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September 15, 2006

Kahuna Q & A

As per my usual custom after races, the next couple of entries here will be a post-event breakdown of sorts.

First of all, I’m very appreciative and thankful to everyone who dropped me a note of encouragement before the race or afterwards. That’s one of the best fringe benefits of having a blog. (Actually, considering that nobody gets paid for this, and that it takes time away from more important activities, maybe it’s the only benefit of blogging. Sorry, I’m digressing already.)

In the comments after my race report, there were a few questions that seemed to come up repeatedly, and since I wasn’t able to respond directly to each one, that’s what I’m doing with this post.

You’ve probably seen post-game press conferences where the players sit behind a table and field questions from the media. If they’ve just won something important, they’ll be wearing a cap with something like “AFC Champions” or “NCAA Final Four” on it, to go along with their stunner shades and big gold necklaces.

So just for fun, let’s do the post this way: picture me sitting here in a black cashmere sweatsuit with medallions around my neck, leaning back in my chair, wearing big dark sunglasses and a cap that says “sub-5” tilted sideways on my head. I’m in press-conference mode, taking questions from my peeps.

Q: Is this really your last race of the year?

A: In all likelihood, yes. (And by “in all likelihood,” what I really mean is “unless somebody decides to pay my race fees for me.”) I don’t typically enter a large number of races each year, and in 2006 I’ve stepped back even more than usual.

I’m finding that I have greater success with a “less is more” approach to racing. My race results have been pretty decent, and I haven’t had any major injuries this year. Not to mention, those races get to be pretty expensive – and by doing fewer of them, I have more money available to buy crap I don’t need on eBay, or to support our family’s $40-per-month Papa Murphy’s habit. So it’s a win-win for all of us.

I’ve got one other pseudo-event lined up for next month which I’ll talk about as it gets closer, but otherwise, that’s it for 2006.

Which doesn’t mean I’m done blogging, of course – I mean, it’s not like the subject matter around here has ever been sharply focused on racing. Or on anything else, for that matter.

Q: So did you and Shakira hook up after the prom?

A: Next question.

Q: Are you going to stop being a full-time runner to pursue more triathlons?

A: Or, as Michelle appropriately put it, am I going to forsake the love of my life (running) to run off with the sexy mistress (triathlon) I’ve been tramping around with for the past few months?

Here’s what I wrote to her:

**Right now I’m like the guy who’s just left a “Dear John” note on the kitchen counter and snuck away from the house in the middle of the night, planning to run away with the mistress. I’m sitting in my car outside her house, not quite able to go to the door yet, wondering if I’m really making the right move.

I’m very close to the point of no return. But there’s still time for me to come back home and grab the note before my wife wakes up, and I’m not sure which way to go. That’s me – sitting, wondering, waiting – and running out of time. **

Yes, I know these things never work out. I could run off with the mistress, and one year from now her boobs will start looking ordinary, and I’ll notice that she has some annoying habits or that her breath stinks sometimes or that we’re not intellectually compatible, and I’ll feel like I’m stuck again. Then I’ll look for something even more exciting and outlandish, and end up repeating the cycle by flirting around with some fringe sport like street luge or BASE jumping. It doesn’t make sense - I know all that.

And yet … I’m still sitting in that car. And honestly, things could go either way.

(On a related note – how much mileage have I gotten out of this crazy triathlon/mistress analogy? Is everybody sick of it by now, or can I go to that well a few more times still? Feel free to weigh in on this.)

Q: Do you have plans for 2007 yet?

A: Yes. And no. It’s kind of complicated. I have a definite Plan A and Plan B, but I won’t know until the end of the year which one I’m going to do. I’ve mentioned these plans with just a few people, and for now, that’s all I’m going to say. Except that both plans are pretty darn cool. And they’re directly related to the previous answer.

But you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before I let any cats out of the bag. (How about that for a cliffhanger?)

Q: Did you really dance to “Time of My Life” in high school?

A: Next question.

Q: Do you really shave your legs? (Follow-up questions: If yes, how often? What’s your method?)

A: This seemed to catch a lot of people off guard, and in hindsight I suppose I can see why.

When I was single, it used to drive me crazy when I’d be chatting up some girl I had hung around and flirted with a few times, thinking I might have a shot with her, only to have her casually say something like “That’s a funny movie – my boyfriend and I saw it last week.” That would usually be followed by me locking myself in my apartment all night, watching Mafia movies and eating whole boxfuls of Chips Ahoy cookies for dinner (Gosh, I miss college sometimes).

Anyway, the lesson is this: if you’ve got a bomb to drop, it’s never kosher to do it in an incidental, “Oh by the way” manner. Not unless you want to give somebody a complex.

So I can understand the shock value of my brief mention about shaving my legs, and I apologize. If I had it to do over again, I would have told you all about it up front, so we could still be friends and there wouldn’t be any awkward feelings between us. You know, I really just want things to be cool again, like they were before. OK?

