It was a great ride, and the longest that I've ever done. I think I will do this one again sometime.
Sunday I was in the pool as per usual. An hour and a half swim followed by an easy 1:45h run in the trails. I love the long easy workouts, it gives you a chance to chat with your fellow club members and it's a great time to learn from the more experienced athletes and even use them as sound board for some of the issues that your facing. Recently I'm finding myself struggling with the work/training/life balance stuff. I have two major influences in my life that I am very passionate about. My job and my training. They are both things that require a huge amount of focus and dedication and it's difficult to be 100% in both places. I certainly give 110% in effort in each, but it's just impossible to perform 100% - there is only so much energy to go around.
At work I'm finding it hard to concentrate. I find my mind gets exhausted by the end of the day, while I'm not physically tired in that I'm cranky, easily irritated or similar physical signs of fatigue. It's more like my brain is functioning like its sunk in mud. Slow. I can't think on my feet, think two steps ahead or 'outside the box' so to speak. I'm very task oriented and seem to only be able to complete the task that's been handed to me.
When I'm training, I'm more focused and seem to be more present than when I'm at work. But still, training requires alot of effort. Silly statement? Not in the sense you think. I mean that if I learned anything at training camp, it's the value in all things outside of the training field. I'm talking about fuel, psychological state and rest. I no longer can just show up with my running shoes/bike/swim suit, I have to be prepared with the right amount of sleep the night before, the proper nutrition throughout the day, the appropriate pre workout fuel (and timing of), and the right head space (ie; letting go of any daytime stress and focus on the training). This all takes organization, preparation and constantly thinking 24 hours ahead of what your doing. Too lazy one night to make lunch the night before? Well, there's very little time to do it in the morning, and chances of being able to buy an appropriate meal at the cafeteria at work isn't likely. So just because I slacked off on the prep the night before, I'm not only forfeiting a day of good nutrition, but I'm also wasting a workout because I won't have the energy to make the most of it. Seems like a simple thing, but I'm finding that I'm living in a constant state of routine and process.
So between balancing my energy with work and training, where is there time for anything else? When do I do anything not related to one or the other of those things? The simple answer? Never. Every now and then I have a full day off (like this long weekend for example) and it's then that I have the chance to take a step back , look around and realize how long it's been since I went to the movies, saw friends outside of a training group, went out for a restaurant dinner, or did ANYTHING outside of my day-to-day, week-to-week routine.
I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. The truth is, that there isn't anything that I'd rather be doing than riding 100km's on my bike and doing a 2hour run on the weekends. It's my passion and I'm lucky to have something in my life that I am so passionate about. I guess I just want my cake and to eat it too. I want to train full time, be the best at my job, have relationships that don't require more than a once a week 'check in' and a social calendar that makes Paris Hilton jealous. But, reality is that there are only 24 hours in a day and between 9 hours of sleep, 9 hours at work and at least two hours of training, that leaves 4 hours for things like eating, resting, socializing, errands and all that other 'life' stuff. I'm not superwoman and am not going to pretend that I can fit it all in.
For now, I'll focus on the things I think are most important and the things that matter most.
This week will be a little easier. Not only is it a recovery week in our training calendar (we always build hard for 3 weeks, then take 1 week easy). But next weekend is my first race of the year! I'm heading to Shawnigan Lake on the island for the Olympic distance.
Wish me luck!