I'm a competitive guy, if you don't already know. Not always against other people, but certainly within myself. And I think training for triathlons makes you look inwards more than outwards due to the solo training rides & runs.
The Challenge was put out on the wires earlier in the week, my unofficial training mentor the Captain of Sommerville Sports Ivan had accepted a challenge from a former National Duathlon Champion from1996, but don't worry Celine Hepworth has plenty still in the tank! To pace and punch out a fast if not PB run at Diamond Creek parkrun, a flat course that is prime for running hard; I'm pushing to break 20 minutes and knowing Ivan & Celine would go under 19 minutes this was a great opportunity to run with champions and push myself. Quick chat with Super Wife and I had planned to swap the pram for a free set of running feet for a Saturday morning.
I used to walk the paths this run takes with Super Wife back in the old dating days, taking the walk from Eltham (her home town) to Diamond Creek and back; having grown up in the area it was a good chance to return to my old stomping grounds.
With any training in my situation the night/day before is the key preparing running gear, packing car, etc. Z-Girl is in a bad habit of waking at 2am & 4am and struggles to settle, early days we gave her a small feed to calm her but now it means she just doesn't settle without it. Breaking the habit means loud noises and no sleep. Working together we looked to try and break the habit, the poor little Z just didn't like the situation crying and crying, I got up to help at 4am and taking her downstairs just couldn't stop the tears, exhausted the poor thing finally feel asleep in our bed cuddled by Mum at 5am, but an alarm at 6:30am to get ready for our morning run was not what Super Wife needed.
In fact no amount of motivational speeches were going to fix this one; a terrible nights rest and a case of the Mothering Blues meant time was needed without Z-Girl; I had already made the commitment to Ivan and Little Z was all giggles at 6:30am ready for an adventure, so I would watch this running battle from the back of the pack with the pram.
Diamond Creek parkrun is a great setting by the bridge and with a 2.5km up and back route it gives you a great opportunity to see the leading runners heading to the finish line, problem also being for a guy like me that likes to run 4:30-5:00 min/km it was hard to get going with the morning joggers and a thin path made overtaking difficult.
Watching Ivan coming back the other way, considering he was running naked (without his Garmin, not real naked ain't nobody need to see that!) I was surprised at his good pace but concerned he might burn the match out, Celine was in hot pursuit and only a few paces back. I was still trying to pick my way to some space to stretch the legs out, Z-Girl was happy after her standard 1km grizzle and had now fallen asleep.
After the turn around point I started to get a little room and picked up the pace dramatically, even catching another pram runner (DC had a few today, maybe 6-7) I might not of been able to take on the challenge that was set during the week, but I did want to be the first pram over the line and pushed myself to keep going and get clear, with a respectable time and a very sleepy Z-Girl.
That's the catch I'm discovering as a Dadathlete; you got to be adjustable. Don't let a bad nights sleep get you down and just change it up. Ivan ran ahead of Celine and was happy with his time, Celine comes across like she is never happy and a perfectionist but always looking for the next challenge and I like that in a person, and me and Z-Girl well we proved we had plenty in the legs after a late night of nappy parties!
It's hard, that's the truth. It's hard to be a Triathlete, Dad & Husband and I won't ever say it's easy. But if I didn't have anyone of those things life would be even harder. All 3 make up big important parts of who I am and sometimes they clash but that morning I felt like we meshed them together in the face of adversity; the Triathlete needed a training run, the Dad needed to look after his Daughter and the Husband needed to give his Super Wife the opportunity to relax and recoup. That's a Dadathlon hat-trick if ever I've seen one!