There are a few reactions that I get from people when I tell them that one day I will do an Ironman. They are:
1. You are crazy!
2. How do you find the time?
3. Oh, maybe if you had kids you wouldn't need to fill this void in your life.
Only the people that answer #1 or #2 do not get immediately stabbed in the eye. The truth is, unless you are an endurance athlete or are passionate about something (anything) you really won't get it. There are people that spend just as much time that I spend training doing things like watching TV or drinking beer. The only difference is that those are more socially accepted in many circles. What I do only looks harder, but really when you train properly none of it is "hard." It's not like I'd attempt to swim 2 miles without slowly building that up over time.
So, I was thinking yesterday after signing up for the 1/2 Ironman next you the question "do I have what it takes?" So far, from what I can tell in my short time training it takes the following things to succeed as a triathlete.
1. a little bit of crazy
4. an excellent support system
5. the ability to use google
Anyone that knows me knows I got #1 down. I also have the motivation and the time (you know because my life is empty without kids). I also have amazing friends who are both athletes and not and great coaches at Boca Hawaii who believe I can succeed. As a computer person I am pretty confident in my ability to google, but the one thing that I lack is the cash.
Now I'm not whining here. I realize how lucky I am to be able to live in paradise and that there are a lot of people doing much worse then me and I am choosing to spend all this money. Yes, of course you can get by with shoes, a helmet, a bike, a speedo, and goggles: but there is SO MUCH OTHER STUFF. Better pedals, shoes to go with those, gloves, sunglasses, pedometers, cadence meters the list goes on and on. People are telling me everyday "you need this, you need that. This will make you faster, this will keep you from dying" (I usually do splurge on the keep me from dying items) But I did just have to make the choice recently not to get a super comfy seat for my bike. Right now I *need*
1. New shoes
2. Compression socks
3. new tape for my handlebars
4. more gels and other nutrition
5. A cycling jersey
6. sports bras
8. New bike seat
Ok, that's not that much right now, but you get the point this shit adds up and I want to look just as good as the next triathlete in my dry fit matching outfit. So, in a lot of ways this is not a sport for the poor. This has been confirmed by a study done by me. All the people in my tri clinic drive Lexuses, BMW's, or Audi's. Of course this might not be a realistic sampling as there are many triathletes that choose not to spend money on training like I did.
When I saw the facebook post yesterday that the Honu registration was open I wasn't sure what to do. I have no doubts that I can physically finish this race, but can I afford to? I did use my credit card for the entry, and I have charged a few other things lately. I'm really really trying to get out of debt and am on a slippery slope.
So my question to other triathletes. You can't all be millionaires. How do you do it? Where do you shop? I assume that since I'm just starting a lot of my purchases will be "one time" things. What are things I can cut out or get cheaper? How can I do more triathlons with less and maybe even be able to afford to travel more to them.
PS. Can you tell I love numbered lists? If I could get spreadsheets on here I would be blogging everyday.