Archie turned five months earlier this week and I am into my second month of structured training. Before Christmas I was into a pretty good routine but it was somewhat simpler to get training in as Brett was on paternity leave for most of December. Over the Christmas period we were in the UK and training took a back seat to spending time with family. The trip to the UK served as a learning experience for us. Traveling with an infant is a little different to the old days and we learnt things to consider when we go to races this year….
- We are going to have a shed load of luggage.
- Time changes with an infant are no joke!
- Nursing makes air travel way easier.
- Air travel will get a lot more challenging when Archie can move!
Archie enjoying an upgrade!
On getting back to Boulder just before the New Year I was fired up to get stuck into training. I was also very tired. With the benefit of hindsight I threw myself back into it with a bit too much gusto. One week in I got sick and pretty much spent 5 days in survival mode: attending to Archie’s needs and sleeping. Lessons (kind of) learnt so far:
- Better to be consistent than try to be a rockstar for a week. Consistency now means I train fewer hours than I used to because I don’t have the recovery I used to. I have put a red line through junk miles and I make the time I have available really count. I hope as I get fitter and, maybe (fingers crossed) Archie sleeps through the night I’ll be able to add an hour or two to my current volume.
- The timing of my training has changed somewhat. With a flexible schedule my preference was always to get the bulk of my training done early. This isn’t an option now. Brett’s alarm goes off at 4:30am and he leaves for work at 5am (he works NY hours). In the mornings I hang out with Archie and on the days I don’t have help with him I tend to get a stroller run in during the day and do my key session is in the evening once Brett gets home, (at around 4:30-5pm) from work. This session will finish in time for me to nurse Archie, read him a story and put him to bed. I call the days when I do have help my “bish, bash, bosh” days. There is no time for procrastination and I can squeeze a lot of training into a relatively short period of time!
- I do best when I avoid thinking about what times, paces, power I used to hold and instead focus on the gains I have made in a relatively short period of time. It’s brought a different kind of appreciation to training. For example: back in November I did an FTP test on the bike and my threshold was less than I have held in various ironman races. In some ways I looked at the number and the massive task ahead felt daunting, impossible even. But each bike session I feel stronger and I have seen gains that would never have been possible before. Last week when I repeated the test my threshold was up 15% and is now just above my 70.3 watts.
- It sounds cheesy but I would not be able to contemplate a return to racing if I didn’t have Brett’s full support both in terms of making it work logistically, and also the emotional support and belief he provides me. Life is busy and scheduled and by Thursday night we are both pretty tired. And on the days when I doubts creep in Brett is the one who reassures me that I will get there and to keep at it.
Ha! I started this blog with the plan to write about how my strength and conditioning program has progressed since having Archie but I got side tracked. I’ll write about that next week as well as sharing my race plans for the first part of the year. No distractions!!