Monday, July 13, 2015

The People of Ironman Boulder

Ironman Boulder is now somehow less than three weeks away AND OH MY GOSH WHO IS IN CHARGE OF TIME AND WHY ARE THEY MESSING IT UP!?

You guys. THREE WEEKS.

Wasn't it just, like, yesterday that I was telling you all about how the Tahoe Ironman was cancelled and I never wanted to exercise again but that I signed up for a race that was nearly a whole year away because dreams and goals and all of that garbage? And you guys gave me all of that BS about "never give up on your passion" and "be your own hero" and all of that other nonsense that's easy to say when you're not the one who has to then exercise for the next year? Wasn't that YESTERDAY that that all happened?

WHY IS THE IRONMAN IN THREE WEEKS?!?!

I knew I should have made a paper chain counting down the days because then nobody could have pulled this fast one on me. I could have carefully tracked the time and when I suddenly realized that the Ironman was three weeks away I could have surveyed the paper chain and been like, "nope. I've only pulled one link off." And then they would see the chain and be all like, "we are so sorry. The Ironman is far away in the future. Not three weeks away. Your hair is the wind beneath Bette Midler's wings."

And you guys. I be freaking out lately over this race. I don't know what the deal is. I am so much more nervous than I have ever been for an Ironman event. I shouldn't be. I've trained well. I should have confidence in that. But ya'll. I am so nervous. And I don't even say "y'all!"

I think probably a good portion of the extra nerves are coming from the fact that I recently started following the Ironman Boulder Facebook page because I thought it would be helpful and that it would give me a sense of community. Because that's what Oprah would tell me to do. And that's also what happened when I followed the Ironman Lake Tahoe page last year.

But there is a stark difference between those two Facebook pages. The Boulder Ironman people are CRAZY.

The Tahoe people are also crazy, but a different kind of crazy that I can understand. The Tahoe course is absurdly unpleasant and it's always negative 3,000 degrees on race day there because it basically takes place in outer space above the North Pole. So the people who do the Tahoe race tend to be the really gruff mountain man folks who train like Rocky did when he fought the Russian and most of them haven't bought new gear or checked their heart rates since before the Titanic sunk. I don't even think most of those people own a computer. So the Facebook page basically consisted of one freaked-out post per week from someone in my exact position, saying things like "is it really cold in Tahoe? Should I bring a sweater?" And then maybe one person would respond, "yes."

I could handle that level of Facebook interaction with the Tahoe Ironman community.

But oh my gosh. Something be wrong with Boulder Colorado.

I've heard that Boulder is like the triathlete Mecca of the world and that its entire population is basically just made up of independently wealthy full-time professional triathletes that haven't eaten food that you actually have to chew since elementary school. But I didn't think that was true until I started following this Facebook page.

I swear to you that eleventy people post on this page every day and 90% of what they post might as well be in another language. Someone will post something about VO2 Max (whatever the hell that is) or Swimskin (whatever the hell that is) or how you can't live unless you consume exactly a proratia of salt capsules every 20 miloquadseconds (WTF?) or that if you forgot to count your macros (WTAF?!?) on any given day in February 2001, you might as well have yourself put into a coma because you are worthless as a human being, etc.

And I read these things and I'm like, "WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT!??!"

And then, since I don't know what anyone is talking about, I suddenly feel very sure that even though I have been getting up at ungodly hours and doing ungodly things for ungodly amounts of time for an ungodly number of months, I am completely and totally unprepared for this.

Not to mention, I swear to you that every single person competing in the Boulder Ironman seems to be training on the course every single day for time and all eternity. Because every day someone posts something like, "I was out riding the course today and saw all 1,100 of you also riding the course and making extremely specific race plans with complicated technology Eli has never heard of and the energy was palpable!"

You guys! People are saying the energy there is already PALPABLE!

I've never even been to Boulder! I won't even see the area until the day before the race! I am literally planning on working late on Thursday, waking up at 4:00 AM on Friday, and driving to Boulder to try to make it by the end of the registration window.

Other people who are going to Boulder from out of town are talking about how they are getting there ten days in advance and "is this enough time to acclimate and ride the course 13,000 times so I'm familiar with it?"

TEN. DAYS!!!!

