Competing against Life
When it comes to running (or swimming and biking), we’re in a constant state of competition. Competing against the clock. Our Garmin. Mother Nature – heat, humidity, wind, rain. Self-doubt. Nerves. The person next to us. Ourselves.
During the last 2 weeks, I’ve been competing against life.
You may have noticed I haven’t shared my last 2 weeks of half Ironman training (weeks #11 and #12) with you. That’s because they’ve been mediocre at best as I’ve competed against prior commitments, hectic travel schedules, a nasty head cold and family vacation. Fitting in training around the obstacles of life has been a real challenge recently. And no matter who you are or how long you’ve been training and racing, it always will be.
Whether you’re training for your first 5K or your fifth Ironman, life is always going to be the one factor that gets in your way. And you should let it (at least sometimes). Because if you choose triathlon training over an epic race experience like the Hood to Coast Relay or your dad’s 60th surprise birthday party in Key West or getting to see friends you only see once a year, you’re losing a lot more than a few workouts on the bike or speed sessions in the pool. You’re missing out on what’s most important in life: memories with the people you love most, moments you can’t rewind or take back.
When life gets hectic, just keep doing the best you can do. Fit in the most you can fit in and keep moving forward. Don’t dwell on the long ride you had to miss because your plane was delayed and you spent 10 hours traveling to get home (yes, that happened last week). Get over the fact that you were sick for 5 days and took 2 rest days instead of one and chose to sleep extra to get better (yes, that happened last week). Be grateful for the workouts you did get in while on vacation, like an 8-mile run on the beach (yes, that happened last week) or the brick you squeezed in at 5 a.m. before you left (yes, that happened last week).
When life comes calling and messes with your training schedule, keep working hard, do the best you can, stay committed. But don’t forget to enjoy the moments outside your training, take breaks to experience something more important, and every once in a while, just give in to life.
And then get back at it.
Do you constantly find yourself in a battle between training and life? How do you balance it all?