As we have rolled into September, the inevitable clash has taken place. Work versus Exercise! Like an epic battle, a grudge match, this clash is a clash of opposites. This clash obviously has created quite a bit of scheduling, juggling, flexibility and stress. Ohhh the stress.
I am very blessed to have had holidays to allow me to start my base training for the marathon. Starting in late June and working towards the end of October, I am hitting the peak time period for training before I start to taper (wind down) my training distances. So these workouts are extremely important to help solidify my running base, my stamina and allow me to learn to run on tired fatigued muscles and how and when fuelling on the move is necessary.
However, my work schedule is inflexible! I pretty much have the same daily schedule. Leave the house at 7:30 for a short commute to work and arrive home from work (after another short commute) around 5:00. That really doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise. I could get up really early and get my runs in early in the morning, but mornings are my responsibility at home. I am responsible for lunches, breakfast and getting my family out the door. When I come home, I could run then, but I have been away from my family all day, they are tired and hungry and really want to eat. Since I like to cook, that responsibility usually falls on me (although my wife will cook…if she must!). I could run after dinner, but the guilt of being away from my family all day and leaving them to run, alone and by myself. So, that means I have even less room for exercise.
Some people call these excuses. I like to think of them as reasons! My priorities are family, job and exercise. That is all I have time for. Everything else has suffered. My relationships with my friends and family have become text/social media relationships and I haven’t watched a television program since the Summer when I wasn’t working (although last week we watched the first episode of ‘Boundless’ a Canadian series tracking two Canadian athletes who are participating in the worlds most difficult races. It’s AWESOME! I highly recommend it (I watched it when stretching and eating and thanks JD)). That is why I called this post the inevitable clash. It is the clash of my exercise life versus my other lives. Clash of motivation and fatigue (from work and running at bed time). Clash of will versus reality. They are all inevitable.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that I am running with a goal in mind. My motivation is to complete the race for Brian the great, my uncle who passed away from his battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. That is what gets me out the door when I don’t want to run. Trying to keep his legacy alive and raise money for the Niagara Children’s Museum, where he was the curator and executive Director. That is what gets me motivated to put on my running clothes and not my comfy clothes. That is what makes me eat two dinners. That is what keeps me off of the couch. That is what keeps me going. Now I have a little over a month and the race will be here. All the sweat, blood, tears, blisters, doubts, affirmations and prayers will come in handy.
So when do I run? Really, if you have followed the blog from the beginning, there is no secret or surprise. But, I would like to break it down day by day so you get a better understanding of my training. My training schedule is pretty fixed and regimented. I like structure and schedules, so I try my best to adhere to the timetable, but sometimes, you just have to switch it up. And rearrange your days and exercise.
Monday – Day off. Thanks goodness. First day of the work week. Busy night with kids activities. Great night to be off.
Tuesday – 6k tempo run. Always takes place after the kids are in bed. Always my best run of the week because I can run fast (for me)
Wednesday – Hills or Intervals – always takes place after the kids are in bed! I finished my last set of hills last week and start on intervals this week. I love hills. It makes you strong, gives you some short term goals and I enjoy the challenge. Most runners I know don’t agree with me on this one!
Thursday – 10k steady run. Always takes place after the kids are in bed! This run is usually a struggle because it is my third day in a row exercising. That can be a challenge! Especially when I am tired!
Friday – Day off. best day off to have! Tired for. Running. Tired fromWork. Usually means an early bed time!
Saturday – easy 6k. That means I usually substitute the run with a bike ride. Cross training is less wear and tear on my knees! Can happen during the day but usually, yet again,happens after the kids are in bed!
Sunday- Long slow run that takes p,ace in the morning or early afternoon. I wish I could run as slow as I am supposed to. But I always try to run based on how I feel. I hope that by running slow long runs faster than the desired pace won’t come back to ‘bite me in the ass’ the day of the Niagara Falls International Marathon!
However, that is a story for another time! Thanks again for reading and following my journey
—————————————————————————————————————–For more information on Andy running the Niagara Falls Marathon in October 2013 in memory of his uncle, Brian the Great, or to make a donation, please see the link on the homepage of the museum website at http://www.niagarachildrensmuseum.ca/. Help Andy keep Brian the Great’s legacy alive!