Some of my friends commented yesterday during our long bike ride (which coincidentally changed from the scheduled 46-56 mile ride to a 70 miler!!!) that I was up REALLY early on Saturday morning before my run. They were referring to my "While You Were Sleeping" post.
I proceeded to explain that my pre-training and pre-race morning ritual (depending on the severity of the training) consists of waking up at least 1 hour BEFORE I have to leave my house. So yes, this is where my O.C.D. kicks in and I take the time that I want to be at my intended location, subtract the time it takes me to get there and then subtract 1 hour to calculate my wake-up time. (6am run - 30 minute transit = leave house at 5:30am therefore wake up at 4:30am.)
By doing this (and knowing that I have set out my gear and prepared all of my nutrition the night before), I am able to calmly wake up, check Facebook, email, the weather conditions, have some breakfast, drink coffee, etc... and still have a few moments to spare in case nature calls. (There is nothing worse than nature calling in the middle of anything - let alone when you don't have instant access to a restroom.)
When I race, I lay out my gear in a particular order making sure that I have everything that I need for every element of the race. Then I pack my gear in my gear back in the order that I intend to lay it out on my transition mat (a transition mat can be an actual mat or a small towel - the size of a hand towel - that you put your gear on during a race).
When I buy new training/racing clothing there are also rituals that I perform. I feel that I must share this ritual - as abiding to its logic will save you a huge amount of harASSment on the road. ALL PUN INTENDED.
- Go to the fitting room (I don't care if you think they will fit - this is not about fit!)
- Put on the cycling/tri shorts
- Turn your back to the mirror in the fitting room
- Bend over as if you're riding in the drops (on a road bike those are the lower portion of the handle bars that look like ram horns) or as if you're riding in the aero-position (on a triathlon or time trial bike those are the "extra" set of bars sticking out from the main handle bars) and point your butt toward the mirror
- Turn your head (while still pointing your butt toward the mirror) and LOOK FOR CRACK!
- Change angles a little bit as sometimes lighting affects the transparency of the fabric - bring a small flashlight.
- CHECK FOR ALL SIGNS OF TRANSPARENCY AND BUTT CRACK!!!!
- If you can see crack in brand new shorts - so can every one else and it will just get worse over time. (Additional comment from Mini-Me... "Underwear under your cycling or tri shorts just means you're an amateur and we can see that you like to wear Scooby Doo underoos or worse that you have an affinity for leopard print and you're a 200lb male.)
- OH and NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER wear white cycling or tri shorts. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR BUTT (OR THE HAIRS ON IT)! (The only exception to this is my friend Janine S. who is a personal trainer and fitness model. She can pretty much wear anything in any color and will look good!)
A friend, who I have the utmost respect for, and therefore shall not be called out by name (but he knows who he is - as does every person who had the pleasure of riding behind him yesterday) wore some "vintage" cycling shorts - albeit, they were the team shorts. Everyone got to see more of him than they ever wanted.
He was lucky that I wasn't able to snap a photo of him. Otherwise it would have been posted here with a Cosmo-style "oh no you didn't" black bar covering his face - but allowing the world to see his faux-pas.
So my closing message to you my friends... this is a reminder that someone will always be riding behind you and unless you want to be the butt of many jokes and the center of much ridicule, always check the integrity of your cycling/tri shorts.
And if you're unsure if the fabric is wearing thin - wait until you can get the opinion of someone you trust (someone who will not let you leave the house looking like a fool) and ask them.
Until next time - run for your lives!