April 9, 2009

Thin Skinned

Training in the winter for a half Ironman has its downfalls. I barely got outside on my bike so the race was my first real ride. My long runs were mostly done in layers battling frigid temperatures and some were on the treadmill. All of my swimming was done in the pool so my first time in a wetsuit and open water was race weekend. But a downside I didn't think about was my skin. I've been covered up for my training and my skin has barely been exposed to sun. I had SPF 50 with me in transition, but as is normally the case at triathlons, I missed some spots and I paid the price. This is what my back looked like immediately after the race:

Anyone who knows me knows I don't allow myself to burn. I walk on the shady side of the street, sit under an umbrella at the beach and slather myself in SPF for my training. So I was really disappointed in how badly I burned during the race. I applied sunblock before the swim and in both transitions, but with the wind blowing and my skin being perpetually wet, it didn't seem to stick. My back was so fried I haven't been able to wear a bra since the race. And then tonight when I took off my shirt the inside was coated with my peeling skin (gross, I know). Not good. Clearly I'm going to need to work on my SPF strategy before I'm heavily into the warm weather training. I've been considering trying De Soto Cool Wings and now think it may be necessary. I'm at high risk for skin cancer and can't afford too many mishaps like this.

This week is worse than taper. I am 100% pain free so in my mind, I'm recovered. However, I know I'm not really recovered and there's a reason for my ridiculously light training load but it's really hard to accept. I biked 30 minutes the other day, literally not enough to break a sweat. I swam 1,200 yards today and barely felt like I did anything. I get to bike an hour tomorrow but in a very low HR zone. I'm supposed to rest and sleep in this weekend and run a bit. I may cheat and do a 10K I'm signed up for and just do it at a slower pace. I am dying to move. Dying to sweat. Dying to be tired from training and not from lack of activity. It's amazing how different I feel.

In the spirit of posting pictures from New Orleans, I thought I'd share one from my post-race recovery period. Before I left town, I stopped by Huge Ass Beers To Go and picked up a 32-ounce Abita Amber. Because I went for the fancy, local brew, I had to pay $7.50 as opposed to the $5.00 advertised for typical, domestic swill. It was chilly outside so chugging a cold 32-ounce beer on Bourbon Street wasn't easy, but it sure did make me feel better.

Distance - 1,200 yards
Time - 23:40


  1. That looks like it hurts. Great race and report. Makes me want to go out and race, now.

  2. Taking it easy has been hard this week - I have a century ride on Saturday! - but at an easy pace.

  3. Ouch! I burn easy too, and had some spray on sunscreen that worked pretty good. Great race, hope it's the start to a great season for you.

  4. What a nice Huge Ass..... Beer. You deserved it, Good work!



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