I mentioned it earlier this week, but I’ll say it again: long-course triathlon is a selfish sport. Almost every evening involves training, along with some mornings. Weekends are basically written off with hours of training on the schedule.
In between there you fit in full-time work, grocery shopping and food prep, laundry and other house work, and trying to maintain relationships.
I think we’re pretty tame with our training. While many people put in numerous 20+ hour weeks of training, we might put together 14 hours on heavy weeks.
I feel very fortunate in that my husband and I often train together. We also have very supportive family and friends.
However, there’s a lot that gets missed. I don’t visit my niece or family nearly enough. My house could use a deep clean, and I basically only see friends once a month at book club.
The thing I feel the most guilt about is our dog. He’s our furbaby and spends many summer days cooped up in the house while we’re at work, and then out training.
You know he’s feeling a little neglected when he opens your swimming bag zippers and chews your pull buoy, grabs your running shoes and dangles them from his mouth, entices you in games of tug when you’re stretching and strength training, and snuggles so close when you’re trying to work your core. (All real life examples.)
Here are a few simple ways to give your pet some extra time/loving:
- Wake up earlier and double up . With an already early wake up time, waking up even earlier can be a struggle. But it’s worth it. I wake up 15 minutes earlier to take Harold for a quick walk before heading out for the day.
He loves the extra attention and exercise, and I LOVE starting my day with a brisk walk with my little buddy. Then after work, workouts and supper, we take him for a long walk every evening. It’s nice to spend some time together that’s not training time and Harold gets in his exercise for the day!
- Take five. After working all day, I like to get my workout on as soon as I get home. If I dawdle, it’s tough to get motivated. But I take the time to play with Harold for at least five-10 minutes. If it’s nice, I sit with him in the yard or take him for a quick walk. If it’s not nice, we’ll play tug in the basement. Kelly does the same when he gets home, so Harold gets a double dose!
- Move your workout outside. If you’re working out at home, move it outside. On warm days when I do strength or physio exercises, I haul all my gear upstairs and outside (weights, medicine ball, kettle bells, yoga mat, and foam roller). That way Harold can be outside with somebody instead of being left in the yard alone.
- Incorporate them in to your exercise. If we go for a recovery run or short brick run, we leash up the hound and take him along. Or, if we’re hitting the trails and take him, we plan for a fast run!
- Do something fun. We try to include Harold in our plans when we go camping. He loves being outside and especially in the mountains. It takes a bit of juggling or skipping workouts on our part, but it’s nice to take him along! If we have a little extra time on the weekend, we take him to our river valley to walk on the beautiful trails there.
I know I’m a crazy dog mom, but a dog is the owner’s responsibility. I feel bad enough for city dogs of people who work outside the home. Throw training in there, and they can be alone a lot of the time.
Are you a dog person? What kind of dog do you have? If not, what kind would you like?