It doesn’t feel this way during those years, but when our kids are babies running is easy. You can put them in a stroller and go. When they go to school running is easy because, well, they’re in school! Before they’re old enough to stay home alone for an hour, finding time to run when school-aged kids are home for the summer can be quite a challenge. The good news is that it’s not impossible.
According to US News and World Reports, 15 million Americans work the night shift. And according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, one-fifth of all Americans work in the evening, at night, or on a rotating shift. I’m one of those people. Here is the story of how I adapted to training while working night shift.
I started as a nurse about seven years ago. The first job I landed was a day-shift only position. Sure, it’s not easy to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to squeeze in a run before work, but it’s relatively normal and something most runners have to do at some point. Less than a year later, I landed a better position for my career, but one requiring me to rotate from day shift (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) to night shift (7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.). I was young and didn’t have a family to worry about or anything like that, so I just went along with whatever the scheduler needed. Read more >>
I sit here, lazily lounging on the lanai at our rented condo in Maui, Hawaii. The birds are chirping and there’s a gentle breeze wafting off from the ocean. My view is of the blooming trees, the blue sky and the turquoise ocean. Gently, I gaze into the distance as the lush green of the tropics lullabies me into a… WAIT! I can’t do this! I can’t sit here, sipping island coffee and lulling myself into a luscious daydream. No! I have to run.
How many of us runners have experienced, time and again, the guilt laden conflict of training through a vacation? To non-competitive athletes, this may seem a no-brainer. What’s the deal with training on a vacation? I mean, what on earth is provocative about getting up at an obnoxiously early hour in the pre-dawn morning to hit the pavement and place all focus on a long, elevated, intense, or, for heaven’s sake, “easy” run?
I asked myself this very question just this morning, and when I posed it to my Salty Running colleagues, I got a lot of support. Any of us runners who take our running seriously asks the same question and experiences the same conflict: I’m on vacation, do I run or not?
I can’t tell you the last time I had a rest day. And I mean, a true day of rest with zero exercise or anything that gets my heart pumping. Bertha and her litany of excuses is not my problem. I’ve trained myself to ignore Bertha as I get out of bed without hitting snooze, throw my gear on and hit the road without a second thought. Instead, my problem is Gertrude.
I bet you’ve met her. Gertrude is the voice that fills your head with guilt if you don’t run. It doesn’t matter how full your schedule is, how foul the weather, how much pain you’re in, or even if your schedule tells you not to run, Gertrude tells you you’re a wuss. Read more >>
Some runners are free spirits and find training plans too restrictive. Some are by-the-book training-plan devotees who love the structure of knowing what every mile of a training cycle will entail.
I fall firmly into the first camp. I’ve been known to take a one-size-fits-all training plan and swap days around to fit my needs and body. I’ve gone through weekends (pre-kids, of course) where I essentially rolled out of bed, chugged some coffee, grabbed my keys, and spontaneously ran as far and as fast as I fancied.
But even free spirits want structure sometimes. Enter untraining.
I love racing away from home. It’s weird how much I love it. Maybe it’s because I feel like a REAL runner when I go “away” to race. Or perhaps it makes tangible the fantasy of my un-lived life as a pro runner. Whatever it is, I embrace it to a feverish degree.
I’m not one of those runners who typically plans a vacation around a race (I have some limits) but I do run if there’s a race in the area that I happen to be visiting. The way I look at it is, I’m likely going to miss some intensive training when I go away on vacation, so my way of “making up” for this loss is to enter a race.
At least I know that I’ll push myself hard on ONE day of my vacation and March 4th of this year was no exception.
Like head out the door at 3:00 a.m., because you were traveling all day but wanted to get a run in? Or wash off with baby wipes before a business meeting because you had to run but couldn’t shower?
My husband is in the military and was recently deployed again. When the military deploys a married soldier, they give them a little extra money each month called “Family Separation Pay”. This is supposed to help ease the burden on the spouse back home. Many hire a lawn service or house cleaner. Others might treat themselves to a spa day or some other luxury to help forget their loneliness. Me? I bought a triple running stroller! Read more >>
While my number one priority right now is nurturing a healthy and happy baby, I’ve reached the point in pregnancy where I’m starting to think more about postpartum running. Even though I haven’t been running much throughout this pregnancy, I knew at some point my dreams of running further and faster in the future would come back to the forefront of my mind. As a goal-oriented, competitive spirit, it was only a matter of time.
Besides being type-A, I’m also a planner; I like to make lists and charts and set my life up to help myself reach all my goals. I’ve done that for my pregnancy, as I’ve planned and plotted and prepared for everything from labor and delivery to fixing up the baby’s room for her arrival. When it comes to postpartum running, now it’s time to start planning how I’ll get runs in with a baby when she and I are ready to go. Read more >>
Over the past 4 years, I’ve done most of my training pushing a running stroller. On average, I’d say about 85% of my running is with the stroller. While at first I resisted (ugh, how can anyone get in a workout with this huge thing?), it’s now so natural I don’t even question it. Even while training for the last Olympic Trials, every run except long runs and track workouts was with my kids. Along the way I’ve learned some things that may be helpful to others in the Salty community. Read more >>
I’m six weeks out from my next marathon, training 12 hours a week, and running most days before the sun comes up. I’m surviving on McDonald’s unsweet tea and sleeping in my running clothes. Also, I’m gainfully employed despite the fact I keep showing up with dirty hair. I’ll admit, I don’t have kids or pets. I don’t claim to be the busiest person out there; I know I’m not.
