Training

A Wetsuit Dillema

by Meghann on September 9, 2011

I’m at t-minus 16 days until Augusta 70.3.

augusta70_3.jpg

Whoa!

Can you believe it’s little more than 2 weeks away? I know I can’t.

I’m getting down to the wire with all of my preparation for the race.

Lately, I’ve developed the habit of reading any race reviews I can get my hand on regarding Augusta. Everyone has the same things to say – fast swim, hilly-but-not -Clermont-hilly bike course, pretty run, great wetsuit stripping staff.. wait a minute? Great wetsuit strippers? That one caught my attention.

I hadn’t really given a wetsuit a thought (it’s hard to when the water is still warm in Florida), but I started to dig and realized I should at least be considering one.

Apparently the average water temp for the Augusta swim is right below 70 degrees – meaning it’s a wetsuit acceptable course. Every race recap I read regarding Augusta featured a blogger wearing a wetsuit, all the photos I saw of the swim start had racers in wetsuits, and every forum I interacted on highly suggested a wetsuit. Crap.

I’m not a seasoned triathlete by any means. I live in Florida where our water is warm and comfortable the majority of the year. And I’m a baby when it comes to cold water. Looks like I had to start wetsuit researching.

My first thought was to rent, so I immediately checked out WetsuitRental.com.

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The site advertised $45 for a week rental. It was a good option, but I wasn’t sold on it.

Then I headed to twitter for a few other opinions.

Someone suggested renting locally, so I called around and discovered the demand to rent wetsuits in Tampa must be really low because none of the race shops offered them. They suggested calling dive shops, but that got complicated since I didn’t know specifically what I needed in a wetsuit besides ‘one you can swim fast in.’ After a failed first attempt, I refused to call anymore.

Another racer told me they would have wetsuits to rent on site, but I couldn’t confirm that through the race site anywhere. I’m not 100% sure when we’re arriving at the race site and I didn’t want to risk them being out or just not there at all.

Then Victoria told me I should just buy one and Xterra was having a good deal.

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A few tweets later and my inbox was full of people forwarding emails regarding the sale.

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I got the hint – I needed to check Xterra out.

I headed straight for the cheapest women’s option (Volt Sleeveless) and figured if I was going to do more than one race, then $99 wasn’t a band investment (considering the rental was $45).

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Good reviews. Good price. Good to go.

I was all set to order when I realized they were out of my size. Bummer. 🙁

A quick chat with Xterra customer service informed me they were discontinuing the Volt series, so if it said sold out – then they were really sold out. She also informed me going up one size would probably be too big (and take on water), while the size down would be too tight and suffocate me.

I was then given too options: order a size that was too small for $99 (originally $200) or pay $149 (originally $300) for a different suit that was in my size.

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And this is where I hate ordering things online – you just don’t know.

In the end, I realized that size IS important and being comfortable come race day is worth way more than an extra $50. So, I gritted my teeth and ordered the pricier suit in the correct size.

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(I used the code TRIATHLETE1 at checkout for 50% off and free shipping)

$150 is still a GREAT deal for an Xterra wetsuit. I’ll just have to think of this as an investment in my racing future. Just don’t add up how much all the other ‘investments’ have cost me in the last 6 months because you might cry, I know I did. Triathlons are $$$!

Hopefully, this will be my last big purchase before race day. Famous last words…

At least I’m saving money by eating lunch at home today…

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Just a simple salad consisting of:

  • Spinach
  • Chicken Sausage
  • Olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Hummus
  • Blue Cheese
  • Pretzels

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It was good too. I think it was the hummus – hummus always makes a great dressing replacement on salad. 😉

 

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