Months of training. Massive amounts of money spent on coaching, massage, physical therapy, bike components, sassy tri apparel, Master’s swim fees, computrainer classes, race fees, training camps, carbon fiber bike, multiple running shoes, aerodynamic water bottles, socks that supposedly make you run faster, deep dish race wheels that are obsolete five minutes after purchase, warm-up clothing, cool-down clothing, bike trainer, herbal supplements, nutritionist, cool-ass cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses, aero helmet, airfare, hotel fees, rental car, bike shipping fees, Christmas gift for the beloved bike mechanic, cooling gear for hot days, warming gear for cold days, rain gear for wet days, wind-blocking gear for windy days, All this, coming together for the big event: The IRONMAN.
And now, let us zoom in closer and listen to this super-focused athlete in its natural habitat…
¼ mile: Feeling good! Heart rate stable – out of the fray. Just lock in this pace, and we’re good to go! This is going to be an awesome day—awesome! Gonna kick some iron ass!
½ mile: I wonder if I could swim this whole thing butterfly. I mean, if I really had to. Probably not in a wetsuit. But maybe if it was sleeveless. Yes, if it was sleeveless I could do it, but I’d need some adrenaline—like that super-human strength crap when moms lift up cars with their pinky to save a kid. It’d suck, but I could do it.
1 mile: Right now, I’m swimming in the world’s largest toilet. One large, co-ed, multi-cultural toilet.
1.2 miles: Yes! First loop done. Woot woot! If we have to run down the beach, it should be included in the 140.6 mile count. Like, make the run 26.1, duh. And we should have a few minutes shaved off our final time for running in a wetsuit—kinda like in golf, when you’re really good and you play with someone really sucky.
1.5 miles: Are there any man-eating freshwater fish? I guess Piranha are technically fresh water, but would they bother biting through a wetsuit with this giant underwater salad bar of slimy plant crap? Guess 14 rows of razor teeth aren’t needed for salad.
1.75 miles: Seriously though? I could do butterfly if I had to. I could break it up with some breaststroke. Nah, breaststroke makes me go backwards. I mean, I have breasts and I can’t do breaststroke? Then again, a lot of people can’t do backstroke. And everyone has a back. Or at least everyone I know.
2.0 miles: I can’t believe no one’s invented floating aid stations. They float a Ford, why not a huge raft with people handing out small water cups? Or a hose! We could just swim by and have clean water shot directly into our mouths! Great business idea—I’ll call it “Water on the Water.” B-rilliant!
Yes! Totally just smoked that guy. Eat my wake!
2.2 miles: Wooohooo— I’m flying! Move over, Phelps, there’s a new sheriff in town and she’s kickin’ some serious a—what the hell!? Is that a green swim cap running up the beach? How’d she get so far ahead? Shit—I suck! But I could totally swim butterfly if I had to.
Mile 15: Oh, for crying out loud! Why do men wear white tri shorts? I mean, you’re aero for crap’s sake! Gotta pass this guy before I become a de facto proctologist.
Mile 25: Watts are good, heart rate steady, GU down the hatch. Lots of cows around here. Something about the cow is really funny, ya know?
Mile 40: Holy shit! Where did this woman come from? Fine, go on by me missy, but I’ll see you on the run. She must doping. Obviously. Or she’s like, 18.
Mile 50: Gotta pee but there’s a huge pack behind me. I mean, what if I see them after the race and they’re all like, “Oh, my god! That’s the girl who pulled a total Niagra Falls at mile 50 of the bike!” No one deserves that. Even Mr. Look-At-My-Intestines in the white bike shorts.
Mile 60: Wonder how many sticks of butter I’ve burned off at this point. I mean, if I downed, like, four sticks of butter, would any of the fat actually reach my butt? It’d be so cool if I could eat a stick of butter, flour, sugar and chocolate chips, and my stomach would bake a cookie.
Mile 75: More cows? Don’t other female mammals have milk? So what’s the big deal about the cow? Why don’t we milk Zebras? I mean, crap, we now milk coconuts and soybeans. Even almonds! Ooohhhh… chocolate-covered almonds are so good! Peanuts are good too though. Yeah, I’d definitely vote for the peanut. Holy lower backache, Batman.
