Everytime our conversation brings up the word “Augusta”, my husband just nods. I am nervous, excited and a bit anxious about how the next 20 weeks will shape out. This is one of the times when I am glad that my husband is more level headed and takes things cool, without majorly showing any reaction or wearing his heart on his sleeve. Because I am reacting plenty for both of us! Did I mention that I am freaking out?
I am not racing the 70.3.
My husband is.
It was in the middle of my Chicago Marathon training last year, that he first mentioned Augusta. I brushed it off without a second thought since he had not yet done a triathlon of any distance (he still hasn’t!). When he brought it up again in December-January, I was a little hesitant. Let alone his complete inexperience with the sport, he had never talked about a triathlon or shown interest in one. He didn’t even know how to swim! But after the simple way he supported me during Little Rock Marathon training and not ever saying “I told you so” as I faced burnout, supporting him through this goal was the least I could do to show him some appreciation.
He was more than happy to let me take over and hired me on as his “70.3 Consultant”.
He has taken swim lessons, I have helped him find a swim coach and coordinate class times.
He has been steadily increasing bike miles. I gave him my awesome Trek Madone to takeover and set up appointments to get it to custom fit.
He has joined a group to train with. I introduced him to the group.
He has the races to train for leading up to Augusta. I helped him pick the races.
He has a 70.3 distance to train for and race on September 28th, 2013. I have the logistics to take care of – hotels, travel, kids, …
I have vested in this just as much as I would if it was my own.
Apart from supporting him through the season, here are a few things that I plan to do for the HIM-in-training.
- This is “The Year of the Husband”. Ever since I started running, my focus has been on ME. We trained for our first marathons in the same season, but my anxiety and excitement was for my own (until I completed mine, that is). This year, the one goal is to finish Augusta. It will do me some good to take a backseat. For one, I will not be talking my husband’s head off with some statistic that he would care less about, and that in itself should win me tons of brownie points. My body will also appreciate the break after 4 rapid seasons of marathon training.
- Balancing training and family is important. It is the 70.3 in 2013, it will be something else in 2014/15/…; for me and/or for him. Ambitions and wish lists never cease. All athletic pursuits can be achieved by individual hard work and discipline. But with marriage and family, it takes two to tango. Add kids into the equation and it takes balancing to a whole new level. While I have always been the main person responsible for the kids and the household, it would do us all good to continue the involvement he has with the kids. Yes, there will be some events missed because of training. There will be some (lots!) of days that the kids will be in bed when he comes home after training. But making sure I schedule a time for family fun/relaxing, some date nights and some father-daughter time will ensure that we are not strangers living in a house together after September 28th.
- Be one step ahead in his training schedule. I plan to familiarize myself with his schedule so I am always aware of peak effort days and the peak build up before taper. Having trained for my marathon, I know how physically and mentally exhausting it can be. It empowers the non-training partner to know the weeks that the trainee is going to be drained and tired out. And when it gets to the point in training when it starts being a drag to me (Believe me, it will! Nothing worse than having to manage work, kids school and schedule, home and have absolutely zero help.), I can remind myself of the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Schedule getaways as part of the training plan. With our work schedules, the kids’ school schedules and a training schedule, it is not always possible to go away for long vacations. But I had completely underestimated the power of a quick 1-2 night getaway until we went on an impromptu one at Callaway Gardens for the Symphony on the Beach. When I trained for a marathon, I was very anal about following a training plan and not missing any workouts, so we did not take any time off at all!! 2 years later, I know much better than that and will schedule quick getaways on his fallback/recovery weeks.
- I am still an athlete and a (faux)runner. Just because the focus is on him this year, it does not mean that I lose sight of my goals. This only means that I schedule my workouts around his plan. Right now, mornings are my time and evenings are his. When the time comes for him to do 2/day workouts, I will move my runs and gym time to my basement where I can still be around the kids while he is training outside home. My swim workouts don’t have to be sacrificed, just made efficient so I can be done quickly with maximum potential. I am hoping to preserve my identity as a (faux)runner through all this. In fact, having a mini-goal as an athlete will help preserve my sanity through this rush of insanity.
And so here we are – 20 weeks to Augusta. The start of many a beginner training plans. Any wonder that I am just a tiny bit freaked out?
Have you taken a backseat while your partner has trained for an endurance event or trained side by side?
Are there any tips you can share that would help keep the peace and sanity in an endurance household, especially with kids?