This weekend was the first big marathon race weekend in our town. The Husband was planing on participating and do the half but the timing wasn’t right. Instead he’s looking to do the triathlon again. He did his first tri two years ago and let me tell you being a wife to a triathlete is a sport in itself.
Triathlete = A 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike and just to show off, a 6 mile run. Sounds intense and slightly crazy to me. Denny, my husband, is an intense and slightly crazy working out kind of guy. Over the weekend he crossed the triathlon finish line in an impressive 2 hours and 30 minutes.
You know what else is pretty intense and slightly crazy though? Being married to a triathlete.
The Months of Training
For months, I’ve been waking up to a 4:30am alarm clock. Denny gears up to run to the gym, lift weights, swims and then runs back home just in time to get ready for work. Not being able to fall back asleep I gear up to clean the house, unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, do laundry, and get ready for work. Sometimes to really challenge myself I’ll do this one handed hushing and hip holding a toddler who woke up way too early.
With a 7:30am start, I’m pretty sure I deserve a gold medal for showering, being somewhat presentable and getting both boys ready and to the race on time. Our presence is quickly known as we reach our destination slightly jogging with a stroller, scooter, blankets, camera, sweatshirts, bags luggage filled with snacks, drinks, and hopefully enough toys to keep Blake from eating sand and Dylan from saying he’s bored. Oh and the Good Luck Sign. We couldn’t forget the Good Luck Sign.
The First Road Block
Dylan, god bless his heart, was petrified of the cannon that signified the start of the event. Hyperventilating petrified. Unfortunately there was 8 waves of starters. By the second cannon blast he was in tears, screaming and begging to go home. Yep, we are here people. Everyone near us turned around and gave us the sympathetic “awww” and “they really scare me too.” I gave the “I can’t believe this is my life” smile.
The moms, girlfriends, wives and other supporters of these fabulous athletes race from one transition area to another trying to snap pictures and scream encouragement. This in itself is an Olympic sport. One second you are just hanging out waiting, waiting and waiting. The next second you catch a glimpse of your athlete finishing one event. And it’s your turn to jump up, cheer at the top of your lungs, gather up everything (which for us is the entire house minus the kitchen sink) and full out sprint to the transition area all while trying to be a professional race photographer. Once you get there you nudge and fight for a spot like you are fighting for the front row VIP spot at a concert.
Oh no I did not wake up this early with two kids to not get a prime spot and a picture. So you can take your cute little 20 year old solo self cheering on what looks like your Mike Phelps college boyfriend and find your spot behind me. Thank you much. I swear from swim to bike I looked down to grab one dried fruit snack to pacify the youngest and by the time I looked back up Denny was long gone. Nooooo.
We reconnected with a mom to two young kids we met the day before at a Fun Run for Dylan. We both exchanged “the look”. The look of holy crap it’s the kids nap time and we still have a long way to go. It’s time to pull out the secret weapons. For Blake the stroller and me standing in one place pushing it back and forth. For Dylan the iPad.
My new race mom friend and I took turns sprinting to the bike racks to try to catch our husbands. I’m pretty sure in some unlikely event I ever am in good enough shape to do a triathlon I would be disqualified because I wouldn’t be able find my bike rake. Luckily, I did see Denny. And even luckier he knew exactly where to park his bike.
He changed from his cycling shoes to his running shoes faster than I change from my heels to flats. And again he was off.
Seeing him turn the corner to complete the last leg of the triathlon seriously gave me goose bumps. When he crossed that finish line and his name was announced I got teary eyed. And then I stopped and really took everything in. And what I saw made me realize just how amazing this triathlon community is.
What I saw were athletes from different colleges cheering their competitors on, perfect strangers screaming “you can do it” to anyone who passes by, all sorts of different body types with the same look of determination, a team of volunteers passing out waters and congratulatory taps on the shoulders, an 80 year old man being greeted by his wife at the finish line, kids running up to their parents with big hugs, and the pride in everyone’s eyes.
Oh yeah this is totally worth it. When’s the next race?