With Valentine’s day around the corner, and the smell of a Hallmark holiday in the air, I decided to write a loving post on how Phil and I survived training for the same Ironman without breaking up, killing each other, or too many arguments (there were some, but not many).
oh the hilarious height difference.
1. Train together but not together
Just because you are doing the same race does not mean you have to do every run and ride together! In fact, it made more sense for Phil and I to each do our own thing. He is way faster than me and whenever we rode or ran together he would have to slow down so much that it was not much of a workout for him. And it frustrated me because he was leisurely going 17mph up a hill without breaking a sweat as I was chugging along at 6mph behind him about to die. Not good. If you are different speeds, don’t train together. We each found a training buddy that we were similar in speed, and enjoyed spending tons of time with. I think I spent more “awake time” with Kate than Phil at the peak of training.
However, we were both following a similar training plan, so our rest weeks and our peak weeks were the same. We both had 100 mile rides on the same day…mine just took 2 hours longer than Phils
2. date night!
I felt it was really important for our relationship to keep the “romantic” aspect. We are in a relationship, not training buddies. We made it a point to go out to dinner or something non-triathlon related together at least once a week. This was also my chance to remind Phil that I am capable of blow drying my hair and wearing clothes other than spandex. Granted, women do look sexy in spandex.
3. Dont talk about triathlon during date night
This came about one date night, where I was particularly cranky, and Phil mentioned something about his run earlier that day. I lovingly snapped back “I don’t give a sh*t what your heart rate was this morning!”. We (ok, mostly me) decided that while out on dates, we would avoid talking about sore legs, body glide, blisters, and all that jazz.
4. Know that your goals are different
I just had my eye on the finish line. Phil has his on the finish line in 12 hours or less. I struggled at first when Phil would come home and say “that 18 mile run was so slow, I averaged an 8:30 pace!”. 8:30 pace for me is FAST…but for Phil it’s not. In return, Phil would get excited for me when I told him I biked 100 miles holding almost 16mph.
5. Don’t use all of the ice
I’m not kidding. Don’t be the one to use all of the ice from the freezer leaving your significant other with no ice for their ice bath. A fight will ensue. Don’t. Do. It.
6. Be each others biggest fan
Hands down my absolute favorite part of having Phil race the same races is race day. We both are nervous in the mornings. He always hugs me, kisses me, tells me he loves me and gives me a “go get ‘em tiger” tap on the booty as he walks away to jump into the water. It always makes me excited to start the race.
My other favorite feeling is seeing Phil during and after the race. He always cheers for me as loud as possible. Most times if we pass each other we just give each other a high five. During Ironman, he ran up to me and gave me a huge smooch and a sweaty hug.
When I see Phil during a race, I always ask him if he won. Which was a joke at first…until he did win…like 3 times.
7. Know that there will be challenges
It certainly was not easy at times. We struggled to find time to hang out together. We would fall asleep on the couch before even talking about how our days were. Sometimes we just didn’t feel like talking at all.
8. Know that overcoming those challenges and being able to talk about how awesome your first Ironman was will be the best feeling in the world
At first, Phil and I thought it may be better if we did different Ironman races. We decided to do the same one because of timing reasons and I am so glad we made that choice.
Despite the harder times and a few silly fights along the way, having Phil be the first person I saw once I crossed the finish line was an amazing feeling. I think training for something that big actually made us stronger as a couple. We will be able to tell our kids one day that mom and dad did an Ironman together.