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Favorite Things & Ridiculous Nicknames

Without naming any names (The Expert and Sweet Red), I have inherited a new nickname.  And it’s ridiculous.

It’s Oprah.

I wasn’t even going to tell ya’ll because I’m hiding my face in my hands right now (okay, not right now, because I am typing…but….)  Anyway, I am a lot of things—but Oprah Winfrey isn’t one of them.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Oprah and I have many things in common: our battles with weight, big ole lovely arms, and an affinity for over-priced shoes.  Well, I used to be that way. Now, I just wear flats. (“Next stop: Easy Spirit!  I hear they’re having a sale!!! Welcome to triathlon–where your feet and hips suddenly become more important than sassy shoes.)

Someday, I hope to carry a wagon full of fat across a stage—or at least roll that wagon right into the law office. That would be amazing. Can you imagine? Anyway. Oprah.

Ha. Well, I’m a sad excuse for Oprah.  I get embarrassed when I am in public and someone runs up to me and says, “Swim Bike Mom, eeeek” or what have you.  Granted, I love it—it makes me feel great, of course—but I feel like a fraud.  I mean, I’m just me… I am not someone like Oprah.

Therefore, when the Expert and Sweet Red started calling me Oprah—and I reciprocated by calling them Stedman and Gayle— I figured we might as well carry out this ridiculousness into a Favorite Things post. Say it ain’t so.  Oh, but it is.


Picking colors for the 2013 Tri Kits….almost ready!

Now some of you may have already seen my favorite things website list hosted by my triathlon fave,  This is not the post where you get a car! you get a car! you get a car!  SorryBut here’s the point of this post (if you have hung in here long enough and didn’t leave at the mention of my silly nickname).


My Oprah-ish Favorite Things list has a dual purpose.
1) To tell you guys about the triathlon gear and stuffs that I love. Because I am a gear junkie and want you to know about cool things I love.

BUT also…

2) Just in case any of my “favorites” are watching, reading or laughing–or, if any of you loyal SBMs or friends know of some good contacts and want to pass along–and are interested in sponsoring Swim Bike Mom’s mission, direction and focus, I would love to discuss with you. SBM has a great momentum—and I am truly excited about the direction we are heading. And yes, I say “we”—because there are more people than just “me” involved now.  Please contact me directly with inquiries, questions, press kit, etc.

Drum roll please…

I bring you the triathlon  (and some other) things I love.

  • Aquaphor
    God Save the Queen!  I use this lovely product everywhere something might get chafed. Too much info, I know. But #truth.

    Loaded up on this... well, you know.

    Loaded up on this… well, you know.

  • SpiBelt
    This amazingly small but hefty little belt is a recent favorite. It lays flat against my mom belly and doesn’t jiggle up and down. Further, I can fit my iPhone, house key and about 3 gels in the little pouch. It’s perfect for a short or longer run.  I combine it with my handheld Fuel Belt Sprint Palmholder Bottle for everything I need on a run outside.



  • Aquasphere Goggles
    The Expert loves these brand of goggles. I used them for almost two years, and am still a fan. I go back and forth between my TYR goggles, and the Aquasphere Lady Kayenne.
  • Athleta
    Who doesn’t love this company? “Power to the She”? Yes. One of my favorite swimsuits ever is from here. I love their Spin Short. I frequently wear their running capris and swimsuits. Oh, and sportbras too.


    Athleta Capris

  • Moving Comfort
    True to its name, these booby holders are the nicest, most-comfy and supportive ones I’ve come across in a long while. I found one I liked, and I bought three.


    Moving Comfort Boulder Holders!

  • Louis Garneau
    One of my absolute triathlon staples. I heart Garneau. From shoe covers to the Journey Compression Capris, I love Garneau products. Mostly because their sizing fits up to 2XL in women’s, and feels true to size. Also survives wear and tear of washing and riding.


    Garneau Shoe Covers

  • Pearl Izumi
    Cycling Shorts and gloves are my favorites. The shorts fit pretty true to “normal” sizing, and the gloves last forever. Loving the thermal gloves and outer shell jacket that’s helping to keep me toasty during winter rides.
  • Foster Grant Ironman Sunglasses
    Yes, they are available at the grocery store. Yes, they say “Ironman” on them. But for $20 price range, they are a great bargain and a good pair. They don’t rest right on your nose… so there’s no fogging if you have a hot face or are a heavy sweater.


