Intra-Marital Competition

My husband completed his first triathlon yesterday. It was a sprint-distance event with a quarter-mile swim, a 10-mile bike ride, and a 2-mile run. He did well, too, finishing in the top third of the field. The pooches and I were of course there to cheer him across the finish line.

Yesterday was the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of training, which my husband began after I completed my first triathlon in September 2009. When we were waiting for the results of my event to be announced, he got a glimmer in his eye that told me he’d never be on the sidelines again. He wanted into the mix, badly.

And so the two of us will enter next month’s Delaware Diamondman event as “veterans” of the sport, going head-to-head in a race for bragging rights at the Thanksgiving dinner table. And yes, the intra-marital trash talk has already begun. My husband, still on an adrenaline high from yesterday’s race, says he’ll be at the finish line waiting to cheer for me next month. Meanwhile, I’m combing his online stats for weaknesses that I can exploit. He’s slow on the swim, which is my best leg of most races. I wonder if I can catch him in the water and rattle him.

Hey, there are worse things we could be doing with our middle-age years. On days when we used to sit around watching TV, we now go out for a 10- or 20-mile bike ride. I’ll probably get my butt kicked next month—my husband is far bigger, faster, and stronger—but at least my butt will be nicely conditioned. And that’s good for a marriage, too.

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