Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The "other" challenges of training

I know many of us talk about how we find a way to balance life with a crazy training schedule. I mean, seriously--for some of us, training is like having a part time job and we dedicate our heart and soul to the sport. I know we find challenge it hitting a certain pace goal or getting our nutrition right --

But what about the "other" challenges of training??

Challenges like

  • planning your daily nutrition to keep on track or meet a certain fitness goal??
  • skipping those weekend drinks with friends?
  • non-endurance-freak friends who question your sanity or just "don't get it"??
  • finding the money to pay for all things triathlon (ie gear, race fees, travel expenses etc.)??
  • or a spouse or significant other feeling a bit jealous if you are training with someone of the opposite sex??
  • your spouse or S.O. even feeling left out?

I know hubby and I had a conversation this weekend about how he is feeling a bit insecure and left out of my life at times

I mean, yeah - I get it.
Last Saturday was spent racing (race report is coming soon! I promise!) and then I hung out post race with my tri club and others and had a ball!
I was out for hours on end Saturday riding 60+ miles while some members of the tri club did The Budgetman 70.3 training race and then we hung out after. I did leave early (2pm) and the party continued on without me (till 7pm).

I have asked him to come to social events and races or what have you but really, he has no interest.

What?? No interest in watching a bunch of triathlon geeks hanging out in spandex, covered in sweat and caked in salt, swapping war stories about THIS Ironman race or THAT training session gone bad.
ME?? Yeah, I live for that stuff!!

I also get it that I have gone from being very overweight to where I am now -- I am sure that this can bring some sort of insecurity as well. I don't think the snarky comments from his friends help much in that department either...But he also sees these things from a MALE perspective and well, we all know where that male mind tends to wander whenever it comes to male/female relations.

I see it as me wanting to ride "with the boys" is only going to make me a stronger cyclist.

But then on the flip side, he is very supportive of my training & racing time - I could not do what I do without his help. I have heard him talk to his friends about how proud he is of me and all I have accomplished over the last 2 years.
One time while discussing me pulling the trigger on 140.6 someday, he even said it would be cool to have an IronWife. That made me happy...He also knows how much joy triathlon has brought into my life and he is really glad that I have friends that share the same passions I do.

We talked it out and all is fine. I can see his point of view on some topics. Some of his points were valid while some bordered on ridiculous (but in a funny way).

Have you ever had to deal with insecurities with a spouse or significant other?

How did you help reassure that person?

What "other" challenges have you faced during training?


My Life and Running said...

I dealt with this a little last summer when training with a local tri club. I started OWS with a few guys in the afternoons instead of the evenings with the main group. They were my speed & I could swim & be home in time to make dinner. Husband wasn't a big fan. I always try to flip it & put myself in his shoes (would I love it if he went on ocean swims with fit, single women??). It's not easy, especially as the training time ramps up and takes up our free time. I try to do as much of my training when he is working/busy (long workouts during the week, Sundays off). Easy now since I'm unemployed and not yet a mommy... Let us know how you work through it!

Melissa Cunningham said...

oh, wow...YES i have faced "other" challenges...
sometimes hubs gets insecure when i do these figure comps and he knows i will be backstage with 50+ half naked men,all in tip top condition,ready to be thrown on the cover of muscle magazine....
how i dealt with it? reassured my husband that my love for him is unconditional-and besides,the bodybuilder look isnt attractive to me when there is so much muscles and veins sticking out everywhere....i like the big strong teddy bear types!

hope you guys can find that balance with it all!

Vera said...

I'm kind of dealing with this with my extended family (parents, sibling). Even though they live hundreds of miles from me, I'm less available to travel to see them and super busy with my running club (I'm the program director) and my own training schedule. Luckily, hubby started running a year after I did so we are in this together!

Christy said...

Wow, I was just having this conversation with hubby last night. I have a very wonderful supportive hubby as well and I know he has insecurities especially since my trainer is a guy! But, I try to be really sensitive and involve him with everything and he is somewhat okay. I even try to do double workouts with one being at lunch so my evening workout isn't inconvenient. I think it just goes in cycles. One day they are supportive next day they gripe about it. I always joke that I have three daughter who is 11 my son who is 5 and then my 42 year old hubby!

I would say just keep the communication lines open and make him feel special when you can.....

ltlindian said...

It's so funny how we all struggle with the same issues, yet we all feel alone in our struggles....

Almost the exact same conversation the other day with my hubby. I reminded him that when we met I was very active and had many things going on that we not about him and that I put almost all of those things on the back burner when we got married and had kids. Everything I did became about them. Now that they are older, I miss that part of me that did things for ME! That's where this tri training has become so important to me. It's not about anyone else but me.

