Saturday, April 14, 2012

Triathlete at Last? A 53 Year Old Female...What I Have Learned

Tomorrow is the 4th race in a series of sprint triathlons put on by Head First Performance. It is the 5th triathlon I have competed in. It is the longest distance I will have participated in, so far. Swim: 1/4 mile in an indoor pool; Bike 16 miles on country roads around Shelbyville, Kentucky and Run: a 5K in the Clear Creek Park in Shelbyville, KY. In this area, out of 300 or so racers, there are about 10 of us, women age 50 to 60, still enjoying the thrill of the competition. I have 20 to 30 years and 30 pounds on the majority of the participants in this area's triathlons. But, my gosh it is so much fun. Find something that scares you and run towards

Swim: My Craft Triathlon Suit is worn the whole time. Your race not only consists of the 3 stages of a triathlon, swim, bike, run, but there is also the transition times as well. There is no time to change clothes, so the triathlon suit has a small bit of padding built in for the bike.

I get ear infections, so I have ear plugs. I also have to wear goggles, because the chlorine wrecks my eyes. I finally found this style of goggles I like and I bought 3. Under my Triathlon suit, I wear a Pearl Izumi sports I also wear a swim cap. Swimming is the only thing I can compete in and do relatively well. I think it is those extra pounds that help me stay atop the water, compared to the zero body fat people that will sink and have a bit more difficulty.

After I get out of the pool, I grab my towel and put on my slip on shoes to wear to the transition area where I sit on my blue crate and put my 14.00 pair of socks. These socks help wick the moisture from sweat and the pool away. The moisture can cause blisters. I then put on my bike shoes. If I have time I'll use Body Glide to help keep the blisters away. Jelly Belly Sports Beans go in my shirt pocket for added energy.

Setting on my crate, I put on my day glow shirt. I wear a day glow shirt, because a lot of races are done on country roads with no shoulders, so I want to be seen. I also slip on my Sham Wow headband. It makes my helmet fit and keeps the sweat out of my eyes. I then put my gloves on, they are padded in case I fall. Attached to my bike is a Smart Water Bottle in which I add 2 pills called Nuun, which are loaded with electralites. I sweat a lot and they help me stay hydrated. I also like a handkerchief which I tuck in my shirt or hold in my hand. We ride through the country and since starting this adventure, I found that I have exercise induced asthma.


For my asthma, I use an inhaler, Claritin-D. I also like to chew gum when I ride, I think it keeps me from needing as much water. You are at your most vulnerable when you are getting your water bottle out and open. So, the less the better, for me.

Run: The last leg of the triathlon is the most difficult for me. As I said above, I have 30 pounds on most all of my competitors, so in a fair world, they would be carrying extra weight, but, that's not the case, so I am a pretty slow runner, compared to this group.

These shoes I like because the ties are off center. My feet kept going numb and I have a high arch on my feet. I tried these and I like them, so I bought 2 pairs.

After a race I have another bottle of Smart Water on hand, plus coconut water, which both help to replenish my electrolites. I have an extra sweat suit on hand and usually don't take the time to shower, since Bob is waiting on me to go home.

I am lucky my husband wants to go to all my races. I told him I can do it myself, but, he seems to like coming. Tomorrow he will have about 2 hours to kill while I finish this long race, for me. I'll never be an Ironman, but, I sure am enjoying these sprint triathlons and hopefully with a lot more training, I will compete in an Olympic distance race in NYC in July. Swim 1 mile in the Hudson, Bike 28 miles around NYC, and run 6.3 miles in Central Park. Woot!!


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