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Meditations on my upcoming triathlon - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Meditations on my upcoming triathlon [Jun. 11th, 2013|11:53 am]
Zoethe
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I am now fully equipped for the triathlon, having received my wetsuit in the mail. And having tried it on to make sure I could actually get into it. With black boots and a mask, I could be a chubby superhero:
Wet suit
Yesterday, as I was biking in the pouring rain, I contemplated the fact that there is a substantial non-zero chance that I will be in last place at this triathlon. This is not some kind of ploy to have people cheer me on or anything, it's just a reality: I am fat, I am old, I am slow. I do not mind being last, but I mind the reason why I will probably be last.

And it has nothing to do with my own fat/old/slowness. It has to do with the fact that most people who are in the shape I'm in, or even slightly better, wouldn't even consider entering a triathlon. Not because, "ugh, I'd never want to do that" -- which is a perfectly legitimate way to feel, as no one is required to participate in athletic events that don't appeal to them. No, it's because there are many people in this shape or slightly better who are thinking, "wow, I could never do that."

And that's sad to me. It's sad that people don't feel like they should participate in such events unless they are going to be good at them, and they will never get good at them because they won't participate.

I have seen this at pretty much every 5k I've attended, particularly the ones that are labelled "5k run/2-mile walk." I realize that the race coordinators are trying to make the event appeal to a wider audience, but there seems to be an implication that if you can't run for 5k, then you'd better settle for the walk. At every one of these events, I start out in the middle of a good-sized crowd of walkers and slow joggers. Then we get to the turn-around spot and suddenly I'm at the back with only a handful of people. After a while, that handful diminishes further as people who can't jog the whole way drop out. Some of them, no doubt, have a physical reason why they can't continue. But others would rather slink away and remain anonymous than finish and see a time that embarrasses them.

I say nuts to that. If it takes you 50 minutes, or 75 minutes to finish a 5k, you are still lapping the guy on the couch. If it takes me 4 hours to complete this sprint-length triathlon, I will still be able to say that I did it. And I will have fun, because I don't have to be young and thin and fast to enjoy my body moving and taking on a challenge. And that is awesome.
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[User Picture]From: darksunlight
2013-06-11 03:54 pm (UTC)
Damn that looks sexy on you!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:38 pm (UTC)
*blush*

Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2013-06-11 03:57 pm (UTC)
Go You!

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[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2013-06-11 04:03 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. Good on you.
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[User Picture]From: naath
2013-06-11 05:24 pm (UTC)
A lot of the triathlons near me have time limits :( really *stingy* time limits. Which really puts me off. I know they want to tidy up but meh :(
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 07:21 pm (UTC)
Well, that is a serious problem with the organizational philosophy, and people should object!
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2013-06-11 05:37 pm (UTC)
looking damn good!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot!
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[User Picture]From: wednes
2013-06-11 05:38 pm (UTC)
That is all kinds of badass!
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[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2013-06-11 06:42 pm (UTC)
Wowsers! Life begins at 40, doesn't it :)

I just posted elsewhere that when I started climbing last year, I knew it was something I probably wasn't ever going to get "good" at. I go to the gym with all these wirey 20-30somethings who are like squirrels and monkeys on the walls. And I go up and down the easy wall. Sometimes I make it to the top. Mostly, I just practice building my own comfort level and confidence. And I don't care if I ever get good at it! I'm there to do it. For me. :)

And I'll keep on saying that you are part of my inspiration.

Edited at 2013-06-11 06:46 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:39 pm (UTC)
That's great! Enjoy yourself; that's what really matters.
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[User Picture]From: wilhelmina_d
2013-06-11 06:48 pm (UTC)
Good luck! I'm firmly in the "I don't do these as they're not my cup of tea" camp, but I have to admit that if they were my cup of tea I might be in the "I don't do them because people like me can't do them" camp. I love that you said, yes, people who aren't star athletes can do triathlons and the like! (It's kind of like how I think American Idol and its clones are destroying people's desire to sing if they can't sing perfectly.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-12 12:47 am (UTC)
It's terrible that we have all this fun stuff available now but an attitude that only people who are "serious" about them enjoy the fun.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2013-06-11 06:54 pm (UTC)
You look terrific in that!
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[User Picture]From: pachamama
2013-06-11 08:02 pm (UTC)
Hooray for you! You're an inspiration!

Having been on the sidelines for my kids' dad's triathlon training, I can only offer the following advice : practice your transitions. A lot. Especially getting out of a wet wetsuit and into your biking gear. Do it over and over and over again. Having good transitions makes a huge difference to your times, and it's all about technique, not fitness or age.

Also check out gels for energy/electrolytes. They're repulsive but very effective and easy to carry and digest.

Reading your blog makes me realise I can finish Saturday's 5K4Boston event, Meniere's or no Meniere's.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm probably not going to get to this time, but I will try to make a few practices.
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[User Picture]From: guldensupp
2013-06-11 08:21 pm (UTC)

Thank You

You inspire me to be a better me. May you do the best you can do and enjoy it. I will attempt the same in my world.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Thank You

Thanks so much!
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[User Picture]From: idic_writer
2013-06-11 09:11 pm (UTC)

Good for you!

I admire your spirit. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Good for you!

Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: labelleizzy
2013-06-11 09:47 pm (UTC)
go Gini!!
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[User Picture]From: tfcocs
2013-06-11 09:52 pm (UTC)
That suit is AWESOME! Pure awesome sauce!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-11 09:57 pm (UTC)
LOL! Thank you!
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From: ext_2007496
2013-06-11 11:40 pm (UTC)
My first 5k (last Sunday!) took me 70 mins. I'm expecting the next one to take me just as long. And the tri I got dared to do.. I will be dead freaking last. Fat. Broken. Not certain I can finish the super sprint (half your distance!) I know I can't finish if I don't get off my ass though. So I /am/ going to drag my 300 lb ass to a tri. Cause dammit, I CAN. (I hope).

So I wish you luck, and skill and all the awesome you already have. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2013-06-12 12:42 am (UTC)
I have so much freaking respect for you. Rock on with your bad self.
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