I was never a morning person until becoming a mother. Even when I played soccer, I loathed the early morning track workouts. I was the type of person who would work out in the evening hours, many times with my hubby. After having my daughter, Hailey, long evening workouts were no longer an option for me. I didn’t want to miss a minute with my baby, especially after working a full day as a special education teacher, tutoring, and teaching indoor cycle classes.
Often times when people understand the various hats I wear in a day I am asked, “How do you do it, do you ever spend time with your daughter and husband?”
The answer is, yes. I have become efficient at time management, ensuring every aspect of my life receives my full attention. Does my routine become challenging at times? Absolutely. Every day is new and comes with new challenges, peaks, and valleys, but it is important to view each day as an adventure. Waking up before the sun, often at the three AM hour, isn’t that bad when you know you will be done your workout and have the rest of the day with your family. It is the rewards, such as an extra hour or two with my beautiful daughter and supportive husband, that no longer have me clamoring to hit the snooze button.
Knowing I still needed to get my triathlon training in, as I was not giving up on my goals of becoming an Iron-woman, I began setting the alarm for EARLY. The first week or two was hard, very, very hard. This girl likes her sleep! There were many alarms set, and with those alarms came the snoozing. With a husband elbowing me to get out of bed, I finally got into a routine. What helped me to get out of bed and ready to get to the gym, was three words to live by, preparation, accountability, and goals (also a grumpy husband at early hours).
The night before an early morning workout, I pack my bag with clothes for work, the workout gear I need, and put it all by the door ready to go. I also prep my fuel (Infinit Customized Blend water bottles) and place them in the fridge ready to grab and go. I also have my breakfast, homemade protein granola balls, prepped and good to go. Having all of this set and ready to go, makes it a lot harder for me to hit snooze and say never mind. I did the prep work, everything is ready, I just need to get out of bed. After all that prep work and having everything set up for success.
Up until this year, I have always trained alone, or with my husband before our daughter. This year I have broadened my horizons, have ridden and become a Cycle Lead for Lifetime’s Outdoor club for group rides, run with an incredible friend, colleague, and training buddy, and have even started planning to compete and train for races with others. Opening this door has allowed me to establish friendships, share knowledge, and enjoy the sport on an entirely new level. Planning to work out with others holds me more accountable as I do not want to disappoint anyone and want to stay true to my commitments.
SMALL GOAL SETTING
While many people set big goals such as races in a season, it is important to set smaller daily goals to help yourself say committed and feel a sense of daily accomplishment. For me, mapping out my training week ahead of time and knowing exactly what work out I am to complete each day, allows me these small wins and feeling of success on a daily basis. There are a multitude of websites, apps, and coaches that can assist you in creating your customized training plan.
Balance is definitely the third discipline in our sport. Ensuring you are giving all aspects of your life the time, attention, and drive equally will help to make for a well-rounded, and happy lifestyle that you can sustain. Your time is valuable, do not waste a second you are given, for you will never get that time back.
written by Sarah Whelan, Siren Luminary
Follow Sarah on Instagram @sarahkate.tri