Five Things You Always Wanted to Ask a Triathlete....

Tri-Mates: Mark & Pamela Polomksi

1. What's worth more? Your bike or your car and what do you ride?

Pamela: My car is worth more, but I love my bike more: 2003 Klein Carbon Pro Road Bike, Mark has hooked me up with blue tires, a turquoise seat post, matching blue and turquoise marble handle bar tape, and a matching tiny bike bag. But next year I might upgrade to a nice Specialized since my bike will be 10 yrs old 🙂

Mark: All my bikes together, or just my tri bike? If you asked me two years ago, probably the bikes. I had a dying Land Rover, and I sold one bike since then. My current collection:

  1. 2010 Specialized Transition Expert TT/Tri bike
  2. 2000 Bianchi Eros road bike
  3. 2002 Ted Wojcik Custom Softride hardtail mountain bike
  4. 2003 Santa Cruz Blur Full Suspension mountain bike


2. Who or what got you started in Triathlon? 

Pamela: Mark and I were reading The Independent on a lazy June Sunday morning (2008) and saw the Santa Barbara Triathlon advertisement. We said, let's try it!  I had one small issue, at age 48; I had to learn how to swim--really. Couldn't swim at all! Went to the YMCA and signed up for adult swim lessons. When I started, I couldn't get 10 feet from the wall and I was afraid to put my face in the water or go to the deep end 🙂

Mark: Back in 2008, I was perusing the Independent and saw an ad for the SB Triathlon.  I said to Pam “want to do a triathlon – it’s only a 500 yard swim, 6 mile bike and 2 mile run.  We bike all the time, how hard could the rest of it be?”  To my dismay, she said “OK let’s do it”.  That was pretty brave for her, as she could not swim at all at that time.  I was on swim team as a kid, so I figured that part would be OK.  I hated running, but two miles - what the heck, it’s doable. I survived that first tri.  In the swim I decided to do the backstroke as Mexican pharmacy my breath.  I was cruising along just fine, until I heard one of the lifeguards yelling, “Wrong way, wrong way!” I looked up and found that I was headed out to sea!  The bike was easy.  I walked half the run.

But, I was hooked!  I’ve done about four sprint and Olympic Tri’s each year since then.  I’ve also learned to enjoy running and have completed a marathon in 2010.

3. Socks or No Socks? 

Pamela: I wore socks for my first tri in 2008, never since.  Mark: In races, no socks! In training if it’s a long run, or long bike ride. I’ll wear socks.  I never wear socks in the swim. 

4. Music or No Music When you Train? Death Metal or Death Cab or?

Pamela: I always train with music when I run, but not on the bike. My running music is waaaaay different from my usual tastes: i.e. Linkin Park's "Bleed it Out", CeeLo Green "F**k You, Jimmy Eat World "Pain", The Hives "Tick, Tock, Boom", Nickleback "Animals". It's all about a beat that fires me up!  I always warm up to the song: "Unstoppable" by Rascal Flatts--motivates me 🙂

Mark: I use music when I’m working on my running cadence.  I also use a metronome or recording of a metronome sometimes.  I use a program that analyzes the beats per minute of my music library and I choose songs which are ~ 180 BPM.  I tend more toward Death Cab than Death Metal. No music on the bike – not safe.

5. You started in the same wave as your husband or wife. They beat you in the swim. You closed the gap on the bike. They are in your sights, and the finish is too..  How does it end? 

Pamela: I will kill myself to catch up and pass him, moon him, then kick past his cute ass to the finish line while he laughs!

Mark: I say “ hi hon, looking good”, as I pass her, then greet her again as she crosses the finish line.

(Bonus round.... favorite recovery food/drink?)

Pamela: Inside Out Carrot Cake Cookies from Trader Joes, nawww...R4 Recovery Drink 🙂

Mark: Recovery drink is 1 portion of Heed with 3/8-cup whey powder mixed in 16 ounces of ice cold water.  Shaken, not stirred.