Preparing for a triathlon is a lot like juggling multiple lovers. I know this because I've been doing on-line dating off and on for seven years, but that's probably a topic for another blog. Anyway, during the pre-training phase, which apparently I'm in, I should be able to bike, swim and run each for 30 - 45 minutes. That is to say, by the time I reach May 2nd I should have that level of endurance built up to start the training. Swimming is the sport where I haven't quite reached that goal yet.
So the multiple lovers - all the folks I've spoken to and read about who do tris have one sport that is their weaker sport, their "third man". That's the date you always mean to call but you wait and see if a better offer comes in first. Before you judge, check your own history... The temptation, at least for me, is to keep doing the sports I feel confident in because they tell me I'm pretty and make me feel all giggly. Oh wait, that's the dates again.
Seriously, I'm currently most in love with my new bike. I haven't had it out on the road yet, way too cold and icy, but it's in the trainer and I could ride it every day. I love it and sometimes will do a morning and evening ride because it's just sitting there waiting for me. Before I got the bike, and when I first started swimming, the pool was the only place I wanted to be. Oh sure, I'd give old "running" a chance now and then but swimming was my "Saturday Night Date" and I'd find a million reasons not to get on the bike.
Swimming is now getting neglected and its starting to get a little pissy about it. Before "Bike" came into the picture, I was swimming about 1250 yards in a workout. Today, after only 10 minutes and only 300 yards, I was complaining about the cold water, the water in my nose, the boredom of the laps, you name it.
Here's how I juggle things to get the workouts in as a single, working mom during the cold weather:
Monday - run on the treadmill or bike on the trainer. I have both of these at home. I get up at 5:30 and do a half hour or so before it's time to get the Boy up for school. When the weather gets nicer, I will squeeze an outdoor run in instead, I run a 3 mile loop that ends at the afterschool program, which closes at 6:00 so I can pick up the kid and get home to start dinner.
Tuesdays and Thursdays - These are usually bike or treadmill days but one becomes a swim night if I haven't fit two in. If it's a long night and I can't get up in the morning, then I put in the half hour after the Boy is tucked in for bed. He's getting used to falling asleep to whirring and pounding machines.
Wednesdays and Fridays - These are mornings that my son goes to a friend's house in the morning before school. He goes twice a week and then their kid comes to my house once a week so we both get some morning time without kids. These mornings I either have a weight training session at the gym, which is preceeded usually by about a 20 minute ride or run or if the weather is nice I might do a morning run and schedule the session with the trainer for the evening. The gym has a child care center and the Boy loves it because he gets to have some kind of take-out for dinner.
Saturdays - are tricky. When I can arrange morning childcare I go to a morning yoga session. If there's time I'll get a swim in, or a ride or run, depending on which sport hasn't had two dates that week.
Sundays - are the same and often end up being "off" days, unless it's a "Dad" weekend or there's a playdate scheduled that buys me an hour or so to fit in something.
You can see how crazy-making it can be. Every Friday I look at the next week's calendar and based on meetings, events, sitters, etc. I plug in 2 rides, 2 runs, 2 swims and 2 weight sessions. I have gotten religious about it. I have to be or else it won't happen. I suppose some people would plug in the workouts before scheduling all the other things but I am trying to keep a balance between the fitness and all the other things in my life that are important so this way works for me. I'm finding that the weekends are the most challenging though, mostly because there isn't school or daycare to cover. When it gets warmer, we'll hook the tag along to the bike so my son can ride with me and Santa brought a new scooter that I'm hoping will allow him to come along on the runs. I don't go that fast!
I also try and have at least one race on the calendar each month to keep me movitated and pushing myself. Up to now they've all been short running races. After the expo though, I've decided to add a couple duathlons to practice multi-sport events before the tri. Now, I have to fit in a part time job or freelance gig to cover all the costs of my multi-sport "dating"!