You finally get around to cleaning out your car – you hate to admit it, but it’s been quite a while. While rummaging through your trunk, you find your lucky water bottle – the one you got from the gravel road race in the spring. Hmm… it looks like there's some water left in the bottom from the last time you used it. You take it to the sink, open the cap, grab the dish soap, and get ready to rinse it out.
Suddenly, you’re completely incapacitated, coughing and sputtering, tears streaming down your face, lungs burning. What happened? Is this chemical warfare? Anthrax? Is this the end?
And then you remember. (Dish soap drops from your hand in slow motion.)
Filling that particular bottle with recovery drink after a race.
TWO MONTHS AGO.
You hear the bell at the front of the bike shop chime, signaling a new customer. It’s your first day on the job in the service area, and although you feel confident in your mechanical skills you’re still a little anxious. You want to make a good impression.
The customer approaches the service desk, dragging a very expensive-looking triathlon bike. “I need to get it in for a tune-up before my next race,” he says.
While giving the bike a once-over, you make casual small talk. The customer, Alan, just completed his first Half Ironman and is preparing for another in about a month. You ask about how it went, what the training regimen was like. But one question burns in the back of your mind, and without realizing it you ask:
“What do you do when you have to go to the bathroom in a race like that?”
You look up from the bike and see the look on his face. Suddenly, you don’t want to know.
But you do.
It’s too late now.
“Well, you can’t really stop during the race, so you just have to… go.”
You look back at the bike. At the saddle. Did he wash the bike after the race? It’s impossible to tell.
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