Iron Dad Post 8 – The Management of Expectations
Edward: 4 months old
IM Muskoka: in 9 days
Diana used to be a professional photographer, so when she wanted to take staged photos of Edward at his one-month-of-life-aversary (yes, this post was started a long time ago and the photo above is dated by about three months), she thought it’d be pretty straight forward.
It wasn’t. Turns out that one month olds make poor models.
There are many things that having Edward in my life has taught me, and one of the most important is that I need to do a better job of managing my expectations: both in everyday life and in this particular case the race in Muskoka.
First the everyday:
– Oh, so you need to do eight hours of workout programming today?
– Is it time for your breakfast?
– I don’t think so
Sleeping, showering, working, training, eating, etc. can be performed reliably only in shifts or during the rare and ever-so-precious naps. If I’m on baby duty, I can no longer expect to accomplish anything. If I do manage to get something done, I thank Edward for being considerate enough to allow me the time to do so. Those of you who I coach are by now well familiar with the occasional apology email asking for your patience in waiting for your weekly performance review.
As he grows however, he’s becoming an increasingly generous baby, so he now obliges more often than not. It’s typically enough for me to rock him with one foot while making the occasional funny face and silly sound. He eventually does run out of patience of course, but this is progress!
Having the grandparents involved on a regular basis is a huge win for productivity as well. The two shifts that my mom takes each week are enough for me to complete the majority of my coaching responsibilities. Diana’s parents too are a great help, even though they don’t live close. The couple of times this summer when she has stayed with them for a few days have been essential in allowing me to catch up on both work and sleep.
This indirectly ties into the race itself. I’ve never been any good at racing without competing. And while I’ve told many clients to approach new distances – especially long course – without expectations, you know my motto: do as I say, not as I do. This time however, I will make not racing this race a priority. All of my intensity targets are very conservative, so if all goes well I will do what all first-time IM athletes should strive for: finish with a smile and not hate their lives during the run.
Wish me luck and remember: do as I say, not as I do.
Irondad in Training.