TT Bikes and 70.3s.

In the past 24 hours, I’ve had people encouraging me to buy a tri bike (anyone want to give me a couple thousand dollars) and to register for a 70.3.

I can’t believe I’m considering both.

I am still not sure about the tri bike, but I can definitely research it.  My biggest concern is that I’m too big for a tri bike.  But I keep getting told that a good shop can measure me and get me fit for the right bike.  So we’ll see what happens there.

I thought that it was silly to even consider a tri bike since I’m still not a fast cyclist.  I’m capable and competent on my road bike, but I’m not fast.  I’m getting faster though.  I always thought that I needed to get faster to make it worthwhile.  But the more I mention that, the more people tell me that no, the bike will also make me faster.  So if I continue to improve and I get a faster bike, I’ll really be able to put on the speed (for me) next season.

If I do get a tri bike, it’s probably something that will go into the trainer until next season anyway.  But it feels like such a big commitment.  Like it makes me a real triathlete.

The 70.3 is something I can just ponder.  The race isn’t even officially announced yet and it’s not for well over a year, so there’s plenty of time.  It’s not real until I have to think about registering.  But I have been considering a 70.3 for a while.  It’s definitely something that would be a real challenge for me.  These races typically have 8.5 hour time limits, and I would be pushing that for sure.  Where I know I can significantly cut time is the bike, because I have much work to do in that arena.

But man. Racing for 8+ hours.  That sounds miserable.  So I’ll have to debate and talk with my coach and debate some more before I tackle it.

I think I do a lot of thinking about racing compared to the actual racing that I do.

Coeur Sports Kit Review

Well now that I’ve raced a few times in my Coeur Sports kit, I’ve been getting questions about how I like it.  Full disclosure, I’m a member of Team Coeur for 2015, so I am biased.  But they don’t require me to do a kit review, I just want to share what I love about this kit.


This review is of the very adorable triathlon kit in the Monaco Grand Prix design.

Coeur Trainer Selfie

This is me on a trainer wearing my Coeur Sports tri kit. Yes, that’s a cat tree behind me.  And this might be the best selfie I’ve ever taken of myself.

I’m going to start at the bottom, because I think the tri shorts are amazing.

Coeur Shorts

This particular pair is a size large, which works on me, but I prefer the XL because they make my legs look less like sausages.  Either fits well enough though.  And hey, I chose a sport that requires spandex.  I love that the little grippy parts are the Coeur name.  I think that’s adorable.


Coeur Shorts Pocket

The shorts have three little pockets on the back.  They’re small and lay flat, which I love, but they hold small items like a gel, a sunscreen wipe (critical) or lip balm (even more critical).


Coeur Shorts Chamois


This.  This is the key to these shorts and what makes them so glorious.  That chamois looks funny, but because it continues all the way down the leg, there is no spot for it to chafe your thighs as you pedal or run.  It’s perfect.  Absolutely perfect and I’m just waiting to see other companies doing something similar.  The chamois is thin, but does what it needs to without making you feel like you’re running in a diaper.  It’s a win all around.

Coeur Top

The top, as you can tell, is on the longer side, and this is something I love.  No issue with it riding up as I cycle.  Plus, well, I have a few more curves for it to get around, so the added fabric is a good thing.  I wear the XL and my chest wouldn’t fit in a smaller size.  It’s tight, but not uncomfortably so.  The fabric is incredibly light and thin, but provides excellent coverage.


Coeur Top Pockets

Again, pockets!  These are much bigger and if you wanted to, you could put your phone in there (though I wouldn’t do so while running since there’s nothing to hold the pocket closed).  Tri kits need more pockets.


Coeur Top Bra

The Coeur tops do have a built-in bra.  I wear a 36G.  A built in bra is useless for me.  Sometimes I cut them out of kits, but I actually like how this one hugs around my bra and keeps the top from shifting around more than I want it to.  If you can wear the top without a bra, I am jealous, but for those of you who can’t, I’ve seen a lot of ladies wear this top with a racerback bra.  I actually wear mine with my Enell bra, making sure to save the pretty colors for race day.  It shows around the front and definitely in the back, but it definitely doesn’t look bad, and well, it’s way better than bouncing around everywhere.

I love Coeur Sports because the products are great and I love what they stand for.  The kit fits incredibly well and takes care of a lot of the issues I’ve had with other kits, namely chafing and a too-short top.  The ladies of Coeur are fabulous and always there to answer any questions you might have.   And don’t worry, fellow Athenas.  They’re working to get larger sizes into their store!

Plus I love this from our “about us” page:

Coeur is French for heart & the root of the word courage. And that’s what we put into our collections and our sport. As an athlete, you know that athletic performance is about so much more than genetic talent. Its also about heart. Heart is about digging deep and being mentally tough. Heart is what gets you to the finish line when all the body wants to do is lay down.  Heart is at the center of the community and the friendships you find in sport. Heart is what makes you give back to the community that has given you so much.

