Tag Archive | stress

Flexibility is the Key

Yesterday I had an 8 mile run scheduled.

As anyone with school aged kids will tell you, the start of the school season is ruff.   First there is the adjusting to the schedule to knowing who needs to be where when and everything in between.   On top of all of that craziness, I in my infinite wisdom a few years ago took on the responsibility of running my son’s Cub Scout Pack in addition to being his Den Leader.   So this brings on a whole host of responsibilities and just like the beginning of the school year, the beginning of the Scouting year is also a bear.

Now normally when the kids are all dropped off at school, I like to start my run by 9:00.   Yesterday though I figured that I would first take care of some Cub Scout stuff that needed to be done.   I figured that I would be done by 11:00 at the latest.   One thing leads to another and another.   Before I know it, it is almost noon.

CRAP!

Now I’m hungry.

So knowing I’ve got a run, I quick eat a bowl of cereal.   Finally get out for my run a little after 12:45.   Do some quick calculations and realize that there is just NO WAY that I am getting in a whole 8 miles due to needing to start the school pick-up cycle.

CRAP!

Then I start to map out in my mind how far and where to run.   I figure that I can probably squeeze in 5 miles or close to it.

CRAP!

Then in the midst of my panic, I wonder what the Hell my problem is and what is wrong with me.   Running is supposed to be my stress relief.   It felt good to get out the door after sitting all morning.   Why am I causing myself more anxiety instead of letting the run take it away?

antistress-quotes-1-0-bs-512x250

Then I had an epiphany that I’ve had before.    Running is NOT my job.  I RUN BECAUSE I LIKE TO RUN!    Yes, I know that I need to stick to my schedule and train if I want to be able to finish all these races that I’ve signed up for.    Yes, I know that training is important, but so is flexibility.    My “job” is to do the things that I do at home not only because I “have to” but because I want to.   No one assigned me these jobs.   I decided that I wanted kids.   I decided that I wanted 3 of them.   I decided that I wanted to do the things that I do for our house, my kids, and our family.   They are my priority.

That is not to say that I should not take time for myself and the things that I want to do.  My run at the beach is a prime example of that rationale.   That is not to say that everything that is important to me comes second.   It just means that I need to be more flexible and cut myself a break.   Especially when there is a lot going on.   The trick is to know what days, I really need flexibility and what days I need a kick in the pants.

6 Days

6days

Today is 6 days without a run.   Is it crazy that I can tell you this?   Maybe.   I have friends who think I’m crazy with all the running that I do.   Now, by no means, am I saying that I’m not crazy; BUT not about my running.   The rest we won’t get into that today.    These are the friends who don’t understand why I am constantly running around town, getting up at the crack to do events, and just “giving up”  so much time.   I honestly don’t get it sometimes too.

When I started running it was simple so that I would be able to finish the run in my Sprint Triathlon.  I remember bitching about how much I hated running.   I remember not being able to complete a mile and I when I did I remember how slow I ran it.  Now don’t take offense as I am not dissing anyone’s who runs time.   I am just saying that I am faster now than when I started.  I am by no means fast as to compared to some of my friends who are Speedy Gonzalez, I look like a turtle.  A mile is a mile no matter the pace.    I am just trying to say that over the course of my training for various events, something happened.

I have not only developed a love for running (OMG WTH), but I have developed a NEED for running.  It has become one of my sanity busters along with cake decorating.   Yes, I know opposite spectrum, but the balance each other out don’t you think.   As with running, I need to concentrate solely on the task before me and it clears the mind.   You can’t always decorate a cake, but it is usually easy to squeeze in a run.   Except this week.

I purposely took  Monday and Tuesday off to recover from my Hat Trick.  No, I wasn’t really that sore.   I did have some soreness in my right calf and I didn’t want to push it.   I’ve done that before and it’s never good.   So I did want to take a few days off, but now I am at six days and it’s too much.   I kept thinking that I would be able to squeeze a run in during the week, but that never happened.   Dear Hubby went back to work on Wednesday and there has just been too much stuff to do that either didn’t get done last week, needed to be done before today, or just the normal stuff that has to get done in life.   But today is day six and I can’t take it.

Today is also going to be a rough day.   Today is the day we say goodbye to truly one of the good guys,   My Father-in-law.   A man who worked his whole life with the simple focus of taking care of his family.   He raised 9 children (5 natural, 4 adopted) and that doesn’t even begin to touch the scope of who is was.   It will be a day of tears.    A day of remembering and a day to say goodbye.

