Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy medjum

Although this was Week 4 of the Furman FIRST half marathon training program, it was the first week that I actually completed all five of the prescribed workouts: tempo run, track workout, long run, XT1 (bike), and XT2 (swim). Plus, I got a couple yoga sessions in on my "off" days. I feel like this was nothing short of a miracle - it took me 4 weeks to pull this off!

And you know what? By Friday, I was totally exhausted.

In order to get my workouts in, I was getting up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. so I could get to work by 8 a.m. At the end of each work day, I had to be home by 5:45 to relieve the baby sitter, then it was feed little guy, play a little, then put him to bed. By then, it's 7:30 or so and then it's time for our dinner, cooking dishes for the week, preparing lunches, cleaning, paying bills, whatever. You know the house chores are never done. This makes it difficult to get in bed in time to get enough sleep for those early wake-up times.

Can I really keep this up for another 13 weeks? And then, after a month "off," can I do it all over again for a 16-week marathon training program? Is this Master Plan for 2011 really sustainable for me? Am I trying to do too much? Where is that happy medjum?

I wish I could take my hours at work back down to 24 hr/week just for my current and upcoming training cycles...maybe things will lighten up soon and that will become a possibility? But, as my Abuela says, "I never felt sorry for anyone who has a job." Indeed.

It's very important for me to make the most of 2011 to run my heart out, because 2012 will have other adventures in store for me that will make running on a real schedule difficult. it's tiring doing everything.

But hey, my microwave interior is as spotless as the day it was installed, my boys are happy, and my utilization/billability at work is > 90%! Am I loony thinking I can tear it up in my running shoes, too?

I want to ask all the moms out there, "How do I find that happy medjum, where I figure out how to let go of what's not important and have the time/energy to do what makes me happy?" but I feel silly. It's the question everyone asks and there is no single answer.


Well, all I can do is give it all I've got. I WANT to do it all, or as much as I can handle and I'll just have to keep going until I succeed or am forced to scale back. It's just so much damn fun doing all this stuff, I just wish I had more hours in the day.

For example, this morning I met Kerrie and Zoe for a long run at

and it was SO NICE getting to run with the ladies. The gals were going 14 miles whereas I was "only" going 10 miles, but it was great having those first 5 miles to chat. You know, you would never guess Zoe just had a baby a few months ago!

So anyway, I'll be looking to other inspiring moms out there (see blog roll) for inspiration each day, showing me that it's possible to for us to be responsible but also have some fun for ourselves, kicking some ass in our running skirts.

Cheers, moms (and dads), & RUN ON!


  1. I've got this seriously on my mind right now, too. It's a tough line to balance. Half of the time I end up passed out on my couch by 9:15 (when kid 1 and 2 go to bed), leaving The H to finish dishes, give Baby her meds, etc. Bleh.

  2. Alma - I totally wrote a whole post dedicated to this EXACT topic this afternoon, but it got eaten up by the universe as I tried to post it. I took it as a sign to start over with a better attitude :D

    More like yours! You got it out there - there are not enough hours in the day!...but you also didn't take the woe is me approach.

    I loved what you said:
    "It's just so much damn fun doing all this stuff, I just wish I had more hours in the day."

    Life Is Good, huh!!?? Yes it is!!

  3. Congrats on getting everything in this week... it IS hard having such a busy schedule. The one line that makes me think you are working it all out is "my boys are happy". Who cares if the house work doesn't get done, you fall asleep drooling on yourself at 8:00 pm (or am) as long as the family is all good & behind you. It makes things so much more achievable.

  4. GREAT post, Alma! I have such a hard time with this and I spend at least the next 5 miles with Zoe complaining about it. LOL! It was so great to run with you today. My only regret...we forgot to take pictures before you turned around. :(

  5. Keep up the amazing work! You are doing a great job and a few more weeks and I believe you will be able to find balance...whatever that may be for you :o)

  6. I am questioning whether I can keep up with the FIRST approach too! It is tough. Some experienced runners (which I am not) have kept telling me to listen to my body.

    Here's to hitting the reset button for more sleep!! :)

    I feel like I am missing out big time-so many of you like Mel, Jill, Zoe and Kerrie on the west side!!

  7. That is an intense training schedule. This time last year I was training for a marathon, and now I find it difficult to imagine going out for 3-hour runs. However, I did it becuase I had to for the marathon. I suppose we do what we have to do and surprise ourselves. Don't miss too much sleep though - good luck!

  8. Alma, I could have written this post. I have to make similar sacrifices to keep up with my training, and it is EXHAUSTING! It helps to read that other people are making it work!

    I don't have any advice, other than do it one day at a time (which is how I do it!)



  9. Sounds like you're doing a pretty good job and finding more than 24 hours in the day.
    Something had to go today for me. I had to split my run and workout to run before work and workout afterwards................but didn't have to shower after the workout before having to take my little boy to his swimming lesson! It was a case of spraying as much deodorant as I dared..................I think I got away with it. Don't tell anyone!

  10. My schedule is similar to yours and you are right - it *is* exhausting! I crash by 9:30-ish every night to get up at 5AM. I just keep housework on a maintenance level until the weekends when I have more time. One can only have so many priorities during the week.

    Runner's World has an abridged version of the FIRST plan for 1/2 marathons (Google RW "Your Better Half"). FWIW, I use this version all the time and love it - only 10 weeks. I cut 13 minutes off my half time using the short version.

  11. What a great post! I have no experience in the parenting department, but mad props to all of you who pull off ANY sort of training while working & taking care of a family!

  12. Alma: you are just great!
    Your post is fantastic and you said everything we want to.
    keep doing exactly what you are doing and you will make it soon and better.
    Being a mom, a wife, a teacher, a everything else seems to kill us, but we have one another to support and to check that: yes, it is possible.
    You made me run faster today.

  13. YES! Rad Runner & I are doing the Cupcake Marathon virtual race as well! I was stoked to see that the winning prize comes in regular OR vegan! Ahhhh!!!

  14. I think it's really hard to fit it all in. And I don't even work. Kudos to you for getting it all done. I always think that the housework can wait as long as everyone eats on clean dishes and has clean clothes to wear. And everyone can help out too. But during my training period the cobwebs and dust bunnies accumulate and I've just learned to not care as much. I'll get around to them after my race! And it's so individual for everyone! Good luck!