Monthly Archives: August 2014

You Might Be a Triathlete If

  • You failed high school chemistry but you could teach a course on lactic acid

  • While at the gym, you change clothes as fast as possible because it feels like a transition

  • You wear your heart rate monitor during sex.
  • You bring bottled water to a party so that you’re properly hydrated for the next morning’s long run
  • Everyone else at the party also brought their own bottled water because you don’t have a social life outside of triathlon.
  • Everyone showed up by 7pm and left by 10pm
  • When you wear your bathing suit under your work clothes to make a fast transition from work to swim on your lunch hour
  • Your girlfriends are insanely jealous of your tan legs. Until they realize that the tan stops at your bike shorts.
  • One of the criteria of a vacation is that the hotel has a spin bike, pool and there’s running trails nearby
  • Baggage for any out of town trip includes running gear and goggles
  • 90 degrees is too hot to mow the lawn but not to go on a century ride
  • You consider Clif Bars one of the four food groups
  • You wake up at 5 am but don’t get to work until 9.
  • You think there are only two seasons during the year, triathlon & marathon.
  • The inside of your car looks like a going out of business sale at Sports Authority.
  • You consider work, recovery time between training sessions.
  • You have a water bottle when you drive your car.
  • You spend your 2 week annual vacation at a training camp.
  • You know exactly how much protein each energy bar has.
  • Your legs are smoother than your girlfriend’s.
  • You use race shirts to clean your bike.
  • You know you’re a triathlete when you take more showers at the gym than at home.
  • 6:30 am is sleeping in.
  • You have everything needed in your car to swim, bike or run within 5 minutes notice.
  • The one “suit” you own has Xterra written on the chest.
  • You catch yourself about to blow a snot rocket while walking around the office.
  • You know you’re a triathlete when you take ice baths!
  • You can plow through a whopping plate of pancakes and sausage and go back for seconds with a clear conscience.
  • You don’t mind your spinach in liquid form.
  • Your cologne of choice is chlorine.
  • You consider ‘bonking’ a bad thing.
  • You know you’re a triathlete when your house and office is littered with half full water bottles
  • Your bike costs more than your car.
  • You shout “on your left” when passing people in the aisles at the grocery store.
  • You use the words “only” and “10k” in the same sentence.
  • IM no longer refers to ‘instant message’.
  • You use the words “easy” and “long run” in the same sentence.
  • You not only eat gels, but you know the best flavors for every brand.
  • Your bath towel is never dry.
  • Your wife no longer thinks it’s strange that you keep a heart rate monitor at your bedside.
  • You take (at least) two showers a day.
  • You think the ultimate form of wallpaper is all your racing bibs.
  • You have a vanity license plate with the word “Kona” in it.
  • After you meet someone and they tell you they race, you go home and check online to see what age group they’re in and what their times are.
  • You plan vacations around where your next race will be.
  • You feel like you took the day off because all you did was swim 3000 yards.
  • You show up to work on Mondays with faded race numbers written all over your arms and legs.
  • About half the shirts you own have at least a dozen logos on the back of them.
  • There is a group of people in your life about whom you are more likely to know how fast they can swim 100 meters than their occupations.
  • There’s a separate load of laundry every week that is just your workout clothes.
  • You don’t giggle anymore when someone uses the word ‘Fartlek’.
  • Your bike is in your living room (possibly mounted on your trainer).
  • A car follows too closely behind you and you accuse them of drafting.
  • Your friends cried during The Notebook; you cried during the television coverage of the Ironman World Championship.
  • Your husband/wife is looking forward to the day when you will slow down and just run marathons.
  • You see no problem with talking about treatments for chafing or saddle rash at the dinner table.
  • You know you’re a triathlete when nobody believes you when you say “I’ll never do an Ironman”.
  • You have peed outdoors more times in the last year than you did in your first year of college.
  • You call a 5 mile run an easy day.
  • You shave way too many body parts.
  • You spend more money on training clothes then work clothes.
  • You clean your bike more often than your car.
  • Your car smells like a locker room.
  • You have far more pairs of shoes in your closet than your non-tri wife does in hers.
  • You go for a 5K cooldown run after a 5K race just so that you can call it a training session.
  • You have to explain to your co-workers what “splits,” “bricks,” and ‘LSDs” are.
  • You know you’re a triathlete when people see your ’140.6′ sticker on your vehicle and ask what radio station that is.
  • You’ve forgotten how to drink out of cups.
  • When asked how old you are you answer your age group (40-44).
  • When people praise you for being able to run 15 miles you feel insulted.
  • You purchase your new car to match the color of your bike.
  • You know you’re a triathlete when your car purchase depends on whether your bike will fit in the back.
  • You consider sprint triathlons as group training sessions.
  • You reach for a snack, and its a Clif Bar.
  • You would rather surf race pictures than watch TV

