One of the great things about triathlon is that in almost every situation you can at least train for one of the three disciplines. If you’re a pure runner and you injure your foot, you’re out of luck. As a triathlete, you could ramp up your swimming and probably still bike during that time while your foot heals. For a wide variety of injuries as a triathlete, you can usually do something. Such is also the case with traveling and other obstacles life throws at you. All that said, I find myself potentially facing one of the rare circumstances in which a triathlete strikes out. Over the next few days I’ll be on vacation on a houseboat in the middle of a lake. To be honest, this isn’t my first choice for a vacation, but from past experiences it’s still usually a great time. From a triathlon perspective, it’s a chance to get a lot of open-water swimming in, with my wife or other family member kayaking alongside. Sounds fun, right? The only catch is that over the last couple days I’ve noticed some mild pain in my ear, and I’m really hoping it’s not “swimmer’s ear.” I’ve had that twice in the past, and it’s a real kick in the crotch. First of all it hurts progressively until you get on antibiotics, and secondly it sucks not being able to get it wet for usually over a week. I’ve read that sometimes a mild ear infection will go away on its own, so I’m hoping that’s the case. If I can’t get in the water while floating in the middle of a lake, I just might go crazy. I’ll bring my running shoes just in case, but I’m told the options are extremely limited. I got swimmer’s ear last year while training for Ironman, and in an effort to get back in the pool quickly I bought a product called the "Ear Band-it." The 3-year old boy on the cover was all smiles and made it look fashionable, so I thought I’d try it. Basically you pop a silicone plug in your ear, then strap this Velcro headband device on. I definitely got some weird looks at the pool last year, but it was effective. I just may have to bust it out.