Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Triathlon Vocabulary for the Erudite Triathlete


Every sport has its own set of vocab words. It just so happens, however, that by choosing to be a triathlete, you get the largest ratio of fun vocab words to single sport there is. That’s what happens when your sport is actually three.

So, in the interest of turning yourself into a triathlon pedant, here are a few words to add to your lexicon:

porn (adj.) – totally hot, smokin’, rad. Usually referring to a piece of equipment.

“Man, you got Campy Record shifters on that bike! That’s so porn!”

(Courtesy of Peter Brantley)

chicked (v.) – to be smoked by a woman.

“Dude, I saw you get chicked on the bike. That lady come out of transition five minutes ahead of you!”

“I totally got chicked.”
(Usually followed by a longing look toward the hot, fast woman.)

“Tina just chicked you, man.”

aggro (adj.) –extremely aggressive tactics (Nothing to do with farming—note the two g’s.)

“You were totally aggro going out on that first swim loop so fast!"

“This guy came flying by me in aero totally aggro, then died by T2.”

"If you're not aggro in a sprint from start to finish, you won't win!"

Make flashcards. Write them on your hands. Do whatever you must to memorize these words, then bust ‘em out at your next group event. Your less-scholarly tri-buddies will envy you.


Triathlete Diva

Monday, August 25, 2008

Emma Snowsill Rocks

Emma Snowsill

Rockstar Emma Snowsill with her gold.

I had to put a picture up to bump down that creepy Canadian bike hoarder.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 22, 2008

If Your Bike was Stolen in Toronto...

You just might find it here, in Igor Kenk's arsenal of 2, 396 stolen bikes!

If you ever see this dude:

Igor Kenk

keep riding. Don't park your bike anywhere near him!

Bikes across Canada are breathing a collective sigh of relief after learning about Kenk's arrest in July.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PMS, the Olympics, and the Triathlete

The Olympics are inspiring. Motivating. Totally awesome. But when a triathlete has PMS, the Olympics can become an emotional roller coaster--and not just because she had heart palpitations the entire time Michael Phelps was swimming the 100 fly.

Michael Phelps

PMS invades the woman's brain, taking over any normal functionality. Men may have witnessed this freakish occurrence at some point or another in their lives. The woman cries for no reason, like when Jason Lezak helped the US win the men's 4 x 100 relay against the boastful, snobby French team.

The usually active, PMSing woman will then sit in front of the TV for hours on end, munching on everything in the house, while believing she is somehow doing something healthful by watching the Olympics.

Usain Bolt

She convinces herself that focusing on Phelps' stroke will make her a better swimmer. Watching Bolt run will make her a faster runner, a skill she needs because she wants to be just like Emma Snowsill. As coachubby put it, the Aussie ran like she was an Ethiopian. The PMSing woman wants to run like an Ethiopian, and somehow believes she will get faster as she takes another bite of chocolate, and adjusts herself on the couch to watch more track finals.

Emma Snowsill

She sacrifices sleep, just to get a glimpse of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh's gold-medal match, a part of their unprecedented 108-match winning streak, while knowing that in no way is watching volleyball going to make her a better triathlete. Perhaps, she thinks, she'll meet Misty May while walking around Manhattan Beach someday, and will be happy to report she's fully aware of the Olympian's accomplishments.

Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh

She watches the women's cycling time trial, convinced that is the event she could compete in at the Olympics--it was only a 14-mile course, after all. Kristin Armstrong is now a new idol of the PMSer. The afflicted woman then starts to imagine darting past Big Ben, the Globe Theatre, and the London Eye on her Kuota.

Kristin Armstrong

When the coachubby wakes her up in the morning to train, however, the PMSer refuses; her mind is frazzled from all of that virtual swimming, running, and cycling. Her body is tired from staying up too late to fit it all in.

Big Ben

And such is the vicious cycle of created by PMS and the Olympics. Good thing they each only last 1 or 2 weeks, respectively!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ode to a Toenail Lost

Happy feet

You held on

For so long

it is true

But this morning

without warning

breaststroke kicking killed you

Oh brave little toenail

Second on the right

You served without fail

and gave a good fight

Though Ironman turned you blue

You stuck through more training like glue

But today

Death became you

I will not forget you easily

Especially because now my foot looks freaky

I eagerly await your renewal

so I can wear open-toed shoe-als

Know that you died for a noble reason

and do not fear, it's the end of the season

So you'll be loved more and not destroyed

Unless I decide to run a marathon to fill the void!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How to Ocean Swim Without Being Eaten

You could fork up $700 for a Shark Shield...however this headline: "Shark Shield Experiences Epic Failure, Gets Chomped by Great White" may deter you from wasting your money. You might be better off investing in swim lessons to get fast enough to swim away from impending doom, should you see a giant jaw open up below you.

