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Reality Check: Balancing The Parent-Triathlete Life

  • By Meredith Atwood
  • Published Jan 6, 2014
  • Updated Feb 20, 2014 at 9:56 PM UTC
Photo: www.shutterstock.com

As a married, working mother of two, I morphed into a grand master of time management when I took on Ironman training. Well, not really. I barely figured out how to show up at work without goggle-eyes, walk without limping from my 4 a.m. long run, or stay awake long enough to put the kids to sleep each night. But still, I picked up some great tips for tri-ing in the middle of everyday life madness.

Become A Triathlon Ninja

Wake up early, put on your clothes in the dark and sneak out of the house before anyone can stop you. Let out your own personal battle cry (for emphasis only) when you reach the driveway.

Stick To Your Training Schedule

Sometimes life gets in the way of training, yes. But being fairly inflexible about the actual workout — and more flexible with how and when you complete the workout — is key. If you are up all night with sick kids, then the morning workout may be blown. However, accomplishing the same workout later in the day will keep you on track, physically and mentally. If someone gets in your way during the second attempt, just play dead.

Just keep moving forward

A mantra is good for all things in life, but especially at mile 18 of the Ironman marathon. As long as the big goal is held out like a carrot (or cookie) and you are heading toward it — no matter how slowly — you are making progress. Take time to acknowledge the progress you have made and the carrots (cookies) you have eaten, because this makes the future seem more attainable.

RELATED: Balancing Family And Training

Put Yourself In Time Out

Are you at the end of your personal and professional rope? Understandable. But when you begin to call your beloved bike horrible names, you better go to time out. Sit down, find your blankie and reflect quietly. Whine, cry, but also come up with a checklist or a plan to make your life and your training better. Then execute it like only a Type-A triathlete can do.

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

“But this is racing!” you scream. Indeed. But for many of us — the guy or gal with a gaggle of kids, debt and laundry — triathlon is a focused goal that makes life better. Do your best, but stop fretting about your thinner, faster, more-carbonized riding buddy.

RELATED: How One Family Came Together Through Triathlon

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