If you are reading this blog, you undoubtedly know that life with a triathlete isn’t all swimming with the dolphins, biking the countryside of Tuscany, or running through fields of lavender. It also comes with a few negatives! Yes, I said it. There are self-importance issues, family abandonment issues, laundry issues, and expense issues just to name a few.
So, faced with such adversity, how have we managed to stay married – and dare I say happily – to our triathletes all these years? Well, we do have a few tricks up our sleeves that we’ve learned and we’re more than happy to impart our lessons to you. Here’s a few with more to come…
Designate spaces for tri gear
For a long time, I was living with a bike in the dining room, triathlete clothes taking over my drawer space, and food and drink supplies lying everywhere in the kitchen. Well, I finally said enough and cleared out some cabinet space in the kitchen and had a friend build a training space for him in the basement, which included space for clothing. While I may have lost some storage space, at least it was “behind the scenes” storage and I no longer have all the gear out in the open.
DO NOT open your washer unless you know what’s inside
This one still gets me some time after all these years. It’s a tough call whether to ask your triathlete to keep the lid closed or leave it open to avoid surprises. If left open, you risk the smell filling the air before someone gets to the laundry, but if you have it closed, you then have to open it after it’s been stewing in it’s own juices. Neither one is a good option. But, there is always the option that your triathlete could just turn the machine on themselves…
Never ask why they need a new…
There’s no use asking, because the answer is they just do. They live by the motto, “You can never have enough bike shirts” or whatever. The only time I understood that he needed something new was when our dog ate his bike shoes. Twice. New bikes are what really hurt, though, because they are so expensive. I’m currently faced with his decision to get a road bike. Not quite sure of the explanation I got as to why this is needed other than it rides differently than a tribike. Seriously, what does that mean?
Envision that towel wrapped around the waist means you’re at a spa
My triathlete walks around the house with a towel wrapped around his waist post work out and pre shower and it’s usually with wet feet from sweat. I know by the telltale footprints. While it’s not a pretty sight, I guess it could be worse…(Kudos to my hubby for actually letting me take this picture)!
But seriously, you do have to accept them wearing a lot of less than attractive clothing, such as spandex, spandex, and more spandex, helmets and the resulting helmet head hair, booties, and speedos. It’s not an attractive sport and it’s also a very casually dressed sport. I’ve learned never to bring dressy clothes to races as they’ll never be worn.
Be willing to change your eating habits
This is both in terms of what you eat and when you eat. Eating habits will not only be especially important during race season, but will depend on where in the race cycle they are. If you work to incorporate the foods they need and want into your normal meals, the what you eat will have less of a daily impact. There’s very little he eats that I won’t (other than the fact that I’m vegetarian). I will just eat a small bowl of pasta and more salad.
Probably the biggest change and definitely for the better is that our food focus has switched to a much healthier eating pattern with real foods and little processed.
There’s little you can do to control the when, however, and may just have to eat at different times, just like you sometimes do with the kids!
Learn to hold your breath
I have to go through the tri training room to get to my laundry room and some supplies. When my husband is on his bike or the treadmill, this is truly an unpleasant experience. While it’s not bad enough to make my eyes water, I do actually hold my breath as I walk through, trying not to be too obvious.
As I said, this whole living with a triathlete process has been a learning experience and a lot of trial and error and we think we’re finally winning. But, if all else fails, we have our tritinis!