Since the premise of this blog is pretty much about my quest to become a faster runner while at the same time being a husband/ father to 4 kids/ employee/ volunteer tutor……… it seemed only fitting that my first post should be about trying to find balance in life with all those things competing for time.
Life is busy. All of us have things we need to do, and other things that we want to do, and the trick is finding time to fit them all in. When I decided to take running more seriously, that was when I first had to consider how to squeeze in the time I needed for it. Before that, I would go out for a ½ hour run when I had time, and if I didn’t have time, I didn’t go out. At that point I’d go out 2 or 3 times a week, usually after the kids had gone to bed. When I realized that if I wanted to progress I’d have to spend
more time running, something had to change. First of all, I needed to get out more often, and second, I knew I needed to get out for longer- 4km just wasn’t enough.
My solution was to change from running in the evenings to running in the morning before work. I figured that if I went out while my wife and kids were still asleep, my running wouldn’t really impact them, which was important to me. That was one of the things that attracted me to running. For other sports that I’d been into- windsurfing, white water kayaking, snowboarding-
those all required time away from my family, which I don’t consider to be an option. By becoming an early morning runner, I could indulge in my chosen activity without sacrificing any family time. One other great benefit to running in the morning is that it gets your workout out of the way at a time of day when nothing else can pop up and take that time away. If for some reason I decide to run in the evening on any given day, it seems that something always comes up, and it can be hard to justify taking 90 minutes to go for a run when there’s something else that I should be doing.
Another big aspect of fitting it all in is realizing that I can only do so many things. I know lots of guys who have lots of
hobbies which take them away from their families. If that works for their situation, then good for them, but that isn’t the way I want it to be. There are times when I wish I could have other hobbies as well, but at this point in my life, with the running goals that I have, if I want to commit the appropriate amount of time needed to train, then I have to be willing to give other things.
I know as time goes on my situation will change- my kids will grow up, they won’t need me to be there to tuck them into bed, they won’t want me to take them to the playground, or sit on the sofa and read them stories. Maybe at that point I will re-evaluate the amount of spare time I have and how I spend it, but until then I’ll maintain my balancing act of working hard toward my running goals, and more importantly, making sure that I don’t cut in on what matters most to me.