Lately, I find many people have been asking me just how I find the time to run. Looking back over the past almost 2 year journey, I remember being a non believer. I never thought it was possible to find time to run. So, here is how I manage to find time in the week to pound the pavement.
1) Schedule your runs into your planner! Once I began to plan my weekly runs into my calendar, it became much more likely that I would follow through with them. Let’s face it. Many of us have had good intentions to go running at 5am but unless I slept in my running clothes (don’t laugh – I have done this), I rarely actually make it out of my cozy bed. As well, when I actually sat down and reviewed my weekly calendar, I was able to find two free nights a week. Although the nights are back to back, it is the best that I can do. And, it was like my running or rather that time alone was kept sacred if it could be routinely scheduled into my weekly activities. Planning ahead also ensures that I have care arranged for the kids and no excuses not to go.
2) Get a babysitter! My biggest misconception that I had two years ago was that getting a babysitter for 45 min or 1 hour to allow myself time to run would somehow make me a neglectful mother! Talk about mommy guilt! Because of my husband’s work schedule, in order to be routine, I have to rely on outside support. When he isn’t available, I have 2 options for care and I can get out for a 5-7km. Fortunately, I can manage to plan my runs right after school and still be home for a dinner by 5:30pm (I love my crock pot on those days!). Ironically, my girls acknowledge Mommy’s running nights with glee and I assure you, they are not harmed by it. So, with planning and support, it is possible to carve out an extra 45 minutes of time twice a week.
3)Be my BRF! Jodi and I don’t nearly get out together as much as we would like because of the distance. But, just last week, when after being sick for almost a month, I knew that I needed an outside push to get back into the swing of running regularly, Jodi was there. Interestingly enough, when we run together, we very much run our own race. It is all business. We start together on the trail, and yet we have our own goals that we are focused on. Some of the best parts of our running dates are a family visit, yummy lunch and shopping trip to The Running Room and Lululemon.
4) BAMR’s unite! Find a friend! I have been lucky to convert some of my colleagues at my school to begin running. Three of us have been running together for almost a year. And, while at first it was me motivating them, now, we encourage each other to make finding the time a priority. On our 5 km loop, we talk non stop. Mostly, this time is a wonderful de-stresser after a busy day. We are also supportive of each other as we deal with life’s cruel sense of humour. So, with a bit of creative planning, good friends and encouragement, finding the time to run is possible.
5) Forgive yourself! Similar to being on a diet, if you “fall off the wagon” it is so easy to give up. My running came to a halt in October due to sick kids and my own poor health. In early November, it was difficult to get back into my regular running pattern with the onset of report cards and birthdays that it wasn’t until the end of November that I got my groove back. (You may have noticed as poor Jodi probably has carpel tunnel from writing so many blog posts. Good thing she loves me!) Sometimes life does get in the way. Forgive yourself, be forgiving and move on. Sometimes I only get out twice a week instead of three to four. Do the best you can do and move forward. Most importantly, figure out what you are going to do different. For me, consistency is an ongoing goal. See Tip #1 through #4.
Sometimes, I think we spend too much time worrying about past or looking into the future, that we forget to live in the present. For me, I find that running truly forces your physical self and mental self to live in the moment. From this blog post, I hope that a non believer can see that finding the time to run might not be easy but it is possible. As we head into the holiday season, finding the time to run is going to be even more challenging. Refer to tip #5. Repeat tips #1 – 4. I believe.