(I would like to credit Michele at Paleo Running Momma for the inspiration behind this post!)
During marathon training, there are times when I will decline Early morning invites places, or even late nights the night before a long run. Or, if I go somewhere, I at least try to keep myself “in line”: I’ll leave early, or refuse a cocktail (yeah right;). Why? Usually because I know I have to get those “good runs” in and if I’m
hungover tired and dragging: I am NOT going to be performing well. Quality, quality, quality: that is my motto. I spend a lot of time crafting my perfect running week, and have found myself upset before if something doesn’t go exactly as I plan it. (OCD much?!)
Still.. there are obviously weeks where things don’t go as planned. Maybe too many hours on my feet, or long days at work sidetrack me. Bad sleeps. PMS. Literally anything can sidetrack you from your “perfect” running week at one point. Marathon training can be a lot. It’s time/effort/sacrifices/multi tasking at it’s finest, and I have perfected that art form.
Sometimes I will find myself planning out my weekends to the minute. Baby shower at 11? Ok-up by 6, out the door running by 7, hop in the shower at 10, make sure you pick out your outfit the night before!! There are times where being a runner and being All The Other Things can get so dam exhausting. Once in a while, running can feel more like “a chore” rather than something I LOVE doing.
It begs the question: Is LIFE getting in the way of RUNNING?
Or… Is it that RUNNING Gets in the way of LIFE?
During the summer months…it’s not so bad. I do all my running in the mornings. Life is significantly more simple (Sidenote: this is also due to the fact that I don’t have kids yet..I give you marathon training moms a HUGE amount of credit)Once “back to school” hits, It’s a free for all: laundry/house cleaning/food shopping/putting away of said laundry/nightly meals/lunches…these things get done along with my running 50-60 miles a week, trying to blog at least four days, keeping up with my friends/blog life…
Sometimes it gets overwhelming. As I write this…I’m not currently overwhelmed. I just know it’s coming. Being back in full swing of the school year means that at some point, I’ve come home, sat down and cried OR fallen directly asleep. I’m tired. I’m cranky. Sometimes grumpy. I’m a mix of emotions after having a couple months of quiet. (I DO really love my job, so don’t think I don’t)
It occurred to me sometime last year that there are days when I feel like I am having an “identity crisis of multiple personalities” :
I’m a wife.
I’m a stepmom.
And dammit…I’m a freaking runner.
There are times when my husband will look at me and say “Why don’t you just give yourself a break during the first month of school? Go easy on yourself?”
The man makes a good point. But the thing is (and he knows this too) that as much as I struggle with my “identity crisis of multiple personalities” that if I didn’t run, I would go crazy. Running is my thing. It’s my jam. My start of my day, or my break from the hectic activities that surround me. It’s the recovery of my sanity when I feel like I’m scrambling to catch it. My running is that one part of my day only for me and not for anyone else.
I fell into being a runner by accident. I guess you could say it chose me. I don’t know why, it just did. It’s not something I do for attention or to win prizes (ok SOMETIMES it is for that. But hardly ever!) It’s my happy place…and even if it’s a pain in the ass “WHY THE HELL AM I GETTING OUT OF BED AT 4:30” kind of thing—at the end I’m happy I did it. Always.
Just because I’m juggling All The Things at the same exact time doesn’t mean I can’t do them. It means I get better at multi tasking (and maybe faster at running so I have more time for the other stuff) It means I’m always trying, always making the effort. And every once in a while, I know that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. That is when I will take a step back, maybe take a day off from running and be lazy on the couch all day. And I’m totally & completely ok with having those days.
Running might take up a lot of my time, but let’s be serious-I freaking love it and I’m willing to squish laundry folding into the window of dinner making or get my tired butt outta bed in the dark to run so when I get home I can plop down on the couch with my husband for a little while longer. Even if it seems “running is getting in the way of life” I know that it is me being silly and maybe I need to go for a run for some stress relief.
Balance. That’s the key. At the end of an exhausting day–I’m thankful for All the Things I get to do.
Question of the day: What do you do when you get overwhelmed with your one million daily activities??