Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Training and Life: How to Find Balance?

Did you watch Biggest Loser last night? I really don't want to give away any details in case you recorded it but let's just say that Jillian, the queen of quotes, had her best one of the season last night: "Wanna know how to train for a marathon? You run. And after that, you run some more. And after that, you run more." Said while pushing the speed up, up, up on a treadmill. How true is that?!

Speaking of running then running more and more, etc, etc, etc....do you ever feel like the rest of your hobbies have been shoved way to the very back of the back burner? After I ran the Shamrock Marathon, I went on and on to everyone who would listen about how now I was finally going to get back to things I had neglected during my marathon training. Like maybe I'd finally fix these:



Those are the drapes in my bedroom. I bought them at Ikea over 3 years ago. See the cut edges...the strings hanging down all willy-nilly? Apparently, French doors are way taller in Sweden then they are here in America (I wonder if they even call them French doors?? I bet they are Swedish doors! Totally explains the fact that they were approximately 4 feet too long...). I am not a type who sews. I've been a 'tom-boy' my entire life and most likely couldn't thread a needle so the idea of sewing a curtain to the proper length literally makes me itch and kind of freak out. So what did I do? I cut them. Yeah. Smart, right? The idea was that I'd cut them and then use that super simple iron mending tape stuff and just like that, a perfect hem! Fast forward three years and I'm still looking at what you see above. After the marathon, the plan was to jazz them up with the perfect cute yet sophisticated trim/fabric and hot glue it on and finally be done with it. So after Shamrock, when I was feeling all full of myself and homemakerish, I went to Jo-Ann's and within 5 minutes, nearly had a nervous breakdown and ran out of there.

The other thing I've completely neglected is my love of reading. I've been a big reader for as long as I can remember. Nothing makes me happier then curling up with a really good book and a glass of wine. Before I started running, I'd read a book a week at least. There were a lot of times when I'd be reading two books at once - one for 'the kids are at school and I'm on the couch with tea' reading and one for 'the kids are asleep and I have wine and a fluffy pillow and not a care in the world' reading. During marathon training, by the time I'd get into bed, I'd crack a book, read three sentences and promptly fall asleep. As you can imagine, it takes me approximately 4 months to read a half of a book. That didn't stop me from buying books though and so this is what my side of the bed looks like:




I felt no need to panic or feel guilty because as soon as Shamrock was done, I was going to read! I was going to hot glue drapes and read!! But then I signed up for the Pacer's Running Festival Half Marathon taking place on Mother's Day and so I'm still reading what I was reading when I ran the Shamrock Marathon. And I really want to be done with it because honestly, I'm kind of tired of it.

I also had big plans to cook all kinds of fabulous foods. I have a semi-abnormal love of cooking sites and blogs and read them daily. I bookmark and print out recipes sometimes I even go so far as to purchase necessary ingredients but then I'd be so drained from training, I'd resort to some old standby meal.

Anyway, the point is, I kind of miss all that stuff and really, really, really mean it this time when I say that after this weekend's half marathon, I'm going to take a much needed break from training. I'll keep running but I'm going to force myself not to sign up for any major runs before my busy October (Army 10-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon). Think I can do it? How does a person addicted to training find balance?

5 comments:

S. Kimzey Daniels said...

I used to have those drapes (I called them curtains) in my living room in Germany! Except they were way too long and I pooled them at them bottom...hung them from a rope, very nautical looking. Okay, back to your post...

morgan said...

I don't know, renae. I recognize your problem as similar to my own. Running seems to fill much of my hobby/pastime/chore space. What it doesn't take, my kids seep into. Not sure what to advise...

Anonymous said...

I started training for my first triathlon in January (took a class b/c I did not even know how to swim very well) and here it is May! My race is at the end of June! When another triathlete mom told me training for a triathlon is like having a part time job, I did not believe her. But, she was right on!! Now I just swim, bike, run with little time for hobbies.

Crumbs said...

I think it's easy to burn out. Look at the blog here, one could easily assume that only a few of the dozen or so women are still consistently running after a few years. But I think we all go in phases: train for 6 months-a year, take a few months off until you really miss it and then slowly work your way back into it. Maybe it's like that with ALL hobbies. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway - if you DO find a nice balance...pass on the secret [of course, I don't want to hear "everything in moderation" ;) ]

S. Kimzey Daniels said...

It's a tough nut, isn't it? I personally think that people like us (who push themselves rigorously) need something extreme to reach for and exceed. The only achievable balance for me is to trade extremes. When my current writing project is over, I'll probably either train for a marathon or redecorate but not both. Maybe you'll have more luck creating a more inclusive balance.