Saturday, April 13, 2013

Flower Power

Ok, this post is just for the ladies... it's about a delicate subject, so if you have man parts, just stop reading now.  Last year during the inaugural tri group training session, we started referring to our lady parts as our "flowers".  It really wasn't a secret code.  When you announce at the end of a long ride that your "flower" hurts, even the dumbest guy gets it.

Today during our bicycle clinic, James mentioned that I could answer "lady parts"questions (not his exact words) .  Ok, so here's what I know, or more exactly, what I've stollen from another triathlete that has already broached this subject :-)
Spring 2013 Tri 101 Group

In the book "Triathlon for the Every Woman" (which I highly recommend), the author refers to her flower as "The Queen".  Since it is less embarrassing and also easier to use her words, I have selected some highlights from the text about saving the Queen.

Remember, while many of her suggestions are helpful, they are merely suggestions.  When it comes to your "flower", personal preference goes a long way.  Listen to your body and react accordingly.

God Save the Queen
"Extended periods in the bike saddle are hard on your read end.  When I say your rear end, I really mean your buns and your lady parts.  Plain and simple, the Queen will start to scream after so many miles.  The best way to deal with this issue?  Ride more.  Seriously.  The Queen is a lazy diva who must be whipped into shape and only time in the saddle will save her.  God save the Queen!"
So true...if your flower is sore, ride more!  No, you won't develop calluses, but you will develop a tolerance and each ride will get better. 

"That being said, be nice to the Queen.  Get her a good saddle, proper bike fit, comfy chamois (padded) shorts and lots of Aquaphor or other lubricant to keep her happy.  If you are noticing that the Queen goes completely numb while you are riding, then you are ripe for a nose-less saddle like the ISM Adamo Road saddle or the Cobb saddle.  Basically these seats remove the pointy part of the saddle, which in turn takes the pressure off the Queen and her castle."
If you are still sore, Coach James can refer you to specialist that can help you with bike fit.  
"Sometimes you can develop "saddle sores".  Saddle sores are actually skin issues on the Queen or her backyard neighbors.  Saddle sores can appear from too much unnecessary chafing or movement (forward, backward, or side to side) in the bike saddle - which is precisely why a good bike fit is paramount.  If you are too high in the saddle, your body and hips will move too much and you are ripe for sores"
Ouch!  No personal experience with these. 
"Also, keep the Queen lubed up and wear a one-piece chamois pad while in the saddle.  Sometimes a chamois pad can be made with two or more pieces, causing additional friction and discomfort."
I have tri shorts with a chamois, but I've never had to lube my flower. Once again, personal preference. You may or may not need to do this. Don't be afraid to experiment.  I do however, like a little Glide around my sports bra so it doesn't rub ;-)
"And while it may be entirely too much information, I do know that the Queen is a better cycling partner when she is completely bald. Less chance for ingrown you-know-whats and ripped-out-you-know-whats.  Just saying."
Totally, personal preference!!!

Triathlon for the Every Woman (Amazon Description)

Meredith Atwood, an overweight and overworked wife, mother and attorney, went from the couch to the finish of a half Ironman triathlon in little over a year.  Her book, full of contributions from expert coaches, nutritionists and athletes, takes the reader through the disciplines of swimming, biking, and running. In addition, the book includes comical accounts of battling the scale and the balancing act of training with a spouse, kids and a full-time job.  The book will inspire and entertain-- and have even the busiest of women taking on the challenge of swimming, biking and running.  Even for those lacking in time, motivation or hope, Triathlon for the Every Woman will turn everything around and make any woman a believer.

"Triathlon for the Every Woman" can be purchased through