I bought a surfboard back in March. Ok, yes, I am not sure what I was thinking, but I figured it would give me something to do in my down time, but about a month later my friend calls and says, “Do you want to do a triathlon”? I calmly replied, “A what-a-thon”?? For real? I can barely run to the mailbox when I know I got a package from Amazon.com in there!….”OK, sure, I’ll do it” So the surfboard was parked for the summer. The next thing I knew I was buying a bike that was way more expensive than the ones I bought for my girls for their birthdays…and they don’t even have baskets on the front…they really are proud of these triathlon bikes. The smaller and more uncomfortable it is, the more it costs! The first few rides were brutal, my backside was killing me, until I found out that they actually make padded shorts for bike riding….however that brings up another tidbit of information I had left out of my decision making… when I say “shorts”, I usually mean pants without the bottom part, I mean “let’s go play some basketball”- shorts….when THEY say “shorts”, they mean “spandex-hello-there-everyone-here-I-am-in-all-my-glory-pure-tightness”. Sooo, anyway after a few weeks of wearing the spandex “shorts” underneath my normal shorts, I ventured out into the world of “wearing spandex as if it is normal”. I actually wore underwear under my spandex for a while, until a teammate told me that it wasn’t necessary (like maybe it would make me swim slower)? ….And so here I am now, proudly standing in the Pensacola Beach Parking Lot with 1200 other proud spandex-wearing wanna-be athletes hoping to look normal in the crowd. By the way, Here’s a diet plan…you have to wear spandex to the beach in 6 months, no questions asked! I bet you could lose weight now! But alas I got ahead of myself…the triathlon…yes it was a new undertaking, I had never run more than 1.5 miles in my life, and that was because I was getting graded for it in college PE, and swimming 600 yards didn’t sound so bad….so we biked, and we went to the pool and swam. The first time we swam, I showed up without goggles! I thought goggles were for the kids at home looking for little sticks I threw in the pool, but no!, I was supposed to know I needed goggles?? Now I’m the idiot having to share goggles to swim laps….alas, I now have 2 pairs of my own, and I will scoff at anyone that shows up without them, like it is unheard of to swim without the sacred goggles. And the swim “cap”, what? I’m still not sure why i’m wearing that, like I’m trying to keep my hair dry for the picture afterwords? When I put it on, my head is so big it pulls the corners of my eyes up and back, so I keep thinking someones going to think I’m making fun of an Asian person or something (I’m not! Really, I’m not, but if I was it would be funny…ah..vewee funny!). So back to the day of the race…I’m looking at the Gulf of Mexico in a throng of people shivering from the wind and lack of clothing, wondering what I got myself into, thos buoys look way farther than I thought they would! As my “wave” is called, I hear “35-39 year old males and 75-99 year old male and females next”! What? 75-99 year olds?? Sure enough, I almost walk into the 80 year old wrinkled shivering little great grandmother and knock her over while I was talking to someone….then it hit me…What if she beats me!!! She actually was the last place finisher, but I was shocked to find out an 80 year old lady could do this triathlon and it kind of put it in a perspective, so an 80 year old lady can do it too….great….even then, after I pushed her down and dove in, I kinda felt bad. As I finished the swim, I ran up the beach in all my glory, swim cap in hand as I almost tripped up the stairs, I really was afraid I would fall down in the white Pensacola Beach sand and get up looking like the abominabal snowman and have to run back down and rinse off. The first transition was a blur, as I sat down to put my shoes on, I realized I had put my sock on upside down…yes socks can go on upside down, the heel was up on my ankle and my feet were sandy and I was breathing so hard I was about to hyperventilate, so I just took it off and re-positioned it and grabbed my bike and was “off to the races”. Us Triathaletes have special cycling shoes that click in and if you don’t click them in, you slip off the pedals and land on the dreaded “bar” that is on male bicycles for some reason I have never understood, so after carefully clicking in, I settled in for my best portion of the race. As a kid I loved to ride a bike and still do now that I have got back in to it. The thrill of passing people on the bike is always short lived as someone in a giant helmet and sponsored uniform flies by you so fast it scares you! An hour later I show up back at the transition, jump off my bike, almost fall over because my legs are numb, and stumble to my station propping myself up on my bike. Change shoes, eat some energy goo (thats right, theres energy goo too!) and stumble out of the gate to start the run. My thoughts are this…”just don’t let that fat chick catch you!”, then I feel bad and change it to “don’t let the plump girl pass you”… as the 65 year old man speed walking passes me…wow, he’s moving his arms fast! “Snap out of it!” I tell myself. My legs are numb, my hips hurt, my one foot feels like there’s a rock in my shoe, and my only thoughts now are “Don’t stop!! Just keep moving!” then “Why am I doing this again”?? As I cross the finish line, I am handed something in a plastic baggie, almost halucinating, I thought it was a brownie at first, shoot! it was my finishers medal!! I kinda wanted the brownie…So it was over. Just like that, it was over. A few pictures and a sense of unbelievable accomplishment, but it was over. We are now planning our next race…why not torture yourself again? Who knows, maybe they will hand out brownies next time for real…..and I have all this spandex I need to wear now, I need to get my monies worth.
Give me a break…I’ve been busy…took a month to write this!