Do you ever notice when one thing in life is balance there are 5 other things that stress you out during the day? Or should I say, when your training is going well you come home and have a zillion things on your mind!
That is me right now. Training couldn't be better. However, if I think about my training in the beginning of January, I was thinking I'd never be able to do an Ironman in August. Well, compete in an Ironman and actually race it (and finish of course).
It has been almost 2 months since I started my serious triathlon training. Base season was great and I still have a month to go before I start getting into the "speed/lactate" specific training. However, the miles really got to me in January and I found myself weak, un-motivated and frustrated. Luckily, I didn't give up and because exercise is part of my life, I woke up every morning in January and did my swim/bike/run workout as if I was just exercising.
Today on my 2 hour and 5 minute run, I finally saw myself in IMKY. I visualized running on tender and sore quads after the 112 mile bike. I saw myself riding up and down hills and then pacing myself for the grueling 26.2 miles that come at the end of the Ironman. I saw myself in the water, swimming for 2.4 miles and exiting the water feeling warmed up and not very tired. Then, I saw myself wearing my medal, feeling extremely tired and wanting to do it all over again.
With only 2 Ironman's under my belt, I sometimes forget the training that goes into an Ironman. Having said that, 2 Ironman's is still a big thing. Your first Ironman training season is something you will never forget and the first Ironman finish will stay with you for a lifetime. However, it is at the beginning of Ironman training that it feels like you have centuries to go until race day. Theb, reality hits and you count down the few months (6 for me) that you have to actually prepare the body for the race.
After my run today, I was so excited that I had no pain, I felt great all weekend and really, I had a full week of hard training without any excuses or slacking. After my run, Campy took me on a run for a mile and then it was time for breakfast.
The reason why I titled my post "balance" and not "Ironman" is because I have been at the computer all day, working on school work. If it isn't studying, papers or assignments then I am doing something "nutrition-related" to make a living and not go broke.
I am just so tired of school. Sure, I LOVE my dietetic classes but my biochemistry course drives me crazy. I hate drawing double bonds and really, I never knew carbohydrates, fats and proteins could be so complicated.
Then, when I am not studying or training, I am trying to keep our apartment clean. I am always meticulous about the kitchen but it is the rest of our place that I attend to about once a week. Karel helps out a lot and we have no "roles" in our place of who does what (except Karel takes care of the 3 fish tanks) but since I am at home all day, I try to contribute a bit more with my time at home.
Then, there is the cooking. I love making meals, but it does take time. I won't cook for more than 30 minutes (that includes prep) but that is still time. However, it gives me a chance to watch Ellen that I tape on DVR everyday and cooking really de-stresses me. Plus, I love presenting my "creations" to karel when he comes home from work.
Then there is grocery shopping which I do every Mon. Shopping for our usual foods at Wal-mart is fun for me, but then coming home, walking up 3 flights of stairs with a handful of groceries, and unloading the groceries takes time.
Then there is Campy. Well, I will always make time for Campy. I take him out every 3-4 hours and sometimes, when I need a break, we will go on a long walk around 11 and at 4. I can honestly say that animals really help when it comes to stress, feeling sad or anything else that bothers you. I love having someone so excited to see me when I come home and it is too cute when he stands on his back legs and gives me two high fives with his front paws. Hard to explain, but too cute!
And finally, then there is my marriage. I thought my marriage would be easy because Karel and I are best friends and we have the same lifestlye. But like all good marriages, it does take work. Not the kind of work that you are trying to decide who is right or wrong but just the work to be understanding and to compromise. Karel is really open minded and understanding so that really helps when I am stressed and busy. Also, I have trouble asking for help so I probably need to work on trying not to do everything myself. I was always that person in school where other people wanted to be in my group. Not the best individual quality to do everything myself, but if something needs to be done, I don't think twice about getting it done myself.
So, I guess it is all about balance. All these things in life (and I don't even have KIDS or a HOUSE!!!) to try to balance out. Well, I can say if I didn't have triathlons/exercise in my life, I would probably struggle with all those other things that I often stress about. And if I didn't have a clean apartment I would have trouble studying and without my nutrition-work, I wouldn't be living in an apartment and if I didn't have triathlons...I would not have met Karel! Wow-I guess it all does balance out!