Things They Didn’t Tell Me

You Cannot be SeriousI’m just starting out on my IRONMAN journey, and I have spent a lot of time checking out other people’s IM blogs, reading tricks and tips, watching YouTube videos etc. to be ready, but there were still some things I wasn’t ready for:

Socks and Underwear

If you plan to do this then I hope you have a lot of them, and I hope you enjoy washing them.  Since blisters have been my Achilles heel (see what I did there?) I wear special double layer blister prevention socks.  Not only do they have special abilities, they have special washing instructions so I have a laundry basket specifically for socks that seems to always be at least half full.   And don’t get me started on underwear…when you do several workouts of several different types in a day, you go through a lot of underwear  (unless you enjoy wearing sweaty underwear, in which case rock the hell on in your soggy drawers!)  Stop – Laundry time! (10 points if you get the song reference)


I remember a vague reference to taking a lot of showers on a blog, but I clearly did not take it seriously enough.  Do pilates in the morning.  Get sweaty. Shower to wash the sweat off.  Bike in the afternoon. Get sweaty.  Shower to wash the sweat off.  Go swimming.  Get covered in kelp or chlorine or whatever.  Shower to wash the sweat off.  Run back home.  Get sweaty.  Shower to wash the sweat off.  Now I know why my shampoo says “lather, rinse, repeat.”

How Much Now?

Sweet merciful Zeus this is an expensive sport.   The underwear and sock budget is just the tip of the iceberg. Clothing for three sports (which costs more, or in some cases doesn’t exist and has to be made custom, in my size.)  Running shoes and biking shoes.  The bike – which starts out expensive and then seems to be a self-powered rolling black hole that you throw money into.  It goes on and on, it’s like a part time job where you pay the employer.  I’ve heard that the average IM participant makes $120,000 and I’m not surprised.  I do not, so I consider doing this in a way that I can actually afford as just another part of the challenge!

Your Beeswax Is In Another Castle

People have many reactions when they find out you’re doing an IM.  Many are encouraging – which I appreciate.  Many immediately tell me that they can’t imagine doing something like this – which I understand.  That doesn’t bother me.  Then there are the perfect strangers who try to discourage me, who make wild assumptions about my ability based on my size, who – in many specific ways – have generally mistaken my body/goals for their beeswax.  I’m currently trying to use these as teachable moments, I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

I’m just at the start of this journey, but right now I have to go wash some socks!

More Cool Stuff:

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ is for you!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

If you’re looking for motivation you can check out my IM Motivation Pinterest.

If you just can’t get enough of my blogging, you can check out my main blog at







About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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9 Responses to Things They Didn’t Tell Me

  1. amy_h says:

    I’m amazed that there are people trying to discourage you from doing this amazing feat. You have proved time and time again (ffs there’s VIDEO EVIDENCE ON YOUTUBE) that you are perfectly fit and healthy, yet people still see a fat body and assume it means unhealthy. Grrrr. It makes me so mad! You prove all those haters wrong, Ragen!! Go, girl! ❤


  2. Jen says:

    Way to dream big! I’m so impressed and inspired. Best of luck in training. Can’t wait to read more about it.


  3. Val says:

    Ten years ago, I trained up for a half-marathon; I figured that was the least I could do when I asked my ponies to carry me long distances. Since ’05, I’ve earned 5 half-medals, but then my arches gave out. Now I’ll stick to cycling, the elliptical, & yoga (& of course my horses)
    Had to go back & look up my triumphant post:


  4. Knihovna says:

    Dear Ragen, I am so excited that you are doing this and blogging about it. I am looking forward to reading it. BTW I haven’t missed one of your DWF posts in a very long time; if I don’t get to read that blog for a while I always catch up eventually. I love your writing and admire you very much. (I don’t really like to comment so I’ll pack all my gushing into this one paragraph. 🙂 )


  5. expendableenergy says:

    what are you doing about a wet suit? those things are crazy expensive and come in small sizes, even as a small fat i cant find anything that fits me comfortably.


  6. Melissa says:

    I’m so excited to learn there is such a thing as blister preventative socks. I mean, I’ll be using them to walk around Disneyworld without a limp, not do an IRON MAN, but still, awesome!

    And “Your beeswax is in another castle” made me laugh out loud in this Dunkin Donuts. I may use that line URL when Nosy Nellies get too far up in my business.

    Good luck as always!


  7. Jen says:

    I can’t imagine how you have so much patience to continue to find teachable moments in the abuse laden upon you by strangers.

    Best wishes on your journey! You’re amazing!


  8. Kay says:

    Hi Ragen, I’ve just discovered your blog and have spent the last while reading through it — it’s brilliant and so well written. I did my first Ironman this past year and it was a rewarding experience for me; I hope yours will be too.

    Am looking forward to following your journey all the way to the finish line!


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