Anyone who has been doing this sport for any amount of time I’m sure gets asked a lot of questions. These questions pretty much fall into the standard categories of questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how. The who, when, and where are usually pretty easy to answer (Me. 9/11 – 21 days. Madison, WI).
Next up, is the question what. What is an Ironman? Most people not familiar with the sport may be confused by the fact that not every triathlon is an Ironman and that race in Hawaii isn’t the only Ironman. But again, the what question is fairly easy to answer. When in doubt, just show them this:
The final two questions are often the hardest. I’m not even going to get into the question of why today. That is a question that has a different answer for every single person. Maybe you are simply doing for the thrill of competition. Maybe you have turned an unhealthy lifestyle around. Maybe you or a love one has battled cancer or other illness and this is your way of celebrating or remembering that person. Like I said, the reasons are endless.
Today, I’m going to answer the question of how – at least my answer. I’m sure I’m not only person who has had someone say, “I don’t know how you do it” when they find out what training involves. Sure, the training is tough, I’m not going to lie. It involves a lot of hours, a lot of hard work, and a lot of time management. However, with a little hard work and dedication the training is very doable. But when push comes to shove, the main reason I am able to train for this incredible sport is this:
My beautiful wife, cheerleader, photographer, motivator, support crew, manager of social media and when training, my mobile aid station.
Here is what today’s aid station looked like for a 3 hour run. Two 32oz bottles (one hidden). One with water, one with Gatorade. A 24oz bottle with more Gatorade. A Rubbermaid container with extra Gatorade powder for refilling at a drinking fountain. And two packages of Gu Chomps. (And a mini first aid kit of hand sanitizer, napkins, and bandaids – my wife is nothing if not prepared).
For 21 miles, Jennie biked by my side at 8mph which is about as slow as you can go on a bike without tipping over. Every mile, without fail, she would pull forward and find a shady spot. Even miles were water, odd miles were Gatorade with Gu Chomps every 4 miles. As the miles wore on and my mental aspects faded she reminded me which fluid I was supposed to take. When it came time to cross to the other side of the road, she would keep an eye on when traffic was clear so that I didn’t have to keep looking over my shoulder looking for an opening. Whatever, I needed she was there for.
I honestly could not do this sport without her loving support. Mobile aid station aside, training with a partner makes this sport so much more fun. Even though Jennie isn’t training for the same event, she is training in her own right and whenever we are able to mesh our training it is fun to do a run together. I love seeing other couples training and racing together as well. I’ve followed the training of MattyO and Heather, Matt and Jenn, Jeff and Annie, John and Frances and lots of other blogging and non-blogging couples alike and I am sure they can all agree that having some share in your passion makes all the difference in the world.
So that is how I do it. With my best friend by my side. How do you do it?
Keep on moving my friends!