Daylight savings time has left little daylight in the morning (sunrise about 6:45 but I think there is some light around 6:15) which has left me feeling pretty discouraged about my morning workout routine since the desirable running route from my house is on trails and I just don’t feel comfortable running on them in the dark. My best option at this point is going to be to run on the paved sidewalks until the sun comes up and then head for the trails. And I need to figure out what time I’d need to wake up in order to do that. I’m guessing it’s going to be 5:15-5:30 depending on how far I plan to run. Although I was doing this before Siena was born and for a bit while we were doing P90X, it’s different now since I’m more sleep deprived and unlike maternity leave, I can’t take a nap (or at least convince myself that I can take a nap later when the alarm goes off even if I don’t end up doing it).
Thoughts on Juggling Training, Working Full Time and Motherhood
First, thank you to everyone who reached out to wish me luck or ask about my first day back at work! It was hard to leave her and I definitely cried as soon as we left the day care (and was holding back the tears the entire time we were inside), but every day it got easier. I have yet to work a full work day (that starts Monday) which has helped with the transition. Heading into work knowing I got to leave a little early made it easier to leave her. Monday will be the ultimate test!
One of my biggest hurdles (besides missing Siena and pumping at work, but that’s a whole different topic) going back to work is going to be managing my workouts. Fitness is a huge part of my life and I’ve signed up for quite a few races this year so I know I’ll have to make it work. I probably should have tested out a morning workout this week while I’m still working partial days, but honestly it was hard just to get to work before 8;30 a.m. even after waking up at 6:30 and NOT working out or dropping Siena at daycare (for now I think the plan will be for Mike to do drop offs and me to do pick-up so I can nurse her twice before bed).
Once I’m back full time, nighttime workouts are going to be a stretch since ideally I’d like to nurse Siena when I get home, then cook and eat dinner, spent some time playing with her and then nurse her again before bed. If anything, I could see myself scheduling one post-work workout a week but that’ll be it (my company just started offering a free Wednesday night yoga class from 5-6 PM so I hope to partake!).
Lately, Siena has been sleeping poorly. At 3 months I considered her an excellent sleeper because she slept 8-9 hour stretches and ate once and went back to bed til 7 a.m. She didn’t really make any progress from this schedule since then, but ever since we went on vacation she has been adding in a second wake-up around midnight and often will wake for the day before her usual 7 a.m. I am working on a very large sleep debt from our vacation since we had some late nights staying up with friends and I was waking up at least twice a night to feed Siena. On top of it, I’ve been having some major problems falling asleep lately which isn’t helping. There have been days where I feel physically sick because I haven’t gotten more than a few hours of sleep (which is mostly my own fault, not even Siena’s!). It’s definitely a problem and I hope to catch up on sleep over this three day weekend I have ahead of me. I’m hopeful that Siena’s sleep will get better soon as she’s currently in one of those developmental “leaps” and of course, I’m sure being on vacation totally threw her off.
Needless to say, all of this isn’t exactly making me excited to wake up at 5:15 AM to run in the dark exhausted. It also doesn’t help that I haven’t actually made myself a training schedule for my half marathons so it’s less motivating to wake up to workout since I don’t have an official training run scheduled (this is where it would be nice to have a coach!). I totally get that I am not alone in my problem and this is why a lot of moms don’t work out at all! If I wasn’t signed up for all these races, I’d probably do a home workout program like 21 day fix instead (I actually did just purchase Tony Horton’s new 22 Hard Corps workout which is a series of just 22 minute workouts that I figured I can get in at times for some strength training, maybe even quickly after work sometimes). But, I really do love running and I want to make this work!
This post wasn’t intended to sound like a run on complaint, but it has helped to write out all the thoughts running through my head as I get used to my “new normal.” So far, I’ve come up with a couple of solutions to my problems. First, I’m going to buy a treadmill (on Craig’s List of course) for the garage. This way I can get in speedwork on the treadmill (there is no where near my house to do anything besides hill repeats and those have to be done on the trails which means I have to wait til the sun comes up), run indoors if it’s really dark or raining, and I can still run when Mike is out of town or busy (assuming Siena is asleep of course).
Second, I’m going to follow a freaking training plan specifically targeted for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. Anyone have any suggestions for good half marathon training plans? I can easily make one up myself but I feel like I’m more likely to skip workouts if I know I’m the one who made it up. I may just default to Hal Higdon if I don’t find something better. Third, I am going to schedule some early morning runs with friends. My friend Allison said she’d meet up with me once a week for a 6 a.m. run and Asia and I have already scheduled a pre-work run for Monday. Having someone there waiting will definitely motivate me to get up! Last, I am going to start working on winding down at night so that I can fall asleep more quickly. More on my new pre-bed routine in another post.
Like I said in a previous post, I’m going to start doing my weekly training recaps here on my blog so hopefully that keeps me accountable as well. I have to add a caveat to all of this and say that I do plan to give myself a break – I am not trying to set a PR at any of these races and I am taking care of an infant and working 40+ hours a week. If I miss some workouts, that’s life. I want to commit to my training but I also don’t want my training to retract from my happiness and health. I’m going to do my best. As someone who tends to lean toward the “all or nothing” side of things, this is going to take some personal development on my end!
Do you have a half marathon training plan you can recommend? How do you balance training and life?
