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You never want to hurt the one you love. But sometimes, you want to see them suffer just a little.
Living with a triathlete means living with someone affected with an intermittent case of “Head-in-Ass Syndrome.” Take a person who is otherwise kind, generous and compassionate, expose them to a few months of 5 a.m. swims and four-hour bike rides, and you’ll soon create someone who plows through life like Pac Man, merely following the maze and munching whatever dots are in the way.
In this case, the dots are the gels my husband stole from my fuel belt this morning, and I really, really needed them for my long run. The dots are also the back skewer for my bike, which Neil removed without telling me so he could do his own ride in the trainer (correction—my trainer). The dots are the moldy water bottles I find stashed in random places around the house, because apparently his Pac Man maze does not traverse past the dishwasher, ever. The dots are the times when Neil reads my workout plan and scoffs, “That’s all you’re doing?” before launching into a “helpful” list of things I should be doing instead if I want to be fast like him.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is my husband can be kind of an asshole when he’s training for an Ironman.
Because I know these indiscretions are temporary and Neil’s consideration (and head) will emerge once race season is over, I choose not to pick a fight. “Stop taking my running socks!” is a ridiculous hill to die on. Besides, if you live with a triathlete, too, you know such declarations aren’t absorbed during race season—after all, it’s hard to hear when your head’s up your ass. Instead, I choose to save my battle armor for the big issues, like who gets the last piece of cheesecake in the fridge.
In the meantime, I find Zen amongst the moldy water bottles. I wish I could say I employ some ancient Buddhist technique for calm and forgiveness, but I’m not that mature. No, I get a small dose of revenge.
Sweet Revenge, Triathlete Love Style:
– Invite him to split your lane when the pool is crowded. Commence your swim set filled with kicking drills and breaststroke.
– Brew your usual pot of coffee. Don’t tell her it’s decaf.
– Place the tube of chamois cream next to the tube of toothpaste in the bathroom cabinet. Listen for the “What the…?” followed by a disgusted spit.
– Tell him his bike seat’s too low.
– Tell him his bike seat’s too high.
– Tell him you read online that all the fastest triathletes are removing their bike seats altogether and just riding on the seatpost.
– Mention offhand that the location of her next race has been experiencing random, unpredictable and record-breaking wind gusts this year.
– Come home from the gym and share you saw one of his biggest rivals working out there. Be sure to include the words “looking really lean and fit.” To really drive it home, throw in a “beast” or two.
– Hide all the carbs in the house on long run day.
I don’t pull a tactic from the List of Vengeance often, but when I do, it definitely gives me a shot of smug, passive-aggressive calm to last until I get my considerate partner back.
In the meantime, if anyone sees my Pac Man out there today, tell him his wife called and wants her gels back…OR ELSE.