Monday, September 1, 2014

XTERRA Wetsuits Review

I have raced my whole life in XTERRA wetsuits. I received the Vortex as a gift quite a few years ago, I feel it was a little encouragement gift to give triathlons a try. I eventually did try a triathlon in my Vortex and I was hooked. I raced in that suit for years, rinsing it out after each race and storing it in a cool dry place. Its about 7-8 years old at this point and looks brand new! Zero holes, no scratches, nothing.
I then moved up to the top of the line Vendetta having XTERRA as one of my sponsors which is AWESOME. The suit is outrageously comfortable with the right amount material in the right places. The arms are pretty thin making freestyle feel pretty natural while the legs just float along even without kicking if you are more of an upper body swimmer. If you are willing to spend the money for a great quality suit and are willing to take care of it properly after each swim then the Vendetta is the suit for you.
If you don't have as much money to spend on a suit then the Vector Pro middle of the line suit is also an excellent choice. It retails for $600 but with my discount at checkout you can get it for $240 which is a sick deal. I personally have never worn this suit but I know a few who have and they have had nothing but good things to say about it.
Last but not least is my first suit ever, the Vortex. Retailing for $400 you can get it for $149 with my discount code! Their base level wetsuit that you would never know is base level after trying it on. Its super comfortable just like the others with maybe a little less stretch to it. The only time I noticed the less stretch was in transition, I found it much easier to get off than the Vendetta until I got used to it.

Their suits are all designed to have minimal amount of drag. A special coating allows you to slip through the water fast by reducing friction (kind of like a seal :) ) The middle later of the suit adds buoyancy while the inner layer keeps it stretchy. The panels of the suit are created to fit to your body and the seams of the suit are glued and stitched for added strength.
Now some people manage to get holes in their suits. This baffles me to a degree because I man handle my suits while trying to get them on and I have never put a single hole in my suit or broken a seam. So be a little more gentle with your suit. Leave an extra few minutes to get the suit on before a race so you aren't rushing! Pull a little at a time up the legs or arms to get the suit to move to where you need it and be sure to rinse it with fresh water after every race and let dry in a cool place!

The velocity speed suit for those non wetsuit legal swims is a great product. Although I haven't spent much time in mine since all were wetsuit legal this season, the suit cuts down on drag drastically; reducing time in the water and making for a fast swim.

Aside from wetsuits, their triathlon bag is also awesome! A pocket for the wetsuit after a race is perfect so none of your other gear gets wet. Its large enough to hold everything you need!

I am a true believer in the XTERRA products. I think they are a phenomenal brand and fantastic company. Their return policy is great, their exchange policy is great and their support for their athletes is unending as they are willing to invest in athletes to see them succeed; me being one of them.

I couldn't have asked for a better sponsor for this season and I hope to return with them again next year. Thank you XTERRA WETSUITS! Your belief in me as an athlete has helped me achieve my goal of turning professional. Hard work is never over. The bar is set high for next season. I can't wait!

Don't forget to use the code SA-DORGAN for 60% off the Vortex and Vector Pro Suits!


Chi Town Tri

Arrived in Chicago Friday night around 11:30pm. Gerard was driving up from Georgia for the weekend with a friend who lived in the area and flying back to Georgia on Monday when I flew back to NJ. He was scheduled to arrive around 4am so I headed to bed and set my alarm for his arrival which was timed almost perfectly!
Saturday morning arrived, Gerard and I got up to workout. He went and did his long run as I did my pre race routine. Back to get ready for breakfast and I decided to check on my bike at Fedex so we could go pick it up. I am told its been rerouted to a sorting facility outside of the city and it won't arrive until MONDAY! I thought my race was over before it started.
We called Fedex about 5 times and they kept telling us they would look into it and get back to us.  I had almost given up when my brother Sean decided to take over and somehow, with his magical powers, got Fedex to redeliver the bike to the right location, where it should have been all along.
After the bike was put together and everything was ready for race day we went out to grab some dinner at a Sushi place that Gerard would describe as "The best sushi I have ever had in my life."
Up at out by 430 am Chicago time which was 530 NJ time which is awesome!!! Set up in transition and I went to warm up a bit.
The race began at 6:19 am Chicago time. The swim went pretty well, not as fast as I would have liked but I know I have room for improvement. I was slowed down a bit by the massive piles of lake grass at the surface that I ran into and got tangled up in. I had to stop, push it down and swim over it. This happened twice, the rest of the time I was just getting it wrapped around my arms and goggles. I also almost went head on with another swimmer as we looped back to pass the start line because the buoys going out were not completely straight so if you swam straight, you swam into us, which many did. I made it out ok and ran the 450 yards to the transition area. That is where the swim time stopped so everything was a little long.
Out onto Lake Shore Drive on the bike and cruising with the wind at my back. Once we turned around the wind was in our faces but it wasn't so bad. The next part of the bike was new this year and we raced through the tunnels of Chicago. Although it was a little hard to see, there really wasn't anything on the ground that you had to see because there were no big potholes or anything. With no elements I hit 28mph cruising through the tunnels and then out onto the busway which is a road used just for buses that most people don't even know exist! I thought the bike course this year was much less boring than last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Onto the run I was the 11th female. This included the Pro field and maybe some amateurs, I wasn't sure. I ran down one woman on the way out and was able to catch another on the way back with about a half mile to go. Still having no idea where I was in the race, I came up the small hill for the finish. Thats when the announcer said I was the first female across the line! I didn't get too excited just yet because this year has been the year of getting beat by someone in another heat but it didn't happen this time. I have officially earned my Pro card. I still have a lot of work to do but I know exactly what I need to work on and I will get there and be competitive in the pro field come next season. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I couldn't have done it without you!
Huge shout out to my sponsors, Xterra Wetsuits and Powerbar. The best products on the market have truly helped me succeed.

I am now done with my season, a little early but I felt it was the right thing to do so I can focus on some weaknesses and take a much needed break so I will come back healthy and fast next year!

Until next season...