The Acquisition of Accoutrements

You should see the accoutrements we require for a trip to the beach.

Miles run yesterday: 10

Words written in my novel so far: 41,412

Accoutrements my husband has acquired so far for the nifty new sport of triathlon-ing: 7

Never let it be said that my husband does things halfway. No sir.

So when he mentioned, back in the spring, that he was going to run a marathon, my first thought was, “I am going to know more about marathons than the entire staff of Runner’s World magazine, combined, by the end of the year.”

A veritable spreadsheet of numbers spilled out of his mouth each time he returned from a run, along with a laundry list of minor aches and pains.

“Well, today I went out hoping to take it slowly, at an 8:30 pace, but the weather was a balmy 65 degrees, so I picked up the pace near the main road, to about 7:26, then tried to take it down a notch to an 8:02 pace by the turnaround.”

I might have mentioned before that numbers are not really my thing.

He also expressed disbelief that his body hurt. At times, a lot. There were colorful descriptions, often peppered with bad words and rather pitiful expressions.

In the midst of all of the marathon prep, he decided he was going to start competing in triathlons. You might wonder: why start training for one’s first triathlon, nay, an Ironman triathlon, in the midst of one’s first marathon training?

I asked that very same question.

In the ’80s, my parents would have labeled this a mid-life crisis, speaking with friends in hushed tones reserved for cancer and mental illness.

But today, mid-life crises require accoutrements. Or at least, my husband’s mid-life crisis does.

So far, his mid-life crisis triathlon training has required the purchase of:

1 super bike

1 pair of tight, well-padded bike shorts

1 bike helmet

1 bike pump

1 (better) bike seat

1 pair of Daniel Craig-esque swim shorts (!)

1 kickboard

Still remaining to be purchased:

1 DVD to learn how to swim, total immersion-style

1 pair of flippers

1 swim cap

1 buoy to hold your legs up while you practice breathing

1 tight bike shirt to look like a real cyclist

I should report that he is a real cyclist already, becoming one with the bike in a way I have never and will never achieve. The bike’s moving parts would seem to me to be accoutrements aplenty, but then again, I am not a triathlete and have no intimate knowledge of the psyche of such an animal.

But he does look cute in the swim shorts.

And now, I must return to the accoutrements with which I am most familiar: pen, notebook, computer keyboard. Please note that these wonderful devices require no number-crunching and will never “rest” in the garage while my body recovers.