OK. To answer the follow-up questions, then: during the warm seasons - which in California frequently turns out to be something like nine months per year - I use clippers to keep my leg hair groomed and manageable. It's not unlike mowing the grass every two or three weeks: you don't want to take it all the way down, but maintaining a nice short layer makes it look sharp. Then during race season, I'll use a razor below the knee to get extra sleek. People always talk about putting their game face on; I think of this process as putting my race legs on.

I did let my wife use wax on me once, and, um … actually, I don’t want to talk about it. Those wounds haven’t quite healed.

Well, it’s getting late and I don’t want to keep the groupies in the limo waiting for me any longer, so we’ll end tonight’s press conference here. We’ve got dinner reservations at Dolce, and there’s a rumor that Diddy will be there tonight – and trust me, you just CAN’T be late for a Diddy Party.

So thanks again for your interest, and remember to keep it real.

(You know, just like I always do ...)


olga 9/15/06, 10:48 AM  

I don;t think the leg question shocked anyone who knows anything about tri's and swimmers 9and bikers for that matter). So no hard feelings, we still love you. Next time don't forget to go bold too - helps with water and wind alltogether.
I really enjoy the wife-mistress thing, so if up to me, beat it up a couple more times, but then come up with a fresh one, I know you have it behind back.
I like both your plans A and B, and to respond to your suggestion - you are right, although I still might plan to learn and break the fear of my two thingies I'd like to flirt with, I am staying with my wife (hmm, I think in my case it's a husband, or is it?). It's not only a niche, it's also a passion. So here.
But I might just use your "less is more" approach. The positives could be worth trying.

craig 9/15/06, 11:14 AM  

I wasn't shocked by the shaving thing. But I am astounded at the level of creativity necessary to include the word "boobs" in your post race reflections. Nobody writes race reports the way you do Donald. Nobody.

Robb 9/15/06, 12:29 PM  

Totally funny Donald.

Being a fair skinned male with lighter and thinner hair I'm just going to let it go! I have a runner friend (of hairy Italian heritage) who keeps his legs shaved nice and smooth. He's no less a man Donald. Just so you know I hold you to the same level of respect. I hope you don't think I was breaking up with you or your blog just because you dropped 'the bomb'. I'm a big boy.

Speaking of hairy legs...another male running buddy of mine showed me his legs yesterday and remarked that all the hair was falling off. When I asked why he replied that it was due to his bad back! What?? He claims that he has poor circulation due to the nerve endings all out of wack in his back. So, he can't keep hair on his legs. I wonder if the nerve endings in my head are dead because I've been bald for 20 years?

Yeah, I'm with Craig on the boobs things. Skippng along this post I near sprayed the room with coffee when I hit the word 'boobs'! Shock value is through the roof here!

Sorry for wordy comment.

backofpack 9/15/06, 2:08 PM  

Donald, I'm not afraid to carry on with the mistress/wife analogy. That said, you do realize that usually, when the hubby runs off with the mistress and marries, the second marriage fails and the husband wishes he'd stuck with the wife, who looks oh-so-alluring now that she is out of reach and has moved on. (Pretty good sentence, huh?). You'll find that you were living in a happy little bubble where reality didn't reach and it was all fun and games. When reality reaches in to pop your bubble, you'll sadly realize that your true love was really the beautiful, kind and intelligent wife, the one who stuck with you through all your silly phases, through thick and thin, and is truely the anchor of your life.

Just sayin'.

robtherunner 9/15/06, 2:50 PM  

Man, I wish I had something more clever to say than the rest of these bloggers, but I have nothing at the moment. I am always impressed with your analogies in describing your running life. I think you can get a little more mileage out of the sexy temptress. She is still looking pretty good.

Annette 9/15/06, 9:10 PM  

Loved the format! But, seriously, to have to spend that much time explaining your grooming habits. . . interesting that that was such a hot topic.

OK, I have to ask (maybe I'm remembering the name wrong), but is Dolce the restaurant owned by Mike from Big Brother? (Yes, you've discovered my secret - I'm a reality TV junkie!)

Enjoy your time off - or should I say, your time refocused?

Jon in Michigan 9/16/06, 11:56 AM  

For some strange reason, hair doesn't grow over my shin area. I have no idea why. I think I'm defective. I actually considered shaving my whole lower leg to make it match but thought it would look odd having shaved lower legs but hairy upper legs.

Did you really say "her boobs would look ordinary"?

Darrell 9/16/06, 4:22 PM  

Oh my gosh, all I can say is once again you totally crack me up and every word you type no matter how far fetched the analogy or connection always makes perfect sense. I'm going to keep reading just to see how this whole wife/mistress thing works out. More power to ya, Donald.

Brit 9/17/06, 11:58 AM  

Don't worry Donald, I shave my legs too, us girls gots to stick together.

Sarah 9/17/06, 6:31 PM  

Shocked by the shaving? No. But I really didn't need to read that reference to waxing. ; )

Cliff 9/18/06, 1:06 AM  

I crack up at the girl saying 'oh my b/f and i' bit.

It's funny cause it is true.

Question about the wax. Where did your wife wax you? I have a feeling it is not just on the legs :D....

Deene 9/18/06, 8:21 AM  

out here at the lyra super highway, it's the hairy legs that shock us.

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