You have your priorities in the right order and you are doing great!! The fact you worry about it and want to balance it means you will. My boys are now 15 and 12 and there are still challenges getting in workouts , now have their own workouts/ practices they need to get to. I didn’t do nearly as many when they were little because I didn’t want to miss moments and they required more of me. That part didn’t last long which is both good and bad. You find ways to fit in what’s important, holding planks while teeth get brushed and push ups while they do homework become great ways to balance, and help me remain calm and sane. Enjoy your runs when you can get them. Don’t worry too much it all balances out while we aren’t looking. The races are there every year and some of your best moments are yet to come.
Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
It sounds like a routine and schedule will come with time. As you transition back to full days at work, and as Siena settles into a sleep schedule (once she bounces back from her vacation schedule), it will fall into place over time. The most important thing is to be adaptable, which it sounds like you are. I totally understand not wanting to run outside (and on trails) in the dark. I have never been a fan of running in the dark and will run in the evening (which, I much prefer morning runs) to avoid anything that has to do with the dark. Do you get a lunch break and is it at all possible to run during your lunch hour?
Major props to you for getting up during those really early morning hours. I can’t do that yet – of course it is really cold and dark here at that time. I’m sure once the summer rolls around and it is lighter earlier, I will be changing my schedule so that I can take advantage of that time.
Yeah it’ll take time! I don’t feel like I could do a lunch workout since I’m already spending about an hour a day away from my desk to pump and we aren’t supposed to eat lunch at our desks which would mean a lunch run would probably make my lunch break almost 2 hours! Maybe once I’m not pumping I could swing it !
I am dreading the day I will go back to work after our baby is here, I am sure it will be so hard. Your plan sounds really good, I am sure it will be difficult but it’s nice to see mothers making it work =)
Below is a link to a facebook page of a friend of mine. She has run a lot of marathons and may have a training schedule to share. Check out her site and send her a message to see if she can help you.
You are doing great! I’m a running coach, signed up for a half on May 15 and I only ran twice this weeks. I’m starting to get worried, but I’m just going to try to have fun & not run for time. I think buying a treadmill will really help. Meeting friends in the morning is what gets me out the door too.
It is so hard when you have an infant and are working to figure out how to work out. When my son was old enough to go the childcare at our gym, he would make it about 25 minutes and start screaming bloody murder. I would drop him off and run on the treadmill as fast as I could until he came to get me. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it kept me in shape. I suggest maybe modifying the FIRST program. They have a book and an app. It is essentially three runs a week and cross-training. You have a sprint, a tempo, and a long run. You could do the first two on your treadmill. Also, you can do easy running on your cross days (they tell you to bike or swim), your tony Horton videos, yoga, or whatever else. However, if you are sleep-deprived, you know you only need 3 quality workouts. Just an idea. Give yourself grace too. You are juggling a lot! Way to go!!
I feel like you are on the right track with managing things. It really sucks though that you are having sleep issues. Do you drink/like tea? If so then I highly recommend having a cup of hot green tea (mint or chamomile) an hour or so before you sleep. Chamomile tea is also safe to consume while breastfeeding (I think but double check on this). Also make sure to get the loose kind. For me the bagged teas just don’t work the same as the loose leaf ones. Hopefully that will help 🙂
I love Hal Higdon’s plan – they’re simple and I don’t get injured when I use them. My maternity leave is over in a few weeks and I am going to be a total wreck leaving my daughter. You’re so lucky to have managed as much leave as you did! I run in the early morning (4am) so I can run and be back before my husband has to live for work. Right now, it’s not a set time, but if the baby wakes up between 3 and 5 or so to nurse, then I pump if I need to before just going for a run. I go to bed pretty early, too, but the early bed time is the main sacrifice. My body hates running in the afternoon. I use a headlamp and/or knuckle lights when I run in the dark. Trails would still be difficult in the dark, though. I’m looking forward to hearing how you work through the transition back to work! And your treadmill recommendations – a treadmill is next on my running wish list to help with consistent training and having a child. It’s like figuring out life all over again. 🙂
I had a similar plan like Aileen, where when I went back to work, I would go about 4:30-5 (depending on when the baby woke up to feed), pump after the feed before I left to run, and get in my miles then. I also use a headlamp and stick to paved sidewalks in my neighborhood. I go up and down the same few streets so I am close to home and feel safe. Early bedtimes are a must (my baby was in bed by 7 I had to come to grips with only running 3 days per week, though! http://www.okcrunning.org/resources/training/trainingschedules/halfmarathon3dayweekintermediate.pdf is a good plan for only running 3 days per week. You will figure out a system and may have to go into a race with poor sleep (I have done that before!) but it is all worth it to get your exercise time in and set a good example for your baby 🙂
I recently ran my second race pp, first half marathon since having my baby last August. Finding time and energy to train while breastfeeding and working full time was HARD, and I didn’t feel completely prepared for my race. (I’m also a lot slower than you!) It is very hard, but I can tell that working out makes you happy and feel good, so you will find time to do it if it’s important to you. My best tip (which I’m sure you already know) is to give yourself grace to skip a workout if you just can’t make it happen. Kids get sick, etc., and you can’t plan for that! I’m sure you’ll do awesome!
Thanks Amanda! Definitely good advice and something I have been better at than I thought. I think being pregnant taught me that slowing down and rest days are totally ok!