When I told my colleagues I was expecting twins back in the Fall of 2013, several of them applauded me for my efficiency. Considering I had no control over becoming pregnant of twins (vs. a singleton), I found these comments both odd and funny. Now I realize when you become a mom of multiples, efficiency must be your middle name. Either that, or “schedule” or “multi-tasker”… you get the point. We MoMs are busy!
As a mama who is also embarking on Ironman training, which starts December 7th, we’re taking this whole “efficiency, schedule, multi-tasking” thing to a whole new level. I have been sitting on the couch reviewing my training schedule and feeling overwhelmed. It’s intense. More on that in another post, though. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I start to plan.
To prepare for the busy training days ahead, I have considered how I spend my time each week, all 168 hours.
- Work – 45 hours
- Sleeping – 48 hours
- Commuting – 3 hours
- Personal care – 3 hours
- Dog walking – 2 hours
- Food Prep – 2 hours
- Running – 7 hours
- Family time – 40 hours
- Leisure – 20 hours
Note: Somehow, I forgot to include eating in my analysis, which is something I do a lot of! I suppose we can adjust down the family time or leisure to account for that. Those are also the buckets that my 13 to 23 hours of training per week will come from. What’s misleading about 13 to 23 hours is that it doesn’t include the time it takes to prepare for each workout, commute to each workout, recover from the workout or manage all the extra laundry!
I have been and will continue to take a few key steps in November, to prepare for the big training days ahead, both directly (gear / training) and indirectly (household).
- Wardrobe – My professional wardrobe hasn’t been refreshed in a few years. I have loads of clothes, but most of it doesn’t fit well or I just don’t love it. I spend too much time and mental energy stressing out about what to wear and / or feeling inadequately dressed.
- Food – We are experimenting with streamlining the grocery ordering process. We already get most, but not all, groceries delivered so it’s about polishing that process as well as instilling a habit on the weekends of making food in bulk for the coming week.
- Personal Care
- Bikini wax – I bit the bullet and scheduled one over the weekend – my future teammates will thank me!
- Haircut – Scheduled for next weekend. As convenient as short hair is for training (part of the reason I cut mine), getting a haircut ever 5-6 weeks is more time than I’d like to spend on grooming. Unfortunately, my hairdresser is a 30 minute subway ride away. It is probably time to find another salon uptown.
- Schedule & Childcare
- Daycare – After being on the wait list for a year, the kiddos were accepted into daycare, which is literally 1 block from our apartment, from 8am to 6pm during the week. Though I’m nervous about their transition, I am excited that they will have the opportunity to socialize more during the day.
- Family Calendar – I put each and every workout into our household calendar (part of the reason I’m feeling overwhelmed). Here’s what the preliminary schedule looks like. In completing this exercise, I realized this leaves little time for Michael’s training, which is definitely something that we will have to manage, as he’s planning on running the Boston Marathon in April.
- Training Program – Last week, I attended an information session for a training program based out of my local pool. There are about 6 group workouts per week, and I’m really excited about having a group of athletes to train with. There were 10 at the meeting.
- Bike – One of the most important pieces of ironman gear is the bike. I’m borrowing Michael’s tri bike for the season since I only have a road bike. I love my road bike. It fits wonderfully and feels like an extension of my body. They tell me that a tri bike is required for races longer than 70.3. Begrudgingly, I’m going to give it a try.
- We took his bike in for a tune-up / wheel change today.
- I’ll pick it up tomorrow and get a cursory fitting, just to get started.
- I need to change the cleats on my bike shoes, too.
- Finally I can test it out!! I hope to get outside before the weather gets much colder. My expectations are low in terms of how comfortable riding a tri bike will be. It looks like an awkward position – I can imagine it takes lots of time to get used to it.
- Then, I’ll begin the process of setting up the CompuTrainer, which we’ve had for a while, but have only used the trainer part of it.
- Other Ironman Gear
- GPS Watch – I have an old Garmin Forerunner, which I love, but I’m probably due for an upgrade. I’m going to experiment with Michael’s Polar M400 to see how I like it. I’ll only wear it on the run. I have a separate Garmin bike computer, which is mounted on the bike.
- Bike Shoes – Redd, our dog, ate mine. They are still functional, but a new pair is on my wish list.
- I have a decent assortment of socks, clothing (warm and cold weather), sports bras, swim suits / caps, and other apparel. I’m sure I’ll need a few more key pieces of apparel, but hopefully I can buy those as I go.
- Sports Nutrition – Nutrition is arguably this is the 4th discipline in long course triathlon. Even I can appreciate the need for developing a nutrition plan and practicing it repeatedly. Historically, in marathons and short triathlons, I’ve used Hammer Products and I intend to start with those to see how my body likes them. I’ve used gels and endurolytes frequently in the past, for carbs and electrolytes, respectively. I haven’t yet gone long enough to need to take in protein, which is why I’ll be trying Perpetuem on the bike when my rides become more than 2 hours long.
- I placed an initial order, which should get me through the first month or two of training.
- Race Registration
- 140.6 – I registered in July for Lake Placid, my A race, for the season.
- 70.3 – It is customary to race a 70.3 about 6 weeks before the big event. You don’t taper for this race and it isn’t an A race. It’s really just an opportunity to test your training, make sure your gear isn’t literally rubbing you the wrong way, and execute your nutrition plan in an actual race.
In conclusion, aside from feeling a little poor (I forgot how expensive this sport can be), I am also beginning to feel consumed by triathlon. The feeling is familiar. I recognize it from 2011, when I first got into the sport. There was so much to learn, so much gear to manage and so much training to do! I have to admit that I’m nervous about taking all of this on while managing a family and a career. At the same time, I feel really energized by the enormity of my goal and it’s clear-cut nature. It’s nice to look forward over the next 8 months and see how my training will (hopefully) unfold.