This is why, for me, I do need my run.   As you know, running is my time alone.   My time to let off stress.   My time to just let things tumble through my mind at will as my feet hit the pavement.    No running isn’t therapy, but running can really help to release stress, tire you out, and sometimes you have runner’s tears when the wind hits your eyes even if you have sunglasses on.    I know though that today though that there once again may not be time to run and I will be ok with that as tomorrow I will get up before my house and go for a long run.   Not because I’m in training, but because both my body and soul need it.

How does running help you?

Can’t Do It All!

you-can-do-anything-but-not-everything-412x412

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to be serious about your training.   Even a Stay at Home Baking Mama can be serious about her training.   No, I do not expect EVER to run at the top of the Pack.  I’m happy with the back of the Middle:)  What I do expect is to run the best race that I, personally, can run.   In order to do that, I have to be serious and dedicated to the training at my level which isn’t always easy…

You want to be able to do it all.   Be the Best Mom, volunteer for your kids activities, bake some cakes, clean your house.  get the laundry done, make healthy dinners, cross train, get some sleep, and also have a life.    I’ll be honest.   It isn’t easy.   I’ll be even more honest.   It can’t be done at least all at the same time.   Something has to give.  That’s just the way life is or at least the life of the Mama in this house.

In looking at my training schedule through the weekend, I realized that I have the following:

Friday:  5 Miles

Saturday:  7 Miles with repeats @ 10K page

Sunday:  10 LSD

Also in this time frame, I have to decorate a two tiered cake in a circus theme, I’ve got to get J1 (Big Guy) up and out for a Boy Scout Hike, J2 (Middle Son) to a soccer game, J3 (Little Guy) has to go to Goalie Training, host a meeting at my house, maybe sneak in some family time,  as always pick up the house and some other things too!

During a run this week, I was running with two other running Mamma’s and I found out something interesting.   We all said that we make sure that our running doesn’t effect the men in the house.  Why is that?   I’m not sure, but it seems a common theme.    I know my Dear Hubby works very long hard hours and he really doesn’t ask for much.    He just needs some quiet fishing time on his days off and maybe a nice dinner now and then.   He has never told me I couldn’t do a race.   He has never told me that I couldn’t go for a run, bike ride, or gym.   He has never been anything but quietly supportive of all that I do.   So it’s not him.   It’s me.   Why?    Is it that 1970’s mentality that is still coming through?

I think for me (and I’m only speaking for me) part of it is the Mom complex.   If something needs to get done, Mom generally does it.  I’m getting better about having J1 & J2 help with some things, but the whole reason I am a stay at home Mom is so that I can take care of things around here.  I just didn’t know how many hours that require and how much scheduling goes into it!   But I am getting better. Kind of.   I am learning to say no things and juggle time.  Sort of.  I’m also learning that I don’t need to do it all.  Some things really can wait.

This morning I was stressing myself out trying to figure out how I was going to squeeze in a run, Crossfit,  some household chores, and bake a cake all before school got out.   I realized that just by taking Crossift out of the equation it removed a big portion of the  stress.   Am I sad that I couldn’t go?   Of course, but in the whole scheme of things it was an unnecessary stress for today.    I need start looking at the big picture.   Yes, I’m sorry that I couldn’t go, but once race season is over I’ll get back into my gym routine.

So the lesson for today is………   Look at your day that is stressing you out and see what you can change to lift some of your burden off.

Now I’m off for my big stress reliever AKA my run:)

How to you do it all and handle the stress???????

Clear Skies

8fb62e52d4d0003789ba610d06414fe6

Today was a day I should have done something.

Run
Biked
Crossfit
Anything!

Got up and dressed for a workout as normal. Was planning on a run, but it was raining. Now, I will run in the rain but this was a cold downpour fall type of rain. Then I thought I’d wait for the skies to clear and would go later in the day.

The clouds parted. The skies clear and guess what happened?
NOTHING!
By the time the weather was ready for my run, I was knee deep in the daily minutiae of things that need to be done between training.
Guess what else happened?
The more hours that passed, the grumpier I got.

Add to that a heavy dose of hormones and you’ve got a perfect storm.

The problem with exercise is that once your body gets used to the stress release it brings, it does not function as well without out it.  Me without a place to workout daily frustrations is not a happy Mama!  Now don’t think that I am an over-stressed Mama.  I’m your average over extended, three kids and a boat load of responsibilities Mama like everyone else, but I had a lot going on today that would have gone better with a run.  But tomorrow, I will attack the hills with friends right after drop off of the kids. This will adjust my mindset, push me and hopefully make up for those Oreos I shoved in my face in frustration today.