons of places to let loose!

For the Los Angeles Karaoke Bar directory, click here!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ridiculous Tri Photo of the Day

Been having trouble finding a place to swim? Master's swimming too early for you? The dudes there too intimidating? The ocean or lake by your place too cold?

Never fear, you must still train, and train you will when you've got your very own pool. We're not talking about that "Endless pool" stuff that costs more than a nice car. Check out what this enterprising redneck, dare we say "triathlete" did when he wanted to get some training in:

Redneck Pool

So you might not get in 2 miles, but at least you'll get used to putting your face in the water!

Happy Tri-day!

(Yes, that was cheesy. Cheesiness acknowledged.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Triathletes

Maybe you just started a new job. Maybe your kid is sick. Maybe you're going through a divorce or do the very "now" Hollywood thing to do and are waiting have your hands full trying to adopt a kid from a far off 3rd world country. If you're not paid to train (aka most of us), and you're not the only person in your life (aka most of us), chances are the easiest way to make the day fit together is to steal time from sleep time.


But just what, besides the time spent dreaming of Kona glory, are you loosing from cutting back on sleep?

Studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep can lead to the following massively stinky results:

  • elevated levels of cortisol, which in turn impair your body's ability to repair its own tissues (very important for an endurance athlete!). It also makes it harder for your body to clear glucose from the blood, and, heaven forbid, makes you retain fat in your belly! That'd be a shame, after you got up all early to exercise, to have your body put all its fat stores in your hard earned washboard abs!

  • slowed glycogen storage -- you need your body to store glycogen in its muscles and liver to get you through a tough workout without bonking / becoming hypoglycemic / an incoherent bumbling mess. If you don't sleep enough, your body won't store as much as it would have in your muscles, leading you on a risky path to self destructionBonk

  • tends to lower your resting body temperature --feeling chilled? Maybe it's not the office. Perhaps you didn't sleep enough last night, huh?

And now for some very unscientific facts. Lack of sleep may cause you to:

  • be a jerk. It's true, you can't handle things as well when you're uber tired. Besides the fact that your muscles are all tired and crying for repair time, you're probably also on the verge of hypoglycemia, and having your secretary shove one more meeting agenda in your face might just make you snap! "You know what time I got up this morning! 4:30! Then I worked out for 4 hours straight! Don't talk to me!" Yes, you are cool for achieving so much before getting to the office, but your coworkers can't even comprehend how much 4 hours of exercise really is. All they care is that you're not a giant pain in the arse to them when they show up for work. So don't be.Jerk

  • be a spaz-- crying a lot lately? About stuff that wouldn't normally make you cry? Or freaking out about something you wouldn't have even given a second thought to? You are sleep deprived! (Or psychotic. If you think it's the latter, see a doctor.) It's amazing how in the evening, you might begin to hyperventilate thinking about your future love life, then after a full night's sleep, you'll wake up cool, confident, and collected. Which, by the way, are very attractive traits in a significant other. So you won't have to worry about romance any more!Spaz

  • suck at work. Hey, you can't remember anything your boss just said do you one minute ago? OK, so even if you're usually like that, at least you know what you're doing most of the time. If you're sleep deprived, you may just end up in a catatonic state and stare blankly at the wall all day and not even realize your TPS report is not even done. Whatever that is.Dilbert fired

  • be neglectful. Is your cat looking super skinny lately? Have you fed him? Probably not. Between shoving handfuls of trail mix into your mouth and downing countless gallons of soda and coffee to keep you at least LOOKING alert, important things like your cat, your friends, your rent, and stuff like that fall to the wayside. Your brain and body are just focusing on keeping you alive, not on keeping you sheltered, successful, and happy--and certainly not on doing the same for Foofie.Mad Cat

So what to do? Make sure you get at lteast 8 solid hours of sleep a night. Especially during peak training period. (10 is even better at that time!) If you're not getting it, injuries you never thought would happen might sneak up on you and make you wish you had done something about your sleepless life earlier.

sleep sheep

Live throws things at you constantly. It's ok if you can't get 8 hours every night. But if you've been putting all that effort into training--especially the 25+ hours/week for an Ironman, it'd be a real shame if it all went to waste just because you didn't get your z's!

