Thursday, February 28, 2008

Surprise! You signed up for Ironman.

I keep getting these emails from Ironman about the lottery for Kona. The subject is "2008 Ironman lottery - You....". That's where my email inbox cuts off the subject line. This is the third one I've gotten and it freaks me out every I may have gotten this wild idea to sign up and this was my confirmation.

When the first email came, I was curious. I even considered registering for the lottery just to see if I would get in. Like if I did somehow get in that would be a sign that I NEEDED to do Ironman. Then I saw that you had to pay for the lottery and I scrapped that idea.

But now these emails come and just for a second I forget that I didn't register the lottery. And just for a second I freak out at the thought of me doing a big, bad Ironman.

You may think this is irrational, but I know how easy it is to sit a cushy chair, in the comfort of your own home and think "oh yeah, that looks like fun" as you register for some crazy pain-fest of a race. I've been down that road before. For a while I was thinking I needed "race-lock" on my computer. Like one of those child protection programs, but instead of blocking adult content it would disable all race registration sites.

It would be something that would prevent you from, say, registering for your first triathlon ever at the 70.3 distance in May when you live in Wisconsin and only have frozen tundra to train on. And something that would make you think twice about registering for a century ride just two weeks later, on the other side of the country. Maybe a little pop up box that would say "this race conflicts not only with training and travel for another event on your calendar but also with your ability to consider yourself sane, are you sure you want to proceed".

And when you naively click "yes I am crazy and want to proceed" it would then tell you "You should expect to put your bike on a truck and not see it for three weeks straight, except for 30 minutes somewhere in the middle of those three weeks when you are running it across town from one bike transport truck to the other. You should expect to be a complete headcase for a full 24 hours leading up to the triathlon much to the frustration of those poor souls traveling with you. You should expect to not be fully prepared for either event. You should expect stress. You're a crazy nut-job. Good luck (you're going to need it)."

A race registration blocker might also have deterred me from accidentally registering for the EcoChallenge, cleverly disguised as a friendly trail half-marathon in Vancouver. (this is a great story for another time)

So you see, based on past experience, the fear of accidentally signing up for the Ironman is a very rational fear.

So Ironman, could you stop sending me emails. You're freakin' me out.

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