Friday, 26 February 2010

The new bike

Tomorrow is the day. Other Half is so excited he can barely keep still. I keep watching him drift into this trance like state as he imagines himself zipping along the country lanes with his shiny new purchase, wind blowing through his hair as he overtakes every single vehicle on the road with the inevitable speed that his new purchase will bring. Finally his life will be complete. I fear mine will be over.

Tomorrow is the day he picks up his new time trial bike.

I think he ordered it about 3 months ago. We've had ups and downs, joyous moments and times of despair whilst waiting for it to be ready. When he got the call to say that the handlebars he wanted (3T Brezza?) were "not UCI legal" (I thought this was a chain of cinemas) and so was advised against getting them - we had a brief period of mourning. But happy days! We are now getting the Bontregar XXX Lite which apparently are equally as smashing. In fact they probably work out better seeing as they are white and will go quite beautifully with the rest of the bike (and Other Half's tri onesie - making sure his outfit is coordinated is my domain).

Now, we have been hovering around the question of where the bike is going to live for a few weeks. Please bear in mind that when looking for our current house (having viewed 43 different houses, this was quite a mission), we had to get one with a garage so that Other Half could have a training area. This made our search quite hard given the area that we wanted to live in. Everyone got so annoyed with us they pretty much had written to Kirsty and Phil. But eventually, we found a house that we both loved and which had the requisite garaging area. The days of the Concept II and the (now 2nd in the food chain) bike living in the living room with us were over! Or so I thought.

Other Half seems to think that this bike is going to live in the house with us. Inside the house! Where? I ask him. In the spare room, he says. What if we have people staying in the spare room, I ask. How often do we use that spare room? he says. He has a point. But, as it happens, we do have visitors in there tomorrow night and so how is this going to work? Other Half jokes that the bike will get the bed and the visitor the floor. Hmm. We shall see.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The races

It's only the beginning of February and today we have had the first instance of having to decline a social engagement in the name of triathlon. Every year, Other Half and I go to Ascot for our annual foray into gambling and daytime hat-wearing Pimms drinking (admittedly I never bet more than £2 and still don't understand odds and what 'each way' means but...) This year we have had to turn down an invitation to the horse races because Other Half has already signed up to a triathlon race on the same day. Grrrrrr.

I suppose it is partially my fault as I had encouraged him to enter this particular race (having discussed for about 3 weeks the pros and cons of each possible race) as I just wanted to get the dates in the diary so that I could start to plan our social life. I have been punished for my haste.

Having said all of the above, I do have to give some credit to Other Half for really trying to keep his obsession in check. He knows that it could so easily get out of control. Despite his (self-inflicted) punishing training schedule (I am thinking back to 6am this morning when he got up to go swimming before work - with me shouting at him that he was a mentalist and to get back to bed as it was still the middle of the night) we still maintain a pretty good social existence. We still go out for drinking sessions with our friends and have late night 'Buzz' and karaoke nights regularly enough. It could all be so much worse...

Other Half used to be a rower (as sooooo many of these triathletes were). From schoolboy to college (and occasionally university) rowing, it was one of his hobbies that got out of control. He became gaunt (trying to stay at 11 stone with a zillion outings a week for a 6ft 2inch guy is not easy). He was busy and pre-occupied with thoughts of making the squad and trying to get better. At some points we didn't see each other for 6 weeks at a time because of weekend training sessions (and this was pretty hard for a loved up 20 something year old like me). He got so caught up in the world of rowing that I became a bit peripheral for a while. That's not to say that there weren't also amazing times - spending my entire term's student loan on a trip to Barbados springs to mind as one of those... But it was pretty tough there for a while.

But, what can you do when you're a girl in love? There was more I liked about Other Half than didn't like, so there it was. I was so happy at Graduation time - thinking that never again would I have to endure such a set up. But no! I obviously didn't know Other Half very well. He took up coaching - the Ladies 1st XIII at his old college. He might as well have been rowing again it took up so much of his time. Early morning weekend outings meant no late night drinking binges for us (together, at least). Again it got the better of him.

So, having experienced the obsessive 'need to do everything to his absolute best, fight to the death' side of Other Half's personality, I do now appreciate that he is really trying to rein in this triathlon thing. He knows how not fun it is for me when he lets a hobby take over his life. Despite his OCD urges, he takes every Friday off, and for the most part, fits in his training sessions around our plans. I think he is finally achieving a balance between sport and work and me. He knows that it's me who comes to pick him up from the middle of nowhere when he gets stuck with a puncture.