Hang out in any office across the country on Friday and you will hear all the events people have planned for the weekend. Two things that many consider as vital during the weekend are sleeping in and relaxing. Hang out with triathletes on a Friday and you will hear significantly different topics being discussed. Sleep and relax aren't generally included.
Looking back on weekends before getting involved in endurance sports, I'm amazed at how little was accomplished. And oddly enough, it always seemed there weren't enough hours in the weekend to do everything that needed doing. You know, sitting on the couch watching t.v. Going out to eat and catch a movie. Laying around recovering from sleeping in and watching cartoons.
Now, I'm usually attempting to get home from a 2000 yard swim and 40 mile bike ride in time to play with B-Boy while he watches Lazytown (go Sporticus). Or complete a 20 mile run before the kids get up for church. Or waking up at 3:30 in order to have a pre-race breakfast before heading out so I can be at the starting line at least an hour prior to race start.
We still do the important things. We go to church, we play outside with the kids, we have get togethers with our friends, and we try to catch up on some sleep (okay, this never happens, but we pretend). It's amazing how much can be accomplished when "sitting around doing nothing" is removed from the equation.
How many people do you know who claim they would exercise, but there just isn't time? When I sold securities, we used to ask people how many times in a month they had pizza (or other favorite junk food). We would then point out that cutting a pizza or two out of the mix frees up enough money to invest. Imagine putting a similar question to those without the time to exercise. How many shows did you watch, this week? How much time did you waste on the computer (remembering that time spent reading these blogs isn't wasted)? How much time could be freed up if some of this wasted time was put to good use?
I no longer look at weekends as "downtime." They are more "me time." There is work to be done, and it will tire me out. But it's a good tired. The tired that comes from pushing yourself to do things others consider impossible. Pushing yourself to go further, faster, or longer. The kind of tired that doesn't seem so bad when people start to see your accomplishments.
So, I go into this weekend knowing the 20 miler on Sunday will wipe me out. And Saturday's training (whether racing or running), will also be tiring. But I also know that I'll be better for it, come Monday.