I’ve spent the last year and a half working anywhere from 45-70 hours a week. In recent months, it’s averaged out to 60~ hours. I routinely work 12-14 days in a row before getting a day off. I’m not saying this to brag, as many Millennials are wont to do. I truly will never understand the concept of bragging about how much a person works. Or those people who are signaling that they’re “important” because they’re “soooo busy.” Can’t stand it.
45ish Hours/Week: My “real” job, my 9 to 5, is in politics, which means that whenever there is an upcoming election, that job takes precedent above everything else. Well guess what? There were elections last year, elections this year, and elections next year/prep for the Presidential in 2020. There is really NEVER a true off-year.
15ish Hours/Week: My secondary job, as a Climbing Instructor, keeps me pretty busy on the weekends and a few nights a week after my regular job. I frequently work both weekend days, and while I love working outside, it can be exhausting to work 12 days straight.
Combine both of those jobs: 2+ days a week I work 12-14 hours, and I usually work 12-14 days straight before I get a day off.
As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to race an Ironman this year. Again, I honestly must be straight stupid because I don’t know what I was thinking.
So how did I do it? Prep for an Ironman while maintaining my workload?
Honestly, it’s unclear. I must have blacked out for most of it! I somehow stumbled through, finding time for workouts before and after work, bike commuting to work, riding the trainer at night, running in the dark after working outside all day. I kept a relatively low training volume for an Ironman; from March – race day in September, I trained 275 hours. Normal training plans prescribe more than that; somewhere around 500-700 training hours a year. If I maintained my training year round, I’d end up with 470 training hours.
- Most of my friendships were put on the back burner
- Any other hobbies were relegated to “after the Ironman”
- Cut out all workouts that don’t directly benefit triathlon
- I prioritized sleep as much as possible, to recover and to help avoid burnout
- Any free weekend days went to long rides/runs
- Dating was sporadic/mainly unsuccessful
To sum it up, I became one of the most selfish people I know. I put myself and my goals before anything else. And it worked. I finished my Ironman in 15:06, and even got through it with some grace.
Now I need to get back to real life, figure out how to deal with my (still crazy) workload, and try to convince myself I don’t need to do another Ironman (spoiler alert: I’ll probably end up doing another one within 18 months).