Friday, June 22, 2012

Ironman amnesia

Ironman Coeur D'Alene* is this Sunday, and I'm getting a little bit excited/nostalgic. Excited because a friend of mine is doing it to celebrate her 50th birthday, and I'll be following her online. Nostalgic because…duh. Fond memories! An Ironman is sort of like giving birth in that way. The best parts stick with you forever, and the pain just seems kind of funny.

Now ask me if all that tempts me to do another one in nine years.

Glad you asked. Let me tell you a little story.

I, like many people, am a sucker for puppies. I just want to scoop them up and squeeze them and inhale their puppiness and take them home with me. So why didn't we ever get another puppy after our dachshund** died in 1998? Tons of reasons: the expense, the shedding, the mess, the need to find dogsitters, not being able to use the word "walk" in conversation without being bullied out into the rain. But, you know, after awhile the harsh reality fades, and the waggly stuff is all you remember. So my tactic over the years has been to cling to one vital truth about dog ownership—one single, ugly truth that I can quickly and reliably pit against all the adorableness in the world: poop. Dogs poop everywhere, and you have to clean it up. So not worth it.

It's a great strategy. Four little letters that have saved me an untold amount of hassle. ("Dog?" "No, thanks. They poop.")

So now that I'm coming up on the one-year anniversary of my Ironman, I think it's time to get proactive. I can think of lots of reasons never to do another one—the expense, the time commitment, the wear and tear on my body, the bike-saddle-shaped bruise, the fact that my feet hurt for eleven months after it was over—but I'm not sure any of those will rise to the top and rescue me in 2021 when I'm trying to prove I'm still pretty spry for 50 and all I can remember is how it felt to float the last three blocks to the finish line with 25 minutes to spare.

Maybe if I just say "one hundred. and forty. stinking. miles." real, real slow, that will do it.

* Sheesh, it used to be easier to spell that.
** Also used to be easier to spell.


  1. Or maybe you just say "been there - done that and I don't have to prove anything to anybody; not even myself".

  2. Oh, probably. But sometimes it just sounds…fun.

  3. I can't believe I am typing this, but I can't think of a good reason not to do another one in ten years if you felt like it. Your kids will be adults then (gasp!) so the training won't impact family life. You'll probably weigh less then thanks to your new diet. It might be "fun."

    I am not tempted by a dog at all, but I feel a little mean sometimes depriving my children, who would so love one. But, you know, poop.

  4. Julie that is, more or less, the response from my sister-in-law when she started talking about having another baby and I kept my promise to her to remind her how much she hated labor. She made me promise right after she delivered the twins to bring that up when she started talking about another baby. She had one anyway and it didn't kill her. If you really feel compelled to do an Iron Man again, go for it!

  5. be glad you can look back w/fond memories. I envy you that. :)