Sunday, May 22, 2011

Making Time

I stared hard at the red digital numbers, trying to will them to move. My feet moved beneath my body like robotic pendulums, hitting the treadmill, seemingly no longer controlled by the conscious part of my brain. Shouldn't the number have gone up by now? Why hasn't it gone up? There, finally it reached 3 miles.

As I slowed the treadmill to a walking pace, I heard a cry in the room above me. Daryl's with her, I tried to reassure myself. I heard the cries get louder and more frantic. And so ends another night of running, prematurely. Getting off the treadmill, I wobble a bit on the solid ground, then make my way back into reality- the reality that moms have little time for exercise.

I will be the first to admit that I've fallen into the "I don't have time; I'm too tired; the baby was up all night teething and I still have a sink full of dishes to wash" hole. Once you start digging it, it's hard to pull yourself out! Then in March I had a realization. Even though I had made my goal in December of running 3 miles in a half hour, I could no longer do it. And my new goal of running 10k (6.2 miles) hadn't even been touched. In fact, I was pushing it to finish the 5k at that point. Why? I wasn't running. Not regularly anyway. Suddenly I remembered a nike commercial. Just do it. The only way to be successful in my running goals is to just do it.

Ignore the dishes, ignore the laundry that needs folding, trust that the husband is capable of taking care of the kids for an hour or so, and just do it. The blog post can wait to be written, the email can wait to be responded to, the status can wait to be updated. So just do it!

One of the biggest ways that I've been able to fit running into my mommy schedule is that I had a treadmill freecycled to me by my amazing sister in law. I know that I was wonderfully fortunate in this, but moms let me tell you that if she needed it back then I would not hesitate to invest in a used one. I'd go to craigslist, used sportings goods stores, whatever it took, I would find a treadmill that I could afford. Because I can no longer run after dark, when my husband is home, this is sometimes the only way that I can run on the weekdays. Now that the weather is nicer, and the paths are clear, I can take the kids to the metroparks. But on days that we can't make it, or when the kids just aren't up for it, it's the treadmill or nothing!

I also have found ways to fit household chores around my running schedule. For example washing laundry has a lot of dead time when I am waiting for either the washer or dryer to finish. I put a load in, and run while I'm waiting. By the time I'm done, it's ready to be switched out.

And finally, but most importantly, I've involved my husband. I've explained to him my goals, and what his role is in supporting these goals. He's been a wonderful partner for me in this aspiration. Not only has he taken over watching the kids, helping to put them to bed on weeknights or getting them snack and their after nap routine on weekends, but often I'll come home from a run and the dishes will be done, clothes put away, or the floor vacuumed.

Making time to achieve my running goals isn't just something that I am doing as a hobby. I see it as a very real necessity. Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease all run in my family. The two best things that I can do to avoid these issues is to eat a healthy diet, and exercise.
Finishing the OAR 5K at Browns Stadium
 I would like to proudly say that I did reach my goal of running a full 10k, just this past week. And last weekend, I finished my first official 5k event of the season. I have many more events scheduled over the summer, ending with a half marathon in October for which I am on schedule with my training to complete. Since I started running, I have lost over 25 lbs and dropped three pants sizes, from before I got pregnant with Eve. I have never felt sexier, and for the first time that I can ever remember, I actually enjoy standing in front of a full sized mirror after getting dressed in the morning, checking myself out. It puts a smile on my face for the rest of the day to know that I look as good as I feel, and *that* dear mommies, is worth making the time to exercise!
My cheering squad and inspiration

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