Pre Race Day Jitters

I am fairly certain that I am not alone in the following, but the week before a race, particularly at a venue or distance that I have not done before, I get the jitters pretty bad 4-5 days in advance. I worry that I am undertrained, have missed something in the preparations, or even really crazy things like did I forget the registration. I love race day, but I am not a big fan of the week leading up to it.

Dog Days Run 2014 Race Day

Dog Days Run 2014 Race Day

This week, I am going through the ritual. With the upcoming Labor Day weekend long sprint triathlon at Callaway Gardens lurking on Sunday, the pre race jitters are in full effect. This is only my second triathlon, and it is a quirky distance, with a  1km swim, a 30km bike and 8km run, it is a little longer than the usual sprint triathlon. I do not feel like I am under trained, but it is a new distance.  I have trained at every discipline, at longer than these distances, but there remains an irrational, what if that drives me crazy.

There is a point at which the mind overcomes and I get excited.  Too bad, that time probably won’t be until about midnight on Saturday before the race itself. Oh well.

On the upside, this weekend will be a trial race with aero-clips on the road bike until the budget ( or a sponsor steps in ) to allow for the purchase of a dedicated triathlon bikes.

Training OTP

Living and training OTP, or Outside The Perimeter to the non-Atlanta readers, is very much a mixed bag. Personally, I love the experience, but I know many people that think we are crazy. Why? well, the  typical suburban Atlanta road lacks amenities like bike lanes or sidewalks. More often than not, even curbs are a luxury. At the same time, any time spent on these roads is an adventure in dealing with soccer mom’s in large SUV’s, angry landscape truck drivers ( yes I am looking at YOU Bardin Landscaping ), unleashed dogs, deer and squirrels and even the occasional turtle crossing the road.

running in the burbs - north valley Of course there is the other part to this, the realization that ‘flat’ is a relative term, so every route you take is going to involve rollers at best, and some big hills at worst. The scenery however, often makes it all worth it. This field is a the valley floor along a creek that eventually feeds into the Big Creek watershed area, but sits just high enough that it rarely floods.  What you cannot see is that on the other side of that tree line on the left is a golf course.

WP_20140818_005It is on training days like this however, that I truly have come to appreciate what training OTP brings for me. I may be suffering up and down some of these hills, but over each hill is a new vista to look at, and around here, there are some gorgeous ones.

Things Seen

Seen while riding home on Friday, we have a pair of beautiful vintage cars sitting at the front of a farm. This is just one of the many advantages of using a commute as an opportunity to take in the sites.  Get off the beaten path as you will.  WP_20140814_001

Race Reports – Dog Days Run 5k

August 9, 2014 a couple of us got a chance to go over to East Cobb and run in the 9th annual Dog Days Run that is put together by the Rotary Club of East Cobb. This is one of the more family oriented events in the area, and is also a very dog friendly affair with contests being held for the dogs around the running events. In addition the 5k that was the primary race, the was also a 1 mile fun run and a short tot trot for the youngsters.

Course View

2014-DogDaysRun-Map The course itself was well marked and staffed. It was also a flat course that ran hillier than it maps. With only 64 feet of gain, each of the three small climbs were of the short variety that cause runners to bunch up without intending to. In addition, the sharp right hand turn from Woodlawn Dr onto Johnson Ferry Rd definitely created a pinch point for runners that were bunched up. Fortunately, the total field was small enough that these little course details did not create any problems.

There was water at the 1.5 mile mark, which was nice, but for a 5k it was largely ignored by the runners up front. Also being a dog and stroller friendly event, most of the dogs and strollers did start towards the back of the pack, eliminating the contention for space between the runners and the strollers and dogs.

