By 9pm I am usually falling into bed. Not in a tousling my hair into luxury sheets smiling like a sex kitten way. No more of an utterly exhausted, almost painful to get through the steps like teeth brushing before I can literally crawl into bed and pass out way.
If you consider that my 7 year old nearly always goes well over her 7.30 lights out and my tween doesn’t even head that way till 8.30-9, I’m either going to bed the same time as the kids or before the big one. So any couple time my hubby and I used to have after the kids are in bed is now lost due to my early nights.
I get up at 5 something 6 days a week to ride or run. Add a swim or gym session during the day a few days a week and I can feel fairly knackered most days. Add this to wrangling the kids, running the house and business and most days I’m feeling fairly stretched. My friend and I sadly joked last week that our once a week sleep in to 6am is a pure luxury! Bring on Friday mornings I say.
I get home from training by 7.30am in time for Craig to get dressed and head to work. By the time we both finish work, get the girls to Tae Kwon Do, get dinner organised, homework, Craig goes to the gym, its bath-dinner-kitchen-bed time and I am counting the minutes till I can close my eyes -(that’s posh for pass out).
I feel we can go days without a real conversation. If I have to go to an evening meeting or client we have no chance. I’m sure many couples feel like this sometimes.
This morning I woke just before the alarm and Craig snuggled in for a cuddle. Our relationship started in Townsville, so we are not big on bed snuggles. It’s too hot there to snuggle so we are fairly ingrained to sleep on our respective sides of the bed and avoid all extra warmth. But this morning was nice. He caressed me as if to say hello and remind me he was there. I knew I had to get up to ride, I had set my alarm to ride. I knew I had articles to write and sessions to plan but my husband was calling me through his touch. I almost got a bit annoyed and thats when I caught myself thinking ‘I set my alarm to train not to do this’. Then I realised. If not now, when? Given how busy we were with life, how disconnected we could get, when was a good time. Maybe connecting should be something I do set the alarm for sometimes. I knew there was rarely a minute anywhere else in the day once it began.
I shut my eyes and imagined myself nailing boards over all the windows that were letting the days thoughts and responsibilities in. The voices telling me I had to ride, I needed to email my VA, I had to send my book to A, B, C, worrying about how rude a friend had been the day before… You get the idea. But out came the hammer and nails and up went the boards. I was giving all of my thoughts and my present to this beautiful man who loved me. Why is it so hard to do that sometimes? But I was determined. Bang, bang, bang, up went the boards.
Yes I had a half-ironman race coming up that I needed to train for. Yes I needed to stay on track and get it done. Yes there was truckloads of work to be done on the book leveraging and building the new product. But in that moment the most important work I could do was to work on connecting with this beautiful man. This man that has stood by me, is the father to my beautiful children, who supports me through thick and thin, this bicycle widower who happily minds the kids for hours and hours each weekend morning while I am out getting the km’s done, who picks up the slack when I get home exhausted from riding and have an ‘Athletes nap’ in the afternoon, who rarely if ever complains about any of the above, and who after 16 years still adores me. Nothing was more important than him, reconnecting and reminding us both what is really important in life.
School is back, yay!! Hang on did I write that or think that?? I always enjoy school holidays but I also enjoy when they go back too. My little magpie has decided she doesn’t like sandwiches anymore so this afternoon I tried to get a bit organised for school lunches and have cooked up a storm. This recipe is a winner and so easy.
Magpies lunchbox meatballs.
Turn oven on to 180 degrees and spray a mini muffin tray.
- 500-600g chicken mince. (I asked my butcher to mince 2 thighs and a breast for me)
- 6-8 mushrooms (6-8) minced
- Two carrots grated.
- Garlic clove
- Three handfuls of rolled outs (about one cup)
- 1 egg
- Big handful of grated cheese
- Squirt of barbecue sauce
Chuck it all in the food processor and whiz till well combined. Using a tablespoon or big dessertspoon, scoop mixture into min muffin tray. Smooth over the top so they look nice (or not!)
Throw them in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned.
Obviously you can ditch the BBQ sauce if you prefer and if you really don’t like oats you could use old fashioned breadcrumbs (fresh made though please) or almond meal. You can put as many veges as you like in too, which is the idea of whizzing it all. So they have a lovely smooth texture and the kids don’t even realise they are eating a balanced meal in one meatball!
I have done it again. Registered for another 70.3 Ironman race in September on the beautiful Sunshine coast. Cairns and Huskisson were so fun I thought I might give it another crack for a couple of reasons following:
1. The big fat hairy bodacious goal.
Lets face it, a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km half marathon is not really something you can show up on the day and wing it. You need to train. You need to set your sights on finishing well and perhaps even work out a goal time. Then you need to get the work done. You need to put your head down, bum up so to speak and just get to it.
2. Gives training a purpose.
I like to train for the sake of training and am the sicko that organises a run with my mates on my birthday over breakfast, well maybe before..! Either way I love to train. But when it gets cold, after an illness, after cortisone injections in your heels and lots of time lying on your butt well lets just say one loses a bit of motivation and inspiration. Training for a race gives your training a purpose.
Getting out of bed at 5am when its 7 degrees outside is more achievable. Moving those tired and protesting legs on the bike after a long run yesterday becomes more do-able. It changes your mind set on the swim on the mercy dash from your strip off to the pool through the through the bitter winter air. Knowing what you have to get done and doing it makes the work much more enjoyable.
3. You get to tick some serious shit off your list.
If you are a list maker, and best of all a item ticker, this kind of training is for you. Get a program done, lay it all out and just follow said program. Easy peasy. Then best of all you can tick them off as you go, feels kind of great and leads to the next point.
4. Great fun for number crunchers.
Count the hours, count the kilometres, track your progress, spend as much or as little time as you like perusing your stats on Garmin connect or other similar tracking programs in awe of well, your awesomeness!
5. The coffee after
I will admit I have been guilty of letting my mind wander off dreaming about and lusting for the post ride coffee on a couple of long hard rides early in the morning. I like my coffee but there is something extra special about it after a long hard ride. You can pay out on Mamils as much as you like, but I get it.
6. The athlete nap*.
If you are lucky enough to have a supportive husband and understanding kids like I do, you get to have the well-earned athletes nap on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon after your long ride or run. I think this is what makes it a fairly selfish sport and less family friendly than some sports because not only am I gone half the morning (or all of it) but then soon after finally getting home I pass out upstairs and leave them all to it again.
A nap without the work is a nanna nap and arguably suitable grounds for divorce. 😉
*Athlete naps are so called if you have trained hard in the morning and earnt that rest.
7. Don’t drink as much.
After Cairns 70.3 I took a break from triathlon and spent time catching up with work, friends and family and getting pretty piss fit. Everything was cause for celebration and a glass of something. Great fun, but have put on a bit of weight which is not comfortable on my runs (or my rides!).
Now in week two of training and by the end of the day I find I just don’t crave that glass of wine like I did. If I’m honest all I really want to do is hit the sack by about 8/8.30 so a glass of anything is not really on the agenda.
Also knowing I have to get up at 5 I really don’t want to risk feeling seedy from a drink. I’m feeling better and like I have lost a bit of weight, which will be more ideal for race day. So I would call this a win-win for now.
If you have never done a triathlon before I recommend to, its good fun and a very inclusive and supportive sport. For all the reasons above is also great for training and personal achievements.