Life’s a Balancing Act

With training for a race, like everything else in life, there is a certain level of give and take you have to expect. Yesterdays post involved me saying I need to be more accountable for my training and taking each and every run seriously. I knew at some point I would have to live up to these words, but I didn’t expect it to be night one of the training schedule.

For Boston training, I gave up on a social life in general. I did not go out. I did not drink. If I was dragged out of the house I was home and in bed by 10pm at the latest and cursing myself for putting my recommended 8 hours in jeopardy. I am making it a point to maintain a work/life/training balance this time around. The people in my life who love me and deal with me deserve time and attention without me worrying about what I’m not getting done the next morning.

Jim called around 4:30 yesterday to say he had made plans for us to go bowling with some friends after work. Yes, bowling. We’re wild. But, it was an awesome time. A couple beers, good friends and lots of laughs.

Like when we realized Jim forgot to take the tag off of his new pants. Oops.

The friends we were with don’t work the typical 9-5 and where Jim is self employed he gets to decide what his schedule is. I’m forever jealous of this flexibility and it makes me miss bartending in my weaker moments.

We left the bowling alley around 9, stopped at the liquor store to pick up a 12-pack and then drove over to our friends apartment. On the way from the store to the house, the guilt kicked-in. I knew I had to be at work early today. I can’t stay late because I have to run tonight. I can’t skip my run. I could take a sick day? I can’t take a sick day to go out and drink. The guilt would forever consume me and I would spend the next month convinced someone found out and I’d be fired immediately. As I pulled into the driveway, I called Jim over to tell him I was taking off and heading home. He stared at me like I had just spoken to him in some third world language. You’re not staying for Wii Dance? Huh? I still don’t’ think he really gets it.

On the way home I was a combination of ashamed of myself and proud. I’m 26. My life should not be as structured as it is most of the time. I should go get drunk on a Monday, stay up till 5am and use a sick day once in a while. On the other hand, I know myself and my personality and I find a huge amount of comfort in structure and consistency. I’m working on balancing the two. Let’s face it- I’ve never been a wild child and I probably never will become one. I think I’ve passed the age where I can have a “wild streak” and it would be socially acceptable. So instead of beers and dancing, I had soup, a book and an attempt to watch the Game of Thrones finale without falling asleep (fail).

It was good soup and a good book though.

I really want to know that I’m giving this training season all I have. Every once in a while that’s going to mean giving up a night out or sleeping in. However, when I’m waking up in a tropical location after winning this bet it will all have been worth it.

How do you strike the work/life/train balance? Early or late workouts? Also- where do I want to go on vacation? I need to start looking into this.

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