Juggling work-life balance can be a real three-ring circus, which Lauren & Jesse know first hand. Led by listener questions, this new podcast is all about sports, biz, and family.[ASK YOUR QUESTION]
Jesse’s just back from a Natural Products show in Anaheim and Lauren’s been solo-parenting for a week at home, and the Work Play Love hosts get to hang out for the first time in a while on the show. How appropriate, then, that today’s episode is all about transition. How do you jump from work to play to relationships, especially when one of the areas of your life, like business, is really heating up? How do you transition to and from maximum effort in a long race without sacrificing your overall time? And how do you come back to “normal life” after an intense training cycle. Tune in to hear Lauren and Jesse answer these questions and more.
Jesse’s been out of town with Picky Bars at Expo West. So Lauren fills Jesse in on what’s been happening at home. Lauren talks about her kind of stressful week at home, including sifting through the many amazing applications for the upcoming Wilder retreat, and attending a 3-hour long kids talent show with Jude.
When it comes to running your own business, trade shows can be part of the deal. And it can often lead you to wonder: is this even worth it? Jesse talks the benefits of attending a sprawling and at times overwhelming tradeshow despite the investment to be there. He also covers some supply chain issues that are popping up again for Picky, which may affect product availability in the coming months. Jesse discusses the steps he’s taking to avoid re-living the supply-chain problems Picky faced in 2018 by building in redundancies.
15:34 - I get that we’re not supposed to use the word “guys” to address a group of adult humans. But we’re not all from the south, and using “y’all” doesn’t seem appropriate in some settings. I’ve struggled with this for years—I’ve used “people”—but is there anything else?
L: I think you can say “people.” That works! And “hey, everyone!”
J: Yeah, sometimes I use “peeps.”
18:08 – What’s your recipe method for making overnight Picky Oats?
J: I use almond milk and I pour it into the oats. Then I put it in the refrigerator. Then I come back in the morning and it’s ready to go! I really like the overnight oats—particularly the chocolate beet kind because the chocolate doesn’t melt. Sometimes I stir in some nut butter to thicken it up.
L: That sounds great. I do the exact same, except I use cow milk: whole milk.
19:29 – Do either of you take vitamins or have regimens to try to stay virus-free? I’ve been sick the past three months and I’m willing to do anything to try and stay healthy.
L: I generally don’t believe in taking vitamins. But there are some that I’ve learned over the years do have a positive impact. Iron, for women, and seasonal vitamin D is what I’ve used. The evidence isn’t really there for supplements, but they can be effective if you have a deficit. I recommend trying to get as much vitamin content from your diet as possible.
J: I’ve had regular blood work done and the only thing that’s been recommended for me over the years is vitamin D supplementation. Outside of that, I don’t take vitamins.
21:57 – Lauren, how long should the long run be to try and run a fast 5k. I’ve had someone tell me to run 12-13 miles to have an aerobic base for a fast 5k. Do you agree?
L: I would agree with the 10-13 miles as a range. If you’re going by time, 70-95-minutes is a good amount of time to be on your feet for a long run.
22:52 – I got on my Nordic skis again this year after a 7-year hiatus. What do you guys think: classic or skate style Nordic skiing, and why?
J: We both do skate-style Nordic skiing. The reason? It’s faster. From a triathlon perspective, I’ve heard classic style can be more running-specific, and that skate-style is a little more cycling specific in terms of musculature. But the reason I skate-ski is because I cover more ground; it feels more invigorating to me than classic ski.
L: I skate. I haven’t learned classic yet. But you get to use more of the path instead of the tracks. And it feels aerobically like running, but with a totally different range of motion. It uses more of the muscles in my hips and glutes, which I thought would be a good cross-training exercise for running that would make me stronger.
25:55 - We’ve all heard the advice “pace yourself” in a race. When I think back to the Challenge Roth episode (episode 10), Jesse described going full gas in the water to stay with the elite performers, then he red-lined on the bike “maxing out” his effort to ride with the top riders, and then he still had a marathon to run! How do you “max out” for surges in a race without sacrificing other parts of your race?
J: When it comes to professional triathlon racing, the group is paramount. It’s so important to give whatever effort you have to stay with the group in the water. Then when it comes to the bike, there’s a big benefit to being behind the uber-riders—both from riding in their draft, and also to have people to pace myself against instead of being out on the course by myself trying to hold my own pace. So that kind of strategy at Roth was very conscious and something I discussed with my coach. I knew that I would pay for those decisions later in the race, but that cost didn’t outweigh the benefit of being with the leaders early on.
