Dear Linsey Corbin

Jun 08

Dear Linsey Corbin

I’m back from racing Ironman Honu 70.3. My race recap will be up soon, but first I wanted to clear something up with Linsey Corbin, the female professional triathlete who won Honu and set a female course record because she’s all fast and bad-ass and and dominates the sport in a way us mere mortals can only dream about. First, a brief explanation. Rooming with Teresa often means I inadvertently run into professional triathletes because Teresa’s a pro and rubs pointy, athletically vascular elbows with the sport’s elites and I’m often tagging along like a schmuck. In Costa Rica I met Bree Wee and in Hawaii we swam with Linsey Corbin (and by “we swam with,” I of course mean “Teresa swam with while I flailed around 500 yards behind them”). The race came and went and I was pretty happy with my performance considering the tough conditions (meaning “it was windy as shit out there”). On Sunday I had a lazy and tired recovery day, and on Monday I drove around the big island with Jason and his family and checked out the volcano. That left Tuesday as my last day to get a little relaxation in before I would return back to Seattle. Faced with one final hurrah to get my sun and drink on, I did what any Mediocre Athlete would do: I went at it full-speed. Jason and I ate breakfast, walked to the Fairmont and had a few cocktails on the beach, walked to our hotel, changed into swimsuits, lazed about all day in the sun, then went back to our hotel room and slurped down a couple mixed drinks before meeting Kevin, Cindy, and Cindy’s mother for happy hour at Ruth’s Chris. I knocked back a couple more cocktails and some bar snacks, then we went to the Mauna Lani Canoe House to cap off the evening. I was sipping a glass of wine and enjoying the sunset when I started to feel a bit off–a mixture of queasy and sweaty that is scientifically known as “sweesy.” I excused myself and started making my way towards the bathroom, feeling worse with each step. Heading right towards me emerging from the bathroom was a perfectly...

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Jim, If You Thought Getting Beat By a Joggler at a Half Marathon Was Bad…

May 30

My boyfriend’s dad Jim (whom I guess is basically my father-in-law at this point seeing as how Jason and I have been dating longer than most marriages seem to last nowadays) is an amusing fellow. He has always been a fan of cycling and is a pretty strong cyclist, but over the last several years he’s gotten interested in triathlon too as Jas and I have raced more and more. Jim logs a bunch of time in the pool swimming and will often hit up back to back spin classes at the athletic club or ride with us, yet due to bad knees and ankles, he can’t really muster up a decent run, which is why despite our encouragement, he’ll likely never bite the bullet and sign up to do a triathlon. Despite his aches and pains, two years ago Jim wanted to try and get back into running so he signed up for the Seattle half marathon. His ankles acted up during the race and slowed him down considerably, and he hobble-jogged across the finish line at a painful lean. When we congratulated him on his accomplishment, he bemoaned the fact that not only did he not have a good run, he got beat by someone who brought special levels of humiliation: Jim: “I got passed by a guy juggling!” Jason: “What? You got beat by a joggler?” Jim: “Yeah! And he wasn’t even a good juggler! He kept dropping everything!” Well Jim, if you thought getting beat by a joggler was bad, imagine how demoralizing it would be to get beat by this guy at a sprint triathlon: Completing A Triathlon While Juggling – Watch More Funny Videos Yes, this dude completed a sprint triathlon while juggling the whole way, from the swim (a pretty impressive back-float method) to a one-handed juggle on the bike to a joggle all the way to the finish. I’m pretty sure if Jim signed up for a sprint triathlon and got beat by a juggling triathlete, he would just give up on life...

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Boston Deferrals Need to HTFU

