14 January 2010

Iron Training Week 2: Reflection

Wow, am I tired! I have to start going to bed much earlier. Seriously, training for an Ironman is no joke. It has me  waking up every morning by 4:45 a.m. or shortly thereafter to get to the gym and get in my workouts. I admit, I do like getting the workouts done, but I also like my sleep. I have been teaching a winter sessions class every day over the break. It meets four hours every day for two weeks, with an hour break for lunch. That is a huge chunk out of my  day and leaves me pretty fatigued by mid-afternoon when it is all said and done. Then, I take a break—if you can call it that—for an hour to recharge my batteries, catch up on emails, and grade papers. After that, I write music for three hours. Every day. I get home after 7:00 p.m., help get the kiddies in bed and then have an hour and a half to unwind before I have to get ready for bed. Crazy.

In an attempt to fit more things in my day, I have come up with three possible solutions: 1) Quit training for Ironman altogether  2) Slow down the Earth's rotation by by placing planetary sized magnets at either end of the poles   3) Deal with the fact that my new part-time job—Ironman—is going to demand a lot of time, and that I am somehow going to have to manage it while not forgetting my first responsibility—my family. Oh, and no one—least of which my wife—wants to hear any whining about training!

So far, so good, but I need to get some serious Zzzzz's at some point, because it will start to adversely affect my training if I don't. On average, I am getting about five and a half to six hours of sleep, and that is just not going to get it done. I do not know how much sleep human beings are "suppose" to get, but I do know that it makes swimming at 6:00 a.m. a bit more difficult on six hours, coupled with the fact that the pool feels like it is about 150 degrees in the morning. Maybe I could start napping during my lunch hour? If I did that, I am afraid I would never get up. You say Einstein, one of the greatest minds of the twentieth, century only operated on four hours of sleep?  Smart dude, to be sure, but as far as being an endurance athlete, I am confident I have him beat.


Medievalist86 said...

Hang in there! It's often hard to remember why you signed up for such a crazy event in the beginning. But when you're standing in the sand on your birthday, you'll remember why, and it all will be worth it.

KC said...

balance will find its way into you life...you'll see. as for einstein only needing 4 hours of sleep a night...i know a few people who also claim they only need 4-5 hours a night but i seriously have a feeling these people are closet nappers! that's the part they forget to tell you. my dad was one of these people, so i have a hard time believing that this routine is possible on a regular basis. love your blog!

Kelly said...

There's time to sleep when you are dead. ;)

No, really, it's just the first couple of weeks. you'll settle into a good routine where you are getting everything done AND sleeping.

Mark said...

KC, Kelly, Vanessa—Thanks for the encouraging comments!

I know you guys are right. The volume right now is overwhelming already and I shudder to think what it is going to be like 8, 12, 15 weeks in, but I know I will adjust.

KC—I love your blog too! I hope you can handle the 60 degree weather you'll be getting soon ;-)

Anne said...

Love your blog!

I am racing Cedar Point this year too, so hopefully I will see you there.

I did IMFL last year working full time with (only) 2 little ones (ages 2.5 and 5) and somehow managed to fit it all in. I do think it gets easier, although I swear the first 300 yards of most swims and mile of most runs I was still asleep.

Oh, and I love, love, love to sleep too!

Mark said...

Anne, thanks so much for coming by the blog and saying hello, and leaving your kind and encouraging words. Congratulations on IMFL. What an amazing accomplishment—juggling two full time jobs—mother and marketing rep! Hope to see you at Rev3 Cedar Point as well. Good luck with the kiddies—such fun ages.


Anne is a trooper (we blogged prior to meeting at IMFL last year). She passed me somewhere around mile 24 of the run based on our times.

The "old man" (me) suggests a focus on biking (once a week), building to 5 century rides (find a club or partner) and then only 3 more 1 hour workouts (swim or bike) during the week (build to 6 hours a month before the race). Build to a max 10 mile run (1) and you are ready. You will not run the whole marathon but you WILL finish.

This plan allows sleep, family, career.

Dang, I just told you the meat of my 120 page book...

Mark said...

Bob, thanks for the input. Don't worry, I am going to read your book anyway, and with your permission, write about it on my blog. I'll be kind ;-)

For the record, all I am concerned about IS finishing.