I'm headed into the busiest, most taxing part of my Ironman training. Yet what I'll remember most from this weekend is the time I got to spend with Stephanie and my family. At first I was bummed that Yom Kippur fell on a Saturday. I need that time to complete my long bike or run. Trying to do so during the week wipes me out and for a 5-6 hour bike ride, it's logistically impossible. But being able to enjoy a Saturday by not running around all over the place and then trying to cram in some relaxation -- even if it meant not eating much of anything -- was a true joy. Yes, I attended services, as I mentioned yesterday. But I also stopped long enough in my life to plop on the couch and watch some college football. I hung out with my family without looking at my watch.
Sometimes, doing less can be more for your mind and body in triathlon training.
The trend continued today, as I logged five hours in the pool (3,000 yard swim) and on the bike (4 hours, 4,300 feet, Tour de Conejo via Calabasas and Simi Valley). You'd think that wouldn't qualify as lounging, but the eight hours from when I returned home and spent the day with Steph certainly did. Though I was on a tight timeline with my training today since we had a 3 p.m. appointment with our wedding ceremony rabbi, it actually ended working in my favor. I got to really feel like I had a leisurely Sunday without the guilt of either missing all my training or not spending quality time with my lady. While I had to cut my workouts short -- by 500 yards in the water and around 1.5 hours on the bike -- it still meant more time after our appointment just to hang out with no particular plan. Like a long date. We filled our afternoon running an errand (I needed new swim shorts and goggles), eating an early dinner at Fritto Misto in Santa Monica, and watching Peyton destroy Eli at home on the couch.
It was so nice to have a weekend back in the heat of my Ironman training. I'm bummed I didn't complete my original 17.5 hours of scheduled training. But, I still checked off most of my workouts, trained hard, and at the end, I feel quite refreshed. Mentally, I'm ready for next week's dose of Ironman fun, which will call for another 17.5 hours. Physically, I worked hard but have much more left in the tank.
Which is more important: Completing all your training and feeling mentally and physically drained, or completing most of it, finding balance at home and looking forward to the next week?
Is there any doubt what the correct answer is?
61 days and counting.