Saturday, November 20, 2010

Balancing Running with Work, Family, and Observance

Last Sunday, I was a guest on the Geeks in Running Shoes podcast. On episode 17, Jason was talking about how difficult it was getting his miles while working full time, going to school, and having a family. While co-host Ray does not yet have a family, he is in school full time and often works long into the night studying and completing assignments.

Jason and Ray wanted to pick my brain and find out how I balance my running with work, family, and my Jewish Observance. Here are some of the tips I shared on the show.

1) Find that part of the day where you can run consistently: for me it's early in the morning before work. On most nights I am in bed at 10:00 and up at 5:00. I am usually out the door by 5:30. During the week, this affords me a solid hour to run before I need to be back in the house to give Lil Ansky breakfast and for me to shower, get dressed, and go to work. On the weekend I might start a little later but always before Lil Ansky wakes up. For those of you with kids, you how hard it can be to go out for a run once the kids wake up.

Early morning works for me, it may not work for everyone. For some of you, the evenings might be better. For others lunch time might work. The point  is find a time during the day and stick with it.

2) Run to work or school: If you can, leave a bag of clean clothes, towel, toiletries at work or school the day before and run to work the next day. You'll find it invigorating and the endorphins are better than a cup coffee. Lastly, you can show off at work or school by saying that you ran there that morning. 

3) For most of us, running is just a hobby: Unless you are getting paid to run or to train someone, running is something we enjoy doing, but it's not the most important in our lives. On the show, I told Jason and Ray that family and religious obligations ALWAYS come before running. I've blogged before about my observance of the Sabbath on Saturday and my observance of Jewish holidays. Those are days for me to go to synagogue, to reflect, and to spend time with family and friends. Running is off limits on those days.

4) Bring your family to a race: most local races have runs of various distances for the the kids. This is a great way to expose your kids to your hobby and get some miles in. Last Sunday there was a 5k to benefit Lil Ansky's school. I offered to run the 1 mile with her but she wanted to run it solo. I made sure to be there at the final stretch to cheer her on. Once she finished, she mentioned she wanted to do another one. This time of year is a great time to get the family involved. Many turkey trots are family friendly. It's a great time to put the competitive juices aside and have fun.

We spoke about other topics as well. If you haven't listened to the show you can download it here or from iTunes.

What works for you that allows you to balance running with work, family, and other obligations?

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