    Giro helmet, Foster Grant Sunglasses, and Pearl Izumi shell jacket

  • Blue Competition Cycles
    Oh Andy, how I love you. Let me count the ways.  As I transitioned from a Specialized road bike to a tri bike, I found my Blue Triad to be a wonderful transition…. and it’s fast. Zoom.IMG_6941
  • Camelbak
    My choice for long runs on hot days. You can’t beat up to 72 ounces of water, a place to put your snacks and cell phone.  With the hook around straps, it’s doesn’t bounce as much as you might think.
  • Bodyglide
    I use the stick around bra straps or before getting in the pool. Where Aquaphor is my multi-purpose, this tends to survive the pool a little longer. Additionally, Bodyglide makes a liquid foot powder that is amazing, called Skin Glide.  One half Ironman in the rain, and no a single foot blister.
    Bodyglide Skin Glide - 1.6oz Tube
  • Peanut Butter & Company
    Enough said. Their website is Me too! Meeeeeee toooooo!
  • Brooks Running
    I’m on my fifth pair of Brooks Adrenalines.  Two pairs of GTS 11’s, two pairs of GTS 12’s, and I just recently slid into the GTS 13.  I need a supportive shoe at this juncture; even when I may lose weight, I can see myself stepping down into the Glycerin or Ravenna. I really love the feel of Brooks. And they look pretty snazzy too.

    Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13

    Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13

  • CEP Compression
    I have only raced once in the CEP socks, but I used them often for recovery. The Expert loves to run in his…all the time.
    photo (51)
  • CycleOps
    The trainer that the Expert and I use is a CycleOps from 1999. It’s old and crusty, and still hanging in there. Because it doesn’t have the greatest advancements that modern trainers do… the workout is tougher. At least, I’m convinced of it.IMG_8216
  • Finis SwimP3
    Music while swimming. Enough said.  These, however, have no ear buds to fiddle with. The contraption hooks to goggles and rests against your jawbone for “jawbone conduction” of sound. Excellent sound.  Almost too good to be true. Except it’s true.33517-25823-T
  • FuelBelt
    My next favorite carry-all for mid-distance runs on a hot day where I need more fluids or fuel.41VYUYXDSkL__SL500_AA300_
  • Nuun Hydration
    These handy little tablets pop into your water with a fizz and provide electrolytes when needed.  I love the cherry flavor. I could leave the banana, though. I haven’t tried the Kona Cola, though it’s the one that people seem to swear by.
  • Giro Helmet
    I bought this helmet on sale at All3Sports, and it’s the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn.


    Giro Helmet

  • GU Energy
    Gels are a necessary evil of endurance sports, I’m afraid.  And I really never get tired of the Chocolate Outrage or the Peanut Butter on a long ride. As long as I have some water to wash them down.
  • Headsweats
    Probably my absolute favorite piece of gear. You will rarely catch me traveling to the gym, or running or spining without my visor. Sound dumb to wear a visor indoors? Well, it’s a Headsweats visor–meaning it doubles as a sweatband. During long runs and spin class, it keeps the sweat out of my eyes. If I could wear one under my bike helmet, I would.  And I love them so much that I had Swim Bike Mom ones made.

    image (5)

    One of many Headsweats Visors.

  • Bell Plantation’s PB2 – Powdered Peanut Butter
    It’s a close second to real peanut butter. Basically, it’s peanut butter without the oil…so it’s powder. You can mix it in with Greek yogurt, smoothies, or even water for a low-cal peanut butter. Pretty snappy. peanut-butter3
  • ISM Road Saddle
    God SERIOUSLY save the Queen. This saddle is the bomb diggity. Not to mention hip in its red color.  I ride Adamo Road Saddle on both my road and tri bike–the tri position is so comfy in the saddle.  That is all.

    photo (38)

    Adamo ISM Road Saddle on Antonia

  • LifeProof cases
    I ruined many an iPhone by dropping it on a run, and sweating all over it during a race.  This case has saved my phone countless times. Oh, and it doubles as an underwater camera!
    photo (21)
  • Profile Design
    Profile Design makes execllent aero bottle for the bike…and a Rear Bottle Cage for water bottles… or Starbucks. I love both.
  • SaltStick
    I am super sweaty. Before a long race or ride, I use these tablets to “salt load” and I have yet to truly cramp too badly.
  • Go Raw
    I love this brand of raw food snacks. I put the Pumpkin Seed and Sunflower mix on almost every Greek yogurt. And the Super Cookies are great on-bike fuel.
    Picture of Chocolate Super Cookies
  • Shimano
    Shimano makes lots of things bike-y, but I have found their road shoes to be great–especially for beginners. I am looking to migrate to a tri shoe eventually, but I’m on my second pair of Shimano shoes.
  • Clif Shot Bloks
    These are my go-to fuel source.  I like the texture, the taste and the caffeine kick.  Each packet contains 200 calories, so it’s great for a 2+ hour ride or run. I like that you can have one or two, and save for later too.
  • Skratch Labs
    This new product is a bomb-diggity in hydration. Looking forward to seeing big things from them.
  • Klean Athlete
    You can read my review of this supplement company and product here. But I am a big fan. I’m on my second tub of Klean Isolate protein powder.image (3)
  • Specialized Bikes
    My first official road bike was a Specialized Secteur Elite… Antonia. She was a doll.. she’s still rocking and rolling on the trainer in the bedroom.


