One of my main goal races in 2017 was to be USA Triathlon Nationals, or so I thought. I planned to train toward doing well at this race throughout the summer in an attempt to qualify for the world championships, however, my new husband of less than two weeks had other plans. He had his sights set on the Leadville 100 mountain bike race which just happens to be the same weekend next year. Other couples fight over who will wash the dishes or take out the garbage; we have those squabbles too, but then there are the added battles of, “stop leaving your helmet and tubes on the kitchen counter,” or “which one of us is going to give up their big event for the year to support the other.” My “big race” is in Omaha, Nebraska and his is in Leadville, Colorado. We could split up and each race our own race, but both of us needs the help and support of the other to truly do well at each of our respective events. Someone has got to give and in this case it will be me.
Even early on in our relationship, he got up at ridiculous hours to come and support me at crazy half ironman races and other such events; events where a support person really is a necessity; so now it’s my turn to play cheerleader and support crew. The Leadville 100 is a one-hundred-mile mountain bike race, at elevation, starting at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet. Breathing alone can be tough at elevation and so the rider’s crew is essential to cheer them on, give them water, nutrition or spare bike parts if needed. In a long mountain bike race like this a lot of things can go wrong with the bike so having that support person or crew meeting you at strategic points along the way may be vital to you completing the full one-hundred-mile event.
Being in a relationship with another cyclist, for the most part, is a wonderful thing. You can train together, motivate each other, you can complain about tired legs and low power numbers together (and actually truly understand what the other person is going through). Once in a while though, you want to do a fun ride while at the same time your significant other wants your support at a race OR both of your goal races for the season happen to be on the same weekend in different states.
I met my husband on a bike ride and we have pretty much been riding together ever since. I am hoping that fifty years from now we will still be riding bikes together, maybe a little bit slower, with a few more wrinkles and slightly creaky joints. I know he is my biggest fan and has been and will be my supporter at many more races to come, so maybe nationals will have to wait until 2018 for me.