Friday, August 2, 2013

What I learned from two Pros

I had an amazing opportunity to room with two pro athletes when I tagged along to attend the inaugural Rev3 Williamsburg half-ironman event. I was originally planning to compete in the race but my stiff knee derailed my plans. I have not been to Williamsburg since I was a kid, more specifically Kings Dominion, but with my mom planning to go it was just a no brainer to make the trip.   Local pro-triathlete, James Haycraft, offered to give me a ride if I would act has his groupie for the weekend. I was hesitant until Matt Wisthoff, another pro-triathlete from Wilmington, NC, agreed to join us. Two super fit handsome fellas stuck with me for a weekend? Come on, did I really have a choice?

Luckily for me, I not only got to up my DQ by hanging out with these guys but I also learned a thing or two: 

Relaxation without taxation
Racing is stressful enough. These guys showed me there is absolutely no point in stressing out about stuff you cannot control. We made it to Williamsburg, VA in pretty good time and Matt arrived within 15 minutes. After grabbing a bite to eat these guys had their feet up for a relaxing evening. The next day they were rocking compression socks and hydrating. Wisty even broke out the Normatec Boots to take advantage of their "Sequential Pulse Technology" pre-race. They were not stressing out about the pending rain or the water temps or wind direction or whatever people seem to direct their anxieties. 

Long hair is so Pro
Matt pretty much has this one in the bag. He has both the length and the flow . . . 

James? Well he is still working on it . . .

Be adaptable to change
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for race day. You can make lists, visualize race strategy, and  pack enough stuff to cover Plans A, B, and C but very few races are perfect.  You will inevitably forget, drop, or lose something. At least one of the swim, bike or run courses will be a little long. You might even take a turn prematurely and try to ride your bike the wrong way on a one way road. It happens. Move on and blog about it later

One person's butt is another person's billboard

Digits please

Skinny is Fast
Taking up less space takes less work, for the most part. Ok, not really but kinda. While lots of things can make you look pro, nothing is more pro than a lean physique and a shoulder to waist ratio that rivals even the best swimmers' in the world. Oh yeah and ladies, I have a warning for you: skinny dudes make you feel fat . .  . even when you aren't. 

Shaving isn't aero, it is art
One of the more vibrant topics of discussion concerned shaving. Shaving is not something a pro takes lightly, it requires diligence, discipline, and dedication.  

NOT pro
Always be prepared to chat with your fans
When you are on the cover of Endurance Magazine standing alone with rippling muscles and long flowing golden locks, for example, people tend to recognize you when you are doing something mundane like eating frosted flakes in the hotel lobby. You must be prepared to humbly answer their questions concerning your background, favorite color, upcoming races, shoe size, nutrition plan, relationship status, opinion on the aero vs weight debate, etc.

Oh haaaaay, you are on the cover of a magazine. No big deal

Snorting is unacceptable 
It is only acceptable to snort when laughing uncontrollably. It is not acceptable to snort loudly when you are very innocently falling asleep during the movie. 

Have a big trunk
You need somewhere to put your bike. James creeps in a Mazda Man-Van while Wisthoff cranks up the volume on his mixed tapes in an old school Outback. Bikes stay dry should it rain and no one knows the contents of your vehicle are worth more than the vehicle itself. Which brings me to the next point . . . 

Equipment selection is paramount

Long shorts are superior to short shorts
There should be less than an inch from the hem of the shorts to the top of the compression socks. As far as female pros go, however, the shorter the better. There should be at least 2.5 feet of space between the shorts and top of the socks. 

Long shorts must reach the knee or lower
Your triathlon caddy should be as awesome as you are 
 . . . (and takes selfies with your stuff to prove it)

These sunglasses are just SO pro.

I just took the man-van through Confusion
Corner and celebrated with this selfie