Triathlon Gem

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On the Friday before the Half Ironman, I attended a pre-race clinic put on by a local triathlon coach. 


I figured that I could use all the help that I could get!  At the beginning of the meeting, he said that he hoped we each took away one triathlon “gem” from his talk.  He went over the course, transition tips, and basic nutrition. A lot of it was information that Coach Marni had already taught me or I’d learned from my previous race experience, but he was right – I did walk away with one very priceless gem!


What was my gem?


The tri coach recommended that we put a big glob of Vaseline under the back of our bike seat. If we began to chafe or develop saddle sores during the ride, we could simply reach back, grab some Vaseline, and smear it all over the troublesome spot.  Awesome, right?


After the talk, I went directly to the store and bought Vaseline.  I LOVED having easy access to Vaseline during the bike ride.  I used a lot of gunk on my upper body because my sports bra straps were beginning to chafe.  It stayed under my bike seat for the entire 56 miles!  And after the race, the Vaseline easily wiped away.


I wish I could say that I escaped the entire race chafe-free.  Although I lubed up with Vaseline before the swim, I managed to chafe on my inside right arm.  I guess my swim stroke combined with the salt did me in.


Thankfully – I had a creative solution.  I knew I really needed to put a barrier between the chafe and my body or I’d never make it through the race.  I had a Bondi Band (a thick headband) in my run gear bag, and I wrapped it around  my upper arm during the first transition. It stayed there for the next 6+ hours and my chafe never got worse.  Thank God!

caitlin half ironman

The picture above is my official race finish photo.  The race photographers were awesome, and it was so hard to choose a picture to order and print.  I decided that I really wanted a finish line picture, so that’s the one I selected!  I’m going to get it framed and hang it up in my closet next to  my race medals.  


I was very tempted to buy my heel click picture…


Hahahah.  Good air, right?  I seriously considered doing my trademark heel click as I crossed the finish line, but if I had busted on my ass in front of all those people at the end of the race… 🙂



  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun November 7, 2013, 10:34 am

    That is such a great trick! I always love learning new tips and tricks from those who have been there and know what you need!

    Love your heel click! I have no idea how you do it, I am a mess when I try it!

  • Laura November 7, 2013, 10:41 am

    That is an awesome tip I haven’t heard before! Will definitely use this “gem” in the future.

  • Ali November 7, 2013, 11:44 am

    That’s such a good idea!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Barbara November 7, 2013, 11:56 am

    Great idea! I actually had a tri question for you or any of your readers…specifically a swimmer question. Ive recently started swimming and ive been doing about a mile in the pool, but i can really only breathe out of one side (every 4 strokes). Is this going to be a problem for races if i ever decide to do ome? Any tips on making the other side breathing less awkward?

  • Lauren @ Peaks and Passports November 7, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I’m so amazed and impressed that you had the energy to finish with that smile on your face AND stop for a heel click! The longest race I’ve ever completed was a half marathon, and if somebody would have asked me to jump up in the air and click my heels together toward the end of it, I’m pretty sure I would have punched them in the face 🙂

  • Suzanne @ hello, veggy! November 7, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Great pics! Mine always look awful haha

  • Elizabeth @ Positive Change November 7, 2013, 1:14 pm

    That is an awesome trick! I will have to keep that in mind during my training and race. When I saw your picture crossing the finish line I was like, “where is her heal click!?” But I totally understand, falling in front of all of those people would have been awful!

    • Caitlin November 7, 2013, 1:14 pm

      hahah it makes me exceedingly happy you expected a heel click from me.

  • SuperCutePetContest November 7, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Tricks like that are the best!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs November 7, 2013, 4:27 pm

    Great race pics! Love the heel click 🙂

  • alli November 7, 2013, 5:32 pm

    great trick! dontcha love the ones where you say; “why didnt i think of that?!” lol

    i always chafe on my left arm, where my phone arm band goes (the velcro always rubs!), so i cut the toes out of a thin sock and use it as a arm sleeve- reminds me of your hair bun sock trick—which i happen to be sporting today 😀

  • Amber K November 7, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I love your race finish photo! Totally inspiring.

  • johanna November 7, 2013, 8:08 pm

    These photos and your race recap make me tear up. I did my very first tri, a sprint tri, last summer and felt so awesome crossing that finish line. I almost teared up then too (if it weren’t for the champagne waiting for me I would have been outright bawling). I am just so stoked for you looking at those photos. Thank you for sharing!

  • Luv What You Do November 7, 2013, 10:18 pm

    So happy to see that there is a heel click picture!
    That is definitely frameable!

  • Taylor @ Singletrackedmind November 8, 2013, 3:22 pm

    That vaseline move is a great trick!! I’m going to have to use that for my first half ironman next July!

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