Where’d My Running Shoes Go?

Oh, there they are!

I stopped running regularly after my big half marathon weekend. It wasn’t exactly due to lack of desire, but as the time changed a few weeks later it started to get dark way too early for me to head out on the days Chris was home. Not that I’m shy about running in the dark, but I’d prefer to run in the daylight if possible.

With that, and our schedules, my running had to occur on Mondays or Fridays in order to keep running outdoors while Chris was home with the boys. Tuesdays and Thursdays Chris works at night, and I work Wednesday nights, so those days make it difficult.

I don’t love the treadmill, and with Galloway’s method I have been wonky with making it work based on the stopping and starting prior to the half. So, I kept telling myself I would run on Mondays, Fridays, and do my long runs on the weekend, but the idea of running all jam packed into the weekend wasn’t appealing.

I liked running every other day and by gosh, there just had to be a way.

Most Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would put on my running clothes to plan to run on the treadmill after Crab went to bed. Though I got tired each time after putting Crab to bed. Something about cuddling in bed chatting with him in the dark before he drifts off set me on a path straight to my pajamas.

The Solution!

So, this week I finally came up with a solution that seemed to solve a few problems surrounding my running, our schedules, and a bonus: my stress-eating after school.

I gave Crab an iPad to play on while I ran on the treadmill!

Tuesday I came up with the plan to hand Crab an iPad (something he only gets once in a blue moon; seriously). Why didn’t I think of this before?! Oh, because the iPad sits in the closet 95% of the time. I only use it to watch tv when I run on the treadmill the sparing times I do after the kiddos go to bed.

He was so excited, he happily sat down to play with kid YouTube for 40 minutes. Then I convinced him to give up the iPad and we could go take a shower together. He was super excited and it worked out well!

I also started using the Galloway timer on the treadmill. Prior to that I would have to watch the treadmill clock to switch back and forth on the run-walk-run. Using his timer made it so much better! Just listen for the beep and hit my quick speed buttons back and forth. Win!

By Thursday, I was pretty good at getting ready to run, getting Crab setup, and using Galloway’s timer on the treadmill. Monkey is allowed this time to watch a favorite show or vacuum videos in the living room while I am running.

I switched my run from a 90/30 ratio on Tuesday to a 45/15 ratio on Thursday that went even better.

Since I’ve also trained my dogs to finally be relaxed while I am on the treadmill (I give them frozen stuffed Kongs), my anxiety over using the treadmill with my dogs barking at me, and kids running around has calmed down. Win!

Plus, I realized I have been snacking less after work. I always felt anxious about getting my run in after work and waiting until after bedtime just gave me the wiggles so I would stress eat before making dinner. Putting this run in at that time eliminates that period of stress, eliminates the stress, and then when I’m done it’s time to cook dinner!

My Best Time to Run

I have found over the years that while I enjoy the after effects of a 5am workout session, it is just difficult to work into our schedules because we are out the door so early every day. If we didn’t work in jobs we have to check-in by 7am, it might be different. I worked out at 6am a lot when I worked a job where I had to be in at 9am; that was easy breezy.

My best times for running the past decade or so have been right after school (3pm-ish), pre-kids and post-kids. I love running in the slow sunset time in the winter and the bustling hour outdoors after school in spring. It just works so well for my body.

Running Makes Me a Better Person

The best thing overall is that it helps me to be a better mom (and well, person overall). When I run regularly, I am more fun to be around and more relaxed about life. When I can get my run done before putting the kids to bed, I am more than happy to read extra stories, snuggle longer, or attend to their needs at that time. Otherwise, I’d rush through bedtime so I could “eat the frog” and get my run in.

I’m sure the solution will change over time, but for this week I’m super thrilled I got in two runs and life still went on without a hitch.

Oh… and just in case you were wondering, selling our couch to buy the used treadmill has been a great investment. I’ve had the treadmill for a year and a half now and it’s not become a clothing rack as most do.

I use it several times a month when I can’t run outside and it’s been great. The fact that I have had a running habit before getting it probably made the most difference, too.

Plus, I just added the photo of Jeff Galloway and I at the Running School to my cork-board to motivate me while I run. Score!

Frugal Tip

Don’t buy any home workout equipment until you already have a routine or are committed regularly to it. Start the commitment first before investing more money into it, and look for used when you can and it won’t impact safety. If I bought a treadmill before becoming a running (and a decade long one at that) I probably would have never used it! I’m still trying to convince Chris to walk on it all these months later.

In the end, technology isn’t so bad when you use it to your advantage. To me, this is a special treat for him twice per week, and a special treat for me as well. Overall, we both win and enjoy our time a few feet apart before we are thrust back into our regular silly lives.

Do you run? How do you make time for it if you have little kids?