Running after toddlers...
Running the miles...
Except marathon training includes a rest day or two and toddlers just don't get that!
My approach to marathon training with small children at home is what I call "minimalist". Minimal mileage with minimal time spent training usually on minimal recovery.
Running 30-45 miles a week sounds like a lot to the average person but to a marathoner, that is low, wayyy low. It's not that I don't enjoy running higher mileage; this is just a realistic number for my life right now. Running for me needs to stay fun rather than becoming another item on the "to-do list".
Keeping expectations realistic for your current life season makes everything more enjoyable. Even marathoning.
Blogging can paint a picture of perfection and I am far, so far from perfect. Let me be "real" here with the struggles of mixing motherhood and marathoning... and why I do it anyway.
My biggest struggle with marathon training is TIME.
Surprise, surprise! Isn't that everyone's struggle? "I just have too much time on my hands," said No One Ever.
In order to not skimp on family time, kid wrangling and daily duties, I fit in most of my workouts in the early morning hours or mid-morning with the kids in the double
Weekday runs are relatively short, like one hour or less, with my minimalist method of training. The weekend long run of 2 to 3 hours is a little more tricky but my husband is very helpful. He often watches the kids while I leave to run at 5:30 or 6:00 am on Sundays (or Saturday, if he has the day off).
Meet my second biggest struggle, GUILT.
I often feel guilty doing something for myself.
Taking time to exercise and refresh the soul is important, as long as it doesn't turn into a self-entitled attitude of "I deserve this!". I do feel guilty asking for help and leaving the kids when I go out for a long run or on race morning. Guilt is a problem for me. I warned you, I am NOT perfect.
Struggles aside, making time to train as a mom of little ones is worth it for me.
On top of the health benefits of regular exercise—stress relief, increased energy, healthy weight, positive body image—spending that time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air leaves me feeling refreshed and revitalized. Healthy competition and pushing my limits motivate me.
I've found that those miles of running serve as a re-boot that God has wired into my soul. Peaceful moments on the road to think, pray or to simply exist are all a blessing from Him.
"I think it is a definite gain to the whole family when mother is able to take a little time to pursue her own interests, whether they be crafts, painting, sewing, gourmet cooking, a literature group, gardening, nature study, going to plays or ballets with her husband, bicycling, or ice skating.
'I have no time for these simple pleasures,' is the mournful cry. Yes, there isn't time for all of them. Think seasonally. One interest per season, coupled with thirty minutes of reading a day, may be all that is needed to keep up the Mother Culture and regain any lost enthusiasm for living." Karen Andreola, "The Charlotte Mason Companion"
How do you refresh your soul in your current season of life?
Wild Hog Marathon Training Week 5:My body said it needed more rest, so an extra recovery week this became!
Monday, August 1Rest.
Tuesday, August 2"Easy-Effort" Double Stroller Run: 9.01 mi, 01:22 @ 09:05 pace. This was supposed to be an "easy effort" run but it wiped me out (the hot temps didn't help). Woops! Probably over-did it.
Wednesday, August 3Speedwork: (Treadmill) 4 mi, 00:31 @ 07:40 avg pace. WU, 3 x 1k @ 6:38/mile pace with 2:30 recovery jog in between, CD.
Thursday, August 4Strength: 6 x 1:00 plank series, core work and push-ups with an old exercise VHS we found at a thrift store!
Friday, August 5Tempo: 6.26 mi, 00:47 @ 07:32 pace. WU, 2 x 2.25 @ 7:10, 7:15, CD.
Saturday, August 6Easy-Effort with double stroller: 3.2 mi, 00:30 @ 09:17 pace.
Strength: 6 x 1:00 plank series.
Easy-effort run with the double stroller only half loaded as the youngest and I "ran" some errands. 30 less pounds makes the stroller push like a dream!
Sunday, August 7"The Plan" said 10k Time Trial, my body said "No!". I skipped the long run this week to get some extra rest before a week of bigger mileage.
Total Mileage: 23.47 miles