The top ten reasons not to do an Ironman triathlon
Posted on December 5, 2013
IM PriceBecause now everyone knows that you actually paid $700 to participate in a one-day race. You can now expect phone calls from every investment adviser currently under investigation by the SEC, telling you about a failsafe scheme to double your money in ten days, guaranteed! You’ll receive emails from Nigerian Princes promising you a share of assets that belonged to the late Prime Minister, and it’s the honest truth, the Lord bless you dear Sir.
Classic BugattiBecause you’ve now entered an alternate universe in which it actually seems reasonable to run a marathon after warming up with a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride. Next thing you know, all kinds of things that once seemed crazy will start making sense. “Honey, this year, instead of taking the kids to Disney world, how about a trip to Antarctica?” “You know, I think it just might be time to trade in the Kia for a 1931 Bugatti.” “I’ve been wondering if perhaps the earth is flat after all?”
Felt IA PriceBecause it means that you’re now addicted to one of the most expensive endeavors under the sun. Be prepared to engage in money laundering and untraceable cash transactions as you seek to hide the extent of your addiction. Those Zipp 808 wheels that got quietly stuck in the closet? $2,975. That’s nearly three grand for two circular things with hubs and spokes that go round and round. That Rudy Project helmet being delivered to an anonymous post office box? $500. Yes, five C-notes for a hunk of plastic and Styrofoam. That Felt IA Limited tri bike that just happened to appear in the garage? A whopping $13,999. Perhaps it’s time to try a new hobby. Have you considered gambling, for instance?
SleepyBecause sex will soon become a distant memory. Whoever said that being fit was good for the libido didn’t know anything about Ironman training. Think, “Fifty Shades of Groggy.”
Typical triathlete bedtime conversation:
Spouse: “Dear, what’s this I heard about a rubber strap around your ankles? Sounds kinky to me
Triathlete: “Oh that’s just a training aid for freestyle, it helps me swim with a better body position
Spouse: “Well, speaking of body position, what’s your pleasure tonight, dear?”
IM capsBecause it means you’ve now joined one of the most insular cults known to humanity. All praise the almighty World Triathlon Corporation, for they bringeth forth great challenges for us lowly bucketlisters. For we shall be known to one another by the M-dot tattoos on our ankles and we shall drape ourselves with all manner of Official Ironman® Branded Merchandise. Yea though we jog through the valley of the Dreaded Bonk we shall fear no headwind nor overuse injury. For the Lord shall smite our closest Age Group competitors, we shall qualify for the golden Kona, feast on Honey Stinger Waffles, and imbibe Infinit Recovery Drink for the rest of our days.
Because now you’ll be the death of every party you attend. You can suck the life out of any conversation with such scintillating nuggets such as, “Today I ran 9.6 miles in upper Zone 2, except on the hills where I peaked at Zone 3, but I’m surprised that TrainingPeaks only assigned it an rTSS score of 108, shouldn’t it be a few points higher?”
FarisBecause you are now about to abandon any reasonable fashion sense and become an embarrassment to all that know you. Jogging in the middle of the summer with compression arm warmers and leggings? Check. Bike rides through the local neighborhood with a pointy aero helmet and a disk wheel? Check. Showing up at the Snooty Acres Golf Club pool during family swim time with a Speedo and goggles? Check. A triathlon race suit with a bare midriff, showing off your belly button hair? Check.
Dirty LaundryBecause time has now acquired a new dimension and will disappear before your very eyes. When you tell everyone you’re only training a mere 20 hours a week, you’re leaving out a few details. Like the time spent changing and showering for your two workouts a day. Or the round trip drive through rush hour traffic to the pool for each session. Or the daily washing machine load of rancid bike kit, running togs, and swim suits. And the time spent uploading and analyzing workouts on Strava, Map My Run, Garmin Connect, etc. etc. And the time spent surfing and chatting on triathlete websites.
A handy formula for your significant other:
Time consumed by triathlon equals actual training time squared, plus 90% of any remaining available family and free time.
ResultsBecause you will actually find a way to convince yourself that the world really cares whether or not all that training time paid off and you came in 15th instead of 18th in your age group.
Because, if all goes well, and you cross that finish line before midnight and hear, “You are an Ironman!” it will all be worthwhile and you’ve learned that you can dig deep through your darkest moments and find the inner strength you’ve never tapped before. And because it means you can now move on to your next big goal, hopefully something a bit less physically demanding. International tiddlywinks? Rec center ping pong? Three dimensional tick-tack-toe? You know it’s out there, the next challenge awaits!
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John Tobin recently retired from a career in nonprofit organizational management. He recently made the questionable decision to race in Ironman Mont Tremblant on August 17, 2014.