Ironwoman Wednesday: Ironman Training & Relationships

Happy hump day! Starting today, I will be linking up each Wednesday with fellow Ironwomen for Ironwoman Wednesday!

Gabi from Lean Green Island Girl invited me to join Ironwoman Wednesday and I was honored!  Each Wednesday Gabi, Jamie at From Couch to Ironwoman and Michelle at IronwomanStrong think of a new Ironman related topic! They are all training for Ironman Louisville, which is just one week after my race, Ironman Mont Tremblant!  I look forward to joining them on each Weds going forward! 


Today we’re talking Ironman training and relationships; the good, the bad and the ugly. With all the time Ironman training takes up, how has it affected your relationships with family, friends, your spouse/significant other co-workers, and  in my case.. your dog? 

If I could say one thing about Ironman training, it’s that it makes you sacrifice certain relationships in your life.  If you are lucky, the people in your life will understand what you are going through and will support you… if you are unlucky, people might get bitter at the fact that you aren’t around as much.  I have experienced both in this first go-around.

I knew when I hit that registration button for IMMT, that it was going to be a HUGE commitment for a long period of time… I just didn’t realize how MUCH of a commitment it really was until I started to live it for myself. For the most part, I have been lucky during this whole experience, but I have also suffered in some aspects.

My husband is my rock through this process.  

Todd has been nothing short of amazing and supportive throughout my Ironman training. While there have been plenty of rough days where he takes the role of ‘whipping post’ in my life, he still manages to be SO patient and so supportive.  Todd is not a a triathlete or a runner, which at times, can make it very difficult for him to understand me.  When I started this journey, I told him that I don’t need for him to understand me and all this IM craziness, I just need him to SUPPORT me… and he has supported me, above and beyond.  He told me recently that he feels like he’s training for an Ironman too (even though he’s obviously not) because my training consumes the BOTH of us, not just me. Without a doubt, our relationship has suffered a bit through this process… we spend less time together and he admitted last weekend that he ‘misses me.’  We both work a 9-5 job and our weekends (before IM training) were always spent together, now they are always spent apart since I am doing a billion hours of training.  I feel guilty about this at times, but his support takes some of my guilt away.  If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to after August 17th is spending more time with him.

Work life is more stressful.  

Funny Confession Ecard: I'm just too exhausted to care today.---  How I feel today...tired,tired, tired. Lol!

As I mentioned above, I work a full time job and this can be a challenge with IM training. My work relationships have suffered in the sense that I never want to socialize with co workers outside of work hours.  I have been invited to dinners, cocktails, etc, and I am either too tired to attend or I have training to do after work.  I think I am known around the office as the ‘crazy athlete.’  Part of me feels like I should be more social, but 1. I’m not a social butterfly anyways and 2. I am just too damn tired.  As long as I am doing my work and doing it well, I don’t really care about making friends with my colleagues at this point.

I spend less time on the weekends with my dog, Oliver. 

I consider my dog a human, and I feel bad that I don’t get to see him as much on the weekends, because I am always out training.  Before IM training, our summers were spent hiking all over the mountains in NH.  Oliver loves hiking and has a blast doing it!  I REALLY miss hiking, and spending time in the mountains with Oliver and Todd.  I there’s one thing I’ve realized the hard way with IM training, is you simply can’t do it all. We still take Oliver on nightly walks, and long walks on the weekend, but it’s nothing compared to the mountain trails.  I look forward to lots of hiking this fall!

I’ve become that friend who never answers phone calls and forgets to call back

To be honest, I have been a crappy friend during IM training.  Most of my girlfriends live out of state, and we used to talk pretty often via phone.  Now with training, picking up the phone and having a long conversation is the last thing I feel like doing.  Honestly, there must be something with IM training, but the last thing I want to do after a long day of work or training is pick up the phone.  Maybe I’m making an excuse for myself, but talking can be exhausting, ha! I also am the WORST offender at not calling people back… it’s a really bad habit. Oops.  I look forward to seeing my girlfriends in person this summer at a few different weddings… we can at least catch up then:)

IM training makes me cranky. 

I know some people that could cure their crankiness with these

This can affect any type of relationship in my life… and frankly anyone I come in contact with on a daily basis. Whether it’s the person bagging my groceries, the driver that I’m tailgating on the way to the gym, or my poor hubby.. I am not one to be messed with!  I have only a certain number of hours in my day and I need to maximize every minute of every hour… if someone gets in my way, watch out, ha! I guess I have always been a tad bit like this, but IM training makes the fangs come out. I’m always tired and always hungry… which means I’m always cranky (unless I’m working out!) #sorrybutimnotsorry  🙂


How are your relationships affected by your training? 

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  • Reply Jamie @ couchtoironwoman July 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I’m excited that you are joining us! Your race is actually just one week before ours, eek! I didn’t talk about how Ironman training has affected our dog and two cats (I did in another post) but that is definitely something I relate with as well. I try to not feel too bad, but I wish I could be spending more time with them.

    • Reply Kristin July 18, 2014 at 1:39 am

      thank you!! I’m excited to join you ladies too! I changed my post after you told me our races are only a week apart, oops! Even more exciting though! Looking forward to connecting with you in the month that we have left.. and beyond:)

  • Reply Gabi @ LeanGreenIslandGirl July 16, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Your husband sounds awesome! Being a non-endurance athlete, I can imagine he finds us quite the odd creatures!

    I can totally relate to not having enough time for our dog! A while back I realized there would be days I’d let Pablo take care of him in the morning and at night and that I have barely said a word to him or given him any love. Now I make sure I make at least some time every day for cuddles, because he’s an older dog and the one thing I don’t want to have is regret for not spending enough time with him!

