The initial idea for this post came to me after a reader and podcast listener broached the subject with Andrew and me about the differences between how we talk to and about triathletes when it comes to the sexes. It was pointed out (indirectly) that the people we have had on the show when we have discussed the “back of the pack” have all been men. Interesting. And looking back it has been true hasn’t it? Besides Anna Vocino coming on to discuss body image issues (great episode by the way … check it out) at the very beginning, the women we have had on are either upper tier athletes (KC) or those that are dealing with medical issues (Kate, Mary, Melissa). We have not had a true back of the pack female athlete, that is basically a female version of Andrew and me.
And why is that?
Because, frankly, how do you ask this? I can contact a guy that is heavy and say, bluntly, we are looking for a heavy guy … but I cannot contact a woman and say that can I? That’s taboo. It’s even in the name isn’t it. I have written about this before, but to review, men over 220 pounds are called Clydesdale, and women over 150 are called Athena’s. A horse vs. a goddess. I think this just goes back to how we look at the sexes. For right or wrong, men seem to have it a bit “easier” when it comes to this. I was listening to the recent episode of Fat Burning Man with Abel James and they were discussing this issue. Women tend to “overlook” a man that is heavy, while men aren’t as …. let’s say forgiving … when it comes to this. We can argue about the role that evolution plays in this mindset (women are viewed for their ability to produce offspring and men are viewed in their ability to provide and protect). Of course this is a generalization. There are plenty of shallow women who only see a man’s worth in how they look, and plenty of men who have no problem with a women being heavier, but as a whole some of the ingrained beliefs are still present today, no matter how much we want to deny it because it’s not politically correct.
So I am putting this out there … if you are a “back of the pack” lady and would like to discuss it on the show shoot me a line via email (FatSlowTriathlete@gmail.com) or twitter (@FatSlowTri), or even through the show’s email (IMYearOne@gmail.com). We’d love to have you.
I had my second dose of Remicade this morning and it went as easy as the first one, saved for a splitting headache developed by the end. The effect that the drug has had on me is quite amazing, but I didn’t want to write about it until I was sure it wasn’t in my head. The day after the first infusion I could close my hands into a fist, something I had been unable to do for almost 20 years. Something as simple as that was amazing, but it continued. I could stand up from my office chair without my knees hurting. Went a full two weeks without swelling n my fingers. On Friday the stiffness returned, but remembering today was my next infusion made it make sense.
I am not one to like medication, but my health and body issues have caused me to seek out help, so regardless of my dislike I am on a number of them now. I have accepted that to feel better, and accomplish what I would like to accomplish, I need to take this to get me through. The thing with something like Psoriatic Arthritis is that it is degenerative, so it’s never going to “heal”, but it can be halted. And that’s just as good.
My training is a very frustrating right now. I know since the medical issue arose I’d have to rethink my strategy and basically start over, and I am trying to keep that in mind as I struggle through sessions, but it gets to me at times. I went for a ride yesterday with the normal gang of riders and once again looked foolish. When training at home I seem to be making progress but when I get out with a group I get left like I am standing still. This is not that hard to take when I get smoked by those that train all the time, but when I am getting dropped by people that rarely get on a bike or in the pool, that gets a bit hard to swallow. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I was climbing a hill yesterday behind Mary and Stacey and they were both spinning up it like it was nothing, cadences well into the 80-90 range, while me in my easiest gear could barely get to a 40. I tried to go the full 50 but ended up cutting it to 35 because I just got left and didn’t want them to feel like they had to wait for me. Even on the race last weekend I really thought I would do better, even with the run issue (actually my run was one of my better ones in the end). I just don’t understand how I can train like I do and not see improvement.
Doesn’t mean I am quitting though … but I am foreseeing a lot of pain come September … A LOT …