    Antonia: My Specialized Secteur Road Bike

  • Stuffitts
    Very few things are practical as a pair of Stuffitts. What do they do? Well, they 1) keep your shoes dry and smelling nice, and 2) give you a handle strap to sling them over your shoulder.  My post-Augusta cycling shoes smelled SO bad. And after using the Stuffitts constantly, they have been revived.These little things:


  • Swiftwick Socks
    These compression and wicking socks are sweet and non-sweaty for those extra long runs. I am a new Swiftwick ambassador, and really do love them.Swiftwick Sockage. Loving.
  • Balega Socks
    Another sock, but these are cushy and also, one of my faves.
  • Terry Cycling
    Wonderful women’s cycling clothing… and it goes up to plus sizes.
  • The Stick
    Medieval torture device? Nope… a running essential.
  • Dutch Monkey Doughnuts
    Oh, should this not be on here? Sorry, but yes it should. Best ever!  Plus, they are making a Swim Bike Doughnut for my Ironman celebration!

photo (31)

  • Go Soap Sports Detergent
    If you have stinky duds, this new detergent really gets the stink out. It also claims to restore the wicking material, which I tend to believe as true, as my wicking shirts smell and look better than ever.IMG_8994
  • TriBike Transport
    I have not used them yet—but I have paid them to take care of Andy in his transport to Couer d’Alene in June. I love the fact that I don’t have to think about taking apart and shipping my bike. If they get it there in one piece and rocking and rolling… I’ll update.
  • Trigger Point Therapy
    Hurts so good. I have been using TP Therapy for well over a year, and I am still a fan.  You can read my review of the Grid here.  Now, they have a giant Grid- the 2.0.


    The Grid

  • Sports Beans
    Jelly beans that are good for you.  Or something like that. That is all.


  • TYR Sport
    I use TYR for most things in the water: Special Ops Polarized Goggles, TYR Solid Diamondback Swim Suit, and Pull Buoy.
    This is the swimsuit I love. Love love. I obviously don’t look like the lass in the picture, but what I love about this suit is the material and the straps—thin, but supportive.


  • Yankz Laces
    Can’t beat the speed of slipping your shoes on in transition. Now, putting these laces on your shoes may be a little time consuming, but once you’ve done it —-it’s easy to replicate. These are one of triathlons little gems.
  • Yakima Bike Rack
    I can tote Andy, Antonia and the Expert’s nameless bike on the party wagon that is the Honda Pilot. If only my rack looked that good.
  • Zico Coconut Water
    Did not like coconut water at first. Still can’t stand the natural kind–on it’s own. But I love it as the base for smoothies. And the chocolate coconut water is craaaaaay delish, especially after a hot bike ride.AND FINALLY…
  • Monkey Hat.
    I don’t know who makes this, but thank you. paddington12

 [Note: I have received absolutely nothing for mentioning any of the these products in this post.]


  • Erin

    February 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Where do I even begin? You’re faves are practically all of MY faves!!! Brooks, heads sweats, Yakima on the pilot, coconut water, aquasphere (even though I am still sidelined from the pool)…seriously, I could go on and on and on (yeah, that pitiful neglected blog)…

    THIS is why I LOVE you!!
    You rock.

    that is all 😉

  • Rachel

    February 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Loving your blog and your post. I always like to hear what products work for others before I go spending money on anything. Do you use paddles when swimming? I’ve toyed with getting some but I feel so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin. Also, wet suit?? Mine gave me *the* most horrible chafe on my neck during my first full last Sept. I’d definitely want to invest in something else should I decide to do another.

    Just want to say that I love your blog. I commend you for doing what you’re doing and I can totally relate. I trained and completed my first full tri just two months after I became a single mom, working full time and teaching yoga classes 5days/week. It’s hard to do it all, but so rewarding. Right now, I’m dealing with all the foodstuff that you describe, and have put on 15lbs since my tri! And it’s not going anywhere except clinging for dear life to my body. You’re an inspiration to me.

  • Allie

    February 26, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I LOVED reading this list of favorite things. I am new to triathlons and am trying to learn as much as possible. This list has been very helpful. I am still researching wetsuits for larger size women and would love to hear any feedback that anyone has on that as well. Thanks again for all of the info!


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