Monday, September 7, 2009

Nathaniel: the best husband. Ever.

Without a doubt, I've got the best husband ever.

And just to give you an idea of why he's so great, I'll share a little background. Just because.

FIRST: would YOU want to go running with this? Note the expression and ignore the clothes (although its hard, I know.)

Didn't think so.

FYI (as though you couldn't tell - this was ME before my long run at Lake O'Neil today).

Not that I was dreading the run, but it would be a stretch to call me "excited". Two and a half hours is a long time to be running; hell, I don't even like sitting in the car for that period of time.

Nathaniel could sense my 'grimness' and gamely volunteered to accompany for a lap of my 4.4 mile loop. I perked up immediately and before too long we set out. Me in my car and he in his: as I would be running for a lot longer than him, he wanted a way home. Quite frankly - waiting around for me to complete another 13+ miles just didn't seem all that exciting.

For the both of us.

The problem with today (of all days) was that the weather was just beautiful, low humidity and even lower temperatures. And for someone training for Kona - and the heat and humidity that accompany All Things Ironman - this just wouldn't do.

So I dressed in layers.

And arm warmers.

And capri biking pants for days where the temperature doesn't exceed 40 degrees.

Let's just say that I more than made up for any 'cooler' temps. It was above 83 - and that's all I'm saying.

Do I look happy in the picture?

Please: don't answer that.

But Nathaniel bravely set off with me, matching my pace and making small talk. Look at the beautiful scenery! Isn't this great! I love California. And despite my string of four-letter-words, he hung gamely on.

But I gradually calmed down and got into my groove: I was grateful that he was out there - Ironman training is lonely enough. Having the support of family and friends can make all the difference - even if they're only with you for 1 (out of 4) loops.

Because in the end - the fact that they're there makes all the difference.

We made good work of the loop - eventually enjoying the trails and scenery, and before too long, we found ourselves back at the cars. I was sad to see him go, but grateful that he had been willing to endure 1) the heat 2) running inland 3) dusty trails 4) my wardrobe 5) my (initial bad) mood.

The rest of my run was (THANKFULLY) uneventful. The second and third loops got hotter, and by the forth I was working as hard as my legs would carry me. I made sure to stop after each lap and fill up with water and chomp on a gel - just because dehydration and bonking are NOT my friends. And though I saw much wildlife - lizards, snakes, bugs, and the occasional rabbit - I didn't see any Mountain Lions.

So all in all it was a good run.

When I finished, I think I yelled, "Get it OFF of me!"

Meaning - naturally - my clothes. Without thinking, I ripped off my layers, tore off the arm warmers, and tried to 'cool off' in just a sports bra. I may have collapsed on the ground under a tree - but due to the heat and my limited memory, I have no recollection of such events. Just a few odd-placed pebbles in my pants and inner-workings of the back of my sports bra.


At this point, I was just happy to be DONE (and have survived).

And yes, I wear a blue sports bra. It is wonderful and I love it.

But coolest bit was yet to come.

Later, when I stumbled through the door - I discovered that Nathaniel had 1) made the MOST DELICIOUS peach and red onion salsa 2) Gone to the grocery store and picked up 'staples' (milk, bread, and things-I've-neglected-because-I've-been-trashed-from-training) 3) bought Corona Light for me 4) got me a peanut-butter-and-chocolate cupcake (he said it was calling his name).

I was SO HAPPY that I didn't know if I should jump him or just dig in. As it was, I opted for the shower and then food.

Later - we were able to relax on the couch together...

(You'll have to trust me when I say that I WAS sitting next to him).

Pink compression socks and all (note the kitty...)

And we can't forget about Tabbitha. I can't have a picture of One House Monster without the Other House Monster.

Yes - she's always watching, glowing eyes and all.

Today was just one of those days. And while I love the sport, am grateful that I get to participate, I also realize that not everyday will be wonderful-with-butterflies-and-good-smelling-things-where-the-effort-is-light-and-drive-is-there.

Sometimes you Just. Don't. Want. To. Do. It.

Lately, I've been feeling like I just need to hang on. That I'm almost there and that starting line is just around the corner. Through it all - good times AND bad - Nathaniel has been super supportive, doing all that he can to make my life (and training) easier.

I've come to realize, going into my second Ironman of the year (knock on wood), that Ironman really and truly IS a family affair. It takes sacrifice both for the individual doing the Ironman AND for the family (spouse, kids, friends, etc...) And for the first time ever, I can understand why finishers want their family members/friends running down the finishing chute with them. Because they totally deserve to be there...

Ironman and Ironman training has truly been special and a real eye opening for me. Yes, its kicked my butt on more than one occasion, but I've also had some truly unique and wonderful moments. Being able to share those moments with Nathaniel (and others that I love) makes it all the more special.

Weather its running together, enjoying pizza and beer, or walking through the door after a tough workout only to discover a house full of treats and hubby that loves you in spite of your bad mood and bad BO.

To Nathaniel: thanks for being there. I love you.


D said...

Part of me wants to barf right now. The other part wants to punch you in the face.

You're a lucky, lucky woman!

Nicole said...

You are so right!!! I really don't know what I would have done without my hubby with the way my race went this weekend. I was so upset (language barrier fun in Germany), and he totally calmed me down! I have to train him to make me lunch after a long run though like your hubby though!

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday too!

Random question: How long had you been doing triathlons before you did your first half Ironman? My two half ironman buddies are trying to get me to do the one in Switzerland next summer. Considering, I've only done two triathlons (both were between a sprint and an olympic), I don't think that I'm ready. I don't want to jump to far ahead of myself! BUT, it does sound like fun!

ADC said...

Awwwwww!!! That is all I am going to say :)))

Kim said...

holy hot as hell run! way to push through it! and AWWWWWWW you and nathaniel deserve each other! you guys are adorable!

TriGirl Kate O said...

I think I love your husband too...a pb/chocolate cupcake?! What a man!!!

Trigirlpink said...

House full of treats, the BEST husband, pink compression socks and 8 furry paws. What could be better????

Roo said...

I'm speechless. I actually had to read part of it twice to see if you had moved back to the north. I can't believe you survived training in those clothes on a weekend where I thought I might get heatstroke in shorts and a bra! You are amazing!

Charisa said...

Congrats on your run - and you look so hot and uncomfortable!! :)

Kim said...

Awwweee! So cute! I loved this post. So real and YES you don't always feel like doing it so thank heavens for the people that encourage us and how we encourage each other through blogs! It really helps to read the real deal! JUST HANG ON! You're almost there! Way to go Marit! You did it!

wonderwoman said...

Very sweet of him! :) And keep up the hard training! I love all the pics, red faced and all.

Angela and David Kidd said...

Nathaniel is wonderful and you are very smart for appreciating him!

Heidi Austin said...

I laughed out loud when I read this post...I know the feeling. My husband calls me "Lil Miss Crappy Pants"! hahahah I can sooo relate. Ahhh gotta love our supportive husbands!

Anonymous said...

very nice blog. the picture of HM with the glowing eyes made me giggle.

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