Monday, June 30, 2008

The Ironman damage...

This is not about the post-Ironman aches and pains... it's about the aches and pains of being married to someone that does an Ironman.

Jim and I have a wonderful marriage. It is very fun, very adventurous, very enjoyable. That is unless an Ironman is on the horrizon. Life is pretty darn good around the Wee home. BUT as soon as IM Japan came storming in it got a little nuts. It got a little ugly and a little smelly.

Poor Jim. I didn't even realize the damage until I called in for back-ups. I have an AMAZING marriage counselor that is working with me/us... and yes... it is all my fault life got ugly in the Wee home.

This is the entrance to the Wee home. Honestly, to me it was just a few pairs of shoes. The ones I need for running, for racing, for the treadmill, for lifting weights, for walking, for trails, you get it. Jim has to pass this and smell this every day, several times a day. Never phased me.


Coach has me swimming more. That means more suits hanging to dry. Sorry, it irritates me to put on a wet suit and I like to mix up my suits. And I have to have a bikini in there... necessity. Never phased me. Poor Jim. Every time he takes a shower he has to reach through a pile of suits to turn on the water, move suits to close the shower curtain (except for the time he tried to teach me a lesson and never closed the shower curtain and drenched the bathroom floor!)

AND there is the long list of meals I make. Poor guy. He wants regular food, not bird food, and athlete food, and "I'm training for an Ironman" food. He wants real cookies. Not some no sugar no nothing cookies.

And of course the fridge covered in motivational quotes, good luck notes, my favorite verses, photos of training buddies, and notes I save from coach to kick my bum. That was annoying... to him... not me.

You get the idea. Life changes A LOT when an Ironman is on the horizon. Forget staying up late and sleeping in. There goes "quality time" Bree has to sleep. Lights off... shhhh... (I am pretty serious about this). Poor Jim feels like he is grounded!

So yesterday after church (I even wore a dress JUST for Jim) I had a nice kick in the bum from the man in charge of making the Wee home better for round two... Ironman Canada training...

The first thing I had to do was clean up the wet suits. That is Jim's worst nightmare. Then he got us on date nights (no Kainoa allowed. Just us. Alone.) That was a good one, we even stayed up past my bed time! Today I got rid of all the shoes except 4 pairs! I cleaned off the fridge too. The only note on it is a "love" note to Jim. (nice plan Ironman-marriage saver!)

And then I made dinner... meat balls with real cow meat! Not Turkey or chicken and not some veggie alternative. Real cow. AND I made him real cookies. Real sugar involved.

Life is getting back to normal just in time. Tomorrow starts the first day of training for IM Canada! I am so excited! I just hope I can find my shoes and swim suits! AND with the help of the Ironman marriage saver training for Canada then Kona should be a breeze in the Wee home!

By the way... if anyone needs Asics (used) size 8.5 I saved a few pairs, hid them under the bed... don't tell Jim!

41 comments:

Kellye Mills said...

Bree... I feel your pain! Of the two of us, I'm a lot more high maintenance than Adam in most respects! And marriage is hard as it is, much less throwing Ironman into the mix. I think it's really good that you have someone outside of the marriage to talk to. A lot of people think of marriage councelors of a sign that the marriage is in some sort of trouble, but it's really hard and it's something that has to be worked at so I think counceling can be a really good thing! And good for you for making a big effort to compromise and do your part!

Anonymous said...

this is probably the best blog i have ever read. how honest and real. this is what keeps the human race connected. we ARE all in the same boat and none life is as perfect as they pretend it to be. thanks for making me feel normal. cory and i are in the wee boat-we get it and understand. love ya and praying with ya. your sis-bron

IM Able said...

I don't know why this post made me smile so. But it did. Maybe it's because I've been thinking a lot about compromise and husbands recently, with my own wedding in a few months. Maybe it's just because I know sometimes I get myopic, even though I love him so very much. Or maybe because of all of the love that was spoken louder than words when you took the shoes away, stowed the suits, and baked sugary cookies.

