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Old 08-28-06, 02:06 PM   #1
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Most absurd training moments

I've got a race coming up in 2 weeks, so I'm starting to think about that elusive 4th triathlon dicipline: the transition. This reminded me of training for my first race.....

I'd heard and respect (although I've violated it) the maxim that you never want to do anything for the first time on race day. With that in mind, I sat down with my gear, laid out a towel on the living room floor and practiced getting changed. It felt phenomenally unfufilling. Now, I'd never been to a tri, much less competed in one, so I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I was pretty sure that lounging around in an air conditioned room with the TV on while I quickly changing shoes with a set of bone-dry socks wasn't going to be in the cards. Lacking a spiritual guide, or any sort of coherent training strategy, I uttered the 4 most frightening words in the english language: "I have a plan".

Decending quickly to the bat cave, or maybe just my garage, I quickly set about bringing the plot to fruition. I aired up my bike tires, grabbed my gear, and headed for the front lawn. Ignoring the crunch and crackle of dead grass (It was August in Austin, after all) I set up my towel, got my shoes and everything all set up, stripped down to my swim suit, and headed over to the hose. As I turned the water on, the magnitude of what I was doing finally struck me. Here I was, a grown man, barely clothed, spraying water on myself like I'd tucked my sanity into a duffle bag and buried it down by the tracks. I sprinted across the yard, taking care to get grass and dirt all over me so I'd have something to wipe off, got my shoes and helmet on, and hopped on my bike. 90 seconds later, I'd completed my lap of the block, hopped off the bike, swapped shoes, and took off running.

I completed this dance of the bizzare at least half a dozen times. By the end, I actually had my heart rate up enough that it felt like I was in the middle of some sort of race. Bingo. That was just what I was looking for. And I definatly got better each time, having made all sorts of mistakes: getting my laces caught my running shoes, getting my shirt caught in the velcro of my bike shoes, getting my helmet straps all tangled. Sure, my brick workouts had taught me some of that, but it wasn't until I did it over and over, and back to back that I was able to find all of the little gotchas. Of course, I still find new gotchas in each race anyway, but way fewer than I would have otherwise.

And in the end, my transition time was a full minute faster than the two friends I did the race with. And that's probably worth losing the respect of the neighborhood.

So who else has done something silly in pursuit of a few shaved seconds?
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Old 08-28-06, 04:53 PM   #2
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little girl looking out the window:"Mommy, Mommy, what’s that man doing"
Worried Mother:"Come away from the window Now! Steve, call the police. That weirdo next door is running around like a freak, spraying himself with the hose and wearing spandex. He must be on drugs because he keeps doing it over and over again."

Three hours later bveraa is released from a holding cell sporting some strange sounding shoes that click and lycra, remembering fondly the new friends he just made.

Brick Workouts in the middle of the night: $0
Loss of respect of the neighbors:$0
Bail money for Indecent Exposure:$250
Beating your buddies with you new found T1/T2 prowess: Priceless
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Old 08-28-06, 07:54 PM   #3
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No worries. That is a perfect way to work on your T's. I have gone to a swimming beach near town here, mostly used for sun bathers and little kids with floaties and worked on open water swimming and transitions. Walked through the beach with my jammer swimsuit on and my wetsuit over one arm. I would put the wetsuit on, go swim around the bouys a few times and run out of the water and try to get the wetsuit off as quickly as possible while moving up the beach. I got some looks, but who cares? Practice makes perfect. We'll live healthier and longer lives than most the people who give you looks. Keep it up!
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Old 09-11-06, 02:13 PM   #4
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Out on my first open-water swim, and it's the wetsuit again folks - I'd got it on and off okay in the privacy of my home, but after we'd swam, we sprinted up the cliff steps to do a fast strip in the car park... a fast strip that involved falling over, doing the Dying Fly, collapsing in a giggling rubbery mess and taking just over two minutes in total.
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Old 09-11-06, 02:36 PM   #5
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Ah, transition. The bane of my existence. My specialty is getting both arms and one leg out of the wetsuit, then freaking out when I can't get the damned thing off the other ankle, losing my balance and falling into my bike.

So graceful.
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