Thursday, October 7, 2010

triathletes are freaks

If there is one thing that I am sure of - it's that triathletes are weird. We are obsessive, quirky, and anal. I know it's not just me. It's ALL OF US! 50% of us have the same tattoo, and it's probably somewhere on our leg. Both genders shave a large portion of their body hair, we wear a lot of spandex even if we have no business wearing it, we piss our pants, etc. (It's a good thing I am arguing for the fact that triathletes are freaks, because I have that particular tattoo AND I do all 3 of those things!!!). I also have some weird rituals that I do before races.

I am not superstitious at ALL, except on race day. On race day, everything has to be perfect. However, there is a method to my madness.

Note: I am a triathlete. I may be on the bus to crazy town, but I bet many of you are riding on there with me!

My first rule is in regards to race t-shirt etiquette. Never ever EVER wear the race t-shirt before or during the race. If you have not finished the race, you cannot wear the shirt! You have to earn the right to wear that finisher's shirt! It's like going to a concert, buying a t-shirt and then PUTTING IT ON AT THE SHOW! T-shirt etiquette is being violated! I don't care if it's a 5K. I don't care if it's an ultra (do they even give t-shirts out at ultras?). I swear to god if I DNFed a race, I don't know WHAT I would do with that t-shirt. I LOVE race t-shirts. If they are too big for me, I sleep in them. If they are a tech t-shirt that I can't run in (it's too big or it's not a ladies-cut shirt) I keep them regardless as souvenirs of the race. But if I DNFed a race, I would probably have to cut it up into rags for cleaning my bike.

My second rule is in regards to M-dot gear/apparel. It cannot be worn until an Ironman distance race is completed. I fully believe that doing this will jinx your race (if you are planning on completing an Ironman). You have to earn the M-dot! There are 2 exceptions. If you complete an  "Ironman brand" 70.3 race and you buy finisher's gear (half-IM SPECIFIC finishers gear) or get a finishers hat or shirt, that is ok (it has the M-dot but it says 70.3 on it). But you can't finish Mooseman and start telling people you are an Ironman. The other exception is the stupid Timex Ironman watch or any other stupid Ironman thing you can buy at a drugstore (I have personally seen Ironman cologne and Ironman muscle ointment). I have the Timex Ironman watch because I think all of the Timex sports watches have the little Ironman on them.

My main problem with people sporting the M-dot without having gone the distance is false advertising. For instance, I am a girl in my mid-20s, single, and mostly only interested in Ironmen (yes this is true, and yes I know I am pathetic). So if I go to a race and see a guy wearing an article of clothing with an M-dot, I am immediately interested (if he's cute, obviously). However, if this guy is wearing the shirt and hasn't done a freaking Ironman, I will be PISSED and immediately lose interest. Once again, I know, I am ridiculous.

My next few things are weird race rituals that I have. I must always crumple my race # before any race. If it's a running race, I must crumple it before I pin it to whatever top I am wearing. If it's a tri, I must crumple it before I pin it to my race # belt and then leave it in transition. I have done this since running XC in high school.

I must always run wearing a hat. This is regardless of whether I am racing or just running. I HAVE to wear a hat, visor, or winter hat to keep my hair from blowing all over the place and annoying the be-jesus out of me.

I must only race in a specific pair of green Balega socks that I own. Typically I only put socks on for the run. If it's an Ironman (where I wear socks on the bike as well) I have a different pair of socks to wear on the bike and I change into the green socks for the run. For winter races I have some socks that are cut higher than my green socks that I will wear in order to keep my ankles covered, but winter races are not races that I really care about, therefore the green sock rule is void during months where snow is on the ground.

These are my rules. Yes, they are crazy and at times they are arbitrary. If you want to run in your race t-shirt, by all means go for it (a LOT of people do this) but I think it screams "newbie." It's like going to NYC wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt with a camera hanging around your neck and tall white socks. Everyone knows that you are out of your element.

You'll never catch me in either of those outfits!


  1. Have you heard about the new "Ironman" 5150 series? I am just waiting for folks to call themselves an Ironman and get the Tattoo after finishing their first Olympic distance tri.

  2. I'm riding the crazy bus with you! Although I have never peed myself, so you are on your own there. I made sure that all my merchandise clearly said "70.3" at my first HIM. I can't wait to finish the big one and get my ink though!

  3. peeing yourself on the bike is indescribably awesome

  4. Didn't see Jon's post until after I posted. Here is a link to the 5150 series ( Hopefully, they keep the logo they have posted and racers get an I-dot tattoo instead.

  5. You don't wear your race belt during running races?

  6. I agree with Jon. People are going to start doing these 5150 events and sporting M-dot gear. I laughed out loud reading the part about being attracted to Ironmen and losing interest if they were false advertising. I'm so with you!

  7. I do the crumple my race number thing too! (And I get annoyed when triathletes wear their race belt to running races. There are no transitions - you don't need the damn belt!)

    Too funny about the IM attraction - love it!

  8. Best post ever!!! And Im riding the crazy bus with you as well. The only time Ive violated a "rule" is I bought an Ironman trikini to race in for Placid and I wore it on a training ride/brick a few times before the race to make sure it worked ok. Of course, it was covered up, and I never let anyone see it, so I dont believe i violated a rule. However, after IM, I have worn in in the pool with pride :-P

  9. I HATE socks. It's getting colder here and I'll be forced to wear them but I did not wear socks at all during Ironman.

    I'm totally with you on the only dating Ironmans. My BF is a 5 timer. One of our 1st conversations was about puking during the swim and it was awesome being out there @ IMWI with him. And he has a British Accent to boot! We're all doing IMCDA....I wish he had a little Ironman brother for you!

  10. This is hilarious! I think I'm a fellow passenger on the crazy bus for sure :)

  11. Stamp my ticket as well and get me on that bus. I completely agree with you; nicely said.

  12. I love this!!!!!!

    I found your blog from the 201Ironman Club


I love creepy blog stalker friends! Don't be afraid to leave me a comment!