Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Adventures in tan lines...

Anyone who has spent a season doing triathlon probably reads the title of this post and smiles, knowingly, and partly in frustration.  There's one tan line for running, one tan line for cycling, one tan line for swimming (if you choose to swim outside), and another one for racing.  That's if you wear the same style of clothing for each sport.  You still wind up with a watch tan line, a chip strap tan line, a RoadID tan line, a sunglasses tan line (aka "reverse raccoon"), and a helmet strap tan line.  Of course, you could always choose to wear a tri suit for all sports, eliminating the eighteendifferenttanlines triathlon special.  But then, you wind up looking a bit like this:

or this:

or even this:

So, you could do this:

I don't recommend it since there are typically nudity laws.  And if you crash, well.....  And even if you don't crash, that might be bad too.

But back to the subject.  Mostly, lately I resemble this:

That's not me, just some other poor soul who has the same kind of dilemma I do.

But to further complicate the issue, you may have noticed I'm a redhead.  Which means I'm a little like this in the sun:

So getting some color without burning is typically, well, difficult.  I slather sunscreen on like I'm trying to paint my skin (and blind the other athletes), and hope for the best.

I. Still. Have. Ridiculous. Tan lines.

I've taken to doing my swim drills outdoors, in a tyr bikini (that's a whole 'nother post - yes I know it's tight, no it's not too tight, it's supposed to be this tight, yes I KNOW it's SQUEEZING ME OUT THE SIDE....) in 45-60 minute increments in the morning so I can get a gradual fix to my tan lines.  So that when I DO take my kids to the pool, well, I don't have to worry about sunburning in regions that would just make life miserable.  Welllllllll.  I didn't account for the tan line my swim cap would leave...

I need to break in to the story for a second here - My mother says that "Everyone has 5 minutes of stupid every day.  If you're lucky, it happens when you're sleeping.  Some people save theirs up..."  Well, I guess I saved mine up.

I realized that during my swim drills, I was only getting sun, for the most part, on my back.  AND apparently just enough on my face to leave the swim cap line and the reverse raccoon eyes line.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind the reverse raccoon eyes.  But a forehead that is half white and half brown. Just. Isn't. Cool.  People aren't looking me in the eyes when they talk to me, they're looking me in the forehead. I have this huge white patch at the top of my face that makes it look like I have some kind of weird huge forehead and a receding hairline and coupled with the reverse raccoon eyes, I might as well ask you to take me to your leader.  Not that you'd notice what I was saying.  You'd be distracted/blinded by my forehead stripe.  I won't post a picture, because you would be so distracted by the picture, the rest of the post would get forgotten.

So in my infinite wisdom, I decided to take the kids to the gym daycare, and lay out by the pool for 45 minutes on my back to get some sun on my front.  I read a book.  I relaxed.  I didn't worry.  I spend 45-60 minutes 2-3 times a week in the pool in the sun and don't burn.

Yeah.  About that...

Several hours after getting out of the sun, I got my first indication something was wrong.  My tummy looked a bit pink and was warm.  An hour after that, I knew I had a problem.  My face, neck/chest, tummy, legs and shins were fire engine red!  And there were definite lines on the side. The worst part of it all is that I still have a swim cap tan line.

So it looks like I'll be wearing a hat for the rest of my life.  Or until I can "fix" the tan I have on my face.  And probably wearing pigtails (and no swim cap) in the water (I wonder how hydrodynamic I can get them...).    But if the "tramp stamp" tan line I'm still wearing from April of 2011 (it's currently July of 2012) is any indication, I'm going be wearing that hat for a long time.


  1. Hey - I feel you on the head line. I did that with a bandana a bit too far down in the front. It took one morning to get it and 2 weeks to lose it. The good news is that the face tan lines actually recover faster than the rest of the body; it should start to fade in the next few weeks. Just don't put any shaped stickers on your skin while you work out (unless you want a heart and/or star tan shape).

  2. hilarious. my back looks just like that!