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The lazy person’s triathlon

The one-way street in front of the parking garage did not head the one way I wanted to go, so I had to loop around New York Street to try again, when suddenly I found myself in the middle of a triathlon. I always run into unexpected events downtown.

I bet I can outrun them

As I sped alongside the bikers, I had an urge to speed up and try to beat them, as if I was competing. However, the increased police presence kept my speedometer safely under the speed limit.

Go team! Go!

I yelled, “Yeah! Go!” to the competitors, even though they couldn’t hear me from inside my air-conditioned car. Ever since I participated in the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon, I have a lot of respect for people who train and compete in long-distance events. I’ve been rolling around the idea of competing in a triathlon myself, however I don’t know how to swim and I don’t own a working bike, so I would only be able to run. Then I wouldn’t so much be competing in a triathlon as a monathlon. We could hold a monathlon on the Monon Trail here in town! The Monon monathlon. Yeah, I should get right on organizing that.

As I was driving with the bikers, I cooked up another sporting event idea – The Lazy Person’s Triathlon. We would start by taking a jet ski across the water, hop on a motorcycle to complete the biking portion, and finish up the running segment on Segways. No carbo-loading required! Just be sure to fill up on gas first.

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Karen • August 18, 2008 at 8:28 am

Totally unrelated, but how scary is it that I thought you has misspelled the word. My entire life (I will be 39 tomorrow) I have been saying triath”a”lon having now idea how very WRONG I was. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary if nothing else.


Just_kelly • August 18, 2008 at 9:50 am

Have you considered doing a mini-tri? Though I guess swimming and owning a bike are prerequisites for that also!


adrienne • August 18, 2008 at 9:51 am

Swimming is one of life’s great pleasures. As a Y member, you have no good excuse for avoiding adult swim lessons (and I promise you won’t regret them).

My shiny green bike languishes in our shed as I’m not so well-balanced these days and cars are really unaware of cyclists here.

If we were headed to Indy soon, I would loan it to you, but our next scheduled visit is 2009. Indy Bike Garage would probably have some great, affordable used bikes available- though the risk of biking is that you may love zipping past the runners just a little too much.



David Crowell • August 18, 2008 at 9:56 am

I highly recommend getting a bike. All the benefits of running without pounding your joints to death.

I started biking in April after 20 years of not riding one. I now commute to work (33 mile round trip) 3 or 4 days a week on my bike.

I now own two bikes, one of them a recumbent (very comfortable).


David Crowell • August 18, 2008 at 9:57 am

Oh, and what Adrienne said too. I’m a lousy swimmer, but I can keep my head above water.


maggieapril • August 18, 2008 at 10:13 am

The Lazy Person’s Triathlon. Brilliant. Finally, an event I am in shape for (assuming I could maintain my balance on a Segway, of course.)


Cat • August 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I love it! That’s one triathalon I would sign up for! You are too funny!


Mama Maven • August 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I was a lousy swimmer when I started, almost as lousy as I was at running! I will be doing my second tri Sunday and I am hooked. The best things are I don’t get bored because there are always options for training and the cross training has kept me injury free for the most part. And the triathletes I have met are the most encouraging, enthusiastic people who welcome everyone to the sport.

You can start out with gym swim lessons and perhaps spin classes before you head onto buying a bike.


Pamela • August 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I am definitely in for the Lazy Person’s Triathlon! Sounds like a blast!


Butterfly • August 18, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Seems like the police in my town would be great for supervising the Lazy Person’s Triathlon. I’ve seen them riding around town on segways lately and I just can’t seem to understand it. I could just see the high speed segway chase down the sidewalk now!

Hilarious thought though… I think the lazy persons triathlon is what got me here in the first place.


Kari • August 18, 2008 at 5:57 pm

I seriously think this is the only type of triathlon that would not cause me to drop dead. I’m walking a half marathon with other people from SparkPeople in the spring — wish I could run it, but I think 13 miles will be asking a bit much 8 months into my running plan. ;) A triathlon would probably kill me and they’d find me dead in the river a few days later when people started wondering where I went. :P


dietgirl • August 18, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Maybe you could start your own rebel tri with running, pilates and weights… if the Triathlon Federation (or whatever) complains that it has to be paired with cycling and swimming you could start your own Triathlon governing body too… hehehe!


