Category Archives: Cheaper Than Therapy

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Dear IronWife,

Hi.

You don’t remember me but I was a REAL bitch to you back in July 2012.

We were both at a triathlon in Chattanooga to support our husbands. We both had two kids, around the same age, and you were wearing an IronWife shirt and making signs for your husband with your kids while waiting on him to finish the bike.

And I hated you.

Well…hate feels like a harsh word…but I really did NOT like you.

You see…2012 was the first summer I tried being an active spectator – along with my small children – in my husband’s triathlons. It was his third season and the first two seasons I used the, “Wesley is too young to really be cooperative” excuse to avoid going to races with the kids. I did spectate one or two with them, but it always made me want to jump off the nearest bridge as my son spent ages 2-5 in what I politely refer to as his, “Demon Possession” Phase. I didn’t mind spectating on my own, but when I had the kids with me it was just SO. VERY. DIFFICULT.

In 2012 my son was really old enough to control a little bit, but he was still not an easy child. And I had started to lose patience with him AND the race about 2 minutes after the start.

July 2012
July 2012

The weather was SO HOT and my kids were SO WHINY and I had carried too much stuff around but was too far from the hotel to take any of it back and I just found myself very irritated with the entire scene. And there you were…wearing your supportive wife shirt with your well-behaved kids…making signs going above and beyond the cheering I was doing.

And I mocked you MERCILESSLY inside my own head. You seemed happy to be there in the heat with your kids cheering for your husband and I kinda wanted to trip you while you were walking down the stairs for setting UNATTAINABLE STANDARDS by which I had to compare myself.

And I am SO SO SO Very Sorry.

Because on Sunday I plan on eclipsing your support by a million times as my husband goes to race his first Ironman.

I plan on spending all day out on my feet, in the sun, with my two kids. And I plan on LOVING EVERY SECOND of it. We will all be wearing #TeamDonnie shirts that I had made and we’ll be carrying the gear we’ve accumulated after 3 full seasons of spectating as a family. The kids will have their own cameras to document and I’m challenging them with goals for cheering on other racers from our town. We made our Ironman a Good Luck cake this weekend and he’s been reading supportive letters every morning this week written by members of the family and collected by Me.

I see your IronWife shirt from 2012 and I trump it a million times over.

I’m sorry I was so insecure and so stressed that I took my irritability out on you. I’m sorry I made fun of you and your support inside my own head. I’m sorry I didn’t take the chance to befriend you like I have so many other spouses since then. I’m sorry I was an asshat.

But know I’ve thought of you often this summer, while I’ve supported my husband in his Ironman training. I’ve actually used you as a guide, as you seemed so purely selfless that day, focused on your husband so intently. I’ve often hoped that I look as dedicated from the outside as you did.

So, Thank You. Thank you for being the supportive wife I set out to be. And if our paths should cross again, I promise I won’t be such a bitch this time.

#TeamDonnie
#TeamDonnie

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feautred

I Survived A Group Ride!

I mentioned recently that we had a strange/scary surge of cyclist/car accidents recently. It prompted me to write a Share The Road entry, mainly as the wife of a cyclist. Well, last night we had a solidarity ride/fundraiser event for two cyclists in our community that were hit recently. Because it was held at Redstone Arsenal, which is a secure location, we had to register in advance to get our names on an approved entry list. Last I heard, we had 200+ registered last night. And while I couldn’t see everyone because my husband and I started in the front of our line, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me all 200 showed up. It was AMAZING.

bikesEven though this was a solidarity ride, meaning the whole “speed” and “passing” thing shouldn’t have been too much of an issue, I was VERY nervous. I still do not like riding bikes. I do it on the Greenway, and when I do I enjoy it, but I hate group rides and I hate riding on roads. Part of this is because I’m still very new and not comfortable yet. BUT! Part of it is – THIS IS JUST ME. I am still a high-anxiety driver and I’ve been driving for 22 years. I still avoid dangerous roads and intersections and 90% of left turns AT ALL COSTS. So, while I do give a little bit of weight to the idea that more time on the bike will help, I don’t think I’ll ever been completely without anxiety on the bike because I’m not completely without anxiety in my car.

Donnie and I decided to stick with the middle distance group (sub-12 miles) and stick with the middle pace. They sent us out in groups and no one in our group seemed to want to go the “fastest” pace (which was still only supposed to be about 16 mph) so everyone left with the “middle” pace with Donnie and I kinda in the lead.

