Sunday, February 6, 2011

Triathlete Slogs to Finish Line, Chocolate Clenched in Fist

This headline, for better or worse, has not yet made the news at our local paper. Today was the last day of the two-week long Ironman Triathlon, and like a true athlete, I did cross the proverbial triathlon finish line, even sailing past it by a few inches.

It actually took me less than the full two weeks allotted to finish (okay, I finished only hours before the deadline) the 112-mile bike-ride (okay, it was a recumbent, stationary bike and I got through my pile of fashion magazines, looking at the pretty pictures while clocking miles at a very low speed), the 2.4-mile swim (I admit, I did this over 7 different days, inconsecutively), and the 26.2-mile Marathon run (done over 8 different days, also inconsecutively). At the end of each day (if not in the middle or at the beginning), I also consumed squares of milk, dark and white chocolate, and recorded my consumption of these. (Those stats will be brought to you later…)

What I learned from this venture:

  • You can do anything you set your mind to, as long as it involves chocolate.
  • Never underestimate the power of a good fashion magazine to get you through the rough times.
  • Never mix milk and dark chocolates when you are feeling guilty about the milk and are trying to “dilute” with dark, it’s such a letdown if all you really want is milk chocolate!
  • Do mix chocolates of any sort with almonds, walnuts, bananas, yes or even honey, in order to dispel any guilt surrounding the consumption of chocolate.
  • Don’t run unless you have good running shoes and a good bar of chocolate waiting for you at the end of the run.
  • Don’t swim unless you are sure you have a bar of chocolate waiting for you at home.
  • Don’t get on that bike unless you have brought Vogue, W, Elle or InStyle with you to the gym and have secured access to a bar of chocolate.
  • Never try any athletic endeavor, unless you have a serious chocolate consumption plan in place.
  • Also never try such an endeavor without the full support and consent of your spouse (who must also be eating chocolate with you as you go.)
  • And lastly, never discuss these strategies with anyone who is a serious athlete or doesn’t like chocolate.

Okay, now I’ll tell you the real reason I did this, chocolate or not: I turned 40 during this triathlon, and I wanted to do it for myself (could I really do it?), as well as for three of the most important women in my life: my mom and her two sisters. I did it for their hearts, and mine.

As for the chocolate, it certainly helped me get to the “finish line.”

The stats are in: 12 squares of white, 33.5 squares of dark, and 56 squares of milk. No, make that 57, as I pop one more milk chocolate heart before the midnight finishing bell.

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