Flu Bug

Another long weekend on the heels of a tough, stressful week of work and I was concerned about staying healthy during these two important high-volume weeks in my build up to Grand Columbian.  The travel last week was the killer, although I suppose that some might suggest that it was the mountain rides with that related travel that did it.  You know, I do realize that this multi-sport stuff is the fun stuff and work pays the bills.  However, it’s a big part of my life and I’ve been needing a mental break for a long time now but it seemed that others needed the break more by crying about it a little louder so I’d cover for them.  This is one of those times where I wonder if I might be better served to be more of a squeaky wheel. 

I had two big A races and one A- race this year, with the rest as fillers.  The A- race was Memphis In May, and that went well.  Big A Race number one was Tri Nationals.  With some overtraining (under-recovery), a related injury and ramped up work responsibilities, I skipped the race and cut way back on training volume for over a month.  This then requires another month or so of building fitness back up before being able to move forward in race prep. This was a big sacrifice I made in my personal life for work.  Because I don’t have children, I sometimes wonder if my personal life priorities are considered as important.  But they are and I need breaks too. 

My second big A race for the year is Grand Columbian.  I am barely back fit again and need a couple weeks of big volume before a two week taper to prepare for this race distance that is longer than I’ve ever done before.  Just as I’m about to embark on this big two weeks, I have to travel in the middle of this period because my colleague can’t for family reasons and the other colleague is cutting back on hours to spend more time with kids.  I quickly inform the boss that I need to cut back on my hours the following week (this current week) with a brief explanation about prep for the race and already missing one big race of the season.  Yesterday morning, seeing how work has yet to ease up very much, I remind the boss that I need to scale back and we’re redistributing the workload and make note that I don’t want to end up sick.  He then comments about getting through September after I’m done racing so things can “get back to normal”.  Get back to normal?  Just maybe I’ll be done racing when the other colleague is done wanting to spend time with her kids.  Are you kidding me?  So, to promptly rebel, my body contracts a flu virus within an hour of this conversation which is pretty unpleasant, but at least I’ve gotten more rest than I have in a long time and I can ignore work email for half a day without too much guilt.  The fever has dropped, but I’m still not 100% (thanks for asking).  I’ll be all good soon, I’m sure of it, because now I’m taking care of myself.

I love my involvement in multi-sport and the “family” of people I’ve come to know through my involvement in it.  It’s important to my well-being and makes my life better.  When I decide it’s time to start a family, I will have to re-assess how I spend my time, but until then, time away from work for athletic reasons is every bit as valid as time away for family reasons.  Whether you agree or not, that’s how I see it.

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4 comments to Flu Bug

  • I can definitely relate your post, at least to parts of it. Travel is a regular part of my job and it is often on short notice and it is really tough trying to maintain a consistent workout schedule when I don’t know where I’m going to be from week to week. Don’t you just hate it when work interferes with life?

  • erin

    I completely agree with you 150%. Your personal time is your personal time, and whether you’re smoking crack, spending time with kids or doing big volume weeks, IT’S YOUR TIME AND NONE OF ANYONE’S CONCERN how you spend it. I’ve heard, “oh i workout too i’m not tired” from people who jog 2 miles 3 times a week. You can’t rationalize with these people, most of them just don’t get it, or are too narcissistic to understand anything beyond themselves anyway. Or have no life and working 60 hours is a lot of time killed so they don’t have to deal with the fact that their lives are empty and spent warming the office chair.

    KEEP doing what you do, you inspire and teach me a lot through this blog!! (and your kickass results!)

  • Alicia

    Thank you my brothers & sisters! :) This is the big value of involvement in multi-sport– the relationships with people with similar goals and values. Priceless.

    Had a good conversation with the boss and while we may see a few items differently, we’ve hashed out a good reduced workload for me this week to let me get a mental break while I prepare for Grand Columbian and recover from the last few months of work. His argument is that I didn’t speak up sooner and that my schedule and the other colleague’s schedule don’t have anything to do with the other. However, I noted that when I’m the official back-up for this person and she’s the one crying for a break first, it puts me in a spot where I don’t feel like it’s appropriate to complain. Then, when her hours were further reduced right when I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel again, that’s not a real pleasant message to receive. He acknowledged that maybe the timing was bad on that one and communication could have been better. And, yes, I need to complain more and sooner if I’m feeling too pressured. I’ll work on that. 😉

    Upshot is this– you don’t need to work for someone who gets exactly why it’s important, just someone that recognizes that it is. And another thing I’ve learned is that there are organizations run by people who do get it. I know someone who works at an engineering firm where one of the founders organizes big weekend rides and pays for the lodging for those that participate so he can enjoy the company while doing a sport he loves. Imagine how cool that would be? Until then, I’ll grin and bear it when some people spend oodles of energy focused on the popular ball sports (college basketball especially around here) and don’t get why I do what I do. I don’t get the basketball thing, so there you go.

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