Juggling family, training, money ????

on 4/14/09 1:23 am
So I always share the successes I see on this board with my wife.  I really like the feel good sensation and I enjoy showing her what others have accomplished and what I want to be able to do.  Last night, I was sharing Chad's story with my wife about being chosen as a feature for next years world championships, and she had the following questions for me.

These questions are for anyone that wants to answer, it just happened to Chad's story that triggered the questions.  If you don't want to answer here, but have some insight to share, you can always send me a message directly on the board.

What do you do to be able to afford the training and travel, etc?  (are you sacrificing other things to be able to support your marathon, triathlon, cycling hobbies/addictions)?  How do your significant others feel about the finances being spent on this activity or activities (travel, events, equipment, training, etc.)  I'm looking at the vineman 70.3 next year, and the entry fee for that is $265.00 for me that seems like a big chunk of change, it's about half the price of my bike.  Add in a couple shorter distance Tri's at $70.00 a pop, perhaps a couple 5-10k races and some professional coaching, the costs add up quickly.  The only local Tri-coach has a 6 month minimum commitment at close to a couple hundred dollars a month.  There is no local Tri-club, so I'm on my own or I have to pay.
I kind of feel like I'm being selfish spending this money on myself.  I'm pretty sure my wife does too.  She would never come out and say it in so many words, but she would rather see the money spent on family activities.

Speaking of family and family activities:
Do you have a family (Do you feel like you spend enough time at home, is there any friction about the amount of time you spend away.  Training, at events, etc.)?  I know this is a big one for us, she feels like I am already away too much, and that I don't spend enough time with our son.  I actually kind of agree, but I also see that I am not putting in nearly enough training time to get to the performance level I want.  I have adjusted my schedule 3 times so far to try and get more time with my son and still get in my training.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.



The first time you do something - It's going to be a personal record!

on 4/14/09 1:55 am - Fort Worth, TX
Hey Buddy,

    I feel where you are coming from. Training does take a lot of sacrifice, not just from you but from the family. I asked my wife what I could do to get in the training I need and still take care of the family. She said... "Go in the morning". So. I get up at 4am everyday, get my training in, and after the kids are in bed, if we have family in from out of town, or if she wants some alone time, I skip out and get a second workout in. Saturdays are my long training days, but again I get up early and am home no later than 12 noon and spend the rest of the day with family. I do not train on Sundays. That is a day for family and church, and spending the whole day with my family allows me to make up for some of the time I missed with them in the week. I want to make a career out of public speaking, motivation, personal training, writting, etc one day, so my wife understands that I am not just doing this to get away from her, or to feed selfish pride, it is for the benefit of my health, my family, our financial prospects for the future, and for the example that I am trying to be for my entire family who is comprised almost entirely of people who are super morbidly obese, aside from my 2 other siblings who have had RNY as well. Balance is the key to this life, by the time I master that, I will be furtilizing Daisies from the wrong side I think....
Your Friend In Health & Sport,

Dan Benintendi - OH Support Group Leader
Support Group: www.obesityhelp.com/group/Post_Op_PRs/

on 4/14/09 2:41 am
Thanks Dan!
4 a.m. huh?  ugh I thought 5 was early when I was going to the Y.


The first time you do something - It's going to be a personal record!

on 4/14/09 3:04 am - TX

I am with Dan.  I get up at 4:30A and am back in time to help get the kids ready for school, etc.
The way I see it we only have the ability to make the day longer by making it start earlier.
Good luck and hang in there!

on 4/14/09 3:17 am
So the time issue has been addressed.
Is there any issue about expenses for doing the events and equipment, and training.
While my wife was supportive of my $500.00 road bike, I think she is going to choke if I ask to spend a couple thousand on tri-bike, or even a nicer road bike.  I guess I don't really need them, but I would like to have decent equpment.  Currently my equipment is what I would consider the minimum.

Thanks for the suggestions.

