Mr. Neon IRONMAN

A year ago, Mr. Neon became an Ironman. What better opportunity to sing his praises!

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Being married to your training partner has it’s advantages. I sleep next to my accountability buddy. He encourages me and is stern with me when I get down on myself about my training. And vice versa. We read swim/bike/run books together and have our own mini book discussions.

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Not to mention, he’s pretty fun to train with. We talk and laugh and sometimes make big decisions during our easy runs. On the flip side, during harder workouts, one of us is the designated pace setter and we don’t talk. We both plug into our music and zone out, but it’s still nice to know the other one is there, either in front or behind, fighting the same pace fight the other is. I can’t keep up with him during track workouts, but he’s always there with a high five for me at the finish of an interval.

I went back and read my sherpa reports from a year ago. Those words brought back every ounce of emotion I felt on that day. It was a challenging day, but one that I look back on with an intense sense of pride and a great amount of joy. It was a test in our marriage…one we passed with flying colors. Watching your spouse do an insane feat of physical and mental strength causes the love to deepen. I fell HARD in love all over again with my Ironman a year ago today.

Part One of my Ironman Boulder Sherpa Report

Part Two of my Ironman Boulder Sherpa Report

I love you, Noel. My Ironman! Stay neon!

When two triathletes are married…

…and in the middle of heavy training cycles certain things happen, like…

  • The kitchen counter is always sticky. BASE aminos are sticky when you spill them on the counter.
  • Laundry Laundry Everywhere! It’s clean, because you only have so many pairs of running shorts and tri shorts. It’s clean, but it’s not put away. Instead of putting it away, you pretend it’s college all over again and you live out of the laundry basket.
  • The dishes are never caught up. You only load and run the dishwasher because you only have three big Blender Bottles. Note to self: Buy more big Blender Bottles.
  • The dogs are happy, because recovery naps happen often.
  • The amount of physical intimacy takes a nosedive. When our bodies hit the bed, we want sleep.
  • Who needs sexy lingerie to wear under your clothes when you have calf sleeves!
  • The DVR is full of ridiculous TV for watching while on the trainer. (Married at First Sight, anyone?) Netflix downloads are your friend when your WiFi is spotty and you are out of data on your phone.
  • You don’t compete with each other, except when it comes to who has the better Garmin tan line.
  • Donuts are ALWAYS on the grocery list.

I love you, Mr. Neon!

He Calls Me Coach

Mr. Neon and I are self-coached. We have read a lot of articles on the internet and lots of books. We have talked to lots of other more seasoned runners and triathletes. Would we like to hire a coach? Sometimes we think about, but we both feel like we are doing a good job coaching ourselves and making progress.

I write the training plans. I figure the paces. He calls me Coach. And I find that sort of really sexy. He trusts me. And I trust him. He’s my training partner in life and in triathlon. It sounds corny, but I dig it. Couples who struggle complain that they drifted apart. It’s pretty darn hard to drift apart when you are both training for the same race.

I use Google Sheets to create our training plans and pace charts, so they are easy to share and reference on the go. We both have the app on our phone and can access them from any computer too.

Moving on…

I got up before 5 to get 6 miles in before work. Whew. This training plan doesn’t mess around. Looking ahead, it looks like I’ll be getting up before 5 most Tuesday mornings. But it’ll be worth it. I feel stronger, fitter, and ready for this race and I’ve still got six more weeks of training!

I’ve got a massage to look forward to after work. Poor therapist has his work cut out for him. My quads and hamstrings are SORE. My upper back is sore from all the swimming.

This week alone I did 60 miles. 6.5 hours. 10 miles more than any previous week. And it didn’t feel like a huge increase. Now, let’s hope I can keep it up and not get injured.

Stay neon!

Part Two

Part two of the training plan started yesterday. It’s already a good training week. Can you feel the shift in fitness? The easier paces get a bit quicker. Your verage HR dips a little bit. Your RHR creeps back down into the 40s.

Yep, I’m there. And it feels pretty good.

Part two of long course triathlon training comes from this book.

The challenge is going to be the swims. The level two plan I’m using just calls for two swims (and one extra optional swim) each week. I HAVE TO GET TO THE POOL TWO TIMES A WEEK. I HAVE TO! I just can’t find a groove in the water. Someone suggested a waterproof iPod.

Mr. Neon raced his first indoor/outdoor triathlon of the season over the weekend. I love being his sherpa, although as I watched him go out for the run, I had a bit of race envy. I should have signed up. Next year I can sign up for Spring Migration with a student discount. Score!

This morning before work I managed to work on his next round of training plan. He’s doing a half-iron distance race in September and hoping for a big PR. I love playing coach. I pulled out all my books and figured his run paces. I really enjoy living the tri life with Mr. Neon. Spouse + training partner + coach = LOVE.

Do you train with your spouse? Do you write your own training plans, use a coach, or just wing it?

Stay neon!

Can we talk about Mr. Neon?

I hope you all will allow me to get a little mushy. This is for no particular reason. We haven’t celebrated an anniversary lately of any kind. Today is nothing special in our relationship. It’s just that marriage is really good right now. We are in a good place. Communication is good. Life is good. I love my guy. So here’s my thoughts about him today.

Stereotypical truths about Mr. Neon:
1. I love him more today than yesterday. It sounds corny, but it’s true. I might not like him all the time, but the love gets deeper every day.
2. He truly is my better half. I think he’s a better person than I am. He’s good. He’s strong. He doesn’t let too much get to him.
3. We grew up together. We were 19 and 22 when we met. We got married at 22 and 25. That’s not ridiculously young, but I feel like we became adults together. We learned how to manage life’s challenges together.
4. He’s my best friend.

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Non-stereotypical truths about Mr. Neon:
1. He has forced me to expand my horizons. He started the get-fit revolution in our life. He started going to the gym and lifting big weights. He moved into the triathlon world and pulled me along by the shoelaces of my first pair of running shoes. Everything I know about training triathlon, racing triathlon, and triathlon nutrition, I learned from him.
2. We have made positive life changes together. Every dietary change I’ve made he has done with me. Every new recovery torture device he has tried with me. He tried PiYo with me.
3. I love him more today because of the person he has become. I’m proud of him in a different way than I was in 2005. Back then, he was just my husband, the bread-winner, and the baby daddy. Now he’s my training partner and my accountability buddy.

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There are so many components to marriage: passion, romance, physical attraction love, comfort. All of those exist for us, but the deep friendship is what keeps me coming back for more. He’s my number one source of joy and laughter.

My favorite place is inside his arms. I tuck my arms in, he wraps his arms around me, and that’s my safe place. There’s where I want to be when my world is crashing down and my stress is at a max. And he knows this. Even if I think I don’t want to be touched. I’m sad. I’m stressed. I just want to be alone. He grabs me and pulls him into that safe place and my whole body relaxes.

But my favorite thing about him is his attraction to me. He makes me feel like a princess. He treats me like a queen. Some women may not like their husband to “grope” them in public, but when he walks around a grocery store with his arm draped around my waist or lightly touching my bum, I grin. We’ve been married for almost 12 years, and he tells me he finds me more attractive than ever. I love the “damn girl” comments I get when I put a fun outfit on. When I get self-conscious, he calls me crazy and tells me everything he loves about the body part I am complaining about.

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Thanks, Mr. Neon. For loving me. And for being my partner in all things.