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.
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.
THE TIME IT TAKES UP
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.
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!