I haven't gotten to the point where I train with any club or other people (other than YMCA classes) but I can see that being an issue too. For now, I just enjoy my 'alone' time and the occasional friend run. Maybe he will join me..... we have signed up for the Warrior Dash together! :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

It happens the other way too, being a male athlete, attending training events with females, I get the same response.

Alex said...

aw, Jen, I don't experience this too much but only because my husband is really into tris and running, too. Mind you I also don't really train with other people so I can't say for sure how he's react.

I do think that it can be truly difficult for both. Triathlon is clearly a lifestyle, which means that it impacts almost every aspect of your life, and thus of course your husband is going to be impacted... I don't think I could tolerate Rich working out so much if I was not (I don't think I would have an issue, necessary, with feeling envious of tri babes), and I think that it is a lot for non-tri partners to put up with. Frankly, though, I think this is true when a partner has ANY major interest...

it's so difficult, Jen, and i know you'll come to some arrangement that works for you both. Is your husband interested in becoming involved in tris or cycling himself?

I also would say that this IS a lifestyle and while your husband might not love tris, there are elements he could perhaps get more interested in. Certainly it's a great lifestyle to bring your little girl up in...

I know that for myself I'm trying to work on balancing training with work and family.. it's a lot. I know a couple of triathletes with preteen and teenage daughters and it strikes me that they are so OUT of balance.. I don't want to be like that :)

bfb said...

I haven't had to deal with a significant other, but it took a little while for my parents to get on board with my decisions to train. They would come cheer, but really didn't understand the hours of training and my occasional (ok more like usual) pre race freak outs.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I can identify with this post! But then again most people have either felt insecure or had their significant other feel that way. When your passion isn't an equally shared one it does create a lot of time apart and a large area of a person's life that the other does love talking about all the time. My hubbs is mostly tolerant after all these years and at times he is actually excited for the goals I have set for myself. It's just about remembering to see things from his point of view while I am asking him to see my love of running from mine. But the best way to deal with it is lots of talking before a little worry becomes a big problem.

Carly said...

So true! There are so many darn obstacles out there! I'm also lucky to have a supportive spouse, but sometimes it's hard because he always thinks that I don't need to lose weight. It's sweet that he loves me the way I am, but if I'm not happy with where I'm at, things aren't going to be good. So sometimes he doesn't understand why I need to go for a run or cycle, but he does know that it makes me happy and he'll support that. Very interesting topic!

Jason said...

Trust me on this in that you are not alone. It is all in the communication.

I can honestly say that I had a bender back in October and that was the last time I drank. I promised Karen I would be better and then training took over and has helped me so she understands that perspective.

She also knows that this IS my lifestyle and I don't drink, I don't do a lot of other things so I get lee-way. I also train before the sun comes up and she is asleep so I am not away.

The other part is that we create a schedule where I can train and so can she and we manage. We make concessions for each other.

We have to as it is the only way we can survive.

She got a Facebook email that called us a crazy fit couple b/c she is on Team Marathon Bar and this person saw me on the HoneyMilk blog and I know that made her proud and it sure makes me proud.

fancy nancy said...

You are not alone! I struggle with the same thing with my hubby. I would love for him to share in what I am doing but he just pushes back. I have had to compromise things that I want so that he can feel more secure. It is starting to even out but it is hard I know. I have started to try to get in workouts before he wakes up and not to schedule too many races in too close a time. Added to that is our daughter and caring for her. It is a dance but absolutely communication is a major role in this. When we stop talking about how we are making each other feel with our choices is when we start to get into trouble!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

ohhhhhh can I relate! Except most times I don't get to hang out with the tri/running freaks after workouts, I immediately head home to prevent this feeling left out/jealousy thing...which in turn makes me feel left out of the tri/running group fun and friendships. Trying to find balance is the hardest part!

Jamie said...

I don't think Sam has ever felt jealous of me hanging out with so many fit spandex clad ladies. If anything, sometimes she is sick of me talking about triathlon all the time, so she is psyched to have me hang out with other people and get it out of my system. :-)

If I ever give her any reason to think that she isn't my #1, there is a much bigger problem than triathlon.

Steve Miller said...

Great read! I can relate to a few of them. My wife got so mad me once when I was going to go on a long run with a female friend from my work. She was one of the people that got me into running and I was thrilled she asked me to run with her. Needless to say, it didn't happen. She doesn't like that it takes up so much of my time. Oh and she hates DailyMile!!! I just have to tell her it is what changed my life for the better and she really needs to try and support me.