Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

The Triathlete Rules

The triathlete rules – in no particular order…

1. If you swim outside in the winter, you always have to emphasize things in this order: 1) the feels like temp, 2) pace/distance, and less importantly 3) how heated the pool is.


2. Everyone eats junk food on the bike.  I don’t care if everything else you put in your mouth is organic free range natural fair trade pristine food.  During a multi-hour bike ride, you will house a coke, a slurpee, oreos, doritos, pb pretzels, or cupcakes, and they will be the best damn things you’ve ever tasted.

3. The dizziness at the end of the race isn’t the beginnings of heatstroke, it’s explosions of how awesome you are.  But your awesome probably needs an ice bath.

4. Post long run/race, it goes water, coconut water or gatorade, chips + beer, then real food.  Don’t fuck with the program.

5. Garmins are stopped while in the bathroom, waiting to cross the street, waiting for a train, bending down to tie a shoe, adjusting goggles, or anything else that stops your forward progress.  For accuracy of pace, of course.

6. The way to get into an outdoor pool in the winter is the patented roll and push.  Sit on the edge, tuck and roll into the water, push off the side, and start swimming.  Saves that awful non-moving getting into the water time where you’re freezing your ass off.


7.  Beer is a recovery drink.  It’s not the only recovery drink, but it is A recovery drink.  To suggest otherwise would be sacrilege.

8.  Medals are to be worn the rest of the day of the race no matter the location.  Particularly long/challenging/triumphant finish race medals can come out when drinking for the next month or so, but not out of the house.  When really drunk, it’s appropriate to wear all the medals from the last year, but also not out of the house.


9. Race tees are to be only tried on before the race, you can’t actually wear them until you cross the finish line.

10. Anyone who smirks at you in your tri gear/cycle kit/running gear is just jealous.

11. Bodily functions are a totally valid and appropriate subject matter.  Also, having as many near misses as a potty training toddler is, if not a subject of pride, at least a perfectly normal and natural subject.

12. Do not question our need for a fourth or fifth meal, a snack the size of a meal, or ordering two entrees at dinner.  It’s called peak training weeks, and no one else’s metabolism (save a teenage boy) cannot comprehend how large the pit in our stomachs (or our calorie deficit) is right now.


13. Also, the answer to post long workout food is almost always Mexican because chips and salsa before the meal.  Don’t judge us for the amount of salt we’re pouring on them.  If not Mexican, the answer to “do you want any appetizers” is YES.  Do not dick around with a hangry triathlete and meal plans.  There is no waiting for an hour for whatever. We may literally bite your head off (or at least steal your bag and root around in it for anything edible).

14. I earned the right to be lazy by being very unlazy earlier and running, biking, swimming and/or lifting heavy things in some combination.  So that’s why my house looks like this or I can’t go to your thing that starts at 9 at night far away from my couch.

15. Sunrise is wakey time and sunset is sleepy time in the summer.  Winter… well, let’s just say they make headlamps and treadmills and trainers for a reason.


16. Running on Thanksgiving is mandatory, race or not.  Also, if you have a bike or swim or day off planned on National Running Day, you run at least a mile anyway, because, holiday.

17. It’s always called a brick in training, even if it takes you 20 minutes of futzing to put up the bike and pee and change and drink gatorade before you start running.

18. The day you leave your flip flops in transition instead of by the swim exit is when you graduate from tri newbie to triathlete.

19. The day you leave your bike shoes on the bike and do a flying mount/dismount is when you graduate from triathlete to veteran triathlete.  (I hope to be a veteran triathlete someday…)

20. Do not be rude to the volunteers, even if they’re clueless about things.  They’ve been told their specific job and MAYBE some general tips.  They are not paid, they’re not getting anything out of this besides maybe a tee shirt and some breakfast tacos.  They are moms, husbands, children, friends, injured athletes, or nice people that just want to come out and make your race happen.  Smile and say thank you whenever you can (even if your face is twisted in pain and it sounds mostly like “ak ouuu”).


21.  If you are wearing a garmin, thou shall not quit unless the last digit is a 0 or a 5.  5.62 mile runs are bullshit and you must at LEAST get to 5.65 if you can’t be arsed to get to 5.7 or (better yet) 6.0.  That being said, if there are two or more garmins present, you always calibrate to faster pace (see above’s 20 mile run).

22. If I cannot see the finish line, I am not almost there.  Stop your fucking lying.

23. Be honest with your estimates during a self seeded swim start.  I should not be swimming over people who started 5 minutes before me. (Same with corrals and running races – if you’re walking in the first mile, you probably shouldn’t be in the 9-10 minute mile pace group)

24. There is no porta potty guilt.  Everyone waits in line so everyone can take as long as they need to do what they have to do.  If I have to take 5 minutes to poop, it’s only so I don’t come back and clog up the line again.  Also, see rule 11.

25. If you pass someone on a bike, say on your left.  If you pass them a few times, say something funny because they are now officially your bike buddy until a) you drop them or b) they drop you.  Also, if you pass someone, don’t be a dick and immediately slow down.

2014-09-27 16.24.12

26. Any other swim stroke besides freestyle is bullshit.  And that is not because we can’t swim any of the rest of them.

27. Swim caps are hot.  Swim caps should either be a) from races or b) funny.  Buying a plain one is incomprehensible.  If you are out of swim caps, it’s obvious you need to sign up for a race, stat!

28. It’s totally more about the engine than the bike… until you have the cash for an upgrade, and then it’s so totally about the bike.

29. Wearing a race tee shirt is an automatic invitation for strangers to talk to you about that race.


30. Yes, I need all these 100 various different things in my transition bag to be a triathlete.  Shut up and don’t discuss it further.

31.  You’re not dieting, or trying to fit into your skinny jeans in January.  You’re trying to improve your power to weight ratio.

32.  Food and booze on race day has no calories.

33.  Open water swimming is preferable to pool swimming, unless there are lake monsters (aka, lots of nature).

34. If you run, bike, and swim, you’re staying fit or in training.  After you complete your first triathlon, you are a triathlete.  You’re in the club.  Doesn’t matter how slow or fast or short or long it was.  However, we may poke fun at you if it was indoor or had a pool swim and tell you to try a REAL one.  And we may heckle you if it’s been more than a year because we don’t understand how someone could go that long without a hit off the good stuff (racing).

What’s your rule?


Bite Size January Goals


I’m not that kind of person.


  1. I always tell new triathletes with my group not to buy a swim cap, because we give them their first one when they sign up, and after they start doing races, swim caps rain down like manna from heaven.

    • Quix

      Like manna from heaven. That’s just about right. I usually stick to the one that a) goes with my suit and b) was from a race I did well at. 🙂

  2. I say we make the SMIRKING a life rule!!!

  3. The explosion of awesomeness that is YOU? Yep. I already knew that.

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