Wednesday, February 11, 2009

taking a crack at it ...

chuck was surprised when i told him i'd signed up for the "couch potato triathlon" again this year. this now yearly ymca event gives me 28 days to run 26.2 miles, swim 87 laps and bike 112 miles. in return, i get a t'shirt decorated with a cartoonish potato dripping potato goo on a treadmill, and if i'm lucky, a slice of carrot cake at the post-triathlon party.

"you hated it," he reminded me.
"i did?" i said.
i hated something that ended with a free mesh t'shirt that, even when clean, manages to maintain a stink that is so satisfying, yet would ordinarily require far more sweat?

"yes," he said. "next year i'll just buy you a shirt, okay?"

i'm told that i began to resent the way the triathlon cut into my running. that sounds about right, since it is exactly what i'm bitching about this year. i'm not sure why i signed up again. why bother with something that is 66.6 percent suck?

i think i like to give an identity to my crankiness. i also think that doing things you hate is good practice for life.

i know i can run 26.2 miles in four weeks, and i also know that pedaling makes my legs tired and that swimming is absolute torture. i go through great lengths to assure that my face never gets wet. you should see me in the shower.

swimming brings me back to when i was 3-foot-8 inches of freckles and exposed gums with a perminant swim suit wedgie that surely made other mothers wonder why mine had bought a child a thong. something about getting into the water has always made me feel like i sprinkled ex-lax and coffee beans on my activia yogurt.

i took lessons, but they didn't take.

what i call swimming is a strange flailing of parts that is:

1. a spandex swimsuit tutu;
2. flesh tone water-wing shaped muscle atrophe;
3. and a landline

away from resembling bea arthur's community ed water aerobics class. it takes a long time and does too little. not to mention that day last year my lane was hijacked by a handful of italians, whose combined yardage of speedo matched that of the rubber band holding my wet hair out of my face.

the only difference between this year and last is that now i actually own a bike, a blue giant cypress funded on the romantic notion that this would make my transformation to hippiedom complete: i'd make one tank of gas last the entire summer and in the process, my thigh muscles would swing from my pelvis like the sturdy sides of beef in a PETA documentary. in theory, i'd see the results of that summer biking in this here triathlon.

in truth, my blue giant cypress has become a place to hang my bike helmet. the bike helmet i bought for biking, but have more often worn while fumbling my way through "hit me with your best shot" on the easy level of guitar hero.

so it turns out i still hate biking. the standard bike seat reaches a level of intimacy that i prefer share with antimate objects. i'm told that i'll callous over time and become accustomed to the stationery sodomy, but i'm struggling to get through the chaffing phase. i cannot politely explain to you the sort of torture i endured last night when i got home, but i considered purchasing preparation h -- which would mean a trip to k-mart in west duluth, where i make all of my embarrassing purchases.

biking is the least efficient form of exercise in the entire workout bible. i biked for 50 minutes yesterday and in turn burned about 300 calories. what an effing waste. it would take me half as long to burn 300 calories on a treadmill doing something i like and that won't get my butt pregnant with an infant digital heart rate monitor. or, i could have skipped lunch.

the man panting, grunting and clomping on the treadmill behind me provided the percussion for the spoken word angst poetry i was writing in my head. "least. [grunt] efficient [clomp] form [gasp] of [grunt grunt] exercise [clomp] ever."

i've already knocked out more than the 26.2 miles of running. i'm at 30 miles on the bike. 0 laps in the pool. i might just throw in the towel before i commit to any pool time. we'll see. first i have to find something else to hate for the rest of the month.


Anonymous said...

You should get bike shorts. Good ones. I bought $60 ones and am tempted to wear them to work for long shifts. They kick ass (an unintentional, sort-of pun). You have to try them and on jump up and down and move your legs and stuff to make sure they're comfy.

Also, thanks for the idea on what to do with my bike helmet that's just been sitting on the living room floor since October. Educating the interwebs since 2004!

-- Oregon

Sproactually said...

Wow, I've been reading this for another year, it's coach potato fest time?

About the bike, if that super comfy seat is still making things sore after 3 or 4 couple hour rides a few days apart, you are not fitted correctly to the bike. Either the seat is too far forward, or back, or high, or low. You should also invest in some bike shorts, you can get mountain bike ones, that look like regular shorts, and you wear them sans underwear, so deal with it. Either way, i always try to encourage people to ride, only because I just love it, biking is the one thing that actually changes my mood, well, alcohol works too. But I even feel better the next day after a good ride.

Okay, I'm going to google "how to shower without getting wet" now.

When do you get to wear T-shirts in Duluth anyway?

CDP said...

Ha ha! I'm exactly the opposite. I could swim 87 laps in one day if I needed to, but I'd have to run the 26.2 miles in 1/4 mile increments because I SO hate to run.

Princess Wild Cow said...

If you do decide to drop out (and I am not discouraging or encouraging) I will make you a carrot cake that will knock your **** in the dirt.

Merle said...

My indoor tri was full. I was sad.

I'm with you on the swimming. It's just too much work at the outset. Running is so nice and portable.

Suber1 said...

It's been said several times before, but ... bike shorts. Go to Sierra Trading Post or Nashbar or Performance, drop $30-60, and revel in the glory.

They make biking embarrassingly better.

But swimming? F that.

Suber1 said...

It's been said before, but ... bike shorts. Go to Sierra Trading Post or Nashbar or Performance Bike and get some $30-60 ones. (You'll also get a lot of catalogs in the mail, but whatever.)

They make biking embarrassingly better.

But swimming? F that.

nanners said...

hey! oregon!