Working 60+ Hours/Week AND Ironman Prep?

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.

Breakdown

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).

How Biking to Work is Changing My Life

I started my new job in February, and thought I had my daily commute down pat. But, it was taking approx. 40 mins each way to only travel 5 miles. And that’s when the metro runs smoothly. For those who don’t live in the DC area, the metro RARELY runs smoothly. If it’s not literally on fire, some random drunk is on the tracks, or they’re doing much needed repair work on the tracks. Either way, the trains are frequently delayed.

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(This is an actual website)

A lot of people bike to work in DC and I realized that the obstacles to biking to work (shower, gear, weather) weren’t really that difficult to surmount. Continue reading

Keto, Triathlons, and Some Science

Keto, short for ketogenic diet, is a type of eating that limits carbs and lets fats run with abandon. Carbs are generally kept below 50g total, but true keto-ers keep it around 20g net carbs per day. Protein is kept at a moderate level, depending on your fitness goals. In order to maintain as much muscle as possible, about 1g of protein per pound of body weight should be consumed. And fat, well, you can basically go to town on fat. Avocados, cheese, heavy cream, fatty cuts of meat, fat is what will keep you full, functioning, and sane when you cut those carbs. Continue reading

2016: Why the Nation’s Triathlon Cancelled the Swim

Two days before the race, at 10am, The Nation’s Triathlon sent out an email titled “Important: Swim Portion Cancelled.” Every one of the thousands of triathletes got that email, and by 10:30, the Nation’s Triathlon Facebook page was blowing up with angry triathletes. Triathletes are as good-a-natured bunch as they come, but you mess with their race day schedule, and they will cut you.  Continue reading

Things No One Told Me Before I Started Triathlons

Looking back on my first year doing triathlons, I’ve realized that I’ve completely changed as a person. My entire life has changed, my mindset has changed, and my athleticism has changed. I have experienced countless learning mistakes with triathlon, although I have yet to start the run with my helmet still on! So, in honor of my one year triathlon-aversary, and all the growing pains that come with it, I thought a list of things no one told me was appropriate. Continue reading

Colonial Beach International Race Report

It’s Monday, so that means it’s time for another race report!

On July 10, I raced the Colonial Beach International Triathlon, held in Colonial Beach, Virginia. It was an hour and a half ride from the D.C. area, but it went by quickly at 4 in the morning. My pre-race jitters mainly consisted of worrying about jellyfish in the water. Sections of the Chesapeake Bay in the summer are known for these “sea nettles,” and Colonial Beach is no exception.

We arrived by 5:30 am, parked nearby, checked in easily, and had transition set up by 6. Continue reading