Week 7 of marathon training is under way. Run, eat, “mom”, rest and repeat. The miles that I am logging is certainly taking a toll on my body. My feet have even grown and I cannot longer fit into any of my size 7.5 shoes. Weird.
Saturdays long run is the focus on my entire week regardless if it is a Monday morning or a Sunday night. I am very blessed to have a core group of ladies that I run with. The long run crew usually is the same for every Saturday. We take turns picking the route and location so we do not get bored with the same old scenery. My alarm clock is set for an hour before the sun even considers getting up. The increase in miles is making me take a closer look at all my nutrition and hydration. Tailwind is my #1 choice along with salt tablets. I think these salt tablets have saved me more runs than I even wanna know. This week, we run 14 miles on Saturday. Weekly mileage is going to be at 29. I have not done this amount of miles prior and not with the humidity at 80%. Besides Tailwind, I think I may start to experiment with some pretzels, fruit snacks and raisins during the run. Gatorade afterwards.
The hubby is full on support with these training runs and understands when I return on Saturdays, I may not be up for a zoo trip or a bike ride to the park to play. With the hours that he endures at his job ( it is not unusual for hubby to work 14-15 hrs multiple times a week), he gladly takes lead as chief parent on the weekends so I can run and more importantly, rest.
As I lay in bed after a long run and shower, the mom guilt starts to enter. Sometimes I think perhaps I am sacrificing too much to complete this marathon. The increase in running is taking away from something. I no longer want to be out past 9pm as most likely, I have a run to rest up for the next day. The hours of 1-3pm usually provide me with a daily nap. I have been taking advantage of napping since my alarm clock often goes off at 4:30am to make a 5am or 5:30am run through out the week. This is when my 2 yr old still naps and my 6 yr gets in her summer reading, homework and a little screen time.
Before marathon training, this time was for cleaning the house, organizing, meal prep and following up on email, texts, Facebook bullshit, etc. Now that this time is utilized for simple rest, I am starting to notice just whats important to me. I am more precious with my time. Spending 1 hr doing nothing on Facebook is no longer appealing. That is one hour that I could be spending doing something meaningful and productive. You never realize how quickly time goes when you think the time you have is endless.
If I were to get diagnosed with a life changing disease or terminal illness, I don’t think I would just waste my precious time. I think I would honor what I truly want to be doing. You somehow get sucked in to other peoples lives and forget that your own life is passing you by one status update after another.
I have expressed the guilt I am feeling with other runner friends and they remind me that taking the time to do something that I enjoy is worth every minute. I do still love running. Every run challenges me in different ways. There is always mental and physical barriers to break through. Life will always be busy. Is there a perfect time to train for a marathon? Kids, house, husband, family and friends will always need me ( and I am very happy about this!)
When I first started the marathon training, my running pal who has trained for 5 marathons, told me that the actual marathon will be tough but the 18 weeks training for the event will be the hardest part. Juggling the heat, sleep, work schedules and kids is no joke. That being said, we have managed for 7 weeks. Sure the floors are vacuumed a little less and I am kind of a bore when it comes to Friday night plans, but to me, this is how I want to spend my time.
Tackling this goal of a marathon is more important to me now then when I started training. The last few weeks, I have been barely getting my runs in. My focus was not on rest, nutrition and hydration. I would awake to feeling like I barely slept. I went to see my doctor. He told me that I was experiencing adrenal fatigue syndrome. This happens when your adrenaline and cortisol levels are all out of whack and your adrenals are unable to produce enough hormones that you need. My doctor actually prescribed napping to me. He also ordered me to bed no later than 9pm every night. I am monitoring my food intake and also taking an adrenal herbal supplement. Overall, it will take a few months to even out, but I should feel noticeable better in a few weeks. I have completed one week of above treatment and I do feel a little bit better.
Time is my most valuable asset that I can give to myself and to the things that I love. I will no longer feel guilty for running and resting. This marathon training is a short time compared to the rest of my life. That being said, I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self.
What are you doing or not doing with your time?