Thursday, July 12, 2012


Fair skin + 3 hours /day for most of my child hood in a swimming pool do not bode well for healthy skin at 45. Add skin cancer running in my family and I should really have taken up indoor track cycling...vs Ironman- where the sun is unavoidable.

My trips to the dermatologist, every 6 months are dreaded...she comes as me with the liquid nitrogen and starts blasting. The last visit I left with $225 cream ( no generic and not covered by insurance) to use liberally on my forehead.   The cream is chemotherapy based and attacks the cancerous or pre-cancerous cells and draws them out.   3 weeks and not a pretty sight.... end result 1- I now have bangs (had to cover the unsightly scene and stop the open mouth staring) 2- the dark spots are gone.

I always like when the derm asks if I can train before the sun comes up... um- hard to get in 6 hours on the bike before 7am- although maybe there is market for the vampire training.  Okay, I know there is the trainer option but I live in SD and darn it if I am paying the price we pay to live here I am enjoying what the city offers....some of the best outdoor cycling anywhere. 

So the goal is cover up- I always wear a short sleeve jersey (no this picture is not me since she has NO sleeves)   and 90% of the time my Zoot arm coolers.  They block the sun...and do a good job of keeping me cool- they are especially effective when they are wet.  

face and legs are covered in sunscreen...I use Solbar most of the time and it works well. But when I am lazy or too tired from training I take the easy way out and use the Neutrogena "wet" spray on sunscreen.  Not sure how well it works as my back has some wicked tan lines from the pool - but I am sure it is better than nothing and I use it more frequently. I keep it in my car, swim bag, in the garage near the dog leashes to spray before a walk etc,..

So why this really boring interesting post about sunscreen? In 10 days I am racing IM Lake Placid and that is 10-11 hours in the sun all day....and well I don't stop in Ironman to reapply nor do I let the awesome volunteers slather on the think, gooey, zinc filled NO-AD sunscreen for fear of clogging my pores. This is not a hygiene acne issue but a cooling issue...I need my pores open and pouring out sweat to keep myself as hydrated as possible.  I have used heavy zinc sunscreens and had my skin stay white and barely sweat.  No sunscreen is a really bad idea as well. 
So I just ponied up $23 for Endurance Shield Sunscreen...developed by Pro Triathletes so it will make me faster during my Ironman it must be good.  Right? Hoping so....they know what it feels like to have glue on your body or to have sunscreen run in your eyes at mile 10 on the bike that feels like batter acid and causes you to lose all your aerodynamic benefit of your bike fit because you are sitting up and trying to rub out the burning sensation and not crash or take out another triathlete.   And then you effectively rub off all the sunscreen and allow a full burn....

At this point the amount of $ spent to get to the starting line is ridiculous and makes me wonder how I will ever retire if I keep doing this sport which really is not that much...another $23 is good investment in healthy skin!   I'll happily review the sunscreen post Lake Placid which will go like this- if I PR then the sunscreen was amazing and well worth the $23 but is anything goes wrong...of course it is the sunscreens fault.   No new things on race day,..I know...I will proudly wear it daily before the BIG DAY,

See what a taper does.....more time to obsess consider the small stuff.


  1. Was that Aldara cream? I've used that stuff before- yikes- made for a nasty nasty sore I finally stopped b/c it hurt so bad! Anyway, I get the liquid nitrogen treatment every 6 months as well. My favorite sunscreen is Planet Sun- zinc formula that does NOT feel like glue or make me overheat at all... and it stays on all day- I apply it once and go train for 7 hours and still have a bit of a whitish coating when I'm done that doesn't come off til I scrub it in the shower! Anyway, it's the only one I've found that I can use that I don't even notice I have it on. Love it!

      it was horrid....I serioulsy had sores and scabs on my forehead-
      I'll check out Planet Sun- thanks!

  2. My mom has that stuff for her leg. They call it cancer cream. Having had a melanoma already ( left tricep) i applaud your diligence on this. I just use the spray stuff and as long as i reapply all seems fine. The arm coolers are key too if you can but you cant avoid some sun, that is just how it is, and you cant stop living your life. Good luck at IMLP.