Buying a wetsuit




Chances are I wont even be able to wear a wet suit at the Louisville Ironman. This year, and last year, the water was just too warm. So chances are it will be too warm next year as well. But I would rather have a wetsuit and not need it, than to need it and not have one. Also I will want to do some open water swims up here in New York. And the water is cooler up here, so I will at least want a wet suit for that. I will probably sign up for some shorter distance triathlons up here,
maybe an Olympic distance or a half-Ironman.
Being at the end of the season, I figured wetsuits might be on sale. Maybe I could pick up a used rental or something. I was going to visit the local triathlon store, so I checked his website for hours. I saw on his site that he was open, and that 2008 wetsuits were on slae for
20% off.
I rode my bike down to his store with my credit card in the back pocket. I had stopped down previously wanting to ask him about wetsuits, but he was slammed. Thankfully, this time he wasn’t so busy.
He got my height (6 foot) and my weight (about 170), and said I took a medium. He showed me different samples of neoprene and said they were the cheaper one, the mid level one, and the high end one. He went to check to see what he had in my size. He had a sleeveless wetsuit in
the mid-level. It was a Nineteen Riptide. I went back into the changing room and carefully put it on. I was afraid of tearing it with my fingernails, so I was very careful. I was a snug, but I was told it
was supposed to be like this. I am sure with work, I could have pulled more neoprene up from the legs to loosed the neoprene around my torso. The tightness around my neck bothered me. It felt a little like it was choking me. I was told this was normal. Again, if I got it more pulled up, I think it would have been looser.
The regular price was $275. He said in a previous season this wetsuit was the higher end model and sold for over $300. He said next season it would probably selling for over $400. 20% off was a good deal. But he ended up giving me 25% off. Way cool! I told him I could pay for it now, but I would need to come back and pick it up since I rode my bike.
Meanwhile I am training in the pool and will probably wait until next Spring to get out and try it in a swim. Maybe I can try it this year in a local lake… who knows.




Instead of running the Rochester Marathon this year, I worked as a volunteer. I was given the job of being a road marshall. I was supposed to meet my team captain at 8am near the horse with baseball gloves. I planned to get there nice and early. I cam up State Street stopping for the many people walking to the race start. I was planning in parking in the back lot where I have parked the last two years. But all the roads were blocked. I found a cop and show him my race crew pass. But he wouldn’t let me through. He gave me directions to go to Lyell and to Oak street. That turned out to BS as Oak St dead ends at some other stadium (Paetec Park?). I found another cop who had me go to Broad Street. He said the roads were closed for the kid’s marathon. This eventually took me back to Main. I came up State again, and looked for another way in. I was getting frustrated and was considering turning around and going home when I found if I came south of State I could maybe get into a parking lot. I went up, and did a U-turn (probably illegal), and got into the lot. Here is an idea…if you are going to block all the roads to the parking lot, put up some sort of detour signs telling people hwo to get to the parking lot.
It was getting close to 8am, and my cushion was mostly gone. I headed over to the horse. There was a box of vests, shirts, flags, but no team captain. I headed to the restroom only to find the men’s room locked. The women’s restroom was open, but the men’s was locked. WTF? Fortunatly a lady unlocked the men’s room for me. Great, didn’t want to be out there for hours holding it… I waited at the horse, but no team captain. Finally I grabbed a vest, shirt and flag, and rode my bike to my post. Fortunatly nobody hassled me about riding my bike on the course. It was only a mile and a half or so to the Ford Street bridge where I would do my shift. I locked my bike to the railing, and waited for the runners to come. Thankfully I had put on some sunblock!
An lady in a car did drive around to tell me the runners were coming soon. Was this my team captain? The half marathoners started coming first, and eventually the full marathoners. It was hot. Most of my morning was saying stuff like:
You are looking good.
Stay on the left side of the bridge.
There is a water stop just around the next corner.
Less than a mile and a half left to go.
You are mostly done.
I had considered signing up as a training run, but I was glad I didn’t! Geez it was hot! It was fun seeing the racers. I was shocked seeing the marathoners running at a 3:30 marathon pace. They were really running. I don’t think I look like that. Anyway, I got a laugh when one guy did a "Wazzu" (jumping and clicking his heels) for me. That made me laugh. I didn’t recognise him the couple seconds I saw him. I am guessing he saw my post that I would be working here.
The biggest event was a girl who slowed down and started staggering. She asked for some water, and reached out to keep from falling down. She wanted to sit, so we sat her down, Another runner was a medic. I asked some other runners to tell the people at the water station around corner that we had a runner down. Another runner called 911 on his cell phone. I got a water bottle from my bike. Another runner offered her his water. We gave her water to drink and poured it over her head, neck and back. Eventually cops showed up, and she eventually was taken away in an ambulence. She kept saying she was embarrased. Geez! She had nothing at all to be embarrassed about. She gave everything she had. It was a hot day. The most you can ever do, is do your best. And she did! She did a great job. She’ll get it next time on a cooler day! I hope she is okay!
I kept an eye on all the runners, asking them how they were doing, looking for any signs that they might be out of it. Watching their eyes. Another girl passed looking tired, and didn’t acknowledge multiple queries about whether she was okay. Another volunteer came running up after her worried that she hadn’t responded to him either. It turned out she was deaf… I am glad she was okay.
At 11:15 I was relieved by a fresh road marshall. She was asking where the volunteer tent was. I said it was probably back at Frontier Field. She hadn’t been to the field, so I gave her my vest and flag.
I rode my bike along the course to the field. Again, no one hassled me. I would love to be one of the bike riding marshalls. Maybe next year.

