Monday, August 22, 2011

Finding balance

As training starts to ramp up for the San Francisco to Sin City Challenge I am already realizing that the most difficult challenge, at least for now, may be finding some balance in my life.  As a CPA with a public accounting practice and a wife that has her own career, three boys playing high school and junior high sports, as well as a 1st grade daughter, finding the right mix of work, family time and training is a trick.

Individually, I can handle the demands of public accounting, shuttling boys around town for practice and games while taking orders from a six year old daughter and the demands of training for an ultra marathon, but putting them all together and managing them at the same time can be rough.  Maybe impossible???

To add to it, for the first time ever, I'm not the only one in our house training for an endurance event.  Gina is in the middle of training for her very first half marathon and will be running the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 along with a couple of her friends in December.  While this may add a little more to the mix in terms of scheduling activities, I am super pumped about it because she has all of a sudden taken to running like a fish to water.  To hear her make comments such as "I can't wait until my run tonight" and to see her work through injuries with patience and diligence is awesome.  I've never cared if she ran or not, but I have always wanted her to do something for herself that she enjoyed.  Now she is and while the verdict's not out yet, she appears to be approaching the point where one becomes hooked on the sport.

On top of the awesome job that G is doing with her own training, she does an equally and unselfish job in allowing me to get my workouts in.  The last two weeks included 6 Core Performance workouts and 10 runs.  My runs the last two weeks started at the following times 12:06 p.m., 5:30 a.m., 5:28 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 9:51 p.m., 7:50 p.m., 5:17 a.m., 6:22a.m., 6:09 a.m. and 5:42 a.m..  The longest one, a 31 mile long run, finished just before midnight on a Sunday night.  My Core Performance workouts which last right at an hour were at 5:30 a.m., noon and 5:30 a.m. and then 3 more nooners respectively. So pretty much getting them done whenever possible.  In between workouts and work, we had "Meet the Teacher", a scrimmage in Pecos, TX and a booster club meeting for the football team. And to top it off, I furthered my training by "enduring" The Smurfs Sunday afternoon with the 6yr old and her friend. Quite possibly the worst movie I've ever seen in my life.

We've been through two weeks of two-a-days now for the two oldest boys and with school starting today, the youngest, and 8th grader will start football as well. It's just a matter of a couple of weeks before we will have football games on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, not to mention the 1st grader having cheer practice on Wednesday evenings.  While I absolutely love it, it sure make for a busy schedule. 

Now figuring out how to get everything in while the miles increase each week is the challenge.  High hopes of building up to 4-5 weeks of 100 miles/week at the peak of training may not come as easy as it was to sit down and pencil it out on a calendar (as I was doing this morning while waiting to see if I got picked for Grand Jury service), but that's going to be me goal until I decide otherwise.  The last 4 weeks while not entirely pain-free, have been comfortable at 70 miles a week with a mere 41 in the last for the taper week.  Some of the nagging injuries seem to be subsiding and I feel like I'm only dealing with some minor plantar faciitis for the meantime.  Paying more attention to stretching and foam rolling the body and a little less time to the weights has also been a new balance issue.  I recently asked my physical therapist if I should lay off the heavy weights and cut back for a while and his response was "yeah, like for the rest of your life". Ouch, that hurt, but I know where he is coming from.  It was his way of telling me politely that I'm getting old.

Anticipation for this weekend's The Shoe 60K in Marble Falls is building. The third and final race in the Tejas Trails Capt'n Karl's series.  Last year I survived the heat and managed to run a 6:33:01, good enough for 2nd place.  This year, I'm not as concerned about the placement, but honestly would like to run a sub 6-hour race. I can live with wherever that puts me on the results page if I get it.  It's a very technical course run at night and the majority of it in the dark by the light of a headlamp.   Not only will this be a great training run for TNF 50, but it will give me a decent idea of where I stand 14 weeks out from my goal race. Obviously there is a lot of time between now and then, but to start off early with a good race would be nice.

A little more taste of the balancing act before I leave you.  In addition to the Grand Jury summons for this morning and a looming corporate and partnership tax deadline of September 15th, my oldest son has his first game of the season Friday night in Amarillo.  I opted to take the booster club's charter bus along with my freshman son so that I could get some sleep on the drive home of our anticipated 3:00 a.m. arrival.  That might give me a slight reprieve just in time for the 290 mile drive I'll make Saturday morning to the race so that I can be somewhat rested to run 37.2 miles at 7:00 p.m., hopefully finish by 1:00 a.m. and then head back the next morning in hopes of still getting in 4-5 hours in the office Sunday evening.  Yeah, getting through the next couple of months is going to be a trick, but if it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing right?

Thanks for stopping by and take care!


Kevin Hurley said...

Great post, Steve, thanks for sharing. This gives me hope that when Catherine and I start our family, running will not go by the wayside, as it is a very important part of our lives. Super cool on your wife getting exciting about the Vegas half as well.

Steve Berrones said...

Kevin - you're welcome. As with every stage in life, there will be adaptations to the situation. How you are able to deal with it will determine your level of success. While once I couldn't imagine a life with children, now I can't imagine a life without them. Good luck to you and looking forward to seeing you in Vegas!