Monday, May 22, 2017

Half-Marathon Training Update |
Don't Be So Hard on Yourself

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Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones, Garmin vivosmart HR, gray capri leggings (old) and Yogo Athletica top (found at Marshalls)

I had planned to run a half marathon yesterday.

If you've read this blog recently, you might remember seeing four half-marathon training updates and reflections. After a late start, I was finally on track and preparing for the Chicago Spring Half Marathon on May 21. I was able to do all my midweek workouts throughout training, but the long runs seemed impossible to complete.

I was trying to do everything: Freelance writing, working full-time, being a full-time work-from-home mom with little help, editing YouTube videos, planning a third birthday party -- the list goes on. I found myself worn out and constantly stressed. I would write my running schedule in my planner, schedule a sitter and set aside the time, but then life kept disrupting my plans. One weekend I could not schedule a sitter because it was Easter and they were busy or booked. The gym with daycare was closed and Graham worked late. The next weekend I planned to run in Phoenix before Victoria's birthday party, but I spent the entire time with the worst sinus infection of my life. (I powered through the party.) The next weekend I planned to complete my long run of 10 miles (I at least wanted to do that before the race.), but then a fire at our apartment building caused a power outage that lasted three days. I didn't feel right keeping Victoria in the apartment with no electricity, even with a sitter, so I took her to the zoo instead and we spent most of the weekend at my friend's house. By the next weekend I just knew: Yes, I can complete this race with little training, but I don't want to half-ass it. It's not who I am.

This experience reminded of something: You can do anything but not everything. With that in mind, I decided to defer my race entry to 2018. I am already signed up for the Chicago Fall Half Marathon in September, so that will be my next race.

As soon as I gave myself a break, I noticed a difference in my motivation and how I feel about my body. I have run almost every day since, either on the treadmill or outdoors. I actually want to work out and run. I am not stressed about planning my workouts; I just fit them in when I can. I feel excited to start PROPERLY training for my race in the fall.

Here's what I plan to do differently:

  • Interview more sitters to have more backup options when one cancels or isn't available.
  • Use the gym with daycare more and cancel other memberships.
  • Sign up for group half-marathon training with the coaches who prepared me for the Chicago Marathon. It starts June 21 and I can't wait!
  • Go to at least one group run per month.
  • When life gets in the way of running, practice more yoga.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. If I know I have a big running week, I'm not going to make a bunch of social plans or to try to freelance write/blog. 
  • Take Victoria on short jogs in the running stroller.
  • Use my apartment building's treadmill to run after Victoria goes to bed, if all else fails.
  • Re-evaluate my why. The reason I want to do another half is to meet or improve my race time, show myself I can still be a runner while being a mom, and set a good example for Victoria. It's also my moving motivation, or at least it was when it didn't feel like a chore. I want to get back to thinking of running and working out as a joy.

While post centers on my struggles with fitting my running goals in with my busy mom and career life, I hope you can take away some lessons from this.

  • Single tasking is better than multitasking.
  • Don't be so hard on yourself. It's easy to compare ourselves with social media fitness gurus, but you have to remember fitness is a full-time job for most of them. Yes, they can fit workouts in because that's what they do for a living. A typical person often has to plan carefully to make sure he or she can work out/do whatever it is he or she loves.
  • You are stronger than you think.
  • Get creative to fit in your fitness. (I plan to share tips I learn along the way.)
  • Plan, but go with the flow when it's disrupted.
  • Incorporate your child/family/friends into your workouts. (Read about our toddler and mom yoga class.)

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