Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Making Time to Run

For most of the past 2 years, I have worked the night shift. In fact, about the time I started running regularly I started working at night. I'm not a vampire; I work 1:30-10, so I can still get to bed by 11 or so for a normal sleeping schedule. I typically get up in the morning, get Chloe on the bus, take the boys to school, then I can come home and run at my leisure. I have come to take that schedule for granted. It's really ideal for getting my runs in.

For the last 2 weeks, I had training at work 8 to 5 everyday. I had to pass the taking-the-boys-to-school duties to Kelly for 2 weeks, but I loved being with the family for dinner and bedtime! What a rare treat! I usually only see the kids in the morning for a few minutes and on weekends. But for 2 weeks the kids, rather than a dark, sleepy house, greeted my when I got home from work, and I ate dinner at the table with my family rather than in the break room at work. Quite nice.

However, I really struggled with running. The first week, I was still recovering from Palo Duro. Well, that was my excuse. I finally got up on Wednesday morning to run. I got up a little before 5, got out the door as quickly as I could, and got back home barely in time to get ready for work. Not much kid time that morning, either. I'm not a big fan of getting up early anyway, but that morning came too early. I didn't try that again.

On week 2 of the day schedule, I resolved to get back into training mode. I do have the White Rock marathon coming up, after all. I didn't want to get up early enough to run, and in the evenings, once we fed, bathed, loved on, and tucked in the kids, I wanted to hang out with Kelly. Then once I got her tucked in (she usually goes to bed shortly after the kids), I didn't feel like getting out and running for a couple of hours.

On Wednesdays, Kelly and the boys go to church for AWANA. I decided I would get my long run in while they were at church. So shortly after they left, I took off. Ugh. I started out too fast, then started feeling especially sluggish. About halfway through, I made a decision to do something I had never done before. I called Kelly as she was leaving the church and asked her to pick me up on her way home. I kept running while waiting for her, but ended up running only 12.2 miles instead of the 20 I set out to do.

All in all, I had a rough couple of weeks getting my runs in. Maybe I benefitted from some time off, but mostly I think I missed some important training time in these last crucial weeks before White Rock. I'm back on schedule this week, even with working some overtime. I'll have to work extra hard to get my pace down over the next few weeks.

After these 2 weeks, I have a new appreciation for runners who work a regular schedule and can still get in their miles. Granted, it would be easier to get in my miles if I was training for a 5K, but running 40-70 miles per week requires a bit larger time commitment.

Despite the drawbacks of my current work schedule, it has enabled me to have a great running program. I would love to eat dinner with my family every night, to tuck the kids in, to be able to relax with Kelly in the evening, and, let's get really crazy, go to church with them and help with soccer practice! I hope to get back on a schedule like that soon. When I do, I'll have to do some serious adjustments so I can keep up the running. Until then, I'll keep pounding out the miles whenever I can.

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