Posted by: pursuingsub17 | May 20, 2009

Triathlon is a lonely road


I don’t know for sure yet but it sounds like Marc might not make my first triathlon race. There’s a possibility he won’t be in town. He can’t change it and nor do I expect him to drop everything to support me when it’s out of his hands but at the same time, I finally understand how this choice of athletic pursuit affects a relationship. Many times it’s the “non-triathlete” spouse who just doesn’t get their partner’s need to constantly train four months of the year. Family events get postponed – partners feel ignored.

I don’t agree with that self centered philosophy. Partners should be supportive. I’m a loner – I certainly didn’t mind spending the day to myself while Marc was out on a four hour bike ride and two hour run on a Sunday. I’m not jealous of his fixation on his bike. That’s just dumb.

But this is different. I feel like the amateur athlete who is going to the big meet without their coach. I’ll be a basket case. I don’t even know how to attach my bike rack to my car. I guess I have two weeks to learn but of course this is just one little thing that’s eating at my brain. I’ve never swam in a wetsuit. I’ve never even put one on! What if I forget something? What if I don’t know how to get to the race? Where do I park?

Normally I wouldn’t be this stupid but I will have more important things on my mind than to have focus on whether or not I remembered to take the dog for a walk before I left. All that should be on my mind is if I have all my gear and what should I use as a bag? Where is my timing chip? Will I remember to put on my Body Glide under my suit? When should I put my swim cap on and can I pee in a wetsuit? Where should I┬ábe in the swim crowd at the start? What direction did they say to swim? How many laps? What happens if I blow a tire in the race??? I don’t even know how to change a tire. Did I forget my bike pump? Must remember to make sure the tires are at the right pressure. Does the bike look okay? What needs to be tweaked? Should I arrive early to have my bike looked over by the pros? Did I remember my water bottle, gels and sunglasses?

Marc was a nervous ninny at his first IronMan. He needed someone there to create a balance – or at least telling him that checking his transition bag every half hour will not make things magically appear if they’re not there. I won’t have that if he’s not there. I’m seriously thinking of dropping out.

Last night I admitted for the first time that maybe going this alone was not a good idea. Marc insisted that I didn’t need to join a team. I’d hate training with others (which, I admit, I’m an introverted athlete). I didn’t need advice from a coach – I had him. Well, first off, he hasn’t been the greatest “coach”. He has yet to set up a training program for me. I got it from Ontri.com (but he will make a comment when he disagrees with my schedule). He has never been on a training swim, bike or run with me to see what I am doing right or wrong. He’s given good advice when I ask but doesn’t offer. I know he’s probably backing off because it’s like teaching your girlfriend how to drive a standard but I really do see now that I should have at least joined a small team. Then I would have someone to share the first race jitters with or get last minute advice from.

Instead – I’ll be alone. That thought will be the one noose around my neck come race day. If he can’t be there, my greatest fear is choosing not to do it. Wish me luck.

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