The first time you do something - It's going to be a personal record!

on 4/14/09 3:45 am - Fort Worth, TX
I push myself so hard everyday because I want to better myself. However, in doing things that nobody else does, comes the opportunity to ask for help or sponsorship from folks who have never had the opportunity to help anyone in a position like yours! Going from 300-400-500 pounds to triathlete is not something you hear about everyday. With that being said, I approached my surgeon about the financial aspect of this sport, and lo-and-behold, he paid for all of my Ironman entry fees, he also bought me that expensive tri bike you referenced. Bro, if you do not ask people to help you or sponsor you, they never will. Now, I know I am very fortunate to have such an awesome surgeon, but I go and speak at his prospective patients symposium every month, I do everything I can to help grow his business, so it is a win-win and is awesome. I certainly did not have the excess funds to compete in 5 Ironmans and buy a sweet Tri bike, but I got creative, marketed myself and my accomplishments, and found someone to believe in me. That is something you can do too! Do you remember in the movie "Stand and deviver" the scene where they were in the car, speeding through the streets, and while the teacher was driving wrecklesly down the road with the student who was confused about his future and what road he should take in life, well they came to a fork in the road, and the teacher said "Which way?"... The student said "I don't know" the teacher said "Left or right?" the student screamed "I don't know"... The teacher yelled at the top of his lungs "Left or Right??!!!" The student said "RIGHT". He made the turn and they caught their breathe. After the two collected themselves, the teacher asked the student, why didn't we just stay going straight? Sometimes we need to realize in life that there is not just a left and right decision to make, there is a road straight ahead, we just never paid attention or thought about staying on it. Go after your dream bro, go find someone to believe in you and your incredible story, and you will be suprised how everything will fall into place...

Your Friend In Health & Sport,

Dan Benintendi - OH Support Group Leader
Support Group: www.obesityhelp.com/group/Post_Op_PRs/

on 4/14/09 5:12 am, edited 4/14/09 5:14 am - Baton Rouge, LA

Hey Scott.   Those are great questions that your wife posed.   She has every right to do so because without her or your family what's the journey worth anyway?   You could do 500 races but if you didn't have friends or family at the finish lines supporting you would that race be as worthwhile as one that you were welcomed into their arms after a 7 hour race?    I think not.  The journey is not as sweet if your family and friends don't take it with you.

It has been a constant juggling act to try to maintain my sanity as I juggle my training, work, my relationship with my girlfriend, friends, family and most importantlly my spiritual well being.    Training for the long courses not only drains you physically but mentally as well.  I am not as emotionally available as I would be if I wasn't training on average 18 - 20 hours a week.   I won't lie and say that this whole process hasn't had an effect on the relationship with my girlfriend.   She was VERY happy for me about my becoming an Ironman media athlete and getting the opportunities to have my story told on a national level but I could also see the dissapointment in her eyes that told me that she would have to make furthur sacrifices on account of me making my dreams realities.   I have a unique situation unlike you in that I am not married.   I love my girlfriend dearly but before I started this journey I told her what was involved in all aspects.   We had a heart to heart and I gave her the option of putting everything on hold as I chased my dreams.   She told me that she wanted to be with me on the journey and she has every step of the way.  I've done 24 triathlons, a marathon, 2 half-marathons and 10 other smaller road races in the last 14 months.   She's been to 90% of those races and been at each of those finish lines cheering me in.    She's a trooper and I couldn't have asked for a better mate.   The ONE thing I have been trying to do is get her involved, slowly in the sport.   The best way to get someone to love what you do is to get them involved in it.   She's not training with me but she has ridden along side me as I did some of my long runs.   Her kids have also gotten involved in kid's triathlon which is a plus as well.   I'm TRYING to get her to participate in an all women's triathlon series that my local tri club puts on.   We're almost to the point where she MAY do one.   :)   She does understand that triathlon, for me, is a lifestyle.   It's part of my life now.   It's the means by which I maintain my weight, my health and to some degree, my sanity.    That doesn't mean that I will be doing an Ironman distance race every year for the rest of my life but I will train and race in some capacity until I either can't walk anymore or I'm dead.

I'm on a plan and I train 7 days a week.   Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday are my long days.   Each week, and more specifically, each day has a specific purpose.   My training weeks are basically broken down into either buildup, over-reaching and recovery.  The specific days are similar to the week breakdowns with my "breaks" being active recovery days where instead of doing nothing I'll do an easy spin or an easy swim.   In addition to keeping a detailed diary of my training, I keep a nutrition log that chronicles everything I eat / drink.   I consult with my coach on a daily basis about how the prior day's workout went and he makes adjustments if they are needed.   Mostly he just yells at me for going to hard or not sticking to the plan.  :) 

Since I'm single and I'm not supporting a wife or kids I have a bit more of a disposable income to blow on triathlon that if I was the sold bread winner.  That doesn't mean that I'm not in debt up to my eyeballs.  I have at least 2 credit cards that are maxxed out that I have trouble paying on every month.  Good thing I have a baby stomach and I don't eat much anymore.  Heh heh.    Dropping $560 for the registration fee last November for the Ironman Florida registration was a big ouchie!   $230 for the registration for Ironman New Orleans 70.3 was just as painful.   That's not to mention the money I have tied up in my bike.   It's sad to say that my bike is worth more than my car.   Triathlon is NOT a cheap sport by any means. 

