I am so excited to feature Dayna as a guest poster while I’m away! We have grown to be good friends in the past several months and I feel lucky to have her friendship. She is an amazing person, and as you’ll read below, really gets how to balance work and life with fun! Make sure you follow her blog to learn more about her journey to becoming an Iron(wo)man!

I’ve known Lora for a few years now (has it really been that long??), after meeting her through my sister, who worked with her fiance before she moved back to Texas last June. You follow all that? Though I met C first, I’ve definitely grown closer to Lora over the last year. We ran in the same van on team Maids of Dishonor last month and had a blast getting runner-drunk on sleep deprivation and running stoopids!

Maids of Dishonor rockin' RunningSkirts at the start of Ragnar ADK 2012

Maids of Dishonor rockin’ RunningSkirts at the start of Ragnar Adirondacks 2012

So when she asked me to guest post, especially on something that my own blog references often – training with a busy schedule – I couldn’t have been more excited. Thanks L!

If you’ve seen my blog, you know one of the premises of my entire endeavor is figuring out how to train for my first Ironman while juggling a crazy work schedule and living in a city nicknamed for the fact that there’s always something going on, 24 hours a day. For starters, let’s take a look at a typical work week for me:

My crazy work schedule

Believe it or not, this is actually a light week for me

Note that every single one of those calendar appointments is a meeting with a client – doesn’t leave much downtime during working hours, and I’m in sales, so when I’m talking to clients, I have to be on. There’s no going through the motions. I absolutely love my job, and there’s almost nothing else I’d rather be doing. (Except working for Google. But I mean, its GOOGLE. They have freaking nap pods in their office. Can you blame me? ) But one of the drawbacks of this awesome job is that it does take a lot of devotion and energy, leaving behind only a few sad scraps of self-discipline for the rest of my life.

Balance is a difficult thing to achieve, and I probably fail at it more often than I succeed. But there are a few things I’ve learned in my Ironman journey thus far that have helped me take steps towards achieving all of my goals, not just in training, but also at work and in my personal life:

  • Lesson 1: Make a plan. Look at the plan daily. Follow the plan. And then plan again.
    • If I don’t have a plan, I won’t get the job done. It’s why I hired a coach, it’s why I put everything in my calendar, and it’s why I make menus at the beginning of the week (though truth be told, this hasn’t really happened in NYC the way it did in Texas. I thank Seamless web for that).
  • My second lesson has two parts. Part 1: Do what you love, even if it’s not exactly what you think you need.
  • But don’t forget about Part 2: Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
    • If I’m running low on time and I’m supposed to ride but I know the sun is setting (I hate riding in the dark), ill go for a run instead. The way I see it, it’s better than sitting on my toosh doing nothing because I got stuck at work a few minutes late. Running was my first sport and will always be my favorite sport, so it’s what I fall back on in a pinch.
    • That being said, sometimes it’s OK to do nothing. If I go for too long burning the candle at both ends, it doesn’t take long for everything to start unraveling: I go for a fun because I couldn’t ride, then I get home late, get to bed late, get up early to run again the next morning, go to work exhausted and already behind for a full day of speaking to clients and convincing them they should pick up what I’m putting down, and before you know it the snowball of off-trackedness that started with something as small as getting stuck at work 45 min late. So, if you feel the snowball building, do what you need to keep the pressure from mounting. Take a night off. Have a glass of wine with a friend. Read a relaxing book. Do what you gotta do to take care of you.
  • Remember why you’re doing it all.
    • If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you’ll know that I’m a Christian. I train because I believe my healthy, functioning body is a gift God has given me, and I want to demonstrate my appreciation for that gift. Every run, every ride, every swim,to me is a reminder of how lucky and how blessed I am to have a healthy body and a good job and to live in a place where I can train. You don’t have to be religious to have a reason to train; in fact many of my closest training buddies aren’t. And they all have their own reasons for getting out of bed in the morning 4 hours before their workday starts to get that workout in. So if you haven’t yet, ask yourself: why so you love your sport? Why does it bring you happiness? If you find yourself in the midst of a snowball of crazy schedules and a demanding job and an insane social or family life, remember to take a breath and reflect on why you do what you love.

What advice do you have for getting it all done in the mere 24 hours each day gives?

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