I'm at my desk at work. It's 8 p.m. on a Friday. I'll be on call until the wee hours as I head off for a press trip tomorrow in London and assets still need to be delivered.
I'm not complaining at all. I work for a fantastic company, I love what I do and love my teammates. I've been incredibly fortunate NOT to have to work late hours for quite a while now, so when I do, I really don't mind.
That's just life.
And it's a lot different from last year, when my luck and timing aligned to allow for a high emphasis on being the best triathlete I could be.
I don't think that's realistic this year. I essentially have A-races in the life column: Wedding and honeymoon; Busy career year; and an actual Ironman.
Three A-level "life events" are starting to take their toll. I can't remember the last time I missed two workouts in one week when illness wasn't a factor. But that's just what happened this week with deadlines looming and a suitcase still waiting to be packed. It's moments like this when my goal of breaking 12 hours at Ironman Coeur d'Alene seems farther away than ever. Especially when I'm seeing slow running results from my ever-changing form, as was the case today with a lumbering 5.8 mile run in zone 2 that lasted almost an hour on the dot. And when I'm downing In N' Out Double-Doubles with fries late in the office instead of my personal strength training session, which I skipped.
What to do?
I think the answer is to simply accept that A) it's a busy time of the of the year in my industry, B) I'm lucky to have a job and C) this year ain't nothin' like last year. I know I've mentioned the latter point before, but watching it unfold with an Ironman less than five months away is a little scary. What else is coming?
Life, that's what.
This is normal! Normal people work late hours and have lots of commitments. Abnormal people fit 15+ hours of training in on top of it. Something's gotta give.
I'm not prepared to give in. Yet.
How do you do it? Especially those with families?
Maybe triathlon is a single-person's sport? A sport for those with disposable income and disposable time. I dunno.
(Apologies if this is a downer. I know that one of the things the people who read this blog appreciate is my honesty, so I don't want to sugarcoat anything.)
But wait! A silver lining!
Here's what I've learned from training and racing the past year-plus. YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING! You have to chip away at the problem. Don't give up! Even if the result isn't what we visualized, we still complete the journey. That means a lot. There is no shame in that. No quit in that. It's no different than those workouts when we just don't want to get in the pool or on the bike, or lace up those muddy shoes. The results from those workouts are sometimes the best. Why? I think it's because there's no expectations involved. You just shrug your shoulders and pedal. And then you get there faster than you expected, wherever "there" is.
So that's what I'm going to do. Shrug my shoulders and move forward the best I can. I may not get there as fast as I'd like.
But I'll get there.
And I hope to see you there too when I arrive.
144 days and counting.