Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This Is Your Safe Place

Flying back from San Angelo to Dallas, I flipped through the airline magazine and read article about a website called Post Secrets. It is a website with postcards, sent by ordinary people, confessing their secrets. Some are accompanied by pictures or the person’s artwork.

I visited the site, and will make a confession of my own – I thought it was fabulous. More than once I found myself laughing out loud because I have thought the same exact thing (the mother-in-law postcard is classic). And that is why this website works – because it makes a connection to something that you also feel. Because it makes you feel like someone else out there shares your secret, crazy point of view, quirky habits, deepest fears, or darkest memories.

I’m not sure I’ll send in a postcard any time soon, but I thought I would make my own list of secrets. You can call it true confessions of a triathlete. But then I had a thought, if I’m confessing things then isn’t it only fair that you confess too? So, after you read through mine you better fess up for yourself.

I once timed an event for a pro and after that experience thought they were the biggest cheater and crybaby I have ever met when they claimed the results were inaccurate because they were not in their favor. BOO HOO

One day I want to qualify for the Olympic trials in marathon. Someone told me I couldn’t do it. I want to do it because I know I can.

I once painted Scott Tinley’s toenails a color called Soldier Boy.

I am more worried about getting slow when I’m old than getting old.

I may have asked Chris to help me buy my first bike because secretly I wanted to get to know more about him. I could have bought a bike with anyone.

My first half Ironman was very, very hilly. I go so scared at the top of one hill that my stomach dropped and I had to go - NOW. I actually walked up a nearby driveway, knocked on their door, and asked if I could use their bathroom. I also borrowed a jacket and lawn gloves from them because I was really cold.

The first time I rode my first triathlon bike with Chris, I got two flats. I had no idea how to change them.

I once tried an aero drinking system during a half-Ironman. I hated it so much that I threw it into some bushes along side the rode after 10 minutes into the bike.

Clear water makes me crazy with fear. I can't stand seeing what's below. If the water is clear I spend the entire time spinning crazy stories in my head about kelp monsters and lake snakes.

I have held Michellie Jones’ silver medal.

There was one year I must have ditched a dozen hats. I would start off in every run part of the race wearing a hat, it would make my head too hot, so I would throw the hat. After that year I started wearing visors.

I have blown my nose on my basement floor more than once.

I take a shower before a race.

I've crashed riding my trainer indoors. I was on the phone with my mom while riding easy. Next thing I knew, I fell to the left and into a table. I broke a spoke, a derailleur, and banged up my arm.

I have walked my bike up a hill during a race.

In my first triathlon, my biggest concern was how to hold my hair back during the run. I actually bought a special headband for that.

I nearly got disqualified from a race for being “glib and combative” with an official.

I ran around, not through, one of the mud pits at Muddy Buddy. I didn't need to get THAT muddy.

Other than the time I got a flat, I have never DNF'ed.

I vowed to myself that one day – maybe in 5, 10, 20, 30 years, I will win my age group at Kona.

The time that I accidentally wore Chris’ timing chip to a race while he accidentally wore mine – that really was an accident. Even though it was a national championship, and you didn’t believe me. That’s why I got glib and combative with you.

I have been pulled out of the water in a race.

The one time I didn't drive the course before the race, I got a flat.

A guy next to me at a race had a plastic stool in his transition area. And you know what – I used it during my transitions and it made them a lot of easier. But I still would never bring a stool of my own.

Things I have ridden into during a race - an orange traffic cone, a dog, another competitor.

I check the entry list before a race and ‘google’ most of the women in my age group.

I have only swam over one athlete in the past 7 years. After the race, I found out that athlete was my husband.

Someone once asked me how many bricks I do in a week. I didn’t respond but I wanted to tell them that honestly I can’t think of a day that goes by when I don’t do a brick.

I don't flip turn.

Someone heard that I did Kona. They looked at me and doubtfully said “you did Kona?” I wanted to tell them that it’s not like a rollercoaster – there is no height or weight limit. Anyone can do it if they’re good enough.

Last year after I heard a pro bragging about her million dollar sponsorship contracts I stopped listening to what she had to say.

I didn't really learn how to swim until I was 24.

Sometimes I read about people that do 50, 60, even 70 miles a week of running. I have only run over 36 miles in a week once and that was during IM training.

I am so picky about mixing my sports drink before races that I even have my own scoop that Chris cannot use.

Someone once accused me of drafting in a race as I passed them. I think they were just angry I passed them. I never forgot that person. And when saw them on the course in Kona, and I passed them again, I'll admit I put the power down a little just to make a silent point.

The more someone posts on Slowtwitch, the less I care what they have say.

I don't keep track of distance when I run, I just run. I have my measured landmarks but even those are just guesswork. I have no idea how fast I can go until race day.

Getting an ITU silver medal was cool. But going to Kona was cooler.

Those are my true confessions - well, as true as they can get with my name plastered all over this page. But for you - anything goes – and for today - this is your triathlon “safe place”. Fess up!

7 comments:

cat said...

when i am riding i give a friendly nod or wave to every cyclist passing by in the opposite direction ... EXCEPT for those who are not wearing a helmet. it's my personal punishment for them ... they get no "how do you do" from me. ha, take that!

p.s. i love post secrets as well. have you ever checked out found? http://www.foundmagazine.com/

IM Able said...

My only good race days have been when I have a huge bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream the night before. And I mean HUGE. I consider it my way of topping off my tanks. In reality, it's just an excuse to eat way too much mint chocolate chip ice cream. But I'm okay with that.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have A LOT of secrets...but, one that I always, always think about on race morning when I wake up is: I SURE hope the water is as HORRIBLE as it can be and NO wetsuits. The less strong swimmers really suffer in it...and it helps my race. :) Jen
PS Ok, this is good...maybe we can post a secret daily. Ha ha

Anonymous said...

I love training with men, they push me more than training with women ever would. However, in every other aspect of my life, I would almost consider myself a feminist!

Beth said...

1) I didn't know (for an embarrassingly long time) that you aren't supposed to wear underwear with cycling shorts. :)

2) Swimming isn't my specialty and I don't know how to do flip turns, butterfly or breathe bilaterally. And those that wish for bad weather and no wetsuits for the swim aren't appreciated! :) (just kidding of course...)

I like this game!

Alicia Parr said...

How do you manage to have swum over only ONE person ever? I surpassed that in my tri last Sunday (AND got swum over).

And, what, not everyone googles their competition before races? I know someone googled you the other day and landed on my website. It's interesting what I've learned now that I turned on my stats tool on my blog.

So, my secret: The past couple years I've backed off a little or just don't race the guys (unless there's a girl around to race too) because they get so testy when a girl beats them. This year, I've decided the gloves are off and will show no mercy. Just ask the guy who tried to chase my down on the run Sunday after I dropped him on the bike and finished 3 seconds behind me. He wouldn't talke to me afterward but I didn't care. That's my secret, that I'm just cold-hearted that way. :)

Anonymous said...

I did a race with a good friend of mine. Before we started, he told me he would try and hang with me in the swim as long as he could, but he doubted that it would be for very long. Once the race started, we both took off and I immediately lost track of where he was in all the usual turmoil of a mass swim start. After a few minutes, this other swimmer was all over me and could not shake him. He was totally Bogarting my line and we were tangling arms constantly. I finally reached over and gave him swipe to give him the point. Somewhat suprisingly, I ended up with a pair of goggles in my hand.

After the race, my friend and I were talking about how we did. He said the swim, someone had yanked off his googles. I looked at him and realized that the stranger I thought degoggled was really him. I had no idea he could swim so fast.