Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gearing Up

I have 12 days until the 1/2 Iron Man in the Pocono's! I don't feel ready mentally........But, I now have all my GEAR!!

I do not look this cool.
I've always known that I would need a wetsuit. The water temp for the swim will be in the high 60's to low 70's. A bit cold when you plan to be in the water for at least 45 minutes. I've put it off and put it off. Wetsuits can be expensive. They range from $200 up to $1200. That $1200 one is the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature. I know Hurricane may be great but it is not going to give me, an amateur, that much of an edge. Plus, I don't have that much money for something that I may wear once a year and might only wear once! I was willing to spend that on the bike, though. I know I'll get my use out of it. So, I put off the purchase hoping a sale would crop up at the end of the season.

And one did!! I get Active schwaggle and one came in that was for 57% off and free shipping for Xterra Wetsuits. I bought a $400 wetsuit for $170!! AMAZEBALLS!!I followed their size chart as best as I could. It's only based on height and weight. I think it should be based on height, and chest, hip and waist circumference. Xterra offers a 30day money back guarantee (as long as it's not damaged).

I eagerly waited 5 days for the wetsuit to arrive (weekend and holiday). When it finally came the packaging was almost as awesome as what was inside! I couldn't wait to try it on and then try it out! I ran into my room, ripped off my clothes and .................struggled for 20 minutes to get the suit up over my hips. Then over my boobs. I didn't even make progress on getting the damn thing closed. Disappointed, I began taking it off. And, 40 minutes later I was free of it. And in a panic! I needed a wetsuit! What was I going to do?

So, I ordered one size up and waited. While I waited I read up on Tri wetsuits and the proper way to put them on. I also watched a video on how to put them on by Xterra, which really should be on the final page when you purchase the wetsuit. "Since you just bought this, perhaps you should learn how to get into it." They don't bother to show how to get out, which they should.

I think my 2nd suit came the very next day or the one after. Which ever, it was very FAST! For comparisons sake, and that I now knew the proper way to put it one, I tried the old one first then the new one. And wouldn't you know it the old one went on like butter. Ok, not like butter, but better than before. It was still more difficult than the Xterra chick makes it seem and I'm very thankful the timing of TRIs does not start with the "put your wetsuit on" event. But, it fit much better. Still an issue with the crotch hanging low but my arms swing well in it and it goes up to my neck and closes. I still attempted the other one but gave up at the ankle.

I gave up because one of these had to go back and they only refund for non-damaged suits. I had already damaged the first one and did not want to risk damaging the second. How did I damage it? With my nails. While struggling to pull the damn thing up, I grabbed the suit and pulled. And my nails dug in. They warn you about this in the video and tell you how to do it properly. TOO LATE!!
Now that I've decided on a wetsuit I needed to test it in water. I first tried the bath tub. This may sound ridiculous but I'm told the suit will expand 1/2 a size in water, hence the bath tub. Obviously, I didn't try to swim in the tub. I did do the first swim, though, in the raging waters of Lake Erie. The wind was out of the North and producing white caps on the water. I wasn't worried about the water and air temps. I just wanted to be sure I could swim in it. And, I can. I just need to remember to Glide stick my neck where the suit rubs and I should be good. YAAAAAAY!!! 

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