My Tri-Shit (Part 1)

Posted: March 17, 2012 in Equipment, Lifestyle

Since my past few weeks of training has nearly revolved entirely around the packing and unpacking of all my stuff during and after my big move, I’ve come to realize how much of my shit is, in fact, ‘tri-shit’ so to speak.  Seriously, I used to think I was a minimalist but then I cleaned out my tri-bag and realized different.  Now that I’ve had to relocate, like, everything else, I also know how much this sport has completely taken over my life.

Similarly, I find myself having to answer a lot of questions from my girlfriend’s seven-year-old daughter like, “what is this?”, “what is that?”,and the ever-popular “what does this thing do?”  And why wouldn’t she?  Anyone not immediately world in the know about the endurance sports world probably wouldn’t understand what these odd collections of body balms and salves, energy products, and assorted random triathlon equipment is all about.  It might be like steeping directly out of the mother ship onto the surface of a strange, foreign planet.

So this got me wondering about all the other alien-like stuff I’ve dragged into this new environment in an effort to explain to both my girlfriend and her daughter, as well as anybody else not already initiated into the triathlon world, what all this crap is.  So you may consider this post then as a brief snapshot into the world of a wannabe triathlete if you like.

Lucille all her up for some serious indoor spinning…child willing.

Easily the most recognizable piece of training equipment in my new place is the mounted tri-bike in the middle of the basement floor.  In my old place, I could not afford to leave the biked mounted between workouts as space was limited and it was nearly impossible to move about while it was set up.  Now, low and behold, I have some space to leave it set up and ready to go whenever my training schedule calls for a spin.  What is unusual, maybe, is that it also happens to be set up directly beside the kids play area.  Where this may not be exactly idea for mental focus, it is often necessary to entertain the child during longer spin sessions.  This might include assisting her with homework, playing dress-up, or watching spontaneous puppet shows…but a family man’s gotta do what a family man’s gotta do.

The Imelda Marcos of triathlon.

Another immediately recognizable collection of important equipment is my big box of shoes located in the front hall closet.  It’s true, between all my pairs of running shoes (2), cycling cleats (2), cross fit trainers (1), recovery sandals (1) and whatnot, I probably have almost as many shoes as Imelda Marcos.  What can I say?

“Like, far out man!”

Of course, like any respectable runner, I have a small collection of bright neon running jackets.  No, I don’t particularly think neon is fashionable but I do believe in standing out to traffic…hence the preference.  These jackets are not hanging in any closet though like the rest of my cycling jerseys, tri suits, etc., but out in the garage as my girlfriend claims they stink “like stale sweat and old cheese”.  Okay, I’ll give her that one.


And, hey, who doesn’t have a pair of tights and a neon reflective mesh vest hanging at the front door?

It’s what’s for dinner.

Here is a less recognizable collection of goodies in the downstairs refrigerator.  There is nearly a whole shelf dedicated to my stores of chocolate milk (a staple that should be in every triathlete’s recovery diet plan), energy gels, beans and gummies, protein bars, and Udo’s Oil of course.  Some people can’t pass up on specials for pizza or discounted candy.  Me?  I can’t pass up a 2-for-1 special on chocolate milk.  And given that the child also loves chocolate milk, I prefer to hide my secretly-acquired contraband downstairs out of view of prying hungry eyes.

Supplements aplenty!

And speaking of food goodies, there is a whole assortment of tubs and baggies of strange powdery substances behind Door #1 in the kitchen cabinet.  I used to be a fundamentalist when it came to my training and race day nutrition, but my attitude changed when I started taking on the longer distances.  Now I have a whole host of energy fuel powders and recovery formulas.  Throw in some protein powder for weight-lifting, some bee pollen, vitamin supplements, Himalayan crystal salts, and a whole supermarket’s worth of shake ingredients including coconut, ground almond, flax seed, and chia seeds, and you have yourself one hell of a health-conscious picnic.  Fortunately, absolutely none of this appeals to the child like the gummies and protein bars, so it’s pretty safe there out in the open.

