As I got back to Baltimore this week, went back to work, even got back in the pool and on my bike, a sense of normalcy has returned after I stepped off of cloud nine from the weekend I had in Arizona. And of course following the amazing weekend with a holiday like Thanksgiving is bound to create a sentimental vibe. There are so many people who I want to thank for helping me achieve my goals this year; these thank yous are a very personal thing and ones that I have ultimately decided to leave off the blogosphere for the sake of being able to be totally candid — having this blog I take forgranted that so much of my life is an open book…not everyone wants their story on the internet 🙂 So keeping this in mind, I am going to put a different spin on today’s post. Not as sentimental but hopefully somewhat inspiring and a worthwhile read nonetheless.
One of the most common questions I have had since people have caught up on who I am and the progress I made in this sport, is “how?” How do I do it? How do I balance my job, training, social life etc? How does it all work?
Whenever I am asked about this I always find myself searching for the right words, taking a deep breath before I start, not quite sure how to convey how it is that everything gets done. That’s because the truth of the matter is that when looking at the larger picture, I really am not sure how it all gets done. It’s a lot and there’s no other way to spin it. After many hours of thinking about this question on the bike…running…and in the pool, I’ve decided that I get through it not by looking at the big picture, but taking it day by day. And this isn’t something that comes naturally to me. There were days when I was crying because I was tired and hungry (yes, I was so hungry but I was too tired to get up and get food so I started crying. Props to Ryan for dealing with that one!). But on those days Ryan or Carly would remind me that all I had to do was get through the next day. When you stop looking at 20 hours of training, and just look at 2.5, it suddenly seems a lot more manageable.
But in addition to that, there are a lot of other little tricks of the trade you can do to help make your day by day routine easier. So, here is is, my top 5 tips of the trade:
-Doubles! No, not twice a day workouts. (Well, yes those are necessary, but not my point here). Get 2 of everything. Two mascaras, two hair brushes, two hairdryers, two of everything – keep one in your swim/gym bag and one at home. And then when you have 2, actually make a third “emergency bag” to keep in your car for the days when you forget your swim bag and need to head right to the pool from work!
-I’m not saying that putting your credit card number all over the internet is a great idea, but I will say that many a night have I needed to eat stat but had forgotten my wallet somewhere. Chipotle has my credit card info stored in my account and as long as I have my phone (and therefore the internet) I could order my dinner and have it within minutes, wallet or no wallet. Lifesaver!
-Cook in double. And by double, I once again mean triple. You’ll need double because you’ll be eating twice as much, and by tripling it you get the leftovers for lunch the next day (making eating healthier at work and not going out for lunch every day easier). Have a few fast and easy meals that you don’t mind having to eat weekly for awhile. Ryan and Carly ate more “Pasta Alyssa” than they would probably care to admit, but it worked!
-Learn to run/ride from everywhere. Have running and riding routes from home and work that you can get through. If you don’t feel comfortable being able to do your workouts from anywhere, when meetings pop up and you’re running late, or traffic is so bad you can’t bear the thought of the drive home, get your workout done up at where you work. Or vice versa, I learned to accept riding out of the city and the fact that it would be slower and involve more traffic and lights. I learned the routes I like and don’t mind either way now.
-Always keep some spare underwear in your car! No seriously….at some point you will forget to pack it for after an early morning swim, and you don’t want to have to get through the day with a bathing suit under your work clothes!!