When life hands you lemons… forget about making lemonade. Make lemon meringue pie! Tangy, sweet, deliciousness – THAT is how I choose to live my life!
I’m adjusting quickly and easily to the night shift, thanks to a fantastic support team – my family. Mr. Incredible had a rough start to the week, in order to allow me to load up on sleep before the start of my shift Monday, but he was able to catch up on some sleep thanks to the rest of the fam. His parents and sister live nearby and are INCREDIBLY helpful. Hmmmm… maybe from now on I should refer to them collectively as The Incredibles? Yes, I think so. 😉
So, the big concerns I had before this week started were sleep, eats, and running. How has that all worked out so far?
1. Sleep: less than what I was getting, but it’s in the 7 – 8 hour range, so that’s actually good. I’ve experienced zero drowsiness while driving home, and been able to fall asleep within 15 minutes of arriving, so that is excellent.
2. Eats: this has been a bit of a challenge. I’ve not eaten much at all at home this week. Twice, I ate within two hours of waking, and the other two times I only downed a protein drink after running. At work, it’s a different story. I arrive with time to eat my super-duper oatmeal and then I eat every 2-3 hours during the 10.5 hours shift. I’ll have to experiment some to get myself back on my feed at home.
3. Running: this one turned out easier than I expected. I rearranged my training schedule this week from M/W speed, F/S easy runs to T/Th speed, S long/easy. The only thing I really had to contend with was the guilt I felt at taking time for myself during that first run. After talking to Mr. Incredible and reminding myself that I’m actually getting MORE time with her during her waking hours EVEN WHEN I RUN, I was able to shake that off.
And that leads to the greatest night shift pro – more quality time with family. We’re only four days in, but so far it’s been great!
And now… on to more lemons: today’s run.
First it was a GPS fail. Half mile in, my phone reports to me that I’ve run a mile in five minutes. Well, honey, I’m no Kara Goucher, so I know something’s screwy. I restart my RunKeeper app and try again. Less than a minute in, I’ve apparently run a forty second mile. My HORSE can’t even run that fast!
So, I decide to forget tracking the run and simply proceed on perceived effort. With the battery not being sucked up by my app, I would take pics of all of the snow, ice and frozen ponds.
I turn the camera on and… camera fail. It’s more like storage fail. Not enough space on my phone for more pics because I have over 1,200 photos and videos still waiting for a backup.
Well, then, put the phone up and work on that mind-body connection for my perceived effort run!
Overall, it was a 6.3 mile run to a particular stop sign and back – 1 mile warmup, 4.3 miles hard, 1 mile cool down.
My warmup mile was probably faster than it was scheduled to be, at least I know I had hit the half mile mark in 5 minutes. I was supposed to be warming up at an 11min/mile pace. It was cold, though – lower 20’s without the windchill – so I really just wanted to get warm. Plus, it IS easier to run faster in the cold.
Once I put the phone away, I basically kept myself at the edge of an asthma attack, huffing and puffing and blowing like a winded barrel horse exiting the arena at the Calgary Stampede. For four miles.
There was a lot of inner dialogue going on:
Run hard to that fencepost and then you can take a breather.
Charge up that hill! Lift those knees!
Ok, now just keep the pace on the downhill and keep going.
You can rest at the bottom, but you gotta push it up the next hill!
You can make it to that mailbox. YES, you can!
Skip and dodge the ice like a kid playing hopscotch… Play, have FUN!
Yes, you’re lungs are burning, but do you want to regret not putting extra effort into it, or do you want to collapse in a pool of satisfaction at the end?
Even after pushing hard, I wasn’t really satisfied, though. I’m slower than I used to be. MUCH slower than where I want to be. But that is what drives me – the desire to go further, faster, and be stronger.
Afterwards, baby girl was napping, so I wrapped it up with some stretching, Sun Salutations, plank, side plank and two sessions of 7 minutes with Sima. Yoga is a new endeavor, and I swear, trying to keep up with Sima was about to kill me. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit that about only 14 minutes of yoga, but hey, it is what it is. And you gotta start somewhere, right?
Do you practice yoga? Did you run today? How did it go? How is work treating you this week?
I finally fessed up. To my husband. To my Church group. To myself.
The guilt of a working mother.
The two things really helping me with the guilt right now
1. I know baby girl won’t remember these days.
2. Running. It keeps me on an endorphin high – my drug of choice.
Even still, the guilt lurks beneath the surface, rearing its hoary head anytime I take a moment for myself during her waking hours.
Stomach rumbling, I quickly whipped up Bacon & Onion Linguine (my favorite Lidia Bastianich recipe) and inhaled a bowl. “You shouldn’t be wasting time like this,” whispers my conscience. “You could be eating a peanut butter sandwich and get to her more quickly.”
I don’t even sit to eat. I burn my tongue as I inhale my supper. My eye is on the clock.
Now, a quick shower. After a long day of work, I stink and I need to clean up.
The guilt rises. “If you wouldn’t have wasted time with food, you wouldn’t feel so bad about taking the time for a shower.” The stress mounts as the clock ticks on.
By the time I reach my Mother-in-Love’s house to pick baby girl up, she’s asleep. She’s been asleep for 15 minutes. She had a tough time going down and had to be carried and rocked. The guilt is overwhelming. “See. I told you so. If you would’ve just sacrificed more, this wouldn’t have happened. YOU would’ve been the one there for her when she needed you. Someone else had to bear YOUR burden. So selfish.”
I purse my lips and try to ignore the sinking feeling in my heart. To get her home I have to wake her up and take her into the bitter cold, strap her into the car seat, listen to her poor little tired cries as I drive the short distance home, all while wishing this evening could’ve worked out differently. I had planned it differently. Sometimes our plans get derailed and the outcome simply sucks.
And sometimes something happens to turn it all back around.
I got home, and as I pulled into the garage, I thought baby girl must be asleep. She was quiet, so she must be asleep. As I crawled into the back seat, I was greeted by a big, toothy grin. The cries were long gone. And so was my guilt.
We played happily for nearly two hours, a rare evening to be sure. She crawled, she laughed, she squealed, she pulled up, tried to walk and talk. Amidst the joyous babbling, my heart swelled and my soul found contentment once again. She may not remember these days, oh, but I will. And when I do, warmth will fill my heart and the joy in my soul will be reflected in my smile.
The following morning, I was up at 4 am for a 6 mile run. It was an incredible run. I had absolutely zero knee pain and I felt on top of the world. I attributed it to an extra day of rest, but looking back… I think it was the joy of a baby’s laughter that carried me through those early morning miles.
When life doesn’t go according to plan adaptability is essential to long term success.
This week hasn’t shaped up well for allowing me to get the mileage my training plan calls for (and still be everything else I need to be). Life is a juggling act and sometimes you have to be smart enough to drop the less important ball so you are free to catch the important, fragile one.
Anyhow, instead of allowing myself to get frustrated, I decided to push myself on short treadmill runs on my lunch break at work and mix in some cross training anywhere and everywhere possible. Last night, while playing with baby girl before bedtime, I was stretching, doing side planks with leg lifts and bridge with leg lifts. Today, after my lunch break run, every chance I’d get (even if only seconds at a time), I was stretching, doing push-ups, side planks with leg lifts, and lunges.
I haven’t noticed any weird looks. I guess my co-workers have grown used to my own special brand of crazy. That’s good, but better than that is – my legs are wobbly and my soul is satisfied!
How about you? Is your training plan going according to plan? Do you normally cross train? Do you squeeze in workouts at work… While you work?