I was running with Ken recently. The weather has been incredible for training with the exception of some mild allergies I and many others are dealing with. He asked how another friend of ours was doing and I mentioned that this friend is having a difficult time fitting training in to the daily schedule. Ken mentioned that it certainly can be difficult fitting training into a hectic schedule and that if they could bottle up the benefits and sell them in a pill, plenty of people out there including himself would jump at it, to which I responded "not me."
I explained that my training time is my time to sort my head out and to organize myself. It's my therapy. Plus, when I get to the starting line of a race, I find tremendous satisfaction in the process taken to get there. One of the main reasons I sign up for races is because it makes me that much more diligent in planning and preparing, and because I enjoy the process. I'm fortunate that I can always find ways to stay motivated with training, or exercise. I realize that 90% of the population hate to exercise - thankfully or I wouldn't have a nice personal training business and may have to put on a suit and tie each day (the horror!). I get to see both ends of the spectrum daily - the general population who loathe exercising, and then the endurance athletes I coach who can be obsessed with it.
One thing for sure is that we can easily try to justify anything. Fitting in your training doesn't mean that you have to totally sacrifice something else. It's all about prioritizing and establishing habits, which doesn't have to be so difficult. I witness extremely busy people fit in their daily training and people who aren't so busy yet come up with many excuses to miss. The bottom line is that one day or week of exercise or training isn't what pays off. It's the consistency of a plan, and that's what we need to focus on when establishing the habit. When race day comes along, your outcome won't be determined by the one amazing workout you did back in April. It'll be determined by the consistency that you achieved in the three months leading up to that race.
Good luck to those racing in St. Croix this coming weekend. I swore off that race the last time I was there, yet, I think about getting back there often. I can't be done with it knowing that course got the best of me. I thought about it for this year but I will be attending a good friends wedding this coming weekend. Maybe next year.