24 May 2012

What IS Ironman training?

 Ironman Lake Placid is two months away.  This will be my sixth Ironman so I feel like my life today is the new normal - I've been doing 100 mile bike rides and eating like a human garbage disposal since 2008.  Nothing new, totally normal, right?  So, exactly what does it mean when I say "I'm training for an Ironman"?  What does Ironman training involve besides living on your bike, racking up huge grocery bills, and being cranky most of the time?

- It's choosing to bike to work from the pool without bothering to change out of your bathing suit.  You do enough outfit changes in one day and you don't have a Lycra wardrobe large enough to wear yet another bike jersey just to ride 10 miles to work.  Bathing suit top is sufficient.

- Speaking of Lycra, it is possible to wear tri shorts often enough that they become indecently see-through.

- It's dropping a $50 money bomb at REI on a weekly basis... on Hammer Gels and PowerBars, NOT something fun like those new Lycra shorts you really should be buying to replace that indecent pair you are currently sporting on the bike path.

-  It's not remembering what it's like to sleep past 7am.

- It is not being able to fit your dinner plates in the dishwasher because your eight waterbottles from your weekend workouts are taking up too much space.

- Ironman training means you rarely stay up past 10pm on the weekends because you have to get up at the crack of dawn to ride your bike.

- It is being a cheap date because one glass of wine does you in since the last time you drank more than a glass was during the off-season in 2011.

- It is thinking about food every second of every hour of every day.  Suddenly it becomes impossible to eat too much.  You can't remember what it's like to feel full because that, too, last happened sometime in the 2011 off-season.

- Ironman training means you smell like chlorine to the point where even perfume can't save you.

- Ironman training means forgetting where you put your makeup and then not caring because it's not like it's worth wearing anyway - you're just going to get sweaty and gross at least twice a day.

- 90 mile bike rides don't phase you.  Neither do weekend brick workouts that are only 4 hours long.  Must be recovery week is what you think instead.

- Ironman training makes you suddenly realize that you are a stronger person than you ever thought possible, both physically and mentally.

- Ironman training means that the distances, paces and speeds that once seemed impossible at the beginning of training are now easily exceeded.

- It means your regular clothes wardrobe is in danger of being eclipsed by the size of your sweat-wicking, Lycra-infused workout wardrobe.

- It means a permanent bike shorts tan.  Permanent.

- It means that the pool or the track is the new hangout spot for happy hour with friends.

- Ironman training also means that you are on the road to one of the most unforgettable experiences - Ironman race day.  And when you cross that finish line, all the chlorine stink, lycra, and REI money bombs will suddenly feel very, very worth it.


Sarah said...

I love this post :)

And I just bought myself a new pair of spandex running shorts. I think they will be my new favorites.

Em said...

On the upside too - all that money spent at REI will get you a great rebate so you can get even more gels and lycra next year!!

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome post! You are so funny. I can relate to so much of it.