09 April 2014

Weeks 5-6: finding what works

I can't believe week 5 has come and gone and I am cruising through week 6 already!  Physically speaking, last week was a good week!  My runs felt great.  Two of the days I even ran for 20 minutes without stopping to walk.  That is the longest I've gone so far.  There were other obstacles to overcome, however.  The biggest one being my schedule.  See, our basement is gym slash toy room slash studio slash craft room slash guest bedroom.  Also, my usual wake up is 5:15am.  So, when Grandma came to visit, I decided that a 5:15 am wake up call to thudding, huffing and puffing, was not the most hospitable thing I could do.  It worked out fine, because I was just able to sleep in a little and then run during the kids' nap time, but I realized early on that this was not what I wanted for my normal work out.

When I first started five and a half weeks ago, the first full week of attempting to wake up early was a complete fail.  I just couldn't convince myself to shake off the sleep and do it.  This resulted in me doing my run during the kids' nap time, which would be fine...if all three buggers actually slept during nap time.  My soon to be five year old hasn't taken a regular nap in almost a year, and my three and a half year old just recently started nixing his own nap time.  I still make them have "quiet time", which is at least 30 minutes of quiet activity in their own room.  Perfect time for me to run, right?  Well, it would be, if my girl didn't need to come out of her room and down the stairs for "a certain book", or "a drink of water" or "my good crayons".  It's always something.  And the boy is curious.  He hears the girl's door open and then he needs to see what's going on.  Long story short, that first week I was finding it very difficult to finish a run without stopping to be on "mommy duty" or to try and have a conversation while at the height of exertion (I am so not a social runner!) while my girl asked me 20 million questions.  Instead of feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after a good work out I was just as stressed, annoyed, and in an overall bad mood.  It was clear it wasn't working out.  I needed this time to be alone.  So, after a few days of this realization setting in, I was finally able to get my butt up out of bed before the sun came up.  And it was the best thing I ever could have done for myself at the beginning of this journey.

Are you stuck?  Do you find that you really want to start a workout regimen, but you can't quite figure out how to get it done?  

Try it one way for a bit and if that doesn't work out, try another way.  Don't keep trying to establish a routine that doesn't really jive with your schedule.  

Also, try to always use the word "jive" in some way.  It's awesome.  

If you try to force a routine that doesn't work for you, you will continue to dread it and thus set yourself up for failure before you've even begun.  Give it a week.  If it's not working out, switch it up.  Keep trying till you find something that works for you.  Jon Acuff wrote a post the other day called How I work: 6 tips to getting up early.  The whole post was good, but one point really resonated with me.  His number 3 was to do something fun in the morning.  He said don't try to do something you hate because that will just give you more reason to not get up.  

So don't try to force a routine on yourself that makes you miserable.  It will just give you more reason to not start.

I am not a morning person.  I never have been.  
But I love to run, and I love having some time to myself to think and to read.  I love having some calm before the storm of chaos that usually surrounds living life with three very messy and energetic little people.

So for that, I can get up.  

Figure out what works, then do it!

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