Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things that Bother Me: The Triathlete Edition

We wear lycra in public. Normal conversations for us involve poop, puke and snot. We think it is awesome if you pee on your overpriced carbon bike.  Yep, us triathletes are a very unique group and with this uniqueness comes a few inherent bothersome traits.

Without further delay here is a small sample of Things that Bother Me:  The Triathlete Edition ...

- The Aero-Wienie Triathlete: This is the guy (yes, this is 99.9% dudes) that will spend thousands of dollars on "aero" advantages but will never even consider the possibility that dropping a few (or many) pounds will do so much more.  The next time someone tells me the exact time savings an aero helmet (about 8mins in case you were wondering) will save over 112mi course I will reply by asking how much of a time savings can be had by removing 20lbs of fat from his ass?

- The Gadgeteer Triathlete:  Us triathletes love us all the fads and gadgets! We must be an absolute wet dream to Marketing Directors. Jason bought the new Speedfil A2 Torpedo Mount Hydration system last week and I could not wait for his review.  I emailed him a ton of questions and ideas about the product and for his review.  Other endurance athlete do not seem to be as enamored with the new and shiny as triathletes. The Gadgeteer would choice a new device over actual training to improve performance!  Actually this doesn't really bother me, might have to change the title!

- The "I Am Spartacus" Triathlete:  You've all heard this joke: "When you walk into a room how do you know who is a Triathlete? They will tell you!"  Since it is true it is okay to laugh. This is mostly newer triathletes. They are sort of like six-month old puppies who are so proud to show you the pair of shoes he just chewed up. Cute but sometimes a touch overbearing!

- The "Just a Training Run" Triathlete:  This guy is my personal favorite! He is the person at a running race who needs to let us all know he is a triathlete (related to I Am Spartacus).  He will be recognizable by his sporting of head-to-toe lycra, rocking a hydration belt with four flasks, sipping on an energy gel, proudly displaying an M-Dot logo on all clothing - except his socks because he is not wearing them under his Vibram Five Fingers, and he loudly proclaims time and time again that this is just a training run for him because he still has to ride 40miles after the race. This is all done to prove to everyone that he is so much more hardcore than just runners.  Look for this guy at your next race, he might just be you.

- The I am so Vain I have a Blog Triathlete:  umm. ahh. cough. scratch. What is that ov-er there?

- The Zero Variance from Training Plan Triathlete:  This person is usually quite the rule follower of society and does not deal well with changes to their training plan. You have probably done a group ride or run with this person. It could be in the early spring when the sun is out for the first time following winter. Someone in the group suggests adding a little extra distance and everyone enthusiastically agrees except Mr Training Plan Follower. He explains that he has already reached the distance his coach told him to do and will do no more.  Now this same guy will call you all a bunch of pansies if you ever cut a ride shorter than his plan calls for.

- The Huge Bag of Gear at the Pool Triathlete:  Pull Buoy - check; Flippers - check; Paddles - check; Snorkle - check; GoPro Video Camera - check; Clear Goggles - check; Yellow Tinted Goggles - check; Dark Reflective Goggles - check; PB&J Sandwich for Refueling - check; Workout Typed and in ZipLock Bag - check; Hydration in Bottle - check; Gel Packets - check; TriSlide - check; Waterproof iPod Case - check; Getting Lapped by a Blue Hair in the Next Lane - check.  Did you forget anything?

- The Cannot Change a Flat Triathlete:  I've experienced this person many a times during races and training rides and the vast majority of the time this person is a chick!  C'mon ladies, admit it, you cannot change a flat. You just bat your eyes at the skinny, dork male triathlete and let his male ego take over. I am on to your little game.  And once all the other dudes read this they will have an epiphany and we will all band together and deny you our flat changing skills from this point forward. Okay, chicas, you've been warned - now watch this and take notes:

 The over/under is 5 for the number of ladies who will tell me in the comments they can change a flat. Smart money is on the under!

I am guilty of 4 out of 8 of these little indiscretions.  Can you guess which ones? Anything else bother you about Triathletes?

Thanks for Reading,


If you liked this Things that Bother Me here are some from the past:

Things that Bother Me:  The Gym Edition

Things that Bother Me ...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rev3 Cedar Point Half Rev Race Report

September 11, 2011

Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio
Jeffrey Irvin
AG Place - 17/73
Overall Place - 99/650(ish)

Last year when Annie and I were planning out our 2012 race season this was a date we had circled on the calendar because we were really looking forward to it.  It was a chance for us to spend sometime with my family who lives in the Pittsburgh area and also get to hang out with a bunch of cool blogger buddies at Cedar Point.