A friend of mine wanted a base time. There’s a base time. Slow as mud. I am getting better. Keep in mind I am just starting to really learn how to swim. I never swam as a kid due to ear problems. I took four swimming lessons in June, one of which was a waste with two teenage girl lifeguards that were subbing for the teenage kid who was the regular teacher. At least the girls were cute.
But I swam 1000 yards (40 lengths in a 25 yard pool) today after work. I was able to swim 50 yards at a time instead of 25 yards at a time before stopping to catch my breath. And today I wasn’t as out of breath between laps. I mostly did front crawl, with a little bit of breast stroke.
I am hoping to swim 3 times a week til I get it down. It’s definatly my weakness. And I probably wont be able to wear a wet suit in Louisville.
Are there like neoprene jammers? Would they be legal in warmer water, and would they give much floatation?

With the Louisville Ironman about a year away, I need to get serious about swimming. I have cycled 100 miles, and run multiple marathons. But swimming is my weak point.
Tonight my wife and I headed to the pool. I managed to swim 17 laps which almost half a mile. Actually 17.5 laps would have been about a mile. So I was close. Anyway, I swam it 25 yards at a time. I was actually getting a little smoother towards the end.
I need to get different goggles. I have some Speedo goggles that seal really nicely. But when my head is in the water, I see the bottom in a double vision that is sort of disorienting. They also have blue lenses. I have heard that I will want clear lenses for the river at the Louisville Ironman. My clear lens Tyr goggles just dont seal well.
I was swimming okay. I swam most of it doing the front crawl, but I swam a couple laps using a breast stroke. I probably could have gone a little farther, but I had pulled out my ear plug to talk to my wife, and with my ear a little wet, it wasn’t sealing very well. This was the farthest I have ever swam.
I want to get an MP3 player designed for swimming. I think that would encourage me to stay in the pool longer. I need to work up to where I can swim more continuously. I will get there! I am going to try to swim two or three times a week.

I have been waiting for this day since March. In March I ran 3:30:14 at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA. That qualified me for the 2009 Boston Marathon when I will be 45 years old. I needed to run at least 3:30:59. So I qualified by 45 seconds. I would have finished a minute or two earlier if not for a nasty side stitch at mile 23. But I qualified!
I already have a hotel room booked (geez, those Boston hotels are expensive). But I had to wait until today for the registration for the Boston Marathon to open. It opened this morning at 9am. By 9:10 I had completed my registration. I won’t get an acceptance notification until October though. I don’t know why I wouldn’t be accepted though.
I have some friends from the Las Vegas Marathon club that I belong to that have already registered for the Boston Marathon as well. It will be good to see them, though I may not see much of them during the race as we all run at different paces. But it will be fun anyway.

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