Things I Hate About Triathlon

It’s impossible for me to keep a running blog (puns!). I love writing, but doing it consistently is like going to the dentist every month. It would probably be good for my teeth, but I don’t want to go to the dentist every month. So to spur me out of my slump, I am going to do my favorite thing, complain. I love complaining and I love triathlon, so the opportunity to complain about triathlon is too good to NOT write about. Problem solved.

The amount of money you have to spend on a bike

Okay, so you don’t HAVE to spend that much on a bike. You COULD buy an entry level roadie for about $1,000. You also will most certainly be dealing with major bike envy. And 500 miles into riding your entry level bike, the brake or derailleur cables break, or you will get a flat tire, or maybe your chain breaks.

And when I go on long rides, I better have water bottles, nutrition, salt pills, tools, tubes, tires, matches, tarps, survival gear, air horns, flares, and 2 x 4’s to throw at NSQ when she gets a little chatty. Think all that stuff is cheap? Or it lasts forever? Hell no. And that sexy kit I’m wearing (also known as the lowest priced one from Pearl Izumi) ain’t exactly cheap either, and I bought it on chainlove. Biking is the best, but holy s*** WHEN DID ALL OF THIS STUFF GET SO EXPENSIVE!!!

Dry skin after swimming

I am very (let me write that again: very very very) lucky to be with someone who also swims. Is it because of her shoulders and how good she looks in one piece? Well, yes. But is it equally because she doesn’t mind that my legs look like they were attacked by a baby bear with sharp claws because CHLORINE MAKES ME ITCH SO MUCH! She also understands that after our long swim my skin occasionally looks like sandpaper forgot to vacation. And no amount of lotion ever “rejuvenates” my skin. Potential sponsors, my phone is ringing yet.

Stomach problems while running

This is my least favorite triathlon problem. My persnickety stomach causes me so many problems, both before and during races. The nervous feeling starts in my head and migrates ever so slowly down my nervous and circulatory system to my stomach (and colon, if you want to get technical) because I am NEVER sure how my inners will react to hard running efforts. I have not only keeled over in pain because of stomach cramps during runs, but also gone to the bathroom in the woods many times! My digestive system runs on an entirely different neural system that I lost control of as soon as I picked up triathlon. I still haven’t made friends with the person who runs that system, and I think it might be a lost cause at this point.

Having to sacrifice nights to go to sleep early

The night before writing this I had a wonderful family dinner with a great big group of people whose company I enjoy. I smashed three glasses of wine, made great conversation, and generally had an amazing time. We stayed out late, and Anne and I were very rudely awoken by the alarm several hours later to hit the pool before work. I will not stay out again past 9 for weeks for fear of having to repeat this experience. Everyone who seriously involves themselves in endurance sports understands this sacrifice, and I will continue to make it until it becomes untenable. That being said, it still SUCKS having to turn down offers to stay out with friends/family. Do you know how much I enjoy going to the club? A lot. I would love to hit the club or the bars every weekend if I could. But I need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Having to wake up early, day after day after day after day

It never gets any easier to wake up at 5:30, ever. Stop asking.

Not being okay with vegging out unless preceded by one of the following: 4000 yard swim, 50 mile bike ride, or a 10 mile run.

This could also be termed, “being able to relate to non-triathletes.” There’s little person inside my brain that turns the guilt meter up to max if I take an afternoon easy that wasn’t followed by a morning of stomach churning, jelly-legs inducing, my lungs are screaming exercising.

How do normal people do it? I have no idea. Some of my friends and colleagues will go out and party all night, wake up at noon, spend all afternoon brunching and then catch drinks and a movie before doing it all again 24 hours later. If I did that once, my entire season would be ruined. I know that’s probably an unhealthy attitude, but its true! The cortisol release from missing the training hours would be enough to send my body into a stress induced tail spin. Is that any unhealthier than lethargy though? I think not.

That being said, it would be nice to wake up one morning realize I hadn’t trained at any point within a 48 hour bender period and think to myself, “okay, I will just start fresh tomorrow…after my hangover today subsidies.”

My next post, 5 months from now, will be about why I love triathlon.