My Wife Says the Oddest Things Sometimes

IMG_621868620410677As indicated in a previous post(here) I was somewhat forced to take Tuesday evening off from training.  Once I got home from all the errands I had to run my wife and I ate dinner then I began to work through my training logs and flit around on the internet.  At this point, both of us engaged in our own pursuits sitting in the living room together, my wife looks over at me and asks me “Do you enjoy you what you do?”  I was lost for a moment before I realized she was asking about all the hours I spend training and the load I put myself under to prepare for races.

I delayed in answering her as I was a bit lost as this question came from left field.  At that point she further elaborated: “I mean do you enjoy the stuff you do? You used to have ‘down time’ but now you seem always busy training or planning or even just getting stuff prepared for the next days workouts.”  That’s when I truly understood her question.

television-comic-style-mdLast year, before I went all mad and athletic, I spent allot of time basically doing nothing.  My spare time was filled playing video games, watching television and movies and sleeping.  I spent allot of my time engaged in DVR show schedule maintenance, to ensure that “my shows” were recorded.  At that time I  was watching and involved in over 40 hours of television watching and recording a week.  Evenings were spent with the wife, so every morning I got up two hours before work just so I could watch television.  Pretty pathetic, but this is what mattered to me and my life at the time: the wife, television and video games.

On the weekends I often had yard work or house repair duties that I should have done.  Often I convinced the wife to let me have the weekend to play games and just be lazy.  I spent allot of time sitting or lying on the couch glued to the television, either engaged in video games or just watching shows.  The yard grew wild and occasionally I had to go out and regain semblance of control.  The weekends also were often times for deep prolonged sleep and lazy days of milling about the house with the wife.  Often we would stay up late and sleep in till close to afternoon the next day and the day after.

That was my life….

Then my life changed and  instantly I was a different person.  Unlike previous efforts these stuck and have gotten me to where I am today.  These changes were driven by goals established to get me to my first triathlon and beyond.  Overtime I began to be able to train longer and harder and I grew stronger and more durable.  Somewhere in this process my time became consumed by ‘The Training Schedule’ (my wife’s most hated word or phrase in my training regiment).

My mornings for a while involved my first workout instead of hours of lying on the couch watching television.  My evening became consumed with hours of biking and running or swimming.  My weekends changed also as I started getting up early to go to group swims or to go cycling or to complete my long run before the hot part of the day.  I tried to give some time to my wife, but I was less interested in spending hours indoors.  Other things changed as well.  In some ways I became more responsible about lawn maintenance as well as completing other chores.

I am a runner!

I am a runner!

So when my wife asked this question she was just curious if I enjoyed always training and preparing and spending so little time just ‘chilling’, not being active.  Oddly this question was difficult to answer as I never thought about how consumed I had become by my training, I had been so involved in getting to the next goal and trying to continue to be better at running, cycling and swimming that I never even thought about how little I slept in these days or how rarely I just sit in the living room for a day and ‘veg’.  I have sorta considered long runs and long cycling days as my down time.  These activities really relax me and while they are hard and tiring, I love doing them.

The flip side of course is that as I near the end of my first season of triathlon training I often realize how long its been since I have not been preparing for an event or race.  This has been a long season and I am ready for ‘Down Time’ as my wife puts it.  More so I am ready to go cycling, running or swimming without thinking about a training goal I set.  I want to just ride or run with no purpose but to enjoy the moment.

For now though I can not afford to reflect too long on the joys of down time, I have a race in just a little over four weeks that has been the sole focus of the second half of my season,  an international distance triathlon, my first.  I know for now I just have to follow the plan I set and enjoy the thrill of executing this plan and seeing all the details work.  I can enjoy some down time in October after I finish my race.  Then I can sit on the beach, reflect on the season and sleep in.  At that point I can have some ‘down time’.  Of course I am sure that won’t last too long and I will shortly start planning my next season.  Til next time.

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14 comments

  1. That’s a tough spot to be in for both you and your wife. At first she was probably pretty excited that you were getting off the couch but now you’re putting in a lot of time training – what she thought was going to be a good thing is consuming a lot more time than she anticipated. My wife had the exact same issues so this year I throttled it back. I’m riding about 100-200 miles less per month than I did last year and I’m actually having a lot more fun at the same time (with the exception of August which was off the hook at 800 miles). Don’t be afraid to reign it in one day a week for your wife either, she’ll be happier for it (mine is). Balance is the key dear Grasshopper.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head there. I have been better about balance most of this season, but with this last push the scales have tipped a bit. I partially think she was just curious, as she knows the old me loved his down time, while the chatter 2.0 does not see much of it but seems happy. I think next year balance will make its way back into my goals, it has helped when things have gotten tense on the home front. Thanks for the suggestions.

      1. My pleasure my friend. Keep kicking – and I’m very glad for you that you have this problem. Your dedication to doing it right is rare and commendable.

  2. sweatingforit · · Reply

    I’m training for my first Olympic and I know I’m on the right track because I am ready for a training break! You will appreciate the break so much more and be even more excited to start training again. My husband watched me get in shape for years before it finally sparked his interest and he is training for a 10k.

    1. When are you doing your first Olympic? I know right now I am ready for a training break, especially as this season’s final push ramps up. How did your marriage work out with one of you training and the other not? It has been jarring. I wish both of you luck in your endevours.

      1. sweatingforit · · Reply

        Sept 29 is my first Olympic so it is getting close. My husband and I have been together for nine years and for the first maybe 6 years I was an occasional exerciser but not avid at all. Once I got serious and was working out every day or twice a day, I know he had to grow a lot of patience. We would set aside a date night. Sometimes I would go to yoga with him because thats what he is into. I switched to time crunched triathlete training now so it’s only four workouts a week, but it’s four big ones. I gave up morning workouts so we could have breakfast together. Now I have to be the patient one because he works out more frequently but we try and do boot camp together once a week too. It’s tough but we make it work. Glad you brought the topic up though because I think it gets overlooked.

      2. Sounds like we could write just a blog on training and staying married

  3. So coincidental that you would post this right now….as my current training crisis is showing, I’m definitely ready for a break! In fact, I’ve extended my stay in FL after the race just to be able to enjoy being at the ocean with nothing hanging over my head that has to be accomplished.

    1. I am staying through Tuesday, not as long as I was hoping but that is most of Sunday, all of Monday and then travel on Tuesday. Not too bad. After nine months and one last big push I am feeling the end of the season, just have to stay focused on the final race!

      1. I’m staying until Tuesday also….to relax and ENJOY an ocean swim….lol

      2. Might be joining you. So looking forward to sleeping in the day after!!! Funny since its 4 weeks away!

  4. Your comment about being more likely to do chores is so true. I think, for me at least, its the schedule. In order to get done what you want to get done you have to schedule it. I’m quite enjoying your blog. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you my blog friend. Looks like you have knocked out a few days of running and biking lately, sure it will pay off when getting fit for the big day!!! Might have to race up your way next year, too early to think about that yet though.

  5. This is an awesome post. Your photograph illustrates your amazing improvement, you should be SO proud of yourself. You will have so much more time to spend with your wife–you are extending your life (and I hope I am doing the same 🙂
    Keep it up!

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