Thanks to Triathlon, My 20-Hour Day Didn't Faze Me

I knew it was going to be a rough day when I rolled over in bed, picked up my phone, and saw that it was 3:30am. For the second or third morning in a row, I’ve slept quite late and woken up very early (before 5am early), and in my sleep I was dreaming about work. I guess you can say that someone turned up the heat and that because I don’t outwardly freak out about anything doesn’t mean that subconsciously it’s not happening. I do admit though that on a day-to-day basis, I don’t think I’m acting out of the ordinary.

Failure is not an option. It is a step.

A few failed attempts at getting sleep later, I decided to go ahead and give up (again) and continue on with my regimen (as usual). The other morning I did some pretty fun hill repeats around my neighborhood. This morning I really wanted to get some biking in, so I hopped on for about 5 miles and then headed out for a short run. The bike still feels a bit uncomfortable — I’m not sure if it’s the fitting or the seat or the placement of the handlebars or what but I just don’t feel like it fits me very well. So, I was only able to manage about 5 miles on it and I figured that my time might be better suited for a quick run before my morning meeting, so off I went.

The work day was quite long — I stayed a bit after the sun had set. I was on a design roll from between 4 and 8pm, and I really wanted to take advantage of it. Rarely do I get long stretches of fairly uninterrupted creative time, and since I had some pretty big projects on my plate, I wanted to clear my mind for the other creative work I still have lined up. I sent off my last email sometime after sunset and then headed to the gym, which is only a few blocks away.

The view from my office space in Seattle – The Space Needle

Luckily I had packed all of my gear this morning. After the long day, I was ready to let out some of my aggression in a positive way. What better way to do that than an hour of alternating between the backstroke and freestyle? I ended up having a great workout in the pool. It was nearly empty, with only one or two other people in the pool with me. It was great being able to have the lane to myself. I’m finally starting to see some results from the little bit of swimming that I’m doing. I’m not as out of breath after one length as I’m finally learning how to keep a rhythm with my breathing. I’m also trying to work on a couple of aspects of my swim — the reach, keeping parallel with the water, scooping, etc. The fact that I feel like I’m improving tells me a lot, since swimming is the sport I generally have the least amount of self-confidence in.

A decent training day…given the demands of work today

By the time I got home, it was 10 o’clock or so. I made a quick pasta dinner (for Saturday morning’s half marathon) and some veggie patties (for added protein). I also downed some nuun water to stave off any cramps. Lucky for me I had an awesome shipment — my waterproof running shoes came in the mail, as well as another 24-pack of GU gels. Now I’m stocked up for my long run on Saturday and I can begin breaking in my new shoes before the weather turns.

This is all I buy…workout gear.

Considering how thoroughly exhausted I am, I should hopefully stay asleep for longer than a few hours tonight. This will definitely effect my performance on Saturday morning, but you know what? I’m just going to make do with the resources I have. To stress out about that will just make the event more difficult. If I can’t finish the full 13.1 I always have the option to stop at the 5K, 10K, or 15K distance. No biggie.

Regardless of the situation though, I’m pretty happy with the way I handled myself despite all of the stress today. Without triathlon, I’m not sure how amicable or friendly I’d be in the face of stress! Honestly, if I can’t take the stress of a 20-hour day, I can’t take the stress of a 17-hour Ironman, right?

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