After flying into Pittsburgh on Thursday and hanging out with my parents we then  borrowed my mom's car (Thanks Mom) Friday morning and headed out on the 3.5hr drive to Sandusky.  One thing I realized instantly was that I did not miss either the Pennsylvania or Ohio Turnpikes. I spent the first 30 years of my life in this area and the exact same sections are still under construction.  How is that possible?

We arrived at Cedar Point, checked into the Hotel Breakers (which was 200yds from the swim start), and headed over to packet pick-up.  Rev3 made the usually disorganized act of packet pick-up extremely easy. This was huge.  A couple stops, a couple exchanged pleasantries with awesome volunteers, chatting with Kristin (who rocked her 1st IronDistance) and some cool swag and BOOM packet pick-up was done!

After mingling with some of my Trakkers Teammates it was off to meet Colleen and Tom for an evening of ROLLER COASTER RIDING!  Not only did we get to ride coasters but we got to do it at a discount and with NO LINES.  Rev3 got us $20 tickets and the park opened two hours early for us - yet another reason why the triathlon community is falling in love with Rev3!

This was exciting. Cedar Point has some kick ass coasters.  Some say the best in the world.  Tom and I were not scared.  We were not skittish.  We looked those big ass coasters square in their metal faces and we did not flinch.  

Bad Ass Coaster #1 that Tom and I conquered:  MILLENNIUM FORCE - we sat in the front seats and only screamed like little girls for maybe 30seconds.

Hold onto your computer:

Bad Ass Coaster #2 that Tom and I conquered:  TOP THRILL DRAGSTER - we sat in the front seats again on this 120mph monster and only screamed for 20 seconds this time.

Strap yourself down on the recliner:

The Top Thrill Dragster was freaking awesome. The entire ride lasted 20 seconds but you were going 120mph in like 2 seconds.  Your face was just pushed back by the pressure, best ride at Cedar Point!

Pics or it didn't happen - notice our death grips on the bars!

We continued to kick some coaster butt but the two above were the big boys of the day!  After slaying them biatches we headed over to the Tom and Colleen's place with some of Tom's Team Type 1 Teammates (great organization, check out the site).  Shortly after a few of the blogging buddies showed up and we finally got to meet MattyO and Heather.  They were going to be doing their first 140.6 and we were all very excited for them.  Then Mark and the nephew Nick showed up and we all spent a rather chill evening sipping some beers and sharing race stories.  It is so cool when you finally get to meet people for real after following their blogs for so long.  It is like you've known one another for years and this time was no exception. Good people.  Good times!

Saturday morning came, Annie went for a run, and I meet the fabulous Carole Sharpless and the rest of the Trakkers Crew at the practice swim to lather (always wanted to use that word in a post) fellow triathletes up with TriSlide.  After all the lathering was done it was time to get in a practice swim.

Due to tropical storm Lee, Lake Erie had some beautiful sludge wash ashore and as we waddled out through the knee deep gunk I couldn't help but sympathize with the crude-covered pelicans from the Alaskan Exxon Valdez spill.

Actual Pic of a Triathlete in Lake Erie
It sounds gross but in actuality it was extremely gross.  BUT we still had fun with it and once you got out 50 yards it was all clear.  At one point I was talking to Trakkers Teammate and IMTX pal, Rachelle.  After she declined having a sludge fight with me she asked what I thought the gunk was?  My straight-faced reply was, "Dead babies seals."  Good times I tell ya, GOOD TIMES!

Saturday night my family made the drive up to Sandusky to be my crew.  We all went out to a nice restaurant and had a great time just hanging out.  The plans were to meet up in the morning to watch me get out of the water and then they were going to take my niece, Ava (who is the sweetest little girl in the world), over to the amusement park.  They ended up slaying some coasters too!

A rare pic of Annie and I in jeans
Race Day

The Full Rev was scheduled to go off at 7:05 am and my wave in the Half Rev was set to start at a comfortable 8:45am.  I got up bright and early and went over to transition to set up the nutrition on the bike and get my area ready.  I ran into Mark who was getting ready to tackle his second 140.6 race and I must have been still a little groggy because I could have swore he was still wearing his pajama pants?

Maybe I wasn't so groggy?
I made my way over to the beach and found Matt and Heather and wished them good luck and assured Matt I would have his cold beer waiting for him at the finish line! When I got to the beach I realized Rev3 had setup 2996 flags in honor of the victims of 9/11.  This alone will make me race with Rev3 again and again.

First Class Rev3 - Job Well Done!
Okay onto the Race Report:

1.2mi - 40:23
AG Place - 33/73
OA Place - 181/650(ish)

The start was a running beach start and we had to try and slosh and dolphin dive through the Lake Erie sludge.  Once I got free the entire swim went pretty well.  The course was marked with ample buoys and I did swim a little off course but this was due to just some poor concentration on my part.  This was one of my slower 70.3 swims and I actually felt like I was moving at a 36-37min pace.  However, my swim fitness was quite crappy since I had not been swimming (makes sense, huh) so my perception could be off some.  But based on my overall and AG rankings it would be easy to make the assumption that the course might have been a touch long.

