Should You Wear Makeup For a Race?

croisy / Pixabay

A couple of months ago, Runners World posted a video of how to do your makeup for a race.  This got a lot of attention in various running communities, mostly with a lot of disdain.

Who needs to wear makeup during a race?

Racing isn’t about looking good!  It’s about racing!

If you’re doing it right, your makeup will wear off anyway.

I didn’t really participate in any of these conversations, but I have to admit that I’ve been thinking a lot about appearance and sport.

First off, no one should feel like they have to wear makeup for a race.  In one of the threads I saw, a woman commented that she didn’t necessarily want to wear makeup, but she felt that the appearance of her skin was so bad that she needed to.  This just makes me sad.  As long as all your key parts are covered and you don’t have offensive sayings written anywhere, you shouldn’t ever have to worry that your appearance at a race is bothering anyone else.  No one has to wear makeup to a race.

But along the same lines, if someone wants to wear makeup to a race, why does anyone else care?  We all have different motivations for racing.  Heck, we all have different motivations for racing depending on the race.  Some races, I go out to push myself and try to set a PR.  Some races, I go out to have fun with my friends, and my plan may even include running and chatting with a friend for the entire distance.  Both are valid reasons to run.  None of these things have any effect on anyone else’s race.

And let’s be honest, a lot of us do pay attention to what we wear to a race.  Yes, I want to be comfortable, but I also want my kit to be cute.  I’ve loved racing in my Coeur Ambassador tri kit this year, and weather permitting, I will be wearing it for my upcoming road races as well.  I feel great in it, not only because it’s comfortable, but because I think it looks really great.

When it comes to a triathlon, I have never worn makeup, because, well, swim.  Though I do often use a tinted moisturizer (mainly because it’s SPF 50 and doesn’t destroy my sensitive skin).  Does that count as makeup?  And for a road race, I sometimes put on waterproof mascara, though that happens less and less as I get older and care less about what other people think.  (Don’t get me wrong though – I wear makeup for work every day because I enjoy it – I love a bold lip and defined eyes.)

But who am I to judge if someone else wants to wear makeup?  Maybe they feel more confident with makeup on.  Maybe that added confidence helps them be a stronger runner.  Maybe applying it is a calming part of their race day ritual for all I know.  Maybe they want to ensure their photos look great (note – photos can look great with or without makeup, but it’s definitely personal preference).

So makeup or no, go out and rock your race.  No one should feel like they have to wear makeup (I certainly won’t be), but if you want to, go for it!

So What’s Next?

With an incredibly successful triathlon season behind me, I’m already looking at the 2018 season.  And it’s once again time to go big or go home. (No, I’m not doing a 140.6.  I am a retired marathoner.)

That’s right, in 2018, I’m headed back to the half distance and have registered for IM 70.3 Chattanooga!

I am really excited about this.  While I obviously had a great year this year racing olympic/international distance races, I found myself missing the pomp and circumstance of the 70.3.  I missed doing long bike rides.  While metric centuries are HARD, I still miss that distance.

The main reason I didn’t do a 70.3 this year was scheduling.  I couldn’t find one that fit in with my already planned schedule of life and work and vacation.  And that was starting to look like an issue for 2018 as well.  I’ve got a long planned trip to Europe in August, and I certainly don’t want to be worrying about training then, which meant I needed something earlier in the year.  I didn’t want to do a 70.3 in July because it’s stupidly hot.

I asked my Coeur teammates for advice on good 70.3 races earlier in the year, and there were a few recommendations, but Chattanooga kept popping up again and again, and even better, a number of my teammates are planning to race it!  I also have a number of friends who have done this race and enjoyed it, so things very quickly started to fall into place.  I asked my coach, who basically said “DOOOOO IT!” So that was an easy sell.

70.3 Chattanooga is on May 20, which is early, but not terribly so.  There will be plenty of open water opportunities in April and May.  I would like to get a triathlon in before the race, because I always joke that my first race of the year is mostly about remembering how to triathlete, so once 2018 schedules come out, I will be figuring that out (and will also accept recommendations).

