How it is.
My entire life fits AROUND my training. To make this truth real, following is an example of a typical day:
- wake up early enough to swim, if that's on the plan = 4:15 AM, throw in a load of laundry on way out the door
- swim 4:45-6/6:15
- shower and prepare for work at gym
- 7:15-3:00 work, all the while eating to recover from my swim/exacting my training plan for after work/eating to prepare for afternoon training session
- ride or run or both 3:15-6-ish
- shower again
- make and eat dinner (shove in "QT" with my husband)
- work on the laundry (gotta have clean training clothes!)
- upload training files and update TP online
- make breakfast and lunch for the next day
- pack training bag for the next day
- text back a friend or two, same with a family member or two
- extra time? read a triathlon blog/journal/review
- go to bed early 9:00-9:30, to be rested to train again
I don't fully do anything except train.
I'm a half-ass wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, and sometimes co-worker. I feel pissy if some one/thing gets in the way of my perfectly planned training. I half-listen to my husband at dinner, my mind on what needs to get done, that I'm not doing because I'm too busy training/recovering/planning to train. I make dates with my daughter/mom/sister/friends/in-laws, but the dates are made after I've seen my training plan for the week, not vice-versa. I skip or leave non-mandatory work meetings that run into my training time. I skip church to swim or run with my team. I spend my weekends making up for missed housework AFTER my training is done. I go on vacation, but I never stop training...I look for races to compete in wherever we go. I don't even stay overnight at my sister's place in Priest if it's not convenient for my training. They plan their lake weeks around my summer races. Some of my so-called "dates" with Greg are solely spent on syncing our training calendars and deciding which family/friend events will work around our training schedules. I'm thinking seriously of hiring someone to mow the lawn this summer for the first time ever.
My mind is likely 50% occupied with my athletic goals, and 50% occupied with the "balance" of my life. That, and also my husband's athletic goals. We're "there" for each other and supporting one another this season as we both train our way to Ironman in August. Really though, that's not entirely true for either of us. If it came down to his goals vs. mine, would I give up my dreams for his at this point?
I recognize how crazy and fanatical this lifestyle is right now. Only four months seriously into the training season and I already know that this cannot possibly be my life again next season. I am obsessed with endurance training and racing. It has lit a fire in me that I think I've searched for most of my life. It's a way to escape, focus, fixate, channel energy, release it, and deplete and prove oneself. It's not that I hate my life, that I'm not grateful for my loved ones - friends and family alike. I AM GRATEFUL. I miss my strong relationships. I'm not intentionally escaping something. I'm just in the midst of enjoying a selfish lifestyle.
This is the part of endurance training that most blogs don't talk about, too busy uploading and analyzing and rearranging training to notice how much our lives revolve around US. This is what destroys marriages and friendships if left unchecked and unchanged. And this is why I think it is the most important consideration, for any aspect of life. I'm already working on next year's goals...to be more present and be closer to a true balance of my life.