This is one of the reasons I love triathlon.  It’s a sport that gives back to the other competitors in a way that I haven’t seen in other sports.  It’s a sport where fast finishers cheer on the slow finishers and where we all feel the heartache of a DNF.   At my last race, as I was slogging through the miles, a fellow Coeur athlete called out to me “Heart and Courage!” and she was right.  That’s what the sport is really about.

Don’t Forget to Stretch

Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay

Stretching!  It’s super important.  I never stretch before I workout, but I should definitely stretch after I finish a workout.  I manage this about 50% of the time.

Well, okay, maybe 25% of the time.

Okay, okay, I only stretch when something feels tight.

This is not the way to stretch!

Today, I am walking around like an old lady because my entire lower back is sore.  This happens to me from time to time because my hips get tight and then pull on my back.  It took forever and a day for me to figure out why my back was getting so sore, and it’s a super easy fix.  Stretch my hips.

What have I not been doing?  Stretching.

Yes, I will probably live.  This is not a life threatening injury.  But if I were smarter, I would take five to ten minutes after every workout and prevent the problem all together.

I think that it’s probably after I bike that I need to be really careful to stretch.  I believe this to be true based on my powers of deduction. This winter, I avoided my bike in favor of running.  (I am hoping to not do this again this coming winter.)  I had zero issues with my back.  But once I returned to cycling, there it was.  Doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong while biking, I just am failing to stretch.

So learn from my continual mistakes.  Stretch.  Stretch after every workout.  It’s worth it.

Now I’m off to find my tennis ball to try to work out this knot in my hip.


Wednesday Workout Recap

The week after a race is always so glorious.  Reverse taper.  So nice.

Monday was a scheduled rest day.  Nailed it.

Tuesday I was supposed to bike for 45 minutes.  I did not do this.  I got stuck at work late and just didn’t have the energy when I got home.  Well, I raced this weekend, so I guess this is okay.

Wednesday… Wednesday I was on a work errand and got knocked over in a crosswalk by a cyclist.  This is what gives cyclists a bad name.  I was fine, just some skinned knees, but I caught myself with one hand and tweaked my arm and shoulder.  I could tell it was just a super minor sprain/strain, but it still sucked.  So instead of pounding my way through my scheduled run, I did Tuesday’s 45 minute bike.

Thursday, the soreness from the fall set in.  So I did not swim.

Friday I went and got a massage and my therapist said my entire left side was all messed up, but by the time she was done, my shoulder was totally better.  Back to training!

Saturday I had an easy 6 mile run.  Managed to avoid most of the raindrops, but it was a slow run for me in the heat, around 1:28.  I just couldn’t find my pace.  I think that’s just going to be how summer running goes for me.

Sunday, the group bike ride got cancelled for wet roads, so I spent 90 quality minutes on my trainer.  So much sweat everywhere.  Thank goodness for the mat underneath the bike.

The gear, it multiplies!

This is the box of random swim things. Plus some shoe insoles for no apparent reason

This is the box of random swim things. Plus some shoe insoles for no apparent reason.

When you take up a sport, one of the first things you do is pick up the gear you need.  Not everything, just the basics.  For running, that might just be a pair of shoes and some clothes to run in.  For biking, well, you need a bike.  Swimming, a swimming suit is crucial and goggles are a huge perk.

And as you get into the sport, you slowly acquire more and more gear.  You get excited when you get your first swim cap from a race, and race t-shirts just mean that you have to do less laundry.  Two bike helmets are better than one.  What if someone else needs one?

But after a while, the stuff starts to multiply.  No seriously, I’m pretty sure it’s breeding in my closet.  I keep finding swim caps everywhere.  I don’t race that much.  I don’t know where they’re all coming from.  And the race shirts… well, it might be time to pare those down.  I keep saying I’m going to make a quilt (let’s be honest, I’m going to have someone make a quilt – I can’t sew).   But again, it certainly saves on laundry.

Thankfully, I’m not yet the person with a collection of bikes.  I would be, but you know, money.  Had I not bought a car this summer, I would probably be buying a bike.  Because, you know, the proper number of bikes is n+1, n being the number of bikes you currently have.

I have a bin in my office of things that need to go to Goodwill or other donation site and as I was packing stuff up over the weekend, I realized just how many pairs of running shoes are in there.  Those need to go to a donation bin somewhere.  Now that I’m not running 12+ half marathons a year, I’m going through fewer running shoes, which is a plus.  Also, my Hokas seem to last me many more miles than my old Brooks shoes did.

Of course, I make it sound like all this gear accumulates through no fault of my own.  That is an outright lie.  While I HATE shopping for what I call normal clothes, I love shopping for fitness gear.  I’m always looking for a great pair of goggles or a cute bike jersey on sale.  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect bento box for my bike, so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.  I own multiple bags that I can probably pare down – two transition bags for races (one which is just too small), two swim bags, a swim gear bag… But my mother will attest that I have always loved bags.  Pretty sure she feared I would grow up to be a bag lady.  Instead, I work for the government.  I’m not sure that’s better.

This summer, I need to corral all of my gear into one place, instead of the various places it’s stashed around the house.  I need to take a look at what I have and start to pare down.  Or at least stop accumulating more.  It’s a process.