Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not a Cool Kid

It’s become very clear to me I will never be one of those cool athletes. You know the kind: they look all sleek and natural and like they were born to wear compression shorts and to cross finish lines, breaking the tape and throwing their arms in the air. They cruise along on their aero bars with their crazy-ass helmets that have tails and don’t miss a beat when they take a drink or eat a gel. Their sculpted muscles fit perfectly into their racing clothing and they always have on a game face. A look of pure determination and athleticism.

Chrissie Wellington

I don’t have it in me. I’m am just not that cool.

For example, today at my cycling group I was informed that triathletes don’t usually keep reflectors on their bike wheels. DOH! As I was being told this, someone else pointed out that I still had the price tag sticker on one of my spokes. DOH!


Bike lock combo = FART. I bet the pros don’t have a secret code like that.

Despite the dorkiness factor, I am one of those people that is so uncool that they are almost cool. We all knew those types in high school. The nerd who one day became popular because they could laugh at themselves and everyone started to think they were pretty funny. That was kind of me. I was never totally a nerd, but I was always the class clown kid. I knew I would never be noticed for my looks or boobs. My brains were okay, but nothing exceptional. So I played up the humor.

Once in 7th grade, I wore overalls which I guess invited torture and I was hung on the monkey bars, so high that I couldn’t get down by myself. I just hung there for a bit. But, I thought it was pretty funny, and some cute guy came and rescued me so it all worked out okay. Damsel in distress and all that.

Anyway, I digress.

Last night was my first open water swim ever. I got in a mile before it started lightening, so we had to get out.


I grew up in Maryland and Greece going to the beach, but it’s not like I would get in the ocean and swim 2,000 yards before breakfast. Too busy watching “I Dream of Jeannie.” (I used to love it when Jeannie would get in her bottle and you got to see the inside with all of its fluffy pillows and pink drapey curtains. I used to try to make my forts look like that).

I loved the open water. There is something so natural about being in “real” water versus pool water. The only thing, is I really wish there was a line on the bottom of the reservoir so I could see where the hell I was going. I got of course quite a bit. Guess I need to learn some sort of spotting technique. Any ideas?

If I ever start to feel down on myself because I am uncool, I can just gaze at this makeover Emma did of me on her iPod. Clearly I am meant to have a beehive.


Or, I could just get all excited that they are writing “suar” on the roads during the Tour de France to honor me:



Which do you like better, pool or open water? I’m new in the open water, but I think I like that more.

What’s your favorite older show? I love “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Love Boat”

What’s the most uncool athlete thing you’ve ever done? My list is too long. Wetsuit worn inside out, crapping my pants, reflectors on bike to name a few.


PS: Just tried Honey Stinger Waffles. Those things are the shit. My new favorite fueling. 160 cals, 21 g carbs. I ordered them from Use coupon code “rwjuly” to get an extra 10% off.


  1. Well crap...I just did a triathlon with my reflectors on. But I never know, the sun might gown down and I'll STILL be on the course so I leave them on! I also have a heck of a time swimming straight in open water. It's easier on race day because you can follow the people near you....unless you are so far behind there isn't anyone else in the water...but maybe that's just me. :)

  2. Aren't honeystinger waffles just the best thing ever. God's gift to triathletes I believe.

    Cool kids do 70.3 miles in one day with whatever they need. Reflectors, farts, pukies....who cares since it is just about getting over the finish line.

    Love the hairdo.

    As for spotting. When you get to the race event find the few things along the course that you can look at as you swim and that will help you. Also, look up to spot buoys every X# of strokes. I look for the buoy every 10 strokes (TWSS)

  3. This post had me rolling. Mostly because that's how I feel ALL the time. I'm so awkward when it comes to running and always feel like a fish out of water.

  4. I am so not a cool kid!!!

    Better check for a price sticker when I get home.... eek.

    Awesome on the OWS! I am new to both pool and lake swimming, but I *think* I like the open water better!

  5. First of all, it's unfair man or women to be compaired to Chrissy. She is a freak of nature. Which by the way doesn't has has never wore a helmet with a tail.
    2nd - Lol on the price tag. As for your reflectors, maybe you like them. PPFFT, i WOULDN'T RUN THEM, BUT I'm already too cool so whatever.

    Lastly, I dream of jeanie !! THAT EVE WAS SMOKING HOT ! Top 3 in my eyes.

