Maggie Rusch

Professional Triathlete

one of those weeks

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMb1x8_Ghg0] it’s been one of those weeks. scratch that, it’s only tuesday. and, really, it’s been more like the past few weeks. past month even, maybe. it seems i just can’t catch a break.

two weeks ago i got sick, 17-hours of sleep in one night kind of sick. luckily it happened on a thursday/friday so i had more time over the weekend to actually recover instead of hopping back to work. and good thing i did, because the next week completed the one-two punch that completely knocked me out. but the week out sick left me struggling to catch up at work, leading to two back-to-back 14 hour work-days to make up for lost time. and after getting home each day, usually around 10:00ish, i still had to knock out the workout(s) prescribed by my coach. luckily, the two were two back-to-back trainer sessions—always easy to tackle at odd hours—so they were going to get done. however, one involved a post-bike brick run. which (out of character) i actually did outside. in the cold. and then ended up finishing a few minutes after midnight.

do you know how many crazy looks you get running outside, in 20-degree weather, around midnight? a lot.

weeks like last make me wonder how people find balance in their lives. i don’t have kids or a pet or any other living things (plants included) to take care of in addition to myself. i’m not a ceo of some big company—or even someone of any real significance at work. my commute is a leisurely 20-minute walk. i rarely cook... or clean for that matter. but despite a complete lack of moving parts, i never feel like i have enough hours in the day to tackle everything on tap. i’ve never understood how the average american watches something absurd like 4-hours of television a day. 4-hours a day, are you kidding me? it’s probably because i don’t have cable and really only watch when i'm on a treadmill or trainer but i can’t even imagine how someone manages to fit that much tv-watching into their daily schedule. and that’s just the average!

but getting back to those two late nights. they got me thinking about why (and how) people do it. yeah, i know, the deep navel-gazing that happens when you’re zoned out (or possibly nodding off) on the trainer. is it because i'd rather spend four hours a day working out than sitting on the couch for the same amount? well, yes and no.

i feel like i’m living a game of tug-of-war. even though i sometimes want to shout from the rooftops during any given workout, i can be  pitiful when it comes to actually  getting one foot out the door or my butt on the trainer. it’s why half of my workouts (even the weekend ones) around done in the 4pm – 10pm window, even despite my intense love for empty pools and carless roads. i’ll wake up bright and early, ready to knock the workout off the list, but then drag my feet or find excuses until i’ve delayed it until the last possible second of the day. but give me five minutes into a workout and – even for the worst of workouts - i’m back to that happy goofy state. why does the inertia required to get moving seem so much worse than the actual workout?! i’ve tried setting my alarm on the other side of the room. cold water on the face. sleeping in my workout clothes. setting my alarm music to obnoxiously peppy music. next up on my desperation list is a 21-day procrastination cleanse. do “habits” really get easier after 21-days or is that just an urban legend?

but this week is a rest week so i have a tiny bit of a break/breather. in some ways, though, the rest week is worse. it’s far more mental; it brings decision-making into play. no more black-and-white “just find a way to get it done” workouts. last week, during a “harder” week, i never had the luxury of asking myself, “do I want to workout in the morning or in the evening?” or using the excuse, “it’s too cold now, so i'll just wait until after work to knock out the set.” instead, it’s the no-brainer, “well, i have a swim and a run – which do i want to get out of the way first?” any hard decisions are made for me: just Make It Work.

maybe this is the week to begin the am-workout “Make it Work” policy. throw any rational decision making out the window and declare it an early morning workout week. initiate the “no staying at work after 7PM” rule. pack the bags the night before. go to bed early. see what sticks (or whether anything sticks) and try to make a habit of it.

i guess i can’t say that i’m seeking motivation, since it’s clearly there once i manage to get the wheels turning. maybe i just need a kick in the butt.

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