LIFE PROGRESSIONS OF ONE TRIATHLON FAMILY - PART 1

The triathlon lifestyle, not to mention life in general, certainly changed for one young couple who went from no children to one child and soon to be two children, all in just 4 years – not to mention caring for their adorable, Earl!  It certainly has been filled with “lessons learned.”  Take advantage of their journey and read how this triathlon family manages the lifestyle with Kids In Tow…..

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I recently had the distinct pleasure of chatting with one of our dear friends, Claudia Maizey.  Claudia and her triathlete husband, Adrian, are a couple in their 30’s who have been married 4 years and are expecting their second child in March.  Their first son, Jonathan, is 2 years old.  We first met the couple a few years back through Ironman Executive Challenge (XC).  Claudia shared with me what life is like being married to a triathlete, both before and after having a child, and what her expectations are for tri-ing with 2 kids.  It was a great interview and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy.  Since it ended up being a bit lengthy, we decided to run it in 2 parts.  Here’s Part 1.

TWC:  When did Adrian start getting involved with triathlons?  Why?

Claudia:  Adrian did his first Ironman in 2005 in the UK.  He grew up in South Africa and watched a lot of ultra marathons. He had also completed several ultra marathons himself – Comrades and Two Oceans – before turning to triathlons.  I guess he liked the three disciplines in triathlons.  For his first Ironman, he bought his bike 2 weeks before the race!

TWC:  I guess I should ask.  Are you involved in any of the disciplines?  Any other sports?

Claudia:  No, not at all.  I work out, but nothing triathlon-related.

TWC:  Do you work outside of the home?

Claudia:  Yes, I work part-time, 5 days a week.

TWC:  Did you travel with Adrian when he went to races before you had Jonathan?

Claudia:  I went to all the races with him before I had Jonathan.

TWC:  Did you make any of the races vacation spots?

Claudia:  Our intention is for all races to double as vacations, as we only get so much time off.  Several were nice vacation spots – Lake Placid and Hawaii.

TWC:  You had Jonathan 2 years ago – did you stop traveling to the races at any point during the pregnancy?  After he was born?

Claudia:  I traveled to the races when I was pregnant and even after Jonathan was born.  We went to Kona, Lake Placid, and Florida.  I came by myself to Kona when I was pregnant with Jonathan.  Adrian flew in a few days before me.  I ended up having problems with the flights and had to stay overnight in Oahu.  I know you were in Kona when this was going on.  Adrian felt terrible and pampered me by booking some spa treatments at the hotel.  It was a VERY long trip.

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TWC:  I remember it well.  We discussed how to make it up to you.  Dana was part of the conversation, too.  

How has Adrian changed his training & race schedule to accommodate having children?  Or I guess first I should ask if he has?

Claudia:  Yes, he really has.  He used to spend more time on weekends working out.  He now wakes up earlier to get all his training done before noon, so we all have the rest of the day together.  He even sometimes wakes up early during the week and gets Jonathan up, but not every day.

TWC:  What compromises, if any, have you both had to make?

Claudia:  I think all triwives make compromises.  We take on more than our share and allow our husband’s to have this tri-mistress.  But, at the end of the day, I am so proud of his accomplishments.  Every race is an emotional one, seeing his hard work pay off.  I can’t wait until our kids are old enough to understand what daddy does.  How challenging, yet rewarding and inspiring it is, and what you can accomplish with dedication and hard work.  In terms of Adrian, I would have to say he has had to compromise both in his training and his job.

As far as compromises I’ve made now having a little one at races with me, I have to go by Jonathan’s schedule.  I’ll never forget the first time I missed the swim start.  It was Lake Placid 2012 and Jonathan was 6 months old.  I was trying my very hardest to have everything ready to be at the race start with Adrian.  We had our race start routine and I knew he wanted me (us) there.  I was feeding Jonathan and there was just no way to get out of the hotel room fast enough.  I heard the canon go off and I got very teary-eyed.

TWC:  Okay, now I’m teary-eyed, too.  I can picture you sitting in the room and being so sad.

You are now pregnant with your second child.  Do you think more changes will have to be made in Adrian’s training schedule?  Traveling to races?  Local vs destination?

Claudia:  We have agreed that this year will be Ironmanless.  However, my husband was getting the “itch” before the year even started, so we’ll see.  I certainly won’t be going back to Kona if Adrian goes.  It’s just too far and not that kid-friendly of venue.  I am definitely pushing for more local races and/or wonderful vacation spots.  It’s much easier to load up a car and drive than to fly with two little ones, especially if you have to do it by yourself.

TWC:  What’s the best piece of advice you can give moms for dealing with the stresses of living with a triathlete?

Claudia:   I would just say to enjoy the race and embrace it.  The triathlon community is wonderful and it’s a lot of fun to spectate.  We watched a podcast of a triwife who wrote a book and she recommended that the spouse get to pick the race location.  I would really have to agree with this or at least say to make the decision jointly.

Don’t miss Part 2.  Claudia and I discuss traveling to races with kids and so much more.  Coming soon…..

  – SHERRY