I’m not much of a traveler.  My mom and brother between them have circled the world many times.  I like being home.  I like having the conveniences of life – at home.  That being said, that was also living life through the prism of a 372 pound man.  Travel in airlines was not possible.  What would I do when there?  I’d be too hot, sweaty, and couldn’t fit in seats well.  I believe I was locked here as a matter of a prison.

That being said, I then arranged my life to focus all of my finances on being in the comforts of home – so I got the nice house, but there’s no travel budget money, or much else.   For this reason, I love the idea of shared houses at the beach.  I also try to do tri on a little of a budget and I accumulated stuff over many years.

Triathlon is not a cheap sport if you want to make a go at it.  A really good tri bike could set you back $5,000 – and some of the pros have $15,000-$20,000 bikes.  Training equipment is expensive.  Tri suits, wet suits, bike clothing, clipless pedals, bike computers, Strava, Zwift – all of this adds up.

Luckily, I’ve been able to squeeze this in with a lot of life changes over the years.  I rarely go out to eat.  If I do, it’s like once a month and I’m usually getting a ribeye 🙂  My clothing are so much cheaper off the rack than when I’d have to pay for giant sizes at the big and tall store.  With my eating habits, my food intake is a lot less.  I modified my gravel bike to a pseudo tri bike.  Now, nothing will compare to the geometry of the tri bike, but that might be for 2-3 years down the road.

Lastly – apparently to do some of these races you’re looking at $600-$1,000 entry fee and this is before you factor in travel and lodging costs.

For this factor – I’m considering making triathlon destinations part of my yearly vacations.  I’ve seen videos online where tri clubs and tri friends will share houses at destinations, carpool, etc.  It’s a small-ish community, and it’s kind of cool that you can get a lot of health-conscious friends along the way.

The pain cave – $$$$

Last night, I watched one of the pros I follow, Lionel Sanders, show everyone his pain cave.  I don’t think I’ll ever get an endless pool….but that might be a purchase down the road with stolen money if I get real serious with triathlon.

Years ago I wanted this.  I’m talking 35 years ago.  I got sucked into Dallas as a kid, and I was in awe that their mansion had their own workout room.  It was what I wanted from the time I was in diapers lol.  I have a gym membership to the JCC now, but nothing can beat the convenience of having a full gym at home.  Over many years, I have acquired a lot of things.  2 years ago, I built a power rack from a video from Buff Dudes on YouTube.  A power rack bought can be $1200-$2000.  I built mine for just over $200.

Power rack – $220 and 3 days.  You also see a bowflex behind it.  That was a credit card purchase 3 years ago when I started my weight loss journey.

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Treadmill – this is about 6 years old and another credit card purchase.  Over the years, I never stopped trying to work out, my waist just got bigger from all my damn carbs.  I had to buy one that could accommodate a larger guy.

Exercise bike – this I bought in 2005 when I lost 60+ pounds.  I used to watch episodes of magnum PI every day after work for 42 minutes while I did it.  You can see that in the back there

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Bike on trainer – I got a cheap ass dumb trainer to try Zwift.  Get this.  It doesn’t work.  But you already knew this.  I used my old bike I bought like 4-5 years ago.  It was a cheapy, but it was the only one at dick’s that could accommodate my weight at the time.  Well, newsflash for you bike riders out there – heavy bikes don’t do hills well.  I’m looking to try and upgrade this situation in the fall after I can no longer bike outside.  Probably November.  In the northeast of PA, this is crucial due to 4-5 months a year I can’t train outside.  This is also something I want to do before work.  I’m up every day at 4:30ish – I’d like to maybe get in some time in the pain cave this winter every morning. For this, I used my wife’s old ipad and an old music stand to try and get this going.  Note to self – buy a $20 fan because you sweat your ass off when you’re not biking 15-17 mph and get the wind in your face.

 

Miscellaneous – nutrition, cadence sensor, bike computer, running shoes, strava zwift, bike shorts, helmet, shoes, pedals.  I also have those dumbbells I bought 7 years ago that you pick up your desired weight rather than having 20 dumbbells laying around.

