I got my issue of TRAIL by Runner's World yesterday and was excited to see that they had an article on ultrarunning mothers who balance the act of parenthood and logging many, many miles a week. I thought it would inspire me but instead I started thinking that maybe we're all just crazy.
Okay, no judgement here. Really. Let's just look at what the article quotes. It was the sidebar that caught my attention. "I don't have a clean house. A clean house is highly overrated. I don't sleep very much and I don't watch TV." -Anita Ortiz, champion trail runner. Well, I'm no champion trail runner but that quote could be coming straight out of my mouth. Today was my rest day and it was also cold and rainy so we didn't do our usual spring thing of spending time outdoors as a family. Instead I spent six hours cleaning the house. Six hours. Why? Because it has been so neglected. I found things we had replaced and lost a second time. I folded clothes for at least three hours. I still have the final load going right now at 10:30 p.m. Yes, I'll be up at 5 and it's 10:30 and I'm not sleeping yet. And I can't remember the last time I sat down and watched something other than Dora The Explorer... unless I'm on the bike trainer. And I'm not sure if that really counts as watching TV.
The article went on to talk about how Anita Ortiz, mother of four (that would be twice as many kids as I have) logs so many miles. Oh, did I fail to mention that like me she is also a full time teacher? She wakes up not at 5 a.m. but at 3:30 a.m. so she can get in between 12-20 miles before she needs to get to work. Then she apparently runs during her lunch break, comes home and spends the evening with her family, and then often runs AGAIN after dinner.
That does not seem balanced to me.
She claims that although she spends so much time running, when she is with her family she is "100% there for them." Quality time. Like I said, no judgement. Maybe she is superwoman. However, I don't see how I could be there 100% for my kids on that little sleep.
I related much more to another runner in the article, who spoke of long runs with her jogging stroller, logging miles on the gym treadmill while her toddler plays in the child center, and waking up early to get in the day's workout before her daughter wakens. That seems very balanced and that was me until this Ironman training began a few weeks ago.
I feel like it is just impossible to get it in without sacrificing other things. Like, for example, laundry. Cooking.. Grocery shopping. Playing Candy Land with my three year old. This is my third week in the Ironman plan and I know it is really going to be a struggle until school lets out for the summer. I don't think I'm going to be able to follow the plan to a T, because it just isn't going to work. For example, this weekend is choral festival. It's all day Saturday. I'm supposed to cycle 3.5 hours followed by .5 hours of running. Unlike running, I can't really start the cycling until the sun comes up... well, I guess I could but I'm not sure how safe that is. I could get up at 4:30 and cycle for three hours on the bike trainer. Or not. Because that sounds like self inflicted torture. The whole point of cycling for me is to be outside and anything longer than an hour just kills me.
Maybe I'm just feeling burnt out. But this could me my one and only Ironman. It is all consuming. Someone told me once that you have to look at this equation: Full Time Job + Children + Ironman = Too Much. You should only have two of those things in the equation. When June 20 rolls around, training will be so much easier, but for now there is just so much going on -- something almost every weekend up until that day.
Memorial Day weekend we are going camping with some friends I was spending so much time stressing about how I was going to get in a 5 hour bike ride, but you know what? The bike is staying at home. I'll go for a run instead -- before the kids wake up. :)