I’ve often said that I plan my life around running. And this is true. This doesn’t mean I’m some super-star athlete, though my kids think so which is sweeter than anything. (You just wait, Kara!) Nope, I’m just a super busy mom with two businesses, two kids and too little sleep. Sure, I’ve gotten the look from non-runner-moms when I say things like, “My hubby is on the kids Saturday mornings, so ask him about a weekend playdate”. When I say I plan my life around running, it means I make it the number one “chosen” priority. The love-of-my-life priorities, of course, are my kids and my hubby. After that, I put it at the top of the list for several reasons.
If I run…
- I am able to handle all the other things I have/want to do because I have more energy
- I am able to do all the other things I have/want to do with less crabbiness
- I know I have taken care of myself. If I don’t get time for “me”, I start to feel a bit resentful and victimy, to be honest
- I won’t be too out of shape to run. I hate the idea of building up a base of distance only to start over with 3 milers
- (and eat well), I will be a sort of hot looking 44-year-old
- I get to hang around other amazing running women, which is one of my favorite things in the world
So, what does “plan your life around running” really look like. Here’s some examples:
Because Saturday mornings are my sacred long-run time, Friday nights are all about fueling, not too much fiber, water, just the right proportions and timing. Luckily, I’m the family cook so this one can go largely unnoticed. The kids haven’t really minded that they get pasta every Friday night at exactly 6:30.
It’s hard to get up in the morning early to run anyway, but not having enough sleep before hand sucks. Sometimes, in hubby’s mid-sentence, I glance at the clock and announce, “It’s 9:59 I must sleep now.” Not a bad thing some nights, especially if the conversation is about who left the laundry piled up.
Of course, there’s a million little things running moms do (for the run and the fam) to get things done the night before so they can slip out the door. Track down clean clothes, pack lunches, wash dishes, find library books, bring shoes in from the back yard, shuffle cars in the driveway, make sure running clothes get in the laundry, charge Garmin and iPod, fill water bottle (so the running water won’t wake anyone up at 5:30am) etc etc…
All that being said, life happens, schedules get wacky and sometimes a run just doesn’t happen. Like this week. I pulled my calf last Wednesday on a hill run. I knew in an instant I wouldn’t be able to do the planned 20 miler on Saturday. But of course I tried anyway. I got 9 miles in and had to quit. Now I’m taking some extra days off, which worked out just fine. I also have a head cold and my son is getting his tonsils out tomorrow morning. Seeing the big picture helps. I know I’ll get back out there later in the week, but for now, time to do the love-of-my-life stuff and take time for some recovery. Oh, did I mention you to have to make “letting go” a priority too?
What do you do to make running a priority and how do you handle it when it can’t be?