Sunday, June 24, 2012


Admittedly I have an obsessive personality.  It's a trait that has it's pluses and minuses.  For example, when I was 18 I got obsessed with the Kodaly method of music education, to the point where I was extremely annoying and didn't think or talk about much else.  I learned everything I could about it, sought out some pretty amazing mentors, scouted out a school in Australia (which I was also obsessed with, but that's another story...) that used the Kodaly method exclusively and student taught there, and after my first year teaching I took a year off to go study at the Kodaly Institute in Hungary.  Of course, this is how I met my wonderful (Australian) (Kodaly Teacher) husband, what shaped my teaching style, and something that continues to inspire me in the classroom each day.  However, one of my very best friends from graduate school (Masters in Music Education with an emphasis in the Kodaly method....surprise surprise...)  told me later on that our first year in the program she kept her distance from me because I was so hardcore and intense about it.  I like to think I'm passionate about things, but that might be an understatement.

Ironman has become an obsession.  I think about it all the time.  During the school year, as I'd drive to work I'd be thinking about how I could fit in all the required 12+ hours in the training plan.  On Sunday night I'd meticulously map out my week, especially double workouts, and broadcast it on Daily Mile because if I made it public, I'd stick with it (although I'm sure pretty much no one reads my weekly plan.... making it public is just a mental thing.)  I'd know Sunday night that on Thursday I would get my 75 minute bike ride done at on the trainer before the children got up at 6:45, and then I'd get 70 minutes of running in by parking my car outside of the babysitter's house precisely at 4:20, still allowing me to finish up right at my deadline of 5:30.  I would literally spend the last 10 minutes  running up and down her street to make sure I got in all 70 minutes without risking a late pick up.  Then I would log it all on Daily Mile to the second.  And forget about skipping workouts. If it didn't get done before I picked them up, I'd finish up after they went to sleep.  I wouldn't sacrifice kid time, but I sacrificed a lot of sleep time.  

Losing sleep probably isn't healthy.  Or balanced.  

I also have a really hard time with "rest days."  This week the training plan said 16 hours.  I thought I had gotten in all my workouts (much easier to do now that school is out), and today was supposed to be a rest day.  I logged onto Daily Mile and it said I'd only gotten in 14:32.  14:34 is not 16!   I immediately went to the training plan to see where my "deficit" was.  Apparently I was short an hour on the bike and a half an hour on the run.  We are visiting my parents right now, and my kids were asleep in the living room.  Everyone else in my family was watching a soccer game (which I have never enjoyed.)  So I went out and biked for an hour.  Then I ran for 25 minutes.  And then I logged it all and felt better.

I wonder if every endurance athlete has an obsessive personality?  I mean, you have to be pretty obsessive to even consider doing something this crazy.  You can fake your way through a 5K.  Maybe even a sprint triathlon.  An Ironman?  Not so much.  You have to be a little obsessive to get up at 5am and swim for 90 minutes, and then run another 90 minutes sometime after work.  To run 20 miles on a Saturday morning when everyone else is enjoying some extra sleep.  Or bike 80 hilly miles on your first day of summer vacation when it's 100 degrees outside.

Obsessed?  Perhaps.

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