View Full Version : New to the whole thing: Seattle Danskin

04-19-2006, 06:04 PM
Doing my very first tri (sprint) with Team Survivor in the Seattle Danskin this summer. Got a few questions.

1. How much of a doofus will I be, walking the run bit?

2. How much of a doofus will I be, riding a commuter bike?

3. How much of a doofus will I be, doggie-paddling and side-stroking the swim?

How much of a doofus am I for worrying about these little details? (Let us remember: Image Is Everything.)

Actually, in all seriousness, I have a wetsuit question. I have little-to-no money to spend on a wetsuit. I can get a shorty (short sleeves and shorts length) for under $100 or a farmer jane for $120. Assuming I'll only be using this for Danskins (next year, the year after, etc.) anybody got any opinion on which is the better way to go? I'm a sucky swimmer, and am not quite as worried about the cold as I am about needing the floating help from the suit. But I'm worried about both.

Running Mommy
04-19-2006, 07:20 PM
Well first off welcome to the wonderfully INSANE world of triathlon! You will LOVE it!
I've never done a Danskin, but I did do the reebok womens series one year and it was incredibly fun!
And do not worry about walking the run- lot's of people do it! And the bike, heck, I've seen everything from mtn bikes to comfort bikes out there. I think I saw a cruiser in one sprint I did once...
As for the swim. No worries! Danskin is TOTALLY beginer friendly. There will be tons of people out there just trying to get through the swim.
When I did ironman AZ a few weeks ago I had a guy next to me do the entire 2.4 miles in some kind of backwards scuttle stroke (backwards survival stroke I think they call it??).
Of course best case scenario is to work on your swim stroke and become comfortable in the water. You don't want to start the race with a sense of dread.
You want to enjoy your first race, so just do the best you can to train for all 3 disciplines.
If you take it seriously and put in the time, you will have a ton of fun! The folks that walk away with a bad taste in their mouth are those who don't at least try to train for the race. Crazy as it sounds but some people just assume that it must be "easy" because they see so many people doing it. Yeah, it's "easy" for those of us who train...
Ok- off my soapbox, sorry...;)
Anyway, try to get 3 workout a week in and you'll do fine.
Oh- and as for the wetsuit. If you want it for bouyancy you really need to go w/ a long john (jane?). The shorty won't do much otherwise. Plus the john will be more versatile. Good luck! Oh- also you may want to look around and see if there is a shop that rents tri wetsuits. Alot of them are starting to. Thats a good option as well.

04-19-2006, 07:24 PM
Hi, Knotted--

Ah, the doofus question! yessss....something to which I've given a great deal of thought...

1. Most people will never do a triathlon, and will be dumbfounded and really impressed that you did. To them, there's no such thing as "looking like a doofus doing a triathlon".

2. There will always be leaner/stronger/faster/younger people than me at every race. If I were willing to train more/smarter/eat better, etc, I, too, would be leaner and stronger and faster. But....I'm already l/s/f than I ever was before, so how could that be doofy?

3. You do the best you can. I've been dead last across the finish line in 3 out of 6 tris I've done. All three, I did with a friend or friends who were slower than me. We stuck together. We don't leave each other. And we all crossed the finish line, usually whooping with triumph and with tears running down our faces. Doofy? I think not.

4. Wet suit--how cold is the water expected to be? I mostly wear a wetsuit in the Oly tri I've done so that I can wear a running bra under it. It's a sleeveless/short legged suit. I think it cost me $50, 3 years ago. I don't know that it makes that much of a difference, bouyancy-wise. I did invest in a full-body wet suit so I can do more swimming in Lake Michigan, and swim some colder tris this year. I used a short-sleeve short-legged wetsuit for a few swims, and ended up giving it away. I didn't like the way the shoulders felt when swimming. If you want, I'll bet I could get it back and send it to you to try out. The friend I gave it to will never do another tri, I'm pretty sure. It's a women's medium, like a size 10/12. PM me if you're interested.

5. Commuter bike. I've done all 6 tris on my Marin Larkspur hybrid. Now that I have my Bianchi Veloche, I will no doubt be faster. But I rode pretty darn fast on the Marin, especially in sprints.

6. Dog paddle, side stroke, hey, do what you have to do. I breast-stroked for a mile across Lake Zurich one year. Probably worked twice as hard as I needed to, but I glided as far as possible under water with each stroke! And, ya know what? I didn't drown, I did get across the lake, and everybody cheered! Nobody said, "What kind of doofy stroke was that?!"