I ALMOST HAD A PANIC ATTACK WHEN WE STARTED.

But once we got going I did okay. I learned how to do turn signals this summer which was a HUGE improvement from last summer. I was very proud of myself. I signaled at every turn last night even though we had safety support blocking intersections and there were cyclists all around me also doing signals. My signal was not 100% necessary but I did it anyway! Because I’m a big girl bike rider!

All in all it went well. I signed up for my first Olympic Distance Triathlon next July so I really need to get more comfortable riding on the road between now and then – even if I’ll never be SUPER comfortable. I’m not even really confident I understand the mechanics of my bike still. I panic every time I have to shift gears, assuming the entire thing is going to fall apart in the middle of the road. (I also have panic attacks relating to car issues too, this is just me.) But I’m hoping this adventure of training for an Olympic Distance Triathlon will help me with some of my issues.

I’m just not ever going to LOVE cycling. The same part of me that hates driving is going to always hate cycling a little bit. And that’s okay. I know I’ll do a 100-mile run before I’ll ever do an Ironman or even a half-Ironman! I’d rather run for 24 hours than bike for 3 or more.

But, I am pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, and that’s the only kind of progress that’s important right now!

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Guilt Issues.

First: Thank you so much for easing my mind on yesterday’s entry. My follow-up question for some of you (because so many people suggested finding a good realtor) how do you shop around for realtors? Like…do they look at your house, give you an opinion/plan and then you decide? I’m not sure what they do before you sign the contract, so I’m curious how to get the best idea of their process/skill before deciding.

And Now! For Today’s Entry! Where I play the “They Just Don’t Know How Much I Do!” overworked Mom card!

But seriously. They Just Don’t Know How Much I Do.

This entry is basically the periodic entry I have to write telling ALL OF THE SHIT I DO because no one who lives in my house notices and therefore doesn’t give me the praise I (probably shouldn’t) need so I tell YOU guys what I do just to document it somewhere to make me feel better about the few things I don’t do and then, of course, hate myself for.

(It’s a formulaic entry around here. If you’ve been here awhile you’ve seen this entry in other variations.)

You know my husband is training for an Ironman, right? I’ve mentioned that 100 million times? Well, about a month ago as his new job schedule solidified and his training amped up, we shifted to Kim Does All Of The Cooking (he likes to cook, and used to cook 3 times a week) which is FINE. As long as he doesn’t mind what I cook, right? He doesn’t even mind me cooking Vegan meals. I’ve offered to add in a chicken breast for him but he says, “Nope. I get plenty of protein in my shakes and my lunches.” So! For a month now I’m doing all the cooking.

But I’m also doing all of the post-cooking clean-up. We used to balance things by making the Clean Up person be different from the Cooking Person. But, his training is at like the 15 hours a week mark, so his hours are few and his rest is important…SO! I cook AND I clean. And I shop. And I do laundry. And I mow the grass (he hasn’t had to mow the grass all summer). And I weed the flowerbeds (sometimes). And I take the kids to/from school. And to/from doctor’s appointments. And I volunteer at the kid’s school. And I take them to/from all soccer games and practices. And I do homework with them. And I pack their healthy/no waste lunches.

I DO IT ALL.

And I work full-time.

Well, now is the time where his training starts to taper a bit (he has a half-ironman tomorrow, his full ironman is 9/28) and mine picks up. I have a marathon in October and it just keeps going from there. SO! Today I get to run early. Nothing too long, maybe 15 miles, but still, it means I can’t help with the soccer games. Which is how it works during my training. My training overlaps with soccer season so I do all of the weekly games/practices and Donnie takes the Saturday ones. This is the first Saturday game of the year, so I was worried about their routine. He has to drop Nikki off at her coach’s house on the way to take Wes to his game. (Their games are at the same time, two different parks.) SO! I made sure to get the kids to set out their stuff last night to MAKE SURE there would be no last-minute panic attacks when Donnie can’t find something.

But of COURSE, I feel guilty because I’m not going to be at those games. I went to both games this week and I’ve been at every practice. But I feel bad I won’t be at these games.

