Triathlon races and living spaces
March 25th, 2011
03:35 PM ET

Triathlon races and living spaces

Since starting my tri training earlier this year, I have noticed gradual but distinct alterations in my immediate surroundings. I have a small and tidy little house. Lately it’s more small than tidy. I have always been able to get it “company-clean” in about an hour, but in recent weeks I’ve had trouble getting that hour to coincide with the energy necessary to get the job done. And just in time for kitty-cat shedding season to begin… oh dear.

My closet and dressing area have changed. I am an organized person: My clothes go straight from dryer to hanger, and then to their place in my closet. Suddenly, however, there is this MOUNTAIN OF WORKOUT CLOTHES growing at volcano-rate over in one corner. I mean, why bother to hang them up? I’m just going to put them on again in a few hours or throw them into the bag for the pool. And spandex doesn’t wrinkle anyway, so where’s the worry?

On to the laundry room: Can you say NEVER caught up???

Ah, my beloved makeup area. Where used to exist a simple assortment of lightweight makeup have now appeared various samples of waterproof eyeliners, shadows, ultra-sunscreens, moisturizers and foundations. Find me an SPF 1,000 if you can, please! Whenever I decide to seek a significant other in my life, I don’t want him to have to be a dermatologist (that would just narrow the field way too much.)

And don’t forget the kitchen. I’m not talking about the contents-of-the-pantry-and-fridge revolution that has occurred; I’m talking about space. I want to know what on Earth happened to the reasonably open-and-spacious countertops (save for that pile of mail I save for my son) I used to have. Suddenly they are strewn with various totally-cool-but-at-times-overwhelming gadgets lying there, each with its own hopeful charging cable patiently awaiting its turn for the next available outlet. My coffee grinder, once plugged in and handy, is now relegated to a shelf, victim of the more urgent needs of these spunky little cameras, GPS sensors and heart rate monitors. Sorry buddy, you ‘re just gonna have to share. Now, where is the chest strap for that heart monitor…did I see it last in the closet mountain??

Tri training has also changed my CAR. That cute little college “Alumni” sticker on my rear windshield? Now crunched up by the top leg of my bike rack. Hey – NO problem; I’ll replace it one day because I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOVE my BIKE!!! There is now a basket on my folded-down back seat that contains equipment including (but not limited to) bike helmet and shoes, towels, water bottles, various rehydration products awaiting trial, visors, arm warmers, and ear warmers. At least I’ll be able to put all the warmers away soon…I hope, I hope. (Spring *is* coming, right???) I’m saving money on air freshener, too: At least twice a week there’s that clean aroma of chlorine wafting from the hatchback floor, where I have just flung my drippy bag of swim gear.

Are all these changes stressful?? No complaints from me–they are simply treasured and amusing reminders of this lifetime journey I’m on, traveling with great new friends!

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Leo

    In other words, now you have a LIFE and you get out and enjoy living, rather than spending your days nit-picking over housework. Congrats! I'm happy for you! That's the way life should be.

    March 25, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linda

      Love your comment! Wish people at my house understood that!

      March 26, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
  2. david royer

    Wow you have a house good for you please win a gold metal to have others want one too. best wishes

    March 25, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jeffro458

    good luck

    March 26, 2011 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dr Bill Toth

    Wonderful shift in priorities and Joy. Live With Intention, DrBillToth.com/blog

    March 26, 2011 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. stacy

    That is TOO funny!! you wear it well! you truely are my hero

    March 26, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jen S

    I completely understand ever since I "became a runner" and found myself roped into training for a half-marathon, then a marathon, and now a 50K trail race??? How did this happen? And will I ever fold those running shorts and put them away???

    March 26, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mandy

    Nina we are so proud of you! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us.

    March 26, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Bobby Lewis LMT

    you are an inspiration. Proud of you.

    March 26, 2011 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. craig mcdaniel

    you are doing fantastic!

    March 26, 2011 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Al;len C

    A Triathlon Queen and a writer too! Wow! What do your cats think about your new found fame? I know that a dog would be out there running with you; but, what of the cats? Anyway, we are so proud of you and your middle life boom of energy. I get exhausted just thinking about your preparation in quest for the goal (or perhaps I should say GOLD). LY A

    March 26, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Liz

    So what your saying is you can't balence your life now? And people are giving their congrats. So it's okay for you to start becoming a hoarder as long as your training? Nice priorities. As long as your running off training you don't have to do anything else or it doesn't matter anymore. Good luck with all that.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • idnar

      STFU.... this is not a sign of imbalance, but of a priority shift. And the shift has resulted in a fit and happy woman. Of course she is getting congrats!!!

      March 28, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    I don't think she is saying she is a hoarder. She just said that most of her stuff is picked up because she has more energy, but now the stuff that is out is all for her training. I think we should all be proud of her and hope for the best for her in this new experience.

    March 28, 2011 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TriHardNina

      Mary, thanks for the clarification – I'm glad that *you* understood what I was saying–and anyway, it's all in fun!! 🙂

      March 28, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
  13. Tri-Widower

    Be careful. Triathlon is a very dangerous sport for anyone that has a family. In the excitement of successfully engaging in a VERY demanding sport, it is very easy to be consumed by it. I've been through it as the "supportive spouse" which after a couple years became the "only responsible spouse" and is quickly becoming the "non-spouse". My divorce is pending. My wife no longer has any friends that are not involved in the sport. It's incredibly destructive. I also know mine is not the only family to experience this. Perspective appears to be very hard for the tri-athlete to maintain.

    March 28, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. John Thompson

    My wife used to complain about my tri gear lying all over the place. Then she started racing too. Now we are both completely happy in our swim/bike/run gear mess. Life is good.

    March 28, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. secundra beasley

    I loved your story. I am doing a 30 days of bicycling and tomorrow (fingers crossed) I hope to start walking again so I run. This artilce gives me extra incentive to do it. Thank you!!

    April 3, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jan Webb

    What a wonderful adventure you are on. It has been so much fun enjoying all of this with you. Stay focused and know you are supported. We love you, Nina.

    July 4, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
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