07 June 2012

Triathlon - it's a dirty, dirty sport

Still feeling a bit irritable about my race, I re-read my Quassy race report and was taken aback by my frankness about T2, probably a bit too much TMI and I'm sure stuff like that grosses people out.  But keep this in mind - there are alot of things that are socially acceptable in triathlon that are NOT kosher in the non-spandex realms of everyday life (peeing your pants to save time being one of them).  And you know the triathlon way of life is well-engrained when your husband goes to help bring your bike into the house, but before touching it he pauses and asks did you pee on this thing today?

In normal life, I'm an avid user of hand sanitizer, especially after touching doors, anything on Metro, the refrigerator handle or the water cooler at work and before I touch anything I'm about to eat.  In a race, there is no room for hand sanitizer in my bento box; hours will pass, many bars and gels will be touched by my sweaty, bike grease caked hands and eaten sans hand sanitizer.  I haven't died yet.

Last year on mile 16 of the run at Ironman Lake Placid, a runner was hobbling around on the side of the race course, clutching his cramping legs.  You know what the cure for muscle cramps is?  Salt tabs.  Even if the bag of salt tabs has been tucked inside another racer's beyond sweaty sports bra for the past 10 hours.  You accept the salt tabs with gratitude and even a thank you - thank you for saving me with your sweaty, nasty salt tabs.  I can become an Ironman because of this oversight of basic hygiene.

Snot rockets and loogies.  They are kind of awesome (as long as you aren't stuck in the direct path of one).  There is nothing worse than being on the run and having mucus supplement your gel intake.  And while I still apologize to those around me on the course as I ungracefully try to rid myself of excess mucus, I know they understand.  They've all been there.  In fact, they've probably had to stop themselves once or twice from blowing a snot rocket walking from the metro to their office, realizing at the last moment that antics like that aren't the norm when you're dressed in a business suit.  

And then there is the pee.  Peeing in your wetsuit to get ready for a cold swim.  Peeing on the bike because you don't want to stop and break your rhythm.  Sitting down and peeing in transition while putting your running shoes on because you don't want to waste precious seconds and risk missing out on a PR (true story - my urinary success in T2 at last year's Timberman is the only reason I eeked out a PR by the skin of my teeth).  Pee is just colored water.  Whatever.  Nothing that a little douse from the waterbottle can't fix.

I'm sure there's more dirty, dirty secrets of triathlon but the aforementioned ones are the biggest offenders when it comes to TMI on a blog.  On the outside you are totally grossed out reading about loogies and snot rockets and pee if you haven't done a triathlon yet.  But I am sure, deep down, you are curious about this other social dimension where it's totally acceptable, and even encouraged, to pee your pants.  And for those of us already established in triathlon, you know you wear it like a badge of honor every time you "warm up" your wetsuit.


chitoandkgo.com said...

I think I just fell in love with you.

Jon said...

Haha! You win for frankness!

How you know you have met a fellow triathlete: you are talking about pee & poo comfortably within 5 seconds of meeting ;)

Melissa said...

I love peeing on the bike, almost as much as I love peeing in the pool. Yep. That's right.

Sarah said...

I still have to learn how to pee on my bike. It's so sad that I haven't yet :(

Valerie Dix said...

you rock! I haven't given peeing on the bike a try yet, but I'm a pro at peeing in T1 AND T2, almost every single race Oly distance and up involves me plopping my butt on the ground and peeing while changing my shoes. ;-p

Valerie Dix said...

Amen sister! I'm a pro at peeing in T1 and T2, almost every single race I do oly and up involves me plopping my butt on the ground and peeing while changing my shoes. Haven't tried it on the bike yet, but I'm so incredibly close to giving it a try ;-p

Katie said...

wait, I should be washing my hands??

just kidding.