The last time I was this much of a hypocrite it was the Funnniest Person in Austin contest back in April. After rubbishing it and refusing to take part, I went ahead and did it and was as mediocre as I’d suspected. But now I’m no longer doing stand-up (lets see how long this lasts) I had to find another way.
I don’t like all-women events. I see little to celebrate in being a women and I hate venus and the colour pink. I especially disagree with all-women sports events, because they tend to be too friendly and ra ra when everyone knows that women really loathe each other. Even the lezzers. So it was entirely in my character that today I should do a women-only triathlon.
A few years ago I did the Danskin women’s tri and vowed never to do it again, partly because the slogan was ‘the woman that starts the race is not the same as the woman who finishes’. This suggests deception, which is not part of Sista-hood. Plus the Danskin Series raises money for breast cancer and a lot of survivors do the race and it’s therefore illegal to pass them or elbow them on the run to the finish. That’s not necessarily written into the race rules but you certainly feel it when you’re out there.
But I needed to race. My last non-gender specific triathlon was cancelled because of the rain and the lake being contaminated with mutant algae so it was this or nothing. There’s a lot of very competitive women racers in Austin so I hoped it wouldn’t be too cancery or pink. I got the race packet yesterday – it included a baby pink t-shirt, some hair scrunchies and a Luna bar. Useless. Where was the tampon, or the lighter? I wouldn’t have been offended at a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate.
The pink theme continued at the race site. The port-a-potties were pink and even featured a basin so you could wash your hands. This was a total drag as everyone knows that one of the best things about the loos at races is that you’ve got an excuse for not washing your hands. Plus we were going to be in the lake, which meant that you didn’t really even need to bother getting in line to pee.
Despite being a women’s triathlon, it included the standard swim, bike and run events. No ironing or vacuuming as one wit commented a bit too loudly to his fellow volunteer this morning. Though if it had, Erik would have been rightly disappointed by my performance.
I don’t really like swimming in murky Texas wee-filled lakes and it was worse this morning because as I waited for my wave to start, I felt something bite my leg – like someone had pinched the skin. Not wanting to be a girl, because my wave of 40-44 year olds was a bit hardcore, I jumped back and then had to keep jumping as if this was part of my elite athlete warm-up regime while I waited to feel my leg swelling up as the poison coursed through my veins. Sadly it didn’t and I therefore have no excuse for my performance which put me 6th in my age group and a magnificient one minute faster than my last race back in May. What a great pay-off for my 15 workouts a week or whatever I’m now claiming.
On the good side, I did beat a lot of 50 year olds who were in the wave ahead of me. Mainly the ones that were swimming in the wrong direction, riding an old lady bicycle or walking. Comparing my times, I wish I could fast forward to being 50 because then I could have won my age group. But on the downside, I’d be a lot closer to being dead and 41 is quite close enough for now.