In just over two weeks, Ragen claims she will swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles, all in under 8-1/2 hours at IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona in Tempe, AZ. At the moment she is busy preparing for the Fat Activism Conference running from October 9-11. So busy she has started deleting and reposting blog posts again. A few days later, she flies across the country to speak at Castleton University on October 15. On October 16, she flies straight to Tempe while her disabled 500 pound girlfriend makes the six hour drive there with Ragen’s IM gear by herself. The race starts first thing in the morning on October 18, and Ragen’s participation depends on coordinating all her last-minute excuses.
Yesterday Ragen finally posted the fabled open water swim update. She opens with a rant about “trolls” who supposedly criticize minor technicalities in her writing because they have nothing legitimate to say. This is a common technique Ragen uses to deflect criticism without actually addressing it. A textbook example is her straw man response to Fake Selfie Sunday. Meanwhile she has yet to address the missing financial disclosure for her billboards project.
In the update, we learn that on Thursday night, Ragen decided to go for a solo open water swim on an empty beach after sunset. At some point during the swim, a bird caught a fish near her and she had a panic attack. Moments later, lifeguards showed up to kick her off the beach because it was closed. Ragen considers this an inspirational victory because she didn’t immediately freak out and swim to the beach.
The truth, of course, is that this incident merely demonstrates Ragen’s lack of preparation for the IRONMAN. She claims to have plenty of experience with open water swimming, yet doesn’t know the beach closes at sunset. Furthermore, she doesn’t even realize how dangerous it is to swim alone after sunset on a completely empty beach. She implies this swim took place at the ocean, but she was most likely swimming at Newport Dunes, which is under a kilometre at its widest and shallow enough to touch the bottom for much of the swimming area. A minor incident like this was enough to induce a serious panic attack, but in 15 days she will supposedly be competing in an endurance event that starts with a continuous wave of swimmers chopping up the water and jostling and swimming over each other.
At this point Ragen is as ready as she will ever be to compete in the IRONMAN. Over the next two weeks she will taper down her training to prepare for the race day. Nobody cares if Ragen posts “Inspiration Thursday” on a Friday, but as usual Ragen is so caught up in her own nonsense that she can’t see the glaring issue right in front of her face.
15 days until Tempe.