I am sure, that doing the Danskin tri (women only?) with Team Survivor, what you will get is more love, support, encouragement, and cheering than you ever, ever dreamed possible. Live it up. :) L.

PS: I was typing while Denise was posting, so I'll just second what she said. If you train, you will get better and feel better about it. I invested in 2 swim lessons at the Y so I could freestyle more. I try to do mostly freestyle, with the best technique I can muster, and save breast stroke for a "rest" lap. It's just more efficient to freestyle. More power.

04-19-2006, 08:00 PM
Hi Knotted Yet!

I am totally new to this sport as well and just wanted to second what RunningMommy and Lise said! You will not look like a doofus for doing any of the things you mention (or any of the other 10 million things you could probably add to the list! ;) ) If you haven't read "Slow Fat Triathlete", go check it out, it will certainly alleviate a lot of your concerns about trying to look like a pro!

As for the wetsuit, you will definately get more bouyancy with the farmer jane but I think you should check into renting one as well. My first tri is July 30th and I can rent a wetsuit for $30 for 30 days - they actually mail it to you and then you return it after the tri.... so, that might be another option to consider!

Anyway, welcome to the board! Looking forward to hearing all about your triathlon adventures! AND, this board is full of infinite wisdom - its fabulous!!!


04-20-2006, 06:36 AM
from what I have heard about the danskin tri - I am doing my first one this summer, but a bunch of friends have done it in the past - none of the things you mention would qualify you for doofus status. There are people who do the swim portion with pool noodles. From what I can figure out, when it comes to the danskin tri, there is no doofus status. have a wonderful time.

04-20-2006, 08:09 AM
pool noodles??? :confused: :p Really???

That is too funny!


Running Mommy
04-20-2006, 07:30 PM
Pool noodles? You have GOT to be kidding? Ok, now I'm all for supporting those that are just getting into the sport, but POOL NOODLES? OY VEY!
That reminds me of the Canadian marathon training group that took their slower runners on a short cut at one of the east coast marys last year- just so they could"make the cut off"... Yeah, they made the cut off, but they didn't run the 26.2 miles. An they sure as heck didn't deserve the finishers medal.
Like I said, I'm all for helping out a newbie and offering support. But if you can't do a half mile swim without a pool noodle, well sorry, but you need to spend more time training until you CAN. No one says you HAVE to do the race that year, put it off a year and spend some time at the Y getting some instructions. That's what I did.
call me an elitist snob, but OY!!!! That is over the line!!
My cousin side stroked through a swim once and that was fine, whatever stroke get's you through the swim is FINE. But you shouldn't need "outside assistance" from a pool noodle. Actually if I was the RD I wouldn't want people who were that weak in the water to be racing. Seems like a liablilty issue to me...
Ok, after my rant I'm thinking that maybe that was an exageration... I sure hope so! Or maybe they had a disability?? I guess that would be a valid reason... hmmm...

04-20-2006, 07:51 PM
I'm with RM. Pool noodles? What's next? Jet packs for the run? Heeeeyyyy...now there's a thought! ;)

04-21-2006, 04:02 AM
I think the pool noodles were in the survivor group. Or one of my friends using hyperbole to make a point. Not 100% sure which.

04-21-2006, 04:45 AM
Either is a fiiiiiine explanation! :) L.

(I still like the idea of jet packs...)

04-21-2006, 06:14 AM
Hi Knotted (& everyone else!)

Sorry that I have not been posting a bit more frequently, training and all that other stuff has kept me away from the computer...

You will not look like a dufus, because I do second what everyone else has said about every skill level represented at a tri- especially a Danskin tri.

I will share from my own experience training for the Danskin tri in Orlando..

I was out working on my run/walk about 6 weeks ago and it occured to me that the only thing that kept me from finishing on my tri was me (barring injury). And furthermore, if I am going to take the time to register, make the trip to Orlando, that although I will be slow, why not do the best that I can? So, I guess what I am suggesting is train for the event in manner that you can live with. Yes, almost anyone will be amazed that you have done a tri, but will YOU be satisfied with your performance? That, for me,is the stick that I am attempting to measure by. Because when it is all said and done, and I look at myself, am I okay with the effort I put forth overall?

I have also found two books that have really helped me, as I have never done a tri before, and had never done one athletic thing in my life until I was 21 years old. Triathlons for Women by Sally Edwards & Slow, Fat, Triathlete by Jayne Williams.

Approaching all of this with a sense of humor is a great way to get through.. :D

Best of luck to you.. keep us posted on your progress!!!!

