The funny thing about time is…

IMG_4818
There’s a way to structure in your running so that you have time for the people and events that matter most in your life.

 

…you’ve always got enough of it–even when you think you don’t!

Last year when I started dreaming about running a decent marathon, the first thing that popped into my head was, “I just don’t have time!” I started listing all the things I have to do like work, preschool drop-off, husband home late, etc. I could make the list go on forever if I wanted. Then I began to realize that I do have time in my day–I just don’t structure it. Don’t get me wrong–unstructured time is so important as a way to ease off the constant “race” through life. But when you are trying to accomplish something–like say train for a marathon or finish a proposal or a maybe write a book or something that’s daunting–you have to structure  tough things into your day.

Here are my tips (especially for Moms who feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day!):

1. Buy “The Passion Planner.” This tool has, no joke, changed the way I live my life. Not to mention that it started by one badass young girl and her kickstarter plan, it’s hard not to support it. The layout gives you space to dream and reflect, forces you to do away with “to-do” lists, and helps you plan out your hours in your day. I’ve been using it for three months, and it’s a winner. I have been much more effective at work, I’ve been able to keep up with my training, and I feel like it allows me more time for leisure.

2. Plan out your workouts in advance. For me this has been a lifesaver. Every Friday (while I’m finishing up my work day), I write down the mileage and workouts I want to run for the following week. This helps me see the big picture when I start my week that Monday morning, and it’s soooo much easier to set aside time for it when it’s written in advance.

3. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t squeeze in a run. The reality is that one run will not make or break a race! Just be consistent and if you feel good the next day, tack on a couple extra miles.

4. Run before the kids wake up! It’s hard yet so rewarding. If you have a supportive partner (thumbs up to my hubby!), you might be able to wake up at 5 and run from 5:30-6:30. If you’re lucky, when you get home you will have run 6-8 miles and maybe the whole home is still asleep. Then you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee in total peace. How often does that happen!? Or, if you have an awesome partner, you’ll return at 6:30AM to two toddlers running around like monkeys while he’s patiently putting on his tie while one kid is hanging off his leg. That works, too. It definitely takes a supportive home to help you balance the time. Say thank you often and reciprocate at the appropriate time. At our home it’s, “Babe, take some extra surf time, and get some tacos with buddies afterward.” Whatever keeps everyone happy and balanced is fine by me.

5. Don’t do stuff you don’t want to do. This took me years to figure out. I used to say yes to everything. I just felt bad if I said “no” to anything–invitations, favors, parties, you name it. Now I care way less what people think and way more about what is the right thing in my heart. Yes, there are obligations and there are times it’s appropriate to just do it and take one for the team. But far more often there are times when you need to check in with your inner voice and ask yourself is this something I really want to/need to do? If the answer is an automatic “no” then maybe you should reconsider your “yes” reflex. Learning this skill–I have discovered–may allow you to structure your life for you, allowing your more time to run and do whatever else it is that matters to you.

 

Have fun playing with your time! Even if you begin with scheduling in a jog around the block twice a week, you’ll be surprised how it enhances your mood, and from there, you’ll be able to see ways to add running to your weekly routine.