The balance between discipline, excuses and “real life trumps all”

So I really LOVE Granny Smiths. Not the apples, but when the training session goes green on Training Peaks (the software my coach uses to plan sessions)… Like I really love them to the point where I know it goes green if you complete within 20% of the set task.

* Side note- Yellows annoy me more than reds… Because at least reds usually have a good reason attached to them, but yellow is just plain annoying! (It goes yellow if you complete +/- 20-50% of duration)

Anyway I’m sure I’m not alone in the seeking of Granny Smiths, sometimes at the detriment of sleep/life/common sense. Like that time I went out in the extreme storm to drive to the gym, I got about 100m down the street and a power line had fallen across the road, I almost didn’t see it. At that point I realised if I didn’t go straight home I would end up being ‘that girl’ on the news that died in a storm just to get a run done.

Now that’s a bit extreme I know… But this week I am moving house (which is rated in the top 5 life occurences causing stress). So I am packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, working full time and was worried about training.

Being the atypical type A personality triathlete, I thought I could handle it all. Therefore didn’t think to give my coach a heads up about moving (or the duathlon that was on this weekend). So he set my program, then in my head I was working out how I was going to work 10 hours Saturday and do a club duathlon Sunday morning, but also do a one hour run, a 3 hour ride and make up for a one hour swim that I missed earlier in the week due to other commitments.

I was stressing myself out, not only because I had to try and fit it all in, but also then have the energy to pack and clean afterwards. Of course stressing doesn’t help anything, it just increases your cortisol levels, makes your teary and want to eat more chocolate (don’t judge me, I know you can all relate).

Fortunately, whilst I am pretty good at overthinking, I am also pretty good at rationale (and eating chocolate). I realised pretty quickly that I couldn’t do it all (well not if I was going to do it properly).. So decided I had to prioritise what was the most important. This weekend the rank was work, moving, the duathlon then other training.

I made the call that real life had to come before tri-life, and as soon as I did that a weight was lifted off my shoulders. You can’t be good at everything, but you can be good at anything.

I feel like there is a fine line between those who make excuses as to why they cant train, who won’t wake up an extra half hour earlier to fit things in… And the people that can’t allow a yellow or red on their training peaks… Even at the expense of things that are important…  They won’t let real-life interrupt tri-life. Hopefully I am not in either of those categories… But am the sensible athlete in between.

When I went to write my feedback to Pete (my coach) on Training Peaks, he had scheduled the Duathlon and all it said was “Wooo”. I was feeling a bit disheartened about the sessions I had missed, but found myself smiling and wrote “Wooo indeed, this was the best part of my whole week” That duathlon was a local club race, with a junior triathlete MJ that I met at this same race last year. Today we made friends with another girl and the three of us ran, rode and ran together. Chatting, laughing and pushing each other as we went. We all finished smiling and had the best morning. These are the moments we remember, that we do the sport for.

Some people might check our race times, stalk our strava, analyse our Instagram posts… But today just reiterated that the best moments… They don’t even make it to the internet.

At the end of the day I was worried about if I missed my long ride how if would affect my race at the World Champs in 11 weeks. But do you know what was more important? Firstly being there with MJ to celebrate our one year race anniversary, but secondly getting my house organised to move. Missing one ride in the grand scheme of things won’t make a difference to my life, because every other day of the year I am consistent. (One burger won’t make you fat, just as one salad wont make you skinny)

Don’t be afraid to prioritise, to put the important things ahead of the others… Just make sure that YOU are one of the important things too. Your health and happiness are just as important as your family or work. Schedule your exercise as an “appointment” into your life, just as you would your childs dental check up. But if a 3 hour ride will leave you too tired to cope with the rest of your commitments this weekend… That’s ok too.

Until next time remember, extremes are easy, strive for balance.

Chloe xx


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