Shark Shield

Or, you could swim where there are a LOT of other people, making your chances of becoming breakfast much slimmer. Especially if you're wearing a bathing suit, and almost everyone else looks like a seal.

The abundance of other meal options was the justification for why I drove 30 minutes to and from Santa Monica this morning to swim in the ocean, instead of walking 10 minutes down the road to swim in my ocean.

A group of swimmers numbering maybe 50(?) met south of the Santa Monica pier, ignoring all warnings that water there is known to have high bacteria levels, just so they could all swim together out to a bright orange buoy, then back in again...over and over. It was awesome.

Ocean swim

Plainly called the "Wednesday Ocean Speed Circuit", the weekly event was very worth the ridiculous amount of time it took to get to and from it. The "real" swimmers almost all were in bathing suits, and went around the buoy several times. While I am always the butt of the real swimmers, and the head of the triathletes (hence why I'm usually the best-looking meal option, swimming all alone), this time it didn't matter. I was surrounded by real swimmers up front, and triathletes behind. And after the first loop, there were people everywhere. It was awesome. I only freaked myself out once, believing I saw a fin...which could've happened--there were dolphins out there too...with 4 eyes! Just kidding.

Happy shark

Moral of the story: If you love to swim in the ocean, but have a hyperactive imagination and no control over your consequent heart palpitations, which you in turn believe attract sharks, who can detect your spastic electrical pulses, do an ocean speed circuit swim. If you don't have one, set one up. And if you live by a lake, you didn't even need to read this...unless you've heard rumors about lake-monster sightings.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rock Hard Runners Rarin' to Go!

Do you have chronic running problems? Like a relentless IT band that just won't leave you in peace? Or perpetual slow-runner syndrome? Want to go faster, or run injury free? Maybe it's time you got a professional run analysis.

While your chances of making it to this year's Olympics are over, maybe after receiving the gift that is a professional run analysis, you'll give Gebrselassie a run for his money at the next Olympics, provided it's not too smoggy.

And I know just the man for the job! Standing something like 6'5", 200lbs (I made that up. But he's a tall, muscular runnerman), Eric Skelley of Manhattan Beach is taking his passion for running and using it to help others achieve their fast-footed goals.

Rock Hard Runners is Eric's running company, based in Manhattan Beach, CA, in his garage. And there is absolutely no better place to have a run analysis--or person to do it for you. Skelley's passion oozes through every inch of him, which makes it impossible for any serious runner to be as passionate as he, just based on total human surface area.

Rock Hard Runners Eric

Eric will take you through a 10 minute warm-up on his treadmill, then have you run at a comfortable pace while filming you--first from the side, then from the back, then close up on your feet.

Next, he'll have you cool down, then watch yourself on a giant flat screen computer monitor. Get excited, this is your Pam Anderson in Baywatch moment. Your movements will be shown in slo-mo and analyzed. Right away, you'll probably see what you're doing wrong. (And if your shorts really aren't that flattering.)

After figuring out what you need to work on so you can have your showdown with Gebrselassie in 2012, Eric will teach you core strengthening techniques that will not only flatten your abs in no time, giving you a flashy figure, but also help make you a stronger, faster runner.

What sets Rock Hard Runners apart from the rest? The man, and the location. Several other run-analysis companies in Los Angeles are incredibly corporate. They run you through the gammut, comment on your form, show you the video, and give you exercises. But could they care less if you actually get better? I got the feeling from one Santa Monica-based company that they wanted me to stay miserably mired in IT problems forever so they could prescribe their expensive run-specific weight-training packages to me in the future.

Eric and Rock Hard Runners is different.

Eric's "runner's den" is a very casual environment a few blocks away from the beach, and all the attractions Manhattan Beach has to offer. And, most importantly, the sole focus of your analysis is YOU. There is nobody else there, just you and the original Rock Hard Runner himself, who has a genuine desire to see you succeed as a runner. His enthusiasm for the sport is almost tangible.

Eric, a native of Pennsylvania, is a 3x Ironman finisher, and finisher of the annual 50-mile endurance run on Catalina Island, one of the toughest out there. A big proponent of strength training to stabilize your core to help you run faster and more efficiently, Eric has developed some super secret signature moves that you won't believe you were able to run without. (He's also an ER nurse, so if you happen to, I don't know, fall off of the treadmill, help is an arm's reach away.)

Eric Skelley

So if you're looking to amp up your run, without feeling like you're just another wanna-be athlete hanging out in a cold, impersonal gym, where it's the bottom line and not you who matters, GO TO ROCK HARD RUNNERS! It's all about you, and pure passion for the sport.

So refreshing.


