Triathlons are stupid, and so am I

Today was my friend Mike's private half-ironman.  I did it.  I finished.  It sucked.  I knew going into it that I wouldn't do great because I was way undertrained for such a demanding event, and I knew that only grim determination would get me through.  I just forgot how much grim determination hurts.

Swimming is stupid:
  • Actually, swimming was the least stupid part of today.  Thank you for that, swimming.  1.2 miles in 51:30.  Not a screaming pace by any means, but I'm pleased with it being as it was my 4th long swim.
Cycling is stupid:
  • Riding 25 miles with only your three hardest gears in your biggest chainring is stupid.
  • Knowing your front derailleur isn't working two weeks ahead of time but forgetting to take your bike to the bike shop is stupid.
  • Riding 31 miles of a half-iron distance triathlon on a mountain bike is stupid.
  • Forgetting to lock out your shocks is stupid.
  • Forgetting to move your co2 cartridges from the road bike to the mountain bike is stupid.
  • Sometimes fortune takes pity on the stupid and you still don't get a flat tire. Thank you, fortune.
  • Spending 17 miles cursing triathlons and making up song lyrics about how much you hate triathlons is probably stupid but also a helpful diversion.
Running is stupid:
  • Sore knees are stupid.
  • Blisters are stupid.
  • Stupid blister-giving Nikes are stupid.
  • Wearing shoes you know give you blisters is stupid.
  • Taking walk breaks isn't stupid, but constantly revising the start line to begin running again is stupid.
  • Ruining your happy feelings (only 5 miles left!) by doing the math and realizing that means another 50 minutes of running is stupid.
  • Math is stupid.
  • Using up my quota of the f word for the remainder of 2011 is stupid, but therapeutic.
  • 2.5 mile circles of hell...I mean rings of death...I mean, laps are stupid.
General stupidity:
  • Not doing more training is stupid.
  • Choosing a half-ironman, even a private one, for your first ever triathlon is stupid.
  • Pride is stupid, and that's why I'm going to post pictures from the race when I get them, even though my face looked better in the middle of childbirth.
  • Pride is stupid (part II), and that's why I'll admit that the 70.7 miles today (we ran an extra .4) took me 7:56:15.
  • Calling off work tomorrow because I can't walk is stupid. 
  • Writing this race report before sub plans is stupid.
  • Doing a full ironman would be REALLY stupid (for me...the rest of you, go for it).
Assorted non-stupids:
  • Having a friend who's cool enough to put on something like this (including t-shirts and an amazing dinner afterwards)
  • Two awesome volunteers who had the "privilege" of listening to me whine every time I came through the transition area/aid station/garage (and still cheered for me anyway).
  • My husband being there for the entire run portion.
  • My 17-year old son coming to the Y and keeping track of my laps for me.
  • Chamois Butt'r
  • My 7-year old running the second 2.5 mile lap with me was an awesome diversion.
  • Dinner afterwards.  I know I mentioned it already, but seriously.  It was fabulous.
  • My brother Jim swimming 1.2 miles and riding 56 up in Wisconsin in solidarity with me.
  • And, of course, finishing the distance.  It's a pretty cool thing to have accomplished, even if I never, ever want to do it again.
And a funny story from the run:

Like I said, J kept me company on one of the laps.  I ran (death say potato, I say po-tah-to) while he rode his scooter.  I truly hoped thought he'd need to walk parts, but he kept up great.  Here's how the conversation went:

J: This is some good mother-son time.
Me: Mmm hmmm
J: Are you doing OK?
Me: No.
J: Do you want to walk?  We can walk.
Me: No.  I mean, my body wants to walk, but my brain wants to keep running.
J: Well, my body wants to go fast, but my brain wants to stay here with you.
Me: Aww, that's really swee--
J: [takes off] I'm going to listen to my body for a little while.


  1. You may be stupid, but it's that crazy awesome type of stupid that makes people interesting.

  2. I LOVE the idea of a private half-Ironman. I'm with you, I am excellent at coming up with stupid things in the middle of races.

