Juggling work-life balance can be a real three-ring circus, which Lauren & Jesse know first hand. Led by listener questions, the Work, Play, Love Podcast is all about sports, biz, and family. [ASK YOUR QUESTION]
To plan or not to plan? That is the question. Whether you’re training to close the gap between you and your competition, or you’re hashing out parenting disagreements with your partner, or you’re rebuilding your relationship to sport after grieving a loss, making a plan can help you overcome tough obstacles. And sometimes? The plan is to just be present and not have a plan at all! Lauren and Jesse are back from a short hiatus to answer your questions about the intersection of work, sports, and relationships, and they talk about how they’re implementing their own plans—or having their plans disrupted (and what they’re doing about it).
Lace up, y’all. It’s the first week back for Little Wing Athletics. So Lauren’s been pouring through old training journals and getting prepped for the new training season. She’s been thinking about how she can improve as a coach this year, and she’s also been thinking about how she can improve in life in general. Lauren talks about the three areas of life that she wants to focus on this year, and how she put together a plan to go after those goals.
Meanwhile, Jesse’s feeling a bit bummed because he just can’t catch a break. Just as his foot is getting better from surgery earlier in the year, a new (old) injury is popping up and keeping him off the field. He also gives some updates about Picky and how he’s tackling supply-chain issues this year compared to last year.
15:41 - Lauren, can you elaborate on your pastry diet? Are we talking flaky croissants, gooey Danish, hipster pop tarts...?!
Oh yeah. We can elaborate. But only as much as a tasty bite will allow! Here are some of Lauren’s favorite sweet treats from bake shops in Bend, OR.
18:26 - Jesse, have you accomplished your life goal of eating a Sourdough Jack?
Yes. Jesse probably consumed a Sourdough Jack within 30 minutes of making his famed life-goals spreadsheet. Let’s face it. Sometimes you just need to make goals you can cross off the list right away.
19:22 - Lauren, what do you think of coach Vin Lananna going to University of Virginia?
Vin Lananna is a great coach and UVA is lucky to have him. Lauren talks about how she feels excited for him to be able to work hands-on with athletes after years of advancing the sport in Eugene, OR.
22:04 - What is venture capital investment? Does it always mean they own part of the company? What is a “term sheet” from a VC?
Here’s a Wikipedia article about venture capital. That’s just in case you want to dig deeper than the tasty bite! Basically, venture capital is a type of investment. Venture capital investors generally invest in early-stage businesses, or “start-ups” that have a high potential for big, BIG growth. You know the saying “high risk, high reward.” That’s what these groups are hoping for. Instead of putting their money in the stock market or into a savings account, they put their money into a company they hope will grow very fast and provide a huge return on their investment. If, or how much they own is defined by the term sheet. When a business accepts venture capital, they must agree to terms and conditions outlined on the term sheet, which are highly variable and are a part of the negotiations that happen around a venture capital investment.
26:33 - What do you think of Colleen Quigley scratching from the steeple so close to the 2019 world championship?
We don’t know all of the circumstances surrounding Colleen Quigley’s decision to withdraw from the steeplechase at the world champs, so we cannot weigh in about her particular situation. In general, it’s important that we send a healthy team to track and field events. If you’re not healthy, then you aren’t the best person to represent the event. Sponsorship deals can make these types of decisions difficult for an athlete who may feel pressured to honor their contract even if they’re not in the best place to compete. If you aren’t confident you can outperform an athlete that would go in your stead because of an injury, you should consider letting an alternate go.
30:40 - What are your favorite glute activation exercises to do pre-run to get your booty in gear?!
Here are some glute exercises for ya:
31:55 - Jesse, how did you develop into a chase-pack swimmer?
In his off-season training, starting around December, Jesse spent a lot—a LOT—of time in the pool. His plan would be to spend around six days in the pool and for two of those days, he would do a double swim. This added up to approximately 25-35k in the pool each week. That’s a lot compared to his triathlon swim training, which included approx. 15-20k in the pool each week. This focus on swimming helped him become a chase-pack swimmer after two winters of training this way.
34:56 - What can help the anxiety of having people around me while I swim?
During triathlon, the swim is tough! With so many people swimming close together it can be disorienting, challenging to breathe, and anxiety-inducing! This is a common issue. The best thing you can do is practice swimming with other people during your training. Try to find a group swim somewhere—or a swim where there are multiple people to a lane (like an open swim at a gym)—and try to get used to being in the water with others as best you can.
