Happy Tuesday! I’m back this week with another link up with Courtney, Miranda, and Cynthia for Tri Talk Tuesday. Today’s topic is: the training life balance. This topic is all about juggling this crazy thing we called life, with the even crazier, triathlon training.
Finding balance is a difficult task these days. I am currently training for my first Ironman, as most of you know, which is in August. Before training for the Ironman, I completed plenty of sprint, Olympic and Half Ironman Triathlons, all while working a full time office job. Training for the ‘shorter’ races and working full time, was never super stressful. I also was kind of ‘winging’ my training for these races and was not professionally coached. I went to crossfit, did yoga, swam, biked and ran, all while working…. And feeling somewhat balanced. My training was not really taking over ALL of my free time and I even had time for hikes and camping on the weekends with my husband and our dog. I was not sticking to a concrete training plan, but was still managing to succeed at races. I thought my plan was working and I was happy with the balance.
It’s funny how things can change…
Enter my current life, Ironman training. To be honest, I think if someone were to look at my current life, they would probably say I don’t have much balance. I have a feeling if I saw a therapist about work-ironman-life-balance, they would say I’m failing. Maybe it’s because this is my first rodeo with full IM training, but I honestly don’t have time for much in my personal life, nor do I have the energy for it either. Every day I train, I think about how easier it would be if I didn’t have a full time job, if I was very wealthy (like a lot of IM athletes #truefact) and could afford lots of personal treatment (i.e. massages) whenever I wanted. Sure, I would love to work my work schedule around Ironman training, but I can’t. It’s the other way around. Of course this is stressful at times, but then I think about how PROUD I am of myself for doing all of this training, while working a full time job! It’s HARD stuff! It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Sure it would be ‘easier’ to juggle my crazy training schedule with a part time job, but honestly, I LOVE the challenge. I love proving to myself (and others) that I can do this and I WILL do this.
Here is what helps me balance my life with Ironman training:
- My amazing, supportive and self-less husband. I would be lost without this man and I am so grateful. We both had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up for IMMT last year, but he has been behind me every step of the way. He is my rock and has been a huge help throughout the process. He helps clean the house, does laundry, helps with bike maintenance and food prep.. the list goes on he’s amazing!
- Being an early bird. I have always been an early riser and I don’t require much sleep. I tend to do my workouts EARLY in the morning, and then again after work. The early morning workouts are the ones I enjoy the most. Although, I am working on getting MORE sleep because I’m realizing how vital it is.
- Loving to cook. I love to cook and prepare healthy meals. I consider this to be my ‘break’ from training. It can definitely be exhausting with all of the training and working, but I truly enjoy it! I don’t’ know how I do it, but I make my own meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner at least 6 days a week, for all three meals. A lot of it has to do with meal planning and preparation. I think it’s my motivation to always eat the best possible way for my body and my training that motivates me.
- Being type A. I am very type A, intense and schedule oriented. I thrive on a plan and a schedule! Having my training mapped out by my coach, day by day, really helps me stay balanced. I love knowing what to expect for training each week and this helps me balance work and life.
- Finding out how to wear my hair the ‘natural’ way. Yes this is a BIG deal for me. I have naturally wavy hair, but for years I have always blow dried and straightened. I took great pride in having perfect hair every day, but it always took TIME. All of this training does not leave much time for perfect hair. Let’s just say dry shampoo and beach wave spray has saved me hours!
- Making it a point to still do other things that make me happy. My husband Todd and I love to hike and camp. Despite all of the training, we are still planning to hike and camp this summer whenever we can! Being in the mountains makes me so happy, I can’t avoid it all summer.. no way!
As a side note…Ironman training is throwing my personal life slightly off balance. While I honestly don’t mind missing a party here or there, it is making me a bit of a social introvert. I have always been a borderline introvert/extrovert, and this IM training is definitely transforming me into more of an Introvert. I don’t mind spending time alone, but it is A LOT of alone time. Not only do I mostly train alone, but my personal time is spent alone or just with my husband. I am too tired to want to hang out with anyone else, honestly. Even putting on make-up is a chore… and wearing normal clothes like jeans on the weekends, feels painful! I am also guilty of not calling friends, forgetting to RSVP to parties and showing up to work late… I blame this on Ironman training. It’s not a good excuse, but it is pretty much throwing my life into a tailspin. However, I signed up for this crazy ride and I’m absolutely loving it. If I did not enjoy all of the training, there would be no reason to sign up for IMMT in the first place. I signed up knowing it would be hard to balance my life, and I have no regrets. Nothing worth having comes easy.
How do you balance your training and your life? Tell me your balancing secrets!