In November I completed an Ironman competition. Yes, it is true. I have the t-shirt to prove it. For those who do not know what an Ironman is, you must bike 112 miles, swim 2.4 miles and run a marathon. Now normally these are all done in the same day. Thank God the South Jordan Fitness Center saw the wisdom in letting their members have TWO WEEKS to complete theirs.
I had a nice little chart telling me how many segments I should complete each day on average to finish the challenge. The marathon was the easy part. We usually walk & jog at least 3 miles a day at the gym, so I didn't even have to go in on weekends for that one. Two weeks to go 26.2 miles was a breeze.
Swimming 2.4 miles (170 laps) was also no problem over two weeks. We only have two lanes for laps at our pool so they also allowed you to walk the lazy river around our pool and count it as 2 laps. It was easy to knock out 40 laps in less than an hour. This was also the most enjoyable of the challenges, as the seniors have morning water aerobics and they keep the pool delightfully warm until 10am.
Biking was the hard part. And it would have been even harder had I been totally honest. I admit I cheated a bit. Well maybe more than a bit. But while the pool had an easy advantage with the lazy river option, the biking was completely unfair in a gym setting. You did have the option of riding your own bike and not just the stationary bikes at the gym. After day one, riding just 6 miles on the bike, I was getting upset. A gym bike does not allow for coasting. You are pedaling constantly. How unfair is that? Those real ironman competitors get to pedal, then coast while the momentum of the bike continues as they rest their weary legs. Add a downhill section and they can practically take a nap too. Not so with the gym bikes. So I fudged a bit. I doubled the miles I would ride daily to account for coasting. Some would probably say that was immoral. I tend to justify it though because a normal triathlon bike ride takes about 5-6 hours. I put in 11 hours on the stationary bike at the gym and at home, double what a true competitor would have had to accomplish.
Now I am normally a very honest person. If I am undercharged at a store, I point it out to the clerk. I don't like to lie, even when it is one of those little white lies you say to keep from hurting someone's feelings. And no matter what Tim says, I do not cheat at board games. I would much rather win fair and square. But I also think things should be reasonable and the stationary bike was totally unfair. It appears I can cheat easily when I feel sufficient outrage at an unjust situation. I'm not sure if my morals are slipping or if they are just aging and getting to that stage where you just don't give a damn anymore, kind of like going out without make-up on. Either way I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Just getting to the gym and my age is accomplishment enough...