Please note: I'm navigating the following statements like I'm doing a land mine sweep. I'm only writing this because its a question that we get asked often and something that we struggle with from time to time.
Its on the rare occasion that Jen and I train together. And we used to. Every run, every bike, was together. But certain "frustrations" began to invade our time together and for the good of us we just can't anymore. In fact I'd have to say the tipping point was the Disney Half Marathon several years back where we had a not so magical moment just outside the Magic Kingdom. It was right then where we decided we just might want to continue to do this running stuff on our own. And so it goes with all of our triathlon training. Separate goals, separate abilities, separate training (although the pool does allow us to at least stay within the same 25 or 50 meter proximity for swim workouts which is nice and something that both of us look forward to). At first it was a little difficult but we've gotten into a rhythm of sorts. And we're finding harmony in our independence - together but separate.
A side note to all this, and really the reason I even thought of this topic, was the Salt Creek Tri club group bike ride this past weekend. Group rides can be a little intimidating but only if you let them. You are at the whim of the group and whoever is at the front pulling. Conversely it can also be terrifically exhilarating and the best thing you can do for yourself as a cyclist. You learn a ton about how to push yourself and how to manage a bike and your ride effort. Plus there's that whole drafting benefit but that's too much science for this post. I've had a little more seasoning in the group setting and Jen is just getting to a certain comfort level. Last Sunday I promised Jen that I would hang back from the A Group and ride with her in the B Group (this is one of those areas of frustration that "separates" us a little just so you know). On this ride however we all ended up in one group. I was encouraging Jen to draft off me - to get the feeling and benefits from going faster but at less effort. I know Jen had been questioning her abilities prior to the ride and was really putting in a lot of effort. But the best thing happened toward the end of the ride when another guy and I were pulling at the front and he looks around behind him then looks at me with a little surprise in his voice - "your wife is drafting off me." I loved it. Jen was right there. After forty something miles of hard effort she was right there in front. I have a feeling that by the end of the summer there might not be so much separation in our cycling. I'm looking forward to it.