Ironwoman Wednesday: Ironman Training & Relationships

Welcome back to another Ironwoman Wednesday with Jamie at From Couch to Ironwoman, Michelle at IronwomanStrong and me! We’re all training for Ironman Louisville and are coming together every Wednesday to share our journeys and talk triathlon with all you other half and full Ironmen and women!


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 and co-workers? What relationships have gone downhill? What new relationships have you made? And how do you feel about it all?

I have to say I am lucky.

Pablo and I are doing Ironman training together and so unlike others, where only one significant other is training, Pablo and I are both caught in the roller coaster that is IM training. As a result, we understand each other and overall I think the experience has made us a stronger couple…most days anyways…if we’ve both eaten enough.

Sorry For Things Said Hungry

Otherwise….well, otherwise the hangry monster shows up in full effect. At least now I know it’s the hangry monster, which makes it easier not to take our snappy behaviors seriously.

What’s the hangry monster? A fluffy orange monster with striped limbs of course!

Paperflavor actually has a Hangry Monster!

The Hangry Monster (Courtesy of Paperflavor)

Hangry is when you’re so hungry, you’re angry. It’s a real, scientific phenomenon where lower blood glucose levels correlate with increased feelings of annoyance, anger and aggression. Susan Lacke wrote all about it in Triathlete Love: The Hangry Games.

So basically as long as Pablo and I are well-fed, we’re surviving Ironman training quite well, not just surviving it, really, really enjoying it.


I’ve also had positive experiences with friendships. For starters I’ve met my two awesome Ironwoman Wednesday co-hosts and I am super excited to meet them and some of the other Ironman hopefuls in person next month before we tackle 140.6 miles to get to that 4th Street Live finish line!

louisville finish line

I’ve also met a great group of new friends through the DC Tri Club, where I went from a slightly involved member, to attending most social and training events, and this month joining the Board as the Director of Club Training. Ironman training also prompted me to take another go at a marathon, which I’m doing with Team In Training, where I’ve met another awesome group of people, and I can’t forget the Ragnar Team I am captaining, with 11 people who were previously strangers and over the past few months, as we’ve met up at training triathlons, camping weekends and social events, have started to become friends.

DC Tri Training Tri

I know my non-triathlon friends feel neglected some days and it’s kind of annoying when I disappear for 8 hours at a time or can’t make any weekend plans, because I am either working out or sleeping, but my closest friends have been super awesome and supportive. I feel so lucky to call them my friends and have tried to make an effort to no matter how busy I get, catch up with them on social media (although I have failed at following through on some of the Skype dates we promised each other) or meet up with them for lunch (you can’t go wrong offering an Ironman-in-training to meet up over food).

The illustration for a Family Holiday story in a recent issue of Triathlete

The illustration for a Family Holiday story in a recent issue of Triathlete

Really the worst part of Ironman training, in terms of relationships, has been my inability to go home to visit my family. I got pretty spoiled last year when I was able to go home 5 times in a year, so the 1 visit I’ve had so far…well, I’m an only child and I’m from the Caribbean…wouldn’t you be home sick? I can’t wait for my parents to meet us in Louisville and hopefully I’ll get to go home at least one more time this year.


How about you? How has Ironman training affected your relationship?

  1. I am so fortunate that my husband is so very supportive of my IM training. He has completed two IMs over the past few years (including Louisville) and understands the training commitment required. He does so much day to day to help with “life” from making frequent stops at the grocery store and preparing dinners, etc. He also rides with me (I have been dividing my long rides into two more manageable routes so he and other friends can ride with me. I don’t have a specific IM Lake Placid training partner, so it is nearly impossible to find people that want to ride crazy long miles). He has accompanied me on long runs…either running or on his bike when they started getting super long. He is my go to bike mechanic, so he helps me as needed when my bike needs attention. During my really long open water swims, he has come out in a borrowed kayak for my safety escort. I could not ask for more support and I am so grateful for it. I don’t think other family members truly understand the commitment to training or really the extent of what I have been doing these last 22 weeks. I have not seen them as frequently as I would like, but I will try to make adjustments post-race. My non-tri friends are supportive and I think they understand the long hours required. Overall, I feel I have solid relationships in my life and am lucky that even though everyone may not truly understand what I am doing, I have great support.

    • Your husband sounds amazing! Perfect Ironman training sherpa! Sometimes I wish I had a sherpa to support me, because Pablo and I aren’t the same pace and end up training together but alone, which does get lonely. I can’t complain though, we have supported each other through the entire journey and I’ve found other friends to share the journey with. And you said it perfectly, solid relationships that may not understand you, but support you.

  2. I can’t wait to meet you and Michelle in person!! I am grateful that Mike and I go through this triathlon life together, because it would be very difficult if we didn’t (for us). It’s great to be able to have someone to talk to about all this stuff, even if other relationships end.

  3. Alex and I just made plans/reservations to go to a bed and breakfast for two nights during his week off (starting next weekend) because I now work during the week. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I have an 18 miler scheduled for that weekend! Luckily, my boss is giving me Friday off so that we can leave earlier in the (woot!) so I am going to try to do my LR this weekend on Saturday (which is my preference, anyway) and then try to do my long run that Fri morning, then prop those legs of mine up on the dashboard, lol. But Alex was so cute because yesterday or Monday we were chatting and I said I had just realized the scheduling, and he was like, Yeah, I was wondering about what you were going to do! I’m really lucky that he respects my dedication to this, like I respect his dedication to his working out.
    Otherwise, thingswouldnotbesohappy.

  4. Pingback: Lean Green Island Girl | Ironwoman Wednesday: Training Load

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