Whatever it was, it definitely made me smile. :)

shawn and tracy said...

Ohh Bree you are funny!!!! I have a nicely decorated spare room that has turned into the laundry room. It used to be a folding bed then, a dump the clean ones I will fold later, lately, I don't fold at all just dump more laundry on top of the pile. Excited to see ya in CANADA!!!! ;-)
Tracy

Damie said...

Send the 8.5s my way:) It is great you posted this- I think many of your married blogger friends can relate and have been there- if not there now! Have you seen Sex and the City movie yet? I get scared I am turning into Miranda...too tired for my husband. ;) Hugs to you.

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

You must have a different marriage counsellor to the ones I've had. I've never met one who did not put 100% of the blame on the husband and 0% on the wife. Still, I guess that is just because of the person I am. If you make some money at this triathlon lark, then you could buy a more spacious house, with large wrap-around lanais where you can keep all those wet swimsuits and shoes without your husband nearly breaking his neck by tripping on them every time he comes in the door. I'll post a picture of how I dry my things so you can see. And, unless he is a born cook, make sure you prepare a lot of food that he likes.

rr said...

Great post Wee... you're an awesome wife and I know Jim is incredibly proud, I see him walking around in that Team Wee shirt!

Meatballs.. man, you're seriously kissing some butt before this little IMC build, aren't ya? Did you touch the beef? Ick ;)

Rach

LeAnn said...

Cute.

Jen said...

Wow...real beef AND cookies! He must be in heaven :)

Being together as husband and wife is always a work in progress. Respect and love each other. All the hard work is worth it!

My husband and I have been married for 12 yrs...sometimes it feels like twelve hundred (kidding!)

Brooke Myers said...

I believe life and relationships keep us learning constantly... sometimes it takes an outsider to help us realize we need to change...

thanks for joining me at class tonight... I wanted to laugh a couple times while watching you - you totally drift into your own world and forget you are in the front of the room... too much fun!!

Train-This said...

spot on sister..... I will have to write about 2 people's smelly shoes and suits.... but my hubbs is neater than I! You and I'd be great roomates!

Kona Shelley said...

Nice post, you know what's really important in your life!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Great post, Bree!! Indeed, it's important to make some compromises to let your number one fan know he/she is still number one in your heart. But I think I've created a monster by getting my husband back into cycling. He's now worse than I am about having stuff (bikes, shoes, pumps, tools, tubes, magazines, workout clothes, etc) around the house!

TB said...

Great post Bree! Takes a lot of courage to share so much.

A good reminder for all us who are married that marriage is a lot like racing...if you don't train well, you won't race well.

heather said...

serioulsy laughed out loud when i read that. KEEP IT REAL!! Love ya

Mr. & Mrs. Herlihy said...

Hey Bree! Mike did go to PBA! I knew that Brooke went there, and saw from reading your blog that you went there too! Did you know him?

Congrats on Japan!

Flatman said...

You rock. Jim is lucky and so are you!

Real meatballs and real cookies...my heavens!!!!

P.S. I'd be your tandem-beach-cruiser-sprint-buddy any day of the week! :)

Jen in Budapest said...

Ok, not sure what happened just went to leave you a comment but it disappeared.

First, I have to say you are hilarious. I love the shoe picture! Gotta keep that one forever.

Second, way to go with using real cow and real sugar. I still use your banana bread recipe over my mom's which is loaded with sugar, but all that to say when it comes to your husband and being a blessing for him, awesome!! Thanks for blogging about the real struggles of it all. it's great to hear you're human..

Third, way to go not bringing the little guy on your date! I have friends who do weekly date night religiously and swear by it.

I pray all the very best to the two of you and a marriage that lasts and stays full of love fire until your old age. Tri's come and go but your honey is a honeycomb full of treasure to the end.

Lots of love to you Bree and prayers. :D

Jen

Mel said...

