I am a serious glutton for punishment. I bite off more than I can chew through a twisted concoction of guilt-ridden over-commitment and FOMO. It’s not healthy, but it’s who I am and after 33 years here I’m learning to accept that about myself. Knowing that I can’t change overnight, I’m making an earnest effort to say no more, which is fine, however, time consuming. Ironic, no? It’s time consuming only because just like saying “yes” requires planning, saying “no” requires (just as much) planning.
Not that I need to plan out every minute of my life in my calendar, but I’ve said it time and time again, if it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t happen. Therefore, marking down “free” time is just as important as marking down actual event time – be it work or social.
Since my last entry, I’ve signed myself up for what I’ve dubbed Psycho September. It all started when I ran the NYRR Oakley New York Mini 10K last month. Without having run more than a mile in what felt like ages, I hit the pavement for the six miles down Central Park West and through the rolling hills of Central Park and felt an endorphin high I haven’t felt in eons. Right then and there I decided I wanting to start running again more regularly.
Within a week I signed up for three more races all in September: the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile on September 13th, the Women’s Health Magazine Run 10, Feed 10 on September 21st and the NYRR Bronx 10-Mile on September 28th. Three races in three back to back weekends. Psycho, right? Note: While the Fifth Ave mile is just an opportunity to run my heart out for a mile but it’s still an organized race, so it counts.
Additionally, I figured I’d submit my name in the lottery for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October, never thinking I’d get in since I hadn’t been accepted the last few times I submitted. Probably because I had no hopes of getting in, I got in. And because this is not the flat DC race, but in fact the hilly San Fran race, there will be no “winging” it.
So with half marathon training kicking off in less than two weeks, I’m spending a lot more time actively planning my “me” time, as some of that time will now consist of a workout or a run. And because of my Type-A tendencies, I decided to write down a few other things I can try in order to have a great 12 weeks of training and have more balance.
Chill-out Friday – I have a hellish commute and while I love my carpool, add in the actual work week and by the time Friday rolls around, I’m exhausted. My typical perfect Friday night includes dinner and curling up on the couch to watch creepy Keith Morrison on Dateline or catch up on past episodes of whatever guilty pleasure is on my DVD (PLL or Housewives anyone?). This not only allows me to decompress from the week but also allows me to wake up early and refreshed on Saturday morning so I can get my workout out of the way and get on with my day.
Pick a day – Last time I checked there were two days in the weekend. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, I am trying to pick one weekend day of activity and allow myself one weekend day of doing whatever the hell I want. This could mean meeting up with friends for a boozy brunch, meeting a date for coffee (oh yea, I’ve actually started doing that – that requires a whole different post) or hanging back at home to do laundry and meal plan. Regardless, having the flexible weekend day in my schedule will allow me to get things done so it doesn’t creep into my week.
Prioritize workout time – This may seem kind of selfish but for the next 12-14 weeks, I am committing to prioritizing my workout time. This means the workout time will go into my calendar first before any other commitments. The reason this is important is because I truly wish to have a fun, injury-free race and the only way I can do that is by practicing. And every run, every strength training class and every stretching class contributes to my practice. When I ran the Perfect 10 miler, I didn’t adequately train for the race; and while I finished, I know I could have done so much better had I properly prepared and been at my best.
I can’t guarantee that this will help completely obliterate my masochistic behavior, my guilt-ridden tendency to overcommit or my fear of FOMO (actually, let’s keep it real, I’ll still have FOMO) but at the end of the day I need to use common sense and be resourceful. Perhaps meeting up with a friend can include a spintastic Soul Cycle class and then brunch. Or I can invite folks over to watch Dateline with me. There are ways to merge the things I love and with a little creativity and supportive friends & family (which I have), I’m sure more balance is on the horizon.
At the moment, I’m trying to figure out exactly what my training plan will be – thinking I’ll use Nike’s 12 week Half training schedule when it becomes available, so stay tuned!