39:03 - I've run with a good group of friends for the past few years. But recently, I’m struggling with being a little slower than they are. How do I remain friends with them yet stick to my own paces on our runs? Do I find a way to push myself harder, or accept that perhaps my faster days are behind me and it's time to find a new group of running friends?
It’s tough to run with a group and consistently feel slow. But that doesn’t mean you need to jump ship! Try seeking out another running group that you can join for a few days out of the week. You may meet some really cool new people, and feel more comfortable on your runs. Then, you can join your current running group for some faster runs and harder workouts. You can also take the lead in your current group and tell everyone that you’re going to take it slow for several runs out of the week. You can socialize with them before the run, then hit the trail at a comfortable pace with your favorite tunes, and then at the end of the run, you can enjoy the post-run hang like you normally do.
43:06 - What do you disagree on as parents and how do you work through those disagreements?
Jesse and Lauren don’t disagree on a ton when it comes to parenting at this point. But an earlier disagreement they had was when to start their kids in sports, and when to start them in school. How’d they sort it out? They talked about it. They debated their sides. They offered evidence and weighed their own experiences against what they thought would be good for their kids to make a decision.
50:53 - Am I missing out on life, or is there something wrong with me if I’m not constantly setting goals or maintaining a life-goals spreadsheet?
Not at all! If you are content in your life and living in the moment, that is #lifegoals. Many people strive to be in that place, and that sense of living in the moment and being content with has awesome implications for feelings of happiness. A good thing to do is to check in from time to time and make sure you’re still feeling that way and identify any goals that dopop up. And if not? Keep on livin’ the dream!
57:30 - What has helped you push through any barriers and fears, and build a new relationship with sport when processing grief and loss?
Loss and the grief that comes with it is a difficult and painful experience. It can make running or other activities—which can usually serve as an escape or a free therapy session—a serious challenge. When you’re pushing yourself physically, you can be more emotionally vulnerable to those feelings. Here are a few things to think about as you rebuild your relationship with sport after grieving a loss.
1:05:10 –In Episode 58, a listener wrote in to say they had trouble staying calm on race day. Lauren and Jesse offered some thoughts on how to stay grounded and how to embrace your *excitement* (not nervousness) during a race. The listener writes back in to say how the advice played a key role in a recent race and that they nabbed an impressive PR as a result!
1:07:04 - A listener writes in to thank Lauren for sharing information about recent doctor and therapy appointments. The attention to self-care led them to make a bunch of appointments for themselves.
1:08:57 - In Episode 59, the Work Play Love duo offered up their takes on mental health and also depressive symptoms related to menstrual cycles. A reproductive endocrinologist with experience seeing psychiatrists writes in with some expert advice. If you’re experiencing (or you suspect you’re experiencing) depressive symptoms as related to hormone fluctuations, this listener shares what markers to test, like iron and thyroid hormone function. Here’s what they wrote in case you want to check in with your doctor!
For the first person (i.e. the one struggling to train, etc), I would, as they suggested, recommend getting certain things tested - iron, thyroid hormone function for instance. However, I would also encourage this person to seek the additional help of a psychologist and/or psychiatrist. It has truly helped me live my life better…
…For the second person, it sounds like they may be suffering from pre-menstrual dysphoric syndrome. To determine if this is what's happening, I'd keep a log of mood/symptoms in conjunction with your menstrual cycle. If the symptoms are only during the second half (luteal phase), then I'd talk to your doctor (either gynecologist or psychiatrist) about treatment for this. There are even reproductive psychiatrists who specialize in this type of thing. There are two ways of treating PMDD, and it depends on what your goals are in terms of contraception. If you're really interested in contraception, then you can go the route of birth control pills. Remember, all birth control pills are not created equal! The all have the same estrogen (ethinyl estradiol), but the progesterone component can be different. Drospirenone containing pills (like Yaz, Yasmin) have been shown to be best for PMDD, but, as always, weigh the risk of this with individual risk of blood clots with doctor. If you're NOT interested in the birth control pill, SSRIs have been shown to be extremely effective for PMDD. There are several approaches for this - you can take them daily, only in the 2nd half of the menstrual cycle, or at the onset of symptoms. The approach you take will depend on your symptoms and goals. If you want to try something over the counter, some studies have looked at chasteberry (vitex agnus castus) for PMDD and shown it to be more effective than placebo, but not as effective as SSRIs. Finally, therapy with cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to help, too. Hope this helps someone out there!
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.