OK – you can go into really deep rabbit holes on this.  I just wanted to touch on home training.  Last year, I learned that you can bike/run in the cold, you just need the right type of clothing!

 

BIG PICTURE – if you want to focus on your health, there are ways to do it on a budget and build your fitness enterprise over many years.  Start with a good pair of running shoes, some good running clothing, and just start moving!!

Travel?

So with my obsession on health for 3 years has also been with destination Ironmans.  To be more specific, HALF Ironmans.

I feel that for the next year, I’m going to be doing sprint triathlons in the NE region.  My travel with this might be 3-4 hours.  I know I’m interested in doing a sprint in Montauk at the end of September.  Luckily, my in-laws live an hour from there, so this is “do-able” travel.  I think I want to look to see if there’s any beach triathlons in the region to accommodate the wife – she’s a beach goer, and we might be able to get a 3-4 trip out of this, have some flat ground, and I get a nice workout with it.

I’m also looking at the French Creek Tri, about an hour from my house and really close to where I grew up.  One downside, lake swimming.  That might be a show stopper for me.  However, next year at this time I might be close to my final weight and at that time buy a quality wetsuit and this might be a non-issue after that.

At the end of next year and 2 years out, I’m looking to do Olympic.  This is 1500m swimming, 24 miles biking, and 6.2 miles running.  I could complete these today, but I’m not competitive.  Someone has to be last place, right?  Well, no.  At this point in my life, I’m very much comfortable with being middle of the pack, but not last!!

Two years from now, or perhaps my 3rd year out, I’m looking to do half ironmans.  These are 2k swimming (1.2 miles), 55 miles biking, and 13.1 miles running.  They are called “70.3” due to the distance they cover.  I think today I could do those swim and bike distances, but would come up short on the run by about 5-6 miles.  It would also be a stretch in heat with that run – so I want to enjoy the experience getting there…..

But where is that I’m going?

One of the guys I watch, Triathlon Taren, has been documenting his triathlon adventures the last few years.  Some of these he did, I’d like to look into!  Some he has mentioned I also looked up.  Without further ado, let’s take a look…

  1. Coeur D’Alene, Idaho – For this, I’d need to really do the distance traveling for triathlon.  Meaning breaking down your tri bike and re-assembling when you get there.  This creates levels of anxiety you have yet to understand just thinking about it.  That being said, when I’d be doing this – THIS is how I’d like to site see.  Not by going to statues and buildings.  I want to EXPERIENCE the area.  THIS is calling my name.  Years ago, I went to Maine twice.  LOVED IT.  This reminds me a lot of my experiences there.  My guess is by looking at this is there are some serious climbs on the bike, so 55 miles on relatively flat land does not translate to 55 miles of mountains.  Still – look how gorgeous this is?  I would not be trying to win my age group doing this, it would be to try and compete against myself but take in everything as I go!

     

  2. Lake Placid, NY – sort of has the vibe of the item above.  Northern part of the country, and the hope would be it would not be 100 degrees at the time of the race. Lake-Placid
  3. Oceanside, CA – I heard this usually kicks off the tri season.  I’ve never been to LA and have a ton of friends there and in San Diego.  This seems like it could be a nice week-long trip to see some of CA and catch up with friends?  So what about the sharks?? Oceanside
  4. Puerto Rico – never been there.  Might be too hot.  But I think the wife might like a trip there if I’m doing this!

     

  5. Hawaii – I may or may not have a HS friend who moved there who may or may not have offered me some quarters lol.  If I do this, it’s 4 years out and I think it’s kind of hot there.  Still – this would be a great destination race!!
  6. Honorable mentions – Florida, Nice (France), Austin, and possibly Frankfurt (Germany).  Also not mentioned is Aruba.  I had my honeymoon there, but it was mid September and 95 degrees.  I’m not really stoked about doing 70.3 miles of work in 95+ degree temps.

Any destinations I don’t know about above that I should?

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