Saturday, June 16, 2012
Las Vegas: What I Learned About Goals, Running and Balance
So, it is Day 16 of Summer and I have already messed up on 2 of my goals. I committed to ANOTHER MOTHER RUNNER'S June challenge to work out 5 days a week. I also committed to #bookaday--one of my favorite annual traditions.
Last week, we went to Vegas. We went with friends and took our 21 year old daughters. I was determined to run 1-2 times in Vegas. I checked out the options for exercise and found info about the fitness facilities at the hotel. I started out doing what I had planned, waking up early Monday morning to get on the treadmill before heading to the pool. I was very impressed with myself. I also took 7 books. With a 4 hour plane ride there and back as well as lots of time at the pool, I figured a book a day would be easy. I read 2 on the plane ride there. Again, I was very impressed with myself.
Then we got in vacation mode. On Day 2 I didn't feel like getting up early to exercise and I was too busy to fit in any reading time.
We spent a lot of time walking in Vegas--shopping and walking the strip. We walked a few miles each day, but in a tourist kind of way. Nothing that could be counted as cardio.
And I was way too tired to read much on our late night flight home.
Not only did I mess up my goals while in Vegas but I feel like I have lost 3 days recovering. We got home at 3 AM on Thursday morning so Thursday was like a nothing day. Still, on Day 3, I feel tired and disorganized. I'm trying to catch up on phone calls, emails, etc. that I missed while we were away. Trying to get organized for next week and my next trip to All Write Summer Institute (Which I am VERY excited about!)
So, I have really been thinking about my bigger goals. Are my goals really to be a runner and to read every single day? When those things get in the way of a balanced life, how do I deal with it? How do I continue to fit these things into my life on a regular basis without them becoming an "assignment" I've given myself.
For me, when I decide to give myself a challenge like #bookaday, it is really frustrating when I can't read a book for a few days. It makes me cranky to give up on a goal. And then if I can't complete the goal completely, I often just quit altogether. I've learned this important thing about myself in this (almost) 6 month running journey.
So, I think this is key for me to understand. And I feel like I keep relearning it over and over.
During weeks like this, I want to be happy that I ran once, walked miles and miles in Vegas and will get in at least one more day of exercise. And I read 2-3 books. Not meeting my goals, but not quitting either. Ready to give it my all again during the next few weeks when life is a little more routine.
Ultimately, I want a balanced life. I want to be able to enjoy vacations without putting pressure on myself to read a book. I want to know that if I miss a day running, it isn't the end of the world. I want to make time for these things, but I don't want them to consume me. And I want to continue running, but cardio health is really my goal so I want to try other things.
I have plans to get out of this new rut this week. I plan to run a few times. Katherine and I have been talking about running together at All Write so we'll run before the event begins wearing our Team Sparkle Skirts and our Babymouse t-shirts. We won't run long and we won't run fast, but we'll run. I am also going to try to run 1-2 other times this week and to try a new class. A new Pure Barre just opened in Dublin and I am on a quest to find some strength classes that I LOVE. I am dying to find a class that I love as much as I loved 80s aerobics. I know that will take some time.
I loved my week of non-routine. But I am ready to get back to some kind of routine. I think last time this happened (just a few weeks ago), I realized that a bad week isn't as big of a problem as I thought it was. I was so worried I'd have to stop running after 30 seconds after a week off that I was thrilled to realize I didn't really lose much in that week.
So, my Vegas week gave me some time to reflect on my bigger goals. I've had a lot of trouble figuring out where to go next once I ran the 5K I was prepping for. And, I can't really celebrate meeting my June goals. I've kind of lost out on that. But I realized I am meeting some bigger, more important goals.
One thing that I noticed in Vegas was that walking for hours and hours was easy for me. It would not have been easy a year ago. A year ago, lugging a heavy suitcase through the airport would have exhausted me. Walking for miles and miles would have been totally no fun. But this year, having gotten into better shape, life is more fun because I can do more. I don't have to try to have a conversation when I can hardly breathe because the person I am with is walking so much faster than me. I can actually enjoy doing things more because I am in better cardio health.
I have people who cheer me on. I have made new friends because of this running thing and love the #runteacherrun group on Twitter. It is a simple group that has been a huge support for me. Many days that I've run because of them or because of one of my other cheerleader friends. I love when a new journey adds new friends to my life!
And, I am actually looking forward to getting back to a running/fitness routine.I have realized that exercise has actually become part of my life. As hard as it is, I actually want to make time for it. That is a huge revelation for me. Exercise has become part of my life and I want to keep it that way. I don't quit exercising after a bad week. I try to fit in a workout or two when I am out of town. And I actually enjoy a workout or two in a different location.
So, when I look back to why I wanted to start running, it was more about being more healthy, fitting exercise into my life, becoming more balanced. I feel like I am well on my way to these bigger, more important goals:-)