Anticipating the BIG day!

Tomorrow will be 6 months until the BIG day!  This past week (10 of 36), I couldn’t help but think this is much like prepping or building up excitement for the wedding day! I was certainly not one who constantly dreamt of my wedding day.  All I knew was I wanted to have it on my grandparents’ farm.  So location wasn’t a big stress factor in the planning process.  Actually, I’ll have to admit, it took a LOT of prep work – cleaning up the farm, clearing out brush piles, leveling out the ground, growing grass, chopping down trees, and my grandparents fixing up their house!  When I was planning the wedding, I remember all the time and effort I put into making the day very special and sentimental.  It was as though the work I was putting into it was creating the excitement and making me anxious for the BIG day!  I’m noticing a similar pattern as I prepare for my first Ironman.

I’m pretty sure the end result of planning a wedding is a little more pleasant.  A 17-hour wedding day doesn’t require as much strength and endurance as a 17-hour Ironman day.  I’m already daydreaming about meeting Mr. Ironman and seeing my husband, family and friends at the finish line.  Much like thinking about walking down the aisle with my daddy, thinking about crossing the finish line gives me goose bumps and somewhat emotional.  We may plan and prep through training up to the day but what we can’t expect, is everything to go right.  Much like Brides visualizing their day going perfect.  Since I had an outdoor wedding, there was a lot of stress building up the week of for my mom.  She wanted everything to be perfect (mainly the weather), but I was okay with a little rain…we had a plan B.  We did risk it with no tents.  Athletes do the same…we visualize crossing the finish line and hope and pray that things will go right along the journey.  However, I’m being optimistic despite the fact that heat will make my day more challenging.  What we can’t control is the weather, flat tires, mechanical issues and/or accidents.  This day is not about speed but rather about simply finishing!  It’s testing our patience, mental and physical abilities.  I’m sure you’ve heard that endurance training and racing is more mental than physical.

Let’s not forget the distinct differences between the meaning of the wedding day and an Ironman.   Mr. Ironman does not replace my husband.   My husband is forever and I find it crucial to have his support and even his presence.  Before I sign up for each race, I do discuss it with my husband because if he’s working or I don’t have his support, then I don’t do it.  But, he did encourage me to tackle this challenge even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put that many hours into training away from him.  I have heard about divorce among the endurance athletes and warned my husband about what this summer will entail.   However, I trust my husband when he encourages me to do these things and I want to put extra effort into making this work with minimal stress between us.  So I created some tips for couples who have a spouse or significant other in training:

Tiff’s Tips:
1.     Weekly date night – try out new restaurants, find free local events, rent or go to a movie, hit a park.
2.     Workout together – my husband often trains with me and when we do things like core workouts we cheer each other on, when on a treadmill at the gym next to each other we flirt or give each other fist bumps.
3.     Fix dinner for your spouse – as an athlete in training, I know I don’t have much time to fix dinner but when I do, I make it extra special and sometimes surprise him. 
4.     Get up early! – It’s SO hard to get up early to workout, but one thing that motivates me to do so, is knowing that I will have the evening relaxing with my husband.
5.     Make destination races fun trips – my husband and I will usually make my races a mini-vacay.  At times, I’ll have my husband choose my races to make him feel more involved.  Then we plan our itinerary and ta-da…what an exciting trip to look forward to. 
This man not only brings me laughter and happiness
but gives me strength and courage through
his endless love and support! 

Quote of the day:  Marriage is gonna be your stability through everything.  
~ Miranda Lambert

Bible verse of the day:  “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7 


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