Time & Balance:  Making Time when there is no time. 

(For TIART at Runner’s Lounge)


This is the story of my life.  When I started running Halloween 2007, I was in the middle of a nasty divorce, and nowhere near complete.  I was a single Mom, raising two boys, and trying to hold down a bad teaching job…at which I was failing miserably.

When Kim asked me if I wanted to start running, I said sure, and pulled out the Couch to 5K program. 

Phase 1 was C25K

Phase 2 was Half Marathon Training (culminating April 19th)

Phase 3 started last night with Nike Women’s Marathon.

When we first started running, I couldn’t imagine finding time to run.  Ever.  Essentially, I thought I need shoes, hats, gear, a plan, time, etc.  AND I DON’T HAVE THAT!  It was more of a big deal in my head than in reality…because that C25K plan is about 35 minutes 3x a week.  It just seemed bigger.  And harder.  I had spent years in a gym, and to me, running outside was what REAL athletes do…and I knew I wasn’t like *them*.

Here’s how I make time…I suit up and show up…whether I want to or not.

  1. #1 is having a partner.  If I had to run at night or at the crack of pre-dawn, I wasn’t willing to do it alone.  Having a partner ensures that we have each other’s back.  In case of injury (I had one bad fall), she was there to help me keep running.  Having a partner means that when she is at my door, I can’ t just wave her off.  I actually have to go outside.
  2. Make a plan.  If I have to run 8 miles on a Saturday, and I’m going out of town at noon, we might plan our run at 4:15am (we actually did this a few times).  I look at my schedule, I look at the mileage I need to cover, and I commit to the time I will do it.  I’ve done 4 am and 10pm.  If I have to get up at 3 to run, I will.  I’ve had to run in the blazing sun before the kids get home, then that’s what I have to do.
  3. I get out of work at 3pm.  If I haven’t done my run, then I have to make time between shuttling my sons to their activities.  A few times I planted my kids at the library to do their homework, while I took off.   Once, when they were at an appointment, I threw my shoes in the car, and ran the hour they were inside.
  4. Things happen. That’s just life.  Someone might sleep in (not me~HA!) or get the flu, or have a sick kid…and we just plan the run for the next day.  Realizing that I may not do 100% of the workouts is a relief.  However, except for a 10 day period, our Half Training was consistent and productive.
  5. Make a commitment  I found that when I had a race to look forward to, I did the work.  Not having a plan made me think I also didn’t have to run…if I didn’t want to.
  6. Get out of your head.  We can all think of reasons not to run.  Interestingly enough, I ran through every type of weather (complaining all the way), with head colds, with BAD tummy stuff.  I would blog about it, and someone would say, in essence…just shut up and run.  It’s not really about “being in the mood”.  I can name 10 bloggers/runners who do. it. anyway.
  7. Reading about Running when I’m not running.  I bought Jack Daniels’ book, I read Runners World in the Spa, Quotations for Runners.  These things inspire me, and make me want to get out there.  So, I fill my head with desire.
  8. Balance.  Again.  2 kids, 2 dogs, 2-3 AA meetings, a full time job, baseball team manager, Webelos den leader…you would think I am so busy…no.  I just manage my time.  Many times I can see why I’ve earned the moniker, “Last minute Linda”, but it works out anyway.
  9. White erase calendar  One of the best things we have at our house is a huge white board, made into a calendar.  We all have a color, and code each week.  I would die without that thing.  The best part is erasing my runs!!!  Last week alone, there were 5 events on one day.  That being said, sometimes you have to realize that you cannot do everything, and some things have to be rescheduled.  Just put the run in top priority.
  10. Realizing that you cannot race if you do not train.  I know of few people who can race without some planning.  I’ve gone unprepared (last year Calabasas), and I suffered.  I don’t want that to happen.  I will anything to save my pride from now on.

Before starting this journey…I seemed to have an endless supply of time to watch the WHOLE Dodgers’ games, all my shows that I DVRd, to sit at Starbucks, and go out to endless, fabulous Mexican dinners….to shop, to sit in the spa, to talk on the phone…

Still, today I have no time. But, I make it happen anyway.

Day 2 of Nike Training:

Distance: 2.99 miles
Duration: 30:47
Pace: 10:18 / mile

3 thoughts on “TIART: Making Time When There Is No Time

  1. balance is something I also struggle with. if balance came knocking at my door, I would firmly inform it that I am waiting for balance and to go away. and balance would go away. but, I honestly believe the first step towards a better balanced life begins with the recognition that we have limitations, the second realization is to understand that we do not have to be everything to everyone.

  2. I agree with everything you said – we have to make it a priority and just do it, even when we don’t really feel the mojo. I started the same ‘phased’ approach as you , with C25K last summer, and now my first 1/2 marathon on May 17th!

    I can’t imagine a marathon though, but I look forward to following along with your training! Good luck!

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