Triathlete Diva

PS. If you want to meet Eric, email me! (Contact info is in the right-hand column.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Silver Bullet in the ICU

Bicycle Heaven

Here's a little story

so listen well

so your bike

won't go to hell

Should your lover

build a rack

and stick your bike

in the very back

behind the front door

where it gets whacked

tell him kindly

"This won't do!"

so this does not

happen to you

The right shifter couldn't take it any more

being hit by the front door

the repeated abuse knocked him out cold

he's lucky if he makes it out alive, I'm told

We're praying he's still under warranty

Or else this could get quite costly

He has no health insurance, you see

So just between you and me

if this should happen to thee

park your bike in front of the TV

It's a much safer place to be

Pray for the Silver Bullet. His anonymously paint-devoid frame and donated parts make him one of the most humble, kind, and stealthily fierce competitors out there.


Triathlete Diva

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Raleigh Rides Again!

Raleigh Logo

They said it couldn't be done. They said it was a relic. A beast meant for a scrapyard. They said the only reason it was still alive was to serve as a reminder of how far we've come.

At approximately 11am yesterday morning, my '96 Raleigh M7000 full-suspension mountain bike aka Crusher, proved the skeptics wrong.

He got off to a rocky start. Stolen out of my garage when he was only a few weeks old, potentially by the father of a jealous neighbor, my current M7000 is actually M7000 #2, thanks to the efforts of a loving family who realized my attachment to bikes early on and who couldn't take my bawling over the loss of Crusher #1 any longer. I still have his original brochure.

Weighing in at an impressive 30 lbs, Crusher still shifts like a pro with grip shifters, has magenta bar-ends that match the rear shock, and now sports two different SPD pedals.

He was with me in '96 for my first, and second to last, mountain bike race the summer before high school, where I wore corduroy shorts, Betty Boop tube socks, Adidas indoor soccer shoes, a rainbow-mesh covered helmet, and plastic sunglasses from Old Navy to ride my way to a respectable 6th place in the "older girls'" category of 14-17 years old.

Crusher is molded to my body, having ridden my 10 mile "epic ride" with me every day without fail from my freshman through senior year of high school. He then spent three years battling snowy, cold winters parked outside a college dorm only to return to his native environment of warm, sunny weather, ready to someday kick ass again.

And that day came yesterday, in Snow Valley, at an Xterra race.

Raleigh M7000

(Crusher and I after the race...when I realized I should take a picture of him and he was already on the I left him up there.)

The course was not technical. Perfect for Crusher, whose front shock seems ready to take on small things, and whose back shock prefers to side-step everything, moving side to side instead of up and down, in what is perhaps an ingenious evolutionary move.

Just like loose ski boots keep newbie skiiers from having to take every ill-conceived turn they might initiate, Crusher knows that I may not always have the best idea about which line of descent is best for us, so he side steps my bad ideas.

But even Crusher, who was ready to take the entire loose, sandy descent of Xterra Snow Valley like a pro, was no match for my brain, which vetoed riding a few sections of the course. We ran like madmen, hand in hand, until reaching an acceptable mounting point to proceed. Crusher even withstood the impact of a very large man who took a line to the side of the beaten path right into Crusher's behind. Upon verifying this opponent was capable of continuing on, despite completely rolling over his bike, Crusher and I continued on our mad dash for a line of descent more suitable to our riding style. (A style defined by riding once a year--the day before the race to preride the course.)

Crusher anticipates my desire to shift and effortlessly glides into the appropriate gear. Grip shifters are da bomb, and I have no idea why they went out of style. Climbing like a champ, Crusher and I descended once again into transition, unscathed and in relatively good position. (Shonny Vanlandingham, mountain-biking mega star who won the Southeast Xterra Championships this year, blasted by me just out of transition. And a few other women passed me on the downhills who are less afraid to eat dirt than I am.)

Crusher set me up for a good run, not too far behind the women who crushed us, and I set my sights on picking off the ladies ahead of me as I ran straight up and down the ski mountain 4 times. Apparently, I was saving my crash of the day for the more suitable location of running downhill right in front of a photographer.

In the end, Crusher rode me to 1st place in an age group that actually has more than 1 person racing in it. It was awesome.

So to all of those who looked at Crusher and laughed at his rosy bar-ends, "archaic" shifting system, and squeaky shocks, I say, look out! He'll catch you off guard when he passes you next! (That is, if I can ever learn to let him do his thing without hindrance from my brain.)

Yea for rockin' old bikes!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Triathlete Diva Becomes a Superhero

A friend recently created this masterpiece:

TriDiva superwoman

Triathlete Diva is officially ready to fight the crime of drafting and boring bike syndrome.

Have a happy weekend, Tri-tham City!