Sometimes the hardest part about training and racing isn't the workouts. It's hard to balance out a working life, a social life and a racing life. There have been countless times that I've been invited out by friends only to have to use the line, "I can't, I'm racing tomorrow" or "I can't, I have to get up at 6 and run 15 miles". The looks and comments are always the same and the guilt never goes away. It's more just learning how to swallow it. Because as an athlete you have to make priorities. And sometimes that means saying no social outings. Don't get me wrong, if you always say no you won't have any friends and the social life part will fizzle out...you don't want that! So find times to rest and relax but stay consistent with your training.
Another instance are those mornings, well every morning, that I get up at 4:30 to be in the gym by 5 and utilize the 2 hours I have to the maximum before hustling off to the shower and into work with wet hair and doing my makeup in the car. I will admit, while this is somewhat disgusting, there were quite a few times over the summer I would go into work (because I worked outside as a day camp counselor with kids) right after a workout, without a shower and just with a new shirt. So I'm smelly and not always put together a 100% but it's all part of my lifestyle.
A lot of my friends and family think I am crazy but when it comes to commitment and discipline aren't we all just a little crazy? I make a commitment and promise to myself that I will work my hardest because I'm goal oriented and want to do everything I can to reach it. This means going to bed early and struggling to stay up at 2am when all of your friends want to go to another bar until 4am. Or only being able to tolerate 2 drinks before you start feeling tipsy because the last few months have been spent abstaining for training purposes. But at the end of the day at the end of the race it's all worth it if you love it. If you don't, find a new hobby :)