    I did that stupid math during a marathon yesterday and almost started crying.

  3. Im glad I wasn't part of the stupid, because I felt pretty stupid riding this evening.

  4. okay, let's try this stupid comment got lost. Stupid. Was saying how much I enjoyed this post even though you're feeling overwhelmingly stupid right now. Can't say that I know many people that would
    A. Attempt a half Ironman.
    B. Attempt a half Ironman untrained/unprepared.
    Holy crap girl, you are hard core. Or stupid. ha ha. But a good stupid...the kind of stupid that takes risks in life and gives your whole heart! Love this...NOT stupid. Loved the bullets here...enjoyed this greatly. The end story about your freaking funny. or probably stupid at the time. :) I wonder how long it will take to walk normal again. Or move your arms for that matter. I do hope you partake in some beer drinking or maybe pop a pain pill. Something to help you go to a happy place. Gotta love super Kate! Hugs to you!

  5. Aren't you glad you weren't overly stupid and hit that "submit" button for the full IM, now??

    So, when are we signing up for that IM again?


    Love ya, SuperKate - you ROCK!!!

  6. Just a little crazy :) You amaze me no matter how stupid ;)! You definitely ROCK!

  7. Triathlons are so stupid that many keep doing them. They don't get smarter.

  8. Yep, that all sounds about right.

    And you got all of this without paying a race entry fee? lucky dog!

  9. I love this post! Hilarious. And what a sweet scooter-riding little guy you have!

  10. Am I stupid for wishing I was there? Great job as always, Kage. You are so much stronger than I am it's not even funny. Congrats on a fantasic accomplishment!

  11. Great job out there Kate! It was nice meeting Jeff and your son and I love the conversation you had with your son on the run :-). I wasn't in a very good place during the run either.

    I wasn't joking after the race when I said you would beat me if you put as many training hours in as I did, so now you have a goal for next year :-).

  12. Oh God you're nuts but that's why I love you.
    I'm guessing full IM next week.

  13. A stupidly awesome accomplishment for you and Mike!

  14. This is a great post. I laughed - out loud - several times. Love the negative attitude! You rocked though. Think about what you did last weekend.Your swim sounds incredibly fast to me. I did not realize this was your first triathlon. What happens if you use the F word again now that your quota is used up? Something dire?
    Love love love that you wrote this before sub plans. And did you give as much thought to your sub plans as you did to this? Love love love how your family got involved. Love love love love the conversation with your youngest son!

  15. Dude, you're hardcore! Sounds like you gutted out a rough day - and came out of it with a sense of humor to boot!

  16. I feel very stupid.
    YOU are worthy of the cape as usual.
    BTW - the cat part, kind of stupid, but hey I have been there done that x 2! oh wait! x 3 now.

  17. Well done Kate! Pushing through stupidity takes someone special to complete. I have some friends here that put on private events as well and it is super! Love the conversation with J! Rest well!

  18. I read this on my phone in bed after the race Sunday, but I can't comment from my stupid phone.

    Best race report ever :) Loved it. Go YOU for finishing something I can't even dream of doing.


  19. I've never even attempted a triathlon - the bike part of racing is more than enough for me. And I have had almost every experience you mention (except the mountain bike part) - my biggest "stupid" moment mid race was when I was trying to change out a wheel (I had flatted) and I was so out of it, I was turning my QR the wrong way, and then couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work. Not one of my brighter moments. I have since switched to this new kind of bicycle quick release that does not require adjusting to take the wheel on and off. Perhaps a vain attempt to have more "not stupid" than "stupid" moments...

  20. I love that you summed everything up with "stupid" somehow. Ha! I was confused when I saw the title, because I know you don't think it is all stupid, but now I see your point. I couldn't agree more! :)

    (Thanks for linking up with the #findingthefunny party. Hope you come back next week!)

  21. Now that's funny! And I admit, I'm in total awe of you!


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