Alexia • August 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Just my speed ;-) Funny because my two favorite Olympic events are the marathon and triathlon! Watching, not doing, that is.


K and J's mom • August 18, 2008 at 8:43 pm

That’s what I have been training for! The lazy person’s triathalon! Thank goodness you thought of that. Sign me up!


Lila • August 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I know it. It’s always so inspiring to see other people going something amazing. It helps us to go forward because we know we can.


Doc • August 18, 2008 at 9:47 pm

We should have some sort of mini-starter triatholon. Like, come and participate in a short swim (with life guards), ten mile bike ride (not nearly as bad as it sounds), followed by a 5K. It would be awesome! Everyone gets a medal for surviving and reaching to try new things :-). Actually in the middle of a (crappy) I mean particularly brisk winter, I have heard of indoor triatolons too. Hmmmmmm

Sorry, I rode my bike to work today and it makes me crazy positive attitude and actually productive.


The Baroness • August 18, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I like this idea. The lazy person deserves a triathlon.


jae • August 19, 2008 at 12:04 am

LOL, first of all I love the lazy man triathalon idea! That would be so fun to watch! Especially the Segway race! Can you imagine?

Maybe you should get on a triathalon team. I remember my dad doing that, he rode the bike and the other two team mates were some hot blondes-one in short running shorts and the other in a swimsuit (boy was my mom mad!). They had fun and only had to do one part. You could be the hot brunette on the team! ~j


Jill • August 19, 2008 at 8:35 am

Sign me up for the LPT!! Will they bring us snacks at the finish line?? Will there be valet parking as well?? In fact, could I just hire a proxy to do the whole thing for me??? Oh, the possibilities are endless!!!


K • August 19, 2008 at 9:52 am

Swimming IS one of life’s pleasures – I recommend it. Also, you wouldn’t need to worry about people pushing you off bridges (OK, maybe you would if it was very very cold, but you know what I mean).

We had swimming at school from age 7, and my parents took me to extracurricular swimming lessons because everyone else could swim without armbands already except me – how did you escape this?


PastaQueen • August 19, 2008 at 10:51 am

@K – I did take swimming lessons, but didn’t do well. I can doggy paddle, and I know the basic theory of the breaststroke, but I’m not very good or fast.


K • August 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Oh, well, I’ll admit that I’m not very good at the front crawl (it’s the timing of the breathing) but think swimming is the best exercise for feeling totally relaxed afterwards. It’s as if all the kinks from sitting at a desk far too much have been stretched out.


Elise • August 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Funny this should be your most recent post, because I was just about to e-vite you to join me in my latest attempt at exercise: biking the Monon on a regular basis. If I can find a seat that fits my ass a little better, maybe even a Mace-sponsored trip from Broad Ripple to downtown.


Susan Harrison • August 19, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Swimming is great exercise and a lot of fun. It’s never too late to learn. I know a lot of adults who have taken lessons. Maybe you could see if Michael Phelps will teach you. He knows a thing or two about burning those calories. I burn a few just watching him. :)


Blake • August 19, 2008 at 10:31 pm

haha..that’s a great idea for the lazy person’s tri. I love doing triathlons (I just did an olympic-distance one last month). I think yours would be a lot easier and fun!


Alexia • August 20, 2008 at 9:51 am

Heya, check out Total Immersion swimming — you can get a video or book from Amazon. Even non-swimmers like it. I ordered it for my husband. :-) He took lessons at the Y last summer, but was still a bit mystified about the whole breathing and water thing, not to mention floating. This TI technique is working better for him. (Now, my youngest, she will be an Olympic swimmer. Or, if you ask her, maybe a cowboy.)


Sara • August 21, 2008 at 12:15 am

I’ll sign up the lazy person’s triathalon–but only if you send someone to pick me up and drop me off at the start gate.


Ashley • August 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Ok, just so there will be another point of view, I will add that I did a triathlon this year, and I didn’t really like it at all. The amount of training required was far more than I actually had time to do and I sorta neglected my job a little and my boss got pissed. Sometimes I had to go to the gym twice a day and that was just too much. I had no life. I also discovered I HATE biking, though I also remembered how much I like swimming so that was actually a good thing. I felt like I was in a movie the day I went to my local REI to post a notice on the community board that I was selling my bike, thinking back to the day, just a few months prior, when I had found the ad for a bike on that very board that started the whole thing.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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