Well it’s that time again, time to really buckle down on my training, so I can buckle up in my next 100 mile race. I finished Pony Express 100 in October and have spent the last six weeks reconnecting with friends and enjoying social activities, which interfere with training for ultra-events.
I recently posted this on my Facebook page:
“I’m going to apologize in advance to all my friends and family for being “Lame.” The Ultra Iron Training is now in full swing, which means no more late nights. So, I’m sorry for declining all your invitations on Friday and Saturday nights that go later than 9:00 p.m. Thanks for your understanding. You are all welcome to watch me torture myself at any of my races.”
Participating in sports requires a certain amount of dedication and setting of priorities. Staying up until midnight (or later) on a Friday or Saturday night and then getting up at four in the morning (or earlier) to run twenty miles (or more), eventually results in injury or burnout.
Rest is an essential component of performing at your best. It is just as important as speed work or a long run. Your body has to have time to build and heal from the damage caused by training.
Of course, all work and no play, makes Jack a very dull boy. Balance and understanding is key. Your friends and family have to understand and respect your goals. You have to find balance between your relationships and personal goals.
It is much easier to find this balance when your friends and family have similar goals as you, but even when they don’t there are other ways they can support you and you can make sure that you remain connected with them.
Plan social events earlier in the day, rather than starting the board game party or wine and cheese social at 8:00 pm start it at 5:00 pm or even 4:00. If preparing dinner is the issue of needing to go later, add a potluck to your gathering. If childcare is the issue, everyone can chip in for the cost of a sitter for all the kids.
Learn to love lunch dates, it is much easier for me to get away for lunch with my friends than it is to go out to dinner. Depending on the hours you work, breakfast may be a better choice. Matinee movies/shows are usually less crowded and less expensive.
Encourage others to participate in your training and races. Many races need volunteers or have shorter distances for beginners. You can also get couples massages, which are great for recovery and spending time with one another.
If your goals are important to you, you will buckle down to buckle up, and your friends and family will be there when you finish.