Today is one week since I began training for the Chicago Sprint Triathlon, and here's an update on what I completed as part of the program:
Run: 10 miles
Bike: 10 miles
Swim: 200 yards
Starting weight: 155.6
Current weight: 150.4
The first week of the program was admittedly pretty easy, other than the swimming portion. I even exceeded the running goal, so it wasn't a ton of overall work. Even that, combined with a healthy diet, was enough for me to drop five pounds, though, which shows that I wasn't working out consistently enough in the past couple of months.
What I'm most proud of after the first week is my ability to push through my unusual schedule and complete my workouts. I am currently working a 6pm-2am shift, meaning I sleep and relax most of the day and go to the gym after work - sometimes not getting home until about 3:30am. It's not easy driving home on empty roads from Northbrook to Chicago while thinking about just skipping the gym and going to bed. But I know that if I want to complete this training and get in the shape necessary for the triathlon that I have to overcome the mental aspect that could hold me back if I allow it to.
Last night, for instance, all I wanted to do was go home, watch some TV and cash out after work. That thought lasted all the way until I parked my car outside the gym. Once I got on the treadmill, I ran the three miles in a decent time and felt great afterward. I would have regretted not going this morning. It's always easiest to just say, "I'll just skip tonight and work harder tomorrow." More often than not, you don't. This training isn't going to be easy all the way through, so why try to cut corners at all? If I'm in this, I'm in it all the way.
There are plenty more obstacles to overcome in the coming weeks. I have plans to watch some hockey with some buddies tonight, and then my dad comes to visit tomorrow night on my two off days from work. Though today is a scheduled day off from training, I'm going to have to wake up earlier than normal tomorrow to get in my workout, and I plan to do so.
Next week, I have a bachelor party to attend in Indianapolis, so I'm going to have to rework the training schedule for the entire week to be able to skip two days over the weekend while I'm out of town. Then, when I return from Indy, my entire work schedule shifts to 10am-6pm. My entire workout schedule will need to change along with it, and it's going to take a lot of planning to do so.
The point is, there is always going to be an excuse or an obstacle that can drag you down if you let it. Something will come up every day. Even driving past a fast-food restaurant can make you say, "Well, I'll just grab a couple of cheeseburgers today and then work them off tomorrow." Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well as you think, and more often than not you'll enjoy those cheeseburgers and then regret the hell out of it later when you're sitting on the couch and skipping your workout.
This is only the first week of training, and I've already encountered plenty of challenges that I have to fight through. It's only going to get more difficult, but I have to push through it.