It's been a while between posts. I'ts not because I have been busy knocking out 25 hours a week of training, but my Daddy daycare duties have been fast and furious over the past few months and having time to write has been the last thing on my list.
Like any obsessive, compulsive triathlete, when I had the opportunity to take this second stint of parental leave I jumped at the chance. I am very lucky that my full-time job at Macquarie University allows me this period of leave for each child. This not only gives me the greatest opportunity to create a bond with my sons, but financially for us its a no-brainer! During the early months of each of our son's lives my wife (Dani) was on leave from work - unpaid! To survive on one wage is tough, especially in Sydney, but the individual time spent with each of our boys has been invaluable. Now that Dani has gone back to work it was my turn to take the reigns and see if I could perfect my Daddy daycare skills and still keep the wheels turning on the triathlon training and coaching front.
so what does this have to do with Triathlon? Bare with me. It may seem like a period of 5 months of leave looking after kids might be the Pro-life we have all be hoping for, but it couldn't be further from the truth as I surprisingly found out last time I was on leave. Yes I don't have to go work, I may get to have quite a few social coffee's in the day and I probably frequent the beach and park more times than I usually do but it's all under very different circumstances. At the moment I am sat jotting down my thoughts while Huw (9 months) is having his morning nap. I have just dropped Ethan (2.5 years) at daycare for one of his 3 days, grabbed a coffee with my wife, put the washing on, emptied the dishwasher, taken the bins out and vacuumed the apartment. I also rode 30km of hills at 5am this morning. It's a pretty full start to the day, but a very enjoyable one. Hopefully Huw will sleep between 45-90 minutes so I may have time to get a few more jobs done.
So how does Daddy daycare effect my Triathlon goals?
Essentially it doesn't, because I don't let it, but in the same respect I don't let my triathlon goals impact on the time and commitments I have to my family. The biggest lesson I learned while on my first Daddy daycare period is that planning to train in the daytime is a NO GO! While it might sound like an opportunity to sneak some extra training seeing as I am not at work, I can't really rely on the kids being asleep at a regular time. Instead, all of my training is done in the morning before my wife goes to work, and then in the evening when she comes home (we also tag team as much as possible so that Dani can do some training too as she is aiming to make the Sprint World Champs on the Gold Coast). It really is a big team effort.
We also have an amazing community, so on occasion a couple of good friends may take Huw for an hour so I can go for a massage, take my bike for a service, catch up with athletes I coach or jump in the ocean for a swim. It's not a regular thing, but one I appreciate immensely (thanks Mimi).
This year I had initially decided not to go too long in my ambitions for triathlon racing, maybe do a few 70.3's and see how I go. It was after speaking to my wife we decided that things were never really going to be as flexible as when we didn't have kids so if I wanted to go back to racing Ironman I should just give it a go and we'll make it work. I'm very thankful for her support and glad that I'm now signed up to race in Taupo in March. I think that I've found some consistency in training with this schedule and after Busso 70.3 I'll be turning my attention to the Ironman and hopefully accommodate the additional volume in training I need.
Take your opportunities?
As an age group athlete, so many people can appreciate the constraints on time that we all experience. It's not always with kids, some age group athletes have very demanding jobs or have to travel a lot. My period of Daddy daycare obviously doesn't have the same constraints sometimes as my 40 hour work week, but I do find the inconsistency and less structure on Daddy daycare more challenging. When I am working full time at University I have a stable routine, I also have the option to utilise my lunchtimes for training and go for a swim or run, this is great when I need some extra sleep in the morning. When I'm looking after kids drag my ass out of bed is not usually a problem, but if the kids have a rough night or decide they want to get up at 5am sometimes training has to take a back seat and family comes first.
So, your doing another Ironman?
This is probably the biggest question people in my community quiz me on and often something my wife talks to me about when I'm complaining about being tired or having a sore body. Waino, do you think you are going to be able to do the Ironman training? Like many of you training, you probably ask yourself that a LOT! I know I do all the time. When I'm tired at the end of a 4 hour ride or a 20km run, I often think do I really want to be riding 6 hours or running 35km - most of the time my answer is YES! It probably sounds a bit stupid to a lot of people, but I have been there before, I enjoy challenging myself in training in preparing for a goal. I know I will get to the Ironman start line in the best shape I can for the time I have and I will be happy with that. No excuses, no regrets!
So as I sit here during race week before I switch my attention to the Ironman, I am already preparing for the training in my mind. I am motivated by my Ironman goals and I look forward to the challenge of managing it all with my home commitments. as for daddy daycare, I am also trying to make sure that I utilise this time as well as I can and make sure that the time is spent creating the strongest of bonds with my boys as they grow up. We have a LOT of fun and they are constantly keeping me on my toes. You can check out some of our fun expeditions on my socials if you have time.
So onto Busso this weekend. I'm looking forward to a solid race, hopefully using it as a springboard to the Ironman. Have fun out there those of you racing - I look forward to sinking a few beers and watching the Ironman after my race.
And for those of you wondering - Huw's sleep was 45 minutes and I currently have a baby at my feet, smiling and trying desperately to hit the keyboard!