We caught up with Steph Senigo, a USA based athlete who is juggling life with a new baby, working full time and training for her first full ironman.
How has life been with the new addition to your family?
Life is a balancing act with no routine. Naps are on the fly and lunch and dinner happens in the car more often than not. I have had to learn to let some things go. The dishes may sit a day longer and clutter may be in the living room when people come over but the only thing that matters is everyone is happy and healthy.
When did you decide that you wanted to train for your first ironman just after a year of giving birth? How have you managed a new bub (which I imagine comes with lack of sleep), being present with the family, working full time and training!?
I had actually signed up for Ironman Florida before I was pregnant. Warner was 2.5 months when I was supposed to compete, but I was able to defer to this November. The beginning was hard. I have weight and stretch marks that weren’t there before. Things didn’t fit well and over all felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Knowing where I was fitness wise and where I was starting from again was also a mental battle I was fighting. I have goals so I had to get over that pretty quickly. I have a coach that sends me a weekly schedule on Sundays. I can then plan my workouts around work, the kids’ activities, and my husband's. Sometimes I am running/biking till midnight or at the pool at 5am as soon as they open. I am also lucky to work from home. I can sneak in quick runs and put my bike at my desk on the trainer.
A lot of women today are trying to juggle the work mum sport life. What advice would you give them, or has any advice been given to you?
Plan ahead. Time management has been the biggest thing for me. Knowing exactly when I need to start to get it done before the next thing on the list. But also remember life happens. Sometimes getting rest is more important than the easy workout I was supposed to do after a night with no sleep or a really stressful day at work. I also invested in home equipment. I bought a nicer treadmill and bike trainer, so I don’t have to leave the house as often. I also can’t say I do this all with no help. My husband is a HUGE support system. He entertains the kids solo on long bike days and gets the morning going on weekends if I am still out on a run. My parents are a huge help too. My mom watches the baby during the week while I work, and I don’t have to worry about the daycare closing before my run is done.
As one of our athletes based in USA, and being in the program for a few years now, how has the Catfish USA community helped you train harder, push more and dream bigger?
We chat all day every day. When any of us are having an off training day or just not feeling it we always encourage each other that we are strong and we are capable of doing it. They may not realize it, but they are also accountability partners. There are times we throw crazy ideas out there, acknowledge that they are crazy, and then sign up to do them.