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!