The Reality of Triathlon Training

So here I am with less than a month to go before the Napa Vintage 70.3.  I wish I could tell you about the century ride I did last weekend, the killer brick workout, the openwater swim that felt great, the speedwork where I’m pushing my lactate threshold to new limits.  I’m in my peak training phase when I should be stringing together some really outstanding workouts but feeling incredibly inadequate.  I wonder if anyone else is like me.

handymanThe reality of tri training is somewhat different.  I’m not getting enough time on the bike, so my long rides are very uncomfortable.  I try to do a brick once a week, but I run out of time and can’t do the run portion.  I drove an hour to meet a friend to do an openwater swim last week in San Francisco Bay, only to find wind gusts and whitecaps.  We ended up at the local indoor YMCA pool–over-heated, over-chlorinated, over-crowded. My planned workouts aren’t going as planned.  I am writing this blog entry with an ice pack wrapped around my sore right knee.  Where did that come from?  I can’t be warding off an injury this late in the game.

I work at a Fortune 100 company, putting in 75 – 80 hours a week. In the current economic crisis where every news report and company announcement starts with, “In the current economic crisis…” everyone seems willing to work harder just to hold on to their job.  I just want to get in a quality workout.  I am way over-worked but perform well under pressure.  Is that a good thing or does it just suck?  I am sleep deprived, often waking up at 2:30 am. thinking about work while the dog snores under the covers.  Why is the dog in my bed in the first place!?  Some nights I’ll lay there until around 4 am., then give up on the idea of getting any more sleep, go to my office, and start my work day.  Weekends are no different.

When I’m not working, my son wants to play sports–any sport.  He has already asked me, “Can you play now?” a million times.  If he wants to play, 9 out of 10 times I am forfeiting a workout to play with my son.  That’s an easy choice to make, but results in one less swim, run or bike that day.  My kids know daddy will fall asleep at the movies, but they want me to go anyway.  I swear I missed more than half of Monsters vs. Aliens last weekend.

My “honey-do” tasks will rival anyone’s list.  I haven’t been able to park my car in my 3-car garage in years with all the clutter and kid stuff that has been thrown to one side of the garage.  My father-in-law ordered new hinges for me for some of the kitchen cabinets but the cabinet doors hang crooked while I stare at the unopened hardware while filling my water bottles.  I finally had to scrub the entire inside of the BBQ recently when I tried to grill some steaks and nearly caught the whole house on fire.  I just took my father-in-law to the airport this morning and I have his pick-up truck for two weeks.  I should really take the dead oven (yes, an oven) in my garage to the dump.

Are these the trivial challenges that separate the pros and elites from the rest of us?  I’m sure the pros have their challenges too, but  I often imagine how much faster I would be if I didn’t have to work.  Then I remind myself I am not a gifted athlete in the first place, so who am I kidding?  At the end of the day, I have a healthy and happy family, a good job, a nice home.  I still get in 12 – 15 hours a week of training.  I am not complaining.

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6 Responses

  1. I feel your pain. I think a big difference between an elite athlete and us regular folk is that we have to put training aside sometimes in order to keep the paychecks rolling in or whatever other priority trumps our workouts.

    You’ve been training consistently – you will be fine.

    But really… the San Martin dump is like 5 miles away… that oven really needs to get over there. 🙂

    • Hey Vince, I am happy to report the dead oven has found a happy home at the San Martin dump even though it cost me a flat tire driving into that place…yet another task on the to-do list. But I can now park my car in my garage!

      Are you a triathlete in the Morgan Hill area? You know about the tri club being started at Concept Cyclery in town?

  2. Ah, yes, the struggles. I’m just glad Jacob joined the Wolfpak. Since then, after I drop him off for his Saturday morning run, I do my run/walk for a whole hour. I never used to be out for a whole hour–usually only half an hour. And soon, all five of us are going to talk to Jacob’s coach to talk about fitness plans for each of us.

    I know what I just shared doesn’t relate that well to what you’re going through since you complete in triathlons and I only do 5Ks, but I understand that life can seem just too busy. You are making right decisions by taking time for your family. It’s SO important that we be there for each other!! Your children will remember that.

    But I do struggle with this chronic IT band syndrome in my right leg. One time, I was leaving Briton’s track at the end of my Saturday morning workout. I was bummed out because of the IT band issue. Then I saw a man who had obviously had a stroke going along slowly with his walker–and he didn’t look much older than me!! Yes, Lord, thank you that I have the good health that I have! I will remember to be thankful.

    I will keep you in prayer. God is a BIG God, and he understands our struggles.

    Be blessed!!

    Jody :>}

  3. Ahhh… yes, I realize you’re not making the connection between my name and my screen name – Tsilcyc.

    I’ve just become aware of Concept Cyclery when I did the Tierra Bella last weekend. They provided support for the event… always nice to have a big shop present to assist when you get a flat.

    You’ve got one week for the Napa event… how are you feeling?

    • Vince, it’s you! Sorry I missed Tierra Bella this year but it’s a nice event. Concept Cyclery fitted me yesterday with a carbon zero setback seat post to give me a better position on my aero bars. Along with the demo racing wheels, I’m hoping for a decent bike portion next weekend. Going to physical therapy every day for my knee and hoping for the best.

  4. Being in taper should probably help as well…

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