Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Cost of All This

Triathlon is expensive, and I'm never sure whether it or the animals will send me over the edge financially first. Triathlon is like a giant magnet hiding in my checking account and sucking money out as quickly as it goes in. Here, for example, are a list of things I need right now, or in the near future:

*New swimsuit. I need this one urgently. The inner layer has separated from the outer layer in my (not very old) Speedo, so that I feel like I'm swimming draped in disintegrating Kleenex and every time I pull forward, anyone could look down the front of my suit all the way to my feet if they wanted to. (Not that anyone would want to, or does, do this, but still, it is an uncomfortable feeling and can't be very hydrodynamic.) And no I don't have to get a $50-$70 Speedo; I could just get something from Target or something for half the price, but I don't feel like a real swimmer in a non-Speedo. And I just love the way a new Speedo fits so perfectly, like body paint. So new Speedo it will have to be.

*Running tights for the winter. I have one pair of those and they are torn. Since they're black I could just wear them every day and let everyone think I have 20 different pairs of tights, all black, but that's probably not a very practical idea, since I would either have to stink or else do laundry every other day. These run anywhere from $25-$30 on sale, up to $50 or more.

*A speed/cadence sensor for my Garmin 310. Not that I really need one, when I'm as out-of-shape as I am, but I WANT one, based on the theory that I am actually going to TRAIN on the bike while recovering from my stress fracture, and therefore will need to know things like cadence. That's $60.

*New swim goggles, since with both pairs of my old ones I have a choice between A) cinch them up so tight I have a splitting headache by the time I exit the pool, or B) let them leak so that I have to stop every few laps and dump out the water. $15 - $30 depending on which pair I get.

*Cycling clothes for winter. This is a necessity given the facts that A) I have zero tolerance for cold, B) I do a lot of my miles before the sun comes up, which in winter will be COLD, C) I can't run for a while so will have no choice but to do those hard bike miles when it's cold, D) I bought my bike in March and don't own a single piece of long-sleeved bike gear. I need AT LEAST a long-sleeved jersey, a jacket, tights, and full-fingered gloves. I will make a conservative estimate of $200 but suspect it will be more than that.

*Sports doc for the presumed stress fracture. I can't even begin to estimate how much that will cost but suspect it will easily be in the several hundreds of dollars range, since my insurance doesn't cover any of the doctors I want and regular doctors just tell you to rest the injured body part, which isn't going to happen.

Those are just the needs of the moment, and don't include ongoing things like tubes, race registration, GU gels, batteries for bike lights, renewals to subscriptions of Runner's World/Bicycling/Triathlete magazines, impulse purchases of triathlon-related books, annual memberships to SAR and Tri-Girls, gas to drive to training runs/rides, membership fees for the pool, race registration fees, airfare/hotels for races in distant cities, visits to the bike shop for tune-ups, repairs, et cetera... it goes on and on, and never stops.  I am lucky to have an easy, overpaid government job where I can handle most of these expenses, but it would be nice to have a little left over for, you know, new clothes that I can wear to work as opposed to only on workouts, and stuff like that.

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