  6. So glad you posted something to do with swimming. I need advice from your followers. Got my first wetsuit in the mail yesterday and I think it fits. Torso is fine, neck feels tight but its high so I think its fine, its sleeveless so no issues with shoulders. My question is - is it ok for your legs to feel like compression sausages?? I legs are heavy -- read fat -- so while the waist and hips my fit I may be out of luck on the thigh area. So do these things really loosen up in the water?

    PS - I still have my reflectors on and they are staying that way!!

  7. I forgot to sign the above.


  8. I loved I Dream of Jeannie so much that I was her for Halloween in kindergarten. My mom was pretty checked out and actually made me a perfect costume out of negligees. Way too sexy for a 5-yr old :P I had a hard time in high school. No good looks, too embarrassed by the awesome boobs to play them up, too damn brainy, and just flat out obnoxious. Going to my reunion this weekend…yikes! I, too, will never have that natural coolness…but I think you DO have it :)
    The Love Boat…omg…did you ever play that drinking game? Frightening…
    The most uncool athlete thing I have ever done? Too many of equal uncoolness to list, but my most memorable was whipping my shirt off (having forgotten that I had already removed my sportsbra and rolled down my unisuit top) in front of a grandstand full of people after a rowing race. I blame it on the heat.

  9. LOVE Honey Stinger Waffles, they were giving some samples out at REI about 6 months ago and I was hooked. Probably should stop eating them for dinner....

    I've only OWS a few times and not for training for anything specific, so I'm gonna have to go with the pool. How do you get your goggles not to fog? Tara and I have the worst fogging problem.

    I had my bike in the bike shop after the broken derailleur incident and the guy told me that real cyclist use reflector so I said, "Take those bad boys off, I'm a real cyclist!" I'm certain he looked at me and though, yeah right!

  10. Jessica h - the one I've been borrowing feels that way. sausages all the way. when i get my new one today i'll let you know if it fits that way too.

  11. I walked into my clinic on Tuesday, put my handheld bottle on my lap and then realized the car's cup holder was stuck to the bottom. Note to self: take out bottle, then open glove box.

  12. alright, I can't argue this post, you are a dork.

    I prefer the pool. Why? Because I don't have to think, I don't have to dodge jackass teenagers on jetskis that are riding 4ft from me.

    I have reflectors on my bike still. I ride at night a lot so I would rather be "Uncool" and alive than "Cool" and dead... just saying ;)

    I will however take them off for my 140.6 this fall though. Need to get rid of as much wind resistance as possible ;)

    Most embarassing thing done? Honestly don't know. I don't get embarassed easily, I did get my fingers stuck in the bowling ball while dating my wife and ended up half way down the lane on my stomach with ball still attached... does that count?

  13. Love the beehive, hysterical, made my morning!! I'll all about not being cool, I had a spraypainted bike with no 2 components matching for years and you know what? I miss that bike. I would show up to a tri and people looked at me not in a mean way but in a way like should I loan the poor girl mine? I DO think I took the reflectors off tho..... ha ha!!

    OPEN water, I can barely stand a pool, I am convinced the clocks in a pool don't move- TIME STANDS STILL put me in nature, I am in heaven!

  14. You are so effing funny.

    Seriously laughed out loud at your bike lock combo being FART.

  15. LOVE the TDF road paint! You'll need to meet Jens to thank him for that.

    Oh and I'm going to tag you for "You Ask I Answer" so that I can beat XLMIC!

  16. You had me really cracking up on this one! I'm torn between two equally embarrassing instance:

    1. I did a triathlon once with a wetsuit that had a hole right in the ass of it. Didn't even know it was there. Awesome.

    2. During my first tri, I was TERRIBLE at swimming straight, and I ended up swimming way of course, right out towards the center of the res. One of the kayakers had to paddle out and get my attention to let me know that I was actually swimming to China instead of back to shore. My learned tip on that one? Just make sure you breathe equally on both sides while swimming. It keeps you balanced so that you don't start to drift to the right or left. And just look up and spot every 5 or 6 strokes so that you don't swim to China.

    And for the record, I STILL have my reflectors on my bike and I've done at least 10 triathlons :)

  17. Neither show...For some reason most TV programs from the 70's and 80's creep me out a bit! As for my most uncool athletic moment, I think that was last year at a really tough trail run. I knew that a.m. that I was coming down with something but thought I could power through it. Fortunately the urge to throw up held off to the very end, but I literally ran through the finish line, past the chip removal person and straight into the porta-john, where I spend several very undignified minutes losing the contents of my stomach. Not cool.

