Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Ironmate

Interrupting the Ironman Florida race report saga for a moment to write about some trials and tribulations of training for Ironman. Last Saturday was the first day in 2009 that my husband and I were both home and got to sleep in! Training for Ironman can really consume your life. I thought it would be the best year for Ironman because my husband was living about 100 miles away during most of it. It didn't matter to him if I had a 2 hour workout before heading to work for 9 hours. Silly me. I forgot about the weekend workouts being all day events sometimes!

The following situation happened on multiple occasions this year: He'd drive down on Friday night to visit. Saturday morning I'd go ride 100 miles on my bike. I'd get home in time for dinner, which he'd made while I was out training. (Good thing he's smart enough to figure out the gluten free menu planning without me.) We'd eat, and I'd try to watch a movie but mostly we could only get an hour or so into it before I had to go to sleep. Then Sunday we wake up, have breakfast, and he'd have to leave again and I'd have to go running. After awhile we realized it made way more sense for me to do my long rides on Sundays after he left, and do my long runs on Saturdays. (Worked better for my legs too!) Well, that gave us more time together, but I still wasn't up for much. We sat around watching a lot of dvds and shows on hulu this year.

All year, he heard a lot of this (in a whiny voice): No, I don't feel like going on a hike. Do you mind going to the store without me? Can you buy me more bananas? Can you buy me some ice for my ice bath? I need to go to the bike shop, I'll be back in 5 or 6 hours. Hey, do you want to ride your bike for 3 hours at 5 or 6mph while I run? No, I can't drive up to visit you, I have to train. Can you please take the dog again this week, I have too many workouts to deal with her. No, I don't really feel like going out. I'm tired. I'm hungry.

He cheered at my 30th birthday half marathon even though it meant driving to his 'home' much later than usual, and he spent his 30th birthday watching me do a 2.4 mile swim race which made me so cold that I didn't feel like doing anything other than sit around in warm blankets all day. He put up with me. Sometimes I'd guilt trip him for not coming to some of my races, even though they'd be 5 or 6 hour drives for him and he'd only see me for about a minute during the race. (I'm really a terrible person!) When I decided I'd rather sleep in and hang out with him and just skip my workout, he'd convince me to go do my workout.
He sent me flowers after my Vineman 70.3 PR. He offered to walk the last 13 miles with me at Florida (stay tuned for that story!). He made me gluten free brownies while I was on the bike portion of the Ironman. The next day he stood in line for me to buy my Ironman Florida merchandise so that I could get to my massage appointment. He puts up with me saying "I swear this is the last Ironman thing I'm going to buy" even when he knows better. When I couldn't decide between two m-dot necklaces, he told me I should get the bigger one.

Like all Ironman spouses (or Ironmates as the t-shirts call them), he put up with a lot this year. Waking up on Saturday and having nothing planned for the entire morning, no strenuous exercise to rest up for, it was really nice. I'd been looking forward to that day for months. I woke up at 6:30, of course.
Spousal support is incredibly important, and my awesome husband deserves a big thank you for this year. Hopefully he's cool with me doing another Ironman sometime. :)


  1. He is a GEM! So nice that you appreciate him, and that he supports your endeavors. Maybe he'll want to do an ironman one day, and the tables will be turned.