We know Marriage isn't simple and I for sure can't give any advice as I am still working on it myself even after 12 years:) Thank you for being so HONEST and making us all seem normal with our own battles:)
I have to laugh I read your post to Todd and he is all about the healthy eating like you and I am with JIM...I like the JUNK:)

TriGirl Kate O said...

Bree,
I always complain to my husband that I need a wife to take care of me the way I take care of him. The other night he turned tables on me, saying he wants a husband that takes care of him the way he does me--working hard, bringing home the bacon so I can be at home and train, and he can pay for vacations, races, food and clothes. What an eye opener. We are now approaching our 15th anniversary (this Thurs) and every year has had some struggle, compromise, and stress but also lots of love and good times. Baking cookies is a small price to pay for all our husbands do for us. I'll bake a batch today!

Laura said...

I'm not married, and am on my way to my first IM (in 2 weeks, 5 days, ahhhhhhh!!!!), and when discussions turned to team-mates asking me about IM Florida next year for the 10th anniversary, my boyfriend said, 'Wait, we should talk about this. Maybe we should just have some time for us?'

Thanks for your honesty, Bree. Even to your non-married blog followers, it's helpful to remember you're not the only person IM training effects!

Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

More people can relate to this then you will ever know Bree. What a great post!! The pile of shoes will soon be back, probably the quotes and notes on the fridge as well BUT I'm sure Jim appreciated you going to all that work JUST for him. Sometimes we forget what we put our spouses through and how much our families have to put up with. Happy first day of training for Canada!!!

Ange said...

This is great Bree. I will remember these words as I head into training for my first Ironman. (next summer...) It is helpful to know that even Pro athletes have these issues...sometimes our minds are overwhelmed with our training as much as our bodies adn we have to remember to stop and show appreciation for the most important people in our lives. We need them with us! Thanks for sharing these important and personal thoughts.

Cricket said...

You're a young couple- in a young marriage- with a young child and you have a (new) young career! This is normal stuff! Trust me- been there done that still doing it (after 20 years)- just less!
Proud of you both for taking a step forward and giving it your all! Communication, Honesty, Trust & Grace are the answers. I know you love eachother- Be strong and EACH of you give 100%!
I Love your honesty-

All of us old married folks have gone through these sort of things- and if they haven't they are Freaks of Nature!

P.S. - Paul still leaves his pile of shoes at the door...(I just move them)...somethings will never change!-and it's okay!

beth said...

sounds like you've got a plan.....you can "periodize" your marriage-betterment...you are now entering your "base phase"...upping the volume (more QT w/ Jim!), trying some new things here and there, but mostly- going back to the basics of what you know works!
have fun! and good luck w/ kick off to Canada training!

Kim said...

What a great post! So true as well. It really does take a supportive and wonderful, understanding spouse to raise an Ironman. Sometimes I feel like we are all pregnant while we are training for Ironman (we talk in weeks, it's always on a countdown, we finally have our baby / race & get lots of calls/emails before & after!) It's a lot of work to keep everything balenced with family life/home life and training. I think all you can do is do your best & ask for help when you need it!

Eileen Swanson said...

Phew that you know how to cook! ;-) I sure hope the shoe pile isn't as stinky as it was in Oz! HA! Seriously! I am glad things are looking up in the Wee household. Love how things sound so upbeat and fun now! See you very soon....
E

Melissa said...

Oh, woops my comment went away! Thanks Bree for being so honest in your posts. I'll be a "Mrs." in 19 days, and I constantly struggle with all the athletic piles lI leave around the house. I have an inablitlty to put things away, which I never realized until my space melted into someone else's space too. Lucky for me, my sweetie is great at storing away his stinky hockey gear!

Thanks for the smiles your posts put on my face, and for the reminder that all great things in life require work, dedication, and a positive outlook :-)

-Melissa

Bob Mitera said...

Marriage is making sure that your spouse knows you value them as the unique and special person you married on day one - everyday.

Beef and sugar? geez

Don't forget your "crew"! They'll support you when you need them but you have to be there for them the other times. (Like trying to stay awake at the Sex in the City movie after a 6 hr bike ride in strong winds, a 4000 meter swim and 1 hr run.) I'm not even doing an IM this year...

