Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Do You Do it All?

I went on an amazing eight mile run this morning with an incredible friend.  A friend I met through running.  I met Rebecca while training for Boston last year.  She is an awesome runner and was kind enough to run with me during some of our Boston training runs.  She is way faster than me so running with her really helped me to push myself beyond my comfort level on long runs.  Since those runs with Rebecca, I have picked up my pace on long runs and feel like an overall faster runner.

Summer hit and so did our busy family lives.  We have chatted on Facebook, but haven't run together since Boston.  Now that our kids are back in school, we hit the trail for some running and some chatting.

Rebecca had been my final persuader when it came to signing up for a triathlon.  She had told me about her experience at Pumpkinman and triathlons in general.  She got me really excited to try out triathlons and now six months later I am a Half Ironman and I got to share details with her of my race.

After talking about how awesome Pumpkinman went for me she asked the question that I have been hearing a lot lately:  How do you do it?  How do you train for races, go to school, run your household, work part time,  how do you do it?

I have no easy answer for this question.  Sometimes I feel like I am barely treading water when it comes to my days.  I am SO busy.  School takes up a lot of my time because I have huge goals.  I know those goals won't be met if I don't take school seriously.  This week has been an incredible stress concerning school.  I found out I need to take two more classes before I can start a Physical Therapy program.  Luckily, I have time and schools allow you to apply with two classes that are not complete.  No matter what the details are, I treat school as my job.  Most of you all work 40 hours a week.  I devote those hours to school and studying.  It isn't easy, but I make it work, just like you all make work  happen for your family.

My training takes up a lot of time, but I love it so much that I don't consider it a stress.  I think I am actually stressed when my training plan gets cut down for recovery or tapering.  Hiring a coach has really helped me to keep my training in line.  I have a tendency to overtrain.  I am now paying someone that is telling me to slow down.  She knows what my goals are and isn't talking me out of my crazy race schedule.  But, she also has experience and sees the big picture beyond my half marathon next month.  I know hiring a coach is not in everyone's budget, but I highly recommend finding a friend who is knowledgeable in your sport and will be honest with you.  We are all so competitive so slowing down is hard to do.  Having an outside opinion really helps you to manage your time and makes training that much more enjoyable.  I gave my coach the hours I am able to devote to training and she gives me training to match up with those hours.  Training is also my ME time, so it serves two purposes.

Finally, managing my family.  Oh, this is the fun part.  :)  I try to give as much time to my kids as possible.  It is so hard when I have papers to write or a 4 hour bike ride to go on.  But, again, I make it work.  I am not saying my house is clean.  If anywhere I slack in my life, it is keeping up my house.  I do the basics as that is what I have time for.  Saturdays have turned into family cleaning day because Mommy can't do it all by herself.  I do try to make it fun, like my Pizza Laundry folding party on Sunday.  And cleaning with my husband and kids is actually fun for me because we are all working together.

Every free moment I have, I try to spend with my girls.  Even if family time is at Costco, it is the time I need with my girls to remind me why I am working so hard.

It is the WHY I do it all that answers the HOW.  I am doing this for my kids.  I am in school to provide a future for my kids.  I train for races to set an example for my girls.  I compete in endurance events because it satisfies me.  A happy Mommy makes a good Mommy.

So my house may not be perfect, but my kids are my priority in my life.  I do what I do for them.  I may be missing a few hours of sleep every week, but I am a happy person because of my chaotic little schedule.


jobo said...

you are amazing! I love your dedication to your family and kids and also your training, but balancing it all the right way. well done my friend!

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles said...

That's beautiful. You sure are on the right path!

Michelle D said...

Your girls are beautiful. You definitely sound like someone who has her priorities in order - you're setting a great example!

Rebekah Welch said...

Robin, it's always such a treat to run with you. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I'm so glad to hear that your house isn't perfect. It's a good reminder that not only do you have your priorities straight but that you're human after all. I'm so glad to know you and I'm looking forward to some good suffering at your side.
All my best,
Ps. I'm hardly that much faster than you and you need to add your incredible 1/2 iron time to your list of race times.

Cristina @triathlonmami said...

If Momma, ain't happy, nobody happy. We have to take care of ourselves. Great post! I struggle with this constantly and my go to answer of how do i do everything is that I don't watch tv. that frees up a ton of time. Good luck on your next race!

Bill Hurley said...

This is a great write up Robin. I have no doubt that anything you put your mind to you will succeed at. Keep doing what you are doing. Good luck with your training (even though you really don't need luck)

Laura @ Mommyrunfast said...

Yes! Great post, Robin... it's the why that answers the how... I completely agree with that. My training makes me a happier, more complete person which allows me to do everything else with more gratitude and joy. You're a great mom!

Liana said...

Your girls are so adorable!!

And after reading this, I still don't know how you do it! I have trouble keeping up with my cat ;).

I'm gonna have to try to keep up with you during the 10K next week!