new reasons for guilt…

When you’re training for Ironman, your time disappears. Quickly. You have a calendar, a tight schedule that walks you step by step by step by week by week by week towards what you hope will be those final steps that find you crossing a finish line and hearing those magical words “You are an Ironman”. At first it seems insurmountable. All the free time you had before is suddenly gone and then some. And then, as you go along day after day, it seems doable. Step by step. Giving up evenings and lunches and sleeping and hanging with friends seems ok. Letting the dishes sit for one more day is ok. And you get used to it. For a while. But then you feel guilty for skipping friends. Taking days to return phone calls to family because you’re too busy working and working out. Putting off laundry yet another day becomes impossible. Blogging about your time (as you can see from the date of my last entry) falls to the bottom of the list.

And here we are. Seven weeks in and things have started to fray. Ever so slightly at first. Skipping a workout to see a friend, grabbing a drink here and there. Missing a lunchtime workout because work won’t allow for sneaking away. It’s subtle. Work picks up and a few lunch workouts disappear. But sticking to evenings and throwing in an early morning (dang near impossible for an staunchly non-morning person like myself) every once in a while makes it possible to cover up those misses. But then? Piled on top of that, we had a trip planned to visit family for 5 days last week… An active 5 days, but still only 1 “official” workout.

Here’s the thing about falling off the wagon – once you fall off, getting back on can be a little tricky. Time keeps right on a-tickin’ and the wagon keeps on a-rollin’. It can be hard to get back in the swing of things. So this week, as I was catching up with work that piled while I was gone, there were a few more missed workouts this week. And this weekend, we’ll be out of town again for a birthday celebration (cake and very possibly, no workouts). And whaddaya know, I’m feeling guilty about it. Even though before this little stint, I regularly hit 7 or 8 workouts a week and this week, I’ll still get in a solid 5 workouts. I’ll feel guilty for missing one or two.

When you get used to 2 workouts a day, its easy to feel that a 1-workout day or a rest day is total slackertown. But seriously, don’t fall into that trap. First of all, one workout a day is more than many people can manage on a normal day. And second of all, slackertown is totally an alright place to visit, just don’t become the mayor. Enjoy your time there – rest days are so important. And maybe more importantly, the mental rest days are priceless. So tonight I got my nearly 3 hour bike ride in on my trainer (ick) and tomorrow, I will enjoy the birthday version of slackertown, complete with indulgent foods, some cake, and even a skipped workout or two. But I’ll be back and rested and ready to take on Week 8 (gulp!) with a vengeance!

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