Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fit Friday: where I get philsophical about running & life

I missed Wednesday's run.  Since I started my half-marathon training about 3 weeks ago, I've done pretty well at sticking to it.  But Tuesday night Lily was up and down all night teething with a cold.  When my alarm went off at 5:30am, it just wasn't worth it.

So instead of the easy 4-miler scheduled for Thursday, I decided to do Wednesday's run.  Mostly because the more I can sweat and the more challenged I am, the happier I am with my run.  It's a little bit warped, I know.  Wednesday's run called for 3 miles at a 9:09 pace with a mile warm-up and a mile cool-down.

Attempting that with a double jogger was daunting, so I settled on the treadmill during Lily's morning nap.  Gracie is pretty much the most awesome kid because she loves to play by herself.  She settled in next to the treadmill in the garage in a kids rocking chair, next to her new plush pony and a few small toys.  She was perfectly happy being near me, and using imaginative play.  I tell ya--she spoils me.  {But I like to think it's only fair b/c Miss Rose requires a song and dance for entertainment.}

I haven't tired any crazy 7-minute miles or anything.  But it seems that I'm able to pump out whatever speed training my schedule calls for.  Last week it was two miles at 8:25 with a break inbetween.  For a girl who started out with over 12-min miles, that's pretty good.

The key though, is the treadmill.  If the mill is turning, my feet are treading.  I can keep going until it's time to stop.  What I'm afraid of though, is not being able to perform like that on the street.  I need to do some speed training on the road or the track.  It's hard to fit into my schedule, so it hasn't happened yet.

As often does, I started waxing philosophical while running.  My running parallels my life.  Whatever life throws at me, I can handle.  Whatever my job calls for, I will get done.  It may be last minute, it may stress me out, but I'll get it done.  When family life and duties pile up, when the balance of career with motherhood is overwhelming, I just get through it.  Because I have to.  Because life doesn't stop.  Just like the treadmill doesn't stop.

When life slows down a little, when a day isn't jam-packed with "must-do's" I don't push myself much.  Like today.  The only thing I "had" to do was meet a friend in the late morning.  I chose to run, and I chose to bring the kids to the park in the afternoon.  I also chose not to do much cleaning in the house.  I chose to let the dishes sit and pile in the sink.  I chose to ignore the piles and chores.  Because I didn't HAVE to do them.  The treadmill of life wasn't running at break-neck speed.

I need to find more of balance.  In my running and in life.  I need to learn how to push myself harder while road-running.  If I can do it on the treadmill, I should be able to do it on the street.

I need to find a balance in daily life.  Perhaps the crazy days wouldn't be so crazy if I stayed caught up on the down days.  Surely I can have an easier day that still involves some cleaning and maintaining.  I keep intending to create a cleaning schedule for floors and bathrooms.  It's not easy for me though.  It doesn't come naturally for some reason.  It's like its all or nothing.

I like Fridays.  Because with my long run coming up on Saturday, I need the rest day.  But tomorrow, I'm going to focus more on catching up with life, while I enjoy a rest day from exercise.

In the end, I run for myself, not for a certain time or achievement--although I do have goals I work towards.  In the end, my sanity and my family are way more important that a sinkful of dishes (although Bean may disagree) or piles of toys.

Saturday I am supposed to run 9 miles, and we have to be somewhere by 9am.  I will probably be on the treadmill before 6am.  I suppose I could run later in the day, but it sure is nice to get it done in the morning.

Happy running & exercising my friends!

And...if you like black beans, brown rice & cilantro, please check out this recipe.  It's my new favorite.  Especially with some salsa and diced avocado.  One recipe makes 3-4 servings and it reheats great.  Easy, healthy and filling!

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