How do I make time to run so much? Valid question, and quite frankly, I don’t blame you for asking and in fact I have no doubt there’s been some dinnertime talk about how I fit it all in and honestly, the rumors are more scandalous than reality. Unfortunately. How dull.
Let me break it down:
Be open to the idea of splitting your runs up; each mile counts, yo. Force your hungover ass to run 2 miles on the treadmill before you let yourself have a cup of coffee. Before the kids wake up. Before you can really think about it. Have your coffee, get the kids fed and off to school and then get 2 more miles in with the stroller before you hit the grocery store and post office with the baby. Boom. Four miles right there before you even know it.
Accept imperfection in other less important areas of your life. Be realistic, and let it really sink in that you can’t do it all. If you really want to be a runner, then you’ll run, not garden. If you really want to be a gardener then you’ll garden, not run. Sure, I’ll pull weeds so that things look neat and tidy but it’s not my passion so it’s not going to resemble anything fancy. If you’re not okay with this, then maybe re-think your passions and interests.
Make running a priority. An obsession. Be weird about it. Eat for it, dress for it, fixate on it like a terrier on a tennis ball and don’t stop until you get it done.
But don’t forget to take care of your people. Make them your priority. We are created for relationships with other people. As much as we might be introverts, we can’t deny our innate desire for human connection. If you have partners, or children, family, close friends, whatever, show them that they’re important to you. Imagine if Andrew and the kids came home from work/school to a messy house, no dinner, no food for lunches, no bills paid so no cable, no hot water, and then they found out that at least I got my 12 mile run in?!?! From the second I wake up, I’m going full-tilt. I make sure Callum gets fresh air each day, or at least the chance to run around and work up a sweat. I go through my to-do list like a machine gun, picking off each item as if it’s a game, until I get the lunches made, dinner prepped, bathrooms cleaned, laundry done, couches wiped down, carpets vacuumed, all so that I can get my run in while showing my people how much I love them too.
BE KNOWN AS “THAT GIRL”
Identify yourself as a runner and don’t waver. If we see ourselves as runners then we will act as runners. If we fight it, if we fight the uniform, the ponytails, the giant water bottles hanging out of our purses, then we’ll find it much easier to push a run aside for a trip to the mall. I don’t mind wearing leggings or Nike shorts and running shoes all the time because I am a runner. It’s who I am and it’s what I wear. Sure, I do a lot of laundry but my junkitalia thanks me for the constant costume changes. When Andrew and I have date night or when we go out for one of the kid’s birthdays, I’ll put on something nice, punctuating the sacredness of the occasion; if I wore that stuff all the time then it wouldn’t be special. I totally agree with the notion of “dressing for success.” If you want to run well, then dress like you’re going to run well. If you’re going on a date with your partner, dress in a way that shows them how much more you care about them than running. If I looked exactly the same from morning to night then the shift in priorities between running and mom to wife and lover would be a bit grey.
My kids only know me as a runner. People stop me in the grocery store and at the coffee shop to ask me if I’m that runner girl. Having the reputation as a runner keeps me as a runner. My kids grow up with their mama having treadmill time while they nap or have quiet time. They are used to being pushed in the stroller, so they’re comfortable with the wind and sun in their faces. They watch me run but they also watch me work hard. When they’re little, I don’t clean the house when they nap; I do that when they’re awake! When they nap, I have me time, and that’s running time. Even showering is something I do while they fuss a bit in their bouncy seats.
Get comfortable with the lingo. Be okay with the occasional public bathroom break. Open yourself up to the fact that your body parts will be exposed, and they’re gonna bounce. We ain’t wearing full hockey equipment out there; summer calls for sports bras and bootayyy, and chances are we’re wearing lycra right through the frigid temps of winter.
How do you fit your priorities into your life? If it’s a passion, then is it hard work to make the time, or does it come easy?
Am I missing anything important?
Be the devil’s advocate! Let me know where you think there’s a gap.