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September 08, 2004 - 3:25 pm

YOU'VE GOT SOME 'SPLAININ' TO DO

So the triathlon is this weekend.

The swimming is coming along nicely. I can swim 500 yards in about 15 minutes, including stopping frequently to gasp for air. I donít think Iíll drown. That is, unless hurricane Ivan moves in over the next three days and creates a tsunami. Saturday I swam 500 yards and then ran about three miles. Piece of cake. Until I tried to get up off the floor of my living room.

Biking is going okay too. I have a nice little Gary Fisher mountain bike that John got me when the girl was just born. But since he didnít get me a baby trailer to haul the baby around in and worked sixteen hours a day, I didnít really have the opportunity to ride it for about five years. Thinking it might be time for a tune-up, I took it back to Outback Bikes, a most excellent bike shop here in Atlanta where John bought it so many years ago. The staff is friendly and helpful and never says, "Would you like some fries with those toe clips?"

I got a really hot outfit to swim/bike/run in at All 3 Sports, a shop dedicated to, well, all three sports in the triathlon. Maybe Iíll have someone take a picture of me as theyíre loading my body onto the stretcher and post it here when I get out of the hospital so you can see how hot this outfit is.

All 3 Sports has a bias towards the biking third of the triathlon, which I realized when the bike guy ringing up my hot outfit informed me they would not be able to fit my mountain bike with street tires and added (in so many words), "Would you like a road bike to go with that outfit instead?" I politely declined. Since this is my first triathlon I couldnít really see going to the EXTREME! of getting a "decent" road bike, as Lance Armstrong offhandedly suggested I could do, "for only about $1,000." I think I tactfully redirected the conversation with, "Uh, Iím sorry, but $1,000 is a FUCKING LOT OF MONEY, and for most people biking is a HOBBY, not a CAREER...IN RETAIL! Did you not just hear me telling you Iíve never done this before and am hoping only to finish this silly little sprint triathlon in one piece YOU ARROGANT JERK?"

I think he found my comments helpful, and after the security officer showed me the door, I opted to have the folks at Outback fit my mountain bike with street tires instead. No fries, thanks.

Julie has been sufficiently taunted into doing the triathlon with me. We're heading out of Atlanta Friday morning for Hilton Head, which should be about a five hour drive, give or take a hot boiled peanut stand or two. For some reason, John and Alan (Julieís husband) are worried. They seem to think Julie and I have a tendency to misbehave when we're together (?!). I'm sure we'll be wiped out after the race, so there will be none of our Lucille Ball/Ethel Mertz type shenanigans going on this weekend. You can be sure of that.

But we may drag ourselves out of the hotel room for one rehydrating cocktail Saturday night. Or two.

~Samantha

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