Like many moms, I don’t have enough time in my day to accomplish everything I want to do. No big surprise there. I used to think I was busy before I had kids. Now I look back and laugh. BK (before kids), I went to bed at a reasonable hour every night, the house was mostly neat and clean, and I had time to do projects around the house. BK, I worked out at the gym at my office (conveniently on the same floor as my office) and saved the weekends for gardening, hiking, and other fun stuff with Beer Geek. I was awesome about cross training – I rode the stationary bike, did the elliptical, lifted weights… After Jones was born, I continued to work part time and still managed to keep most of my workouts during the work day. Running was just a means to an end – weight loss and less severe PMS.
I’m a stay at home mom now, so as you might guess, my life is a lot different. My running is different too. It’s no longer just a quick 30 minute workout to stay healthy. Now, it’s my me time, one of the few things I do JUST FOR ME. It’s much more of a priority to me now.
So, how do I find time and how do I balance everything? Well, the time thing is actually fairly easy. I’m a lucky, lucky girl in that I have a very supportive husband who has a work schedule that gets him home by 4:15 most afternoons. (Yes, you can hate me now). Several days a week, I head out the door as he walks in and can manage to get in about 4 miles before I need to get home. I also have one kid in grade school and the other in one day a week preschool (3 days next fall Woot!), so I do my long runs during the week. Add in a friend who likes to trade off three year olds and enough time between church and lunch for a 5 miler and really I have plenty of time for shortish runs.
Therein lies the balance issue. When I was training for the marathon, I did a very low mileage program and still felt like I was throwing our life out of whack. It got me to the finish line, but if I run a marathon again, I want to run more miles in training. Even though I had the desire to run another marathon as soon as I finished my first, I had to take a step back and put other priorities ahead of it. It’s been 6 months and I still haven’t finished catching up on all the stuff that got set aside “just until after the marathon”. In order to find balance, I’ve focused on speed and shorter “long” races. This seems to be working well for us as a family. I get to achieve my goals without missing out on soccer games, family time, and just plain down time.
I will probably try to run one more marathon next spring. Shoo will be in enough preschool that I can run more miles, but not enough to really allow me to find a job. It’s the perfect time to do some hardcore training, while still managing to be room mom, soccer mom, PTA mom, listserv moderator, newsletter writer… Hmm, guess it’s a good thing I don’t need a lot of sleep.