There are a lot of ups and downs when you date someone training for an Ironman.
During peak training, sometimes it’s just.plain.hard (not hard to love them, just hard to have a focus on the relationship). Ironman training is all consuming and requires an incredible amount of time– more than a tri, marathon, or half-ironman race (though those aren’t easy either)- and that will affect any relationship.
It’s also sometimes really great– I admire him so much for being extremely dedicated and committed to his training….and it motivates me to work harder towards my own goals. I honestly can’t wait to see him cross the finish line– already so proud of him!
It helps that Jared’s really great about making time for me, despite his insane schedule (I basically take up every last second of his free time), we still have date nights, and he still remembers to leave me sweet notes and send me loving texts….But this whole thing is an experience for me too in ways that only other significant-others-of-Ironmen-training understand (unless both people in the relationship are training for one!). I don’t think even Jared (or anyone training) understands what it’s like for the significant other, but that’s okay– I don’t quite understand what he’s going through either.
I talked about this more here in my 10 thing to know about dating an ironman CnC post . The race is only 5 weeks away, which will fly by in no time, so I have no business harping on the hard parts. Before we know it, we’ll be back to “normal” (if normal even exists for us…..)
I couldn’t resist posting this video. Dating an Ironman is a little like this:
Okay not exxxxactly like that, but I totally related to the “I wake up at 4am” and “what do you mean you can’t go out to eat at 6pm” thing and laughed.
There are many good things about Dating an Ironman:
- As I said above, it’s incredibly inspiring and motivating to see someone so dedicated to a goal and helps me have more faith in myself and confidence in reaching my own goals.
- We get to go fun places for races (a week in AZ next month!).
- Something as simple as making him dinner is appreciated even more than normal because he’s so tired that he (not exaggerating) really wouldn’t be able to do it himself.
- It makes you value the simple things in a relationship (just having dinner together, a dog walk, etc)
- There’s an end date, peak season is not forever and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
- You’re “needed” and it’s good to be needed in a relationship (in a healthy way, of course!)
- I get more free time to work on “my” stuff and hang out with friends.
- We have pretty medals decorating the apartment
The good things help balance the hard stuff
- You spend a lot of time apart and alone during peak season….aka I sometimes feel like I’m living my single life on the weekends….only not as wild and crazy.
- Even on Friday, we can’t even plan ahead to bbq on Sunday night because there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to move from the couch and light the grill (aka, hard to plan even simple things)
- Ironman takes up 99% of his focus and thoughts.
- He eats a lot so we’re always out of food….just kidding about this one…he actually has been the one doing a lot of the grocery shopping so this isn’t really an issue.
- The alarm clock goes off at 5:30am SEVEN days a week.
- We put things that I want to do such as hiking, rock climbing wall, brunch, etc on hold until after the race (aka, I mentioned somewhere I wanted to go for brunch and we scheduled it for mid-December as the first opportunity…).
So we’re in the midst of peak training… His race is (only) 37 days out and this week, I decorated our tiny apartment with Ironman/Tri/Marathon quotes. Here they are- May they inspire you through whatever your exercise is too! (feel free to subsititute “runner” “elliptical goddess”, etc for the “ironman” if you want)
“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision.” Muhammad Ali
“If you feel bad at 10 miles, you’re in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you’re normal. If you don’t feel bad at 26 miles, you’re abnormal.” Rob De Castella, on the marathon
You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming. – Frank Shorter
“If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.” -P.Z. Pearce
“This is about limits. Reaching them, exploring them, exceeding them what you thought yours were. Then coming to the conclusion that there aren’t any limits.”
“Endurance training is exactly like turning a Styrofoam cup inside out. So long as you take it slowly you’ll be able to do it. Try to rush things and “rip”….you’ll tear the cup. You are the cup.”
“Almost drowned. Crashed the Bike. Puked on the Run. When’s the next Tri?”
“don’t burn calories, incinerate them”
“There are no atheists the last eight miles of an Ironman.”
“There only three kinds of men: the living, the dead, and those who do Ironman”
“Of course it’s hard, it’s effing IRONMAN!”
Some of the quotes make me laugh and some inspire.
In other news….The SF Giants won yesterday- I’m so excited! Bring on more playoffs! This weekend, we’re going to a wedding (fingers crossed Jared isn’t too sore/exhausted and we can stay later than 9pm) and I’m planning for lots of outdoor walk/park/etc time as well (with some 49ers vs NY Giants watching mixed in there as well!).
Big weekend plans?
What’s your favorite inspirational race quote?