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2005-04-26 8:59 AM

Atlanta, GA
Subject: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever
Hey, all -

Long time lurker, brought out into the light by my first tri this weekend (John Tanner in GA). I've been secretly hoping someone else would ask my 'dumb questions', but I think it's time for me just to fess up that I have no ideas about a couple of things that I'm guessing most of y'all take for granted, like:

- What do people do with their car keys? After losing a wedding ring in Lake Lanier last summer (there are disadvantages to losing weight), I'm afraid of trusting my key to the swimsuit 'pocket', but I do want my car to be there when I get back to it.

- Is there a slow and fast side to open water swims? I mean, is it like roads, where slow riders/drivers stay to the right and faster drivers should go left? Inside faster than outside, or the other way around? For what it's worth, I'm looking for the slow side, where it will be the least serious breach of etiquette to occasionally pause, gasping for breath, to see where I'm going. If it matters, the course is a counter-clockwise triangle.

- Finally, I'm wetsuitless (not spending on one until I actually survive a tri or two). I'll be going in tri-shorts that have some run/swim/bike time, but not all together. They fit great. However, even though I'm not huge, I'm big enough to be a 'thigh rubber', and the results without bodyglide are just super painful. If I put it on before the swim will it turn into something sticky and nasty in the water? Will it still work on the bike and run, or should I just apologize to any spectators as I shove a 'stick of deoderant' down my pants in T1?

Okay, that's enough for now, but I hope I've opened the door for some more stupid questions. Better a stupid question than an embarassing and/or painful day on Saturday.

Wish me luck (if you can't tell, I'm slightly terrified).


2005-04-26 9:16 AM
in reply to: #148184

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Salt Lake City, UT
Subject: RE: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever
Hi Josh
I have not raced my first tri yet-- 6 weeks away-- so I can't answer all your questions.
But regarding the keys, of course, in an ideal world we would all have a fab support crew on the side cheering us and with whom we could leave all the unnecessaries with. That doesn't happen often for me but from what I've read on these boards, most transition areas appear to be fairly secure-- only racers allowed in and out. So I would think you would be fine leaving them in your race bag in the transition area.
If your not comfortable leaving your keys in the transition, what I did at my 5k last weekend was take the key chain down to the absolute bare minimum-- just car and house key. I had no pockets on my running outfit, so I put the keys on a single small ring and safety pinned them to the inside of my compression shorts. That way they were secure and did not jingle as I ran.
Good Luck with your race.
2005-04-26 9:25 AM
in reply to: #148184

Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever
1. Depending on the location, I do one of two things. Often I leave my keys in the glove compartment of the car and just leave the door unlocked. This has worked OK for me. You need to use your judgement as to how safe and secure you feel the situation is. Otherwise you could put them in your "under-seat" bike bag along with your spare tire, etc.

2. Given a choice, the fast swimmers will be on the most direct line towards the first bouy. You can line up to the outside if its a mass start. Probably you'll be starting in some sort of age-group wave. If so, just stay to the back of your wave. If you still aren't comfortable, wait a few seconds for the majority to go, then pick your own pace at the tail end. Losing a few seconds is immaterial to having fun and not having to mix it up with all the thrashing.

3. Put a good layer of body glide on in any suspect areas BEFORE the swim. It should last through the day, but you can also do it in T-1. No one will notice (or care) if you need to reach in your shorts to apply it.

4. Don't be terrified. Enjoy the day, have fun, keep telling yourself "Hey I'm a grown up, this isn't life or death, it's a triathlon, hundreds of thousands of people have done them, I can too!"

5. Don't get caught in an adrenaline rush at the start of the swim or the bike. You know from training what your comfortable pace is...stick to that. You want to come out of the water feeling relaxed and ready to ride the bike. Then you want to come off the bike with enough energy to run, so don't try to prove you are the 2nd coming of Lance Armstrong. Trust me...I've made all these mistakes (and others).

6. Oh, and if I didn't mention it......HAVE FUN!

2005-04-26 10:14 AM
in reply to: #148184

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Elite Veteran
chicago area
Subject: RE: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever
Hi Josh,
As far as keys-sometimes the event has a gear check where they have a designated area to hold on to your belongings and you claim them afterwards with your race number (which matches your gear). It's much nicer to have a friend or significant other hold on to your stuff. I have actually put my keys in my gear bag in the transition area. I stuff em in the corner of my bag and they have always been there for me after the race.

For the swim part, my suggestion to you would be to stay to one side, whichever side you feel most comfortable. This tends to give you more space and breathing room so people aren't swimming on top of you. Go where you feel comfortable.

As for body glide, I have similar issues and tend to smear it everywhere I can think of that will get rubbed skin to skin. I put it on before the race and it seems to work throughout the entire event. Don't feel bad if you have to stick your hands down your shorts to put a little extra glide down there, no one will even notice and I'm sure there will be others doing similar things.

Most importantly- HAVE FUN!!

No question is stupid. All of these questions have been asked at one time or another. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Oh, and Max made a great point about sticking to your pace, especially the swim. I've seen people go out there like their shorts are on fire and by 100 yds they are gasping for air. Keep your pace and stay relaxed-those are the keys in the swim.

Edited by bmax 2005-04-26 10:18 AM
2005-04-26 10:17 AM
in reply to: #148184

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Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever

I have a magnetic box for keys that I attach under the fender or bumper of my truck.  I'll lock myself out even if I'm not training

Are there any tri shops in your area where you can rent a wetsuit?  If you're comfortable swimming your distance without a wetsuit, then don't sweat it, but be aware that it does make a big difference.  Good luck on your race.

2005-04-26 11:38 AM
in reply to: #148184

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Marietta, GA
Subject: RE: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever

Hey Josh:

I'll be at John Tanner this weekend too.  No one normally touches your stuff in the transition area.  So, bring a backpack or bag into the area and stash your keys there.  I've done it many times and never had a problem.  If that makes you nervous,  I'm sure my two *fans* won't mind holding on to them for you.

As for swimming, I consider myself a very weak swimmer so I always start on the side away from the buoys at the back of the pack.  This keeps me from getting run over by all those awesome swimmers. 

I wouldn't really tote the bodyglide around, again leave it in the transition area. If you feel you need some more just smear it on before or after the bike.  I use vaseline and haven't had much of a problem with it coming off in the swim.

Take a deep breath, you'll be fabulous.

Look forward to meeting you Saturday!


Edited by aims 2005-04-26 11:41 AM

2005-04-26 12:15 PM
in reply to: #148184

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Columbus, Ohio
Subject: RE: More. Dumbest. Questions. Ever


Welcome to the fold! You're smarter than I was before my first tri because I never thought about the key thing until I got to the race! What I did was simply take my car key off my key ring and slip it onto one of my shoelaces and tucked it into the tongue of my running shoes. I figured that little bit of weight shouldn't affect me. Also, what are the chances of someone spotting your key in your shoe and actually stealing your shoe from the transition area??

I've found it best if you're a newbie to stay to the outside during the swim. This way you won't get kicked by the people in front of you or run over (swam over) by the people in back of you.

I've yet to wear a wetsuit during the swim. Call me crazy, but I just don't like them. So, I wear tri-shorts. It cuts down on my transition time, too, because all I need to do is whip on my shoes, throw on my shirt and I'm on my bike while others are still dancing with their suits! I don't know what will happen with the bodyglide in the water. My sense it nothing should go wrong with it because it's most likely made to withstand water/perspiration.

Worse comes to worst, you slap it onto your bike and put it on while you're going down a hill or something. It will save you transition time.

I pray you have a great race, man! Go for it!!

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