Posted by: Tina | March 4, 2011

Triathlon Training. Plus Work. Plus Kids.

I’m finding it much harder to keep on track generally with everything since I started working and went back to athletic training six days a week. I always felt like I was really busy and constrained from getting in my workouts while I was on maternity leave (and then laid off), but now I can appreciate how much flexibility I had to get other stuff done when I wasn’t working. At the very least, I could do shopping or other errands with the kids in tow (not that it was easy), plus laundry, cooking, cleaning, and e-mails (or blog posts or my general internet fix) while they napped. Now, I have a roughly 10-hour block of time in which I’m working or commuting to work, and have very little flexibility to get these other things done.

So these are my priorities these days in order of how much time I spend on them:

  1. Work, which thankfully is pretty much from 9-5, give or take some time on each side
  2. Shuttling the kids back and forth to child care, plus general cleaning, feeding, playing, loving, and other maintenance required to ensure survival and maximize development
  3. Triathlon training

This doesn’t leave me a lot of time, and I wish I could shuffle these so that #1 could be #3. (I did buy a Lotto Max ticket today so, fingers crossed…)

Therefore, these are the things that fall off:

  1. Shopping for groceries. We do eventually get around to this because we need to eat, but luckily my parents are willing to let us crash their dinners once a week or so when we realize the only food option available is pizza delivery, which we still feel that we should limit to a maximum of once every couple of weeks.
  2. Laundry, until we have worn our workout clothes so many times without washing them that just airing them out on a drying rack in the bathroom isn’t enough to get the stench out (the stench issue is mostly my husband’s).
  3. General cleanliness of the house, until my husband or I can’t stand looking at the toilets anymore or we feel embarrassed because company is coming over.
  4. Staying in touch with people even by e-mail and writing anything longer than 140 characters. Catching up by phone? Forget it.
  5. Reading novels <sigh>.

But this site is supposed to be about me training for triathlon, right? It’s not supposed to be about me dealing with the daily grind of life. Still, triathlon training is intrinsically tied to my life – after the kids, it’s my second priority – and the daily grind of working full-time and raising two kids sometimes makes it hard to stay committed and motivated to train. I often think about how much easier things would be if I wasn’t training for anything. Or what it would be like if I just let myself sleep in instead of getting up early to get in a workout. Or how it would feel to not be thinking constantly about what my next workout is and when I can fit it in somewhere without compromising the other two top priorities (I think about my workout schedule and how I’ll fit in workouts probably as often as a teenage boy thinks about sex).

But, if I didn’t train, I would probably find it just as hard to stay motivated to meet the other two top priorities in my life. I would be a much grouchier mother and wife, just as I was when I wasn’t working full time. And especially because I am a mother, I must have something that is my own, and fitness and training is that something. I simply have to let go of the stuff that I feel I should be doing (see list above), but also accept that I am not one of those women who can “do it all” (as if there is such a thing!).

Still, I am feeling overwhelmed these days, especially looking forward at my training schedule for the coming weeks. Workout intensity and duration are set to increase substantially, and I’m already thinking obsessively about when – and if – I can fit it all in.


  1. […] do know there are tough days when I’m trying to stick to a training schedule and keep life ticking away for me and my family. […]

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