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Triathlete Blog

Let’s Get (Medium) Small

By August 15, 2008July 6th, 2015No Comments

Does anybody look good in these things?

Check this out. It’s a full sleeve blueseventy Helix. I knew I needed to try one after that pre-storm swim in Lake Michigan with Rachel and Chris. I was doing my best to keep up with them and was getting dropped by about 50 yards every 50 yards. Needless to say I was going nowhere fast. They suggested it was because they had more neoprene. Not because RR is capable of something silly like a sub 1 hour Ironman swim or my husband is so many lanes away at masters I might as well be swimming in the kiddie pool. Regardless of that those two slick marketing mavens convinced me that my sleeveless wetsuit – which until now has served me just fine thank you – was no match to their super fancy smart could probably swim on its own blueseventy Helix wetsuit.

So what you’re saying is that it will make me fast? Consider me sold.

It was time for a new one – and it was time for the full sleeves. You see, as a pro the only time you get to wear a wetsuit is when the water is below 72 degrees. That doesn’t happen very often. I figured the only time I would get to wear a wetsuit was in cold water anyways so I might as well be as insulated as possible. I might just start wearing it to masters because someone (ERIC.OTT) told the front desk at the health club that the water in the pool which was just about right was too warm and now takes over 100 yards to warm up in because it’s just about too cold.

I’m not saying, I’m just sayin’. That’s all.

This is Chris in his natural habitat – the garage. In his habitat he is behaving like most of the garage natives do – working on something that will result in dirty hands. Here he is getting my bike ready for the race. This weekend we are heading out to New Hampshire for a small race called Timberman. Trixie is getting all cleaned up, chain greased and will be wearing her fast wheels. You will also notice in this picture – Chris’ ghetto table. He puts this table up when he is doing “serious” garage work. Then he leaves the door open, stands on the driveway with Buckethead blaring away while doing something that involves a lot of grease. All that is missing is a car propped up on cinder blocks. Speaking of cars, you will notice his dream machine in the background – the blue van.

Anyways, you will see above that I tried my new wetsuit on and it fit! This was my second attempt at a suit. First I ordered a small. I am small, I think. I know I’m not extra small but you would think an elf is small – if not extra. But little did I know – elves are not small. They are medium small. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t try stuffing myself into the small. I then demanded Chris to zip me up. He refused on grounds of that suit is too small. Me not wanting to admit I am not truly small but medium small pleaded with just give it a try. This went on for about 10 minutes before I took it off and defeated said I will order the medium small.


The medium small arrives and I am excited to see if it fits. No – it was more like desperate. Race day is Sunday! I try it on and then open the garage door to ask Chris to zip it up and…he’s gone! Not there! Meanwhile I am starting to fill the suit with sweat. But there’s no way I’m taking it off. Do you know how long it took to get into it? I decided I would just wait for Chris. Wait and sweat. Wait and sweat. But in the meantime I was baking banana bread and had to check on it. WARNING: you should NEVER under any circumstances open a 350 degree oven when your entire body is covered in neoprene. You could spontaneously combust from your own body heat. You could melt! A little black pile of melted rubber is all that would be left!

(I do however think standing in your full wetsuit in front of your oven would be great training to simulate how it feels to run down the Queen K around mile 14)

I keep opening the garage door to see if it makes Chris magically appear and it finally works – he is there. PLEASE zip this up so we can see if it fits. He did, I feel like all 62 inches of me has been compressed into a one dimensional body bag when I realize – yes, indeed it fits.


So me, husband, Trixie and my new speedy wetsuit will be heading east for the weekend. Here’s to fast wetsuits, sub 72 degree water, husbands that like to work on bikes in garages and medium small elves!