Anonymous said...

These things are normal and fun and they get your heart racing! Marriage is a gift from God- hold each others hands and look into each others eyes and let God lead your steps and path and May God give you eyes to see beauty only the heart can understand....Love you Mom and Rodger-hug Kainoa and we love the 3 of you....

Dolphin Boy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

Date night is seriously important!!! So cool that you recognize it :) You can't forget the team that keeps you going and is always there for you?

triguyjt said...

great post bree...its all about balance and it looks like you are trying to find that balance...

and thats great...

its also about having that soulmate..that buddy, that lover, who just happens to be your spouse.

its about compromise and wanted the partner to get the better end of the deal...

of course I could be wrong..
yet again, I am fortunate we have a track record of 32 yrs come mid july..
good luck..
and also good luck with the other thing...the training.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Bree! Great post, really and I am sure MOst people can relate to this post. Jerome and I have been married 11 years and it is so ironic b/c we met doing Triathlons and we still do them together...so we are on the OPPOSITE side of this spectrum- what I mean is that we MUST force ourselves to ENJOY other parts of our relationship and life....get MORE involved in things other than our 1000 swim suits or 100 bikes....I guess we all need a little "JIM" in our lives to keep things balanced out. GOOD luck as you build for IM Canada!! :) Jen H.
PS. Jerome does get tired of eating bird food all the time...I eat meat all the time, but can eat a can of tuna and Jerome wants full blown STEAK AND Potatoes...you know... :)

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I felt sooo tired this morning after my swim, so I have to take it easy today. I can imagine you feel much the same way after your huge workouts. So just try to take it easy, too. Do a few easy things like arranging the shoes and swimsuits, and don't worry too much about the rest. Husbands have to play their parts, too.

kerrie said...

i can so relate to this...we are still on holidays but the crap is really going to begin when both of us begin our kona build!!! hopefully i will get the house cleaned before that starts(it needs it) and will be able to figure out the ultimate schedule and become incredibly skilled in time management. yeah, it isn't always pretty, lol!

MaryMaryMyers said...

Hey Breely, I hope it was "poopball" meatballs you made! Next time life gets a little tense due to training..... let me know and I send some cookies for the boys!
P&L,
Mary

Multisport Woman said...

That's a great shot of all your running shoes - my husband commented that he'd prefer running shoe collections like that to a bunch of silly summer sandals lying in the hallway (the straps are more likely to trip you up).
Best of luck in Vancouver and for the rest of your training for IMC!

Danielle said...

There was an interesting article someone wrote in to Triathlete mag about the demise of a relationship due to IM training. Sounds like you are being proactive and nipping things in the bud from the first sign of problems.

Mer! said...

Hi Bree!!
Like everyone else--I totally agree, marriage is such a partnership that no matter how long you are married, sometimes it takes some time to reflect and to "rearrange" some stuff to make it "fit" better =0.

Just after reading this post, I had to go to the bathroom and there it was-my own swimsuit fest and goggles and caps hanging around our bathroom. Glad to know i'm not alone =0

I think it's sweet to do things for our partners that we don't do typically, that we know they enjoy (ie, using sugar and moving smelly shoes =0).....and i'm sure he would do the same for you!

Your post reminded me of some things I can do for Dave (my husband)...like: not always suggesting frozen yogurt when I know he really wants Marble Slab Creamery!

Cheers to "organization!"

The Young Family said...

Loved this post! OK, I thought my 3 pairs of shoes was bad! The pic totally made me smile.... swimsuits, only have 3 of those... uh bikini? well no for me... but you as a pro don't have those last nagging 25 pounds to lose... lol .... Yes I realize that my baby is 3 1/2 years old!! Anyway thought that was too funny! Honestly I am just blown away that you sre beginning training for ANOTHER Ironman, awesome! Maybe I will head up to Canada... it is in Vancouver right? Really a hop, skip and a jump from me near Seattle!

Em