Saturday, March 17, 2007

For you, the ironman window(er).

When I was in college, I once saw a tiny old book in the libary called, "advice to a young scientist" and it had a chapter in it of advice for spouses. it's with this in mind that I write this post.

There's probably been plenty said about the single-minded determinedness that leaves spouses in the dust when one spouse endeavors to become an ironman triathlete...but I'm never one to be at a loss for words, so I'll put my 2 cents in. I'm writing this not because I'm complaining. I'm just letting you, the spouse, know what you're in for.

First, Sweet Baboo is gone a lot. He does 100-miler bike rides on Saturdays and long runs on Sundays and the rest of week he's out of the house at 5:00 am to swim and/or run and/or bike to work. Then he's gone until 6 or so at night.

When he does get home he's so painfully hungry that he starts rummaging through the kitchen like a heroin addict looking for a fix. This is good, because he doesn't complain about the food. This is bad because, well, if food isn't ready when he gets here it can get U-huh-gly. So, on days when I have to work I get home just before he does, and then I have to deal with the guilt of my Sweet Baboo as a poster child for starvation. He practically sits on his hands so that he doesn't start chewing his nails, waiting for food.

On wednesday he had a coworker pick him up in the morning so he run home. It was about a 14-mile run, but the first 1/4 of it was downhill, and he vastly underestimated the toll it would take on his quads. Meanwhile, it's suddenly decided to be spring here and the afternoon temps are in the 70's, and the New Mexico sun is at its finest: direct and hot. Ah, you think, but it's a dry heat? That's meaningless when running 15 miles. But in any case he arrived home and just sat in the driveway for about 10 minutes in a pained, sweaty daze. The Baboo was out of commission, physically speaking, and hobbled around the house for a few days muttering repeatedly under his breath, "I really did not expect that run to have this kind of effect on me."

The Baboo has also been wondering around in a fog for the last few weeks. He's somewhat distracted, repeats himself, and has gotten very forgetful. Bills get paid...not late, but certainly not with the chipper swiftness that they got paid in pre-ironman training days. I have to remind him of things. (Some of the things he's forgotten I haven't the heart to tell him about.) I just shrug and remind myself that he is still the finest person I've ever met, and that this is all inadvertant, even if he is reapidly becoming the absent-minded professor.

In any case this may interest you, the future ironman...or you, the future spouse of an ironman. It sure as hell interests me. After all, I'll begin my training in ernest after spring break and,
I'm wondering if I'm going to be as scattered and tired as Baboo has been lately...

if the two of us are like this, heaven help Mini Baboo, aka the Jonster. He may have to subsist on ramen and peanut butter until after it's all over.



  1. OMG! That's me! I'm a pissy, nasty, hungry SOB when I get home! I need a wife.

    And the forgetfullness thing - yeah. Useless! It's because I'm carb-depleted. All gone.
    LOVE the picture - where did you find that?!

  2. The Baboo needs to learn how to cook! There, I said - I mean, how do you become a Clydesdale without whipping up some chicken or spagetti once or 100 times in your life? Sounds like you are babying the Babooster - and he'll kill me for saying that, I'm sure. I like giving someone a reason to train more...let me know if you need any more help...

  3. Sounds like you need some instant food at home, Misty. At my place, we try to make a big pot of soup (or two) on the weekends, and have a tub of already cut up lettuce and veggies for salad. That way, when it's dinner time, it's easy and mindless and keeps us at home where we stay out of trouble.

    Got any races coming up in Portland?

  4. In a word, raisins. Great glycemic index. Reportedly one of the best recovery foods out there. Add some chocolate milk, and the recovery food needs are covered.

    I'm amazed at my wife for dealing with training as well as she does. I can't imagine having both of us training for the same race.

  5. raisins also drop you acidic content in your blood - which causes calcium depletion, I think...


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