August 28, 2013

Balancing act

Yesterday, I ran.

I hadn't intended to, per se - at least, not the way I did it.

But I ran.

I was sitting in my office, feeling great because I was getting ahead on a few projects for work - making lesson plans, entering attendance into my gradebook, etc. - and I looked down at the clock. 3:15 p.m.

I don't know what light bulb went off then that didn't go off 20 minutes earlier, but I suddenly realized: oh shoot, class began at 3:05.

And I'm the lecturer.

And I spend the first day of class telling kids very sternly that "early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable" - a mantra drilled into my mind by a boss in Residence Life as an undergrad.

So here I was, 10 minutes late already. I packed up my things, raced down the stairs, and started speed walking out the building. Once I got outside, I ran. I'm not quite sure of the distance, though I'd estimate it at .2 to .25 miles, since it took me a little less than 4 minutes. I'd guess I'm able to do a 12 minute mile these days, about a year after my last run.

It wasn't ideal. I was in a dress with a normal non-sports bra (though I was wearing my running shoes!).

But - I ran!

I got to class and apologized profusely to the kids. They were rather forgiving (likely in the hopes that I will be the same way should it happen to them), and I said it was embarrassing - first, because I was late to my own class, but second, that 4 minutes of running had me sweaty and a bit winded. I used to be a half marathoner, I said. Before the baby and all.

Secretly, though? As upset as I am about my mistake (I've since set several alarms to make sure it doesn't happen again), it's still nice to know I can run if need be! And that in less than ideal conditions, I could still run about a 12 minute mile - which is, more or less, the same speed I was running at the last time I weighed this much. It gives me hope that I'll be able to work my way back to sub-30 5Ks and sub-9 minute single miles.

I'm still a half marathoner. No one can take that away from me, not even myself. I'm just working my way back to that level of fitness.

I need to find time to run on the treadmill. Something I'm finding to be a challenge with my work schedule is that as soon as I'm done on campus, we run errands or go home, and I want to spend time with Noah and Matt. I want to make dinner, enjoy a meal with my family, and talk about my day. Since I still need to get up at least once in the middle of the night with Noah, I'm almost always tired. That, on top of the stresses of the first week and a half, has made it nice to come home and rest.

It's an excuse. I know it is. One of my mantras the first time I lost the weight was that we make time for the things that are important to us. Working out is a stress reliever, too. And a Couch to 5K workout would be 15-20 minutes at most. I can do this. I should do this.

I need to work on finding a good work-family-health balance. As much as I want to be a bit easy on myself and recognize that throwing work into the mix is new as of a few weeks ago, I also know that putting off getting back to my healthiest self is affecting every area of my life. I'm very self-conscious and a bit sad, even, that half the clothes in my closet are still 50 pounds away from fitting. I miss running. I miss working out - the feeling of taking a shower at the end of a long workout, washing away the sweat and the stress of the day. I want that back.

I'm getting better about getting my eating under control - my problem isn't quality right now, but quantity. Trying to pump extra milk for Noah to have while I am at work is tough - it makes me very hungry.

All in all, I guess my overall consensus is that even though a lot of things are similar to the first time I lost the weight, there are some big differences. It was easy last time to go straight to the gym after work, come home, eat dinner, blog, and go to sleep. Living alone versus living with family - especially your own family, with a nearly 4 month old baby - it's very different. I have so much to learn.


Meghan said...

I was just going to ask if you were pumping! Do you pump multiple times a day at work? Breastfeeding is quite challenging, I think!!

glenna said...

I'm with you. Full time job, 2 kids (one who is 5 months old). Pumping and trying to make it all work in addition to working out. It's exhausting, but the time is short. My suggestion is focus on working out not on cutting a ton of calories. When I cut, I lose very slowly but more importantly I lose milk very quickly. I've started focusing everything on working out now. I'm counting calories, i'm being accountable, but more importantly I'm getting fit. Will I be back in most of my clothes for a few more months? Probably not. But nursing is far more important. What I've been doing is running in the mornings. when I can I take my baby with me in the stroller. If you have time in the evenings, do that too. Take Noah with you on a run. Then you get the time with him and you get the time running. It's a win win :) Or if you have a lunch break at work, use that to workout. It's hard to figure out the logistics, but you can make it work. I'm sure your college has a wellness center, utilize it! With my daughter I had a gym at work and used my lunch breaks to workout. It worked great and kept me active even when I didn't have time after or before work.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Have you thought about getting a jogging stroller? Then you can run and be with Noah at the same time.