This last weekend I went on a field trip up at Lake San Antonio with my Central Coast Triathlon Club at the Wildflower Triathlon Festival. Over the two action packed days, I witnessed over 5,000 athletes of all ages and levels compete in many multisport events! Some competed in the Mountain Bike Sprint distance (.25mile swim, 9mile bike, 2 mile run), or the Road Bike Olympic distance (1.5k swim, 24.8mile bike, 6.2mile run) up to the Road Bike Long Course distance (1.2mile swim, 56mile bike, 13.1 mile run). What I realized they all had in common, in addition to the obvious addiction to adrenaline, was the love of TOYS! This race known as the “Woodstock” of triathlons, due to the multiday schedule & overflowing camp sites full of party animals, has a weekend long expo full of booths were athletes went shopping like it was Black Friday! They shopped for all the latest multisport gadgets and gear from fueling to clothing today’s multisport athlete. As I looked around at all the money being spent and preparation to haul all these toys I let out a loud laugh!
It seemed ridiculous that the simplistic acts of swimming, biking and running that had evolved over thousands of years with mankind as simple body transport movements, had now been taken to a whole new level with sports science and technology toys. My mind was spinning like a yoyo at the variety of trisuits, wetsuits, goggles, colored caps and booties at the swim start.
In transition there were hundreds of racks full of thousands of bikes ranging in brand and type from the trusty borrowed old Schwinn, the $100 Walmart mountain bike, to the $10,000 Trek Speed Concept time trial bike. Most being road bikes ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 in value with every possible bell & whistle! Many had crazy aerodynamic attachments more like a space ship planning to orbit the moon then ride around the lake. Then you need a wagon to load all the equipment needed to ride that space ship such as pedal clips, shoes, helmet, hydration cages & bottles, fuel & electrolytes, repair gear bag, bento snack box, aero bars, cat eye bike computer, race wheels, bike shorts, bike jersey, gloves, sunglasses and don’t forget the butt butter. Our third discipline in triathlon is the beloved thigh chafing running. You would think that would still be relatively low maintenance since your body is the vehicle, but NO! We have endless isles of different jazzy colors and types of shoes that include road, trail or racing flats. Then we need fancy drymax socks, foot lube, compression tights or shorts, sports bra, tech shirt, hydration pack with more fuel & electrolytes, hat, sunglasses, I-pod and a Garmin wrist computer. Then don’t forget to put on your recovery socks or tights afterwards! Did I mention that transition area is also a fashion runway?
By Sunday afternoon, all our athletes had made it to the club celebration tent after kicking serious butt and we had story time over a cold beer. Before it became nap time, we had to break down our booth and head home back from the Land Of Multisport Oz. As I pumped my car with gas and tummy with Starbucks to stay awake for the ride home, I thought about the beautiful life values of organic simplicity and peaceful living I longed for. To regain perspective, maybe I needed to rethink my multisport lifestyle and find ways to tone down the addiction of gathering more and more material stuff to track & fuel my sport! I tossed and turned with nightmares from a prior triathlon I actually did at Disneyland where we swam in the lagoon surrounded on all sides by rides. Tired on Monday, I went during my lunch break to swim my 50 recovery laps. I put on my speedo swimsuit, latex swim cap, anti fog anti glare goggles, finger ring lap counter and timer, water proof Finis mp3 player and swim fins then grabbed my pull paddles, sports drink, pull buoy & kick board and jumped in. It felt like heaven weightless in the warm water rocking out old school to Electric Light Orchestra as I thought to myself “Hey, I wonder what new toys multisport Santa is gonna bring me this year?”
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Living the Run is thrilled to publish Samantha’s Pruitt’s weekly blog “Excouch Potato Turns Iron (Wo)Man”. Sam has gone from an overweight and unhealthy coach potato to a fitness fanatic. Pruitt is a Certified Heart Zones Triathlon Coach, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, RRCA Running Coach and USAT Certified Race Director. View Sam’s complete bio on our Bloggers Bio Page. You can read her blog every week on www.livingtherun.com.
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