Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo: 46-mile fixie ride, 6-mile run, 9:00am, 50 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,000 yds (ytd 204,000 yds.)
Bike: 102 miles (ytd 4,494 mi.)
Run: 53 miles (ytd 1,109 mi.)

It’s the little things…

So you’ve crept into the top half of the finisher’s results… maybe you even made the awards ceremony at your local race. Your legs are now smoother than your face (for you guys, at least). You’ve already set your DVR for the re-rebroadcast of Kona. Congratulations! You’re becoming a triathlete…

Or are you? Are you breaking these unwritten (until now) rules?

Banana peels – Bananas are great for your health and fit so neatly in your jersey, but don’t drop the peel in the middle of the road. Sure it’s biodegradable, but at least toss it in the ditch where the field mice can enjoy it and the rest of us don’t need to look at it. See also: apple core
Gel – The energy surge of a well-timed gel is magic, but dropping the wrapper is pathetic. Stick it in your pocket or in the leg of your shorts. Yes, it’s sticky, but littering is weak. Don’t do it when you’re training; don’t do it when you’re racing. Drop it by mistake? Go back and get it. Simple. See someone do it, call them out.
Mechanicals – You’re on your training ride. Your average speed is your best yet. Suddenly you see a rider with a flat tire. Don’t blow past. Stop and ask if they need help. They may only need an extra hand, a tire lever or a call on your phone. Your amazing MPH can wait.
Speaking of flat tires – Now that you’ve learned how to change one, don’t leave your tube on the roadside. Toss it over your shoulder and take it home…it’s perfect for holding up that tree you’re going to plant.
Laps – You missed the masters’ workout. So you’re left swimming over your lunch hour during ‘open swim.’ The water joggers and back floaters don’t understand ‘fast lane’ or ‘swimming circles.’ Educate them, NICELY.
Badass – You’re not one. You may be fitter than you’ve ever been, but keep it real. Go to an evening of mixed martial arts. Better yet, train with one of them. THEY are badass.
Common Courtesy – You’re 40 miles from home, the pace line is rolling and John Deere just cut you off. Give the driver a wave and ‘good morning’ instead of the finger… he’s working harder than you and your mates, day-in day-out, and he may just be growing the beef, chicken, fruit and vegetables you’re about to eat.
Family – You’re fit, we get it. So why is half your extended family carrying your wetsuit, schlepping your bike, and toting your gear pre- and post-race? Man-up and do it yourself.
Race Reports – Do you really think Mom is going to read all seven installments of your latest race report? How about the rest of humanity? Hire an editor and cut it down to a 5-minute read.
Stickers – We all get them. In race packets, every time we order a new bike part, with our various federation memberships… you don’t need to put them ALL on your car.
Cycling Gloves, Helmet Pads – For the love of God, please wash them. That smell is YOU.
Bike Racks – They’re for bikes… transporting them to and from races, your rides and the shop. Leaving your bike on the car for days/weeks/months at a time will surely trash your rig. We all understand that you’re a tri-dork. Now remove the bike, then take off the rack and store it in the garage. It’ll last for years.
Sucker – Do I care if you suck off my wheel when I’m riding the backroads? Nope. But you better introduce yourself first and ask if it’s cool.
More Sucker – Suck off my wheel during a race and I will get your race number… then I’ll find my very big non-triathlon friends and come looking for you. See: Badass
Skinsuits – If you’re out in yours (dang, that’s sharp), training on your high-dollar rig (dang, that’s sharper still) and you see a rider ahead, don't catch them and then blow by. Instead, catch them, match their pace for a bit and introduce yourself. Then ride off after wishing them well. Karma comes around, believe me.
Finisher’s shirts – At church? Really?
Pee – We don’t care if you empty your bladder in front of us, but the guy does who owns the land you’re standing on. Find a field far away from his view.
Wheels – For the umpteenth time, another new wheelset isn’t going to make you any faster than the last new wheelset or the new one before that. Put the credit card away and start riding more. Same goes for weight-shaving saddles, aero helmets, carbon this and titanium that.
Fit – You skipped the new wheels (smart) and spent your cash being fitted for your bike (smarter still). Don’t go home and tweak (e.g. ruin) what they just did.
EPIC – Read
Endurance by Albert Lansing if you want epic. What we do is not epic.
Ego – You passed a runner early this morning… the one in tattered shorts who was creeping along slowly. You chuckled to yourself, thinking how fast you’ve become. You’d better be nice. He/she was running 6 hours before you left the house, is 20 years older than you, and is training for a 100-miler. He/she could run circles around you and your day-glow singlet.
Volunteer – At a race, a school, a library or a soup kitchen. You’ll feel good.
Treadmills – Don’t you just hate it when someone’s using your favorite treadmill? They’re not training for the big race, yet they’re determined to shuffle along for the club’s 30-minute maximum. Instead of tossing a tantrum, find the door and run outside (it’s where you should’ve been in the first place).
Races – Create your own. It doesn’t have to have an entry fee. It doesn’t need awards, medals or t-shirts. Get a group together, beat the snot out of each other, and then share stories over pizza when you’re finished.


Ron said...

I must come from the "Y" school of endurance training. Cept for the MMA dudes, they're not BA's...they're just nuts.

CJ said...

I train at a MMA gym. Great guys.

The Taylor Tabloid said...

Beware the chair, someone may throw it at you if you complain.

Keep moving ya weenie, this is what you signed up for, you knew it was going to be hard... no suck it up and keep on keepin' on.

Stay until the last runners finish. They worked harder than some of the front runner. You think they enjoy suffering hours longer than you? Cheer 'em on!

And that's all I'll say about that!