Monday, September 24, 2007

"if every day were a duathlon"

racing is HARD.
duathlons are HARD.

running 2 miles, then cycling 20, then running 5 – that's HARD.

i forgot this during the last 2 months when i was playing dollies with LAF and loading tanqueray.

AJ popped up next to me at the starting line.

- i SO don't want to be here – he announced – i don't know why i came.
- hi AJ.
- you'll probably pass me on the bike. i don't know why i even came. Ivy Tibialis is acting up and i probably shouldn't even be here – Ivy Tibialis is AJ's pet name for his ITB. hen calls his Van Halen. - DON'T pass me on the bike. i'll cry like a baby.
- okay.

- my ankle still hurts from crashing last weekend too. i feel old and creaky – AJ is 26 – i really don't know why i'm here. how do YOU feel?

- me? hungry.

- hungry?!? - i had my normal breakfast at the normal time and there's no reason i should be hungry, but i have an empty, rumbling feeling in my gut.
- yeah. i could go for some scrambled eggs and bacon right now. maybe some scrapple - AJ looks at me disbelievingly - and a short stack of pancakes, with kerrygold butter and maine maple syrup. - the guy in front of me snorts; AJ looks cross.
- why do i even talk to you.

the starting gun sounds and i take off at a manageable pace with maggie, my closest competition as i figure it, right on my shoulder. she sits there for the first mile; i can hear her breathing harder than i am and it's comforting to know that i could leave her behind if i tighten the screws just a bit. i don't, though, because i'm not sure that tightening the screws won't detonate me.

as i'm pulling my bike off the rack, maggie's just coming into transition, and as i'm noodling the beginning of the bike leg maggie passes me moving at mach-10. maggie has NEVER passed me on the bike. maggie has never passed me EVER. this is not right. but i don't panic because i'm still in my small chain ring after all, gathering the gods of war. and a half-mile later when i pass her going 24mph i feel implacable and bulletproof... until a minute later i hear the rumble of her disc wheel and there she is. i know you'll smoke me on the run – she yells to me as she passes me A-gain – so i just figure i'll try to stay as close as i can on the bike! WTF?? who talks that much in a race?? who's to say i'll smoke her on the run?

after so much time off from racing, it takes me 10miles to recover the zen of time-trialing, that feeling where your knees tuck neatly under your armpits and you draw the strength for your pedal-stroke from your core instead of just your legs. i start to feel good then, or maybe it was just a tailwind; and when i pass a cluster of 4 guys blatantly drafting off each other, i feel even more immortal; but when i make the last turn before transition i can see the rose-pink of maggie's uniform in my peripheral vision.

i nail a smooth second transition until i realise i'm still packing my spare tube, co2 cartridges and inflater in my jersey pocket, so i flit back to transition to drop the weight. maggie's pulling on her flats.
- go get 'em! - she says brightly. she is so NICE. why am i such a BITCH.

- see you out there.

- yeah, i'll see the back of you. - again, why so nice??

i believe i'm a stronger runner than maggie, but i believed that of the bike too, so i'm running uncertain now. my hamstring settles the issue, though: i find there is a certain edge at which it begins to speak its case most plangently, so i pitch my effort just below this red zone. a man with a lovely, rolling gait passes me and i focus on his feet, his turnover a mantra, but he breaks halfway in – i see it like we saw rasmussen break in the mountains after another contador attack – his form suddenly deteriorates; that easy roll is gone.
- just stay relaxed – i murmur as i leave him behind, and wonder if he's asking himself who talks that much in a race?

no part of this run is fun until i am crossing the line and high-fiving roy, my pal the fuji rep. i'm hanging with roy and his sidekick frank awaiting the awards ceremony when AJ finds me.
- i can't believe it. i was frickin' third.
- congratulations! that's awesome, AJ.
- no it's not. i thought i was second, and i worked my ass off to pass the third-place guy, but i just looked at the results and one dude was so far ahead of us that i didn't even know he was out there.

- are you sure the results are right?
- yeah. he's beaten me before. and get this: he's 43. that's OLD. he's older than YOU, and you're frickin OLD!!

- why are you wearing a skirt?

- it's not a skirt, it's a KILT.

- looks like a skirt to me. you got anything on under there?

- no. wanna check?

- i may be old, but you still jerk off thinking about me don't you.

- fuck you.

- i'll take that as a yes.

we ceased our banter to cheer the final finisher, a 10-year old girl who finished about an hour and a half after we did. her mom paced her to the line, and her dad hefted her in the air as soon as she crossed the finish line. a huge smile emblazoned her face.

- that's almost a reason to have kids right there – i said to AJ, a confirmed bachelor.

- yeah, if every day were a duathlon - he giggled at his own joke - if every day for 18 years were a duathlon.
i laughed too. but if every day were a duathlon i would be a very tired finn indeed. i was out of commission for the rest of the day. racing is hard fucking stuff, man.


fatmammycat said...

Well done toots. Back in the saddle again. And might I just say, I really love these posts.

finn said...

thanks missus.

that makes me somewhat better on a shitty day during which BOTH computers seem to've been infected with virus that, among other things, makes it impossible to cut & paste. have you any idea how painfully slow life becomes when your ctrl-V does not work? you, FMC, cannot see a pic of AJ in his skirt because the URL is way too long to type w/o fucking up manytime. fuck this shit. how do my emachine and mac book pro get infected at the same time. do i have the time to deal with this shit? of course not. pissfuckcuntsuckVENT.

fatmammycat said...

Yep, sounds like a Monday.

finn said...

while this works:
-- AJ in his skirt, as promised.

-- scrapple dreams at the start line

-- before life started getting shitty.

finn said...

i hate windoze on ANY day of the week.

fatmammycat said...

That's fine looking frock he's wearing.
Hey! How come you get to do the running SANS the lobster face? No fair.

finn said...

the pool water was about 98F/37C this morning. i had lobster face, lobster thorax, lobster labia, lobster you-name-it.

i wasn't swimming so much as being blanched.

good on yah for being sensible this weekend btw, and not pushing yourself stupidly.

fatmammycat said...

No real choice in it, my bloomin' legs were tired and I don't want to risk anything this close to the race.
I'm feeling the benefit of it now, a bit like a horse that's had three days of oats and rest. I call it fillyesque.