And other people post stuff about how they are driving to Boulder from Kansas or Florida or Croatia every other day so they can practice on the course.

WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE GET THE TIME?!?!? DID THEY MAKE A PAPER CHAIN?!?!

By the way, ALL of them use the Ironman logo or a picture of them winning another Ironman race as their Facebook profile picture. And then there's me, eating birthday cake with my bare hands. AND IT'S NOT EVEN MY BIRTHDAY.

I know the simple solution here is to stop following the Facebook page. But I just can't. Now that I know it exists, not following it would be more unsettling than following it.

Plus, even though these people stress me out, I'm kind of obsessed with them. They remind me of more dedicated and successful versions of myself. If I wasn't eating birthday cake with my bare hands. In July. Two months after my birthday. I think I have the same relationship with them that Cady Heron and Regina George had in Mean Girls. Except they are totally unaware of me.

Someone please come over and give me a full body massage.

~It Just Gets Stranger

44 comments:

  1. Lol. I'll trade massages with you. And even help you make a paper chain.

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    1. Dude if we're starting a massage trade rota I want in, I'm licensed and everything...well for the massage not the paper chain, I suck at remember to remove the links in the chain.

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    2. How do we get this thing going? I think this was Stranger's true life purpose.

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    3. Eli - talkying this up here - The Suzzzz is single, desperate, AND a trained masseuse....... Really - I think you need to ask her out.....

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    4. Thanks Nicole but after a truly awful first date last week I've replaced men with fried stuff covered in cheese, I find it makes my life less complicated...and less covered in vomit.

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    5. Although this massage thing is worth considering, do you think we could get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest backrub train/circle? OK, I just looked that up and apparently we have some stiff competition: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-massage-chain

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    6. I live in Lakewood. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist. Pick me! Pick me!

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    7. Suzzz - I'm pretty sure Eli would consent to being fried and covered in cheese

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    8. http://www.freeallimages.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/grumpy-cat-no-2.jpg

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  2. This is awesome! It was like at the IMFL page. Everyone was convinced THEY were going to Kona! If I made a joke on how I missed a swim and how that makes 6 months in a row... I would get jumped on! Way to make it funny!!!

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    1. So I just googled IMFL, and Google came up with "Indian-made foreign liquor". :-)

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    2. Jennifer is probably referring to Ironman Florida. But I really hope she is referring to Indian-made foreign liquor. (She always sort of seemed like a lush).

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  3. *It was like that at the IMFL Page.

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  4. I had a friend in high school who was a serious overachiever. I lost touch with her some time in college (because I'm an underachieving friend who loses touch with people), but looked her up a couple of years ago on Facebook as people do. (Incidentally, Facebook is THE DEVIL.) Turns out that my overachieving high school friend went on to become an overachieving adult who does ALL OF THE THINGS and does them extremely well. Her profile pic was of her CLIMBING EVEREST. I am not even joking about that. I saw that pic, thought of the last time I had climbed Everest (i.e., never), felt like a useless lump of carbon, and then proceeded to eat an entire package of Oreos to fill the empty hole in my soul from lack of Everest-climbing and other such achieving. Stupid Facebook.

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    1. Tess - your friend is an overachieving photoshopper - people who climb Mount Everest don't have time for FB

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  5. If it helps, it's my ex-husband's birthday today, we'll just say that cake you're eating is his and then it's totally OK.

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    1. When my children were young and we wanted cake, we would look online to find out whose birthday was that day and "celebrate" them. Anybody would do. We also would make cake for our cats, bird and guinea pig. Cake is good.

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    2. Wendi. BEST. IDEA. EVER!!!!!!! (Once, I wanted cupcakes, and my youngest wanted a birthday. So, we celebrated his "UnBirthday". Does that count too?)

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    3. Totally counts Moriah. I felt like cupcakes today so I justified it by saying that I was celebrating Bastille Day, hey I'm like 1/8th French so it totally counts.

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  6. Allow me to mother you for a minute...

    Dude. Chill. Unfollow it RIGHT NOW THIS MINUTE, and just keep up what you're doing...seriously. FB is where people go to brag about their kick-ass life, so that everyone else feels like they're inadequate and uncool. Un. Follow. It.