Mile 90: God, my ass is killing me! Why can’t GU have ibuprofen in it? Is that really too much to ask? That the peeps at the GU factory get together with peeps at the Advil factory and come up with some sort of love child? Oh hell, please don’t tell me that woman in front of me has a “53” on her leg…
Mile 100: I hate this sport. I’m never doing this stupid race again. How the hell am I supposed to run a marathon now? This isn’t fun! Why do people think this is fun? I’m going to waddle 26.2 miles like I’m in a diaper and everyone will laugh at me and think I suck. They’ll be snickering and posting photos of me as Diaper Girl on Facebook. It’ll go viral. I’ll have to leave the country.
Mile 105: This is so hard (sniff). Nobody understands me. Nobody really gets it, ya know? My butt is numb and this bike is a stupid hunk of dumb metal. And it (sniff) rides really slowly and my power meter broke—if my watts were actually this low, I’d be a cadaver. It’s just so hard… so hard… is anybody listening? Anybody?? I’d give anything to be off this bike right now…
Mile 110-112: Screw this! Little Miss Look-At-Me-I’m-53-And-Ahead-Of-A-40-Something is not beating me into T2!
Fine then. Age before beauty.
Mile 1: Okay, Gumby legs in full force. Here’s what we’re going to do: 1 cup of fluid at each mile, rotating through water, flat cola, chicken broth. Go through that circuit 12 times and we’re done with this bad boy. It’ll be no big thing, chicken wing—just like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Mile 5: One more GU and I’m gonna lose it. Why can’t they invent real food in tablet form? Know what would be awesome? If GU and Taco Bell hooked up and created a cheese and bean burrito in a capsule. Maybe not for those downwind, but I don’t plan on being downwind! Boooyaaaaaah!
Mile 9: Oh, God, I’m so downwind right now. Scratch the burrito-in-a-capsule plan. Headphones would rock—a little P!nk, a little Lady Gaga . No! Books on tape! Yes! Fifty Shades of Grey! Betcha I’d run real fast. Ooooh, then I could move on to Twilight. Hot damn—A Christian Grey-Edward Cullen sandwich. Let’s put that in a capsule! Dammit… heart rate just spiked…
Mile 13: Halfway and I smell like an overflowing porta-potty that was dumped into a sulfuric pond. I could bottle this scent and sell it for BIG bucks to Gitmo as a new interrogation method. Would give anything to be on a bike right now instead.
Mile 15: You know what would be awesome? If I got some crazy super-human energy surge and blew right past the pros. Like, left them in my dust. And the whole tri community would be buzzing about the new girl taking the tri world by storm. Everyone would clamor for a statement from me (I’ll have to come up with something really profound—something “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”-esque ). They’d be dubbing me the “new generation of Ironman”—although I guess I’m actually older than all of them, so maybe not. Maybe they’d kinda Dara Torres me instead… like 40-year-old blows the socks of reining Ironman Queen… That’d be awesome. I’d act all cool-as-a-cucumber and Lava would wanna profile me and then I’d be all like—what the hell!? How’d Miss 53 get up there?
Mile 18: Men people: What’s really the point of bib shorts? Are ya’ll seriously afraid your pair of sprayed-on-from-a-can lycra are going to fall down? They’re not going anywhere, folks. Look up “aphrodisiac” in the dictionary. Then check out its antonym. See the photo of bib shorts?
Mile 20: Why do these race photographers crouch down so low? Is does nothing except ensure we all have more chins than a Hong Kong telephone directory. You what stinks? Every year, I put one on the wall with pride, except that everyone probably comes over, looks at it, and wonders how someone who trains 20 hours week can have arm fat. At the very least, the photographers could give you a heads up. Like “Hey! Number 743! Wipe the snot from your face and suck it IN girlfriend…”
Mile 22: You know what would be heaven right now? If I could get a massage on one of those tables with the cut out for your face? And then someone could sit under the table and feed me pizza through the hole. Preferably someone hot.
Mile 24: Okay, brilliant business idea number two. After getting “Water on the Water” up and running, I’ll focus on “Stage It.” So cool! A race photograph is staged so you can actually look good! You put on all your race crap but with make up on and your hair looks shiny and cute under the helmet! Then you can strike more flattering poses and stuff and not worry about swamp creature hair and misplaced snot rockets. Gotta trademark these a.s.a.p. Obviously missed my calling as an entrepreneur.
Mile 26: Oh my god! There’s the finish! I’m almost there!
What the hell? This is SO much more than .2 miles! Who measured this? Who?!? And why was 30 minutes added to the finishing clock?
But yeah, totally coulda swum butterfly.