You’ve Got to Tri(athlon)
I run because it’s who I am; I do triathlons to find out who else I can be. In the course of six hours you have time to figure these things out.
You also, I learned, have time for some very random thoughts. Here is a sampling of things that went through my mind during the Oliver Half Ironman on the weekend. (Note: the more I suffer, the more I curse, profanity has a magical band-aid effect. Ella, that means stop reading here.)
- It’s a nice day for a little swim, a bike ride, and a run. What the hell was I thinking?
- I should have tried on this wetsuit before today, not breathing could be a liability.
- Hopefully these swimmers are sighting because I can’t see a thing.
- Pool swimming prepares you for triathlon like knitting prepares you for the WWF.
- First, you swim on top of me, and then you kick me in the face? Karma says there’s a flat tire in your future.
- Mother of God, where is that beach?
- Why is everyone in such a hurry in transition? People aren’t very chatty. I thought we’d bond after swimming through a dishwasher together.
- Drafting is illegal – of course I won’t draft. One thing about me is I follow rules to the letter. I don’t jaywalk, nor spit into the wind.
- Drink. Eat. Drink. Eat. Someone once told me you can’t over-fuel. Hopefully not the same person who suggested I do this race, because they are clearly trying to kill me.
- Where is everybody? I desperately need to draft.
- If I rode off this cliff, would I die or just be maimed for life? And if maimed, how long would I lay there before anyone came looking? I wouldn’t be one of those people who cuts off their arm and crawls to safety; I’d just cry.
- Wait, wait, wait. I’m totally going to ride your ass as long as I can.
- Speaking of ass, if mine didn’t feel like I was sitting on an inverted kitchen faucet, I wouldn’t mind biking.
- I should have biked 93 kilometers before today. Fuck, it’s far.
- Still, childbirth is harder. All that pain without an inch of forward movement.
- Was I supposed to practice transitions? Because I didn’t get the memo. And again, I don’t see why we can’t share a few words about that heinous bike ride we just endured.
- To the 24 year-old girl who passed me on the run: why aren’t you hungover in bed right now? Surely there are better ways to spend your youth.
- Is motherfucker redundant?
- Jesus Christ, who am I Princess and the Pea – how is it possible that I felt that pebble through my insulated runner? And that one? Ow. Ow. Ow.
- A six mile run would be sufficient given the circumstances. Whoever came up with thirteen is a sadist, and I hope they spend an eternity in hell running over hot coals, like we are doing today.
- What’s that stomach, you’re cramping? I can’t hear you, and by the way my legs are the boss of you.
- Never. Give. Up.
- I think I just found my inner ninja.
So, a lot of negative thoughts, subsequently erased by going the distance. That, for me, is the beauty of triathlon, and the reason I’ll be stupid enough to do more in the future.