Why do I do that to myself? Did I not just write that exhausting paragraph earlier outlining all that I do for this family? Why do I feel bad about this ONE THING. I take Saturday mornings (and Sunday mornings as the season progresses) to do MY thing and the rest of the week I work around their schedule and do everything for the family and still…still…I feel bad about it. Donnie comes home from work/working out and plays video games to unwind while I cook/clean/help with homework/hang with the kids etc and he feels NO GUILT WHATSOEVER. I’m loudly getting the kids ready for bed, doing dishes, putting up laundry and he’s just zoned out on the games. He feels NOTHING. And me, one Saturday game missed and I feel like the WORST IN THE WORLD.

BAH. I want to be a little more like Donnie.

(And it wouldn’t hurt things for him to be a little more like me.)

Thanks for letting me vent. I’m going to proceed with my long run/self hate session! Wheee!

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Easing Back Into It

210325755_b624e8a0b4_oFirst and foremost – I was looking through my Flickr photos (I used to archive all my photos there but I ended up setting the privacy to almost all of them to “me only” because they were having weird issues with photo theft and orkut fake profiles) and I found this photo. This was me documenting my calendar/planner addiction. This was all of the calendars I had used/tried to use in ONE YEAR. Now do you see how impressive my “I’ve Been Using The Bullet Journal For A Whole Year!” declaration was? I went from all of that nonsense (which was, by far, the worst it ever got) to ONE item. ONE. ONE. ONE. FOR A WHOLE YEAR. ONE.

Okay. Sorry. I’m done blathering on about this.

(HAHAHAHAH!!!111!!11!1!!!! NOIMNOT. Just done for TODAY.)

(Maybe.)

photo (4)ANYWAY! I ran 18 miles yesterday. In 2013 Donnie and I ended up with a year where he focused on his 70.3 training all summer and I focused on ultra-training all winter. This wasn’t our intention but it worked out beautifully and so I thought we’d do the same basic thing again this year. (I’ll get to why we’re NOT later. I have to decide how frustrated I am about it first.) But – there’s still the Spring/Fall overlap and right now I’m needing long runs and he’s still training for his Ironman. So, last week? I got NO long run in. I did 7 miles on Saturday before Nikki’s triathlon. It’s too hot for me to set out for 18 in the middle of the day, and Sunday we spent all day at Donnie’s other race. So! Yesterday, I begged for a long run Saturday morning since he had to do a Swim/Run and couldn’t do that until the YMCA opened. I left the house at 6am and did 18 kinda-painful, kinda-awesome miles.

They were painful because the last two weeks of training have been sporatic. When I’m running 45+ miles a week, 18 miles on one day should be nothing. But when I dropped down for 20+ miles/week for two weeks, it gets ugly. My knees/hips/ankles were all crying by the time it was done. BUT! I’ve now been doing this long enough to know that I do NOT have to panic when that happens. Pain is part of the game with marathon-ultra training, especially at this age. I’ve learned that most of it fades with rest/recovery. I have to do 12 today (I like to do 30/weekend most weekends – allowing for one recovery weekend every few weeks) and at first I thought there would be no way because I was hurting so bad yesterday. But I woke up today and feel fine! So I’ll head out in about an hour for 12 and see how it goes.

It feels good getting back into training. I have my first marathon of the season in October and before April 2015 I’ll have done 2 marathons, 3 50Ks, and at least 1 50-miler. Maybe another 50-miler or 50K depending on how I’m feeling. I’ll feel more like it has started AFTER Donnie’s Ironman when I get dibs on morning long runs, but for now – it definitely feels good to feel like I’m back in running mode.

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A Teaser Race Report

I’m not sure I can describe the awesomeness that was Saturday’s Sprint Triathlon. I would love to co-write a race report with Nikki, but we had NO time this weekend so I’m hoping to sit down with her tonight. So, until then, know that it was AMAZING, she smiled CONSTANTLY except for two times when she cried (I’ll let her tell you those stories) but she quickly recovered and went back to smiling again! It is a day I will cherish FOREVER.

I do want to show you what we found when we got to transition before the race. If this isn’t a perfect example of how amazing our triathlon community is, I don’t know what better example could possibly exist.

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And then the close up:

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I’m sure I don’t need to tell you I cried like a baby when I saw it, right?

And to hold you over until our race report, here are some amazing pictures from the always-on-point Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville. (Check out his whole gallery here.)

2014 HSV Sprint Tri (2439 of 2598)-L

2014 HSV Sprint Tri (2528 of 2598)-L

2014 HSV Sprint Tri (1007 of 2598)-L

Thanks for thinking of us and cheering us on from afar. I’ll post more later!

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