This is going to mean a lot of winter training, and a lot of time on the trainer.  I think this should fit in well with the half marathons that I already have planned through the winter and spring.  Thankfully, I really like riding on the trainer, so this can only bring about good things.

And it also means that I can still race a bunch of Olympics next summer if I feel up to it.  Best of both worlds!

(We’ll see how I feel about this decision in a few months.)

 

Race Report – 2017 Patriots International Tri

Well, apparently 2017 was my season.

I finished my 2017 triathlon season with a bang at Patriots International and ended up as second place Athena.  Pretty darn proud of how this season ended.  But let’s talk about the race itself.

While I have raced two different international distance courses in Williamsburg, I had never done Patriots. That said, parts of the course overlapped those of the previous races I had done, so I had some sort of an idea of what I was getting myself into.

As per usual, I was watching the weather closely leading up to the race.  Of course, it was hard to make even the tiniest peep of a complaint, considering what has been going on in Texas and Florida.  But I lucked out and race day was pretty perfect.  Cold in the morning (around 60 degrees), but the water was around 75, and the day promised to warm up to around 80.

The swim ended up being wetsuit legal, and I followed my coach’s instructions to always wear my wetsuit if possible, because it was just free speed.  It was nice to just be able to put it on for warmth if nothing else!  As we watched some of the earlier waves start, I realized how shallow the water was.  In fact, the announcer said “If at any point, you forget how to swim, just stand up.”  People basically walked out to the first buoy because the water was so shallow that you couldn’t swim without your hands hitting the ground.  I know how much energy it takes to walk through the water, so when it was my turn, I tried to swim as much as possible, but walking ended up being easier.

The swim did involve some cross current swimming, but I honestly didn’t notice it too much.  Because of the placement of the sun, I had trouble finding the buoys at times, but it wasn’t too bad.  And I used the trick of taking my wetsuit off in the water and letting the water help me get it off my legs.  Definitely an easy way to get out of it when there aren’t wetsuit strippers.  Plus then I didn’t have to run in it.

Swim: 35:16

The bad part of this race?  The quarter mile run to transition from the swim.  Ugh.

T1: 4:11

On to the bike.  Now, they claimed this course was flat, and I would agree for the most part, but there were some rollers and quite a few false flats.  I would be riding along, thinking I was flying, then realize I was nearly a mile per hour slower than I thought.  Thank you, false flat. Of course, what goes up must come down, right?  The only real “hill” was going over the Chickahominy bridge, which is part of the Rev3 Williamsburg course, so I had just done it in July.  (Of course there, it’s right at the beginning and end of the bike course, which have to be the worst places for a bridge.)  The weirdest part of the course was the last mile or so, where you sort of had to wind your way back to transition on these narrow paths.  That definitely hurt my overall pace.

At one point, I passed a woman blaring music on her bike.  People.  Don’t do this.

My goal was simply to push my hardest on the bike and try to hold a solid pace for as long as possible.  I ended up averaging about 16.5mph, a bit slower than I wanted, but I’m pleased with it, and it meant I still had some gas left in the tank.

Bike: 1:25:17 (My Garmin read this as short – closer to 23 than 24 miles)

T2 happened.  Nothing exciting there.  I will say, that even though I came in second, I had the fastest T1 and T2.  Go me.

T2: 1:45

This run was billed as being on pavement, gravel, and trails.  So that sounded fun.  And it was… interesting.  It was definitely scenic and shady, both things I enjoyed.  But there was one turn that a number of people missed, and there were other points on the course where there was just a sign and no volunteer indicating where you should go.  I know, I know, the rule of triathlon is that it’s the athlete’s job to know the course.  But I didn’t love this.

