Triathlete Woe #1: Stop Bugging Me

It’s been a while since I’ve posted (traveling and work has keep me occupied), but I thought I’d finally introduce a new series I’ve been wanting to blog about for a while now. I’ve tentatively dubbed it “It Ain’t Easy Being a Triathlete,” but for brevity’s sake I’ll just call them “Triathlete Woes.” For my very first woe I thought I’d talk about something that, well, bugs me about training: the bugs.

I’ve run through countless gnat clouds and have had to pick teeny bug carcasses off my sweaty face. Trust me, few people can pull off the “bug beard” look, and I am not one of them. I’ve also eaten/inhaled many a bug while running and biking, causing me to choke and sputter as the creature unsuccessfully attempts to escape out of my stomach and lungs. I think the absolute worst, though, is when you’re biking over 20 mph and a frickin’ bug bounces right off your face. You hear that “THWACK” noise and feel a heavy sting as a blurry black object ricochets off your cheek, and you immediately think “Ewwww.”


So true. (Diagram courtesy of Indexed)

Last year I did a 50 mile ride in Yakima, and I was riding along a long, open stretch of highway when I felt something bounce off my inner thigh. I didn’t think anything of it until about ten seconds later when I felt a sharp, searing pain on the inside of my leg. I stopped and hopped off my bike to inspect what the hell had happened. It turned out that a freakin’ bee flew towards my leg ass-first and stung me. I had a sting mark on my inner thigh for the entire summer.

This year I went back and did the same Yakima ride, only I rode about 62 miles. As I started, I jokingly thought to myself “I better not get stung by a bee this time around.” No sooner did I think that when I felt a series of stinging, sharp pains under my boob. I panicked and smooshed/itched at the area until the sensation subsided. Eventually I forgot about it until later that day when I was stripping down to take a shower and discovered smashed bug carcasses stuck to my chest. Those little effers had flown down my shirt, got trapped in my sports bra, and decided to bite me over and over again until I crushed them against my bony bosom. What the hell?!

So yeah, triathletes are like little bug magnets. Every triathlete I know has had some sort of bug encounter (most recently, Jason forgot his pair of sunglasses for a ride and had a bug bounce directly off his eyeball). I know that protein’s good for athletes, but I’m getting tired of sucking face with gnats. I mean, the least they could do is buy me a drink first…

3 Responses to “ “Triathlete Woe #1: Stop Bugging Me”

  1. Sebastian says:

    Haha, sounds so familiar.

    This year, I was doing my first open water training of the season. It was a beautiful day: the sun was shining, the temperature was around 24 degrees (Celcius that is!), my brand new wetsuit fitted perfectly, in other words: I was totally motivated when I entered the water. On top of that the water temperature was very comfortable, so I swam 1 km up and 1 km back, without any problems, in a very reasonable time too for my doing: everything was going extremely well … I got out of the water and was just taking off my wetsuit and telling my training partner how much I enjoyed it, when some kind of monster fly or bee or whatever it was came flying towards me with what seemed only one intention: stinging me, as hard as it could to cause me trouble for as long as it could.

    At first it was not too bad, it hurt only for a short while, so I forgot about it. But as the evening approached my biceps had grown too Arnold Schwarzenegger-size and were itching like hell. I couldn’t sleep all night because of it. The second night was somewhat better, but still a torture. Only 4 till 5 days later my arm was back to its normal size (Sylvester Stallone-size that is ;), but the itching lasted, although much less, for another week!

    How one stupid bug can cause so much trouble …
    or how triathletes all over the world are all having the same kind of problems.

    Greetings from Belgium!

  2. Triathlete-Wannabe... says:

    Ok, serious worse bug story I’ve heard? (No pun intended) A friend of mine had a moth fly INTO HER EAR AND GET STUCK IN THERE! Oh yeah, it flew in, couldn’t figure out how to get out and was flapping around IN HER EAR! I don’t even know how she did not go crazy, I would have freaked out! It was flapping, and clawing, and making her ear bleed. She had to go to the doctor’s to get it out….

    Discuss, talk amongst yourselves.

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