04-21-2006, 07:26 AM
You mean to tell me that pool noodles weren't designed solely for hitting each other (and maybe the odd sword fight)??? :eek:

04-21-2006, 09:33 AM
You mean to tell me that pool noodles weren't designed solely for hitting each other (and maybe the odd sword fight)??? :eek:

actually, they are very good for blowing water at people!

04-21-2006, 06:46 PM
For the Seattle Danskin, at least, the noodles are held by the Swim Angels. The Angels line the swim course. If you get tired or need help, they will swim over to you and you can hang onto a pool noodle for a while. But you CANNOT swim away with the noodle. They are for resting only, and only if you have an Angel with you.

Somewhere in the registration stuff I read it said you couldn't have a floatation aid in the race and if you couldn't swim unassisted you couldn't be in that leg of the race. So I'm gonna putt-putt in a big ol' floaty wetsuit!

And Sally Edwards makes sure that she comes in last on every leg. What a babe!

Running Mommy
04-21-2006, 08:04 PM
why not just have kayaks like all the other races?? You can grab the kayak for a break, just make no forward progress... - USAT rules..
Now I see why I've never done a danskin, and prolly never will... A little too touchy feely for me. "swim angels"??? Oh please. I guess it works for some people, and if it gets someone off the couch and on the course, then I think that's great. I'm just not that "girlie" I suppose??
Don't get me wrong. I'm not snubbing my nose at those just starting out and/ or not really sure of themselves.
I did my first tri weighing in at 200 lbs, I certainly looked like anything BUT a triathlete. I remember those days well, and I struggled through my first race. It was ugly for sure. And I even have the video footage to prove it! :p
Like I said, I dunno... It seems so... umm... touchy feely girlie like??
Like the time I was struggling BIG TIME up this super steep hill. Tony was talking me through it, telling me I could do it, to stay loose, spin, etc... Well he made the mistake of putting his hand on my back and giving me a push up the hill. :mad:
If I could have reached his groin he would have been one unhappy man! ha ha
I gave him a whack and proceeded to berate him for treating me like a wimpy girl- as if I wasn't strong enough to do it on my own... I guess if there is one thing I hate, it's people trying to give me a break because they don't believe I'm strong enough to do it on my own.. Does that make sense??
Anyway, like I said... I'm all for getting people out there and bringing them into the triathlon world. The more the merrier!! It just doesn't seem like my cup of tea. But hey, that's what makes this world go round... We all march to a different drum. :)

04-21-2006, 09:37 PM
Hey, it's getting me out there for my first tri. I'm scared, frankly. Hopefully this will launch me into doing more things that I'm afraid of/lack confidence for. Like a "real" tri! Longer bike rides! Travelling by myself!

I think the Danskin has a big focus on cancer survivors and first-timers. I know I feel better knowing that there will be official types in kayaks and volunteers with noodles, even though I seriously doubt I will need them.

And I'm not embarrassed to admit that I like all the advice and support and training help offered by Team Survivor and the Danskin. I need that touchy-feely girlie stuff just to get me out there. I don't know anyone who's done a tri, don't have anyone to do it with me, and am a chicken sh!t wimp who's finally pulling her head out of her @$$ and doing something she thought she'd NEVER do. Ever. Not even on my radar as a possiblity.

And I'm not dead yet. That's the most important thing, more important than Swim Angels and pool noodles. I'm not f*cking dead yet, so I'm gonna do whatever appeals to me, cuz I may never get the chance again. Noodles or not.

Running Mommy
04-22-2006, 07:34 AM
Well glad your putting yourself out there. It does take guts. I mean most people would never step out of their comfy box. I give you big kudos for that.
Sounds like you are a survivor? no??
Well FWIW I am also a 2 time cancer survivor. I ran my 3rd marathon in 02 while still in recovery and grossly over weight from the depression I had sunk into. Most cancer patients lose weight- I gained it! UGH!
Anyway, have a good race and have fun. You will do great! It's amazing what our bodies can do when our mind lets us!

04-22-2006, 03:41 PM
I guess if there is one thing I hate, it's people trying to give me a break because they don't believe I'm strong enough to do it on my own.. Does that make sense??
Anyway, like I said... I'm all for getting people out there and bringing them into the triathlon world. The more the merrier!! It just doesn't seem like my cup of tea. But hey, that's what makes this world go round... We all march to a different drum. :)

That completely makes sense to me. Tell me I can't do something, and I'll just about kill myself to do it!! Doesn't matter if it's athletic, academic, or fixing something around the house or car. It will get done if I have anything to say about it. (hmm, maybe that's from having so many older brothers and wanting to do everything they did)