tapering and a tumbler

This past Saturday, Pete completed the last of his super crazy training workouts. He rode his bike 45 miles, hopped off, changed clothes, and ran (rather speedily) for a bit more than 7. With less than two weeks to go until the big event, he’s now officially in the taper phase – gradually reducing mileage and intensity in order to fully recover prior to race day. He has been uber dedicated to his training plan, putting in many long hours of swimming, biking and running often at the expense of a regular sleep schedule and to the body-fat-burning extent that were he a teenage girl he would no longer be menstruating. Lovely that at the time in my life when I can do nothing to stop the pounds from piling on, Pete, despite tireless efforts to consume ample calories, has watched the scale number consistently drop. We won’t disclose the exact differential, but I do in fact weigh more than him right now. Joy.

Body image issues aside, and putting out of mind the brief period when his sleep depravation made for a serious grumble bunny husband, the biggest downfall of the half ironman training is the time commitment. If not for the flexibility of working for himself, I honestly don’t know that it could be done. Week after week of exercising multiple hours a day was essentially another job, and made for some rather stressful times balancing his career, part time job, home projects, and of course making sure his pregnant wife felt amazing and loved (he’s been pretty damn good at that). There have been a few moments when I’ve resented this event for taking so much time and attention away from me, but being so close to the end is exciting for more than the fact that it is just that, the end. I’m beaming proud of my man and truly thrilled that I’ll get to be there when all his hard work culminates in what’s sure to be an amazing race. And isn’t it just a little ironic that this physically and mentally demanding event – a true test of strength, endurance and focus – is happening just a couple months before the arrival of our sweet baby Norah, an event of an entirely different caliber that will undoubtedly test us in more ways than we can imagine. 18 weeks of hard core training will seem like a day at the beach relative to 18 years (and then some) of parenting!

One might think that the first day of tapering would be a relaxing respite, but not for Pete Elder the unstoppable. Yesterday, being a day with absolutely zero planned exercise (WHOA), Pete took it upon himself to research and build a compost tumbler for our backyard. The amount of excitement and joy I have over this might be considered odd by some, but I don’t give a hoot. I’m pleased as punch. Before the tumbler, our compost pile was just that, a pile, under a bush that provides easy access to our ravenous pups and their delight in consuming anything and everything. Now said pile can be properly stowed in our awesome homemade tumbler, which is also serving as a bit of a barricade for the one spot of fence that Jake has figured out how to jump. Sneaky little bastard took less than a month to find the weak link. Of all the glorious 6 foot wooden privacy around our entire backyard, there’s just one short area that we chose not to fence for it already had a chain-link and high bushes from our neighbor. The most amusing part is that even after scaling not just the 4 ft chain-link, but also the bit of wood lattice Pete had placed on top, and finding himself in the neighbor’s yard, Jake took no action to make another jump over her 3 foot front fence which would have led him out into the big wide world. He’s a one jump chump.

Lookit our compost tumbler! My husband is the shiznit.

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