Monday, April 6, 2009

Life Is Simple (It Used To Be, Anyway!)

I have a lot of really old training clothes. Most of my running shorts are at least 5 years old... some of them I remember buying in 2001. Shocking that the elastic is still stretchy! (I think the key there is never putting them in the dryer). I know the cycling outfit I wore yesterday needs to go in the garbage because the side panels of the shorts are almost sheer and the zipper on the top is all corroded and I couldn't get it unzipped yesterday when I was done. Mama needs some new clothes.

Here's an example of an old one... a long sleeve technical shirt that I got for $7 in 2002.

How's that for a classic? Those of you who were doing triathlons 7 years ago might remember that Utah was the Ironman where the crazy winds picked up and made the water in the shallow lake impossible to swim in... I tried... but after 1:20 of duck diving overhead waves and not seeing a single buoy, I walked in to shore 3 piers down from where the swim was supposed to end... all before knowing that the race had actually been cancelled.

Anyway, needless to say the Ironman Utah clothing was on a firesale the following day. At first I remember thinking that I didn't want any IM Utah clothing, because there was no IM Utah... but now, 7 years later, this stuff is classic.

I put the shirt on this morning before heading over to the pool. This is what it says on the back:

Pouring his coffee, Scott said: "You need to add to that list..."

Since I hadn't yet had my coffee, I had no idea what he was talking about. Me: "What?"

Scott: "On your shirt. It should also say 'Feed baby, Change diapers, Do laundry, Vacuum floor, Clean kitchen, Grocery shop, Fix dinner, Sweep the patio'..."

That got me thinking. My life is definitely more complicated now that I have a family. It used to be simple. When I was single and had a job but no husband or kids, I might have been busy time-wise, but it was all more flexible than it is now. I made all my decisions about what to do and when without consulting anyone, or even taking anyone else into consideration for that matter. Swim in the morning? Or at noon? Or at night? Whatever I felt like.

Now I feel family responsibility to be home as much as possible and orchestrating our home and everything that goes along with it. I am the hub. If I don't remember to get toilet paper, there will be none in the house. If I don't fold the laundry, it'll stay indefinitely in the dryer and just get more and more wrinkled. If I don't keep the kitchen completely clean, the ants will have a hey-day. And if I don't orchestrate Moana's day properly, there's a lot of crying and then and everyone is unhappy.

Not that Scott doesn't pitch in at all around here, but his job is his job. He goes to work and does his job and brings home the paycheck. My job is to make sure that everything is running smoothly here. And I really feel like I have to get everything done as well as possible because, at least in my own head, that's my free pass to go train. The guilt I feel about being away for hours every weekend putting in long miles of biking and running is enough. I totally couldn't do it if I felt like I was neglecting anything at home.

Maybe that's the difference now? When I was single, lots of things got neglected at home... But it didn't matter... Because I was the only one who would notice. Now I have two people depending on me NOT to neglect things at home.

But in the end, I wouldn't trade it away for anything. And I think the forced organization has made me a better athlete. Because now I don't have the option to swim in the morning, or at noon, or at night. Now it's swim in the morning or miss it altogether. So I'm hyper-scheduled. I can't remember the last time I skipped a workout.

This past weekend was a big one. I ran a 10K on Saturday morning. It wasn't as fast as I was hoping for, but not bad in the big picture (45:51). No would-have, could-have, should-have excuses from me... I just took it out too fast and completely underestimated how hard that last mile was going to be with the uphill and headwind. Yesterday was a huge ride/run brick (B95, R4.5). Probably (ok, clearly) more than we need to be doing right now since we're only training for a 1/2 IM, but there is a degree of satisfaction to be gained from successfully completing a workout like that and feeling strong at the end.


X-Country2 said...

Amen! Training yourself to schedule and organize is often more challenging than the physical stuff.

Charisa said...

I love the Utah stuff - I remember that! And I think it's awesome you hold everything together.

Angela and David Kidd said...

I think now that my time is more precious all of my workouts count and in the end that it making me a much better athlete then the junk miles I used to do. And isn't crazy how much you always have to think about with a family? You've got to always be thinking 5 steps ahead. Thank goodness we don't really have to worry about ants here - it's too cold. I'd be losing that battle because I have a husband who leaves a trail of crumbs wherever he goes.

Rebecca DeWire said...

I am glad to hear that you survived that horrible swim in Utah. That must have been terrible. Scott and I are much better athletes since Elena has been born. We each allot each other workout times and if you don't get it done in your assigned time, then too bad! I used to skip workouts all the time before Elena was born, but I never do now.

Lizzie said...

I am so afraid of everything you just described here! I think mothers are amazing and running/tri mothers even more so - just have no idea how I'll make it all happen! Reading your blog makes it seem a little easier and attainable.

That 10K time is awesome!!