Apr 20

Look, I get that it was unseasonably warm on Monday and that it made for hotter than usual Boston Marathon race conditions, but deciding not to race or deferring to next year because you didn’t like the temperature is just laughable. If you’re elite or athletic enough to be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon, you can deal with a hot race. There are thousands of runners who would have killed to race on Monday, regardless of the conditions, and you’re telling me that you’re too big a diva to run when it gets to the mid-80s? Gimme a break. A higher than usual percentage of racers (3,863) didn’t even bother showing up to pick up their numbers this year. Obviously a portion of the no-shows could be folks who had injuries (as was the case of a friend of mine who tore her hamstring and was unable to race) or had a situation pop up where they couldn’t race (a family emergency, work conflict, etc), but the rate was higher than in previous years. Of the 22,426 runners who did show up to pick up their numbers, 427 deferred, which is even worse than not bothering to show up in the first place. You travel all the way to Boston, pick up your number, and then decide that you’re going to chump out and run next year in the hopes that temperatures will be more to your satisfaction? Ridiculous. Yes, I know it was hot. I know it was uncomfortable. I know that overall times were slower than previous years and that more people were treated for heat-related ailments (cramping, exhaustion, overheating). But that’s the nature of racing. You sign up for a race not knowing what’s going to come your way. You can do the training and prepare for it as best you can, but there are certain factors you can’t control on race day that you just have to deal with. Do you think the 2011 Ironman Canada athletes wanted to race in upper-90 degree heat all day? Obviously not, but they showed up at the start line and powered their way through like champs, and they raced 140.6 miles in adverse conditions, not just...

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To M-Dot or Not to M-Dot

Feb 06

Recently some professional triathlete was all proud of himself for coming up with an arbitrary “do’s and don’ts of triathlon.” He started his post by exclaiming that some athletes will “probably be offended at some point” while reading his list, as if he were making a racist rant about Obama or opining that men should decide whether women should have abortions instead of making the controversial claim that triathletes should use chamois cream before their rides. I didn’t take offense to his list so much as rolled my eyes to it, as if you’re not a “serious” or “hardcore” athlete if you commit any of these cardinal sins. According to him, nobody in the history of ever should do their swim workout while wearing a watch, even if they need to record splits that would be much easier to track via the lap button than trying to memorize them all from the wall clock. Got it. You should also listen to this guy when it comes to fueling, because it’s better to forgo extra fuel on the bike and a fuel belt during your runs so you don’t look like a fool, amirite? Because everyone laughs at you if they see you carrying some bottles and a few gels. They all point and cackle, “Look at this dumb-ass, carrying a couple unnecessary extra pounds! Revoke his USAT card right now!” Also, despite the fact that I have never seen anyone ever eat a gel outside of training or races, thanks for pointing out that one should never consume them as a snack or meal. I’m sure that happens all the time. I suppose the only truly “controversial” point this guy brought up was the M-dot tattoo. You all know it well–it’s the Ironman logo that some athletes get tattooed on their bodies after completing their first Ironman. His argument was “do fat people get the McDonald’s Arches tattooed on their bellies because they love a quarter pounder with cheese?”, which is a straw man argument. It’s not like some guy ran out and got the M-dot tattoo because he liked the Timex Ironman brand watches; typically the mindset is that the tattoo is “earned” after months of training and upon...

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You Can’t Cut Corners, Biggest Loser

Apr 27

I enjoy watching/making fun of/rooting for the chubby contestants from The Biggest Loser, but this show really knows how to piss off an athlete. In last night’s episode, previous contestant Tara (the girl with the weirdly spaced teeth who won more challenges than any other contestant in show history) returned to tow a car alongside the current season’s cast of shrinking folks. She mentioned a new charity she set up and then dropped the bomb that she would be competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona this fall. I’m all for these folks feeling empowered and strong and getting into good shape, but fast-tracking Biggest Loser contestants into elite races is ridiculous. Just because they’re a quasi-celebrity doesn’t mean they should be able to bypass the stringent qualification requirements or shouldn’t have to throw their name into the lottery and hope, like thousands of other athletes do every year, that they get chosen. To me, letting a Biggest Loser contestant do Kona or “run” the Boston Marathon is a slap in the face to the hard working athletes who bust their butts to train and qualify for these races. I know the argument is that they’re inspiring people to get off the couch and get in shape, but the same point can be made by having them sign up for a regular Ironman event or marathon. The majority of these alumni can’t qualify for Boston or Kona. Hell, most fit people can’t qualify, yet NBC is telling us that all we have to do is become morbidly obese, get on a TV show and let a couple of melodramatic trainers scream at us while we struggle to do box jumps and lose weight, and then we can move to the front of the Kona or Boston line? Screw the 3:10 qualifying marathon time — all my boyfriend has to do to race Boston is gain 100 lbs and he’ll be invited to power walk it in a Biggest Loser t-shirt while tens of thousands of hard working, serious athletes run by him. The triathlons are even worse. The Biggest Loser recently invited some alumni back to do an Olympic distance triathlon and awarded the winning male and female...

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