Welcome to Mr. Clairol’s cabinet.

Triathlon has also invaded my bathroom.  One quick look at my side of the bathroom reveals a strange assortment of ointments, balms and salves.  Yes, sadly it’s true…I use something called ‘Butt Butter’.  Hey, chafing it just a natural, while nasty side effect of endurance training; if it moves, it rubs…’nuff said.  Call it “Ass Cream”, “Cheek Cheese”, “Motion Lotion”,Revlon for your Rear”, whatever…it’s important.  So is the ‘Gold Bond’.  It’s like cocaine for your Charlie Brown’s…let me tell you!  Same goes with the lip balm on cold days so my lips don’t fall off, Traumeel inflammation cream for after my longer workouts, not to mention the sun block lotion to protect me on those long runs on hot afternoons.  Remember my heat training for Cancun?  Yeah, I’ve learned something from that experience.

Anyone got the time?

Now here are a few things that most would deem peculiar.  One look at the amount of strappy-looking things laying around my computer one might come to the assumption that I’m fostering some bizarre S&M fetish, or I’m trying out for a role in ‘Cabaret’.  Neither is correct actually, although I can see why one might come to that conclusion.  I live, eat, breathe and train according to my heart rate as do many endurance athletes.  To say I’m fixated on knowing my heart rate (resting or otherwise) and the amount of calories I’m expending would be the understatement of the year.  For this purpose, I have my Garmin Forerunner 305 for all my outdoor workouts, a Polar for my pool and indoor Brick workouts, and just a random cheapy model that I keep on my nightstand to record my resting heart rate every morning to boot.  I’m a real sucker for “data”.

For those spontaneous workouts on the go.

Here’s an interesting peak into a dedicated triathletes car trunk.  Where most people I know will use this space for a set of golf clubs, a bowling ball bag, or what have you, I keep my swim and yoga crap.  I practice in the pool three times a week – all in the early morning – so less packing upon getting out of bed the better.  To this regard, I keep a dry bag with my kick board, pull buoy, fins, paddles, bands, etc. in the trunk of my car ready to go.  Likewise, you never know when you can squeeze in a quick yoga session so I keep my yoga matt at the ever ready should the situation present itself.  Am I a true ‘Renaissance Man’ or what?

The preferred wind chimes of champ’eens.

Here is my growing pile of race medals (I just had to throw this in there, of course).  At first, I wanted to hang them all from the finial of our headboard so I could see them first thing each morning when I wake up, as well as listen to them clatter together every time we get our freak on, but the girlfriend was having nothing to do with it so I relented and hung them from my bedroom clothes horse instead.

(to be continued…)

  1. Jan says:

    LOVE this post Terry. Even as a Triathlon Mom way back, I haven’t seen so much Tri-Champ-eens stuff. Is Daisy still hanging in there? Medals are awesome, way better than our local ones. I’m in awe of your success Terry!!!!!!

    • Thanks Jan! Daisy is still alive and well and will be featured in Part 2. She has already been out for a few rides in this current nice weather and will have many more kilometers put on her come the regular training season this year, rest assured.

  2. Jeff says:

    awesome post bud! humourus yet informative….per usual 😉

    btw…what range is your resting heart rate in these days and what was it like, say around the time we played squash? You’re cardio was pretty decent then as I recall but I can only imagine what it’s like now.

    one other question, have you ever come across an affordable mp3 player that you can listen to while swimming?

    • Hi Jeff! Thanks again for the positive feedback. I don’t know what my RHT was back during the squash days as I never paid attention nor had any interest in it back then. Right now, however, my RHT in the morning is mid to high 50’s.

      Likewise, I have never used an mp3 player in the pool apart from my Wetronome (post forthcoming) cadence keeper, but I have really not heard much positive feedback from my peers who have tried them so I’ve chalked them up to a “not necessary” for my own personal training plan. I’m sure they’re out there but, unfortunately, I do not know of any. I will try and do some scouting for you though. 🙂

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