Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nobody told me before...

There are a lot of things that nobody told me would happen to me before I started doing triathlons. A lot of strange side effects that maybe needed some forewarning aside from the obvious like, "your aerobic capacity will increase and your resting heart rate will go down." No, these are some sneaky little things that you might never even think of, and although all of them won't happen to every triathlete, I am pretty sure that they will happen to most who take up the sport after a lifetime as a non-triathlete.

-Food will become infinitely more important to you than it ever was before, and in several aspects. You will constantly think about what you are eating and if it is the best fuel for your workout. You will suddenly start caring about carb/protein ratios. You will be a whole lot hungrier, and it is the kind of hunger that most normal people do not understand. So if you are on a long car ride with several non-athletes and you tell them you are hungry, there is no way they can possibly understand the urgency of the situation.

-You will find yourself using an awful lot of porta-potties, whether they be at races or on a pitstop in the middle of a run or bike workout. It will become so normal to you that you will forget that most normal adults do not have occasion to use them very often, and they will likely look at you like you have 3 eyes if you should suggest they use one.

-You will suddenly have no problem discussing bodily functions around others. Normal people won't usually offer up a story about nearly crapping their pants in casual conversation, but for a triathlete it just becomes a story that we can all laugh at, and most of us, unfortunately, can relate to.

-Along the same lines it will suddenly seem perfectly acceptable to pee yourself when covered head to toe in a neoprene suit. Normal people aren't really into that kind of thing, but we just call it "warming up" *I will say though that I have met one triathlete who still chooses not to do this, but that is only one and the rest will happily admit it.

-Your time between laundry loads will shrink considerably as the dirty clothes will pile up faster than you can imagine. This is especially true in winter with all of those extra layers.

-You will start to plan vacations around races and with most social events that come up you will immediately wonder, "how will that conflict with my training schedule?"

-There's a good chance you are going to start getting up just as early on weekends as you do on weekdays so that you can get your workouts in.

-You will lose your ability to stay up late at night. And by late I mean 10, or in my case, 9.

-Suddenly a 7-day week will run Monday-Sunday and not Sunday-Saturday as the calendar might suggest.

-You will probably master changing clothes in your car without anyone noticing.

-It will suddenly feel perfectly natural to walk around in stretchy shorts.

-Several times a week you are going to smell chlorine in your nostrils all day long. This of course is dependent upon you actually doing your swim training.

-You are going to have to take a lot more showers. Or at least I hope you will.

-It won't seem weird to do a workout in the morning and then still have to do another workout when you leave your job at the end of the day. To a lot of people that is compulsive exercising. To us it is just training.

Well, there are a few things, anyway. I am sure there are more but those are the ones that popped into my head just now. These are the kinds of things that sometimes run through my head when I'm running and letting my mind wander. Careful, it might happen to you, too.

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