    I can totally relate about work too! Until the end of June I worked a full time job and the common first thing people would say to me was “I never see you” and they were right, I went to work, did my job and went hime. No time or energy for anything else!

    So excited you are joining us! I love sharing this journey with others.

    • Reply Kristin July 18, 2014 at 1:38 am

      Yes, I am VERY lucky! I know, I always feel bad about Oliver, not spending as much time with him:( Todd takes care of him on most mornings and I am usually rushing around like a mad-woman and never pay much attention to him (at least in the morning hours). I’m glad you can relate about work! I never want to socialize after work, during lunch, whatever… too tired to talk to anyone!

  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles July 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I think a lot of these are normal things when you are focusing on such a big goal. Todd is awesome for sure and I think Robyn and I had the same convo before I started training for Boston. He doesn’t understand it, but he supported me and that was the most important thing. As far as friendships, your real friends are always going to be there, and I am sure they realize you are doing something HUGE right now. After your race, things will calm down, its only a few weeks away!!

    • Reply Kristin July 18, 2014 at 1:36 am

      I feel like our marriages are very similar.. both of us are obsessed with working out and training and our husbands… not so much, lol. As long as they support us, that’s all we need. We are definitely lucky! I don’t need Todd to understand me (because I don’t think he ever will), I just need him to stand behind me and my efforts:)

  • Reply Nicole July 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Great post!

    I was lucky enough to train for ironman with my now husband and my best friend and her now fiancé, but even my relationship with my husband at times was hard because we each had our own training priorities (ok basically I had my priorities and he did what I did) plus we were always so tired and our house was a mess and we definitely had less time for romance!

    Outside of him, I definitely had friends and family who did not understand and called me crazy . thank goodness I worked at a job which was way less demanding than my current job so that didn’t suffer and somehow I even got promoted during that year!

    It’s such a balancing act. In the end I decided my passion for triathlon isn’t as strong as some other passions in my life and I likely will not train for another ironman again, but it’s such a personal decision and I would support anyone who chose the ironman path!

    • Reply Kristin July 18, 2014 at 1:34 am

      I agree with you about the romance thing… it definitely affects our life in that department… too busy, too tired! I have people in my life who call me crazy for doing an IM, but I’m ok with it at this point, I’m so focused I don’t even notice! It is SUCH a balancing act. Good for you for realize that triathlon isn’t as strong as other passions in your life, no need to force it if it’s not there… and you can always do an IM if you get the ‘itch’ again.

  • Reply Kecia July 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I can definitely relate to most of this; however, since my husband and I both do the same Ironman race, we are usually training together. This allows us to spend more time together, but house chores are thrown by the wayside. Thankfully, we have some very understanding friends, who occasionally plan a meal around our training so when we are done with a big workout, we shower, head to their house and dinner is ready…They are AMAZING!! Luckily for me, I don’t have to go to work during the summer months and so my work doesn’t suffer during peak training. Since I have my summer days mostly open, I also get to spend more time with our dogs (who we also consider to be people).

    Keep up the tough work and it will all be worth it on race day 🙂

    • Reply Kristin July 18, 2014 at 1:30 am

      You are so lucky to have friends like that, amazing! You are also SO lucky that you don’t have to work in the Summer. I think being a teacher and a triathlete sounds like the perfect combination. As I’ve said before, it’s so great that you and your hubby can train with one another, something very special for the two of you to share!

  • Reply erin July 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Oh, can I relate to this! Nick and I are both training for IMWI, so we spend a LOT of time together, which I love. But, I definitely haven’t been the best friend to a lot of my friends. There just isn’t enough time in the day to cram it all in! And, work… I get my work done, but don’t socialize with colleagues outside of work… case in point tonight. Everyone is going to a baseball game, but I’m skipping to open water swim + run.

    Hang in there! The sacrifices will all be worth it when you cross that finish line 🙂 It’s a pretty incredible feeling!

    • Reply Kristin July 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      It must be amazing to train for an Ironman together with Nick! I have to say, I’m a little jealous. While I don’t mind the alone time with all the training, I sometimes wish he shared my passion of triathlon. I am always skipping social events to get a training session in.. it’s just too damn hard with a full time job! Glad you understand me:) I can’t WAIT to cross that finish line in 25 days!!

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust July 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Todd seems like a real gem in your life. What would we do without our wonderful, supportive husbands, right? I think Justin can see how happy training and racing makes me, and that makes him happy (so selfless). I’m sure he would also prefer the training Kristen to the non-training Kristen (because I get grumpy when I can’t release my energy or get my workout fix for the week). I also think about IM training (in your case) like any other major life change. For example, when people have a baby or get married or start a new job, it often takes them away from family/friends/life for some time. IM is no different. Those who care and support you will always be there no matter what and will hopefully understand.

    • Reply Kristin July 22, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      He is a gem, I’m SO very lucky. I’m not sure what I would do without him! I’m sure you feel the same way about your hubby:) You made me laugh here… Todd does not want to be near me if I haven’t exercised, I get sooo grumpy and irritable!

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats July 23, 2014 at 3:46 am

    IM training is no joke. As you know. It is a ton of time. I am hungry and tired all of the time. I am lucky because my BF is training as well. I definitely don’t see my friends or talk to my out of state friends as much as I would like but it is only for a couple months every couple of years!
    It will all be over in a couple of weeks! Believe me it is worth it!! 🙂

    • Reply Kristin July 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Definitely NO joke! It’s a TON of time and I’m also hungry allll the time. Sometimes I wish my hubby trained with me, but then again, I like the alone time:) I know all the sacrifice will be worth it. I get so emotional just thinking about that finish line.

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