I got out of the water feeling great and made the jog up the beach to transition.


Should have been a little faster but I decided to stop and pee. Couldn't go for some reason during the swim?

56mi - 02:43:57
AG Place - 27/73
OA Place - 154/650(ish)

Check out that tight ride!

Big props to Rev3 for this bike course.  Apparently a construction project did not get completed in time for the race so they scrambled and made some last minute changes which went off without a hitch. I had never even glanced at the original bike map (I know, I know) so I was unaware of this until after the race. Ignorance is bliss!

The first 10mi of the course we worked our way through Sandusky and eventually made our way out to some relatively traffic free country roads. I was equipped with my normal nutrition of EFS Liquid Shots, EFS Drink on the downtube, and water in the aero bottle.  Total calories of about 900.  And I hit my nutrition as planned and it went off without a hitch.  First Endurance makes it way easy people - quit fighting me and get aboard this train!

Once we hit the country I absolutely loved the bike course. A few rollers, some flats, and one little steep bugger that surprises the heck out of you.  We hit a small town about midway through and a bunch of people were out cheering, it was pretty cool. I'd rate the road conditions from good to average.  A few miles of chip seal but nothing too bad.

The ride was pretty uneventful for me. Around 30mi in I looked down and realized I was averaging 21.5mph and even though I was feeling pretty good decided to ease back a little or my run was going to suffer.  I did and am glad my meat-headness did not intervene. I had maybe two hundred miles logged in the saddle over the last two months prior to race day so I was not expecting a good bike split so this was quite surprising, as I typed a few posts ago: Base Matters!

Back into transition and time to run.


Not bad considering I had to pee again. And it was a long one too. I really need to learn to pee on the bike.

13.1mi - 1:48:56
AG Place - 17/73
OA Place - 99/650(ish)

The run started out okay.  I could tell the quads were a little cooked and immediately knew I was going to have a problem soon.  As I was running out I saw Annie, Dad, and Colleen so I slowed down to say hi.  Colleen asked how I was doing and I yelled, "I cooked myself a little!".  Colleen yelled back in a confused and disturbed voice, "You pooped yourself?"  Annie's face showed a little bit of disgust as well so I decided it was probably a good idea to clarify, "COOKED, Cooked my quads, but a poop would be nice too!"

Would I be smiling like this if I pooped myself?

About .5mi in both of my quads seized on me.  Luckily I was right by the aid station and the first person I see is Carole. She is all pumped up and give me some ice. I lost about 2-3mins at the aid station but I rubbed ice on the quads and grabbed a couple of salt tabs. It was going to hurt but it was time to suck it up and the hope the quads would loosen. 

They did.

At mile two I met a guy named Mike and we ran the next 11 mi together.  We held a 7:30ish pace and only slowed down to walk the rest stops.  We didn't chat a ton but we definitively pushed each other.  Mike, if you read this - thanks brother! The run course was real cool.  In the city, in a park, along the lake - it was really quite scenic (for Ohio).

The last 2mi were extremely difficult, my quads were dead to me, but unlike the swim and bike I have been dropping 150mi months running so was prepared to suffer.  When we came around the final stretch to the finish line Rev3 had American flags for us to run through the finishers shoot with and it was very cool.

Just a few more steps ...

Annie, Mom, Me, Dad, Sister Liz, Niece Ava, BIL Matt

This was just a great little vacation.  The entire event was extremely well run from start to finish - Rev3 takes the extra steps and does all the little things (personalized bike racking, temp tattoo body marking, high quality finishers shirt ...etc) right.  I would highly recommend scheduling a few Rev3 races next season into your race schedule!

Annie and I had such a good time hanging out and racing with all of my Trakkers Teammates and cheering for all of those that completed the Full Distance Race.  Please check out the sidebar to the left <-----  and click on some of the race reports to get more Cedar Point goodness.

As for my race performance I was extremely happy with the results.  The swim was a little slower than I am used to but the bike and run were both solid and this was a PR for me. I really enjoyed the entire course, it is fast, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get back and do Cedar Point again next year.

A big thank you to my family for coming out and being my cheering section, to Colleen and Tom for making us feel so welcomed, to Matt and Heather for including us in their inaugural Iron Distance race, to  Rev3 for having me as part of their wonderful team, to all the fellow triathletes who told me how much they enjoy the blog - it is always so nice to hear, to my sponsors who helped make this race such a success: Kestrel, First Endurance, Tyr, AviaTriSlide/TriSwim/Foggle, and Team Trakkers!

