Finding Balance and Putting Myself First

I can't imagine what Mom's and Dad's go through when it comes to finding the time to run. My hat is off to all of you who struggle to find the time to put yourself first. For most of us, running is our saving grace. It's the thing we do to stay sane or to remind ourselves not to give up when the going gets tough. But sometimes, it's hard to keep all the balls in the air and when push comes to shove, 9 times out of 10, we make sacrifices and we stop putting ourselves first.

When it comes to training to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ), I've done a really lousy job at finding the balance between maintaining my social life, working insane hours, getting sleep, feeding myself, and running. Running always comes first. Always. But I'm fortunate, I'm in a position where I get to put running first and while I don't have kids to think about, it's still hard to find the time to be a normal 26 year old.

Finding the balance isn't impossible, it just takes extra work. I have to be diligent about managing my rest days and then making an effort to maintain my relationships and feel normal. I used to dread my rest days. I hated having time to myself. I would go stir crazy because I would much rather be running or working out. Today? I relish my rest days. I love my time away from running when I don't have to think about chafing, bad runs, energy gels, tempos, and paces. 

This weekend, I had some friends over for a little carb party to prepare for Saturday's 18 mile long run. We sat on the roof, talked about life, and ended up in bed pretty early because I had an early wake up call. Running should never be your life. It should always be the thing that makes your life even better. It's all about balance and that balance is different for everyone.

I'm lucky that I have friends and a sister who are willing to spend their time on a bike next to me while I do my long runs. Not only are they helping me MORE THAN THEY WILL EVER KNOW, but it almost always ends up being a really good time. Sometimes you have to be creative with your time and even though it's hard for me to be selfish and put myself first, I know it's what I need to do. I'll never BQ unless I give 100% and right now, that's my priority. It isn't always easy, but I know it's going to be worth it.