Race Notes

As a relative newcomer to the 5k race format, having run a limited number of them since adding them to my schedule of longer distance events, I find the differences in the race organisation of the 5k events to be interesting. This particular event used chip timers, but did not route all of the runners across a start line sensor. Instead, they used a mass start right at 7:30AM, with a single timer at the finish line. Out on the course, they put people with stop watches at each mile mark calling out splits as the runners passed by. Quite a fun little personal touch, one that some runners did not like, but as I run with a GPS watch anyways, I found it fun. Race day also brought with it some significant humidity, having seen pretty heavy over night rains that left the ground damp, and some standing puddles. The temperatures in the mid 70’s together with the high humidity meant that despite being relatively cool for early August in Hot’Lanta, it was still a truly steamy run.

For all of the good things about this event, there were two items that were less than positive. The first was that the volunteers were not covering the finish line as well as needed. We saw two different runners cross the finish line in clear distress without volunteers there to get them water, food or even medical attention if warranted. One of them probably should have been looked at by one of the emergency staff, but without volunteers present, was allowed to wander off. ( We did get him some water and a banana and he perked back up after a little recovery time ). The other was the handling of the awards. These were held for a VERY long time, with the first award for a 7:30 AM start time race not being presented until 9:40 AM, and after several of the expo vendors had started packing up to leave. To all appearances, this was an organisational challenge, not a technical one, but it made for a bit of confusion, and very few of the winners stayed long enough to be presented with the awards.

Race Day Equipment

In what is to be a regular section of our Race Reports, we will specifically discuss equipment used in each race. We don’t change equipment all that often right now, but at the same time, we are trying to take every opportunity to try products to see if they work better for each of us.

_Dru’s Race Day Kit

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail

For a little over a year now, these have been my go to shoe. I am now on my 3rd pair, and continue to find them to be the best match for me. You may note that this is a trail shoe, and this was not a trail event. That is exactly right, I find that I prefer the minimal style, but the little bit of grip and protection from the trail shoe design gives me greater comfort on the road. This pair ticked over the 200 mile mark during this event, but is still showing very good tread and structure, so I am expecting to be able to use them for another 100 miles before moving to my fourth pair. After my last race of the 2014 season, I am planning to reevaluate some shoe options, with the Altra 3sum being the most likely runner up.

TomTom MultiSports GPS Watch

Almost a year in, the TomTom has served quite well. Though it may find itself relegated to other duties in the not too distant future due to it’s weaknesses in open water swimming for my triathlon usage, it remains one of the quickest to acquire signal (even on heavily overcast days like this one), and it’s accuracy in recording is excellent. The only complaint about it on this race day is the same one that I have seen in training with the last couple of software updates. The real time Pace updates very slowly and has a tendancy to be more accurate as a reflection of an average over the last 2–3 tenths of a mile than a reflection of your current speed.

Wahoo Fitness Bluetooth HRM

For this race, it was still the original bluetooth heart rate monitor. The TIKR is very much on the list of items to acquire and test out, but budgets being what they are, we are still working with the older model. That said, this remains the most reliable of the heart rate monitor units that we have used to date.

Garneau Tri Elite Course Triathlon Shorts

Having recently started running triathlons after two decades of off and on cycling and just a couple of years of running, I have moved almost entirely to running in triathlon gear. Why? comfort. Atlanta tends towards muggy anyways, and tri gear is built to transition from the water to the bike and the run. For me it works extremely well. If you find yourself needing multi-sport gear, I highly recommend you give your local tri shop a visit. These Garneau’s have been a training staple for the last 8 weeks, and they have replace my long time favorite Saucony running shorts as well as the Pearl Izumi bike shorts that I have been replacing with the same basic short for almost 20 years.

Endurance House Technical Tee

And last but not least, this event was the first run event we have done since Endurance House Atlanta opened up. These are some great people, and so when the opportunity presented itself for us to grab one of their shirts to represent, we did. For the record, the shirt was fantastic to run in particularly on such a steamy morning.

Shout Out

We would like to send a huge thanks out to the Tuesday Run crew at Endurance House Atlanta whom we have been running with for the last couple of months. Thanks for the work that has helped us get so much faster this season.


As we flesh out our fall calendar, we are trying to sprinkle in some smaller events to keep motivated, and keep running.  This is another one that is local and should be a good time.  Dru and Scott are both signed up, along with a couple of friends that will be completing just their 3rd race each.

Race forward as time moves back!
The Anything is Possible 5K run/walk starts at 1:50am on Sunday morning when Daylight Savings time ends and clocks get turned back.