  18. Ooohhh my goodness. I'm so not athletic. Where to even start? Signed up for a triathlon without owning a bike. Got one, set out down my street and promptly crashed into the neighbour's fence. Crashed again on my next ride to avoid going into the lake. Decided a wetsuit was a waste of money for my first tri so i ended up with hypothermia and curled up in a ball after being dragged through the water by a lifeguard. Got a nice expensive trip to the ER out of it. Turns out a wetsuit is is significantly cheaper. Oh, I had to downgrade to a hybrid bike this year so i could control it rather than the other way around. I tried to do the breast stroke in my wetsuit with neoprene booties feet were doing fun little circles above the water. Yeah, I'm cool like that.

    My fave old show: I used to watch Three's Company every single day after school. Knight Rider was a good cheesy show too...I love 70s and 80s tv :D

  19. I cannot stop laughing! I was told the VERY SAME THING.

    Sorry for yelling. I am not willing to take off my reflectors to be cool. What if my reflectors end up saving my life?

    Hopefully, Lexa doesn't hate me for this.

  20. Too funny about the reflectors. In Boulder, I can only imagine how hard it is to keep up with the Jones.

    Congrats on the OWS. I prefer it over a pool any day. When we go to the Adirondacks, we stay on the most beautiful lake and I swim my brains out. coming back to a pool after is always torture!

  21. If you are "uncool" than I must really be a nerd cause you are way cooler than me.
    I'm not sure which I like better. The only open water I have swam in was the TN river and it is so filthy you can't even see your hand in front of your face...blech!
    Loved watching Bewitched and old I Love Lucy reruns!

  22. Ha ha! I hope you don't have a mountain bike helmet with a visor on it.....I FINALLY broke down and removed my visor from it just because I was sick of whacking it on the car door frame, not due to the dorkiness factor. My husband (scary road cyclist dude) was so annoyed by it though he did buy me an aero helmet. Thankfully, he removed all my reflectors and stickers from my bike for me because he knows better.

    Open water swimming terrifies me less than swimming in the pool. I had a couple moments today in the pool since my middle lane was occupied and I had to swim near the edge. So scary, I know, but it bothers me. I am not a swimmer at all. I have only had 2 tris out of my 9 so far where I have actually done a legitimate stroke with no just floating on my back barely making forward progress in them. It is way easier that way, amazingly, instead of wasting all this energy flailing around not swimming.

  23. I Love Lucy, She-Ra, and Unsolved Mysteries.

    I like to look back at my pee wee softball days. Me, with my "jersey" in one of those bedazzled t-shirt ties and plain old Keds tennis shoes. Awe, those were the days of picking daisies in the outfield.

  24. I'm such a dork that I had to google "why do triathletes take the reflectors off of their bike tires." And to further solidify my dorkness, I'm still not sure why.

  25. Great job on the OWS!!!!

    Not a cool kid here either and I just noticed my bike had a refelector the other day when I was changing the tire, I was going to take it off but the kind of day I was having thought I would probably break a spoke..must remember to do that... :)

  26. I am in love with your makeover by Emma ... it reminds me of the one your son did with the wrinkles across your forehead.

    Much prefer a pool. No sea life, no waves.

    Uncool? Um, everything. Recently wore my shirt inside out and blasted out five miles on the TM that way.

    Where did you grow up in MD? We're north of Annapolis.

  27. I have so far to go before I can work my way up to dork status in athletics, but I'm trying! I loved watching reruns of I Dream of Jeannie and The Patridge Family. Hilarious post, as always! :)

  28. I am not/was not a "cool" anything - athlete, mom, teenager, kid, chemist. Oh, wait. As far as chemists go, I WAS the cool one in the group but that's really not saying much...

    And I'm probably lucky that I don't still have training wheels on MY bike. Just sayin'. You're much cooler than I am!

  29. I must agree that refectors stay on for just in case purposes, but having not yet done a tri can't say it matters.

    Fave show was Love Boat!!

    Dorkiest sports moment: My freshman year of high school I threw the shot put. (You can see where this is going, right.) I had a locker that was up high and forgot that I had put the shot put on top of my things and of course pulled out a jacket and the shot put came out too, right on top of my big was a big mess...20 plus years later and I'm not any cooler than I was then.

