Training for this Ironman has definitely gotten my life out of balance. Everything I do, talk about, read about has to do with the Ironman. It was almost one year ago I signed up for this race and every single day for the last year I have either thought about the race, talked about the race, read about training for the race, planned my training schedule or been training for the race. Every single day for a year and now it is almost here! I am ready and getting anxious! Three weeks of taper first though.
These last two weeks have been my peak volume weeks and are my excuse why I haven't blogged. I have been training a lot. I have been training 20 hours a week. That is training time and then you add in going to the bike shop, buying Gu's, working on my bike, recovery(stretching, foam rolling, massage,ART) and this is definitely a full time job. Sorry guys but I put my blog and newsletters on the back burner:)
I also was lucky enough to go to a training camp in Lake Placid and actually train on the course last week which was awesome. I flew there last Thursday and stayed for the weekend until Tuesday. Tomorrow I will fill you in on the camp and how it went. And how my first experience traveling with my bike went....
Back to balance...When I get involved in something I have a hard time maintaining balance and it has been especially hard with this Ironman. It is all consuming. Triathlon, for me, is a hobby. I enjoy training, I enjoy racing, it pushes me athletically and I do it for fun. My goal is not to become a professional triathlete. My goal is to train, race and improve while having great experiences. I feel like training for this Ironman I have gone beyond just a hobby. It is a full time job.
But, part of it is my own own fault. I can't just finish the Ironman, I have to do the best I am capable of doing. I have done everything I know how to get the best performance out of myself. I expect the same from myself as I would expect out of one of my clients whose goal is to qualify for Kona. If I expect it out of my athletes than why wouldn't I expect it out of myself.
I guess I am my own learning experience because I wrote my training schedule, followed it to a "T" and will see and feel how it works before I give a similar training schedule to one of my athletes. So, I guess training for this Ironman is in essence part of my job and not just a hobby. Now I am justifying spending 30 hours a week on Ironman stuff and only 10-15 hours working. Training for this Ironman IS my job, yeah, that's it....
My career is as a coach and fitness professional. My goal is to coach a professional triathlete, not be one. The thing is, is that, my goal is not to win this race or qualify for Kona. My goal is to finish the race and have a great experience. Yet, I have still let it consume all of my time, my thoughts and my conversations. Like I said, the majority of my time is spent on Ironman stuff and my time spent actually working has shrunk to maybe 10-15 hours a week. I have been able to keep my time with my husband as a priority so the one thing that has suffered in my life is my work. By the way, my husband has been awesome at supporting me through my training and has put up with all of this Ironman stuff for almost a year now without a single complaint.
Because this is my first Ironman, I may be going overboard with my training and have done more than was necessary. I would much rather be over prepared and get to the race and feel like I am more than ready and the actual Ironman it isn't too bad compared to all of the training I have done than be under prepared and wish I had trained harder.
I wonder if it is possible to train for an ironman doing less than I have done and keeping more balance in your life. I don't know if it is. I read articles and books by guys who say- "Ironman in 10 hours a week." I don't see how that is possible when the race will take me at least 12 hours in one day. How could I possibly prepare my body for a 12 hour race in 10 hours a week.
I am sure it is not as consuming when you have already done one because it is not so unknown. Being my first one, it has taken over my thoughts, time, conversations and life.
Many people have asked me if I will do another one and right now my focus is on getting through this one. I am looking forward to having my time free up again to get my life back in balance and make my career and work a priority for awhile. This is probably the wrong time to ask me when I am in the middle of my biggest weeks of training too. The week after the race when I am on a high, ask me and I will most likely say yes!
Gotta go! Back to training...I have a 40 mile ride and 4 mile run today. I plan to update this blog everyday this week now that I am tapering, I have some time to write about the Ironman :)