The Connection Runners + [workout]

Seattle Start

I'm pretty sure I had an out-of-body experience this week.

No, I wasn't near death on an operating table.

It was actually a pretty normal week, filled with working, eating dinners, watching Mad Men. The only problem? I did all of it while floating above myself somewhere, watching my physical self go through the motions of life. It's like I knew I was doing stuff, but my body wasn't functioning all together as a whole.

On the other hand, fat Betty is having a definite total body experience this season. What shall she do with her newfound body image issues? Poor Sally's probably going to inherit more than a feisty tongue.

This is the result of being super, majorly, ridiculously, and any other adverb-ly overtired. Charlotte's decided to throw to the wind any progress she'd made with sleeping through the night, and has commenced to waking up either randomly to play or exactly at 3 a.m. to eat.

Perhaps to a parent whose child wakes more frequently, a single middle-of-the-night get up doesn't sound so terrible. And, in truth, it isn't. What makes it difficult is that it's eventually followed by an entire day of teaching other people's kids, kids who are up late themselves, thus leaving them sleepy when they're in my class, and I have to muster all of my out-of-body energy to rouse them into wanting to learn about symbolism.

Why can't I get some balance with the whole sleep thing here? Maybe I should drop my kid off at the student's house at 2 a.m. so she can watch them play Call of Duty, and then we'd all be happy.

The big deal behind this long, anecdotal lead-up is to provide some context for when I write this next sentence: Life has been too busy to care about me and my workout schedule.

You know who else doesn't care about stuff? The March of Dimes. Well... they care about babies & kids, but while out on the cloudy weekend long run, I saw a sign for the MOD's walkathon that said "Employee's Only". I bet those babies and kids would appreciate it if the March of Dimes used the apostrophe correctly.

In the three weeks since I've returned to work, I've only run three times. As many working (and non-working) moms can attest, doing it all is pretty tough. "They" (those pesky doctors and authors) say to put yourself first, but doing so is much easier said than done when you have a crying baby with a poopy diaper and an empty belly.

However, rather than get all sadfaced, I'm unearthing a motto that a work colleague offered up two years ago when the public school system was in the deepest depths of politically based financial woes: Do what you can with what you have.

So, rather than obsess over missing workouts on the Seattle RnR half-marathon schedule that's making a home on our fridge, I did what I could this week and let a skipped tempo and easy run stare at one another across the faux stainless steel landscape.

Albeit a mediocre one, this week's workouts served as the official kick-off to what will be a 9-week training period for the June race. The plan was generated using the Runner's World SmartCoach tool, so you know it took a lot of brains and guts and stuff to make it.

A Quick Plan Breakdown:

  • 4 runs per week
  • 2 easy, 1 speedwork or tempo, 1 long
  • Maxes out at 27 miles/week
  • Based on my recent 10k PR, so it predicts a finish of 1:57
How I did in the first week:

  • Tuesday: easy 3 @9:04
  • Saturday: long 8 @9:51

One of those Instagram photos that all the cool kids are taking these days. I prefer my dSLR, but a trendy little photo app will do in the meantime.

But even though I'm being all, "just do what you can", I know that a 2-day-a-week training plan will not a good half-marathon make, so I'm intent on being a better trainee this week.

This week, I'll plan my runs in advance instead of allowing them to be fleeting thoughts in a busy day. I'll stress less over making dinners and perhaps take a nap right when Charlotte goes down so that I can generate some energy for a better stride later.

I'll celebrate the miles (hey, that 8-miler was a post-pregnancy PDR!), and I'll highlight my successes with a vengeance. (Literally. I highlight my training plan with a good old marker so I can visually see what I've accomplished.)

Above all, I'll never be one of those runners who finds it too difficult to take a rest day. In fact, I'm already counting down the days 'til my next one in hopes of escaping, if only temporarily, another out-of-body experience.

How do you do what you can with what you have? In what areas of life is it okay to just make things as easy as possible?