L: Not everyone takes this strategy, though. Some elite racers do a really good job of pacing themselves.
J: I train very specifically for this type of race strategy. So I practiced getting on the bike, doing a warmup, and then doing super high intensity effort before settling in to my normal pace. And I did a lot of workouts like that.
L: Physiologically, what’s happening there is you’re going above your aerobic threshold into anaerobic periods where your body is building up lactate. But through his training, Jesse practiced having these anaerobic periods, which meant his body was more efficient in buffering and clearing out the lactate. These are called lactate-tolerance workouts, so you get better at performing in this range.
J: I would not recommend this as a race strategy unless you know you’re with a group that you’re trying to match. As an age-grouper triathlete, there are going to be people everywhere, and so it makes more sense to pace yourself and not worry about going anaerobic, and just enjoying your race.
33:20 Can you talk about how you mentally cope with de-training after an intense training bloc or race? I recently finished my first trail 50k—finished 2nd female overall! But I already felt cranky and anxious from the stress of work/life just a few days after. Can you speak to how to handle the mental shift of de-loading from a high-volume training cycle?
L: The first thought that I have in reading this is that you just had a big race in distance and training buildup, but you also had a big emotional win with 2nd female overall. It sounds like you had a dopamine bath of feelgood hormones in a way that’s different from normal lived experience. The natural thing that’s gonna happen is a re-balancing. This is very common—people have post-olympic depression, and post-marathon depression all the time. First of all—it would be good to expect that a recalibration is important if you want to come back again and train and rebuild again. So you want to minimize the negative impact but not get rid of it completely. You want to know that this is part of the cycle. And I wouldn’t recommend training, but move your body. Go for long walks. Do things that give you a hit of happiness hormones that you don’t get when you’re training. Be around people you love, go on some other kind of adventure. Give your body time to regenerate. Allowing yourself to de-train is really important. Take this opportunity to train getting your highs in new ways outside of sport.
J: It’s super typical after big success, and then you don’t want to turn it off. And so what happens is you end up setting the bar higher, or you train for the next thing too soon, and then when the next event comes around, you’re smoked.
L: Yeah, when you’re coming off of a big event like this. Your body and your mind can be telling you to keep going. And this is an instance where you should learn to not listen to your body. I plan it in advance. No matter what my body or my brain says, I’m taking a little down time.
J: You have to be a little militant about it. I’ve made the mistake before and I found that by the time I get to the next race, there’s a drastic difference between the shape I’m in if I don’t take time of versus when I do take time off.
39:45 – Do you have any advice on how to transition effectively from one activity to the next: work, run, relationships?
J: I’ve definitely struggled with this. Even right now, when the business is facing supply-chain issues, I’m having a really hard time turning the “business” part of my brain off when I’m with my family. What I’m trying to do is be very intentional about where I put my phone when I get home. I put it away, on the charger. This takes away the temptation to check email and look for updated information at all times. The other thing I’ve been doing is that I’ll go for a walk without my phone. 30 minutes gave me some time to explore, see other things outside. So that’s my advice—remove the distractions as best you can so you can engage with where you are in the moment.
L: I really appreciated that you took a walk. We have pretty strong boundaries around not talking about work when it’s our alone time together. Even though I wanted to hang out with Jesse, I preferred that he walk and process and relieve stress in that way instead of taking a more familiar path. In the past, we might hash out how he’s feeling, and then we’re both working, and we’re both feeling stressed. So I though that was really nice.
44:21 - In this week’s follow-ups, several listeners write in with follow-ups to the “pooping while racing” question in episode 34. Another listener writes in responding to Lauren’s comment about being proud that Jesse was capable of being home with the kids in episode 34. The listener suggests the book Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family, by Anne Marie Slaughter, which posits that women will never achieve equality with men until we change culture to expect men to be caregivers as we do women. Lastly, Jesse receives some advice about his sciatica issues he mentioned in episode 33.
As always, submit your work/play/love question at pickybars.com/workplaylove - Thanks for listening!
Gift ideas for athletes, how to fit in exercise in an already packed schedule, when to have kids, and lastly, why are age-groupers peeing on the bike during triathlons?
Lauren's NYT Op-ed, marathon performance, finding love, avoiding burnout while pursuing your career, and what success for Picky Bars looks like to them.