Iron Madness; or the triathlete in the wild

Iron Man Canada was grrrrreat.

I've seen Porter in Tri mode, and I've see other triathletes doing their Tri thing. But I was just giddy at the sight of it all; of THEM- all in one place, hopped up on pre-race excitement, and a few weeks of tapering (normal levels of energy input and output) that would get anyone into a good mood. 

Triathletes are a friendly by nature; I think among the most pleasant brands of athletes. They enjoy similar exercise-induced endorphins as other competitive athletes, and save aggression for race day like others do for game day. But there's something else. It's like they know they'll be spending 8-17 hours in pure misery pretty soon, so they might as well kick back and enjoy life while they're dry and walking. So they're friendly and jovial to strangers and competitors. It might also have something to do with compression socks. 

Our first day in Penticton, it was like spotting zebra. It's not every group of male friends that trades leg-shaving secrets, openly discusses calorie consumption, and shamelessly shows of lots of leg (no complaints here. There are some great legs out there).

"Porter! There's another guy carting around his race wheel!" 

"Look! A group of SEVEN all in VISORS!" 

By race day, it wasn't even worth spotting anymore. I tried my best to look the part. I had tons of hilarious pictures too, on my phone that got broked in the water. (But got replaced! Thank you Microsoft Store!!)

Still, if I learned anything, it's that triathletes love their workout gear. I remember after I finally got my wedding dress, I tried it on like once a week, just to indulge in how perfect it was, even with my wet hair and a polka-dotted bra. It must be a similar feeling about tech shirts and running shorts, except with flashy brands on them that make you feel sponsored. No matter that you're just moseying around the race Expo or the tiny town, maybe you'll need to sprint later or something. You just never know, right? Better wear a sports bra and the extra light weight running shoes. I don't know that it's a vanity thing. It's not like there's not over a 1000 other athletes also wandering around with perfect legs and toned arms. (Nothing like over 1000 athletes with perfectly toned arms and legs to make a petitey like me feel like I needs to get moving already) Spandex, lycra, breathable everything is just... comfortable. Like slippers.

You know what can't be comfortable?

Body suits. Wet suits. Full Body wet suits.  Doesn't matter how toned your butt is, slip into a rubber tire and your butt looks like this:

Seriously, this woman weighs 85 pounds. Lumpy butt, lumpy thighs, even her shoulder blades look overweight.

It's not til the end you get to show it off:
Cute Butt Bratten, coming down the home stretch.
The worst part of Iron Man Canada: Fences.

Not a roped off area in certain corners, 10 foot high fences that corralled racers and blocked off viewers, not only from racers but from regular routes through town. Multiple times I ran from one area where I saw Porter to another area where I thought he might see me, and was THWARTED but the damn fences, making a maze where sidewalks should be. 

 They're not climbable either. I tried.

The waiting was not nearly as bad/long/boring as I thought it would be. My parents and  Porter's parents were there to join me this time. Trish, it turns out, is an absolute blast to watch with. She's got an equal interest in finding Porterman at the most opportune times and places, and has years more experience navigating the nuances of transition and athlete-sighting. She's also unabashed at shouting his name and waving her arms, running from place to place. In the morning, Trish, my mom and I placed ourselves where we thought we'd see him coming out of the water. We did ultimately catch up, fences be damned, for a classic Porter wave, as graceful as is possible when you're tiptoeing out in bike shoes somehow still sprinting even with a block of plastic under his arch, guiding a bicycle one-handed. It might actually be a pretty fun event to watch- some sort of bike shoe sprint. It's like a gazelle, in spandex. 
On the way out
On the way in
We spent most of the bike and run time lounging, making signs, and sidewalk chalking the main drag in and out of the transition area. I'll never try sidewalk chalk again, what a waste of time. You can't even see it and there's always that last bit when you end up scraping your fingers against the pavement trying to use it up. No, signs are where it's at.

We also unsuccessfully tried to find pie. Apparently the best pie around, up in a residential area above town. i also went with my parents to the hotel they stayed at, the Barona Beach Resort, where they had the owner's suite right on the beach because my dad knows the guy and sent him to Mexico once. P and I got to stay there that night. All the time, I'd turned into this compulsive race wife, checking Iron Man online for Porter to cross bike check points. My Kilometers to Miles math kept me guessing, and worried when he didn't hit checkpoints at the pace he'd told me. But it turns out no one's got updated past the first one, so he was really right on pace.

The swim was smokin' (57 minutes). The bike was right on schedule (5:23. Yes Five and a HALF hours. And that's fast). The run didn't go so hot. I knew it when we past the estimated time and I got worried of course that Porter was dead along the way. He wasn't, just had some leg cramping that took a bite out of the middle of the run, and he finished still in 14th place (out of like 350) in his age group and also really fast overall. But he wasn't too happy with the run.

I had to literally run ALL the way around Penticton to get to him, my Iron Man, all tired and falling to pieces after giving 100+% to his passion. When I finally found him, he just collapsed onto me with a "I'm so grateful for you." followed by "It hurt so much."

How sweet is that? I love this guy.

Of course 2 minutes later it was as if he had just rolled out of bed. Ravenously hungry and smiling about the whole  thing. 

Iron is in his blood I swear. 

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