Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time, time, time.

Today's Take it and Run Thursday topic is time and balance. Tom and Amy at Runners' Lounge have asked how runners find "the time to run and balance running with all the other priorities in our lives."

Good question. I can't wait to read others' posts so I can pick up some tips.

But you're here now and probably expecting a tip or two from me. Luckily, I've racked my brain and come up with a few!

1. Communicate. Make sure that those who need to (spouses, parents, friends, partners, kids, etc.), know that running is one of your priorities.

I'm fortunate to have a husband who understands that I like to run and knows that being able to run is a priority for me. He encourages my running and gladly stays with Conal when he gets home from work so I can get my runs in. And, we're both fortunate that he gets to run at work, so our running schedule doesn't conflict.

2.Be flexible.

There are days when I feel stretched by too many commitments to go for a real run. On those days, I can usually sneak in a short loop around my neighborhood, cut my stretching to the bare minimum, speed shower, and forgo the hair dryer. It works.

The opposite is true, too. When I have a wide open schedule and I'm feeling it, my runs tend to be longer or faster or maybe both. Well, rarely both but a girl can dream, right?

3. Keep your running clothes clean.

OK, this is probably something that you all figured out long ago and I'm the only one that has to work on it. But, jeez. Laundry sure can pile up quickly and it really rots when you want to go for a run and all of your sports bras are in the hamper. That, my friends, is a drag. So, make sure you are always prepared with some clean running clothes. I'm working on this one.

4. Remember that you are in control.

Tell that to a toddler, huh? Yeah, I know. They like to be charge, those little ones. So does work. And TV shows, magazines and facebook. They all want to be in charge of your time. They want you to spend your time on them.

Remember this: Ultimately, you are in charge. Sure, you have responsibilities that take up your time. But your free time is yours. If running is something that is important to you, then you'll find time for it. Maybe you watch a little less TV so you can fit in more running, or maybe you stop worrying about having the cleanest house on the block and settle for clean enough. Maybe you switch your runs to the morning if the evening is too hectic, or vice versa. Or maybe, just maybe, you say no to those things that you really, truly don't want to do -- even though you feel obligated to say yes. It's hard to do, I know. But it works.

It's up to you. You're the ruler when it comes to your time. For real.

I'm no pro: I struggle with time management like the rest of the world. I like to think that since I had a child, I've become better at managing my time. It's been out of necessity. The only way that I can care for my son full time, take on freelance jobs, be on the board of a non-profit, run, have a clean-ish house and not lose my mind is to prioritize, say no when I have to, and try to make the most of the time that I do have.

And that's it. That's all I've got. The laundry beckons. I must wash it because I believe I am out of running socks.

~ Felice

22 comments:

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

LOVE LOVE the laundry tip...I keep buying more gear so I can go longer between washing. Running 4-5 days a week and only having 3 "good" sports bras and running socks is a pain :)

tfh said...

I love "you're the ruler when it comes to your time. For real." :)

And: I never blow-dry. I'd much rather sleep 10 extra minutes and blast the heat on my way to work. Frizz McFlathair? So be it.

lindsay said...

great tips! all you running-mom's are very inspiration in how you find time to run as much as you do and keep a household alive. :) i feel overwhelmed with myself + chores as it is!

Erica said...

You make some very good points. I really like the be flexible. I make it a point to schedule time for my workouts just like anything else I need to get, but even with some sort of organization things pop up and you kind of have to go with the flow.

Kim said...

I didn't even think of the laundry thing. I actually find it not that difficult to keep my running clothes clean (but running is a priority!!), but I have days where the running stuff is clean and I have nothing to wear to work. LOL

Chic Runner said...

Great tips Felice! You rock. I really like the line about ruling our own time. I sometimes oddly forget that :)

Heather said...

Great tips. Except I would change #3 to "be okay with wearing dirty running clothes." I like to keep the bar low. :)

MCM Mama said...

LOL at the laundry issue. I hang up my running bras (the only thing i don't have enough of to get through a week) after I run, so that if I haven't managed to do a load of laundry, I can re-wear a dirty one. Luckily, I run by myself, so no one has to smell me. LOL

Marlene said...

I know I need to work on time (and priority) management. Thanks for the great tips!

(We can't keep up with the running laundry at our house! Like MCM, I tend to just hang my dirty stuff as soon as I take it off. It may not be clean for next time, but ti will be dry! heh)

Casey said...

Great tips! It's difficult. I suffer from runners guilt sometimes, but the fam is super-cool w/ the running so it's great!

Melanie said...

Excellent post, and flexibility is a biggie for me. With a 10yo in karate, basketball, and a bf who plays football and hockey, and me running, it's a juggling act all in itself. i don't beat myself up if i miss a run. not worth it.

trialsoftraining said...

hahaha Definitely in agreement with #3 - I had no clean sports bras or gym towels this morning. Probably should've checked that last night before I set my alarm for 5 am?! ugh.
Went anyway - cheers for running tops with the "built in" bra that I never wear. that was clean.

I also love #1! It definitely makes it easier when those around you know - hey, this is important!

X-Country2 said...

Great tips. Especially the part about you being the ruler of your own time.

Abby said...

Yeah, dirty laundry has become my ultimate running nemesis...

joyRuN said...

Great post with excellent tips, girl!

I have no shame. I've worn dirty running clothes :)

I hate the laundry THAT much. Especially the folding.

I'll wash the kids' clothes before my stuff.

onelittletrigirl said...

I agree with and identify so much with number 4; I also focused much of TiaRT on that!

And like you and many others, I hate putting laundry away!!

raulgonemobile said...

Haha.. the laundry thing. Yeah, I go out kind of sketchy on bad days.. I really try not to, though, because I can't really run away from my own stench. :)

Diana said...

I never blow dry either. My time is much better spent somewhere else!

I hear you on the workout clothes. Sometimes I forget, and it does suck!

I Run for Fun said...

"If running is something that is important to you, then you'll find time for it."...this is what I say to people who say they want to run but don't have time for it.

ChickenUnderwear said...

I only do laundry when I run out of running socks.

N.D. said...

great tips - communicate!! that's a good one!

sarah said...

i'm late on this one, but nice post! this is something that everyone has to struggle with.

i have some serious laundry to do today :)

although please tell me i'm not the only one who has sifted through the 'dirty' pile to find a dry, only SOMEWHAT gross sports bra to wear on a run. i don't condone this practice and hate doing it, but sometimes it just can't be helped!

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