Thursday, June 28, 2007

Advice on the Parts that are Private

Remember those paper dolls when we were kids? The ones that had vast wardrobes of regular day clothes and a perpetual supply of the coolest Halloween garb you'd ever seen? And all it took was a fold or two of the tabs and -- presto -- yet another outfit for yet another adventure.

Yeah, I hated them, too. Damned tags.

Anyway, I'm having a quandary about my clothing choices for my VERY FIRST EVER OH MY GOD AM I SCARED FOR THIS half ironman this weekend. Why can't I seem to dress myself?

Oh, maybe because I'm running on only a little sleep, because my taper has left me with a brutal case of insomnia that I can't shake without hours and HOURS of bad tv on at a whisper volume. And while I can't sleep and I'm often twitchy with coffee, at least I've seen every episode of LA Forensics.

(Goodness, I need some sleep.)

Aaaanyway. I digress.

Dress me. Right.

My quandary is this: I have two options for my clothing for Sunday's race and I can't come to a decision about which to do.

Option # 1: Super Easy, Potentially Painful

Tucked in the back of my closet is this little number. (And nope, that's not me in the picture. In fact, I don't even remotely look like that in it. Remember, guys...atheeeena. A-the-na.)

I usually only wear this for shorter races, mainly because that's the only kind of races I've ever done! But it's comfortable and when I wear it I completely forget about my clothing and focus on my racing.

The down side -- padding for the coocheroo. Woob, lady parts, my "area"... you get the picture. It's a tri suit. Hence, fabulous padding that dries before you get your wetsuit off, but has the protection of a maxi pad.

Option #2: Awkward, but Reliable

Now my second choice is doing a full cycling garb for the ride. My Team StayPut shorts are really great and have a sturdy gel pad (LOVE ME SOME GEL!) for my coocheroo. They dry well and are comfortable.

The team top, however, leaves a little to be desired. It's scratchy and tight in all the wrong places. It matches (a plus for my vain side), but I always am a little uncomfortable -- and a lot self conscious -- wearing it. It's a kit, so it can't be split.

And therein is my quandary.

Here's my estimation of the process...


The swim: Wear the race suit, with jog bra, under the wetsuit. Minimal complication.

T1: Easy strip of the wet suit, possibly put on arm warmers.

The bike: Minimal padding for 56 miles of racing. Fifty-six miles. Hmmm. Also, only one rear pocket. I don't think this will be a huge problem (I have a bento for my solids, and fluids are on the bike).

T2: Jersey girl fast and easy. That is, if I can still walk after the maxi pad ride.

The Run: Super comfortable. Plan calls for 3 gels on run (plus gatorate at rest stops), which can go in rear pocket. Picture perfect finish.

Prediction #2

The Swim: Full kit would be restrictive, so just wear cycling shorts and jog bra under wetsuit. Would be mildly uncomfortable, but my mind will likely be on trying not to drown.

T1: Pull on dry cycling top to complete outfit, possibly add arm warmers.

The Bike: Lots of cooter comfort, but scratchy and uncomfortable top. Three rear pockets for whatever.

T2: Trade tops for -- well, I don't know. A running top. Doing a half mary in my team top would be gross. Need to find a running top that has a pocket, or bring something to carry gels.

The Run: Shorts may feel unnecessarily padded, but let's get serious...I'll just be trying to finish at that point.


Of course, I'll bring it all. Isn't that what we do best? Over pack?

But, ladies -- I'd love to hear if you've ever done a 50+ ride in a tri suit or tri shorts. Was it horrible? Did you notice?

Inquiring minds want to know.


mishele k said...

I think a half iron is okay for tri shorts, but my setup must be different from yours because tri shorts bruise my hiney but keep my Special Parts happy, whereas cycling shorts save my ass but make my Parts sad.

One thing to consider: potty usage. Difficult/time-consuming in a one piece. On the other hand, the last thing you want to be worrying about is, well, anything but the race. Garment consciousness is no good. Besides, you can pee in the water if necessary.

I therefore vote #1.

JenC said...

I'm going to vote for the tri shorts. I've done all three of my half-IMs in them with no crotch pain (and like you, I do suffer). Something about race day adrenaline and the fact that you don't abuse your privates every weekend helps. Good luck this weekend and have fun!

GeekGirl said...

For half irons, I wore swim the "highly technical underwear" and then pulled on pulled on cycling shorts. Sweet Baboo wore his skin suit alone, but I think you have to do a lot of long rides to get accustomed to this. The underwear thing didn't work well for me. I think it bunched up and hurt me. I'm going to be trying the next two Olympics with just a skin suit and pulling on cycling shorts over it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheaper Than Therapy said...

I don't think I'd want to swim or run in those bike shorts. What is the transition situation? Is it just all out in the open? If you're not super concerned about taking a little extra time, you could do a towel change from a swim bottom to bike shorts to running shorts, and wear the sports bra, bike jersey, and something (or just the bra) for the run. Good luck!

LBTEPA said...

No idea - but wanted to wish you good luck and a fun race.
Have you got time to go shopping before then?
Re the insomnia - I was going to suggest watching a bit of Wimbledon (massively soporific) but then I realised it's on in the daytime there, doh

jbmmommy said...

First, good luck. Second, as someone that's never done more than a sprint I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer- any way you could just pull the bike shorts over the trisuit and then take them off before the run?

Flatman said...

Have a great race!!! I won't comment on the parts, since our oem equipment is different... :)

Josh said...

OPTION 1. Even though our "equipment" is different, I can say pretty strongly that you DO NOT want to try swimming or running in regular bike shorts. 13 miles with that big pad will not be comfy, AT ALL. At a race last weekend, a friend actually changed his shorts at each transition. That will be harder to do with the tri-suit, obviously. HAVE FUN!

TriTurtL said...

I so can't help, but I really hope you post afterthoughts... I'm about a month and a half behind you in both my first half IM and full IM (IMFL) and your blog has become one of my absolute favorites! Best of luck at your race! Please post pros/cons of your apparel choice post race so others can learn!

Mallie said...

I know it's too late to buy anything new...but I suggest you look into Shebeest shorts. The padding isn't hugely thing and it's well integrated into the shorts. I've worn them for an AR and they dry quickly, plus provide coochie comfort.

I'm doing a 64 miler on Saturday and an 82 miler on I'll think about you and hope your girlie parts are doing fine!

Siren said...

I concur with the commenters who advised against swimming in bike shorts. Tri shorts, sure, but not bike shorts. The padding is a different animal.

I have a tri suit that I find quite comfortable (the padding in mine is just right to keep the fancy parts happy, I guess it varies from brand to brand?) to swim/bike/run in, but porta-pottying in is a whole other situation. I had a rough time with potty stops just in a sprint, so I don't plan to do the one-piecer for long races.

My current standard is to wear tri shorts and sports bra on the swim, then pull on a tri jersey on for the rest.

Duane said...

Save the cooter! (#2)

tri-dogmom said...

I always train in tri-shorts. I actually get more pain and chafing when I wear thicker padding on bike shorts! I absolutely LOVE desoto tri shorts because they don't have leg grippers!!