    Remind yourself of what an accomplishment this will be, for yourSELF. Plus--you're already kicking serious butt by training AND being a lawyer while most of us are sitting at home reading blogs and drinking coffee, with much less spiffy hair.




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    1. Exactly. You reading what other people are doing isn't going to change anything because, like you mentioned, you already have a plan and know how you're going to do things. Relax and keep doing what you're doing.

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  7. OMG. I just went through the Facebook page and read random posts and comments over the last month. You weren't exaggerating!!!

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  8. I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED I TELL YOU that you even know there is such an acronym as "WTF". I, on the other hand, use that expression NOT EVEN SPELLED OUT, about every other hour every day of my life. Because No Cathie in my life ;)

    I have recently signed up for a "bootcamp-race" with my cousins because cousins make you do weird things for fun. It is amateur only but I am a little freaked out by it, especially since when I signed up I had to give my age (50!) and now every piece of email they send has my age on it and I have the unwelcome suspicion that I will be the oldest person there and will be crawling across the finish line. Or be dragged across by my young cousins

    Ignore those Facebook posts if you can. I would say stop reading them, but at this point it would be impossible. Like watching a train wreck....

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    1. This brings me to my question- what is WTAF?

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    2. Pardon me for this but: "What the Actual F*&%"

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    3. NOT THAT WE KNOW ANY VULGAR ACRONYMS, CATHIE.

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    4. I thought that WTF was Wednesday Thursday Friday, what's vulgar about that?

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    5. I reserve WTAF for something seriously messed up, I usually go with the milder "What in the actual 7 hells...?"

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    6. WTF = Why the face? Thank you, Phil Dunphy!

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  9. This is why no one should exercise ever. It just stresses you out and that's bad for your heart.

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    1. Yes. This. I run when chased, and then only if I don't want to get caught.

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  10. On the other hand, think of how satisfying will it be to beat these VO2, Swimskin, salt capsule people!

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  11. You got this. Mr. Ollie Pants Cavoodle believes in you.

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    1. Is he coming with me? I need help swimming.

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  12. I don't talk to ACTUAL strangers, EVER. But Sunday after passing dozens of people walking rather vigorously down a lone highway in the middle of Tennessee on probably the hottest day of the year with these mini backpacks and bottles of water strapped to various parts of their bodies. Largely because of this blog, I was curious as to what they were doing. 314 miles is what they were doing in 10 days from somewhere in Kentucky to Knoxville, TN. I talked to this one guy for about 3 minutes (I felt anxious the whole time that I was going to make him lose the race. But I was curious and he stopped when I ran across the church parking lot yelling "Hey Sir! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?") He said he wasn't concerned with taking a few minutes break. He figured he was in the back third but as the days got hotter and more people dropped out he expected to move up pretty quickly in the next day or so. I think he said they were on day 4 of this insane walk/run. He said he was taking it easy and pacing him self on this race because he just got back to North Carolina two weeks ago from California - because he WALKED/RAN it in 78 days, I think that might have been how old he is! We saw a lot of people that had that same health-crazed/ adrenaline-junkie look about them walking that road. It definitely takes a special kind of person to do these kinds of endurance races! Keep up the good work!

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    1. WTAF???!!!!! That is incredible. I got tired today walking to the Dep for a popsicle, cause HOT WEATHER!

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  14. First you steal my birthday cake. Then you eat it with your bare hands. Then you post a picture of yourself eating the purloined confection on the facebook? Good day to you, sir. I said good day!

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  15. You should check out the blog by Swim, Bike, Mom. She is training for her 4th or 5th the ironman/Iron length race, which is not baggy, she is more of the "hey if an overweight, working lawyer, Mom of two can do it...SO CAN YOU, and here is how" She is not preachy or judgey or anything, just down to earth and supportive and all that happy crap. I think you'd like her :-)

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  16. But....
    Do they have Tami?!? Or the best hair out there? NO. Counting their macros mean NOTHING without a Tami to share it with. Who cares about VO2 Max if your hair is atrocious?!?Once up the barrel and all that.

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  17. Eli, if Boulder is at a higher elevation than SLC, maybe you should consider getting there earlier than you originally planned so you can acclimate yourself.

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    1. If only. But Boulder is only about 1,000 feet above SLC and I do all of my bike training up in the mountains, anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above Boulder elevation. So I'll just hope this is enough for me.

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