Thursday, April 16, 2015

When life gives you lemons...

I've been having a busy week.

Last week, my kids' dad left town because he makes three times my salary and can afford vacations and the kids have been with me ever since.

Which I LOVE.

But what this means is that I cannot go to the gym in the morning - because one cannot wake up at the crack of dawn and leave children under the age of 9 home alone to swim. It also means I cannot go to the gym after work - because one cannot leave children at after school care passed 6 p.m. and one cannot drop off her children under the age of 9 at home and leave them there alone.

So, on Monday I met with my beginner runner group, ran 3k (while my children sat in the car and played video games - well, one child ran 1k with me), and that's pretty much been it as far as training goes.

The kiddos go to their dad's Friday after school, which also happens to be the student art show. If I had two wits about me, I'd tell the kids I was going to skip their art show Friday night so I could go to the gym.

But in good conscious I cannot do that to them. So rather than being in the pool Friday after work, I'll be at a student art show.

Saturday morning I have plans to run with a friend who is coming in from Maryland (yay!). Sunday I'm leaving town to go camping until Tuesday. Wednesday I have off, but I'll be cleaning up from two days of camping. I hope to get a swim in and maybe a bike ride, but we'll see. Wednesday after school, the kiddos come back home to me.

And the cycle repeats.

Also, I've been taking a very hard look at my finances, and it turns out that over the last 6 months I have somehow managed to rack up close to $10,000 in credit card debt - paying for groceries, new sneakers, tri kits, club memberships, club wear, USAT memberships, gym memberships, chiropractors, tumbling classes, gas for my car, etc.

So, after May 17, race day, my gym membership will be canceled, and I will possibly be putting my bike up for sale.

Anyone want to buy a bike?

Turns out that while I am mentally ready to get this triathlon party restarted, I am not financially ready. And with two small children at home, there is no way I have the time needed to properly train for these races.

So, there is it in all it's glory. I have a college degree and a job that makes less than most college graduates, thanks to 13+ years of marriage in which my career was never important because my husband made money. **I am currently in a hard search for new employment, so I am trying to better my financial situation.

I also have two children I can barely afford to feed because all my money goes toward housing, because we chose to live and raise our children in an area that has high cost of living, so it's very hard to live with a single, paltry income that is too much to qualify for assistance. I also get dog shit for child support because when we divorced I didn't want the kids to live without their dad and I agreed to 50/50 split custody.

So when my triathlon friends use #doesntcarediane in posts about how I'm not training, it stings. I'd like to train, but I just can't. I put on a facade of having too many responsibilities, or simply trying to keep this race as something I'm doing for fun.

I want to compete. I want to do well. I also want to feed my children and be able to drive them to school.

But these are my problems, ones I created. So they are problems I will have to clean up - somehow.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And how incredibly embarrassing it all is.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A lesson from the triathlon community

I've been sulking lately about how my attempt at finding people to train with me has been a huge and expensive failure when it hit me.

Like a ton of bricks. On the head.

People aren't going to find me, I need to branch out a bit. So, I pulled up my big her pants and headed to the interwebs to find a running partner.

Side note: I actually already had a running partner lined up for today (Friday), but she is one of those people who is notorious for bailing at the last minute and even though she hasn't bailed yet, I'm confident she will cancel tonight. But that's an entirely different blog.

First, I posted to the Philadelphia Triathlon Club Facebook group. Most clubbies organize group rides and runs, and swims for that matter, close to Philadelphia. There really isn't a club or organization closer to me. Anyway, I asked if anyone was in my area and wanted to meet for a run, this is where I'd be and this is the time I was planning on being there. 

Being that it was 8 p.m. Thursday and I was looking for a running buddy for the very next day, I knew it was long shot, but tried anyway. Early this morning, I got some interest from someone who said they couldn't run, but lived nearby and would be interested in a run another time.

Score 1 for me.

Next, I lead a very small group of beginner runners who I helped train for their first 5K last fall. I posted to that group also and got not one, but two people interested!! These two I know will show up, so I'll have at least two people to run with tonight!

Score 2!

Finally, I few weeks ago I volunteered during the Endurance Sports Expo with the club and one of the clubbies there gave me her card. I searched for this little piece of paper that I pretty much threw aside and emailed her as well. She responded (!!) and while she also can't run - it is the Friday before Easter - she said she was glad I contacted her because she lost my card. 

The lesson I learned was that sometimes you really just have to ask. You may not get a yes, but getting some attention is certainly a step in the right direction.

So, let's go on to my week in review:
Monday night, no worthwhile swim to speak of, followed by ... nothing. Fact: I have not done a damn thing all week. Tuesday I was exhausted, so I slept in. Tuesday night, the dog came home from hunting with some kind of infection that caused her paw to pretty much blow up with an infection - I will spare you the details and photo of that. So, Wednesday we dealt with that, which was exhausting. Thursday morning I woke up feeling fantastic, but I slept in. Thursday night I spent time with my kids because I won't see them for a full week.

I'm dying a little inside.

So, in true Diane fashion, tonight I will attempt to blow it up. On deck is a casual swim of at least 1000 yards. Period. No excuses. After my swim I'll meet my running group friends for an easy 3 mile run. It's supposed to rain, but I'm planning on running no matter what the weather, unless it becomes dangerous, but that's not supposed to be the case.

Saturday morning I'll be preparing the vegetable tray I have been asked to bring for Easter dinner at the boyfriend's family's home Saturday afternoon. I will eat and drink too much Saturday night and Sunday I have a date to go fishing with the boyfriend and spend the day with him. Monday night I'll be swimming again. The rest of the week I must get on my trainer. I have an unusual Wednesday night without the kids, so I might see if I can sneak a ride in outside Wednesday after work, even if it's just hill repeats at my house. Thursday and Friday my daughter is making her stage debut, so no workouts there. Weekend is yet to be determined.

Hope you all are doing well. See you on the flipside!