Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Heart Triathlon

It’s that special time of year where love is in the air. Well, I’ve had the hots for a certain sport for quite some time. Here are 10 things I love about the tough but adorable three-headed little monster known as triathlon.

10) Plan of Attack: As I wrote about a while back, I get downright giddy when thinking about my race schedule. I love picking races and preparing my training plan of attack around my goals.

9) Race Day: I love pre-race nerves and adrenaline, pushing through the pain, and that moment when you can finally taste the finish line. Once I’ve caught my breath, I love the post-race euphoria, food, and camaraderie with other triathletes.

8) Analyzing Results: I figure since I use excel a lot for my day job, I might as well put my skills to use, right? I love picking apart race results based on rankings, percentiles, competition, etc. I also have a database of races built up by now, so I can quickly compare multiple races.

7) Kinda Weird: I love the smell of my wetsuit. I’ll often take a big whiff of it the day before a race when I’m packing my stuff, which triggers the emotions of racing (note: from my experience it smells better pre-race than post-race).  

6) Reconnaissance Missions: Whenever possible, I love to scout a course before a race. If I can’t bike or run the course itself, even driving it gets me pumped!

5) Open-Water Swimming: I love the serenity of looking out over a lake or other body of water. Whenever I see a lake I think about swimming in it. I love getting psyched up in the water before a race. All that said, I also love when my hand finally touches sand and the swim is done!

4) Google Maps: I love planning out bike and run courses a day or few hours before a workout. Sure, sometimes I make it up as I go, but I find that I’m more motivated when I have an idea of my route. It was especially fun planning epic rides in the 60-112 mile range last spring in training for Ironman (strangely not always as fun to actually ride the route).

3) Kid in a Candy Store: Don’t get me wrong, I love candy, chocolate, ice cream, etc. But I also love stocking up on nutritional stuff (GU, Powerbars, etc), especially at a store where it’s something like “buy 12 get 20% off.” So many choices! So many flavors! I have my regular stuff that I get, but if I accidentally pick up a Honey Stinger waffle or a blueberry oat Bonk Breaker I guess I’ll eat it immediately after leaving the store.

2) Burn One Down: I love the high I get from running (vast majority) and biking (often). I hate the initial shock of jumping into the pool, but I love that post-swim feeling as well.

1) Recovery: I love a tall glass of chocolate milk after a tough workout. It was already a personal favorite and then I find out it's good for recovery??  I'll drink to that!

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