  30. My only OWS experience was during a race, so I can't really compare it to a practice swim in the pool. But I could see myself preferring the open water if it wasn't full of asses and elbows.

    Uncool thing? No. No. Always cool. Always.

  31. Big Happy Fam:I grew up in Columbia, MD.

  32. I live in Southern California and I prefer the pool. The Pacific Ocean is very cold, pretty filthy, alive, powerful and trying to kill you. I stay outta there!

    My favorite older show: M*A*S*H. Hands down! I live near the park where they used to film it. It's a *great* run.

    My dorky athlete snafu: I bought what I thought was a cool runner's cap. Turned out to be a crossing guard's reflector cap.... which I still use on every run and every race.

  33. I like the pool better...
    I am not cool so this comment would be very long..
    most recent uncool thing ...last year for my second race a 5k in Carlsbad where they have a lot of elite runners, I wore BASKETBALL short...ok you can laugh...

    show: The Dukes of Hazard

  34. oh and CHIPs!!!!!

    me likey the Larry Wilcox THEN
    now not so much

  35. No lie I thought that pic of Chrissy was YOU! I was thinking DAMN what a badass bike that SUAR has!
    If one of those teardrop helmets wasn't $$$$ I think I'd wear one for halloween this year.
    Pool or OW? Pool. With a floatie.
    Heading out to the garage right now to see if I've got reflectors.

  36. Ooo what are these waffles please! I was totally going to write a similar post yay nerds!

  37. I just love the "do that Emma gave you. And I had a great thought! You could wear it like that for your triathlon. You'd get loads of attention and I'm pretty sure it'd make you more streamline on the swim and bike legs.

  38. Honey Stinger Waffles are the best!
    I loved The Partridge Family & Laugh In.
    I have too many sports blunders to mention.......

  39. The Husband got all worked up because he was reading/watching something online that dissed mountain bikers with reflectors on their bikes...needless to say he no longer has reflectors on his bike. He also read that mountain bikers don't need the visor on their helmets - but he is still rocking that, so not cool!

  40. I totally remember "I dream of Jeannie" and her room in the bottle..ha ha!!

    I just ordered a huge order of those waffles b/c they ROCK!!

    For spotting, when you go to take your normal breath as you're swimming, lift your head and look forward to see where you're going, then put your head in the water to breath out and finish the stroke. Does that make sense?? And, I usually spot every 5-6 strokes or so.

  41. I've been training in the open water too and I didn't think I would but I like it better. I just like the whole feel of it better. I found myself going alittle off too..its hard to stay straight.

    Love boat for me!

  42. just saw your ps...I just ordered them the other night on Amazon...have to check out the price where you got them. Glad they are good!

  43. I Dream of Jeannie was THE BEST. I was also in love with Bewitched. Apparently I wanted to be magic.

    And I was never and will never be cool. So at least we can all be part of our own little (or based on the comments big) club.

    And the beehive is AWESOME!

  44. When you do open water swim, did you stay where you could stand? I'm terrified of open water due to fear of drowning. At least at the pool if I get flustered I can just make my way to the edge!

    Also is it harder in salt water, or chlorinated water? I tend to swallow a lot and get it in my eyes (crap goggles)

    I am not very cool really, not just in athletic endeavors but life in general too. Today on the train I showed my bank card instead of my train pass. He did not accept it. When I am eating I often find i've finished and never even unfolded my napkin. Stuff like that. Sometimes I get annoyed that I'm not a "cool" person, but whatever. I am cool in my own way :D

  45. During my first 15K this April, I refused to slow down through the water stops, (which I'd never taken advantage of before) and ended up soaking the poor girl trying to hand the cup to me. As I'm running away screaming, "I'm SOOOOO sorry!!!" I try to get down the last couple teaspoons left in the cup, and because I'm still running, I practically choked myself to death on it. I couldn't figure out if I was a bigger NERD or DORK. I'm so glad there were lots of hot guys around me at the time to see the whole spectacle. Bonus!!

  46. I dont like to swim, so neither? I mean, if a shark was chasing me I could swim away, but, I choose not to swim"for fun"....because it's not fun.

  47. Like the pool better than open water. Something about putting my face in the water and being dark. I have done open water events completely breast stroke. t least I can see where I am going.

    I've run the wrong way out of transition and have forgot my bib and had to go back and get it. I'm sure that doesn't happen to the elite.