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#questionmadness (and the bathroom drain)

So the mister and I swam tonight (we're both targeting Madison 70.3 in June and need to get back in the pool more regularly), and his ear was full of water afterward, so he decided to use the ear wax removal system on it, but unfortunately he chose the "questionable" sink in the house for this procedure, and as luck would have it, the stopper got stuck in the drain, and he now is trying to learn plumbing from YouTube.

Which brings me to tonight's question: Why live a life that's perceived as mad? Or in this particular instance: Why train for a crazy-ass sport like triathlon when it means you're up until midnight taking your sink apart and attempting to unstick the stopper by pushing it up from underneath with a screwdriver? 

Or perhaps even more pressing: Why spend half your rent on Ironman registration and devote six months (or more) to training and have no social life and then cross the finish line but not get anything but a medal, a hat, a T-shirt and some pizza that you can't eat anyway because you're allergic to gluten?

Because I can't imagine living life any other way. I love the people I've met through triathlon. I love the never-ending quest for self-improvement. I love being able to swim, bike and run in beautiful places. I love how triathlon keeps me honest and shows me that anything is possible.

Even learning plumbing from YouTube. 

Madness is a beautiful thing.

why I ate a sandwich just now

Is it just me, or does swimming make you ridiculously hungry, hungrier even than long rides or long runs or long rides followed by long runs?

I'm back in the pool. Not going to lie -- it's been awhile. In fact, it's been since the end of August, which is when open water swim season came to a close here in Minneapolis. (I had been swimming at Cedar Lake every Monday night throughout the summer -- absolutely loved it, even though sometimes it was windy and choppy and the buoys drifted around a lot.)

Random thoughts I had in the pool tonight:
  1. This swimsuit still fits, so at least there's that.
  2. Oh wait. I take that back. Side boob.
  3. At least I'm not out of breath and dying.
  4. Everything about swimming is a mystery to me and I feel like I'm trying really hard to solve it but I haven't had a breakthrough yet.
  5. I should find a masters group. Maybe that will help.
  6. Wow, this isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.
  7. I can't believe the mister and I met at team swim when I was in goggles and a swim cap. Good lord.
  8. I wonder how often they clean this pool.
  9. The last time I practiced flip turns, I got food poisoning afterward and threw up. Flip turns and food poisoning are likely totally unrelated, but now I'm afraid.
  10. Remember when I could barely swim one length of the pool?
  11. September 2017. Lake Monona. And then running up the helix afterward to transition.
  12. Must. Swim. More. Often.

taking the leap, again.

I could list all of my excuses, such as "I was in New York eating fried chicken" or "My cat has seasonal allergies" or "The weather was perfect so I rode 70 miles with no prior training or preparation and then slept for like 48 hours afterward." All of these things are absolutely true, but really aren't good enough to explain my disappearance. Therefore: Profuse apologies, etc.

Lazy bloggers go straight to hell, obviously.

Anyway, here's the most exciting thing that's happened since I last wrote:

New bike! (Kidding.)

Arvan, Andrew, Kendra, Megan and I rented a house with a horse-bike in the basement and went to Ironman Wisconsin to cheer, volunteer and -- gasp -- sign up for next year. (Can we just pause for a moment and talk about how awesome it is that my long-time California friends now know my brand-new Minnesota friends, and everyone likes each other, and now we are all going to climb ridiculous hills and moo at cows together? Triathlon is such a beautiful thing.)

Full disclosure: I was on the fence about IM Wisconsin. I originally thought I wanted to do it, but then the bike course changed and Barlow Hill happened. And on top of that, the mister and I have been discussing big life choices and were considering moving back to the West Coast, and I didn't want to commit to 140.6 while moving across the country and looking for a new job and trying to build a new friend network.

I was also sick with the weather-is-changing cold that always seems to happen to me at this time of year.

But in typical fashion, there's just something about Ironman that sucks you in.

Maybe it's the beauty of the swim start, sun rising over the water, the air full of energy and nerves and excitement and hope and yes, a little bit of fear.

Maybe it's getting together with friends and teammates and cheering each other on.

Or maybe it's this song playing while runners head into Run Aid Station 1 and Arvan asks them to wiggle-wiggle-wiggle for ice and they actually laugh and do it.

So I signed up. Which means I will have to live on my bike for the next year and make leg presses part of my normal routine and teach myself to come to terms with hills.

And it also means we're staying put in Minneapolis.