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Do I Always Forget ...

.... Anniversaries?

Who am I fooling?  I forget pretty much everything that is attached to dates. Birthdays (my own included), race days, holidays, appointments, and did I already say Anniversaries?

Don't start the hatin' ladies it is not my wedding Anniversary that has come and gone, it is the Three Year Blogaversary (8/27/08) of Dangle the Carrot which occurred 3 weeks ago!

If you are a new reader and have absolutely nothing better to do and would like to learn a little more about the author of my mom's everyone's favorite endurance blog here are some links to get you started:

About Jeff

An Interview About Jeff

Pics of Fat Jeff and Buff Jeff

Last Year's 2nd Blogaversary Post

My Favorite Post

The best part about realizing it was my belated blogaversary is that it always seems to force me to go at the sitemeter on the blog.

Here are da stats:

Total Posts: 709 or 236.33 per year - suck it Arianna Huffington!
Total Page Views: 166,715 
Average Views per Day:  155
Largest Amount of Views One Day:  4,284

Another cool thing about looking back is that it makes me realize how much crap I have actually posted on the poor internet.  In retrospect, about 95% of all my posts are utter garbage.  Which, incidentally, is the same percentage of garbage songs Pearl Jam released after TEN.  So what I am saying is that I am exactly like Eddie Vedder - got it?

In all seriousness, I'd like to thank each and everyone of you who has taken even a brief moment to read this blog. This all started so that I could be helf publicly accountable to shed some pounds and has turned out to be so much more then ever imagined.

Thank You!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Marketeers are in my head ...

Watch this video:

When I first saw this video this morning I wasn't even sure what the product was being advertised? However, after viewing, instantly wanted whatever it was!

After poking around on the interwebz this write-up was discovered in Lava Magazine (Click Here) and it is Tyr's latest and greatest wetsuit. I've been swimming in a Tyr Hurricane Category 5 Wetsuit and this suit is an amazing piece of technology.  If they are coming out with something that is an upgrade over the Hurricane Category 5 then they will have my attention!

Does anyone else find themselves getting sucked into cool marketing pieces like above?

Marketeers know me oh so well...

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, September 16, 2011

Catching Up and Moving Forward

  • It has been over two weeks since my last post.  In the almost three years of blogging this is the longest post-gap ever here at the Carrot. Not sure why but this is sort of cool to me?
  • Last weekend Annie and I were in Pittsburgh visiting family and then we drove up to Sandusky, OH for the Rev3 Cedar Point Half Rev Race.  We had such a great time hanging out with my Trakkers Teammates and cheering on Matt and Heather as they crushed their first 140.6.  I am working on a Race Report with a bunch of pictures for later this week so stay tuned.
  • Even thought I have not been doing much training on the swim and bike I still ended up with a PR of the 70.3 Distance - 5h 21m.  Guess Base really does matter!
  • My next races are all of the running variety:  
- 10 for Texas 10miler - Oct 8th
- Rocky Raccoon 50k - Nov 5th
- San Antonio RnR 1/2 Marathon - Nov 13th
- Run Thru the Woods Turkey Trot 5mi - Nov 24th
- LaPorte 1/2 Marathon (Sausage on a Stick Race) - Dec 4th
- Texas 1/2 Marathon - Jan 1st
- The Woodlands Marathon - Mar 3rd ("A" Race)

  • I might have missed a race or two above. This is not unusual. Annie is the official race scheduler of the family and will need to look this over. I tend to sometimes forget races we have planned, especially running races as they are so abundant in Texas over the next few months. We talk about so many and my brain turns to mush.
  • My 11-year old Pug Ernie is getting even more fat.  Just had to adjust his collar and it is on the last notch. Time to get him on a weight loss program.
  • On Saturday night at the hotel in Cedar Point I was getting all of my gear together for the race and accidentally banged the the heel of my right foot off the bottom of the metal hotel bed frame. It hurt like hell and instantly numbed the entire right side of my foot. It bothered me a little on race day but has been quite sore since Monday. I blew off my runs on Tuesday and Wednesday to help expedite the healing process. I ended up doing a 7.5mi run last night and it feels much better. Stupid injuries are so, stupid.
  • I have a bunch of things to write about over the next couple of weeks:  Blister prevention socks, Moon boot running shoes, my take on the GOP candidates and who you should vote for, thoughts on long course bike hydration/nutrition set-ups, thoughts on long course nutrition in general, Fall TV show line-ups, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, high volume running weeks , ....etc
  • And last but certainly not least ..... A HUGE CONGRATS goes out to Kevin Neumann for completing his first Ironman this weekend in Madison, WI.  Kevin busted his ass in training and put together a fantastic race. It was an honor and privilege following your journey Mr. Ironman!

Thanks for Reading,