Friday, July 26, 2013

Fitting it All In: The Schedule

If the title and description to this blog don't make it obvious enough, I'm not the most creative person.  In person I can be witty, if a bit dry, but my writing definitely trends toward being descriptive and fact driven...leaving out the fun and emotion.  Hopefully, the more I write the better that gets!

Anyway, I was looking at the blog title and realized that I hadn't even written anything on why I call this a struggle with the triathlon lifestyle.  Other than having to work hard, which all athletes have to do, I haven't really addressed my personal challenges with work, marriage, parenthood, triathlon and life in general.  Honestly, I don't think it's overly unique.  Most folks have busy lives and a lot going on.  But I do think I pack a lot in to my limited time!

Work:  I'm a project management professional/engineer in the Oil & Gas industry.  That means I organize and lead the projects that get oil & gas out of the ground and to the refineries for processing.  That has a heavy component of engineering, with leadership and business mixed in.  It's a cyclical job; with some periods where work is 70+ hrs per week, while other weeks are a smooth 40hrs.  The best news is that my new employer has 9/80s, which means I have every other Friday off!

Home: Well, I'm a husband of just over 9 years and a dad to a 16 month old son and 3 dogs.  My wife, Analise, works for another company in the same industry as me and has hours more demanding than mine but a shorter commute.  The dogs are awesome, but get neglected and spend most their days laying about.  Finally, our son TJ is the centerpoint of our lives.  Super active kid and a super happy kid.

Hobbies:  Not much these days other than triathlon.  I LOVE to read, but now I'm mostly limited to audiobooks on my commute.  I read fiction and a lot of non-fiction.  In a perfect world, I love to study sports physiology, philosophy and physics.  Maybe someday I'll be able to get back into it to the level I'd like to.  I also love to golf, eat/cook good food and drink good booze.  I'm a whiskey fanatic and have dabbled in some brewing as well. 

So cramming all that into a 7 day week gets challenging.  My typical day looks like this:

4:45am - Alarm goes off
5:15am - On the road to work
6:00am - At my desk, logged on and working
10:00am - Lunchtime Run
11:10am - Back at my desk eating lunch
4:00pm - On the road home
5:00pm - Home
5:00-6:30pm - Home alone with TJ.  Playtime!
6:30-7:30pm - Analise gets home.  Make dinner, wash TJ and put him to bed.
7:45-9:00pm - On the trainer on bike nights
8:30-9:30pm - In bed, lights out, fast asleep...

On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, that changes a bit when I go to Master's swim, which starts at 530am.  On those days, I'm on the road by 4:45 and make it to work by about 6:55. 

Basically, I can account for my day down to about 5 minute increments on most days.  There's very little time to waste.  I have a lot of concrete times that I have to work around.  At work by 6, home by 5 so the nanny can leave and TJ going down at 7:30.  Moreover, we have a rule that we don't workout while TJ is awake, so that we can maximize our time with him.  With two working parents, that's important.

Weekly workout schedule looks something like this:

Mon:  Masters swim and strength.  I expect we'll start working in easy runs in as IMCoz approaches.
Tue:  Easy run and a hard bike (i.e. 6x4min)
Wed: Masters swim and hard run (i.e. 12x2min)
Thur:  Strength and tempo bike
Fri: Masters swim and steady run
Sat:  Long bike w/ transition run
Sun:  Long run

More or less that's how it goes.  When everything is clicking, it all works well.  It just doesn't allow for much room for error.  If my day gets off by just a few minutes, it can completely derail my workout plans. 

So anyway, that's it!  That's why it's a struggle to maintain the lifestyle needed to continue my progression in this sport.  I told you it would be mundane!  But while it seems straightforward, it can actually be pretty stressful, trying to make sure those workouts are done and fitting everything in.  It leaves little room for other hobbies, fun or friends, but we try hard to fit those in as well.

The hardest thing?  Sleep.  I really need 7-8 hours per night, but I probably average well under 7.  When 9pm is the first chance all day to relax, it's so hard not to pour a cocktail and read for a few minutes or read up on the Dallas Cowboys or browse Slowtwitch!

18 Weeks to go until Cozumel!!!

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