The best thing you can do in the short term is to hook up with a local triathlon club.   The wealth of resources there will be immense.  You live in the MECCA of the triathlon world man so take advantage of that!    There will be PLENTY of guys in your tri club (every club has them) that have to have the latest gear that will save them a couple seconds here or there in a race.   That couple seconds they save buying new gear is how you can get their hand-me-downs for pennies on the dollar.   Join up, get active in the club by participating in group rides and events and I promise you things will start to happen.  

Scott I wish you the best man and hope to see you at Wildflower in a couple weeks if you can make it out.   


on 4/14/09 5:37 am
Thanks for the response chad, I'll forward it along to her like I have with all the other responses and give her something to chew on.  I hope it can open up some more discussions about it.

Unfortunatley for me I'm not in the mecca of triathlons, When it comes to Triathlons, I might as well live in the sticks.  There is 1 or there was 1 local club, but they disbanded this year.  It didn't really matter with them that much, they had standards of performance that I couldn't meet yet, so I couldn't train with them any how.  The closest active club is over an hour away.  So I use you guys as my club.  I look at what you are accomplishing and while it is uplifting to see everyones success, it also sucks a little because I am no where near that level. 

For example, Dan and I had surgery within a couple days of each other, we were almost identical in weight.  I look at what he has accomplished and I think it gets me down more than up.  I am thrilled for him and his accomplishments, but I get down on myself for my lack of success or progress.

My wife has been very supportive up to this point, but she sees it as a growing consumer of all things, family time, money, resources etc.  I have a sprint tri this weekend and she will be getting up with me at 4 a.m. to be there on time.

I don't think I am going to be able to swing wildflower, which is too bad, I wanted to meet you and wish you luck in person.

Thanks again for the response.

The first time you do something - It's going to be a personal record!

on 4/14/09 5:50 am - Baton Rouge, LA

Scott don't beat yourself up and start to compare yourself to anyone else.   Everyone is different and everyone has their own special set of cir****tances.    Look at how far you have come with your weight loss!   Take your time, go your own pace and make your journey your OWN! 

on 4/14/09 12:16 pm, edited 4/14/09 12:30 pm - Port Huron, MI
Just an FYI -- I am single and not involved with anyone right now.  So that makes my training/spending that much easier.  
I gave everything to my job the first 9 years I was there.  I teach high school band and one year I made the mistake of counting the hours I was there outside of the school day and it was 602!  I gave so much of myself to my job that I forgot the importance of taking care of me, nurturing my friendships, and keeping in my families life (I live about 90 miles from my parents and brother/sister-in-law and their 2 kids).  After I had my surgery I just decided that enough was enough and I've cut my hours way back and if I have to put in lots of extra hours I run home at lunch.  I still put in lots of extra time and feel that I'm very successful at my job as I teach 280 with a marching band that I've grown from 80 students to 200.  Ironically if you ask my students they probably don't notice the hours that I don't put in anymore.  Bottom line, remember that your family and health are the most important.  
Expense wise I'm wishing I picked a cheaper sport!!  I got lucky and ended up essentially teaching on my prep hour giving me a healthy extra stipend this year which is what I've used to purchase my bike/entry fees/other equipment.  If that hadn've happened I wouldn't be doing as much as I am or gotten a new bike.
I know this doesn't necessarily help you, but I thought it was only fair to let you know my situation.  Personally I'm hoping to meet some gorgeous, rich, highly educated woman at one of these races and fall in love with somebody who understands the sport and our fascination with pushing ourselves in such a crazy way.
Now like Chad said, we can't compare ourselves with anyone else.  Everyone is at different spots in their training/preperations.  Chad I don't mean to pick on you here but I love hearing especially when you struggle in a race or don't put up a great time because I think -- he he is human and is struggling like me.  Another reason he's going to be such a great ambassador for our struggles this fall @ Clearwater (besides for kicking but on that course) and on NBC.  Now Dan on the other hand -- he's just a beast at some of this stuff
I think we've got a great network of people here though that help celebrate our successes and struggles and it's what keeps me active on this board.  
Know that you are inspiring others that may not be doing a lot of posting or people like me to get back out there and push myself a little bit harder/farther on the next workout.
Keep the chin up and keep at it!
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