Friday, May 7, 2010
The picture is me, dressed as a polar bear, for this year's Polar Plunge.
It was March 31 and I stood at the Dairy Queen, staring at the blizzard board. I was picking out the last blizzard I would be able to have for a long time. I have two training schedules—my winter or off-season schedule and the Hardcore Schedule, which kicked off April 1. My love of ice cream would now be limited to post-race rewards.
My self-discipline did not last long, however. On April 8 I was challenged by a co-worker to consume the “Cup of Death”—a 32 oz. McDonald’s Triple Thick chocolate shake. This one shake contains 1160 calories. I was challenged to drink it in one hour. I downed it in 20 minutes, brain freeze and all.
You see, if I hadn’t become a triathlete, I wanted to be a competitive eater. They are the ones who consume 30 hot dogs at a sitting. Despite my size, I was always able to consume large quantities of food and I never backed down from a challenge. So despite my dedication to the triathlete lifestyle, I drank the fat-laden McDonald’s shake. I felt guilty so that night I swam many laps at Masters, often feeling like my swollen belly would drop me to the bottom of the pool like a lead weight.
As people left the pool that night I kept swimming, determined to burn off every last calorie. Coach Nick said Lane 4 was empty and I could move over there. Me? In Lane 4? In case you don’t know, the outside lanes are for slow people, middle lanes for fast. My home was Lane 6. Lane 4 was for the Barry Breffles of the world. I felt empowered in Lane 4…faster, stronger. I was the last one out of the pool that night because I didn’t want to leave Lane 4, enjoying the fantasy that I was an elite swimmer. Maybe someday.
My other training is still coming slowly, but I’m trying to crank it up in the last few weeks before my first race. During my physical my doctor checked out my hurt elbow and said I have an inflamed nerve. It causes pain in my arm and numbness in my fingers. Being the stubborn triathlete that I am, I didn’t want to take any time off. Fortunately, I have a doctor who understands that. She said as long as I can take the pain, I won’t permanently harm my body. No more excuses; time to suck it up.
For the record, my final decision at the Dairy Queen was the Oreo Cheesequake Blizzard. It contains Oreo cookies and cheesecake (what a combo!). I am a member of the Blizzard Fan Club so they send me coupons, further tempting me. It’s also the 25th anniversary of the blizzard so it would be un-American not to partake, right?
So many things are out there trying to derail my training. I guess the more I eat, the more I have to train or vice-versa. All you can do is keep-tri-ing……..