So you've decided to do an endurance event. The next step? Convince your significant other to get on board with your crazy. Your partner is the one person—other than yourself—who can have the greatest impact on how your training goes.
In endurance events where expenditures in time and money are high, the importance of having someone at home who supports you cannot be overstated. Since not all of us are partnered with another endurance athlete, we must practice the skill of compromise.
My wife knits. I buy a piece of gear; she buys a few skeins of yarn. She goes to my races; I take her to knitting group. We make our hobbies work. If she didn't support me fully, there is no way I could be doing what I'm doing and still be married.
Endurance events are major investments. Open lines of communication are important to determine if your family can afford $300 for registration, plus travel costs. For an athlete with children, a supportive half is even more important.
Mutual respect and understanding breed success on and off the race course. Working out may contribute to your peace of mind, but taking the baby on your run may contribute to your partner's sanity.
Your appetite and grocery bill will also grow. Your partner may note some mood changes. You’re tired, so you’re grumpy. You had to skip a workout, so you’re grumpy. You’re thinking too much about your race, so you’re grumpy. You’re injured, so you’re really grumpy.
Still, your loved one supports you. When you ask to reschedule a date because you've got to get a run in, and when you’re gone on early weekend mornings for hours at a time, they try to understand.
Race day arrives. After making you that special pre-race dinner, your loved one is up at 3 a.m. to stand in the cold and watch you jitter. He or she plays athlete whisperer, calming nerves and making sure you ate your banana.
Your partner remembers to take pictures when you come by and sends you off with a kiss. Now he or she settles in to wait and people watch. Again.