10 Triathon Tidbits This Mother Has Learned in Two Years of Triathlon

In May 2012, I was reading through a copy of one of my favorite magazines, Women’s Running. At that time, I had my leg propped up on my desk drawer, my slacks rolled up and ice on my shin. Yes, I was battling through another shin splint. I stumbled across an article and training plan to do your first sprint triathlon in eight weeks. Needless to say, I was sucked into the article and came home that day and told my husband I had a great idea….. I was going to do a triathlon. I’d love to tell you his response or his facial expression, but I honestly didn’t pay attention long enough to see his response…  I was already off writing a list of stuff I needed and found a calendar to start mapping out my training plan.

In August of 2012, I did my first triathlon. This month marks two years of my love for the sport. Over the past two years, I have learned a few things…

GA Veterans 2012

1. Race Day… To wear a sports bra under a tri top or not?

Before my first race, this question had me stumped for months. When I decided to do my first triathlon, I knew no one who enjoyed the sport and therefore no one to direct this question to. So, I decided to look up race photos of the race I was doing from the year before and check out all the pictures of the ladies who had raced. After searching photos of mid distance finishers and back of the pack finishers, I noticed lots of ladies raced with a sports bra under their tri top. I decided to do my first triathlon with my favorite running bra under my tri top and have raced every race this way. I like compression with NO bounce.

2. Race Day… Swim will not go as planned.

I grew up in Southern California in a surfing family. I have swam in shore break in Hawaii and this stupid confidence carried over into my first lake swim in my first triathlon. No matter how many laps you swim in a pool, and no matter how many years you jumped and played in the waves, none of that prepared me for a grimy, warm water, lake swim. During my first race, I panicked after the first buoy, panicked more as I saw the other swimmers getting further away, and panicked even more when the people were cheering from the dock at the end of the swim. Clearly they were yelling at me to hurry up because they had seen an alligator and were not just merely clapping and cheering. It took five more races before I learned to swim calmly and to stop worrying that I would be last out of the water. Being last means I still made it out of the water. Being last doesn’t mean I can’t be happy.

3. Race Day… Some days you’re first, some days you’re last.

Late in 2012, I was still trying to get through my swim issues during a race but managed to have a decent swim, even though I spent most of the swim backstroking it, enjoying the morning clouds. I had a great bike and run and ended up taking first in my age group. This first place age group finish also qualified me to race at the Olympic Distance Nationals in 2013 (yes, I was proud of this fact but did not race it). Just four short months later, I did another sprint and was humbled beyond belief when my brake on my front tire rubbed the entire race. Not only was the bike leg almost impossible, I also had the joy and privilege of being escorted in by the motorcycle cop. I was dead last on the bike section of the ENTIRE race. I had a decent run but I learned that day… sometimes you’re first…. sometimes you’re last.

4. Race Day… Stinky gear.

You will have stinky gear after a race. So, bring a change of clothes and a camp shower (in case there isn’t a shower nearby), and rinse off at your car and change into some comfy clothes.

5. Race Day… Body Glide will save your life.

Body Glide. Look it up if you don’t know what it is. Rub it on everywhere and then rub it on some more. In case you forget a spot, leave your BodyGlide on your towel at transition.

6. Race Day… Invest in sunglasses if you want a good race day photo.

I don’t know what it is, but race photos always look better when we have sunglasses on. Maybe it is because you can’t see a miserable grimace. I am definitely not the fastest person on the course and usually fall into the middle of the pack kind of finisher. With that in mind, I try to let my race photos reflect that – as in, goofy and having a good time. So, if you spot a photographer, smile, wave, or strike a pose… they are more likely to get a few extra pics of you… one that just might make you laugh.

Freedom Springs 2014 3

7. Race Day… Choose your makeup wisely.

Yes, I wear makeup when I race. More on this topic in a near future post.

8. Race Day… Vomiting, diarrhea, ugh.. it happens.

You are not the only one.

9. Training… Doesn’t everyone have a bike trainer in their living room?

I remember asking what a bike trainer was. I remember gawking at the cost of a bike trainer. Now, I have a bike trainer in my living room with a bike on it and it seems perfectly normally in our household… doesn’t everyone have a bike trainer in their living room?

10. Triathlon is more expensive than golf.

Before triathlon discovered me, my husband had heard plenty of sighs and complaints from me about his golfing hobby. I had complained for years about rounds with the guys, costs of golf tournaments, new clubs, balls, clothes, shoes, time at the range, new grips, gadgets, and more. After doing just a few triathlons, I realized that my love of three sports also came with the price tag of doing three sports. No need for details here…. let’s just say he golfs and I do triathlon and we are happy.

I know I have many more years of learning in front of me and I am glad that I can laugh at myself (well, most of the time).




  1. Pingback: And so it begins… – blog.rkuebert.de

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