Well, I have to admit that my triathlon life is nothing short of a roller coaster. The 2014 triathlon season came to an abrupt end on May 30th at the hands of a drunk driver. 2015 started with Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico, then ended quickly at Ironman Texas. It was a long, hard race and seemed as if his body had not recovered properly from the injuries in 2014.
The 2015 season was run on pure anger in his desire just to get back out there. 2.4 miles of a swim, 112 miles on the bike, and 26.4 on the run and my triathlete’s body was done. I was grateful that my kids, well, young adults, were there with us. Their spirits were our best medicine.
So, with a full triathlon season off, I am happy to announce we are BACK! While recently visiting our daughter in New York City, enjoying the evening and our drinks at a lovely outdoor restaurant, my wonderful husband announced he was ready to train and race. Not a full-distance mind you and not right away, but a 70.3 “get back in the game” race.
As we looked through the schedule, Arizona 70.3 jumped out at us. Timing was good to get in the necessary training and we know the course for the full-distance like the back of our hand. I pulled out my phone and registered him, then I called the Tempe Mission Palms and made reservations. We could have gone anywhere in the world, but someplace familiar just felt right.
Now, as I sit back and reflect on the past year, I have found that although we both gained a little weight and were sad not to be on the triathlon circuit, it has been a great year. It was difficult at first, but I found so much good in that time off that we spent together, both as a couple and as a family, that I started compiling a list…
Here are my delightful advantages of taking a triathlon season off:
New Travel Destinations
I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have to pick our travel destinations based on where we wanted to race next. Granted there are triathlons all over the world, but there are plenty of places where there are not races, so my options were expanded. We also did not have to base where we stayed on training. No open swim or lap pool needed. No spin bike or packing up his bike and taking it with us. It was sort of bliss.
We enjoyed trips to Colorado and Seattle; spending time in wine country, on San Juan Island, and fishing the Yakima River. We traveled more to see the kids to where they were, instead of them coming home. Most recently, we returned from Belize where we fly fished and did nothing. It was like a real vacation!
Why yes, we enjoyed sleeping in, too. Not one day, except if we had an early flight, were we up before 5:30AM. No laughing, 5:30 is like really sleeping in when you are used to a 4:15 or 4:30AM alarm clock. We enjoyed breakfasts together and I didn’t have to hurry around packing up more food to get him to the pool or gym and then work. Some mornings we even walked the dogs together; pure happiness for all.
We actually got to do a lot of things together as a couple and be active in our community as a couple and not me as a solo act, because my hubby had to train. And, we could go out before or heavens, after the event, for a bite to eat or drink with not a care.
Eating Out More
Don’t get me wrong. I love to cook, but 21 meals a week, plus two training snacks can wear a girl out. We started eating out one night during the week and most of the weekend. We enjoyed long brunches sitting outside at our favorite restaurants in town. When we traveled, I was still crazy about sourcing real food and making sure we had what we needed, but I was more relaxed and not totally nuts.
Cocktails! Year round, during the week, at brunch COCKTAILS! Now, nothing (for him) until October 16th post race. We did agree we will still enjoy our weekends after his long Saturday rides. Me, I will try hard to be the supportive wife and not drink once he comes home. I will still do wine or bubbly at lunch with friends and I will still be making and tasting new cocktail recipes. But, from 5pm to bedtime Mon-Fri, I will be a supportive, loyal wife. I will miss off season cocktails with hubby.
Half the Laundry
Not having to be tied to my washing machine is by far one of the best benefits. During a triathlon training year, there are 2-3 extra sets of clothes a day to wash; half of these needing special handling, such as hanging dry or what not. During an off year, there’s only one, if any, extra sets of clothes a day for working out. During this time, he worked out once a day, maybe 3-5 times a week and in only one discipline, not in bricks or swimming then running home. And, I didn’t even mention not having sweaty work out clothes sitting around or not needing to buy much sports laundry detergent.
Honestly, I am excited to get back in the triathlon world and since my hubby’s decision, I see a little change in him, also. There’s a bit more of an edge and that triathlon twinkle in his eyes. Even with all these advantages, I am still very happy for our triathlon life to be starting again for many reasons. But, if anything, this year has taught us how to better manage and find the balance between our everyday life and the triathlon life. Balance is always good…
What would be your advantage of having a triathlon season off ?