I’m passing on some lessons I’ve learned the hard way over the past two weeks while Michael has been out of town for work (back on the weekend, thank goodness). The good news is that I’ve learned just how much he contributes around here and I have a new appreciation for “it takes two” to train for Ironman if you have young children. The bad news is my training (and the household) has suffered.
Last week, I was feeling good and kicked off the week on Tuesday with a double workout – morning bike and evening run. I hired a sitter for Wednesday am / pm and Thursday am / pm workouts as well. I felt great coming off of an 80 mile ride on the weekend. That’s when disaster struck!! ok, not disaster, but strep throat. ughhh!
I awoke on Wednesday with glands the size of small oranges (or so they felt). I had no energy. I managed to get the kids off to school and tell my boss that I would need to take the morning off. Fast forward to 5pm and I hadn’t gotten out of bed. It took me 40 minutes to convince myself that I could and must walk to C+E’s school (1 block) to retrieve them. Luckily, our sitter came over soon after so I could sleep. I missed training on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. The whole week is a fog and I was a mess.
Lesson 1: Don’t overdo it. Plan for a less aggressive training week when your SO is away, especially if your kids don’t sleep through the night and there’s a chance you, like me, will be up multiple times. The last thing you need to do is get sick.
Lesson 2: Have babysitters and back up babysitters and then another plan if they all fall through. I lucked out last week. Our sitter really came through. BUT, imagine if she had gotten sick!
Also, DO NOT tally up how much you’re spending on all of these people. It will only make you cry.
The second week (this week) I invited my cousin to come up and watch C+E in the mornings and evenings. Surely this would be a foolproof plan. Having learned from last week, I resisted the urge to plunge back into two-a-day workouts. E woke up every night, sometimes 2x a night this week, which really threw a wrench in my 4:40 planned wake ups for 5am bikes. I didn’t make it out because I’m just not that tough. Plus, E would be laying with me every time my alarm would go off l and I couldn’t bear the tears that would ensure if I gave her to my cousin. That’s just not something I’m up for at that hour. So, I had my cousin get the kids ready for school while I scored an extra hour of sleep and I rearranged my schedule on Tuesday and Thursday to block an hour on my calendar during the day for a short workout. I’m lucky I have this flexibility.
On Wednesday, E was sent home from school with a fever. I actually waved the white flag. My throat was feeling scratchy again, too. I called M and told him that he’s on overnight duty Friday and Saturday nights. I need to get ample sleep this weekend & I needed some hope to get me through.
Lesson 3: Have a back-up plan for every training session because you really can’t predict the sleeping / sickness schedules of young children.
Lesson 4: Set expectations for when your partner gets back. Too often, I try to be the hero. I’ve now swallowed my pride. I need sleep.
Signing off… with a newfound respect for single parents everywhere,