Early on in the run, I heard someone yell to a teammate “Make sure you don’t miss the right turn after the water stop!”  So I kept that in mind, and yep, there was a right turn right after the water stop that was very easy to miss.  There were runners coming straight back at you, so it logically made sense to go straight… except for the small sign pointing you right.  I talked to a few people who had missed the turn and turned around to go back.  Worse, I ran into a few people who decided to run that part of the course backwards (it was vaguely P shaped, to explain how that was possible).  Not sure that’s legal, and I’m fairly sure it’s a DQ, but I’m no official, so who am I to judge?

So these trails winded around and up and down and it was a very lovely place, but also a bit more technical of a run than I’m used to.  I had to really push the pace here and not just run by feel.

As I was coming into the finish, there was a woman behind me with a huge cheer squad.  I love seeing that.  But then, her friend came up to her and said “Beat that girl in front of you.”  Oh no you don’t.  So I put on all the speed I had and sprinted into the finish.  Okay, so my sprint isn’t that fast, but I still beat her.  It wasn’t even about her, I think her friend just put a bug in my ear and I had to win.

Run: 1:18:30.  Only a minute slower than Rev3 Williamsburg, which was a fast and flat course.

Total: 3:24:57

So I guess this was definitely my season.  I’m super happy with how I did and all my work is really paying off.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to an easy off season as I’m picking up distance running again, but it should be slightly less stressful. Now I just have to stop eating all the thing, as has become my habit over the past month, and things will be great.

On to the next big thing!  But first, a rest week.

One Last Tri for 2017

My last race for the year is the Patriots International.  I’m headed back to Williamsburg, VA, this time for another VTSMTS race.  Last year, I ended my season on a huge high with a 70.3.  In 2015, my season ended with only my third ever international distance race and a race where I wanted redemption.  2014’s season ended with my first international distance race, and 2013 ended with my first big triathlon, the IronGirl sprint.  So it’s a bit weird to not be ending the season with a “big” race.

That said, this isn’t a nothing race.  I’ve had an awesome season so far and I definitely want it to end strong.  The concern for me for this race is the swim.  It will probably be the most challenging swim I’ve had all season (though I don’t have to jump off a boat to start).  There is a current, and the race organizers suggest practicing swimming across currents.  Guess what I haven’t done?  So this should be fun.  Might be wetsuit legal too, so we’ll see how this all turns out.

The bike is rolling, but nothing too crazy.  I prefer hills to flat, so I’m looking forward to this.  The run is apparently super flat, but on varied surfaces (pavement, gravel, and mulch).  All in all, it should be a pretty good course, and I’m hoping for a great race.  The race is an international and half distance run at once, which I always enjoy, because there are so many more athletes on the course.  It just makes a race feel big, and I love that big race feeling.

Another great thing is that it’s a SATURDAY race!  So I don’t have to rush back from the race right afterwards.  It can be a much more leisurely day, which I definitely prefer.  Also, it’s in Williamsburg, so I can eat at The Cheese Shop.  Yum.  Might have to get a sandwich to eat there and a sandwich to go.

 

August Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

August was my last full month of triathlon training.  My last triathlon of the season is September 9th, so I can only assume that my training goals will shift somewhat over the off-season.  I’m hoping for less swimming and expecting more running, but we’ll see what my coach has in store for me.  There is nothing I find harder than dragging myself to the pool on a cold dark morning, and now that team swim has ended (at least for now), finding that motivation is going to be tough.

August was a pretty good month.  My one race this month went way better than I planned.  I was expecting a bit of a mediocre race, and instead beat all of my goals.  Let’s hope that trend continues.

August Totals:
Swim – 5.5 miles
Bike – 208 miles
Run – 40 miles

I didn’t realize how low my run miles were, but I did miss one long run this month due to volunteering.  I should have planned better so I could get the run in, but I was just exhausted.  A better plan would have been an afternoon nap followed by a run, but it is what it is.

2017 Totals:
Swim – 38.5 miles
Bike – 1547 miles
Run – 356 miles