Because I love to push hard and train consistently, I've learned through trial and error (and mistakes along the way) how to live an easier life.
Life isn't easy when an athlete is injured. Life continues on and the athlete is often too miserable to enjoy it because the one thing they love more than anything, is gone - training/sport.
Life isn't easy when an athlete is overtrained/overreached. Performance gains are at a standstill and motivation is at an all time low. Fatigue is heavy in the legs and the mind is tired.
Life isn't easy when an athlete questions "why I am I doing this?" A question that rarely comes during the fun, awesome, ground-breaking, epic and exciting workouts but rather during the days when life just doesn't go as planned. Maybe life gets in the way of training too much for the athletes who question the "why" in being an age-group athlete but then again, maybe training is getting in the way of life.
After 2 incredibly challenging and consistent weeks of training, Karel and I sat down to TrainingPeaks.com to write out our next week of training a(we write our workouts and I write my athletes workouts for 1 week at a time, not in 3 or 4 week blocks) on Saturday (18th - after we did the 2.5 mile ocean swim event) and I told him I would like to take Mon (my normal "off" day) AND Tues off from structured training. Sunday was a hard brick for me (group run for Karel) so that was a nice finish to the weekend, especially after I had made my decision to not "train" Mon and Tues, on Saturday afternoon.
It just felt right. Motivation has been high, training has been consistent, no signs of fatigue, sickness (Oddly, I never get sick so I don't worry about that very much) or injury and life seems to be in balance.
What was great about this timing of 2 unstructured day of activity (I exercised for fun after I slept in w/o an alarm both day - until 6:30am!!! 9 hours of sleep both Sun and Mon night) was that it just felt right. I didn't need to stress about making any pains go away in less than 48 hours, worrying about my diet or "needing" to burn calories, stressing out about squeezing in workouts because of a race coming up or thinking about what I should be doing.
Life instantly became easier because with 5 weeks until Branson 70.3, I made a decision that would only enhance my life and my training.
As athletes, it's hard to know when to back down, when to push hard and how to forecast the future. Even with a coach guiding you along the way, no one knows your body better than yourself.
You will always gain more as an athlete by focusing on what you can do to be consistent with your training, rather than trying to be overly hardcore, impressing yourself that you don't need rest or don't need to slow down.
Be confident in your actions (in all areas in life) and find ways to make your life easier as an athlete.
Speaking of Life Made Easier.
I just received my September issue of REAL SIMPLE magazine.
On pg 50 was an article "6 Fixes for kitchen spills and slip-ups"
This article has made my life SOOO much easier.
Here are a few tips:
Splatters in the microwave:Combine 2 TBSP lemon juice + 1 up water in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave to a boil; let it boil for min. and stand for 5 minutes to alow the steam to loosen the debris (Marie Stegner). Wipe down th walls with a damp microfiber cloth and the mess should disappear. To remove any lingering smells, heat small bowl filled with 1/2 cup water + 1 tsp vanilla extract just until it comes to a boil. Leave the door closed with the bowl inside, overnight.
Shards of glass in the dishwasher:
Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight into the dishwasher Any shards will sparkle. Have a raw potato, and put on heavy duty gloves. Dab the cut face of the potato over any specks (Marie Stegner). The shards will become embeddedin the potato, which you can then discard. Run an empty cycle to flush out any minute pieces.
Burned food in the oven:Allow the oven to cool. Dislodge large chunks with a plastic spatula, then sprinkle aking soda over whatever bits remains. Spritz with water and let it sit overnight, then scrub with a dampy microfiber cloth (Raina Raflo). Wipe away any remaining residue with a wet Mr. Clean Magic Erase Kitchen Scrubber ($4, pgestore.com).
Also on pg 46. - check out the clip-on cupholder by DCI