Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Post With the Ironman Christmas Presents

I didn't get too many IM specific Christmas presents this year. For one, Capt Awesome and I don't tend to buy each other Christmas gifts. since we both buy ourselves whatever we want to throughout the year.

Plus, I just purchased Shane West and my entry into IMFL2014 in November, so I wasn't due any real presents.  But the IM-training Santa brought me a few cool things.

SportCount Lap Counter 
This is a ridiculously simple little piece of brilliance. You wear it on your finger and hit the button every time you touch the edge of pool after swimming a lap. And it keeps tally of how many laps you do.

That's it. Some people think that's not worth $25, but for me it totally is.

There are other models and gadgets (probably made by Garmin) that will keep your times and splits and make you a pancake or whatever, but I just wanted something that allowed me to swim without having to keep up with the number of laps I've done. This was it. It is great. Seriously.

Now I don't have to worry about whether this is lap 46 or 47 or 52, and can concentrate on my swim form. If I could figure out how to multiply by 25, then I'd know how many meters I'd swum.  But alas...

I bought mine on Amazon here, but you might find it somewhere else cheaper.

Waterproof iPod Shuffle
This is totally a luxury. But I have found that having music while in the pool has made my life much more pleasant. I wouldn't dream of running for 1.5-2 hours 3-4 times a week without music and now I don't have to swim without it either.

It's a regular iPod shuffle that has been sprinkled with fairy dust and super-duper waterproofing technology stuff. I also got the waterproof headphones because I didn't have any, downloaded my favorite playlists from iTunes and I was good to go. If music is worth spending $150 for and you can afford it (or are willing to eat Captain Crunch for a month instead of real food), I would definitely suggest this purchase.

Again, I got this on Amazon here, but if you shop around...

My Training Wedding Ring
I found that my wedding and engagement rings were giving me problems: coming off accidentally when taking off gloves, poking holes in my swim caps as I put them on, snagging on my running and cycling shorts.

So I decided I wanted to get a ring that wasn't very expensive that I could wear over the next 10 months while I'm training. (You know, to prove to all the guys that I'm married when they try to hit on me after I've been running 15 miles or cycling 50... because I look *so* good.)

I found Jim Little Jewelry on Etsy and really liked his spinner rings (one band that spins on top of another wider band). Classy. I contacted and asked if he could fit the phrase:  I am not afraid of this. 140.6  He could and I love it. Cost was about $50.

Be Iron Fit by Don Fink
Hippie, Princess and I all got this book for Christmas (well, actually I got it a few weeks ago). I've found this book to be the most useful of the ones I've looked through so far dealing with IM-specific training. It's got three 30-week training programs geared towards either competitive, intermediate, and "just-finish" IMers. (So think: willing to put up to 20 hours a week in training, 15 hours a week or 10 hours a week, respectively)

Lots of tips and secrets in this book and written from a perspective that we all have lives outside of IM that somehow must continue. Definitely should be on the shelves of any newbie IMer.

So I didn't get any critical training gear for Christmas, but I love all I did get.

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