For more information on sleep deprivation and athletes, check out these articles:

Sleep Deprivation can Hinder Sports Performance

Sleep and Performance

Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

5 Tips for a Valentine's Day Your Triathlete Will Never Forget

Chocolates? Candy? Fine wine? A romantic dinner? A stroll on the beach?

All of these things are nice and dandy, but what's really going to win your TriValentine's heart over? Here are a few suggestions for a Valentine's day your favorite tritine will never forget:

  1. Go on a sunrise training ride. And should your love flat, fix it for him/her. Pick a spot on the ride to race to. There's nothing like a little early morning competition to get your lover all revved up about you all day long.Bikeride

  2. Leave a present on your tritine's car. But not just any present. A nice card and a rose would be nice, but they must be in addition to something like a new tube, a bumper sticker professing their trilove, or a gift certificate to their favorite bike tubes

  3. Go out to a meal other than dinner. Ok, so that leaves breakfast and lunch. It'll be delicious, and have your tritine thinking of you all day long. (You can even cut your tritine's stack of pancakes into hearts and drizzle them in strawberry syrup!) Plus, how often do you go out to lunch together during the week? It's like an extra special treat!(You could try cutting their sandwich into a heart...much easier if it's a pb&j.)heart pancakes

  4. A massage. Hey, so maybe it's not so original, but your tritine wants it and needs it badly. Their entire body is sore from what they put it through to kick butt all of the time, and needs some TLC. And it's way more fun to get it from you, their Valentine, than from Olga, the massage therapist/bikini waxer down at the $49 massage shop.massage oil

  5. Sing them an original tune, incorporating their awesomeness, hotness, fitness, kindness, funness, and general all around perfectness. Use a synthesizer or guitar or homemade drum system (think pot + stick) to accompany you. Even if you don't have the greatest voice, your tritine will never forget it. And then you can give him/her the lyrics written on a pretty piece of paper with a hint of your scent sprayed onto it. Classy.serenade

So there you have it. 5 ideas to a surely successful Valentine's Day with your favorite obsessive exerciser. Skip the Hallmark Card and get down to the good stuff!

Now get crackin'! There's no time to waste! (Note: These ideas could also be incorporated into your daily life, making you appear very romantic and spontaneous, two things your tritine will also find very sexy and exciting!)

happy Vday

Any suggestions? Stories about what you've done with your tritine in the past to make Valentine's Day special?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Triathlete vs. The Dog

Typically, people who own large dogs are active people. Because those dogs have to go to the toilet a lot, and their owners would rather not have it happen in their homes. And because they have enough stamina to complete a significant run with you. And because they love you unconditionally, etc...

But what if someone else's dog decides to go on a run with you? Like a big playful lab who is so excited to meet you, he can't contain himself or run in a straight line? If he's outside, his owner must not be far away, right?

Lab Running

You could check his tags to see if he might have run far away, but who has time for that in the middle of an interval? "Cute dog," you think, "but I wish it would go away because it's messing up my workout!" Then...BAM! Cute dog does a 90 degree turn straight into you, swiping your feet out from under you and jumping happily as you eat asphalt in front of an unsuspecting school mom in a minivan who visibly freaks out, but doesn't stop her car.


Now your hip hurts, your knee hurts, you have worse road rash than your friend who legitimately got it from crashing his bike last weekend in the rain, blood running down your shin, and the dog has magically disappeared.


What to do? Well, if you checked his tags and have a photographic memory, you could go to his owner and shove your beautifully bloodied leg in his/her face and tell her her lovely Foofie did that and she/he should keep him on a leash.

Or you could see if you can find the dog, then swipe his legs out from under him and see how he likes it. Only in this situation, it's almost certain that any school mom in a minivan watching you would probably get out of her car and make a death threat against you for committing crimes against precious animals. (Yes, it's twisted. But drivers don't care about people who exercise, remember? Dogs who exercise, on the other hand, are safe.)

Angry Athlete

Or you could continue on with your run, hoping the pain will go away, and thinking to yourself that next time, you'll tie the dog to a fire hydrant or something before you continue your interval, just for peace of mind.

What would you do?