Tag Archives: triathlon

People Made of Iron

31 Oct

I’ve struggled with this triathlon journey, I’ve made no secret of it, but on Sunday morning as I got the kids ready to 6am to go and try to find Daddy on the starting line, I felt little butterflies flitting in my belly.

We had had a terrible night’s sleep with the kids and we decided if I couldn’t make the start then there were other opportunities on the course to yell from the sidelines, but I felt a sudden urgency to be there.

It was a crazy feat to undertake, a massive achievement by anyone’s standards.
A 2km swim, followed by a gruelling hill course 90km bike ride, finished with a 21 km run as a little cherry on top.

It’s only a half Iron Man, he assures me, but the idea of someone willingly doing a full one if they didn’t have some kind of wild animal chasing them simply does not compute.

I would struggle to do just one of those elements, but all?

Only crazy people, and people made of iron, think that’s a fun way to pass time.

As we weaved our way through the competitors, they all looked the same. I couldn’t see Mister H.

1500 men and women were there, all dressed in wetsuits, looking like seals that suddenly all stood upright and put on little red caps.

My heart started to race.

There was only 5 minutes before it started, what if I missed him?
What if he didn’t know we were here, supporting him, loving him from the shore?

I stood on my tippy-toes and I saw my husband’s shoulders 15 meters ahead in the crowd, right up at the start line. I pushed the Titanic double pram through the throngs, excusing myself as I went but not caring if I took out people’s ankles, although with hindsight I realise that some poor dude had to do the whole event with a dinged Achilles.
I just had to let him know we were here.

His face lit up when he saw us. He exhaled as though perhaps he’d been holding his breath.
We only had time for a quick kiss before his race began and I had a tear in my eye as I saw him submerge.

Who’da thunk, after all these months of busting his chops about it, I’d be so emotional?

We estimated it would be only 5.5hrs until he was back with us, but somehow today that seemed an eternity. In the time it took for me to take the kids for breakfast and have a play, he would have achieved a massive goal, a dream.

I was amazed at the different kinds of people who were participating. Tall, short, fat, skinny, old and young.

Craziness does not discriminate, evidently.

Along the way we’d hang at a check point in hope of seeing him and calling encouragement and it was along this fence line that I met other people like me.
Wives who lamented the loss of their partners for such a gruelling training regime, loved ones who simply hoped their kin would finish in one piece, and veterans who had competed in many events and understood what the bug was all about.

I got a new understanding of how important it was to feel your family’s support.

I felt the thrum of anticipation of your loved one mastering their focus so as to ignore the pain racking their body and getting them over that line.

I remarked to someone how impressed I was with the many different walks of life competing. Some people powered through strong and tall whilst others limped through all tortured, but of 1500 who began, almost all finished.

She asked me if, seeing these old and fat and skinny and fit people achieve this, it made me feel as though I could do it too?

And I simply answered -

No fucking way.

A short poem to my husband, whom I have called my hero three times so far. Once at the birth of each of our babies, and on this day.

MY HALF IRON MAN

I’M SO PROUD OF YOU

PLEASE

STOP TAKING PROTEIN POWDER

BEFORE YOU

KILL

SOMEONE

photo credit – Running with water image, Barry Alsop – Eyes Wide Open Images.

The False Economy of the Snooze Button

31 Mar trisuit

This is a subject I’ve long been passionate about but it’s most definitely been brought to the forefront of my craw since Mister H has taken up triathlons and more importantly, triathlon training.

To be a triathlete requires dedication and perseverance and for some reason, ungodly hours (not to mention lycra). With an intense training regime of 4-5 mornings a week the alarm goes off long before the sparrows have even considered squeaking out a fart.
Now, there are two types of people in the alarm world. The first, the group to which I belong, set the alarm for the last possible moment that you need to get up and then, in a just rip that band-aid straight off fashion, the second you hear it – get up. Then there are ‘the others’.

The others believe that 10 minutes more sleep, multiple times, is actually a lovely start to the morning and they wake feeling like they cheated that pesky alarm. Then they’re often woken by a final alarm that sends them into a panic, they race around like headless chickens muttering that they are now running late, and the stinking alarm is somehow at fault.
Wake up! (speaking metaphorically, not literally, although literally waking up is today’s…..never mind)
Does everybody in bed, ie ME, really need to be awake every 10 minutes until you manage to haul it out into the cold, dark morning to throw yourself out into the terrifying world of pre-dawn exercise?

Of course, I understand the dilemma completely……cold, dark morning/ warm, schnuggly bed……cold, drizzly, dark, foreboding, possibly monster infested morning/ warm, schnuggly, sweet, safe bed complete with warm (if pregnant, flatulent wife)………It doesn’t take Einstein, right?
I suppose the one thing I can be grateful for is that he’s not a honking, clanking, bomp-bomping kind of alarm type of man, nor is he a ‘waking up with friends’ radio talk back kind of alarmist. No, I’m woken to the soothing sounds of ducks gently quacking in my ear. For one brief moment, as I’m pulled from dreamy depths, I can almost imagine I’m Huey, Dewy and Lewy’s long lost sister.

Which brings me to the other thing about triathletes – Lycra.
I get cycle shorts, especially for dudes. I imagine they keep the lads nice and safe from chafe (au contraire, dear reader) and that can only be a good thing, but why the skin tight, wacky coloured lycra top? They sure as hell don’t look (nor smell, in my laundry pile) breathable, so why the uniform?
Mister H recently started mentioning a ‘trisuit’. For the uninitiated this is a glorified and modest version of the ‘mankini’. When it actually arrived in the mail I insisted he put it on and show me immediately. This was not because I was interested in seeing how aerodynamic he looked, nor was it because I wanted to share his excitement for his sport. It was because I thought the sight of my man in a unitard would bring me great mirth. Out he strutted in his grey one piece and I was forced to eat my giggle, my smirk was wiped to the other side of my face….he looked kinda hot.

Perhaps I’ve turned into a triathlon wife by osmosis, or maybe my penchant for lycra was hidden all along.

Let’s go with the former.

DISCLAIMER : Mister H only did this once, and once only. By accident, apparently. Sure, babe. Sure.

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