But I am a fan of Hack My Life even if it’s just annoying comedians trying things we all saw on Pinterest three years ago when Pinterest was THE. THING. I like life hacks because fitting it all in feels next to impossible at times. Really, how do you hack your life to fit more into your day every day while still getting your miles in and juggling the rest of your responsibilities, including eating well and looking somewhat respectable?
Enter Hack My Life: Salty Running Edition! It’s seven life hacks to make more time to run.
In the spring, I noticed a trend after posting my training logs: immediate and crushing guilt. I could see plainly on the screen, and in the notes that I keep so religiously in my phone, that I wasn’t doing my best. I wasn’t pushing hard enough. In fact, I was barely pushing at all. I read other training logs and compared my own work to everyone else’s. Not in a negative way, but rather, invisible, positive peer pressure. I know I have a long way to go before I get as fast or as mileage-heavy as everyone else. That was not my concern: my concern was that I was only running three-ish days a week when I knew I could do better.
I was making every excuse in the book. I work odd hours. True. I live in an inconvenient location. True. It’s too hot. I’m way too busy. True-ish.
After having a self-intervention and lots of time to think on an 8-hour flight, I decided that the problem was that I made no time for running. Naturally, the only solution was running every day. Running thirty days in a row, in fact. The only remedy was a run streak.
You cross the days off of your calendar in anticipation. You start to pack, make a list of things you need to pick up at the store, and begin to plan each day’s activities. If you’re going to the beach or some place warm, your bag is probably pretty empty; flip-flops and bikinis don’t take up too much space … unless you’re a runner. If you’re a runner, half of your suitcase has been taken over with sports bras, shorts, water bottles, a watch, and those suitcase space hogs otherwise known as running shoes. Your friends and family ask, how much running are you really going to do? Can’t you just chill out for once and enjoy your trip?
Vacations are a time to relax and rejuvenate, so you may think it’s not worth worrying about getting all your miles in. If you are cool with taking a break, by all means do it. But if your vacation falls in the middle of your training cycle, how do you get in your runs without it being stressful, a burden, or causing strife between you and those you are traveling with? Read more >>
Running while on a trip or vacation is one of the best ways to get to know a new locale and so many of us make running a priority during our short-term travel plans. We throw in a pair of shoes and a couple of outfits that accommodate the weather and off we go. But if you plan to travel for more than a month, that tactic just isn’t enough. I should know… I am currently living abroad in Spain, thousands of miles away from Columbus, Ohio, where I called home before leaving on this adventure.
When you’re a runner planning to travel for several months to a year or more there are all kinds of questions to consider. What is the climate like? Will you experiences multiple seasons? What do you do when you need new running shoes? How do you build a normal running routine in another country? Is the running culture where you’re visiting drastically different than back here at home?
Now that I have been here a while, I have learned a lot from running daily in a foreign country, plus I’ve gained some hindsight on the packing and preparations for what I would do differently next time! Based on experience, here are some tips and advice for runners who want to continue their running regimens while traveling!
This may sound pretty obvious but… I love to run. A good heart-pounding, blood-pumping workout or relaxed, flowy mileage-builder can just really hit the spot sometimes, and I always feel better for having gotten it done. I’m sure you can relate. Heck, running is fun!
Except when it’s not.
About once every week or two I know I can count on having one of those days: I’m all dressed in my running clothes with a freshly-charged watch and absolutely no motivation to get my butt out the door to knock it out. There have been times when I’ve procrastinated a silly training run from 7am all the way until the sun starts going down. But hey, my house is spotless from all the procrastination tasks I did, so that counts for something… Right?
When my inner lazy runner makes her appearance I know I have to pull out all the stops to trick her into tackling a crucial run or workout. And don’t even try to deny it, I know you sometimes have the same problem, too. Lucky for you, I have a few Spearmint-tested, Spearmint-approved methods of self-coercion! Read more >>
If you’re anything like me, the beginning of March means you are now well into your spring marathon training cycle. If you’re anything like me, you’re also beginning to experience those nagging feelings that start to intensify when you’re in the middle of a marathon training cycle.
For once, I’m not referring to nagging feelings of injury; all is smooth sailing on the injury front. [*knocks vigorously on wood*] What’s really starting to eat at me right now is Guilt, yes, with a capital G. Early in the training cycle, it was a faint whisper, but with each passing week the nagging internal monologue grows louder:
Your running is selfish!
Your running is annoying to everyone, especially your family!
You’d be a better mom/wife/employee/friend if you weren’t taking so much time to RUN.
As runners, we are faced with scheduling conflicts and compromise. Sometimes running is inconvenient, and it doesn’t always just inconvenience us. Running can be a huge pain in the butt for everyone who relies on us too. Read more >>
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